In 28 crisp essays Dr. Vemuri Ramesan covers cutting edge scientific developments in a wide variety of fields from Quantum and high energy physics to cell biology and Neuroscience, Anthropology etc. in simple terms. He relates these to our day to day life trying to tease out the mysticism behind tradition. The book provides a refreshing look at man and his position in the universe. Dr. Ramesam defines comfort in terms of energy expended and explains liberation as an effortless liberation as an effortless zero mind active body state. He argues for a physiological basis for Nirvana and proposes a testable model for the idea. The book gives a hope that science may find a way to attain the ultimate goal of A Happy individual and A Harmonious Society a quest man has been after for millennia of years.
Man is considered superior to all other living for human beings it is the innate desire or need to know understand and grow more than survival that gives a purpose to their lives and actions. The fact that man is a thinking and social animal has paved the way for the origin and growth of theosophy and philosophy.
Down the ages we witnessed two different approaches to understanding life. While some people developed an inclination towards spirituality and mysticism for understanding the meaning and the phenomena of life other depended on the technological and material development for characterizing and understanding the same. We can loot at this as a subjective and objective mode of enquiry wherein the spiritualists would study and define matter and phenomena with respect to the intrinsic knower and experiencer of all which leads to better understanding of life and the spirit whereas the materialists would approach the individual being with respect to the external objects and phenomena happening improvement in living standards. Thus life has gone on and will continue to do so.
Probably due to the above reason we have grown up with the impression that science and spiritually are two opposite ends of the knowledge spectrum. While science deals with external phenomena as well as with the study of changes and reactions in the immediate surroundings such as our world and the bodily functions that keep us alive spirituality is the study of the inner self within man and the apparent truth behind the frame of reality that we live in. however divergent these two may seem both streams of inferring knowledge ultimately lead to a common goal of human evolution.
Dr. Vemuri Ramesam’s attempt at bringing these apparently divergent streams together in the form of an expedition of integration between science and spirituality may not be the first of its kind but it is a very informative and well written expedition which can provide us with a clear picture of the world around us. Its uniqueness lies in the clear and precise method of enquiry with which Dr. Ramesam studies the various nuances of our daily life to bring out the subtle synergies between the subject and the object as well as the spirit and matter. If we are to abandon all prospects of taking the world and its vagaries into consideration and constantly stay within the inner self we risk losing and destroying all that has been slowly and tirelessly built up so far. And if we are to remain totally immersed in our affection towards this world and its dualities enjoyed by all realized souls. While advaita clearly defines the illusion of the external world our body being very much a part of it, it is however impossible to completely ignore the world as such. It is here that this book and the essays contained herein come to our aid and clearly exonerate this doubt of ours.
These insightful essays while keeping scientific facts and spiritual truths intact dwell on the inter exchange of key points between these two streams to substantiate the validly of each other in a very thought provoking manner. Dr. Ramesam’s words force us to think beyond the set principles and ideologies as well as the conclusions we have derived so far and eventually prod the spirit of enquiry within us. He does not compel us to choose any one stream but like a locomotive requiring two tracks for a successful journey engages us as readers to keep a fast hold on both the rails of science and religion for an integral evolution of our consciousness.
Dr. Ramesam deserves all compliments for his thorough research into the external phenomena that we readers normally overlook and take for granted and for his study into the scriptures for a validation. I extend all my prayers and good wishes to his with the hopes that this collection of essays of his which have graced the pages of many issues of our magazine consecration will surely be a delightful and enlightening read for anybody interested in peering beneath the surface of our world and the apparent reality we live in.
Many consider even today that science and spirituality symbolize two distinctly insulated turfs zealously guarded by respective protagonists. I am not presumptuous to claim special skills to build bridges across these contrasting views. The essays that are put together here may, however, represent a small step towards looking at the core dimensions of science and religion the third way suggested by Prof. A. Zajonc.
Whether it is science spirituality or religion the ultimate aim of man is driven by the twin quests (i) To Discover what lies behind and beyond the façade of existence (call it truth if you like) and (ii) To find the means of achieving a Happy human being at an individual level and a harmonious society at large. The essays here constitute more of a self study in this direction. They may not provide final answers. Those can use these to start their own journey. And possibly build on form here.
