Tuesday, September 22, 2009

HinduAssociationUSA 10, 000 Africans embrace Hindu Dharma in Ghana (Africa)

HinduAssociationUSA 10, 000 Africans embrace Hindu Dharma in Ghana (Africa)

AS AN Indian in Ghana, I soon became aware of the country’s Indian community. It was while working on a photo-essay about crosscultural interactions, especially interracial marriages, that I learnt of the African Hindu Monastery. Now, Ghana is by no means homogenous when it comes to religion. Though predominantly Christian, with Islam being prominent in the north, most Ghanaians still maintain their connections to older traditions of ancestor worship and belief in the spirit world. Hinduism, though, is a foreign and recent entrant, associated with the Sindhi business families who dominate the immigrant Indian population. The presence of an African Hindu community, therefore, came as a surprise. I decided to go and see the place for myself.

The African Hindu Monastery (AHM) is a simple white structure in Odorkor, a suburb of the Ghanaian capital city of Accra. Started in 1975, it is headed by Swami Ghanananda Saraswati. The gentle-voiced Saraswati was born into the traditional African faith. Although he converted to Christianity when both his parents became Christian priests, he continued his search for truth. Attracted by Hindu beliefs and the practice of yoga, he travelled to India. While staying at Swami Sivananda’s ashram in Rishikesh, he decided to embrace Hinduism. At 35, he returned to Ghana and acquired his first disciples, holding lectures to educate Ghanaians about this ancient and foreign religion. Initially, his teachings attracted the literate and the academic – university lecturers and lawyers. Soon, some Indian families started to come. Later, a meeting with one Swami Krishnananda (who was visiting from India) inspired him to set up a monastery “where he could tell people about all that he had learnt in India”.

TODAY, GHANA’S population of 23 million includes 12,500 Hindus, of which 10,000, like their Swami Ghanananda Saraswati, are indigenous Africans. While an older Sindhi temple still exists in Accra (and the Sathya Sais, the Ananda Margis, ISKCON and the Brahma Kumaris are also active), the African Hindu Monastery (AHM) is now Ghana’s largest centre of Hindu worship.

Ghana now has a Hindu population of 12,500, of which as many as 10,000 are indigenous Africans

The AHM’s iconography and practices provide clues to its hybrid origins. Its nonexclusionist attitude is apparent from the picture of Jesus alongside the Hindu gods on the main mantelpiece, as well as images of spiritual leaders from other religions. There are even images of secular leaders from India. The monastery’s members also believe that the Supreme God is known by other names, such as Yahweh and Allah.

While it identifies itself with Vedic philosophy, with Vishnu as the primary deity, there is an adjoining temple for Shiva. In fact, the day starts with a Shiva Abhishek, followed by an aarti, conducted by the Swami or one of his disciples. This is followed by a havan (fire sacrifice) and the reciting of the Hanuman Chalisa. In contrast to the specially commissioned havans in most Indian temples, all those present can pour a spoonful of oil into the sacred fire. Bhajans in Hindi — sung exquisitely in a Ghanaian accent — might follow. Later, a Vedic text might be discussed, either in English or in a Ghanaian dialect.

The AHM is not just accommodating of multiple religious traditions but also open to people of all races, classes and communities. Indian worshippers are not only members of the dominant Sindhi community, but also recent immigrants: managers and contract labour alike. But most worshippers are Africans, again from different professions and backgrounds. When I asked a disciple about the group’s opinion of the caste system, he pointed out that there is no society in the world that does not break its people up into the privileged and the unprivileged, be it through profession, ancestry or race. Ghanaian Hindus like him, however, are clear that people have an equal right to education, the means to a good life and most importantly, religion.

