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In science, when there are interactions between various disciplines, overlapping areas have developed independently. These include Biochemistry, Biophysics, Physical Chemistry, Chemical Physics, Astrophysics, Biotechnology, Quantum physical Chemistry, Plant Chemistry, etc, Science has had little interaction with concepts and practice of spirituality. In some faiths, the two did not agree for a long time, even on the shape of the earth- whether it is flat, round or spherical. There are instances, when scientists in a European country, who dared to explain facts, were imprisoned. This is not so in repect to concepts of spirituality, based on the Veda-s. On the other hand, there are numerous cases in mythology where the two agree, albeit in their own way, and the application of observation and principles of science have enabled better understanding (and scope) of spiritual concepts. In this context, two levels of knowledge of sciences are considered. One is the lower knowledge from experiments, observations by established workers, correlated first into a hypothesis, and later into a theory. These must be reproducible and be confirmed in established laboratories. In due course, these become laws. However, in some cases, even established laws
by a force pointing along the line intersection both points. the gravitational constant). Cavendish evaluated value of the constant G in 1798. In this.Science. Newton could not calculate the proportionately constant (G. Even the theory of relativity was later found to be incompatible with quantum mechanics. Science has advanced this way. former Head. Though Newton’s law has been superseded by Einstein’s General Law of Relativity. it was realized that the orbit of Mercury could not be fully accounted by Newton’s theory. gravitation was ascribed to space-time curvature. In this context. where distinguished scientists could think of science culmination into one Reality (of spirituality). but by the end of the 19th century. based on the motion of Uranus. Other level is the higher knowledge. The law also succeeded in prediction the existence of the general position of the planet Neptune. every other point mass. practice of ahimsa. only when there is need for extreme accuracy.S. Scientists could not visualize the present day level of knowledge and applications. or when dealing with gravitation for very massive objects. what is a correlation between atom and the self (atman). even fifty years ago. the role of science in promoting social and moral values etc. Spirituality and Ethics 2 were modified to accommodate observations in other contexts. According to this (in modern language): every point mass attracts. it still continues to be used to excellent approximation of the effect of gravity. In a test of the theory of gravitation. Relativity is invoked. instead of force. in which gravity is described in the framework of quantum field theory. the writer recalls the role of (late) Professor D. Department of . For example. Kothari. The force (F) is proportional to the product of the two masses (say m1 and m2 ) and inversely proportional to the square of the distance (r ) between the point masses. The controversy was resolved in 1915 by Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. Newton’s law of universal gravitation describing gravitational attraction was formulated in 1687. One may wonder. which accounted for the discrepancy of Mercury’s orbit.
S. I needed to be exposed to various . meeting him on numerous occasions. arranged at nearby Sanatan Dharma temple. It was like a transition. The writer’s interest in spirituality also arose from weekly talks on various discourses of Bhagavadgita by Swami Ranganathananda. practices of ethics. These thoughts remained latent in my mind for many years to come. and of ideal education for generations to come. University of Delhi. say from (solid) ice to (liquid) water. then Head. Transition from science background to that of spirituality was not easy. and a philosopher. I knew that as long as the transition is not complete. who was a physicist by training.R. humanity and practice of ahimsa. tried to correlate his thoughts on Veda. a strong believer in ahimsa in practice. (then Chief of Ramakrishna Mission. The writer.. The preacher was an MD with a flourishing medical practice. and was impressed by his thoughts and continued effort on diverse areas. on role of science in promoting social and moral values. New Delhi). Kothari centre for Science. but had abandoned all. It appeared to me that my latent feeling for spiritual enlightenment had arisen. a spiritualist by conviction. I was persuaded to attend a discourse on Chapter II of Bhagvadgita. as an atom and the self (atman). arranged by (late) Prof T.based spirituality (focused in his book) and philosophy with science in different lectures. as science and technology. on science. The D. even (slow) exposure to heat. I felt impressed by his depth of knowledge and the mode of presentation. as a teacher in a sister department of the University had the privilege of knowing him. Delhi University. Chemisty Dept. Seshadri. After retirement form University of Delhi. etc. and wondering how to make good use of available time.3 Physics. Ethics and Education of the University of Delhi has compiled his writings and lectures. and took renunciation from all worldly activities. brings no apparent increase in temperature. He in modern times. went to Varanasi to study Sanskrit.
