Posted by: adbhutam | August 18, 2009

ADVAITA AND SCIENCE – I

Namaste.

Right from the time the western world could get a fairly good exposure to Advaita, there has been an overwhelming interest among scientists, thinkers and a cross section of other specialists in the world-view presented by Advaitic thought.  Not surprisingly, the physicists have shown deep interest in the study and assimilation of Advaitic thought and have explored ways of applying it to their quest for the truth underlying the world-phenomenon.

This interest gave rise to a number of breakthroughs and the Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle is one such.  Several papers came to be written, discussed and published.  A number of books authored by scientists came to be widely read and studied further.  Here are some excerpts from a couple of articles that are interesting in more ways than one.

http://www.bambooweb.com/articles/a/d/Advaita.html

Advaita and Science

Advaita may seem like a philosophy on the outside (it is practiced as a religious stream by many Hindus), but this may very well be the place where Scientific world intersects with the Spiritual world. Many of us are aware of the Plancks equation E = hν, where E = Energy of a wave, and h = Planck’s constant and ν = frequency of the wavelength. With the arrival of Einstein it was also established that E = mc2 where E = energy and m = mass of a particle and c = speed of light.

When we combine the two equations, we get mc2 = hν which gives us a very interesting relation which directly relates the mass of a particle to frequency, which means anything material has an associated wavelength namely, De Broglie waves . To sum up, matter is another form of waves which in turn is another form of energy and so on.In fact it so appears that the whole mesh of this Universe is in fact blending into that One which exhibits itself as many (namely, mass, energy, wave etc). This is where Advaita takes over to explain that everything is but the manifestation of that “One” which is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent. Even the concept of these fundamental waves is seen in Hindu (and consequently Advaita) belief as Aum.

For interesting reads on the same:

  1. The Dancing Wu Li Masters by Gary Zukav
  2. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig

Another excerpt:

http://www.here-now4u.de/ENG/advaita_and_science_.htm

//As Advaita can be shown to be quite scientific in temper, modern science, on its part, is closing in on this philosophy. Modern science, especially quantum mechanics, gives us a completely different world view of reality from that so far given to us by classical ‘Newtonian’ physics.

In fact, it shows that classical physics, or the world as we know it, is merely a special case scenario of the more comprehensive new physics. The world-view of modern science comes remarkably close to that of Advaita, and several books have been published correlating the theory of Advaita with modern science, see (1) to (5). Some recent scientific discoveries also correlate very well with this theory, for example, discoveries of the way the brain functions (6) and the discovery of the so-called Zero-Point Field (7).//

A brief description based on the Schrodinger equation and the Uncertainty Principle is found here:

http://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/archives/advaita-l/2007-November/041230.html

As and when some interesting articles/excerpts are found they shall be brought to the attention of readers.

Not a scientist myself, I am interested in trying to appreciate the lessons the scientific quest draws from Vedanta.  Readers having questions on the technical details of the above papers are best advised to seek clarifications/further study with appropriate authorities in the field.

Brahmavidyaa sarva vidyaa pratiShThaa [Brahmavidya is the foundation of all fields of study] (Mundakopanishat)

Om Tat Sat


Responses

  1. Have you read Shrodinger’s My World View. It’s spot on.
    I hope you are going to attend The Science and NonDuality Conference with us in October. Here is my favorite quote on Heisenberg, it’s a classic:
    http://stillnessspeaks.com/blog/50/0/. Also, have you had time to enjoy Stanley Sobottka’s, Physic’s Professor work? It is available here:
    http://stillnessspeaks.com/blog/56/0/.

    • Thanks Chris,

      Stanley Sobottka’s work seems to be very authentic. I would like to spend time reading it in detail.

      Heisenberg’s last words are great.

      I am aware of the conference but would not be able to make it to attend it.

      Regards.


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