SARASVATI VANDANA ON SEPTEMBER 29, 2017 – CELEBRATION OF SHARAD DURGA NAVRATRI
SET YOUR MIND FREE – LET SARASVATI FLOW
Goddess Sarasvati is known as the Goddess of Speech or Vag Devi and She symbolizes importance of Speech Etiquette and Speech Discipline.
Richard Lovelace(1618-1657),English Poet and Soldier
SET YOUR MIND FREE :
Richard Lovelace, a romantic poet was confined within the walls of Gate House, a prison in Westminster, London. From the prison, in 1642 he wrote the poem, “To Althea, from Prison.” The poem has the following famous lines:
Stone walls do not a prison make,
Nor iron bars a cage;
Minds innocent and quiet take
That for a hermitage;
If I have freedom in my love
And in my soul, am free,
Angels alone, that soar above,
Enjoy such liberty.
Those who had confined him could not stop him from exercising his ability to think and dream. No one can imprison or enslave the human mind. A human being essentially seeks to exist in a free state and when imprisoned, the man can still set his mind free to think and dream. A mind that is free, expresses its freedom in speech, in writing, in songs and music. Speech in all of its forms conveys the ability of a man to communicate his thoughts. Fluent and coherent speech requires the formulations of propositions, which are translated into conventional symbols, earlier acquired and readily accessible, which then reach external expression by means of an efficient vocalizing apparatus. The sequences involved in efficient speech production could be interrupted at various levels to produce different types of speech defects.
DISTURBANCES OF SPEECH :
Intellectual impairment due to drugs, disease, and old age cause Speech Disorders.
Broca’s Area – Brain’s Speech Center
Co-ordination of sensory and motor functions is vital for normal Speech.
Since speech is an attribute of a free mind, it is important to understand the problems of disturbances of speech:
1. Intellectual impairment: Speech is deranged as a result of a deficit of intellectual function which prevents organization of meaningful propositions. A person who is intoxicated cannot speak well. There are several medical conditions associated with cognitive impairment, and the level of consciousness. Apart from these problems, a person, who is uneducated as he is unwilling to learn, cannot deliver good speech. In Sanskrit language such ignorant persons are identified as ‘MOORKHA’.
2. Dysarthria and Dysphonia: Precise enunciation of words with good volume requires normal function and co-ordination of lips, tongue, palate, and the vocal apparatus called larynx. Several medical conditions could cause a defect in motor output involved in speaking and contribute to slurring and distortion of speech.
3. Aphasias: These are speech difficulties or absence of speech where the person has no motor disorder and the articulatory system is intact. Three major varieties of aphasias are described. a. Broca’s, motor/expressive/Non-fluent aphasia: Broca’s area of brain produces verbs, builds sentences and predicts what people are going to say. Problems in this area makes the person’s speech non-fluent as the person has profound word finding difficulties. The person speaks slowly and with great effort. The speech is described as ‘telegraphic’ because it has no grammatic structure and small connecting words (e.g., and, or, but), are missing. The person comprehends well. The person can formulate thoughts in appropriate words i.e. internal speech is preserved, but is unable to translate them into corresponding sounds. b. Wernicke’s/Sensory/Receptive/fluent aphasia: Wernicke’s area of brain is involved in learning patterns corresponding to different types of auditory stimulation. It attaches meanings, images, and feelings to sounds and to individual words. Problems in this area would result in severe impairment in comprehension of language (both spoken and written). The person speaks fluently with ease and often in large amounts. However, the speech often goes in circles(circumlocutory) and contains incorrect word usages(paraphasia). The person fails to understand or carry out spoken instructions. Internal speech is disturbed and hence there is impairment of external speech. The person cannot understand what he hears. c. Conductive aphasia: The nerve fibers between Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas are involved in this type of problem. The person has trouble converting auditory input to verbal output. It is characterized by a marked inability to repeat words or phrases spoken to the person. d. Dyslexia and Alexia: Impairment of reading ability in individuals with normal intelligence either due to a developmental disorder or due to acquired brain lesions.
Eloquent Speech is comparable to free-flowing water, the words come out continuously without any apparent effort.
SPEECH AND MENTAL LETHARGY:
A normal healthy person with normal intelligence and abilities to speak, write, read, and sing may not automatically become a fluent speaker. Human mind needs to exist in a ‘fluid’ state to maintain and sustain a high state of alertness and activity. Mental lethargy is described in Sanskrit language as “JYAADYAA”. The mental lethargy could be due to disease (‘ROGA’), ignorance (‘MOORKHA’), or could be due to a depressed condition or state of mental activity which is described in Sanskrit language as “JADATHA”. This condition of mental weakness or diminished energy is characterized by intellectual sluggishness. The mind is dull, lazy or indifferent. Whatever term is used, mental inertia, lack of interest or energy or lassitude is an important issue, and the man’s speech lacks the fluency and the mind lacks the ‘fluidity’ that is needed for coordinating activities. Very often, man creates ‘mental barriers’, and erects ‘mental fences’ and impedes his own intellect from generating creative thoughts and in expressing such thoughts through creative forms of speech and music. There should be no obstacles to the flow of thoughts and to its physical expression. In its natural state, a river flows without any impediments and that ‘fluid’ flowing state is important for effective human communications.
The Concept of ‘Mental Fluidity’ is very important to appreciate Eloquent Speech. Eloquence has a charming quality of its own, it is pleasing to the ears of the listeners and captivates the minds of the members of the audience. Speech should make the same impact in terms of its appeal like a scenic picture.
Kunda’s whiteness symbolizes Purity. White Lotus symbolizes Purity. White and radiant personality symbolizes Purity.
