In the Present volume of Yoga Unveiled (Part II), the author stresses upon to think in harmony with modern ideas and to take a fresh, rational, empirical, pragmatic view of different philosophies and different types of Yoga. He traces very clearly how science has vindicated Vedanta and Jnana Yoga and Doctrine of Maya of Sankara.
In the later part, Mysticism and its psychology, different schools of Mysticism or Yoga including Buddhist Mysticism and Krama Yoga and Hatha Yoga etc., are dealt with. The author concludes that Jnana Yoga is philosophic, psychological and psycosomatic. Patanjala Astang Yoga is physic-psychological and philosophical. Buddhism is pure psychology of consciousness and the Zen is psychoanalytical. Language, words and concepts are termed as distorting mechanism.
Yoga Unveiled Part I, was realistic and pragmatic. It showed that Jnana Yoga could be understood psychologically. It is really easy; so that it can be called Sahaja (i.e. easy or natural). Be— sides that, it is practical, and is of vital importance to the human race——not only for peace and goodwill on earth but also for our personal psychological health, and freedom from psychosomatic or functional diseases.
Part Il is mainly intellectual and philosophical or rather scientific. Swami Vivekananda says (Practical Vedanta—pp. 24- 26): "It is absolutely necessary to clear the intellectual portion first, although we know that intellectuality is almost nothing. . . It is only the street cleaner.... It is feeling, that works . . . Do you feel? That is the question. Intellect is however necessary; for without it, you fall into crude errors."
In the domain of reason, science holds the Held today. Various philosophies may contend among themselves, for captivating the public mind; but modern science has, so to say, captured the goal by securing a realistic confirmation of its theoretical expectations. Experimental verification of its theories has made them more powerful than mere philosophies. However, I am not talking in praise of scientific technology. That is justifiably to be blamed, for its tendency to increase our selfish desires, and for feeding the war machines of selfish nations. I am talking here only about Science, as a Search for Reality.
In Part II, I have attempted the venturesome task, of proving by science, that the world of multiplicity is MAYA, or a self- manufactured delusion, as Sankara puts it; and that the multiple folded mysticism of man, is very probably, only psychologically motivated. While probing for psychological relief to humanity, mystic masterminds of every age, have discovered methods and techniques, suitable for their times. I have ventured so far, as to attempt to show scientifically, that Nature in all its working, has no respect for individuals or egoes: it shows only mutual actions and reactions and inter-dependence everywhere. It is the ego that holds us in- bondage. Since Nature does not show the existence of independent individualities, and since we and our culture, have only delusively manufactured our egoes, it means that the ego does not exist at all, in nature. We are really free from bondage; we have only to realise this fact; that indeed is self -realisation. Since science helps us so far as that, I have finally ventured to appeal to yogis, kindly to adopt the scientific verification methods. There are a number of problems in Yoga, of vital and urgent importance, which have been waiting for solution, for centuries. Who knows, adding scientific, observational survey, or experimental methods, may bring us nearer to their solution. No doubt, we have respect for old traditional, mystic authorities or texts; but if their statements predict results, which cannot yet be scientifically verified, then we should be bold enough to admit, that they are still, on our enquiry shelves.
I hereby present my scientific arguments, before all students of philosophy and psychology, for an open minded evaluation; comments will be welcome.
I do not of course boast, that by the scientific method, I shall uncover or unveil, the Rock—Bottom-Reality of the Universe. It appears rather, that reality is outside the cage of analytical thought and reason—-including philosophy and science. Even an electron, one of the tiniest constituents of all matter, in all bodies living or dead, has refused so far, to walk into that cage, in spite of persistent efforts of scientists for the last several decades? *As we will see in Chapter I, all linguistic expression is based on certain concepts. Scientific language has its own underlying concepts; e.g. that matter, life, our bodies and the whole cosmos, are all realities. Thus even scientific language, does not speak of Actual Reality, but of one, distorted or warped by its assumed concepts; which may be correct or false.
Even within the purview of scientific concepts, Wolter. A Keers (Editor Yoga Adwaita, Netherlands), very rightly contends that we do not look deep enough. When we are observing any object we are really observing a certain state of our own consciousness. Our own bodies are perhaps the hardest of our concepts, verified by our touch as well as vision; but essentially we are not aware of the ‘body’ as such: we are aware of a certain state of our own consciousness, which we may call ‘Body consciousness ‘I’ live as an individual body, is thus Only a linguistic concept which may be, for taught we know, false. The same is true of the concept of the Whole, the I do of course claim to present self-realisation, on the science platter, to everybody; but I agree with the remark of Swami Vivekananda, that feeling is more important than mere intellectual understanding. Very delicious or nutritive foods may be available, on the table; but of what use are they, if the hunger or the feeling of appetite is not than? That may cause indigestion in the form of vanity or conceit. To rouse real appetite is the main purpose of this introduction.
I request the readers to realise the importance of the mystic appetite or urge, and then taste the spiritual delicacy of self-realisation. It is there already on Nature’s platter, if only you care to look at it in the scientific way. A. H. Maslow, one of the most outstanding psychologists of the U.S.A. during very recent times, has asserted that, that appetite or urge is also already present there, in every one of us; it is a biological urge; we have only to develop it. Nature punishes us, with psychosomatic disease, if we neglect that bio- logical urge.
