vande guru-paramparAm

SCIENCE AND SPIRITUALITY:
EPILOGUE

The thesis presented thus far can now be summarised. Science and Spirituality are both indispensable. Modern Science has established that the observation of any object at the micro-cosmic level will have to be dependent on the subject who observes. Without the interference of the subject no object at the sub-atomic level can be observed with precision, says Physics. In other words, the objective world is not 'objective' but is only 'subjective'. Advaita Vedanta has been saying all along: There is no object in the 'objective' sense; there is only the Subject. The Subject alone remains as the bottom line. In spite of the variety of scriptures which seem to overwhelm us by their weight of authority, the greatest authority is in this Discovery, the discovery that the Truth we are after, is indwelling in us.
The great Truths of the Upanishads embodied in their Grand Pronouncements are revealed to the seeker this way. It is towards this goal that one strives to go when he is asked to do the japa of the mantra - aham brahma asmi, meaning I am brahman, several times daily. This important statement of the Upanishads only means that the Finite has the Infinite in it as its Spirit and not that, the Finite and the Infinite are the same. 'I' cannot be 'brahman' so long as 'I' has not shred its ego. The Finite has to shred its finiteness to be the Infinite. In other words, the individual soul, minus its Ignorance caused by mAyA, and brahman, minus its creative power of mAyA, are the same. Unfair Critics of Advaita usually misquote this mahA-vAkya and project it to a layman as if advaita claims that 'everyone is God' and then ridicule the statement. The claim of advaita , the Upanishads and the great Seers is only that the essential core of man (when he is divested of all his external coverings including his mind and ego ) is divine!
This is why spiritual life in India has solitary meditation as one of its essential ingredients. Meditation, being the higher and better use of the enormous spiritual force lying hidden in us, is recommended to be included as a compulsory part of a curriculum for value education right from the school level. It is in these inner spiritual experiences that one finds the proof of the thoughts of Hindu scriptures and of those of the long lineage of seers and saints, spiritual scientists all. In this sense, the proof is in our hands. It is aparoksha-anubhUti (Direct Experience or Direct Perceptive Knowledge). It is here that one discovers and echoes with Aurobindo, that Hinduism, as reflected in the Science of Spirituality,
'is no sect, no dogma, no creed, no bundle of formulas, no set of social rules, but a mighty eternal and universal truth; it has learned the secret of preparing man's soul for the divine consummation of identity with the infinite existence of God'.
The more this secret Life Divine becomes the characteristic of every Indian, the more India will regain its lost glory as a power for the diffusion of spiritual and human values and the better will it emerge as a leader for international peace, cooperation and welfare.
To sum up,
Just as the scientific pursuit of Truth consists of the sole reliance on rationality
the
spiritual pursuit of Truth relies on the omnipresence of the Absolute
in our own consciousness in everything that we do or think.
Just as
science requires repeatable experiments to make its observations
in order to distinguish scientific facts from just wishful thinking,

spirituality insists on
the restraining of the mind
to prevent its running into spiritually undesirable channels and
help itself become ready
to distinguish the Spirit within from just the Ego.
Just as
scientific temper translates into
the application of science for the benefit of mankind,
spiritual practice demands, as its third and final step,
the restraining of the
prANa
for the purpose of ascent to the Infinite through Meditation
and the acquisition thereby of an equanimous view of everything
which is what mankind expects of itself.

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March 4, 1999
Copyright V. Krishnamurthy