View Full Version : Can We Find Common Ground?

13 July 2008, 06:48 PM
Hari Om


I was just thinking … If I talked with a scientist, lets say a cosmologist, what areas or concepts could I offer to have a meaningful conversation, that we could find common ground to talk of the relationships found in the Universe? I think I would offer up the following ideas. (Is there a way you perhaps would have a conversation with a scientist to establish common ground?)

sattā सत्ता - Being or Existence
saṃbandha सम्बन्ध - binding or joining together , close connection or union or association , conjunction , inherence , connection with or relation
arthakriyā अर्थक्रिया - an action performed with a purpose; advantage , use , utility It seems to me this triad ( trika) gives a nice foundation to have a meaningful conversation. Let me explain.

It would seem that the cosmologist would agree that for creation to happen, or for things and events to occur we need a canvas for these things to occur on, a foundation. This then would be existence, Being, or sattā. All things, events, elements, would exists within and becasue of sattā. Perhaps the cosmologist would see this as ether or space ( for me, ākāśa).

The next thing would be that all things, events, items, physical and non-physical are bound together , a joining. At first I think the cosmologist would question this, but then have the insight that all things are connected at the atomic and sub-atomic level the inference of connectedness would not be too forign to him/her.

Perhaps he would see that all these things have various forces ( strong force weak force, gravity, etc) influence and work upon there various items. From my view I would just see his 'forces' as the 3 guna-s acting within creation.

Yet for me, I view this notion of saṃbandha, that creation is an expression of consciousness that takes on all forms. Hence there is multiplicity of items ( people, planets, material things). All these things are the combination of the 5 elements , the pañca mahābhūta-s ( earth, water, fire, air and ether). I think the cosmologist would be okay with these items and agree from his view creation comes as solid-liquid-gas.
Yet the part I add to creation is also the antahkarana-s or the internal ~organs~ of manas ( mind), buddhiḥ (intellect) and ahaṁkāra. I think I would not bring this subject up, until there was a well grounded agreement on the other components mentioned.

So this multiplicity of things, events, items and the like, that drives diversity. Yet this diversity has the underlying Unity of consciousness. Perhaps for the cosmologist the underlying unity is the quantum field¹ of existence. Others may wish to explain more of this quantum field and how it relates to consciousness and creation overall.

The next item would be purpose or arthakriyā. This I think is where the conversation would get interesting. What would the cosmologist say or think? Many are more interested with how it ( the universe ) works , vs. why it is here.
"…the universe itself acts on us as a random, inefficient, and yet in the long run effective, teaching machine. …our way of looking at the universe has gradually evolved through a natural selection of ideas." — Steven Weinberg, American Physicist/Nobel laureate

For me, these questions do not keep me up at night. The universe , just like Brahman is expanding. Yet that is the physical attribute. In this case, it also leads us to why it's here. The expansion of happiness. We can be part of this natural expansion. This is the gift that comes with knowing and experiencing the fullness of sattā. This is the core of arthakriyā, knowing the purpose of this Being ( Brahman) and how all things are in saṃbandha, or wholeness ( bhuma) , relationship with everything else.

This subject is brought out in the Chāndogya Upaniṣad as tajjalān (tat+ja+la+an). This principle tat = That or Brahman + ja stands for jañma or birth. So tajja = from IT ( Brahman) everything is born; next la suggests laya or dissolution or into IT ( Brahman ) everything dissolves; taking tat+an we have tadan or in IT ( Brahman) everything moves about¹ . So we see creation, activity or purpose and dissolution in this Being (sattā) or Brahman.

This notion of connectedness - svāmi Kṛṣṇananda says everything is all things to explain this interconnectedness of the Universe. If we looked to another muni, Abninavagupta he would explain this wholeness as parameśvaraḥ. He says in Parā-trīśikā Vivaraṇa that everything is the epitome¹ of all.

Let me end with the wisdom offered by svāmi Laksmanjoo 'this whole universe has come into existence just to carry you to God Consciousness. It is not meant to push you down. This universe is meant for your upliftment.'


words and references

quantum mechanical field concepts - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_field_theory#Principles_of_quantum_field_theory (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_field_theory)
Chāndogya Upaniṣad offers tajjalān in the 3rd khanda, 14th vallī, the 1st śloka ( 3.14.1); the view is offered svāmi muni Narayana Prasad
epitome - a person or thing that is typical of or possesses to a high degree the features of a whole class; for Abninavagupta this is beyond a high degree, but a perfect unity of all things. This would be equal to Samabhava = sama+bhava: sama सम is same, equal , similar , like , equivalent , like to or identical or homogeneous; having the right measure bhava भव - coming info existence , birth , production. With samabhava this wholeness is coming into existence… it is maturing, and unfolding.