I recalled the example of an electron confined to a potential energy well. 7. through the energy barrier. For the next eight years. I sought and had clarifications from the enlightened preachers.. with insufficient energy to cross the energy barrier. described to Arjuna by lord Krishna. I realized that I had crossed the science/spirituality barrier. as it were. by learned preachers. Isavasya. and the extent to which science as interacted with basics of moral ethics. Spirituality and Ethics 4 aspects of spirituality. the interaction of science and (Veda-based) spirituality. Gorakhpur. started the column ‘The Horizons’ with my article. various sections of Brihadarnayaka and Chandogya) and different chapters of Bhagavat Mahapurana. by ‘tunneling’. In a presentation of series of articles. where possible. at my suggestion. For that. šFour Types of Devotees› (Gita. arranged at the temple. considered to have been spoken by Brahma. I was hesitant to launch the writings of my thoughts. Later. According to wave mechanics. The basic source knowledge in spirituality is from the Vedas. Prasna. Chief Editor of the newspaper. Mundaka. I published 156 articles on various aspects of (Veda. followed by (self) study using the facility of Delhi University Library.Science. I have used my science background to understand and explain. It was accepted and appreciated. various upanisads (in particular. I continued attending daily onehour discourses (each of one-month duration). using my science background. I know that there was a finite probability of its crossing the barrier. published by Gita press. Chandan Mitra. After about seven years. The Pioneer. I took a calculated risk and started writing articles for newspapers columns (as Meditation of Hindustan Times). one of the . Dr.based) spirituality. I also write articles on moral ethics in the magazine (for propagation of spiritual ideas and love for god). I realized that I could understand and explain the concepts in spirituality. Katha.16-17). These included discourses on Bhagvadgita. I felt encouraged.
followed by the name of the deity (deva/devi) to whom it is addressed. Later. The verses were learnt. the verses (and the commentary on them) were propagated to successive generations of disciples. Total number of gods/goddesses in Vedas are thirty three. To listen to this program. Rigveda Samhita (shukta 1) has nine verses. Thus. The last regarded most recent is considered to have been added much later.first the name of the enlightened rsi (to whom it was revealed). Vedavyasa classified these into four parts: Rigveda.5 trinities of Hindu faith. regared as the most sacred. and then the meter for proper recitation. Yajurveda. who could ‘tune’ in their intellect. which were revealed to rishi Madhuchanda Vaisvamitra. one has to have a radio. chanda and chaupai (meters). Atharvaveda often includes verses for practice of sorcery. who also learnt and retained them in their memory. tune it to 819 kHz. Rigveda. the more important ones being Agni and Indra. has 2005 hymns. sortha. broadcasts a serial recitation of Ramcaritmanasa. Yajurveda is the sacrificial prayer book. are addressed to Agni (the god of fire) to be recited in Gayatri meter (one of the seven principal meters).the format being. Samaveda and Atharvaveda. For example. Its verses also are largely from Rgveda. from 6:30 to 6:40 every morning. to enlightened rishi-s. and were revealed by hearing (hence also called shruti). . at the right time and should have no problem with his listening. but in many cases broken up to include parts for sacrificial prayers. A question could be: how was it revealed only to some? Consider this: The Indraprastha channel of All India Radio. Most of the verses in this are from the Rgveda. Thus alone. Samaveda consists of hymns to be recited at the time of soma sacrifices. carried in the memory of rsi-s. Likewise. and propagated to their disciples. but modified in various ways. one listens to this musical presentation in the format of doha. Vedic verses were revealed only to the enlightened.
For this reason. in which purport of the verses are supplemented with those from Upanishads and from Bhagvadgita. Samhita has basic Vedic hymns. Brahmana consists of the commentaries in prose with respect to sacrifices. generally also accepted as part of the Veda-s. Aranayaka and Upanishad. Brahmana. The sense of realization is merely in removing the ignorance about the knowledge of Brahman (though from the knowledge part of the Veda-s). grammar. an attempt has been made to use established science concepts (of lower knowledge) to explain . This ensures that the presentation is at the level of the Upanishad (knowledge part of the Vedas). Vedic verses are often difficult to understand. It should also be kept in mind that Bhagavadgita is a discourse to Arjuna by Lord Krishna himself. and higher knowledge is that which alone enables realization and attainment to Imperishable Brahman. meter (and astrology In spirituality. and is accepted to be based on the Upanishads. Spirituality and Ethics 6 Each Veda is divided into four parts: samhita. Patanjali Yoga Sutra. Aranayaka are treatise for forest dwellers (in the third/ fourth stage of life). etymology. with six auxiliaries. These were further supplemented. Lower knowledge is of the Veda-s.defined overlapping areas of science and spirituality. where necessary from mythology. Thus. in articles to follow in this book. an incarnation of Brahman (also called mahaVisnu). there are six auxiliaries (Vedanga). Since there are no well. two levels of knowledge has been accepted. The Upanishads constitute the knowledge part of veda-s. an exegetical approach has been used. and Sanakhya Yoga.Manu samhita. and the significance thereof. knowledge of both the levels of spirituality is necessary. Vedic verses are brief and for a proper understanding of the verses. These are ‘the science of correct pronunciation code of rituals. which are widely read and understood. words and the expressions and the proper recitation.Science.