Some have given their children Hindu names like Rama or Krishna after a naming ceremony

CONTRARY TO its name, the monastery has only one monk. Saraswati explains, “Hinduism is a new thing [in West Africa], and I do not want to make somebody a monk who later on abandons monkhood. It would bring a bad name to me and to Hinduism.” Believers who want to become disciples enroll in a six-week residential course, after which they are initiated. The transition to Hinduism is a gradual one. For instance, an African Hindu would continue to have a Christian or Muslim first name and a traditional African last name – for example, Daniele Otchere. But there are disciples who have given their children Hindu first names like Rama or Krishna after a Hindu naming ceremony. Hindu rituals at marriage and cremation (rather than burial) at death are also beginning to be adopted, though not obligatory.

The monastery likes disciples to pray and perform pujas at home. In fact, the performance of rituals is seen as essential to being Hindu. Sometimes, new believers’ desire to perform Hindu-ness is so great that it feels like they are play-acting – like the time when several people fell at the feet of a visiting dignitary to show respect ‘in the traditional Hindu manner’. But then, ritual is often the embodied route to faith.

(As told to Trisha Gupta)

From Tehelka Magazine, Vol 6, Issue 32, Dated August 15, 2009

12 Questions to a Satguru from Houston Hindu Youth

12 Questions to a Satguru from Houston Hindu Youth

August 24th, 2009

Source: www.hinduismtoday.com

HOUSTON, TEXAS, August 21, 2009: Preceding Satguru Bodinatha Veylanswami’s arrival in Houston in late August of 2009, Kalyani Giri, cultural/community news journalist for Indo-American News, prepared an interview with the publisher of Hinduism Today.

Kalyani asked Hindu youth, ages 8-22 (including her 17-year-old daughter Anushka) in this city’s Hindu American community to voice their everyday concerns, which she in turn relayed to Bodhinatha. The questions are intelligent, articulated and relevant. “All my friends are American Caucasian, Hispanic, and African American. How do I help them understand Hindu values?” and “Do you find religion divisive? I do. Why can’t we get along, unite and present a strong, united front?” are some examples.

All my friends are American Caucasian, Hispanic, and African American. How do I help them understand Hindu values? Bodhinatha: Do some research on the conservative values within the world's many cultures to have a better sense of what are considered "traditional values" in them and see what you find out. You will probably be surprised, for example, in how many cultures arranged marriage exists and unchaperoned dating is considered improper. Culture has to do with carrying forward values from one generation to the next. The more this is considered crucial, the more conservative a culture tends to be.

I find at times that I am the only brown-skinned person in my group of friends. Will I ever quit identifying myself by the color of my skin?

Bodhinatha: When everyone else is of one ethnicity and you are of another, it is natural to feel self-conscious about how you are different, e.g. being brown-skinned. However, the United States is a multi-ethnic society. When you have a chance to mix more with a diverse group of ethnicities, you will naturally feel less self-conscious.

I attempted to read the Mahabharatha (thankfully in English!). I found lapses in morality prevalent, such as a woman having many husbands, and these two groups of guys fighting with each other. I thought this was against the concept of Dharma.

Bodhinatha: To give any Hindu scripture a fair chance, it is preferable to study it with a qualified teacher who can answer questions such as the excellent ones you are asking. Studying it on your own easily raises doubts. This is true of any book in the world which is that old. Times have changed, and the ancient cultural context needs to be properly explained by a knowledgeable person to really give the book the chance it deserves.

The priests don't seem to care. I think they come to America with an agenda, maybe to enjoy a materialistic way of life. If we ask them questions, they patronize us. Do the temples really hold answers?

Bodhinatha: Most priests are trained only to perform ceremonies in the temple. Many have received eight years or more of training to become skilled in their priestly craft. However, most have little or no training in presenting the philosophy of Hinduism. This is left to others who have such titles as pundit or swami. The pundits and swamis are the individuals to approach for the knowledge of Hinduism you seek. Attending temples without any knowledge of how they work can be a frustrating and unrewarding effort. Clearly, knowledge about the inner workings of the temple and the pujas help us find more fulfillment in temple attendance.

