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6 years ago  ::  Jan 27, 2009 - 9:39PM #1
HinduGuy
Posts: 373
I would like to get input from members regarding Hinduism and Science. How close are they? Do certain Hindu stories mesh with science or are they somewhat like christianity, which till today is battling Darwin?

I do know that Hindu stories talk about how there is not just one Brahma or Just one Indra, but like ants in an ant colony, there have been many Brahma's and many more to come. That matches what present day science is teaching us that our universe may be just one of many, or our galaxy is just one of many, with new ones being created all the time and certain old ones dying out.

The Advaita philosophy, which says that we are one with God is also similar to the scientific thought that says we are all just stardust. We know we are a carbon-based life form and life forms like us should exist all over the galaxy or universe.

I would love to get input from other members. Are there any books that talk about Hinduism and Science? Any websites that people might know? What are your personal observances?
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 28, 2009 - 7:52AM #2
Maya3
Posts: 928
Excellent subject!

I would love to hear everyones viewpoint on this also.

I wish I had a better memory than I do, but I remember visiting the planetarium, and it had an image of that picture of a man that Da Vinci drew where the man stands with his arms stretched out and there is kind of a diagram around him, anyway it said something to the effect that man and everything in the universe is actually the same as the stars.Or actually stardust.
I wish I could quote exactly what it said but, I don't remember.
But I LOVE that, it completely confirms my Hindu faith.

Another interesting observation, of course I do not completely remember this either. (sorry guys). But there is a commercial from I think BP oil where a scientist is talking about molecyles and how they have found that they circle around and they have found that they make a vibrational sound.
For me it's OM.  Have anyone seen this commercial? If so, maybe you could explain it better than me.

Maya
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 28, 2009 - 10:56AM #3
skydivephil
Posts: 116

HinduGuy wrote:

I would like to get input from members regarding Hinduism and Science. How close are they? Do certain Hindu stories mesh with science or are they somewhat like christianity, which till today is battling Darwin?

I do know that Hindu stories talk about how there is not just one Brahma or Just one Indra, but like ants in an ant colony, there have been many Brahma's and many more to come. That matches what present day science is teaching us that our universe may be just one of many, or our galaxy is just one of many, with new ones being created all the time and certain old ones dying out.

The Advaita philosophy, which says that we are one with God is also similar to the scientific thought that says we are all just stardust. We know we are a carbon-based life form and life forms like us should exist all over the galaxy or universe.

I would love to get input from other members. Are there any books that talk about Hinduism and Science? Any websites that people might know? What are your personal observances?


I hope you dont mind a dissenting view, but i think what you are doing is a very good example of confirmation bias:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias
If you look for things in science that are similar to what you have in your texts Im sure you will find some similairty that you wil find compelling. Every reigion I know of has done this.  But real science maked specific predictions that can be verified or falsified. a firend of mine said some ancient guru had predicted the existence of quarks, when I aksed him what charge he had predicted for the quarks he had nothing to say.

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6 years ago  ::  Jan 28, 2009 - 5:01PM #4
gangajal
Posts: 835
Hinduguy,

   There is, in Hinduism, a  distinction between  'higher knowledge' and
'lower knowledge' according to the Mundaka Upanishad I.i.4.

        The lower knowledge includes all knowledge that endows a man with the knowledge of the manifested universe and enables him to enjoy material 
prosperity on earth. The higher knowledge enables a man to realize the Self
or God. The lower knowledge is knowledge of the empirical world and there is no bar to pursuing it. The lower knowledge is obtained by the use of reason.
       
       This is not the case with higher knowledge. The higher knowledge, knowledge of God, is beyond the realm of logic since God is beyond our senses. Nobody has ever been able to prove or disprove the existence of God using logic. If you can do that then God will come under the purview of science. Thus God can only be "known" in a supersensuous experience (Aporakhsanubhuti). Thus higher knowledge, obtained by meditation, is supersensuous knowledge. 

       There is no conflict between these two types of knowledge since they operate in two distinctly different realms. The higher knowledge does not contradict logic but introduces us to an alogical realm.

        Sri Sankara, the famous Advaita philosopher, makes the same point in
his commentary on the Bhagavad Gita 18.66:

" ...... The appeal to the infallibility of the Vedic injunction is
misconceived. The infallibility in question refers only to the unseen force or
apurva, and is admissable only in regard to matters not confined to the sphere of direct perceptions etc. ..... Even a hundred statements of sruti to the effect that fire is cold and non-luminous won't prove valid. If it does make
such a statement, its import will have to be interpreted differently. Otherwise
, validity won't attach to it. Nothing in conflict with the means of valid
cognition or with its own statement may be imputed to sruti." (Bhagavad Gita Bhashya of Sri Sankaracharya translated by Dr. A.G. Krishna Warrier).

