Did You Know – What is Vedic Science
The term Vedic science evokes curiosity in most people including those ardent Indians who take pride in their heritage of Vedas. It is a regular query that comes up frequently. Having studied it at an international institute in the US established by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, here is a short intro.
Though the term “Veda” itself may be known, a majority of people remain unaware and ignorant of its meaning, purpose, and importance in life which has resulted in a myth that Vedas are a religious text of the Hindu religion.
“Vedic” imply related to Veda, the age-old Indian scriptures. Vedas deal with Consciousness in a comprehensive manner covering what it is, how it manifests in different forms, how it applies to every aspect of human life. Vedic paradigm states that “Consciousness is all there is to know”, a message that many other age-old religions and advanced civilizations in the past have reiterated in their own style and manner.
Things – Nothing, Everything, Something
Consider a scenario – You and a friend are waiting for a cab. You have booked the online cab service and thus you know the cab number, car model, etc whereas your friend does not. You tell him that it is Maruti Swift. Both of you start looking for the Maruti Swift in the traffic that turns-in at the corner. Different vehicles in the traffic first appear as a tiny dot that gradually takes the shape of different vehicles like a car or a bus etc. Your friend is closely watching each Swift car as he does not have the vehicle number that you have. Different vehicles pass by including some Maruti Swift cars till you notice the specific car with the number assigned to you.
In this example, you and your friends are the ‘observer’ or ‘subject’ while the Maruti Swift car is the ‘object’ of observation. Your memory of vehicles and their shapes in general, Maruti Swift car in particular, and number plate resulted in that small dot at far off horizon growing in size and taking known shapes and morphing into vehicles, few of these in Maruti swift and finally only one of them in Maruti Swift.
In this example, who is adding information to the growing image of the object? You have all the info whereas your friend has partial info. The ability to identify the car completely is with you and not with him. Is this info about the object car that makes the difference to identify fully or partially. Hence, it is your (the subject) knowledge about the object that determines the outcome.
Every dot emerges from the horizon of nothingness. Grows into a known shape and then vanishes from the sight back into nothingness. The question arises, where did the vehicle emerge from? Where do they go after vanishing from your sight?
The vehicles emerge from and vanish into nothingness for an observer. For the observer, something (vehicles in this example) emerges from nothing (“no thing”), grows into ‘a thing’ (Maruti Swift car) and then ‘the thing’ (Maruti Swift car with the number as specified in the servicing app).
It is you (the observer) whose senses bring in the inputs about the object (the traffic and cars) to your mind and then pre-stored information in your memory database is used to compare, contrast and determine more about the object helping you to identify the object of interest in the traffic.
As more information is gathered by human senses and processed by the mind, the image gets clearer and clearer. This is a generic process in nature where nothingness turns into ‘a thing’ (something) and then into ‘the thing’ or ‘this thing or that thing’.
Everything is a combination of physical and nonphysical aspects forming layers like an onion, one layer hiding the others. A layer is exposed only when the previous layer is peeled off.
The modern scientific world is familiar with physical or objective aspects. It is Vedas and Vedic science which is an encyclopedia of invisible subjective aspects. The invisible layers include:
- What can be seen but is not seen due to either the relative positioning between object and subject or gross layers covering the inner subtle layers and
- What can’t be seen by human senses, for example, a mobile handset picks up the signal which humans can’t, or a TV picks up images but we can’t. The first invisible aspect is ‘knowledge’ about different objects and second what can’t be seen is ‘Individual Consciousness’, the container that holds the knowledge of that individual observer.
In summary, the totality also referred to as universal consciousness is composed of three aspects viz,
- Objective aspects that relate to the object of interest
- Subjective aspects of the observer on account of his knowledge about the object and
- Subjective aspects on account of the consciousness of the observer
Objective aspects form a tiny fraction of totality. While subjective aspects consisting of knowledge of the observer and his consciousness forms the 99.99% or even more of totality, the wholeness.
Universal Consciousness simultaneously expresses itself in three different forms — a combination of individual consciousness of the observer, an object of interest, and the observer’s knowledge about the object. These three forms are named differently, appropriate to the context. Some of these sets of three are listed here.