How is it that Hindus are being converted to Christianity so easily in India, when my parents are always preaching about how great our religion is?

Bodhinatha: The percentage of Hindus in India that are being converted to Christianity has always been small. Quite often this conversion takes place among the poorest of society and material benefits are part of what is being promised for converting. If the material benefits are not forthcoming, many convert back to Hinduism. Lack of knowledge about Hindu traditions is also a cause of conversion. Thus, the best protection against conversion is to help needy Hindus and provide more knowledge about Hindu traditions.

Do you find religion divisive? I do. I see all these 80 or more organizations in this city and so much fighting among them. Why can't we get along, unite and present a strong, united front?

Bodhinatha: No area of life is inherently divisive. It is the people who are either divisive or not. Unity can be fostered in any group, be it religious, political, economic, social or cultural. It is done by focusing on what those involved have in common rather than their differences. Hinduism is no different--it all depends on the individuals involved.

How do you explain death to kids under ten years of age in the Hindu context.

Bodhinatha: Death is definitely a major challenge to deal with. It has a human, compassionate side, and a philosophical, mystical side. The human side needs to be emphasized first, expressing compassion and helping those involved deal with grief. This can take some time, after which those involved naturally become concerned with the philosophical, mystical side. The core concept here is that Hindus believe we experience many lives on Earth and many lives in the inner, heavenly worlds between births. Some of our lives on Earth are long and others are short. The measure of a life is not its length, rather it is its contents--how an individual lived.

What do you find most compelling about being Hindu?

Bodhinatha: Hinduism has a strong mystical tradition. Mysticism is the personal experience of God. In Hinduism, mysticism is part of the mainstream of the religion, not off on the side and looked at with skepticism or disdain by many within the religion. Hinduism not only gives you the high-minded teaching that man is God, as found in the Upanishads. It also gives you a multitude of practices, such as meditation, whereby you can personally experience the high-minded philosophy.

Isn't Hinduism more complicated/complex than other world religions?

Bodhinatha: Yes. Let's look at two ways in which Hinduism is definitely complicated. The first is that it contains a number of different denominations such as Saivism, Shaktism, Smartism and Vaishnavism, each with a different concept and name for the Supreme Being. Then, each of these denominations has a number of different philosophies. Once this denominational/philosophical diversity of Hinduism is understood, this aspect of being complicated is no longer a source of confusion. Hinduism is also complicated in that it offers advanced practices such as meditation, as described in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. For a comparison, in religion we have moral behavior versus meditation, which can be compared in mathematics to arithmetic versus calculus. Just because calculus is complicated doesn't mean it is not quite valuable for certain tasks. Likewise, a complicated religious practice such as meditation is also quite valuable when pursuing certain mystical goals.

What is your advice to young Hindus about religion and its significance in one's life?

Bodhinatha: This is a key question and deserves a much longer answer than can be given here. A materialistic life has no religious goal. Only what we achieve in the world is valued. All religions add to that a religious goal of one kind or another. The Hindu's ultimate religious goal is moksha. Stated simply, we are born on Earth for the purpose of coming closer to God. After many lifetimes on Earth, our experience of God is profound enough that we are no longer born on Earth.

How do you feel about the many Gods? My mom tells me they are aspects of ONE God. How do I explain this to my friends who are not of the Hindu faith?

Bodhinatha: Your mom has stressed the key point, which is that Hindus all believe in one Supreme Being. Of course, they differ on the name of that Supreme Being and its nature. To some the Supreme Being is Vishnu, to others Siva and so forth. Hinduism is a composite of various religious traditions which have different concepts. The fact that these different traditions generally get along well shows how tolerant Hindus are and explains why they are so tolerant of the world's other religions as well.

When my friends come to my home, they see Ganeshas all over the house. The story of Ganesha's head to me is whimsical, as my parents tell me about it all the time. How do I separate facts from myths?

