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Articles on Science and Vedanta:
ESP: ExtraSensory Perception
Tackling The Subconscious Mind
Neurophysiology of Meditation
Samkhya and Vedanta
Advaita Vedanta as Quest for Knowledge
Training The Mind
Articles on Indian Philosophy and Religion
What is Hinduism
Religion In India Today
Six Systems of Indian Philosophy
Religion of Sri Ramakrishna
Basic Point About Philosophy
Avidya and Maya
Religious Social Movements
Necessity and Problems of Holding on to Spirituality
Articles on Upanishads and Yoga
Introduction to Upanishads
Tat Tvam Asi
Yoga Part 1
Yoga Part 2
Tantra and Kundalini Yoga
Karma Yoga In the Gita
India's Contribution to the World
Science Vedanta and Samkhya
Swami Vivekananda and His Relevance
Training the Mind
Prayers and Worship
Harmony of Religion
The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
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A New Branch of Science
A child is taught multiple scientific disciplines in his school age, like science of language, history, geography, social studies, physics, chemistry, and mathematics, etc. He is gradually introduced to these disciplines according to his age and level of comprehension. This system helps the child to choose any one of these disciplines as his career in later life according to his aptitude and capacity. Parents are also happy to see their wards developing mastery and skill in any one these sciences. This pattern suits the present day progress in knowledge, and is so routine that it is taken as natural.
A time comes, when quite a few students, who have now almost attained adulthood, move out of protective care of their parents and pursue the study of their choice in a more exhaustive and exclusive way. Some of these boys go to higher centres of studies in far of metropolis, universities, or even foreign countries.
This approach or method suits the society in developing talents in various scientific disciplines so that both the pure scientific principles and their applied aspects may optimally benefit the society as a whole.
Science of spirituality:
Curiously, science of spirituality does not figure in this long list of scientific disciplines. Science of spirituality, which is unfortunately equated with religion, deals with the laws of internal nature, much the same way that physical sciences deal with the laws of external world. Science of spirituality is the scientific study of evolution of human consciousness from human to divine plane. Essentially this science deals with:
What is consciousness,
Why is there a need to effect change in consciousness,
How to bring about the desired change in consciousness.
Spirituality is a also science that deals with the study of manifestation of consciousness. The subtle difference is explained on the basis of definition of consciousness. While physical sciences believe consciousness to be a product of brain-mind complex, Vedanta takes consciousness as eternal and ever-existent reality. There is no second to limit this one absolute existence. Consciousness is a singular, which is seen as reflected through the various brain structures and therefore appears as pleural. We see multiple realities as a consequence of consciousness appearing enmeshed or entangled with body-mind complexes. Human evolution is an attempt to create necessary conditions for evolution of perfect human being who would reflect or manifest Consciousness in its most pristine purity and glory.
Physical sciences in their pure forms are based on objectivity, reason, and rationality. Their results are reproducible and verifiable everywhere, if the requisite criteria are met with. Spiritual scientists agree to this, and we accept following criteria as scientific:
The public nature of observation,
The necessity to theorize logically,
Testing of the theory by observable consequences.
We also believe in rational approach and scientific method because we consider science of spirituality can solve the problems posed by modernity. The time has come for this branch of science to establish itself in the hearts and minds of people, instead of remaining as esoteric system for only sadhus and monks. Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda are great explorers (exponents) of this science. Their views on science, scientific methodology, and the need to view spirituality as science, are as progressive as those of contemporary scientists. Take for example, what Swami Vivekananda said one hundred years back in front of the western audience:
"Just as you would take up any other science, exactly in the same manner you should take up this science for study. There is no mystery nor danger in it."
"To get any reason out of this mass of incongruity, we call human life, we have to transcend our reason, but we must do it scientifically, slowly, by regular practice, and must cast off all superstition. We must take up the study of superconscious state just as any other science."
"The science of Raja-Yoga proposes to put before humanity a practical and scientifically worked out method of reaching this truth."
However, Many intellectuals do not accept "religion" as a science. This is chiefly because it takes very long time and requires great effort for the results to become observable in case of spiritual science.
The confusion is created because we fail to differentiate between 'spiritual science' and its applied fallout 'religion'. This we do in case of physical sciences as 'science' and 'technology'. Do the scientists take blame on themselves when smugglers, terrorists, and the like misuse their discoveries and inventions? Do we blame nuclear scientists if nuclear weapons are produced for actual or potential use to annihilate human race? The same logic can be applied to science of spirituality. Religion is the fall-out or a by-product of this science, nothing more.
The whole project of assimilation of subtleties and nuances of this science is a full-time job, as is the study of any other science. It should be introduced at an early age when mind is more receptive, formative, and can be moulded with ease. The subject of science of spirituality must be introduced as a graded syllabus from early school age. One is required to study this science under the apprenticeship of a learned teacher who has himself realized the truths of this science. The subject can be studied, along with other disciplines like language, arts, and physical sciences, in a school or in a special institution like an ashrama.
This science will find its own applications in various aspects for the fulfillment in life. Basically it will be complementary to every other science, and for moral and ethical revival of human race. The teacher in return for his teaching, and the pupil as a reward for his learning, would gain and imbibe values like renunciation, love, discrimination, compassion, and fearlessness in them and that would be beneficial to society as a whole.
Science of spirituality is like an 'operating system' acting as an interface between physical science and Absolute Reality. The age-old vedantic truths would revitalize global civilization. The students, the teachers, and the parents should be happy to accept the pursuit of spiritual knowledge as one of the best options open to bright students. Values of selflessness and altruism are generated during the pursuit of excellence. It will be a joyous and charming occasion to see young students, possessing high-class character and value-system, graduated in spiritual science!
c s shah