Indian Traditions about Letters, Speech, Arts and Music:
Mind if it is responding slowly, a condition of ‘mental lethargy’ described as ‘Buddhi Mandhyam’, the man cannot realize his creative potential in the field of letters, speech, arts, and music. The Vedic River of Sarasvati is personified as the patron Goddess of Speech (‘VAC or VAK’). Sarasvati enjoys a unique autonomous position and apart from man, the entire Hindu pantheon of Gods pay obeisance to Her and seek Her protection to destroy and dissolve the problem of mental lethargy which impairs mental activity. The mind of man cannot be set free unless the mental barriers and mental fences are totally eradicated and Sarasvati can flow in its natural state without impediments.
A HYMN TO WORSHIP GODDESS SARASVATI :
Jasminum multiflorum, ‘KUNDA’, Star Jasmine, Native of India.
Moon, ‘INDU’ and the radiant personality of Sarasvati.
‘TUSHAAR’, Snow clad peaks of Himalayas, the abode of Snow and Ice.
‘VEENA’, stringed musical instrument, native to South India.
Nelumbo nucifera, White Lotus flower, ‘Shwetha Padma’, Native of India.
The Divine Trinity, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva join to worship the Goddess of Knowledge and Wisdom.
The Rig Vedic River Sarasvati, the source of pure, nourishing waters. The Sanskrit language and the Devanagari script originated here.
Sarasvati, the destroyer of Mental Inertia and Lethargy.
Bhagavatee, Facilitator of man’s journey from Reality to Ultimate Reality.
‘AUM’, the Sound Invocation for Sarasvati Vandana.
Ya Kundendu Tushar hara dhavala,
Ya Shubhra vastraavritha,
Ya Veena vara danda manditakara,
Ya Shwetha Padma Sanaa,
Ya Brahma Achyutha Sankara prabhrithi bhih
Devai sadaa poojitha(Vanditha)
Saa Maam patu Sarasvati, Bhagavatee
Sarasvati is defined as “Saaram vaati iti Sarasvati”, She who flows towards the Absolute is Sarasvati. For river-like streaming and fluent speech the blessings of Sarasvati would help and the mind is set free by the fluid motion of River.
Shevata Padma – Symbolizes Purity, Creativity, and Nourishing Qualities
Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.A.,
EBOLA OUTBREAK – THE US RESPONSIBILITY:
There is a concern about the research on Ebola Virus and it appears that some research activity is about the potential use of Virus as a tool of Bio-Terrorism. If human subjects participate in research such as developing a safe-vaccine to prevent Ebola disease, the volunteers must be fully informed about the consequences before they give their consent to take part in the study.
A Liberian scientist has suggested that the United States may have contributed to the outbreak of Ebola Virus infection in West Africa by conducting secret investigations and experimentations involving the use of healthy, human volunteers who are intentionally exposed to the Virus to study its potential use as a tool of Bio-Terrorism.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162, USA
U.S. is Responsible for the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa: Liberian Scientist
Global Research, October 17, 2014
A History of Guatemala’s Syphilis Experiment: How a U.S. Led Team Performed Human Experimentations in Central America
Dr. Cyril Broderick, A Liberian scientist and a former professor of Plant Pathology at the University of Liberia’s College of Agriculture and Forestry says the West, particularly the U.S. is responsible for the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Dr. Broderick claims the following in an exclusive article published in the Daily Observer based in Monrovia, Liberia. He wrote the following:
The US Department of Defense (DoD) is funding Ebola trials on humans, trials which started just weeks before the Ebola outbreak in Guinea and Sierra Leone. The reports continue and state that the DoD gave a contract worth $140 million dollars to Tekmira, a Canadian pharmaceutical company, to conduct Ebola research. This research work involved injecting and infusing healthy humans with the deadly Ebola virus. Hence, the DoD is listed as a collaborator in a “First in Human” Ebola clinical trial (NCT02041715, which started in January 2014 shortly before an Ebola epidemic was declared in West Africa in March.
Is it possible that the United States Department of Defense (DOD) and other Western countries are directly responsible for infecting Africans with the Ebola virus? Dr. Broderick claims that the U.S. government has a research laboratory in a town called Kenema in Sierra Leone that studies what he calls “viral fever bioterrorism”, It is also the town where he acknowledges that is the “epicentre of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.” Is it a fact? Is Dr. Broderick a conspiracy theorist? He says that “there is urgent need for affirmative action in protecting the less affluent of poorer countries, especially African citizens, whose countries are not as scientifically and industrially endowed as the United States and most Western countries, sources of most viral or bacterial GMOs that are strategically designed as biological weapons.” He also asks an important question when he says “It is most disturbing that the U. S. Government has been operating a viral hemorrhagic fever bio-terrorism research laboratory in Sierra Leone. Are there others?”
Well, Mr. Broderick’s claims seem to be true. After all, the U.S. government has been experimenting with deadly diseases on human beings for a long time, history tells us so. One example is Guatemala. Between 1946 and 1948, the United States government under President Harry S. Truman in collaboration with Guatemalan President Juan José Arévalo and his health officials deliberately infected more than 1500 soldiers, prostitutes, prisoners and even mental patients with syphilis and other sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea and chancroid (a bacterial sexual infection) out of more than 5500 Guatemalan people who participated in the experiments. The worst part of it is that none of the test subjects infected with the diseases ever gave informed consent. The Boston Globe published the discovery made by Medical historian and professor at Wellesley College, Susan M. Reverby in 2010 called ‘Wellesley professor unearths a horror: Syphilis experiments in Guatemala.’ It stated how she came across her discovery:
Picking through musty files in a Pennsylvania archive, a Wellesley College professor made a heart-stopping discovery: US government scientists in the 1940s deliberately infected hundreds of Guatemalans with syphilis and gonorrhea in experiments conducted without the subjects’ permission. Medical historian Susan M. Reverby happened upon the documents four or five years ago while researching the infamous Tuskegee syphilis study and later shared her findings with US government officials.
The unethical research was not publicly disclosed until yesterday, when President Obama and two Cabinet secretaries apologized to Guatemala’s government and people and pledged to never repeat the mistakes of the past — an era when it was not uncommon for doctors to experiment on patients without their consent.