Bodhinatha: Hindus are certainly different but hold many beliefs that others are realizing as the right way to look at the world. For example, handling conflicts through nonviolent means is a core Hindu belief. Reverence for all creatures, two and four legged. Vegetarianism. As to Ganesha's form, ancient religions such as the Greeks have Gods with animal heads. Even Christianity has angels with animal features. Hindus are not alone in this regard. As to separating facts from myths, that is a matter of personal perspective. Some Hindus take the Puranas literally, whereas others consider them all symbolic.

Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami is the publisher of Hinduism Today magazine and the Guru Mahasannidhanam of Kauai's Hindu Monastery.


The Beautiful Prose of Talented Hindu Americans

August 24th, 2009

Source: newsblaze.com

UNITED STATES, August 16, 2009: “As I don my body armor, grab my weapon, and prepare to lead my platoon of 32 soldiers into Afghanistan, I hesitate. I turn to the portrait of Krishna in my office and demand of him, ‘What is the worth of this fight? Is it worth our limbs, our lives, or the heartbreak of our parents?” Thus begins the moving essay by Rajiv Sriram Srinivasan, one of the winning pieces in the Hindu American Foundation’s (HAF) first “NextGen Essay Contest: The Importance of a Hindu-American Identity.”

This summer, HAF heard from an often silent constituency within its membership - Hindu Americans from 17-28 years of age. The contestants, divided into two categories based on the age groups, 17-22 and 23-28 years, were asked to submit an original essay on the topic, “Beyond Indian American: Why is having a Hindu American identity important? How can you advocate for this identity in public policy and your private life? How can Hindu American advocacy be beneficial to our American society?”

Srinivasan, 23, a lieutenant in the United States Army who’s currently leading a platoon during a year-long deployment in Afghanistan, was the overall winner in the senior category receiving $500. Other winners included Purnita Howlader, Hamsika Chandrasekar and Shivi Chandra.

United We Stand - American Hindu Association ~ http://www.americanhindu.net/

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Search Into the Origin of Universe Shows the Limitation of Human Knowledge

The Search Into the Origin of Universe Shows the Limitation of Human Knowledge


Sushen Krishna Das, Ph.D.

Bhaktivedanta Institute



Mob: +91-9748906907




Big bang is a well known cosmological model in theoretical physics and is proposed by some prominent cosmologists to be a possible description of the origin of universe. As the name big bang indicates, cosmologists describe that the universe that we observe at present is in a transient state of continuous expansion from a primordial hot and dense initial condition. Georges Lemaitre first proposed this concept and he called it as 'hypothesis of the primeval atom' and later it was termed as the big bang theory. Over the years scientists are trying to gather scientific evidences to justify this theory. However, there are several questions about origin of universe which Big Bang theory doesn't address. For example, what caused the initial singular point to start expanding? From where the initial singular point came? and what was there before big bang? Thus there is a need that the modern way of understanding the reality should be examined thoroughly. Furthermore, in this article, the theory of subjective evolution is explained as an alternative approach to understand the reality as it is.






Since the beginning of the modern scientific era, scientists are continually trying to understand the origin of life and origin of universe. Scientists wonder how the universe developed into what we see/observe today. Great scientists including Albert Einstein, Edwin Hubble and in recent times Stephen Hawking and Sir Roger Penrose have sincerely carried out scientific research to understand the mysterious reality of origin of universe. Thus there is a continuing development of several concepts. Many hypotheses have been proposed to explain the origin of universe. Unfortunately, none of the theories about origin of universe are conclusive. Scientists often raise several questions on each of these existing concepts to establish their limitation in explaining the origin of universe.