- Observer, object and process of observation
- Subject, Object and the gap (or path) between the two
- Knower, Knowledge, and Known
- Rishi, Devata and Chhandas
- Individual, collective and universal Consciousness
- The goal, source, and path
At higher states of individual consciousness, these sets of three merges in two (duality) and at the highest state of Consciousness into one (singularity).
Nothing is Wholeness
Nothingness or vacuum that pervades all around us is the same as wholeness or universal consciousness or totality. Nothingness and wholeness are two sides of a coin, undefined akin to multiplication or division by either zero or infinity.
Maharishi Vedic Science
Though the Vedic knowledge of Veda and Vedic Literature is far more evolved, it is the modern science that has a wider awareness and acceptance at present.. Maharishi in pursuit of reviving Vedic way of life founded Maharishi Vedic Science (MVS). He introduced Vedic knowledge in a more amenable language to the masses. MVS is the science of human Consciousness.
The diagram above depicts the realm of Maharishi Vedic Science which covers Consciousness, starting from nothing (completely invisible to human senses) to visible objects – the material world of things. It brings together the ancient Vedic tradition of knowledge and the discoveries of modern science to answer fundamental questions about life. It explores the nature of our own inner self and how it relates to the wider world and how to apply this knowledge to practical situations to make the world a more peaceful place.
The Rhythm in Life
Life is like conducting a symphonic concert. When in harmony, the result is truly a musical masterpiece. Tuning in to that rhythm is the key. It is the degree of tuning in with our own universe comprised of humans, non-humans and nature around us and is a differentiator between living a life of fulfillment and happiness or a life lacking fulfillment and thus full of stress and strain. Alignment delivers far more with much less effort. The rhythm for an individual human is coherence in his or her own Consciousness. Bharat, the erstwhile name of India carries this message in its meaning.
Meaning of Bharat (भारत), the original name of India in the Vedic era is explained by Sadguru in the first 40 seconds in the attached video link: https://youtu.be/TO4uOHkI-zQ. — The word Bharat is not just the name but a prescription for a happier life. A union of three words Bhava + Raga and Tala results in Bha-ra-ta. Bha is Bhava (भाव) meaning sensations that are picked up the external-facing five human senses, Ra means raga (राग) or the tune set by Nature. It is common to all in humanity and can’t be changed by one individual. Ta refers to thala (ताल), an internal rhythm that a human chooses for himself or herself. Sadguru explains that alignment between externally focussed senses and the internal rhythm with Nature results in a happier life, while a non-alignment means getting crushed under the process of life.
A coherence of Consciousness is the key to tune in to that rhythm. The extent of coherence is directly proportional to the degree of happiness or stress in life. It’s this different level of tuning that makes the outcome unfathomable.
The outcome remains unfathomable because it consists of visible and invisible components. The invisible, unmanifest, long term link is a cause of failure as well as a path to the elusive success. The path to success is an iceberg with a large portion beneath the surface that remains hidden to most.
A state of least excitation of Consciousness is the silent basis of all thought and action. Vedic seers developed an extraordinary familiarity with an understanding of inner life known as subjective aspects of Consciousness. They were able to explore an absolute level of Consciousness at the very core of the highly dynamic subjective awareness.
Vedic Science – Encyclopaedia of Life
Knowledge of Vedic science is akin to the sharpening of a knife. Cutting even soft stuff is painfully slow and frustrating with a blunt knife, or after spending time in a dark cave, where the visibility improves with time or the feeling of peace and silence on remote smaller towns which is completely overshadowed by noise and dynamism that is on display in the bigger cities.
Knowledge is all about human and universal Consciousness. A better understanding enables easier navigation of life. There are no religious connotations but for human religion. It is an individual choice to benefit for a happier life or ignore this knowledge and thus, continue to live a life of suffering and stress.
Veda is a blueprint for a happier life. The application of Vedic Knowledge in different walks of life is embedded in the Vedic literature in forms of stories in epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana. It is a need of the time to share this knowledge of life in an amenable language with examples that are easy to comprehend by people from different walks of life.
The views are my personal interpretation and insight from the knowledge gained during the study of Maharishi Vedic Science. There may exist different interpretations.
How painful that there is no formal university-level educational institute in India focussed on research and teaching of Veda. I wish that the absence of such an institute is addressed by the Indian government in the not too distant future.