According to Yoga Vasishta Ramayan (II-18):
Though human in origin, an exposition of truth is to be accepted; otherwise
even what is regarded as divine revealation is to be rejected. Even a young
boy's words are to be accepted if they are words of wisdom; else reject it
like straw even if uttered by Brahma the creator." (Vasishta's Yoga translated by Swami Venkatesananda)

Vacaspati Misra, the author of Vamati, says, "Even one thousand scriptural
statements cannot transform a jar into a piece of cloth".

"This I have said to you O Kalamas, but you may accept it,not because it is a report, not because it is a tradition, not because it is so said in the past,
not because it is given from the scriptures, not for the sake of discussion,
not for the sake of particular method, not for the sake of careful
consideration, not for the sake of forbearing with wrong views, not because it appears to be suitable, not because your preceptor is a recluse, but if you
yourselves understand this is so, meritorious and blameless, and, when
accepted, is for benefit and happiness, then you may accept it.

--- Gautama Buddha [Angutarra iii.653]

Ancient Hindus did not usually mix dharma and science since they operate in two different realms. So there is no conflict between science and Hindu dharma.

It is true, however, that modern science seems to agree with Hindu scripture. For example, Paingala Upanishad I.7 says:

"Desiring to create, that world-Cause (God), controlling the quality of
Tamas, sought to render the subtle root-elements gross. He bifurcated each of  the extremely limited elements and again made (the halves) four-fold and added each of the five halves to one-eighths of the other four. With those
quintuplicated elements he created endless Crores of macrocosms and for
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
each of these fourteen appropriate worlds and globular gross bodies fit for each planes of them all."

I Crore= 10 million.
Thus according to Hindu scripture there are millions of universes. This is in agreement with both inflationary universe theory and the landscape of the super string theory.

Gangajal
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 29, 2009 - 9:49PM #5
HinduGuy
Posts: 373
None taken SkyDive, in fact, here we love a good discussion. Think of it this way, say some ancient people saw an alien ship (for this example let's say an alien civilization that found a way to travel the galaxay) . How would they describe it? They are not going to use words that you and I currently understand. They are going to use words like chariot, winged beast, quick as the wind, glowing eyes etc. What we need to do is not to laugh it off but try to walk in their shoes, if we were to be in that era, we ourselves would be using the same terminology.

For example a lot of religions talk about earth being the center of the universe, nothing remarkble there. But in Hinduism, Brahma is the creator of all that we see. Now why would they say that there were several Brahmas? Hinduism talks about how one day God Siva will destroy all creation and Brahma would start a new creation. Does that not sound unusual?

Good post Gangajal. Thank you.
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 30, 2009 - 12:53AM #6
mvishnu
Posts: 62
HinduGuy,

gangajal made a good point. We have to make distinction between the 'higher knowledge' and 'lower knowledge'. Imagine a person is blind, does that mean since he or she can't see physically, there is no physical existence? What if the blind person argues that there is no physical existence since he or she can't see? As far as he or she is concerned their perspective is true.

Here are some perspectives to share . . .

When we talk about spirituality, we are dealing with the subject called "atman", our true inner Self. This True Self is not the body, sense, mind or intellect. To comprehend the spiritual existence, we need the 'spiritual eye' or otherwise we are blind to the spiritual world as in physically blind man who can't comprehend the physical existence.

The entire spectrum of the teachings of Yoga and its sadhanas are aimed towards spiritual realization (awakening the 'spiritual eye'). That means to realize the True Self.

When Arjuna in that Geeta, saw the Vishwarupa, he did not see it with the "physical eye", but with the "spiritual eye". This spiritual vision was specifically given by Krishna to Arjuna in order for him to get that vision. Together, all the rishis and enlightened sages who had the spiritual vision were also able to experience the same vision while those who only had the physical vision was not able to get it.

Thus, we should note that everything that is written in the Vedas, Upanishad, Puranas etc. are dealing with many different level of existence, physical upto spiritual. Therefore, if we read them from a fully physical perspective striping the spiritual side, it may look unscientific as we are blind to the spiritual side of existence or not seeing the whole piece.

