Vedas Mythological Tales or Repositories of Science? djjs blog

India is the land of knowledge and wisdom. The Vedas and the Upanishads are the grandest heritage of this knowledge, which descended from the Almighty Godhead upon the sages of yore who decoded it in human language. These texts are the rich reservoirs of all facets of knowledge, essential to lead a life of awareness and prosperity.

However, often these encyclopaedias of holistic knowledge are entitled as huge volumes of mythologies, carrying sheer myths and fantasies. As compared to modern science, these sacred texts are generally regarded as whimsical collections based on blind faith and intuitions. It is believed that where science presents clear-cut theories and fundamentals, helpful in carrying out great discoveries for progress and advancement, there these scriptural texts are mysterious writings, devoid of any practical application.

However, the truth is exactly the opposite. The expressions and descriptions used in these texts may be ornamental and metaphorical. But, in true essence, these books are the real compendiums of philosophy, science, spirituality, and other fields, where every section touches the epitome of rationality and practicality. Those who realised the gravity of this fact, could not stop themselves from singing the glory of these writings. In one of his lectures, Swami Vivekananda made a proud remark:

“I myself have been told by some of the best scientific minds of the day, how wonderfully rational the conclusions of the Vedanta are. I know one of them personally, who scarcely has time to eat his meal, or go out of his laboratory, but who would stand by the hour to attend my lectures on the Vedanta; for, as he expresses it, they are so scientific, they so exactly harmonise with the aspirations of the age and with the conclusions to which modern science is coming at the present time.”

Indeed, science is progressing fast today. However, with every milestone it lays, somewhere or the other, one can sense a subtle feeling of aversion towards spirituality in the present day rational minds. Once, a person approached me and asked: “Science is evolving fast day by day and unveiling the mysteries of this universe. With science touching great heights, don't you think that spirituality and these scriptural texts will lose their existence?” I said to him– 'Instead, it will happen the other way round. As science will progress more and more, it will gradually come closer to spirituality and support it even more strongly, instead of drifting away.'

In fact, this has been proved time and again, as and when science progressed. For instance, consider this verse from the Upanishads:

Asmin vikaaraha khahare naraashaavapi praveshteshvapi nihsriteshu
Bahushvapi syaat layasrishtikaale anante achyute bhutaganeshu yadvat

Meaning, during pralaya (dissolution), everything gets dissolved in the Supreme. And, after pralaya, all things come out and remain intact as before. But, even then, nothing happens to the Supreme.

Now, when this verse was first analysed from a scientific perspective, it appeared to be nothing more than a fantasy. A rational mind failed to comprehend when told that 'Everything comes out from the Supreme God and then dissolves back in Him, and yet the absoluteness of the Supreme remains intact.'

On the similar lines, another verse was found in the Upanishads:

Purnamadaha purnamidam purnaat purnamudachyate
Purnasya purnamaadaaya purnamevaavashishyate

It said:

That (pure consciousness) is full (perfect); this (the manifest universe of matter) is full. This fullness has been projected from that fullness. When this fullness merges in that fullness, all that remains is fullness.

Though less metaphorical, yet it intends to convey the same meaning as the earlier verse that 'if a whole is merged into or subtracted from a whole, the whole still remains.' Now, science could not give its consent to this declaration of the Vedas until it became aware of the concept of infinity. Once the concept of infinity was known, the scientists could see the logic inherent in the above verse. Because, if infinity is extracted from infinity, the result still remains as infinity; likewise, if infinity merges back into infinity, the output again comes out to be infinity. With this, the validity of even the first metaphorical verse could be grasped as it meant the same.

Later on, as science progressed further, it could reach yet closer and in a more concrete way to this Vedic revelation that 'the whole is contained in a whole, and if a whole is extracted, the whole still remains.' It was revealed through the technique of holography that every part of the hologram contained the whole photograph in it. Holography is an advanced technique of photography which produces three-dimensional image of an object. A hologram is made with the help of a laser beam and a recording medium (e.g. a silver halide photographic emulsion). The process of producing a hologram from the encoded version on the recording medium is such that each point on the holographic recording includes information about the light scattered from every point in the scene. In other words, it means that every part of the hologram contains information about the complete image. For example, take a hologram of an apple. Now, if you cut a small piece of that apple, you still can see the image of whole apple in it.

Essentially, the concept of holography is similar to observing a street outside your house through a window of size say 4 ft x 4 ft, and then through a 2 ft x 2 ft window. From all the windows, one can see all of the same things; though through the larger window, one can see more at once than the smaller one. But, still, the view in both cases will give the same information.

In fact, this concept of photography at a molecular level was first proposed by a mathematician named Denis Gabor. Until then, it was known that, to reproduce the positive image of an object, its negative film is required. However, Denis Gabor proposed an advanced theory, wherein he said that for reproducing an image, one need not require its negative film. Instead, only a small piece of the earlier taken photograph of that entity is sufficient. His claim was based on the notion that the whole image will be contained in every torn part of it. But, as the Vedic writings are condemned today, for which science has yet not been able to assimilate substantial proofs; likewise, when Gabor put forth his idea, everybody thought that he was not in his mind. They rejected the concept outright and paid no heed to it. However, 19 years later, when the laser beam was discovered, the validity of Gabor's proposal was analysed and finally it was proved to be true.

Meaning thereby, until there are sufficient tools to predict the authenticity of a concept, it is generally tagged as a fig of imagination or a tale of fantasy. And, in the case of Vedic texts, a point of major concern is that the writings contained in them are not the outcome of some study or hypothesis done by the sages on the basis of the mind and the intellect. Instead, they are the expressions of their inner-world experiences, which are transcendental, i.e., beyond the reach of the mind and the intellect. It is mentioned:

Pratyakshenaanumityaa vaa yastupaayo na budhyate
Etam vindanti vedena tasmaat vedasya vedataa

That, when an object could be known neither by perception nor inference, but only through direct realisation– the Vedas belong to that transcendental plane!

However, in contrast to the above stated fact, the only tools available with the present-day science are the faculty of the senses and the inferences and perceptions drawn on these grounds. The realisation needs to dawn upon mankind that if science is unable to prove the Vedic writings, then it doesn't mean that these writings are myths or fantasies; instead, it speaks of the limitation of science only. Because, every time science progressed, its own theories were proved wrong or incomplete, while taking it closer to the revelations in the Vedic texts, thereby proving the authenticity of these writings even more firmly.

It is also required to be mentioned here that, with their advanced yet limited tools, what all Vedic concepts have been comprehended by the scientists till date, they only constitute the tip of an iceberg. Still there are innumerable secrets recorded in these scriptures, which the modern-day scientists are yet to demystify. And, this is the state when only a small percentage of the Vedic knowledge is traceable. Reason being, from the earlier available 1131 branches of the four Vedas, only 13 branches are available. Out of these 13 branches, only 7 branches are being taught in Vedic schools, while the remaining 6 branches are in script form only. This amounts to less than 1% of the Vedic knowledge which is presently available, out of which also only a handful concepts could have been comprehended by modern science.

In conclusion, if the Vedas are to be truly understood and the depth of its writings be grasped in toto, then the need is to evolve to that elevated plane of analysis where our saints stood– the plane of the inner world viewed from the Spiritual Eye, where the scientific equipments fail to reach. Then, the revelations compiled in these books of wisdom will not be discarded as myths or fantasies; instead, one would relish and wonder the supreme truth and immense beauty inherent in them. And, then, one would be able to claim with the same assurance as our enlightened sages:

After knowing the One, everything that was unknown became known to us.