Thanks mainly to the encouragement from Dr. Plamen Gradinarov, Editor Online Journals on indology. I could present my views for the first time to a wider audience in 2004. I ma indebted to respected Shri Karmayogi founder President the mother’s service society India and Mr. S. Menon Editor for providing me an opportunity to contribute regularly to their journal consecration. The present book is an updated and modified version of these articles.
My first was religion Demystified. A couple of later essays originated from it. In all my writings I have attempted to present a review of where we stand in our scientific understanding of the world around us. I do not intend to prove nor do I wish to propagate any specific viewpoint.
The problem that Prof. David Chalmers holds hard is in my opinion not unique to the studies on consciousness fundamental why? Questions remain hard in any field. Questions like what exactly is life why life or why universe. Purpose of evolution are a few other examples. Perhaps these questions cannot be satisfactorily answered in the near future. That gives a reason to revisit the thought processes of ancient seers and sages and know what they found. After all the human brain and mind appear to have not essentially changed much in the last few Millennia.
Even today we have a large number of so called realized persons who say they found the truth the world perceived by us all in unreal for them. What exists for them is an unfragmented oneness unborn and unending. This is the Advaita non duality view. All such realized teachers however apparently still continue to experience the world they do feel hungry and need to eat. When some kind or other of a dependency exists (e.g. on food) is not a claim of freedom or total independence a contradiction of terms?
No organism can be alive without food. Necessity of food for existence of life automatically implies the predator prey survival struggles and tactics. Violence is sure to ensue in the acquisition of food. Exploitation and deceit by the aggressor and running for security and self protection by the prey follow inevitably. Misery and grief for the victim are guaranteed. That is the very whole unpleasant game of life everyone wants to be free from!
Non dualism has not changed in the past at least 5000 years. In the next 5 millennia too it may remain unchanged. However science is growing far beyond the limitations of Cartesian dichotomy and making inroads into aspects like consciousness and self the traditional terrains of religion. Our understanding of the world and Nature’s scientific terms in the coming centuries leave millennia can reach truly mind boggling levels. Is non dualism really something more truly a eulogized and glorified coping mechanism a survival tactic discovered by a few in the pasat because they failed to conquer death? Can science lead us to a better appreciation of life and take us towards achieving a happy individual and a harmonious society and provide us methods of scaling up what is achieved by the realized fre to mass application?
Curious educated adults with some general background in science will hopefully find the varied topis discussed here interesting and may appreciate what the present state of science is with respect to them.
I am obviously indebted to many individuals in the preparation of the articles and in bringing out his book. I am particularly grateful to Prof. P. Grandinarov, Respected Shri Karmayogi, Shri K.V. Krishna Murthy, Shri S. Menon for their kindness and encouragement Mr. D. Waite was kind to introduce my writings at his excellent web site on Advaita. I acknowledge the cooperation of my wife Smt. Vijayalakshmi too in my endeavor.
Karmayogi founder president the mother’s Service Society Pondicherry 605011 India. Our Rishis aimed at liberation (Moksha) from the phenomenal world. Some of those eminent Rishis have come down to the mental plane and exercised their subtle vision that expanded into rare knowledge to found the 64 sastras. Sri Aurobindo has done to the world something the Rishis and Lord Krishna did not give. He has formulated a theory of creation explained why the world was created and how. He has for the first time defined spirit Mind, life, Matter, infinity, Eternity, Time and space. Sri Aurobindo wrote in 1920 that Indians had lost the capacity for thinking. Our future hope lies in our regaining it. Surely the centre of knowledge of the world will be Indian again. Dr. Vemuri Ramesam is the trail blazer. His ability to interpret modern knowledge in terms of the Indian spirit is unequalled.
Prof. P. Gradinarov, Editor Online Journals on Indology Sofia 1336 Bulgaria a perfectly composed book any thinking individual would like to have in her library to read and re-read. Thank you for the intellectual ananda your writings constantly induce in us your faithful readers and hopefully impartial editors.
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