When the mass. Typical examples chosen demonstrate that spiritual concepts. and understanding of the basis of yoga practices. the limitations of the basis of spiritual concepts. on one hand. based on Indian mythology. or those preached by various incarnations or mahaVisnu millions of years ago. Still most concepts in spirituality are not inconsistent with present day (lower) knowledge of science. In the absence of overlapping areas in science and spirituality. some institutions in India have departments of yoga science and of Scientific spirituality. where C is the velocity of light (108 meters/second) was first given by Einstein. Of late.energy equation (E = mC2). was dropped by the US . However. For example. and have never been updated. by analogy with laws. (and also point to their limitations). Science has little to interact with moral aspect of spirituality. etc. advances in physical and biological sciences have enabled better understanding of the spiritual concepts. he had realized the implication of the its possible misuse in developing atomic devises. Bhagavadgita and the Upanishad part of Veda-s. On the other hand.7 and provide a basis of rational understanding of concepts in spirituality (of lower and higher knowledge). Those with a good background in either of the two may skip over the basics. should be kept in mind. observations and principles in science. are mostly not antagonistic. The spiritual concepts were developed from intense thoughts of rsi-s. leading to the code of ethics. and various aspects or biological sciences. He was not wrong. a nuclear weapon named ‘Little Boy’. it was desirable. has enabled a longer and healthier lifestyle and has given greater faith in spiritual practices. that essential basics of both are given to enable a better understanding of the interaction of science and spirituality. and the rapid advances of knowledge and understanding of physical phenomena. We know that on 5th August 1945. to principals and laws of science. based on the loss of mass in radioactive disintegration processes.
directly killing an estimated 70.Science. In the following months. 4. Japan. Though Nagasaki had much less world attention than Hiroshima. yet subjugating my Prakriti. Approximately 69% of the city’s buildings were destroyed.. Wars were not uncommon even in spiritual texts. In the latter.000 people. reason and purpose) of incarnation in Bhagvadgita as follows: “Though I am unborn. An estimated 40. between the Kauravas and the Pandavas. Nagasaki was an industrial centre for major part of the coast of Kyushu. e. with 60.g. Both Rama and Krishna are incarnations (full manifestations) of Brahman.6).000. the damage was extensive nonetheless. One may then question the use of inclusion of ethics in this book. Spirituality and Ethics 8 Army on Hiroshima. This was no interaction of science and spirituality with respect to moral aspect of ethics preached by spirituality. Another (plutonium) bomb was used in the planned bombing of Nagasaki on 9th July 1945. comparable to that of Hiroshima.7. for the protection of the pious and destruction of evil-doers and establishing virtue (dharma)› (Gita.8). then I manifest Myself. “Whenever there is decline of virtue (dharma) and increase of vice (adharma). Although following a conventional raid on the city.000 died immediately. . undecaying by nature.000 people in the city when the bomb exploded. led by Bhagvan Rama himself. an estimated 60. ‘Maya’ of Brahman (of three gunas). which led to partial evacuation of mainly school children three days before the bombing. I come into being by my own Maya” (Gita. Lord of the beings. Lord Krishna played an important role. 4.000 injured. the number of dead approached 70.000 people died from injuries and several hundreds more form radiation. By January 1946. Lord Krishna explained this (the necessity. and the war at Kurukshetra. attack on the army of Ravana. there were nearly 200.
He practiced the ethical code of moral ethics. The codes of applied ethics.9 The intention is that it establishes a certain level of virtue (dharma). Ashoka’s father had previously attempted to conquer Kalinga. as in all world war 1. but is not intended for killings of the innocents also. a demoralizing effect is produced by hitting industries (even if they are not involved in production of weapons). and though already a non-engaged Buddhist.000 of Ashoka’s own men were killed. Consequences changed Ashoka’s views on war.violence) and to ‘victory through dharma‘.000 Kalinga civilians and than 10. harmony and prosperity. and the unarmed civilian population. and those with them. the army fought with the army. This justified the inclusion of ethics. After a bloody battle for the throne after his father’s death. In olden times. there are strict codes on conduct when there is one-to-one interaction. He ruled his empire for 40 years of peace. These days. besides the army fighting each other. . he decided to devote the rest of his life to ahimsa (non. It is for the destruction of the wicked kings or leaders. fought on the 8th year or Mauriya king Ashoka (about 261 BC). are based on spirituality. However. as in medical ethics. in medical and other areas that follow moral ethics. he succeeded after a savage war in which 100. in the context of science and spirituality. but had been repulsed. there is also a mention of the Kalinga war. In recent history.
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