After Reverby’s discovery, the Obama administration apparently gave an apology to then-President Alvaro Colom according to the Boston Globe:
Yesterday, Obama called President Álvaro Colom Caballeros of Guatemala to apologize, and Obama’s spokesman told reporters the experiment was “tragic, and the United States by all means apologizes to all those who were impacted by this.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton had called Colom Thursday night to break the news to him. In her conversation with the Guatemalan president, Clinton expressed “her personal outrage and deep regret that such reprehensible research could occur,’’ said Arturo Valenzuela, assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs.
The study in Guatemala was led by John Cutler, an US health service physician who also took part in the controversial Tuskegee Syphilis experiments which began in the 1930’s. Researchers wanted to study the effects of a group of antibiotics called penicillin on affected individuals. The prevention and treatment of syphilis and other venereal diseases were also included in the experimentation. Although they were treated with antibiotics, more than 83 people had died according to BBC news in 2011 following a statement issued by Dr Amy Gutmann, head of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues:
The Commission said some 5,500 Guatemalans were involved in all the research that took place between 1946 and 1948. Of these, some 1,300 were deliberately infected with syphilis, gonorrhoea or another sexually transmitted disease, chancroid. And of that group only about 700 received some sort of treatment. According to documents the commission had studied, at least 83 of the 5,500 subjects had died by the end of 1953.
Washington’s reaction to the report is a farce. The apology made to Guatemala’s government was for the sake of public relations. Washington knows about its human experimentations in the past with deadly diseases conducted by government-funded laboratories that are known to be harmful to the public. The U.S. government is guilty in conducting numerous medical experiments on people not only in Guatemala but in other countries and on its own territory. As the Boston Globe report mentioned, the Tuskegee Syphilis Study occurred between 1932 and 1972 by the U.S. Public Health Service to study the “natural progression” of untreated syphilis in the African-American population. The U.S. Public Health Service and the Tuskegee Institute collaborated in 1932 and enrolled 600 poor sharecroppers from Macon County, Alabama to study the syphilis infection. However, it was documented that at least 400 of those had the disease (they were never informed that they actually had syphilis) while the remaining 200 did not. They received free medical care, food and even free burial insurance for participating in the study. Documents revealed that they were told that they had “bad blood” which meant that they had various medical conditions besides syphilis. The Tuskegee scientists continued to study the participants without treating their illnesses and they also withheld much-needed information from the participants about penicillin, which proved to be effective in treating Syphilis and other venereal diseases. The test subjects were under the impression that they were receiving free health care from the U.S. government while they were deliberately being lied to by the same administrators who were conducting the tests. Washington is fully aware of its human experimentations with deadly diseases. The government of Guatemala also knew about the Syphilis experiments according to the Boston Globe:
A representative of the Guatemalan government said his nation will investigate, too — looking in part at the culpability of officials in that country. The records of the experiment suggest that Guatemalan government officials were fully aware of the tests, sanctioned them, and may have done so in exchange for stockpiles of penicillin.
However, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published the study ‘Fact Sheet on the 1946-1948 U.S. Public Health Service Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) Inoculation Study’ and was forced to admit what happened in Guatemala during the syphilis experiments:
While conducting historical research on the Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis, Professor Susan Reverby of Wellesley College recently discovered the archived papers of the late Dr. John Cutler, a U.S. Public Health Service medical officer and a Tuskegee investigator. The papers described another unethical study supported by the U.S. government in which highly vulnerable populations in Guatemala were intentionally infected with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The study, conducted between 1946 and 1948, was done with the knowledge of Dr. Cutler’s superiors and was funded by a grant from the U.S. National Institutes of Health to the Pan American Sanitary Bureau (which became the Pan American Health Organization) to several Guatemalan government ministries. The study had never been published.
The U.S. government admitted to its wrongdoing, 62 years too late. What Dr. Broderick wrote is not conspiratorial in any sense. The U.S. government has been involved in bio-terrorism; Guatemala is a case in point. Dr. Broderick summarized what average people can do to prevent governments, especially those from the West from creating and exposing populations from diseases they experiment with in laboratories:
The challenge is global, and we request assistance from everywhere, including China, Japan, Australia, India, Germany, Italy, and even kind-hearted people in the U.S., France, the U.K., Russia, Korea, Saudi Arabia, and anywhere else whose desire is to help. The situation is bleaker than we on the outside can imagine, and we must provide assistance however we can. To ensure a future that has less of this kind of drama, it is important that we now demand that our leaders and governments be honest, transparent, fair, and productively engaged. They must answer to the people. Please stand up to stop Ebola testing and the spread of this dastardly disease.
After Guatemala’s ordeal with the U.S. government who deliberately infected people with syphilis, West African nations should be extremely skeptical about the U.S. government’s actions combating Ebola. Professor Francis Boyle of the University of Illinois, College of Law questions the Obama administration’s actions in West Africa. RIA Novosti recently interviewed Boyle and he said the following:
US government agencies have a long history of carrying out allegedly defensive biological warfare research at labs in Liberia and Sierra Leone. This includes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is now the point agency for managing the Ebola spill-over into the US,” Prof. Francis Boyle said.
Why has the Obama administration dispatched troops to Liberia when they have no training to provide medical treatment to dying Africans? How did Zaire/Ebola get to West Africa from about 3,500km away from where it was first identified in 1976?”
That’s a good question for Washington, but would the public get any answers? Not anytime soon, since it took more than 62 years for the Guatemala syphilis experiments to be exposed to the public, not by the US government, by a medical historian.
Copyright © 2014 Global Research
WHOLEDUDE – WHOLEDESIGNER – SPIRIT:
Life depends upon a virtually uninterrupted supply of materials or matter for its metabolism. If the word Spirit or Soul is defined as the vital, animating principle found in all living things, we need to understand the relationship between Matter and Spirit. The concern about the importance of matter is often ridiculed as Materialism, and man is often directed to value Spiritualism where the point of emphasis is man’s direct relationship with God. The separation of Matter and Spirit as two distinct entities will not help us to understand the reality of human existence. Man has to know that there is no disunity between Matter and Spirit. If Spirit is the medium of direct relationship between man and God, the nature of this medium is discovered from the nature of matter that man consumes as food and drink to establish his life.