Coming back to science, we should take note that, before modern science (based on western theories), there were many scientific discoveries done in the East. But in the East, science is not opposed to anything spiritual. The scientific objective is to seek the real Truth behind all phenomenons, whether physical or spiritual. Unfortunately, the current scientific paradigm has purged the spiritual part of existence and only working from a materialistic or physical platform thus they are lacking many important perspectives and a lot of mysteries still remains unsolved or unknown.

When we contrast between the Eastern and Western view on science, they are seen from a different level...

For instance in the Hindu texts, the Indian chronology does not depend on any mundane event like the birth of a person, coronation of a king or the military success of an emperor. But it depends only on the movements of various heavenly bodies in the cosmos, or in other words, on astronomical science. Judging from this viewpoint, the Indian chronology alone is scientific since all other current chronologies are based on mundane event like the birth of a person, or the victory of a race over the other, or the rule of a particular dynasty, or running away of a man from one city to another to save his life and so on.

Even the Hindu calendar marks from the start of Kali Yuga (which is not based on event or birth/death of a person), compared to the current Western calendar which is based on BC. Kali Yuga is on the other hand is part of a Caturyuga which is part of a Manvantara, which expands into a Kalpa and then to the lifespan of the creator Brahama. It should be noted that, it is only the Hindu timeline that starts from the day of creation itself.

This timescale is not limited to this earth planet only, but transcends into the cosmos (spiritual realms). Creations exist in many levels and not limited to physical only... thus it explains why the Hindu timescale is so huge.

Take the example of the lifespan of a virus. In one minute of Human earthly time, for a virus it is already many generations... e.g. 5-7 level down the hierarchy. For a bacterium, the time span is much slower compared to the virus and the higher the life forms, the slower it appears. From a Human timescale these many generations are only 1 minute. But the question we should ask is, is the Human form the highest life form in existence? From Hindu perspective, there are much higher life forms such as Devas... and it is said that 1 day of the Devas equals to 1 human year.

Brahma (the creator) lives for 100 years of 360 such days and at the end, he is said to dissolve, along with his entire Creation, into the Paramatman. The scriptures put Brahma's age at 100 years in his unique time scale.

Brahma's life span is equal to 311,040,000,000,000 human years. This period in named as maha kalpa. A universe lasts only for one maha kalpa period. At the end of it the universe is completely destroyed together with the creator Brahma and a new universe would be created with a new Brahma.

The question now is how could all these make sense if it is only seen from Earthly Materialistic Human level?
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 30, 2009 - 1:06AM #7
HinduGuy
Posts: 373
Thank you Maya. Yes I know the figure you are talking about. Maybe I can google it or something and see what it's called. As for the BP commercial, no I have not seen it. I wonder if they are running it only in some markets.
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 30, 2009 - 4:26AM #8
Jm8
Posts: 784
Good, mvishnu.

Continuing from Brahma to the multiverse and its Creator:

yasyaika-nisvasita-kalam athavalambya
jivanti loma-vilaja jagad-anda-nathah
visnur mahan sa iha yasya kala-viseso
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami

Maha-Visnu lies on the Karana (causal) Ocean, and when He exhales, millions of brahmandas, or universes, come from the pores of His body. Then, when Maha-Visnu inhales, all these brahmandas disappear. Thus the millions of brahmandas controlled by the Brahmas and other demigods come and go in this material world through the breathing of Maha-Visnu. I adore the primeval Lord Govinda of whose subjective personality Maha-Visnu is the portion of portion. (Brahma-samhita 5.48)

Some scientific topics in Puranas:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhagavata_ … ic_content


Hope this helps. Hare Krishna

"This Krishna Consciousness is a science to understand what is the difference between a dead body and a living body". (A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada)

Your servant, bh. Jan

http://www.vrindavan-dham.com
http://www.veda.harekrsna.cz
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 30, 2009 - 6:16PM #9
williejhonlo
Posts: 3,601

mvishnu wrote:

HinduGuy,

gangajal made a good point. We have to make distinction between the 'higher knowledge' and 'lower knowledge'. Imagine a person is blind, does that mean since he or she can't see physically, there is no physical existence? What if the blind person argues that there is no physical existence since he or she can't see? As far as he or she is concerned their perspective is true.

Here are some perspectives to share . . .

