Sunday, January 12, 2020

Manaan and me - breakfast conversation on Upanishad and Quantum physics

My son Dr Manaan is what I call an “ancient mind in a modern world” because of his interest and knowledge of ancient scriptures and its logical and rational understanding in the contemporary context. On the other side, my approach is more scientific, especially the co-relation between spirituality and quantum physics.

We have some interesting conversations, from our different perspectives. Thought of sharing one that we had some days back. 

Some weeks back, we had attended a meeting in which one of the guests spoke about a shloka from Ishavasya Upanishad that says: -

ॐ पूर्णमदः पूर्णमिदं पूर्णात्पूर्णमुदच्यते
पूर्णस्य पूर्णमादाय पूर्णमेवा वशिष्यते

“Origin of all things is whole or complete; 
This entire creation that has come from that origin of all things is also whole or complete; 
From that whole, the whole has come; 
Even though the whole has been taken away;
the whole still remains unaffected.”

Next morning, over breakfast, I could see that Manaan was ruminating, “Papa, the origin of existence is obviously complete, but if we take out a part from it, it should become incomplete. Logically, if one removes a component from a car, the car will become incomplete. But Isa Upanishad says that in spite of removing a part, the part will be complete and so will the car. Sounds illogical”.

Image result for holographic brain projectionGenerally, his questions stump me, but this time I was ready. “This shloka reminds me of the theory of the holographic Universe,” I said. “Many scientists including David Bohm and Karl Pribram were dissatisfied with the standard “Theory of Everything” and its inability to explain all phenomenon encountered in quantum physics. They postulated a theory that said that we all live in a “Holographic Universe”.

A hologram is a three-dimensional image produced when a single laser light, is split into two separate beams. The first beam bounces of the object and then when the second beam is allowed to collide with the reflection of the first, the resulting interference pattern is recorded into an image.

Related image
Example: If a piece of holographic film containing the image of the apple is cut in half and then illuminated with a laser, each half will still be found to contain the entire image of the apple. Even if the half is divided again and again, the entire apple can still be reconstructed, from each small portion.  Every small fragment of the piece of holographic film contains all the information recorded in the whole. Hence the whole creates everything and whatever is created is also a whole. At any given point, nothing is incomplete but always complete in a holographic film.

This was precisely the feature that got Pribram so excited for it offered at last a way of understanding, not just the Universe, but even the workings of the brain. What process is involved in the interconnection of all portion of the brain? There is clear evidence that the process is neither chemical nor electrochemical. After deep research, it was postulated that the interconnection was effected by means of a force field extending over the appropriate region of space. Hence Keith Floyd proposes that a "holographic model of consciousness" makes such brain processes as memory, perception and imagine clearly explainable. 

A famous experiment showed that even when 98% of a rat’s brain was removed, it could retrieve and process memories – meaning that memories were not dependent upon physical brains. 

Manaan had discussed the holographic Universe and holographic brain with me multiple times, but he had not thought about the co-relation of this Isa Upanishad verse and the holographic Universe.

Image result for holographic brain projection
 “That’s right”, he exclaimed excitedly, “ All this and more shows to us beyond doubt that all that we view as “out-there” or nature is actually all in the human body. Pribram points out that when we look at a person, the image is really on the surface of our retinas. Yet we do not perceive the person as being on our retina. We perceive them as being in the “world-out-there.” Similarly, when we stub our toe we experience pain in our toe. But the pain is not really in our toe. It is actually a neuro-physiological process that manifests as our experience, all of which is internal, and fools us into thinking that some are internal and some are located beyond the confines of our brain”.

This is exactly what the Upanishads refer to. It says that the entire cosmos is within the individual and not “out-there.” We perceive patterns of waves interfering with one another and we construe it as “out-there.” The brain produces a hologram which we perceive considering it to be a reality which exists separate to our own selves while there isn't really a reality except our Self. 

