About the Book
The purpose of this book is to propagate Vedic thoughts throughout the world and improving the image of modern science by showing that there is an essential harmony the spirit of Vedic Wisdom and Modern Science. This book is an introduction to the studies of Vedic Literature in light of scientific approach. All the new truths emerging out of 20th century through scientific discoveries have pushed science from the domain of matter to the realm of philosophy and specially the philosophy of consciousness as discovered by Vedic Rishis. Parallelism in Vedic thoughts and modern Science has been shown on this book. The intention of drawing parallelism in not to show that every thing of modern science has been understood in the past by intutions, but just to indicate there are other methods of thinking to arrive at generalities in much the same way.
This book in its eleven chapters aims at the latest explorations in different branches of science to show how science is increasingly approaching the conclusions of the Vedic Literature. The central idea of this book is to interconnect between the picture of universe as viewed by a modern physicist and by a practitioner of Indian philosophy system and a Vedic scholar.
Vedas are like a deep ocean, full of precious jewels; and whosoever dares to plunge deep into it brings out his/her wants. Everything is available here, but in concise form. The author believes that religions of the world play a positive role for establishing world peace through inter-faith dialogue and science-religion dialogue. Which is the need of the hour.
About the Author
Dr. Shri Ram Verma is Reader in the Department of Physics in D.B.S. (P.G.) College, Dehradun (UA, India). Born in a small village (Nagla Katha) of district Aligarh (Uttar Pradesh, India) he has toiled really hard to taste success. He did hid graduation, post graduation and Ph.D in Nuclear Physics from Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh. Subsequently he had been to the City University, New York (USA) for further research. In he course of his researches in Nuclear Physics and later in Astrophysics Dr. Verma got interested in the study of Vedic concepts of various aspects of Physics. The present book is the outcome of his researches in the field.
Dr. Verma has presented many research papers in National and International Conferences in India and abroad. Recently he was invited to participate in International Workshop on "Einstein and Peace" held at Brussels, Belgium. He also went to London, England to propagate Scientific approach of Vedic Literature.
Dr. S.R. Verma has a strong faith in human values and advocates that spiritual and eithics courses should be included in Science and Engineering. He believes that whole mankind, without distinction, has the right to benefit from Vedic Literature. He advocates that Vedic teaching must be universally propagated and pursued in all affairs of life. He feels that Vedic Science will relentlessly endeavor to bring unity and brotherhood in the whole world. To write this book, the author has been inspired by his parents and brother who were very religious and followers of Vedic thoughts.
The Universe is a great mystery, and man indeed is the greatest wonder of the Universe. In the cultural history of the world we find man's consciousness oscillating between two extremes: Science and mysticism. There are moments in the history of mysticism surmounting science, and also science triumphing over mysticism. Now the time has come to synthesize both the points of view. The Veda alone can bridge the gap between the two and present the whole unified vision of the universe. The veda stands for the direct experience of Reality : anubhava. When this experience finds natural expression in words, it is latent with wisdom and vision. It has the force of imparting the vision to truth-seeker. Such poetic expressions are called the Veda-mantras. The seer who conceived, perceived and composed such mantras was called Rsi or Tattvadarsin.
The Rig Samhita is the most ancient scripture of the world where we find these seers communicating their message of eternal truth to mankind. Their sensitive minds received the refining flashes of wisdom and vision radiating from the self-illuminating universe. They saw Reality face to face. They perceived the whole universe as a living organism. They saw the universal law and cosmic order as the manifestation of Truth and held it in high esteem as Rta. They knew the science and technique of living in harmony with nature.
There was never any conflict between science and Vedas. Vedic Rsi were not merely spiritual thinkers, they were also discoverers of science through its objective approach and this reveals that which is perceived, the object, the subject, the perceiver remains separate from it. Modern science investigates the field of known, but it does not touch the field of the knower and the spontaneous process of knowing at all.
Vedic science is a complete science, which extends and fulfills the objective approach of modern science by incorporating the knower and the process of knowing into the field of investigation. It provides complete and comprehensive knowledge of the unified field of all the laws of nature, i.e., knower, the known and the process of knowing. Credit must also go to modern science because its objective approach has now uncovered the pure subjectivity. Today the most advanced level of modern science needs a complete approach to investigation, which includes the two other values of knowledge - the value of the knower and the value of the process of knowing. All three values are uncovered in their totality in Vedic Science. If progress is to continue, a shift is required from the science of only one category to a total science. Vedic science is that total science. It uncover the knowledge of the total potential of natural law in its completeness and brings human awareness in tune with those fine creative impulses that are engaged in transforming the field of intelligence into the field of matter.
