Though scientific discoveries like the Higg’s Boson aka ‘God particle’ are an honest
attempt to know the origin of universe, there have been other attempts and approaches
to know the truth. If “India is like a historic father of the Higg’s Boson project”
according to Paolo Giubellino the spokesperson of CERN, the search for the absolute
truth had a wiser ancestor in ancient India. It is already known to scholars that
the inquiry into truth has been a favourite subject for ‘Truth’-seekers in India
for thousands of years. But ‘Truth’ according to them wasn’t about any particle
of God in the realm of cause-and-effect, but a discovery. Where does the ancient
Indian discovery trail take us?
Creation of the universe is still a mystery. Let’s hope that the newly discovered
Higg’s Boson wrongly dubbed as the ‘God particle’ leads us in the right direction
to know the full truth. However to say that only science has the monopoly on truth
is quite myopic and disrespectful to other approaches. Science could have monopoly
on facts but not on the ‘Truth’ despite much advancement.
The other approach…
On the other hand, the ancient Indians inquired into the ‘Ultimate Reality’ or ‘Truth’
using a totally different approach and didn’t spend $5 billion on a collider inside
a 27 km tunnel like they did to discover Higg’s Boson. We know who Mr.Higgs is by
now but not many know about the Indian scientist Satyendranath Bose whose last name
is behind the name ‘Boson’. The truth-seeking communities of ancient India have
a solid heritage of inquiry into the truth and have some fascinating discoveries
to share. These esoteric truth-seeking communities continue to exist till today
in India with an enlightened Guru as the Chief Scientist and the disciples as the
The mystical research disciples of India operate on a paradigm that is not easily
understood to modern science, but yet very methodical in their analysis. Their main
emphasis was on personal experience “within” rather than experiments “without”.
Really speaking, the approaches, equipments and methods of mysticism are quite different
to that of science and cannot be compared by any standard. Bar the quest perhaps,
everything else is different. The approach of the mystic is rather metaphysical
in nature than empirical because the observer is part of the experiment. In science
the observer is excluded.
So where can we find the history of truth-seeking in India? The questions, method
and discoveries of the ultimate truth are mainly found in the end part of the ancient
Vedic literature i.e. in the Upanishads collectively called as ‘Vedanta’. In the
archives of Vedanta, the quest for truth simply begins with a question much like
in modern science. For instance in the very beginning of the Mundaka Upanishad of
the Atharva Veda, the truth-seeker Shaunaka asks his teacher Angiras to teach him
‘THAT knowing which everything becomes known’. There is a huge body of knowledge
available in the Vedic literature just on this topic.
But even before the quest begins….
Even before the search begins, the Indian masters logically assert that we as individuals
are just “part” of the universe. So naturally they ask “how can the part know the
whole”. Even the definitions of the truth that is discovered are quite startling
and enlightening. The quest for truth in fact begins with defining about “Truth”.
The wisdom traditions of India , especially Vedanta defines Reality or Truth in
the most rational way.
Vedanta defines Truth as “That which exists in all periods of time, in the past,
in the present, and future, without any change”. So the conclusion is that which
is changeless alone can be eternal.
The mystics of the Upanishads called the true source of all creation as ‘Brahman’
which literally means ‘ever expanding’. (Brahman is not to be confused with Lord
Brahma the creator or the ‘Brahmin’ Varna ). The assertions of truth suggest that
there cannot be any God sitting in some heaven creating a universe. In the Upanishads
the sages declare that Brahman – the truth is infinite being, infinite Consciousness,
and infinite Bliss. Finally the seers proclaim that only by becoming the whole can
one know the whole as we find in the Mundaka Upanishad that “Brahmavid brahmaiva
bhavati” which means “The knower of the Brahman becomes the Brahman”. So the knower
of truth becomes truth. Hence the Guru is worshipped as God the Truth in the dharmic
traditions. If anything, the Truth-Seekers in ancient India seemed to have gained
an intimate personal experience of the ‘God principle’ rather than a ‘God particle’.
Science was not completely forsaken in India…
About the Indian legacy of truth seeking found in the dharmic religions, Osho a
great Indian mystic writes
“India’s whole genius is invested in religion, just as the whole Western genius
is invested in science.”
However ancient India was not short of any scientific discoveries, many of which
modern science has borrowed but this is not well known. Books like the ‘Computing
Science in Ancient India’ by T.R.N. Rao and S. Kak has documented the contribution
of Indian science to the world. Look for ‘List of Indian inventions and discoveries’
in the Wikipedia and you will find many more inventions.
Somehow the culture of the truth-seeking Rishis accorded a very low priority to
documenting the discoveries of their quest. Nor were they interested in getting
them validated in scientific circles. However new ages books like the ‘The Tao of
Physics’ by Fritjof Capra and ‘The Dancing Wu Li Masters’ by Gary Zukav are providing
evidence on the parallels of Eastern mysticism and modern physics especially that
of Quantum physics. These popular scientists maintain that the mystics have experienced
the truth which seems to match with what physics is discovering. There are many
other researchers like Deepak Chopra, Eliot Deutcsh, Dr. Amit Goswami etc who hold
same or similar views.
Indians of the past may not have been interested in the God particle but were certainly
invested to know the truth or the God principle beyond the sphere of cause-and-effect.
What if today’s scientists discover that the DNA of all livings beings has the same
God principle which is the secret to the mystery of creation? I guess one would
have to say “Aham BrahmAsmi” meaning ‘I am Brahman (GOD)’ as said in the Brihad
– Aranyaka Upanishad from the Yajur Veda.
Ram Lingam blogs his insights on India and Indian culture at www.indiasutra.co.nz
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