Does the Upanishad point directly towards a Holographic Universe? Does it explain that even though a part is removed from the whole, both – the part and the source still remain the whole?

For those interested in further reading and viewing

Do we live in a hologram?

Is the brain holonomic?

Video about holographic Universe

Video about Holograpic show

Book to read
Mysticism and the new physics - Michael Talbot

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Kumbh Mela - an in-depth report and analysis


Tonight will be the largest gathering of mankind in its history with four crore pilgrims as millions are pouring in with bags and children on their head walking for miles and miles with faith, love and devotion in their eyes. This is true "dharma" This is our true "Bharat".

People say that one can get lost in the kumbh, but i believe that this is the place to find oneself. The travel in this extraordinary divine energy should be within.

Only then can one learn to be alone in the crowd.

My in-depth Kumbh Mela report - part 1 (4th Feb 2019)
Things can be seen in superficial, subtle and causal ways (स्थूल, सूक्ष्म, कारण रूप).

Kumbh Mela is spread over 47sqkms temporary housing of lakhs of people on a soft, sandy, wet land near the rivers Ganga and Yamuna at Prayag. 

The mela is beautifully planned with lakhs of tents on wide walkwayz paved with metal sheets, 1.25 lakh toilets, cheap stay and food for poor, constant cleaning of roads by thousands, reasonably clean rivers, well designed water supply, drainage and security who are well trained and behaved (we asked many policemen for different directions and roads - and everyone knew all sectors and were helpful). Could not believe that we were in UP.

The methodical procession on the 4th morning with crores of excited people shouting "Har har mahadev" without much pushing and jostling was an example of brilliant crowd management.

The scale of operations and rush of people was mind-boggling. It was said that there were 5 crore people yesterday. These look awe-inspiring but theoretical numbers, but the moment you experience the crowd, its just surreal.

Just goes to show that once the administration decides to do something, it can achieve unimaginable success, provided the duration is relatively short. The huge election exercise is another example of the same.

In-depth Kumbh report - part 2 - Subtle (5th Feb)

Millions of people, thousands of temporary ashrams of saints and temples, air full of havans, hymns and prayers.

While there may be charlatans, fake sadhus, power politics and egos- what i observed was something very interesting.

There are crores of people of all creeds and castes - they can enter any ashram, meet any saint, eat together in community kitchens spread across the kumbh. No distinction.

There are all kinds of saints - brahmin, kshatriyas, vaishya and shudras. There are men, women and transgenders. There are people from all parts of the country and the world. Sikhs, sufis, jains, Buddhists, some muslims too. Anyone and everyone searching for the TRUTH.

The hierarchical, caste structure of Hindu society is not visible anywhere. Whenever one attends any lectures or speeches, all we hear is about searching the underlying unity of all beings. There may be exceptions, but too few and far.

The media reports regarding discrimination and separation based on stray incidents seems so distant and false. The proponents of divide-and-rule are trying their best to find and accentuate faultlines in our society. But, Hindu society seems to be truly moving in the right direction - of overcoming caste differences and searching for unity among all castes and religions. Its a long and arduous path, but in the kumbh, it seems as if the saints are showing the path.

Much needs to be done, but we are on the way.

Musings: (6th Feb 2019)

Before writing the third part of in-depth report of the kumbh mela, I would like to advice many who are justifiably cynical of religious people and such melas. I understand their concerns as there are a large number of exhibitionists, charlatans, fakes and frauds in the religious arena.

Let me paraphrase from the book "Autobiography of a Yogi".

Yukteshwar Giri goes to the kumbh mela in Prayag in 1894. There he meets Babaji, the head of his lineage for the first time. This is his conversation.

"What do you think of the Kumbha Mela?’ Babaji enquired.

"This fair is nothing but a chaos of noise and beggars. I wonder if Western scientists, patiently enlarging the realms of knowledge for the practical good of mankind, are not more pleasing to God than these idlers who profess religion but concentrate on alms. I am greatly disappointed, sir.’ Yukteshwar said, ‘Somehow saints and this commotion don’t seem to belong together.’