WHAT IS MANNA? WHAT IS IT? IS IT FOOD?:
The Old Testament Book of Exodus(Chapter 4, verse #4) and the Book of Numbers(Chapter 11, verse#9) describe “Manna” coming with the dew, and may have collected in dewdrops. It was white, of delicious flavor, and resembled the seed of coriander, and it was both tasty, and nourishing. Being seed like in form, it had to be ground and was used in making bread. As soon as other food was available, the miraculous supply of Manna ceased(The Book of Joshua, Chapter 5, verse #12). No known substance meets the description of this food material. The Bible makes it certain that Manna came as a temporary provision and Hebrew writers described it as “corn from heaven”, bread from heaven, and as “angels’ bread.” However, I see its importance from the statement made by Jesus to make a distinction between physical matter, and Spirit or Spiritual Matter.
GOD IS THE SOURCE OF LIFE WITH MATTER AND SPIRIT:
Life is a complex concept with varied shades of meaning. It may denote physical or natural life. The term Life is often used to describe the actions, or experiences, the activities, and the relations that make up Life. If Spirit is the vital principle of Life, or Breath of Life, God has infused Spirit into the substance of man making him a living Soul. This Spirit inhabits the entire body of the person and makes man a Spiritual being. The Old Testament Book of Genesis, Chapter 2, verse#7 proclaims: “The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” The problem of physical death, the period of man’s earthly existence, and the duration of man’s lifetime has to be explained taking into account the imperishable nature of Matter and the Laws of Conservation of Mass and Energy. Jesus speaks to Nicodemus, who was described as a leading Pharisee, and a member of the Sanhedrin. He came to Jesus by night and the conversation is reported in the New Testament Book of John, Chapter 3, verses 1 to 21. He instructed him: “Jesus answered, I tell you the truth, no one can enter the Kingdom of God unless he is born of the water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to Spirit”(verses 5 and 6) and made Nicodemus aware of his need by announcing the necessity of a new birth in order “to see the Kingdom of God.” Man is constituted as a Spiritual being and due to the intervention of sin, man has become ignorant of his own true, or real spiritual nature. To save himself from the burden imposed by sin, man has to be infused with Spirit and Jesus says that man who is born, must experience rebirth. Jesus further explained this relation between Matter and Spirit in the Book of John, Chapter 6, in several verses(#25-69). In verse#35 Jesus declared: “I am the Bread of Life. He who comes to me will never go hungry and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” Jesus has clearly recognized that Matter and Spirit serve the same function, the function of supporting Life in two different dimensions. Jesus is the source of Life and Spirit and that Spirit inhabits His entire body, in flesh and blood, and is not limited to a secret hiding place in either mind or heart. The Old Testament Book of Leviticus, Chapter 17, verse#14 states: “because the life of every creature is its blood.” If Life is associated with blood, Spirit is also associated with blood. In John 6:63, Jesus states: “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and they are life.” Man who faces the burden of sin called Death, is required to infuse himself with Spirit, and the source of this Spirit is the Word that was spoken.
THE LIVING WATERS – THE SATIATION OF HUNGER AND THIRST – THE EXPERIENCE OF JOY:
It is very easy to understand the experience called thirst. Hunger and Thirst are the symptoms that define the nature of man’s conditioned existence. The conversation between Jesus and a Samaritan woman at Jacob’s Well near the village of Sychar is reported in the New Testament Book of John, Chapter 4, verses # 4 to 42. It is abundantly clear that the nature of Spirit can be understood from the nature of Matter as both of them have a role in providing sustenance to man and maintain his Life. To fetch water from a well, man needs tools like a rope, and a cistern. Similarly, man needs the tools called Faith and Belief to insert or to infuse, or imbibe Spirit into his mind, heart, and body and gain access to eternal Life. Just like the rope, and the cistern, to quench Spiritual Thirst, and to feed Spiritual Hunger, man needs tools called Faith and Belief. When man’s thirst, and hunger are fully satisfied, the satiated person gets the experience called Contentment. When Spiritual Thirst, and Spiritual Hunger are satiated, man gets the experience called Joy. The human experience called Joy is as real as the experience of hunger and thirst.
In my opinion, Matter, and Spirit work together to establish man’s relationship with God. For God is the only unchangeable, or eternal reality; wherever man is, in Life or in Death, God will be there. If this relationship pertains to a matter of Faith and Belief, The Old Testament Book of Psalms, The Book of King David, Psalm 16, verse #10 gives the Hope:
“Because you will not abandon me to the grave,
nor will you let your Holy one see decay.”
Life means the experience of Peace, Harmony, Tranquility, Hope, Fear, Love, Joy, and Wisdom. The problem of Death is experienced as a Fear as Death means the inability to have subjective experience associated with Life. But, man does not exist in the physical world because of the abilities of his physical, or mental work. Man exists because of the nature of Matter, and Spirit and this nature is only an extension of the Divine Nature.
1.Place of Birth: Mylapore, Madras City, Chennai, Madras Presidency, Tamil Nadu, India. Born Hindu, Brahmin, Niyogi, Telugu-speaking.
2. Place of Marriage: Congregational Town Church, Cuddapah, Kadapa City, Kadapa District, Andhra Pradesh, India. January 29, 1973.
