In a letter dated 9th March 1970, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada writes:
My Dear Hayagriva,
Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 4 March, 1970, along with the edited copy of the Foreword to KRSNA. Thank you very much. The few alterations of dates is approved by me, so it is alright.
Regarding your question do the Vedic histories refer to this planet only. No. Vedic history means of this universe. Our history begins from the beginning of the creation because the creation takes place with the birth of Brahma from the abdomen lotus flower of Lord Visnu. Then Brahma gradually creates. He begets so many sons known as Prajapatis who are supposed to be the generators of living entities, and therefore the history begins from Brahma. In the Bhagavad-gita this is confirmed in the 15th chapter. It is said there that the root of this big universal banyan tree is on the top; therefore history begins from the top.
Yes. This planet comes later on. We can take the idea from the tree–the tree grows gradually, and the different fruits, branches, and twigs gradually appear. Therefore it is to be understood that this planet has grown later on. Besides this we understand that although the planet was later on grown up, it was covered with water–pralaya payodhi jale merged into the water after devastation. Then gradually it emerges from water. That we can experience, that gradually land is coming out of the oceans. Because of its being merged into water, it is natural to conclude that the beginning of life was aquatic. This is confirmed in Padma Purana that the species of life evolved from aquatics to plants, vegetables, trees; thereafter insects, reptiles, flies, birds, then beasts, and then human kind. This is the gradual process of evolution of species of life.
But we do not accept Darwin’s theory. According to Darwin’s theory, homo sapiens came later on, but we see that the most intelligent personality, Brahma, is born first. So according to Vedic knowledge, Darwin or similar mental speculators are rejected so far the fact is concerned.
I am so glad to learn that the Gita is going on nicely. Perhaps you know that Mandali Bhadra wants to translate into German, so as you finish one chapter you may send one copy to him immediately for being translated into German.
Mayapur is the birth-site of Lord Caitanya. It is a small village You cannot find it on the map, but near Calcutta you may find the place “Navadvipa,” and Mayapur is part of this Navadvipa district. So far your planning to go to India, not only you, but I think several others, including Kirtanananda Maharaja and other advanced students, will go to India for preaching Krsna Consciousness. That will be a lesson to our so-called “secular” government. I came here with this purpose, so you have to fulfill my desire. I think it is coming to be true by the will of Lord Caitanya.
Acyutananda is getting good opportunities to move amongst enlightened circle in Calcutta, so if some of our advanced students go to India for this purpose, that will be a great achievement. I am thinking of that plan always. In the meantime, let us publish as many books as possible within this year. I wish to go to India for this purpose in the beginning of next year.
So far life-size Deities are concerned, even if you do not go, that can be imported. We have got addresses of supplier, and if you give me the size of the Deity you want, that can be imported. In the meantime you try to construct some temples in New Vrindaban. I want to publish one catalog of our ISKCON movement, giving pictures of all important centers and especially of New Vrindaban. This idea I gave you long ago when I was in New Vrindaban. I have advised Brahmananda also in this connection. So get this catalog printed as early as possible.
Another important thing is our theistic school in New Vrindaban. If you can establish a nice educational center, I know many parents of your country will be glad to send their children in New Vrindaban. But we have to create a nice atmosphere and educational system there. Satyabhama is very much enthusiastic in this connection. So you organize this institution systematically.
Hope this will meet you in good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
What I'm interested in this letter is the part in bold. Srila Prabhupada here states that the Padma Purana agrees with the modern scientific notion that life on Earth originated from the aquatics.
My question is:
Which Padma Purana verse states that life originated from the aquatics?