“‘Child,’ the master said, ‘for the faults of the many, judge not the whole. Everything on earth is of mixed character, like a mingling of sand and sugar. Be like the wise ant which seizes only the sugar, and leaves the sand untouched. Though many sadhus here still wander in delusion, yet the mela is blessed by a few men of God-realization.’ unquote.

Kumbh Mela report 3- the causal (deepest level) (8th Feb 2019)

Science, human development and intellectual growth has been growing in two directions for many centuries: the external and the internal.

The western scientists, philosophers, planners, politicians, medical men and researchers have been instrumental in huge strides for mankind, especially in European and American countries for the last few centuries. These are outwardly organizing structures. But just external development is incomplete. People in western society are suffering loneliness, dissatisfaction and are searching for answers to bigger questions.

The other method which is more powerful is of sourcing knowledge by diving deeper into one's self and through deep study and introspection creating technology and processes to enrich existence. This is called the Indian knowledge system (IKS). While the search, results and documentation of this IKS has been present since thousands of years, it is only now that the philosophy and the usage of some of these IKS like meditation, yoga, ayurveda etc is being recognised and followed by the world. 

This evolving philosophy, science and knowledge has been documented by various wise men over a period of time.  Not centred on one person or one period.

Modern westernised indians look sceptically at various processes like tantra, mantra and yantra. These processes have been deeply researched and these powerful energy-enhancing techniques have been masked and offered as rituals to make it popular and easy-to-use. Branding hindu religion as superstition and ritualistic is like throwing the baby with the bath water.

Different paths towards self-realization have been intelligently structured depending on the inclination of a seeker whether meditation (राजयोग) , devotion(भक्ति योग), sewa (कर्म योग) or Knowledge (ज्ञान योग).

In this kumbh, was fortunate to meet key members of the leadership of the hindu religious organizations that has been operating with great effectiveness for over 800 years- with its myriad संप्रदाय, अखाड़ा, आश्रम, मंदिर and other institutions. They have their own rules and policies that have been operating since over 800 years extremely successfully. These policies are well defined, all-encompassing, just and constantly evolving. It is this organization that has enabled the Hindu worldview to withstand and sustain various aggressions by foreign invaders and served the religion equally well during monarchy, foreign rule and now western democracy.
People of different beliefs, different castes and gender are part of the leadership. Its principles of collective leadership, conflict-resolution and consensual, collaborative decision-making process is truly impressive.

The kumbh has been designed to be a regular meeting place of various branches of these organizations, seekers from all over the world (some of them who only come out of their abodes in the Himalayas) and the lay people in demarcated places during times when the planetary position is at its most powerful.

In the kumbh mela, you may find some of the greatest rishis (the scientists), saffron - clad seekers of truth (sadhus) who have left everything for the ultimate search, the warriors (Naga sadhus - who stay naked even in the biting cold), some God-touched souls as well as researchers in different aspects of life. These are the true astronauts who are trying to stretch the boundaries of humanity.

This is a different world- a world of seekers for self-realization, a world of people in search of the Truth, a world focusing as much on science, validation and facts as the western world-but with a more holistic and integrated approach.

But if one wants to look for those diamonds, one has to look beyond the dust, the noise, the chaos, the fakes and the charlatans. One needs to look deeper - beyond the apparent/superficial beyond the subtle to the causal.

This kumbh, I pray that there should be a synthesis between both worlds - the western and indian. That would be mutually enriching and could transform humanity.