Big bang cosmological model is generally a popular hypothesis in modern science. However, most of the time people present the credibility of this model insufficiently and incorrectly. Most of the scientific world is under the impression that big bang theory describes the origin of universe, which is not correct. The big bang hypothesis tries to explain that the universe which we see now came from an initial singular point (a very tiny and dense state). But what caused the initial singular point to start expanding? From where the initial singular point came? and what was there before big bang? All these questions, it seems have not yet been addressed by the big bang theory. Another major problem scientists often face by accepting big bang is that it has concepts, which are completely different and cannot be objectively explained in the way scientists accept the truth. One such concept in big bang is the earliest state of universe where none of their present scientific theories can be applied. Furthermore, in this earliest state, scientists think that all the existing fundamental forces are unified. To study this scientists are trying to find out a so called theory of everything (TOE) which will unify all the four known fundamental forces.



Four Fundamental Forces



There are four fundamental forces which modern science has figured out.


Those are strong forces, electromagnetic forces, weak forces and gravity. Strong force is the force which holds nucleus together. It is named as strong force because it is a force which can hold the nucleus together against the tremendous forces of repulsion due to the protons, which is very strong.

Electromagnetic force exists between charges, which follow Coulomb's Law and magnetic force between the magnetic poles. All electromagnetic forces follow Lorentz force law. The existence of weak force was first invented from radioactive decay such as beta decay. This force is a weak interaction by which a quark (subatomic particle) can change to another quark, or a lepton to another lepton. This is also known as 'flavor changes' in scientific literature.[1]



A force which is always attractive and acts along the line joining the centers of mass of the two masses is known as gravitational force. Gravity is the weakest force among the four fundamental forces. Sir Isaac Newton proposed the universal law of gravitation to describe gravitational force. In simple words, a theory that can unify these four fundamental forces (strong forces, electromagnetic forces, weak forces and gravity) is known as TOE in technical literature.



Technical Difficulties in Developing TOE



Standard Model of Particle Physics



Using standard model of particle physics, one can study three of the four known fundamental interactions and the elementary particles that take part in these interactions.[2] Scientists believe that this theory can explain all known matter (all subatomic particles such as quarks and leptons) as well as the forces by which the subatomic particles (constituents of all known matter) interact with each other. The forces this theory deals with are electromagnetic forces, weak forces and strong forces. However, it is mentioned in Science magazine that "the standard model of particle physics is an unfinished poem".[3] Furthermore, the major difficulty is how to include the fourth fundamental force called gravity.



Gravity is a Troublesome Force for Scientists



Theory of general relativity published by Albert Einstein in 1916 explains gravity.



This theory unifies special relativity and Newton's law of universal gravitation.



According to this theory, gravity is a property of spacetime. Science is still struggling to answer why gravity? Whatever we have in science on this topic till now are all abstract concepts and there are many questions which can be raised. Modern science has failed to figure out the force which is opposite to gravitational attractive force. If there is attraction there must be repulsion. Without repulsion the name attractions has no meaning. If there is no repulsive force then how the mass is such widely spread or dispersed all over the universe in the form of planets, meteoroids and so forth and so on. One of the Japan Times's most popular humor columnists, Amy Chavez said "… have you ever considered why gravity pulls downward rather than, say, sideways? To imagine sideways gravity, imagine a light breeze blowing. Sideways gravity would be advantageous to Japanese students: no more hair hanging in their eyes …".[4] Einstein proposed the idea for a static universe by introducing a cosmological constant ΛE into his field equation. The constant ΛE (= 4πGρ/c2) is also known as cosmological constant of Einstein's universe, where G is Newtonian gravitational constant, ρ is the energy density of the matter in the universe and c is the speed of light.



According to this concept given by Einstein the universe is dynamically stable and it is neither expanding nor contracting. The radius of Einstein's universe or Einstein's radius is RE, which is given as equal to ΛE -1/2. This is proposed by Einstein to avoid the dynamical effects of gravity which would cause universe to collapse.



After Edwin Hubble's discovery, which explains that there is a relationship between redshift and distance, Einstein was forced to declare that his cosmological model and use of cosmological constant for supporting the same was his biggest blunder.[5]



Because of the fact that the scientists don't know the force opposite to that of gravitational attraction they have proposed the concept of big bang to explain the origin of universe. They say that from an initial singular point, explosion force helped mass to disperse all over the universe. Science has no answer when one asks; what caused the big bang? and what is the nature of that initial explosion force?