- Wholedude – Wholedesigner – Red Blood Cell (bhavanajagat.com)
- Wholedude – Wholedesigner – Matter and Spirit (bhavanajagat.com)
- Wholedude – Wholedesigner – Wholemagic (bhavanajagat.com)
- Wholedude – Wholedesigner – Photoreception (bhavanajagat.com)
- Wholedude – Whole Designer – Phytochemistry (bhavanajagat.com)
- Wholedude – Wholedesigner – Photoperiodism (bhavanajagat.com)
SPIRITUALISM AND FUNDAMENTAL DUALISM:
Madhva of India had glorified difference between things. He traced back his dualistic thought to the Hindu scriptures known as the ‘Upanishads’. His main works are his commentaries on the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Vedanta-Sutras, and the Indian epic poem of Mahabharata. Five types of distinctions, or differences are central to Madhva’s system of “DVAITA” philosophy: 1. distinction between soul and God, 2. distinction between soul, and soul, 3. distinction between soul, and matter, 4. distinction between God and matter, and 5. distinction between matter, and matter. Madhva refuted the “ADVAITA”, or Non-dualistic philosophy of Shankara(A.D. 788 – A.D. 820) who believed that the individual soul and the absolute Spirit(Brahman) are totally identical in all aspects and cannot be differentiated into two separate categories. Madhva rejected the Shankara theory of “MAYA” or ‘illusion’ which taught that only spirituality is eternal and the material world is illusory and deceptive. Madhva maintained that the simple fact that things are transient and ever-changing does not mean that they are not real. Madhva while rejecting the Advaita concepts of falsity and indescribability of world, did not oppose the distinction between the human body and the individual human soul. It appears that the various Schools of Indian philosophy to a large extent agree to a view that separates the individual human soul from its human body. However, it is interesting to note that Madhva thinks that the human individual is “Free” and is dependent only upon God. Madhva shared the Hindu belief in endless transmigration of souls through cycles of birth, death, and rebirth and stated that the “Release” is obtained by devotion to God. He promoted a view, ultimately it is God’s grace that saves man and that man must receive God’s grace through worship.
SPIRITUALISM – WHAT IS THE BASIS FOR HUMAN EXISTENCE?
My view about human soul and spirit differs from the views shared by the three major Indian Schools of philosophy. In my opinion, the ground substance that is called ‘cytoplasm’ is a spiritual substance(the substance that I recognize as the substance associated with Soul/Spirit) and this corporeal substance or living matter is fundamentally distinct from non-living matter. The entire human organism is derived from the single, fertilized egg cell; therefore, the individual human soul cannot be separated from the human body it constitutes and develops to establish a human individual that lives or exists as a real, physical being that has objective identity apart from subjective living experience. To interpret the term ‘spirituality’, or ‘spiritualism’, I make a fundamental distinction between life, and non-life, between organic, and inorganic matter, between animate, and inanimate, between sentient, and insentient, between intelligent and mechanical functions, and between immanent actions, and transitive actions.
Rudra N. Rebbapragada/R. Rudra Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,
Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.A.
Organization: The Spirits of Special Frontier Force.
- Spiritualism-visistadvaita-modified Non-dualism (bhavanajagat.com)
- Spiritualism – the New Advaita Theory of Non-dualism (bhavanajagat.com)
- Spiritualism-The Function of Consciousness(bhavanajagat.com)
SPIRITUALISM-VISISTADVAITA-MODIFIED NON-DUALISM: THE THEORY OF RAMANUJACHARYA:
Ramanujacharya is recognized as the foremost Indian thinker who adhered to the Vedantic system of Indian thought like Adi Shankara who was the first to propose the “Unqualified Non-Dualism, or Advaita” to explain the relationship between God, matter, and man. He is the antithesis of Shankara. He opposed the monistic system of Vedanta of Shankara for it offers no room for a personal God. Both Shankara and Ramanuja have derived a system of thought that is based on the interpretation of the Upanishads, the Brahma Sutras, and the Bhagavad Gita. Ramanuja provided an intellectual and a philosophical basis for the practice of devotional worship of God in the Indian tradition called “BHAKTI.” He taught that the worship of a personal God and the union of the Individual Soul with the personal God is an essential part of the doctrines of the Upanishads or Vedanta. Both Shankara, and Ramanuja may have shared a common belief in the Indian tradition that describes the transmigration of the Individual Soul through the experience called “SAMSARA”, which is a cycle of birth, death, and rebirth that is associated with the human body in which the Soul is embodied. Both of them aspire to attain ‘Final Release’ of the embodied Individual Soul from transmigration when it reaches its goal, or the destination. Shankara claimed that the impersonal “BRAHMAN” as the Ultimate Reality, and further stressed that there is no separation or dualism between the Individual Soul and the impersonal Brahman or the Divine Soul. As a theory, Shankara’s Unqualified Nonduality does not demand any ritualistic worship of God. Ramanuja identified the destination, or goal to be attained by the Individual Soul as that of a personal God, a God that he knows by the name of Lord Vishnu. While Shankara had proposed that the material world, and the universe is unreal as it is a mere product of sense experience, a perception caused by “ILLUSION”, or “MAYA.” In Shankara’s view, the understanding of the material world, and the universe leads to ignorance, and not any real knowledge as man has no capacity to overcome the power of illusion. Ramanuja emphasized that the phenomenal world is “real” and that it provides real knowledge. He held the opinion that discursive thought is necessary in man’s search for the ultimate truths. He held that the exigencies of daily life are compatible with the life of the Spirit. Ramanuja allowed the urge for devotional worship(BHAKTI) into his doctrine of Salvation. He combined religious practices of ritualistic worship service with the pursuits of philosophy. He came to these conclusions by accepting the reality of three distinct orders; 1. Matter, 2. Soul, and 3. God. He concedes that there is nonduality(ADVAITA), or an ultimate identity of the three orders. But, this nonduality is asserted by God who is modified(“VISISTA”) by the orders of Matter and Soul that He created. God has modified His own status and nature by causing the birth of Matter and Individual Soul. The analogy used is; just as the human body modifies the Soul, has no separate existence from it, and yet is different from it; similarly, the orders of Matter and Soul constitute God’s body, modifying it, and yet have no separate existence from it. The goal of the Individual Soul is to serve God just as the human body serves the Soul. All the phenomenal world is a manifestation of the glory of God or Lord Vishnu and is described as “VIBHUTI”, or the Infinite Glories of the Supreme Lord. Using contemplation of God, and devotional worship service, man seeks the “RELEASE” of the Individual Soul by God’s grace that remains active in man’s quest. While God’s grace is very powerful, man may have to unconditionally surrender or submit himself to the power of God’s grace.