Mayank Gandhi 9920788909

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Karma Yoga - chapter 3

Chapter 3 - Karma- Yoga

1.     Self-realization or achieving the Truth is difficult without cleansing your body internally.
2.     Therefore, one must follow a two-step process – (a) Kriya yoga, followed by (b) Meditation.
3.     The spiritual reality on getting down solidifies to become the sthul sharir by the time it reaches the mooladhar. The journey of descent passes through the six chakras, one-step at-a-time. From the formless to the body form, from the unaware to the awareness, from the nirakar (formless) to the newly born, from Shiva to Shakti.
4.     To reach the Real self, the upward climbing will have to start, from Shakti to Shiv, from mooladhar to Ajna chakra, from ignorance to knowledge, from darkness to light, from limitations to infinite.
5.     Kriya yoga is the process of cleansing by practicing a certain kind of pranayam that steadies the breath and the mind. The kriya involves entering the breath through the sushumna and putting pran vayu into apana vayu and apana vayu into pran vayu. This breathing takes place from the ajna chakra to the mooladhar chakra and from the mooladhar to the ajna chakra. This pranayama entails repeated ascent and descent through the sushumna while focusing on the 6 chakras. The mooladhar to the sahasrara will have to be made one. One will have to be mingled with the next, in this way, the previous mingling with the next will reach the ajna. By repeated ascent and descent, the power stationed at mooladhar in its sleeping position will be awakened.
6.     The seed or semen or the power is created at mooladhar (Earth) and stays behind the swadhistan (Water), inside a fluid. The upward flame of Manipur (fire) propels the kriya power upwards through the anahata (air) that bears/holds the vyom (sky) of visuddha. Visuddha is the sound that needs to be penetrated upwards to reach the light of the ajna chakra.
7.     From penetrating the sound of the visuddha chakra, one enters the light in which is impregnated the whole world. And inside this light is a dark area /cave called the Brahmari Guha. Entering this cave where the Divine is situated, a living being can achieve the ultimate truth.
8.     This is the paravastha of kriya, when Shakti (power) unites with Shiva and gets liberated. When the atma meets the parmatma or individualized brahm meets the eternal brahm, the liberation occurs. And when that happens the paravastha of kriya is achieved. This location for the meeting or unity is the brahm-vyom or the kootasth or the ajna- chakra.
9.     Also, there are thousands of nadis that carry passion. This passion can be neutralized by its purification. The purification process is the kriya by which prana of life in these nadis is taken by constant sadhana and placed in the brahm-vyom (the eternal sky in the kootasth). This kriya burns the passion in these nadis.
10. Various clouds of ignorance of different intensities have covered the Solid, Subtle and Causal bodies. It is only by sadhana that these clouds can be dispersed. For removal of the dust/clouds from the solid body, one needs to have a strong and intense desire to do sadhana. For dispersing the clouds over the subtle body, one should start intense sadhana and during the sadhana – one will see various milestones like flashes of light / music / sounds or different sights. But to cleanse the causal body, forceful sadhana is needed. This entails purification of all 72,000 nadis and one can then enter the brahm, where savikalpa Samadhi can be attained.
11. The human being creates its own subtle body according to its previous deeds. Then depending on its fate, it creates its body with the help of a mother and father. The reason for this body, life and death is present only till one achieves the true knowledge.
12. It is very difficult to be in constant stage of sadhana. The way towards that is by initially bringing nature under the influence of sattva and gradually turning it to the stage above the gunas, where no waves arise.
13. This play of prana can only be stopped if all elements - the mind, brain and ego unite is brought under sattva and along with the atma they become one. Their separate existence is no more and they become pure, true and silenced.
14. Someone who has achieved the paravastha of kriya and is situated in the kootasth takes himself as witness. They are unattached and are silent witness to the actions of the three gunas, the mind, brain, body and ego and all their actions.
15. In paravastha’s higher stage- one realizes that the soul is one with nature and understands that they perform none of the actions, thus they are not influenced by happiness or sorrow. And to reach the paravastha – the only way is practice and understanding that the Divine is the sole “doer”.  Surrendering to the Divine is the best policy and judgment, and that will take away life’s sorrows. And that when the mind is totally under the true self-intelligence, nothing good nor evil can touch him, since all actions are being done by the Divine. One becomes inseparable from HIM.