Experiments in Large Hadron Collider and God Particle



In May 2008, Science Daily published a news item with the title "Large Hadron Collider Enables Hunt For 'God Particle' To Complete 'Theory Of Everything'".[6]



Scientists have built a Large Hadron Collider, which they believe will help them understand the interactions of the fundamental forces of nature. They also hope this will enable them to resolve the puzzle of why gravity is the weakest fundamental force.



This topic is discussed in one of the weekly online meetings on July 20, 2008 by His Holiness Bhakti Madhava Puri Swami, Ph.D. (BMP) of Bhaktivedanta Institute.[7]




BMP has explained that "There are many serious problems with this new theory. The biggest problem is that theories of particles are inherently defective because they can't explain continuous phenomena. Particles, or quanta, refer to discontinuous phenomena. So how can we expect that this theory can be used to describe continuous phenomena like gravity? Gravity, as defined in the theory of general relativity, is not quantized. Acceleration is not defined as a quantized phenomenon. Although gravitons have been proposed for special relativity, mathematical problems arise when applied to general relativity which deals with accelerated systems or gravity."



Domain of TOE and Limitation of Present Scientific Approach



It is believed by many scientists that TOE will link all known physical phenomena.



But the domain of TOE which we have seen before includes only four fundamental forces. Then we must check whether all physical phenomena come under the domain of these four fundamental forces or not. Furthermore, we must examine seriously whether the process that present science has adapted to understand things is a valid process.



Conscious Bodies Violate the Laws of Physics



We often observe that living bodies or conscious bodies violate the laws of physics.



We can take a simple example: it is possible to accurately predict the projectile motion of a dead bird by utilizing the laws of mechanics, but we have no way to predict the motion of a living bird by any mathematical law.[8]



All of us are witnessing the presence of living entities and matter in our own life. We notice that living entities perform certain activities which are absent in matter. We witness that life exhibits different qualities such as free will, thinking, acting, intelligence, knowledge, pleasure and pain, birth, death, fear, fearlessness, nonviolence, equanimity, satisfaction, austerity, charity, fame and infamy. Moreover, we also notice that life exhibits some supernatural (beyond the laws of physics and chemistry) activities that we do not find in matter. The cow eats the grass and transforms it into milk, a mother has spontaneous love for her child and a small seed of banyan tree has the intelligence within to transform itself into a huge banyan tree.



There are many similar examples. Scientists must provide an explanation about the means by which they can use the four fundamental forces to explain the physical behavior of living bodies. When we say 'Theory of Everything' it must include everything. If something is excluded then use of the name everything is meaningless.



Mathematics and Beyond



Science develops certain theories, which they use to calculate different parameters such as forces. Scientists not only measure some features to get the results, but they plug those features into an equation. They feed certain suitable numbers to the parameters in the equation to get certain desired output. This is the general practice science has adapted to explain the entire reality.




This very approach is quite questionable. How we can use this method to equate the qualities that a living being exhibits such as free will, thinking, acting, intelligence, knowledge, pleasure and pain. When we talk about qualities such as beauty, motherhood, friendship and so forth we can't insert any numbers into an equation to explain them. But we all know that such things exist and we experience them everyday in our own life. Scientists have to think seriously that whether the limited approach based on numbers feeding to an equation will help us to know the full extentof reality.



The Limitation of Human Knowledge



One of great philosopher David Hume is well known for his great contribution on the topic 'what are the limitations of human knowledge'. Hence, David Hume is also known as 'geographer of human reason' which is termed by well known philosopher Immanuel Kant.[9]



David Hume divided the propositions into two categories, such as 'relation of ideas' and 'matter of fact'. According to Hume, 'relations of ideas' is restricted to mathematics, geometry and pure logic. He explained that 'relation of ideas' say nothing about reality. The reason he has given for that is that such statements based on relations of ideas are essentially tautologies.