Recent scientific discoveries seem to validate the concept of Brahman. Physicists and cosmologists are close to proving that there is one source behind the physical universe, and they call this source the unified field. In a profound sense, Brahman, the Vedantic concept and the unified field of physics appear to be synonymous. Some prominent contemporary physicists indeed believe that mysteries of consciousness and quantum physics are linked. Most quantum systems have properties that are contemporary and inseparable. From this perspective, the primary realities of unified field and consciousness may be viewed as inseparable aspects of the same underlying process, permeating all space and time.
Today, science and Vedic religion seem to be sayings the same thing : A single entity created the universe and is still present everywhere, maintaining and governing the fundamental machinery of everything in this universe. In the Vedic view, the division of nature into separate objects is not fundamental and any such objects have a fluid and ever-changing character. The Vedic world view is therefore intrinsically dynamic and contains time and change as essential features. The cosmos is seen as one inseparable reality - for ever in motion, alive, organic; spiritual and material at the same time.
Since motion and change are essential properties of things, the forces causing the motion are not outside the objects, but are an intrinsic property of matter. Corre- spondingly, the Vedic image of the Divine is not that of a ruler who directs the world from above, but of a principle that controls everything from within :
He who, dwelling in all things, Yet is other than all things, Whom all things do not know, Whose body all things are, Who controls all things from within -He is your Soul, the Inner Controller, The Immortal.
(Brihad -aranyaka Upanishad, 3-7-15)
The basic elements of Vedic world view are also those of the world view emerging from modern physics. They are intended to suggest that Vedic thought and, more generally, mystical thought provide a consistent and relevant philosophical background to the theories of contemporary science; a conception of the world in which scientific discoveries can be in perfect harmony with spiritual aims and religious beliefs. The two basic themes of this conception are the unity and interrelation of all phenomena and the intrinsically dynamic nature of the universe. <>p This book aims at propagating Vedic thoughts through out the world and improving the image of science by showing that there is an essential harmony the spirit of Vedic wisdom and modern science.
I am just beginner student and do not claim to know much about the Vedas. My attempt to write this book is only an introduction to the studies of Vedic literature in light of scientific approach. I believe this humble attempt of mine enable readers to understand scientific concept of Vedas. I have depended on the results of my own researches, supplemented by those renowned Vedic schol- ars, Indian , European and American, to all of whom I acknowledge my indebtedness.
I am grateful to Prof. Om Prakash Pandey, Secretary, Maharshi Sandipani Rashtriya Vedvidya Pratishtham, Ujjain for inspiring me to write scientific concepts of Vedas. When I was writing this book I suddenly met Prof. Ganguly, the director of Vedanta Research Centre, London (U. K.). He inspired me a lot and discuss the valuable aspect of Vedic literature. A number of colleagues gave me very helpful advice on the subject matter and other matters of importance - I think specially Dr. M. N. Joshi, Col. M.P. Badola and Prof. R. Prasad, Chairman of Applied Physics. Z.H. Engg. College. A.M.U. Aligarh. I offer my heart-felt thanks to Maharshi Sandipani Rashriya Vedvidya Pratishtham, Ujjain for getting this work published through its publication division.
I am very much thankful to my wife Suman who did always stand behind me in the time of crises. She takes care of all household activities. It is only because of her help that I could devote much time in my studies. I am also thankful to my daughters Diksha and Udita for their support in this project.
Lastly I would humbly bespeak the patience, indul- gence and tolerance of such Vedic scholars as may not agree with me in the views propounded in this book.
Veda means knowledge - The word comes from Sanskrit language and is derived from the verb root vid, 'to know'. Originally the Vedas were composed in Sanskrit. There are two types of Sanskrit, vaidika and laukika. The Vedic Sanskrit is called vaidika . and it is more complicated both in its grammer and in the use of certain words which are only found in Vedas. The wordly or more popular Sanskrit is called laukika. This is the language of the Puranas and Itihas.
Vedas are four in number:
1. Rig Veda : It has 10552 Mantras. Many of the provisions of the Rig Veda are very scientific and pragmatic. In Rig Veda mythology, cosmology and religion are intermixed.
2. Yajurveda: It has 1975 mantras. The root 'yaj' means to sacrifice. This veda gives the rules of sacrifice.
3. Sam Veda: It has 1875 mantras. Sam Veda reflects to melodies.
4.Atharva Veda : It has 5987 mantras. It has a large number of magic formulas. It describes, spells and incantations. There are spells for healing of disease for longlife.
The most celebrated and well kn. -wn part of the Vedas is the Rig Veda. The word rg comes from the verb root re maning 'to praise'. From the same root comes a feminine noun re, which means 'praise' or 'verse' especially a sacred verse recited in praise of a deity. Thus we can understand the direct meaning of Rig veda to be The knowledge of sacred recitation' or, as stated in the dictionary, Veda of praise'. The Rig Veda, the oldest of the four Vedas, is extremely rich in lore of every kind: social, psychological, religious, scientific and philosophical.
