The idea of cloning, though implemented only recently through modern science, was in the minds of the ancient saints and sages of India. Quite a few relevant examples can be found in the Vedas and ancient writings. However, man's attempt to change the natural order of things has a long-term potential of unexpected negative results.
Historically, it is impossible and unwise to interfere with the advance of science. The fuller understanding of cellular and reproductive processes can enhance the genetic engineering already underway and lead to new treatments for disease and the relief of suffering.
However, because of the ethical issues involved, this research should be carried out at approved institutions in conformance with the guidelines of ethical forums and legislative protection. These forums should be composed of spiritually aware and responsible people who sincerely desire to serve humanity. These forums can then advise industry and government as to a prudent course of action. The advance of science can be used for both good and evil. The powerful forces within the atom can be harnessed to help mankind or to build weapons of destruction.
Many identical suits can be fabricated from the same bolt of cloth, but what can we say about the wearer of the suit? While science may eventually succeed in cloning a carbon copy of a physical form, the indwelling consciousness of that form is still beyond the reach of material science.
God has established a natural order in His creation which contributes to the spiritual evolution of life. These natural processes, if interfered with, will ultimately result in sorrow and suffering which is the state of the world today.
A government alone cannot do anything without the sincere and wholehearted cooperation of the people. For this to happen, it should be a government which works in accordance with the will and wishes of people who love nature. People should be taught to function from their hearts. Societies should be formed in every village in order to create an awareness of the significance of protecting and preserving nature. Mere intellectual understanding is not enough. The teachers and counselors of these societies should have the ability to encourage people to love nature, to feel compassion for all of creation and its creatures. The teachers themselves should be highly competent and efficient people, who can inspire others to do whatever they are taught. Only then will there be any benefit.
Looking at nature and observing its selfless way of giving, we can become aware of our own limitations. That will help to develop devotion and self-surrender to God. Thus, nature helps us to become close to God and teaches us to truly worship Him. In reality, nature is nothing but God's visible form which we can behold and experience through our senses. By loving and serving nature, we are worshiping God Himself. A sincere Truth seeker cannot harm nature because he or she sees nature as God. A real scientist should be a real lover–a lover of mankind, a lover of all creation and a lover of life.
By creating a balance between spiritual and material science, we can certainly improve the quality of life on this planet. This also involves an understanding of nature and living in harmony with it.
Ammachi,honored as a "President of Hinduism" at the Parliament of the World's Religions in 1993, lives in Kerala, India.