Tautologies are propositional formulas those are true under any possible valuation. 'Relation of ideas' are itself true by definition and thus don't need any verifications.



We can take a simple example to understand the same. We should not check the correctness of 2 + 2 = 4 as they are true by the definition of four, meaning of plus and equal. Saying 2 + 2 or 4 is just a repetition of the same and Hume called it as tautologies which explain nothing about reality. They are not even mind constructs but they are true by their own definitions. For more clarification, generally examples such as "all bachelors are unmarried" and "all triangles have three sides" are referred in literature.[9] They are not meaningful propositions but merely a repetition of what they are being defined for.



'Matter of fact' includes those which can be verifiable by sensations and we must experience the same to know that it is true. For example sky is blue, sugar candy is sweet, and things like that are fact proposition, because we know what we must experience with our senses to come up with these statements.



Present scientific approach is following these two propositions, 'relation of ideas' and 'matter of fact'. Thus scientists without a proper investigation, have presumed that all propositions which are neither 'relations of ideas' nor 'matters of fact' are unverifiable and hence non scientific. Hence, modern scientists by considering that all metaphysical concepts such as soul and God are all outside the purview of human knowledge have categorized them prematurely as mere belief.



For example the statement 'God exists' is not a 'relation of ideas'. If one is denying the statement that 'God exists' it doesn't create any contradiction. In accordance with this concept, the statement 'God does not exist' does not contradict the concept of God. God and existence are not the same and we cannot determine God's existence by simply considering the meaning of that statement. This is because God is a reality which does not come up from tautologies.



Similarly, we can check carefully whether the study of existence of God comes under the domain of 'matter of fact'. What short of sense observations can lead us to accept the existence of God? Generally the assessment is considered based on causation.



Hume explains that causation itself is not a meaningful proposition. Causation is not a 'relation of idea' and we can see that from the example that negation of the statement "rising sun causes the rooster to crow" when negated does not provide a contradiction.



Furthermore, the original cause can't be traced back by any sense perception and thus is not a 'matter of fact'. We see simply one thing happens and the other thing follows.



Thus, we often believe that one is causing the other. However, it is perfectly possible not to believe it. David Hume had given the well known billiard ball example to establish the same.



We see a billiard ball moving in a straight line towards another ball. Suppose motion in the second ball should by accident be suggested to us, as the result of their contact or impulse. May we not conceive that a hundred different events might as well follow from that cause? May not both these balls remain at absolute rest? May not the first ball return in a straight line, or jump off from the second in any line or track? All these suppositions are consistent and conceivable. Why then should we give the partiality to one, which is no more consistent or conceivable than the rest? Thus all our reasoning a priori will never be able to show us any foundation for this




It is general tendency found among the scientists to reduce the principles causing the natural phenomena, to a greater simplicity. Thus, they resolve the many particular effects into a few general causes, by means of reasoning from analogy, experience, and observation. When we inquire what are the causes of these general causes we will find the limits of their entire discoveries. Thus, we shall never be able to satisfy ourselves by any particular explication of scientists. These famous theories and hypothesis are products of speculations and therefore cannot provide us any conclusive answer to understand reality. Gravity, forces, protons, quarks, photons, electrons and so forth and so on are some of the concepts provided by scientists based on limited approaches to reality. They are happy if by some means they can trace up the particular phenomena to, or near to, these general principles. Hence we must carefully understand these facts so that we can question the scientists about their non ending deluding approach for understanding the reality.





Theory of Subjective Evolution an Alternative Solution



Modern science is trying to understand everything within a limited objective vision.