Each of these four Vedas has four parts: the Samhita, the Brahmana, the Aranyaka, and a number of Upanishadas. The first three parts of all the Vedas are collectively called the Vedas, and the fourth and the last, the Upanishadas, are collectively called Vedanta.
These four parts of the Vedas represent the historical order of their development over millennia. The Samhitas are the most ancient, and of them, the Rig Veda Samhita is the earliest. The Samhitas are considered the Vedas proper; the Brahmanas, the Aranyakas and the Upanishads are periodic additions, made by way of growing with the changing times.
The Samhitas are hymns addressed to gods represent- ing the forces of nature, followed by rites and sacrifices to propitiate those gods. The famous Nasadiya Sukta occurs in the Rig Samhita. The Brahmanas were added to the Samhitas by way of updating. The Satapatha Brahmana and the Aitareya Brahmana are well known.
The Aranyakas are so called because they were composed in the forests. During this period the sages and seer stook to the practice of retiring into the forests to contemplate 'the cream of all and what takes place'.
In the fourth and the last stage, the Upanishads appeared. There are 10-12 principal Upanishads : the Chandogya, the Brihadaranyaka, the Aitareya and the Kaushitaki, forming the end part of the Rig Veda. The Kena concludes the Sarna Veda, with the Taiitiriya, Isha, Katha and Shwetashwatara topping off the Yajur Veda, and the Mundaka, Mandukya and Prashna signing off the Atharva Veda. These terminals of the Vedas are generally called Vedanta or Shruti.
What is final is the spiritual experience itself, though its expressions change if they are to be relevant to the growing content of knowledge. The experience is what is felt by the individual in his deepest being, what is seen by him (drishti) or heard (sruti) and this is valid for all time. The Veda is seen or heard, not made by its human authors. It is spiritual discovery, not creation. The way to wisdom is not through intellectual activity. From the beginning, India believed in the superiority of intuition or the method of direct perception of the super-sensible to intellectual reasoning. The Vedic rishis were the first who ever burst into that silent sea of ultimate being and their utterances about what they saw and heard there are found registered in the Vedas. Naturally they attribute tbe authorship of the Vedas to a superior spirit.
Modern psychology admits that the higher achieve- ments of men depend in the last analysis on processes that are beyond and deeper than the limits of the normal consciousness. Socrates speaks of the 'demon' which acts as the censor on and speaks through him. Plato regards inspiration as an act of a goddess. Ideas are showered on Plato from above, though he is oblivious of everything around him. George Eliot tells us that she wrote her best work in a kind of frenzy almost without knowing what she was writing. According to Emerson, all poetry is first written in the heavens. It is conceived by a self deeper than appears in normal life. The prophet, when he begins his message "Thus saith the Lord' is giving utterance to his consciousness that the message is not his own, that it comes from a wider and deeper level of life and from a source outside his limited self. Since we cannot compel these exceptional moments to occur, all inspiration has something of revelation in it. Instead of considering creative work to be due to processes which take place unwittingly, as some psychologist imagine, the Hindu thinkers affirm that the creative deeds, the inspiration or the poets, the vision or the artist, and the genius of the man of science are in reality the utterance of the Eternal through man. In those rare moments man is in touch with a wider world and is swayed by an oversoul that is above his own. The seers feel that their experiences are, unmediatcd direct disclosures from the wholly other and regard them as supernatural, as not discovered by man's own activity (akartrika , apaurusheya). They feel that they come to them from God, though even God is said to be not their author but their formulator, In the last analysis the Vedas are without any personal author. Since they are not due to personal activity they are not subject to unlimited revision and restatement but possess in the character of finality (nityatva).
Insight into reality, which is the goal of the reliquest, is earned by intellectual and moral discipline. The three stages are generally distinguished a tradition which we have to learn (sravana), an intellectual training through which we have to pass (manana), and an ethical discipline we have to undergo (nididhyasana).
To begin with. we are all learners. We take our views on the authority of a tradition which we have done nothing to create but which we have only to accept in the first instance.
In every department, art or morality, science or social life, we are taught the first principles and are not encouraged to exercise our private judgement. Religion is not an exception to this rule. Religious scriptures are said to have a right to our acceptance.
|2||Vedic Knowledge and Modern Science||44-74|
|3||Origin and Fate of the Universe||75-121|
|[Vedic Thoughts and their Relevance in Modern Science]|
|4||Our Solar System||122-178|
|[Vedic and Scientific View]|
|5||The Rig Veda and Astronomy||179-222|
|[Structure of Matter: Ancient Indian View]|
|7||Measurements and Vedic Calendar||257-305|
|10||Message of Vedas||366-392|
|11||History of Vedas||393-431|