I would be happy to further examine the issue of the three distinct orders of Matter, Soul, and God and arrive at an understanding of their relationship.
Rudra N. Rebbapragada/ R. Rudra Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,
Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.A.
Organization: The Spirits of Special Frontier Force.
- Spiritualism – the New Advaita Theory of Non-dualism (bhavanajagat.com)
- Spiritualism – a Brahman Spirit in Prison (bhavanajagat.com)
SPIRITUALISM – THE FUNCTION OF CONSCIOUSNESS:
To make the fundamental distinction between the animate or living, and inanimate or non-living things, we may have to describe the nature of functions that can be observed in the actions performed by things. There is a difference between mechanical performance and intelligent performance. In the actions performed by the living things, the agent is perfected by its own actions, and activities. Actions such as growing, sensing, and understanding are called “Immanent” actions because they are activities which affect the growing, sensing, or understanding agent called the living thing. The action of one inert body upon another inert body is called “Transitive” action. For example, heating is a transitive action. In heating, the hot thing loses its own heat while heat is transferred to the cold thing. In the “Mechanistic” view, the continuity of nature is described in terms of the universality of purely mechanical principles. The mechanistic concept asserts that the phenomena of life are merely processes and transformations obeying elementary chemical and physical laws. However, it should not be very difficult to make a distinction between a forest fire and a bonfire, or a fire ignited in the kitchen in the preparation of a meal. Both the actions represent a chemical reaction called combustion, or rapid oxidation. Both actions may generate light, heat, and warmth. But, the forest fire may lack the purposiveness of the bonfire, or the kitchen fire used in cooking. The understanding of the living and the non-living things involves the difference between vital operations and mechanical operations. There is a difference between the vital power of the living thing and the mechanical capacity of inert, non-living thing.
THE VITAL POWER OF LIVING THINGS:
The word “Animal” derives from the Latin( anima, animus ) name for vital principle called “Soul” which is a life principle associated with functions like breathing, or the principle called animation. Breathing is a vital function as it is associated with the “Power” of self-nutrition. The power of self-nutrition is the originating power, the possession of which leads us to speak of things as living, and non-living. Nutrition is a vital power as the action is not a mechanical performance. Nutrition is a function associated with a purpose and it is guided to achieve a future end and it involves the choice or selection of specific means to attain the desired goal of its action. A non-living thing like a stone gets heated on exposure to Sun’s radiation and the action is not goal-oriented; it is not guided action to attain a specific purpose of that non-living agent. A living thing like a plant can convert thermal energy from Sun to a new form of chemical energy that it can further use to perform a variety of its own living functions like growth, and reproduction. Living functions are intelligent functions that involve the use of knowledge or information to perform goal-oriented, sequential actions.
SOUL AND THE CELLULAR FUNCTION OF CONSCIOUSNESS:
Consciousness describes the ability to perform intelligent action. Consciousness describes the difference between vital operations and mechanical operations. Consciousness describes the difference between vital powers and the capacities of inert matter. Consciousness describes the difference between living things and non-living things. Consciousness is a biological, vital, or living(“Immanent”) function that characterizes the actions, and activities of living things. Consciousness can include psychological, and mental functions; but it is not a function that can only be performed by living matter of an anatomical structure, or organ called brain. In literature, religion, and philosophy, the term Consciousness is often used meaning, “attention to the contents or workings of one’s own mind.” John Locke defined consciousness as a psychological condition; it is described as the perception of what passes in a man’s own mind. In popular belief, consciousness is viewed as a form of relationship or act of the mind toward objects in nature. Consciousness is claimed to be a continuous field or stream of mental “sense-data.” Very often, neuroscientists describe consciousness as a neurophysiological mechanism that depends on the functions of the brain. It is true for the Brain Stem Reticular Formation represents an integrative focus of consciousness functioning through its widespread interconnections with the cerebral cortex and other regions of the brain.Consciousness involves recognizing the existence, the fact of knowing something; it describes the fact of being aware of some information. What is that ‘something’ that is known or recognized by Consciousness? A living thing which has a substance called living matter is conscious, or aware of the fact of its own existence in its given environment. There are two aspects of Consciousness that are subjectively registered by the living thing; 1. Consciousness is a state of knowing or awareness of what goes on around the individual living thing in its external environment, and 2. Consciousness is a state of knowing or awareness of what goes on within the individual living thing, its own internal environment. Consciousness is not simple awareness. It is awareness that involves the ability called “Cognition” which involves knowing; the processing of information, the analysis of information, the storing of information, the retrieval of information, and the application of information to perform a selected action. In other words, Consciousness represents the presence of “Intelligence.” A living thing has Consciousness of its nature of existence that demands the supply of energy from its external environment. The living thing uses its cognitive ability, to recognize the substances, the presence of both living, and non-living matter present in its external environment. It uses the power of self-nutrition to attract these substances to acquire energy, manipulate energy, transform energy, and exploit energy to perform its vital, living functions. Thus, Consciousness becomes an absolute attribute of life; it is the fundamental, biological characteristic of living matter or living substance. For the reasons that I have stated, I define Consciousness as a function by which a living thing knows the fact of its own existence; it knows as to where it exists and knows as to how it is existing. Since Consciousness is a function that operates at a level of structural, and functional organization that is the characteristic of complex, organic molecules, this function cannot be observed, or measured by quantum physicists who study structures and functions of subatomic particles. I define Consciousness as the ability to establish a connection, or a relationship between energy-demanding molecules, and energy-yielding molecules. A Fundamental Force like the force of Gravitation is very important for existence of man on planet Earth. Man recognizes the physical reality of his own existence with the help of gravitation which provides the experience of his body mass or body weight. At the same time, it must be noted that man exists on the surface of a very fast spinning celestial object. The perception of this basic reality of Earth’s speed and velocity by the human organs of sense perception would endanger the ability to live. Man’s physical existence is defended, and is protected by the shielding effect of the force of gravitation. Gravitation helps to block the sensory awareness of the speed of Earth’s motions. This function of gravitational force must be distinguished from the intelligent function called Consciousness.