For all scientific minded people, even an intellectual conviction, that individuality is a chimera; according to modern science, it may suffice, if they so choose, to convert them at least, into Karma—Yogis, unselfish or humanistic, in all their activities. A scientist will not be afraid of falling into the void, outside the flat earth, when he travels from Delhi to New York. He would not bathe in some river, at every eclipse, beseaehing Rahu and Ketu to release our Sun or Moon. He would not run thirsty, after the mirage, in the desert; nor worship the god, Indra, on seeing a rainbow in the sky. All that I would plead, before all scientific—minded readers is, that they should widen their interests, beyond their narrow body/mind interests, to the interests of society as a whole, to those of the nation, to those of humanity, nay even to those of all creation, because the whole Cosmos is really one. Individuality is a Chimera. The cosmic laws will react, like a boomerang, in the form of psychosomatic diseases, if we but err.
I have written about 20 pages (Chapter I—Section II), as an essay on psychedelic (L.S.D. like) drugs research. Indian readers who have great respect for the logic of Sankara, and for the fact of Nirvikalpa Samadhi, may regard it, as an unnecessary addition to a chapter on Vedanta Philosophy. But my purpose in writing this book, is to show that the recent western discipline of Semantics, as well as the still more recent research on psychedelic drugs in the U.S.A. etc., further strengthens Sankara’s old doctrine of MAYA and raise it almost to a scientific fact. My personal contacts and continued correspondence with the foremost researchers in this line, besides my wide studies, have enabled me to present a bit of research on it. Hence I have ventured on this edition.
Sankara’s concept of MAY/X is so unbelievable to a modern, so—called ‘realistic’ man, that such a strengthening support to it, by semantics and psychedelic research, is very vital from the philosophic point of view. If all this world be MAYA then what is the Rock—Bottom—Reality? Is it describable in language, or not; why? That is another vital and fundamental question.
I am intensely grateful to numerous friends, like Dr. N.H. Samtani of B.H.U. and others, because they helped me in this novel venture, by their suggestions; but I am particularly in- debted to late Dr. B.S. Atreya, retired Professor of Philosophy, Banaras Hindu University. He continually helped me and guided me in writing Part I as well as Part II. The titles of chapters I and II, of Part II were in fact suggested by him. He highly appreciated my idea of linking, Jnana Yoga with Science.
Each chapter has a separate subject. Hence, as far as possible, I have tried to make each chapter complete in itself. This has resulted in a certain amount of repetition of the same idea in different chapters. I trust the readers will not mind such a repetition. In fact, on points where the minds of readers have to be deconditioned or some very old, wrong conditioning has to be effaced, a repetition of right knowledge from different points of view, or in different contexts, in different chapters, is in itself, spiritually advantageous.
P.S.: Since the title of this book is ‘Trends in Modern Science towards Vedantic Concepts’, it is better, at the very outset, to clearly understand what these concepts are. We have seen in the footnote on p. xiii of this Introduction, that modern scientific language is based on certain conceptions or so to say on a sort of philosophy of its own. It may be called Materialistic Philosophy.
It believes matter to be real, and to be the self-dependent cause of Evolution. Even from matter to life.-—even to ascending forms of life-—even to human consciousness and human Behaviour. There can be alternative philosophies, based on western ideas, like Bergson’s ‘Elan Vital’ or ‘Creative Evolution’. In India also there have existed throughout history, other philosophies which have contended with Vedanta, for the highest place of pride. For instance, there is the Samkhya Philosophy- accepted by the Patanjala Yoga Sutras. It believes in duality, between Purusa and Prakrti.
The special virtue of science, over such equally weighty alter- native speculative philosophies, Western or Eastern consists in this; that the conclusions of science can be tested by experiment or experience. Fortunately, time has already arrived for testing the scientists’ theory of ‘Materialism’. Rupert Sheldrake of Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, has come forward with his theory of ‘Modified Materialism’* and put it to an experiential test. The modification, which he suggests, is the assumption of a new field, which he calls, a ‘Life—Field’ or ‘Morphogenetic Field’, besides those already known to Physicists: viz. Gravitation Field, Electromagnetic Field, Strong Nuclear Field and Weak Nuclear Field.
To Dr. Rupert Sheldrake, goes the credit of adding to these, his new "Life Field’. His experiments, on what he calls ‘Morphic Resonance’, have experimentally proved the remarkable fact, that if any trick of evolutionary advance is once learnt, any time by any species anywhere on earth, then it is learnt, by the same species, very very much, much more quickly, elsewhere, there-after. Dr. Sheldrake has given, on this subject, experiments in crystallisation, and behaviour of rats. Standing on two legs, in spite of gravity, in case of human infants, riding on two wheels (bicycling) and swimming on a water surface, can be cited as examples, in human adult behaviour. (See for details of his research-Abstracts Seventh International Transpersonal Conference, Bombay, February 1982.)
This is only one outstanding example of Evolutionary Advance. Others are given in the Note on ‘Science and its shifting paradigms’ given hereafter.
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