When we talk about spirituality, we are dealing with the subject called "atman", our true inner Self. This True Self is not the body, sense, mind or intellect. To comprehend the spiritual existence, we need the 'spiritual eye' or otherwise we are blind to the spiritual world as in physically blind man who can't comprehend the physical existence.

The entire spectrum of the teachings of Yoga and its sadhanas are aimed towards spiritual realization (awakening the 'spiritual eye'). That means to realize the True Self.

When Arjuna in that Geeta, saw the Vishwarupa, he did not see it with the "physical eye", but with the "spiritual eye". This spiritual vision was specifically given by Krishna to Arjuna in order for him to get that vision. Together, all the rishis and enlightened sages who had the spiritual vision were also able to experience the same vision while those who only had the physical vision was not able to get it.

Thus, we should note that everything that is written in the Vedas, Upanishad, Puranas etc. are dealing with many different level of existence, physical upto spiritual. Therefore, if we read them from a fully physical perspective striping the spiritual side, it may look unscientific as we are blind to the spiritual side of existence or not seeing the whole piece.

Coming back to science, we should take note that, before modern science (based on western theories), there were many scientific discoveries done in the East. But in the East, science is not opposed to anything spiritual. The scientific objective is to seek the real Truth behind all phenomenons, whether physical or spiritual. Unfortunately, the current scientific paradigm has purged the spiritual part of existence and only working from a materialistic or physical platform thus they are lacking many important perspectives and a lot of mysteries still remains unsolved or unknown.

When we contrast between the Eastern and Western view on science, they are seen from a different level...

For instance in the Hindu texts, the Indian chronology does not depend on any mundane event like the birth of a person, coronation of a king or the military success of an emperor. But it depends only on the movements of various heavenly bodies in the cosmos, or in other words, on astronomical science. Judging from this viewpoint, the Indian chronology alone is scientific since all other current chronologies are based on mundane event like the birth of a person, or the victory of a race over the other, or the rule of a particular dynasty, or running away of a man from one city to another to save his life and so on.

Even the Hindu calendar marks from the start of Kali Yuga (which is not based on event or birth/death of a person), compared to the current Western calendar which is based on BC. Kali Yuga is on the other hand is part of a Caturyuga which is part of a Manvantara, which expands into a Kalpa and then to the lifespan of the creator Brahama. It should be noted that, it is only the Hindu timeline that starts from the day of creation itself.

This timescale is not limited to this earth planet only, but transcends into the cosmos (spiritual realms). Creations exist in many levels and not limited to physical only... thus it explains why the Hindu timescale is so huge.

Take the example of the lifespan of a virus. In one minute of Human earthly time, for a virus it is already many generations... e.g. 5-7 level down the hierarchy. For a bacterium, the time span is much slower compared to the virus and the higher the life forms, the slower it appears. From a Human timescale these many generations are only 1 minute. But the question we should ask is, is the Human form the highest life form in existence? From Hindu perspective, there are much higher life forms such as Devas... and it is said that 1 day of the Devas equals to 1 human year.

Brahma (the creator) lives for 100 years of 360 such days and at the end, he is said to dissolve, along with his entire Creation, into the Paramatman. The scriptures put Brahma's age at 100 years in his unique time scale.

Brahma's life span is equal to 311,040,000,000,000 human years. This period in named as maha kalpa. A universe lasts only for one maha kalpa period. At the end of it the universe is completely destroyed together with the creator Brahma and a new universe would be created with a new Brahma.

The question now is how could all these make sense if it is only seen from Earthly Materialistic Human level?


Great post mvishnu, lets not also forget that science has not really adequately even defined what life is yet. The scientist say life came from evolution, but how do you define life? what is life? these are questions scientist still query over without coming to a final conclusion.

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6 years ago  ::  Jan 30, 2009 - 8:09PM #10
HinduGuy
Posts: 373
Good posts all. very interesting.

I am not so sure about your definition of "higher" and "lower" forms of knowledge. I don't think any lower of an atheist's pursuit of knowledge. As I have posted before unimaginable horrors have been committed in the name of God, God is truth and the pusuit of truth is the highest from of knowledge.

Hinduism has always been entwined in the daily life of a Hindu. For example Bharatanatyam and Yoga, can simply be considered dance and exercise forms respectively, but they have a deep connection with our faith. Similarly I think the ancients used the faith to keep alive and pass along scientific ideas. If you simply say that the universe is x years long and will die one day, giving rise to another, that knowledge could be lost over time. But replace the word universe with Brahma or Indra, and the faithful will keep the story alive.
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