ADI SHANKARA’S UNQUALIFIED NON-DUALISM – THE THEORY OF PURE CONSCIOUSNESS:
The Indian School of Philosophy known as “SUDDHADVAITA”, or Unqualified Non-Dualism of Adi Shankara is based upon a system of thought that may be called “ATMADVAITA” that describes one, universal, eternal, and self-illuminating self whose essence is “Pure Consciousness” without a Subject(“ASRAYA”) and without an Object(“VISAYA”) and from a transcendental point of view, “Pure Consciousness” is the only Ultimate Reality. The phenomenal world and finite individuals could be empirically true, but from the higher point of view are merely false appearances. Adi Shankara based his view on his definition of “Reality: The “Real” is that whose negation is not possible. The only thing that satisfies this criterion is consciousness; because denial of consciousness presupposes the consciousness that denies. It is conceivable that any object is not existent, but the absence of consciousness is not conceivable. Adi Shankara used his immense logical skills and relied upon reasoning to claim that consciousness is the only reality and anything different from it would be unreal. The basic problem of Adi Shankara’s philosophy is that of explaining as to how such “Pure Consciousness” appears in ordinary experience to become individualized as “my consciousness.”
Rudra N Rebbapragada
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162, USA
R. Rudra Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,
Personal Numbers:MS-8466/MR-03277K. Rank:Lieutenant/Captain/Major.
Branch:Army Medical Corps/Short Service Regular Commission(1969-1972); Direct Permanent Commission(1973-1984).
Unit:Establishment No.22(1971-1974)/South Column,Operation Eagle(1971-1972).
Organization: Special Frontier Force.
I am pleased to share this view posted by Gaurachandra Das of IIT, Kharagpur, India.
Mystery of Consciousness : Life versus Non-life
Gaurachandra Das, B. Tech, M.Tech, Electrical Engineering-IIT Kharagpur
General Theory of Relativity and Quantum Mechanical Theory (QM) are the two most prominent
theories in the field of Physics. General Theory of Relativity given by Einstein in 1915 states that
direction of light propagation should be changed in a gravitational field. It predicts that “light coming
from a strong gravitational field should have its wavelength shifted to larger values (a red-shift). The
electromagnetic field can have waves in it that carry energy that we call light. Likewise, the gravitational
field can have waves that carry energy and are called gravitational waves. These may be thought of as
ripples in the curvature of space-time that travel at the speed of light.”1 On the other hand Quantum
Mechanical Theory predicts the behavior of particles as waves as they drift away from the classical
domain. Both these stalwart theories till date have been unable to predict the function of consciousness
in living bodies. In fact, they do not even stand unwavering scrutiny and are subject to reformations, time and
again. Albert Einstein himself stated in this regard in 1954-“I consider it quite possible that physics
cannot be based on the field concept, i.e., on continuous structures. In that case, nothing remains of my
entire castle in the air, gravitation theory included, and of the rest of modern physics.”
In the words of Roger Penrose – “I definitely believe that Quantum Mechanics is not a final theory and it is incomplete. I agree with Einstein in that sense.” Quantum Mechanics has proved insufficient to describe
the nature of reality so far. He further says-“Quantum Mechanics has two parts: the first is Schrodinger’s
equation, which tells how a system evolves, it is a very precise equation yet it does not tell you how the world
behaves. The second part of QM is the measurement process. The measurement process is inconsistent
with Schroedinger equation. It is non-deterministic, probabilistic, etc. Although these two parts are
inconsistent with each other, they do fit together in a rather remarkable way. To me, it suggests that
QM is not perfectly correct.” 2 Another is the famous Schrodinger’s cat example. (Experiment parallel
to it is being done in Santa Barbara, California under Dirk Baumeister.) Penrose remarks –
“ Schroedinger pointed out that his own equation tells that you could produce a cat that is both alive and
dead at the same time. It is ridiculous because in reality you don’t see cats that are both alive and dead
at the same time. This means there is something wrong with the equations at the level when the objects
become big enough”.2
Schrodinger’s cat set-up
Along with Hameroff, Penrose constructed a theory of human consciousness in which human
consciousness is pointed to as being the result of a quantum gravity effect in microtubules. That was
presented in his “Orchestrated Reduction of Quantum Coherence in Brain Microtubules: A Model for
Consciousness”. However, he also says “Our present scientific knowledge cannot describe
consciousness. On the other hand, boundaries of what we call scientific are not fixed on this view.
Perhaps we may never be able to understand the Ultimate Reality through a rigorous scientific
approach. Some fundamentally new insights are needed. If perhaps there will eventually emerge some
kind of ultimate theory that may explain part of the reality, that theory must differ enormously from
what we have seen in physical theories so far” 2. So as per his opinion, a fundamentally new theory with
remarkably different features is needed to explain the paradigm of consciousness. Thus, what is this
consciousness, a mystery to the world of physics so far.
