From the Jacket
Maya in Physics is a synthesis of modern physics and the Advaita Vedanta, with an integral thesis emerging out of the confluence. In the exposition of the Advaita Vedanta, its philosophy has been reinterpreted in the light of modern science. In this process, the Vedanta has been demystified and physics dematerialized. Instead of being confined to inter-school parallelism only, this book tries to present a total vision of the entire cosmos and its dependence on Brahman, the transcendental being which is the non-dual Reality. Maya, the Power of Brahman, or the Primordial Unmanifest Nature, has been assigned a metaphysical status, without violating the traditionality of the Vedanta.
Part I of the book deals with classical Newtonian physics, thermodynamics, relativity, quantum physics, particle physics, astrophysics, and cosmology. Part II is a presentation of the Advaita Vedanta, in a modern format. Part III is a confluence of the Advaita Vedanta and modern science (especially physics). An integral thesis emerges out of the confluence. There has been an amalgam of spirituality and science. The whole approach is holistic, synthetic, and integral.
Dr. Nrusingh Charan Panda was born on the 20th April 1929 in Orissa. He obtained his Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from the University of Missouri, USA. His field of specialization is Nutritional Biochemistry. He worked in the Orissa University of Agriculture & Technology, Bhubaneswar in all cadres of teaching posts and retired in 1992 from the post of the Dean. Subsequent to his retirement, he was honoured as a Scientist Emeritus.
The other famous books of Prof. Panda are the Vibrating Universe, Mind and Supermind (2 Vols.), Cyclic Universe (2 Vols.) Meditation and Yoga Nidra. All his books have been lauded by the intellectuals throughout the world. His approach is integral, synthetic and holistic.
It is very often felt that religious culture is at variance with scientific culture and both are incompatible. Such a notion is not totally baseless, although many things in religions do not support or contradict science at all. A few religious things that do contradict science are too serious to be ignored. It is not possible on the part of science to compromise with religions on those few things. Hence synthesis of religions and science does not seem to be a practical proposition.
It is further felt that humanistic culture and scientific culture are to be fused in order that science may be beneficial to mankind without any malignant side-effect. If science is compared with a race-horse, humanities may be compared with the reins. Science and technology are to be restrained with humanities for the balanced progress of mankind. Both are to be parallel in movement for the furtherance of the culture and civilization of man and for peace and happiness. But unfortunately, humanities have developed a tendency to toe the line of science and technology. There does not seem to be any humanizing influence of humanities on man. As a result of the failure of humanities and the one-sided pull of science and technology, the march of mankind has been staggering. It seems man has been dehumanized.
The intellectuals of the world have already realized that mankind may commit suicide at any moment. This would-be disaster is of course avoidable. Science and spirituality are to be fused. An integral philosophy is to be developed. This philosophy is to be one for living, not for theorizing only.
Advaita Vedanta is found to be the only philosophy that has the capacity to be scientific. It can absorb all the modern concepts of science without any contradiction. It can also go beyond science and can fill up the gaps which science cannot. Advaita Vedanta and modern science can be fused to give rise to a synthetic, integral philosophy, which, when translated to action of living, becomes cosmic religion.
In the 1970s and ‘80s, a few books have been written on Eastern mysticism and science. Books such as The Tao of Physics of Fritjof Capra (1975), The Dancing Wu Li Masters of Gary Zukav (1979), The Eye of Shiva of Amaury de Reincourt (1980) and ‘Brahman E=MC2’ of James Wallace (1985) are worth mentioning here. Capra, being himself a physicist, has successfully stimulated the intellectuals of the world to rethink in terms of spiritualizing science. The Turning Point, the second book of Capra, is also thought-provoking and is likely to rationalize human thought.
This book Maya in Physics is not an additional one to repeat what has been written earlier. Although there are many common elements in this book and the books mentioned here, the purpose of writing this book is totally different. It is not the main objective of this book is totally different. It is not the main objective of this book to focus on the Eastern mysticism and the similarities encountered in modern science. The whole of Advatia Vedanta has been re-interpreted here in the light of modern science. Attempt has been made to bring about a fusion of Advaita Vedanta and modern science. The deficiencies of modern science have been made up by the supplementation of Advaita Vedanta. In this integral approach, a total vision has been presented with analysis of concepts and phenomena. The cosmic phenomena have been explained. The recognition of the noumena at the bottom of the phenomena has been justified. The concepts of God and Maya have also been coherently presented. The problems of cosmology and cosmogony have been hopefully solved. All these things have been fitted in one integral philosophy that does not contradict modern science and rather supports and supplements it. This book is an elaboration of Advaita Vedanta in the framework of modern science. It brings about a synthesis of science and spirituality.
There are many common currents in quantum physics and Vedanta. But the fundamentality of Vedanta is at variance with quantum physics. The concept of Brahman is fundamental in Vedanta. The phenomenal universe of names and forms is illusory. Its substratum is Brahman which is the nondual Reality, Being without becoming. This Reality is formless, actionless, attribute-less, changeless, beginningless and endless. The Reality is ungraspable to the senses. It is unknowable, but realizable directly, without any mediation. In contrast to this philosophy of Advaita Vedanta, Buddhism or Taoism has a philosophy that puts emphasis on void (Sunya) or nothingness. The phenomenal universe, in the latter philosophy, is a stream of momentary events. This philosophy does not accept a single timeless entity as reality. Its reality consists of multiple entities that exist and occur for a moment and change to others in the next moment. In this concept of dynamic state of flux, the cosmic stream of events is eternal without the eternality of any individual entity or event. In general, in the philosophy of Buddhism, there is no reality other than the constantly changing and everflowing cosmic stream of events. This concept has similarity with that of quantum physics, but differs from that of Advaita Vedanta that recognizes an unchangeable entity as Reality. The present book has tried to establish an integral philosophy with the fusion of the fundamental concepts of Advaita Vedanta and modern science. Attempt has been made to demystify philosophy and religion and dematerialize science.
There is a second interpretation of the concept of sunyata (void) or Nirvana of Buddhism. According to this, the void is the full and the Reality. This concept conforms to the concept of Reality in Advaita Vedanta. Those quantum physicists who recognize nothing as real, for whom things appear from nowhere and disappear into nowhere, and who are subjectivists solipsists or nihilists do not serve any meaningful purpose by attempting to demonstrate parallelism among some concepts of quantum physics and Advaita Vedanta.
This is not a book on physics although it incorporates concepts of physics. Any technical physicist, interested in physics only, without any faith in spirituality, may not justifiably condemn it since a book, synthesizing spiritual thoughts and scientific thoughts, can be written. This is not a book on technical philosophy either. If any materialistic philosopher, with empirical attitude and antispiritual faith, does not find his philosophy in this book, he may not resent.
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