The scientific theories are not proposed by dead matter such as atoms, molecules, stones and so forth and so on. Also, scientific theories are not written in the sky. We can see that all the scientific theories are the product of the thoughts coming from the subject or scientist who is a living human being. His Holiness Bhakti Madhava Puri Swami, Ph.D., serving director of Bhaktivedanta Institute (BMP) has given a very nice example in this connection. BMP argued that in past in the western world people found that earth is fixed and sun is moving around the earth. Later when some scientists claimed by their arguments and observations that sun is fixed and earth is moving around the sun we all accept that. The motion of sun and earth is not changed in all these years rather our conception about the motion of sun and earth has changed and we are seeing that in different way. Hence, our conception about an object and the object itself are one and the same. When our conception about an object is changed we see the same object in a different way. Thus, the conception of the scientists plays a vital role in the development of scientific theories.



According to big bang theory entire universe is coming from a tiny singular point. We never see any such singular point in the physical world. And thus it is a mind concept.



It is coming from the mind of the scientist who proposed it. All such mathematical concepts are mind concepts only and we don't find them in the physical world. For example we can't find any circle or straight line in the physical world which perfectly follows the equation of circle and straight line respectively. Those are only mind concepts of subject or living being. The scholars in the vedic tradition studied these topics very deeply. They have not neglected the subjective side of the reality which modern science has deliberately neglected. Modern science even doesn't accept the existence of mind even though scientists are using it every day. They don't accept the existence of mind because we can't see, smell, taste, touch or hear mind. For scientists the reality is limited to that which can be observables to our cognitive senses like, eye, nose, tongue, ear and skin.



Due to such limited approach scientists couldn't understand the finer truths of reality which are much beyond the reach of our senses. On the other hand, vedic scholars not only could study the finest reality such as soul, consciousness and God but they were able to raise their own consciousness to such a high degree that they can see the presence of consciousness behind entire existence.



We see so many wonderful forms in the universe such as men, animals, insects, trees, etc. How have such wonderful forms manifested? In Vedas rivers, mountains, earth, water, fire, air, ether, and everything is described as are under the control of conscious beings. The expert teachers in the vedic tradition have developed such a vision that they are seeing consciousness everywhere and nothing material. The details on this topic can be found in a nice book entitled Subjective Evolution of Consciousness[11] written by Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj.







It is very hard to describe the reality within the limited scientific terminology and within the limited so called scientific way of looking into the reality. The scientific language that has been developed was developed only for the objective science to study molecules, chemicals, physical laws and things like that. So that whole language is directed to the object of consciousness rather than to consciousness. How we can use that language to explain what they have neglected? It is difficult to describe the reality limited to those words because they have the wrong words. Hence we can't use those same terminologies to explain what consciousness is, because they have deliberately neglected that part.



But vedas are not like that. vedas are dealing with both conscious and unconsciousness side (or the material side). So there, we have to use the terminology of the vedas, atma, Paramatma, Bhagavan and all those things. These all terms are referring to conscious world and have meaning and substantial content. Hence we have to introduce a new terminology within the scientific world. According to Vedas the entire universe originated from the supreme conscious being or God. If one wants to study the origins then a different approach is needed and vedas can help us providing a proper direction for the same.






1 Refer to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quark


2 Refer to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_Model


3 http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/309/5731/82


4 Gravity and its effects on teaching. The Japan Times Online, Saturday, Feb. 16, 2008.


5 In George Gamow's autobiography, My World Line (1970) he quotes Einstein: "Much later, when Iwas discussing cosmological problems with Einstein, he remarked that the introduction of the cosmological term was the biggest blunder of his life."


6 Refer to http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080527200600.htm



7 Refer to http://mahaprabhu.net/satsanga/2008/07/20/god-particle



8 Phalguni, Banerjee and P. Suresh, Kumar. Life and its deeper reality. Science and Scientist – Inquiring into the Origin of Matter and Life. Newsletter, Bhaktivedanta Institute, October, 2007



9 Refer to http://cepa.newschool.edu/het/profiles/humebio.htm



10 Refer to http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/h/hume/david/h92e/chapter4.html



11 Refer to http://www.scsmath.com/books/Subjective_Evolution.pdf



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