Robots are another field in which distinction between life and non-life can be seen approaching a
border-line. Nowadays robots are quoted to be even writing poems. But such collection of words is an
artificial attempt from the word-bank fed to computers and arranged with algorithms. The machine has
no feelings and emotions and the purpose of poetry –“to satisfy the poet’s heart” remains forever
absent to a machine. The computer may also play chess but that is the computational (mechanistic)
part done by it from the strategies fed by the programmer. A machine may also pass the Turing’s test3
but the Chinese room argument by John Searle refutes the conscious sense coming from this
resemblance. Actually to prove computers intelligent, one needs to design a robot that can play any
surprise or unexpected game brought before it, not just the chess game. It should be able to learn any
game by speech or text inputs and then play that game reasonably well. But it is not possible to design
such a robot because playing a surprise game requires an understanding in both learning and devising
strategy. A robot can do computation, but it will never have understanding because it can’t be
A Robot cannot play an unprogrammed game.
After the tragic event of 9/11 many scientists have shown remarkable interest in these ideas concerning
search of an Ultimate Theory, absolute Reality and depths of the conscious paradigm. They look for a
scientific clue from the known sources of scientific knowledge. This brings them closer to the ideas of
fine-tuning and intelligent design in the universe which have a valid and very reasonable role in the
creation. The fine-tuning of water molecule (H2O) and preciseness of universal constants verify this
There are various directions to proceed on the basis of the Anthropic Principle.5 One of the interesting
insights is that Vedantic literature points in this direction about the presence of different universes
which have life and are also spiritual in nature. This idea is feasible from the strong Anthropic principle
as Roger Penrose says – “This is the argument that only the physical constants of nature which have
specific values may be suitable for life. Only in the world where the numbers are suitable for
consciousness we will find beings present in that world. It may be a completely different kind of life,
which is not like us at all, which does not depend on chemistry the way we do. So that may open up the
possibility of a world or spiritual world.” 2
Looking into Einstein’s life, we all admire his great insights for a scientific worldview having
mathematical foundations. At same time he also had some profound feeling for religion. In other words,
he tried to relate both scientific and religious worldviews in his life. He said-“Science without religion is
lame and religion without science is blind.” Another of his famous quotes is –“God doesn’t cast dice.”
This may be a serious question posed to the propaganda that life is a chance phenomenon. Roger
Penrose remarks in this connection – “There are remarkable interrelations between truth and beauty.
Even there is a mystery of our perceptions of mathematical truths. I would say that these are higher and
deeper aspects of reality of which we have little conception at the present time.”2 Einstein didn’t see
any conflict between science and religion while he considered them complementary. He could live
happily by synthesizing both the worldviews. It is from this religious paradigm, especially Vedantic
paradigm where we get a precisely correct understanding of consciousness which is a mystery for the
Universe and life is not created by humans so the proposal to study and demarcate its
ingredients and intricacies by research-based approach may not be well-placed and successful. It may
actually be like an ant’s attempt to study the architecture of Mercedes-Benz, which is quite too much for
the ant! However the religious side in this direction, particularly the Vedantic conception offers
interesting comprehensive facts and insights…for example, Bhagavad Gita says that “the soul (atma) or
spiriton is the cause of consciousness. This spiriton or atma interacts with matter through the agency of
the Paramatma or the all-pervading conscious aspect of the absolute truth. This interaction depends on
higher order, non-mathematical laws relating to psychological principles such as desire and free-will.”6
Bhagavad Gita mentions that “the size of spiriton or atma is 1/10000 of the tip of a hair; it is
inconceivable or spiritual in nature and it is eternal and unborn.”7 In fact, our present science cannot
explain this. As some prominent scientists (as Max Born, Roger Penrose and William D. Phillips) say –
“We need a new science, a higher dimensional science to explain this subtle conception of the source of
life.” Yet, its presence in the form of consciousness can be experienced by us all. Max Born says – “I saw
in the atom the key to the deepest secret of nature and it revealed to me the greatness of creation and
Roger Penrose and Dr T.D. Singh
So, probably, the sincere mind of a great scientist would need to blur these boundaries between
science and religion and sincerely take up this quest to understand life and conscious paradigm. This has
been the attitude of a galaxy of prominent thinkers, scientists and vastly learned men such as Nicholas
Copernicus, Johannes Kepler, Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, James Clerk Maxwell, Albert Einstein, Max
Born, Srinivasa Ramanujan, Werner Heisenberg, Charles Townes, William D. Phillips and hundreds more.
Albert Einstein says-“I sense these things deeply…the most beautiful and profound religious emotion
that we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. And this mysticality is the power of all true
science. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power which is
revealed in the comprehensible universe forms my idea of God.” In the words of Charles Townes-“I
believe there is no long-range question more important than the purpose and meaning of our lives and
of the universe.” 8 Indeed, such a positive and synthesized approach offers a key to solve this mystery of
life and consciousness, to know the distinction between life and non-life and to delve deeper into
1. General Theory of Relativity http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr162/lect/cosmology/gravity.html
2. Discussion between Sir Roger Penrose and Dr T.D. Singh entitled “Science, Spirituality and
Nature of reality”, Bhaktivedanta Institute, 2005.
3. Turing Test : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turing_test
4. Chinese room Argument : http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/chinese-room/
5. Anthropic Principle – see Brief History of Time, by Stephen Hawking, Bantam Trade Paperback,
6. “Life, Matter and their Interactions “ by Dr T.D. Singh, Bhaktivedanta Institute, 2006.
7. “Bhagavad Gita As It Is” by A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. New York: Macmillan 1972.
8. “God is a Person”, Reflections of two Noble Laureates, Bhaktivedanta Institute, 2006.
9. Lincoln Barnett, “The Universe and Dr. Einstein, 2nd Edition, New York, 1957, pp.108-109.
- Spiritualism – the New Advaita Theory of Non-dualism (bhavanajagat.com)
- The Science of Consciousness. http://Bhavanajagat.com/2011/03/31/The-Science-of-Consciousness/
- What is Life? Life is Knowledge in Action. http://Bhavanajagat.com/2010/08/05/What-is-Life-Life-is-Knowledge-in-Action/
- The Study of Consciousness (robertjrgraham.com)
- CONSCIOUSNESS: What It Is And How It Can Be Manipulated [W/ VIDEO] (secretsofthefed.com)