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    We Need Scientific Spirituality or Spiritual Sciences ?
    We Need Scientific Spirituality or Spiritual Sciences ??


    Last month I had remarked that today's science pertains to matter alone. And, religions claim to study our spirit and the cosmic spirit albeit unscientifically. Therefore, it is easy to see that what we need is a fusion of science and religion – a scientific study of both matter and spirit. This could be called a scientific religion. Ancient Indian tradition called it Dharma.


    Dharma is an unusual word that it is missing in all non-Indian languages. On the other hand, religion is a word that is missing in the Indian languages. What is non-existent in a community does not find a word in that community – we all can firmly believe this to be true. For time immemorial, India was guided by dharma. About 6000 years ago, dharma suffered its decline in the country and that began to give rise to the birth of religions. It should be noted that all the existing religions took birth within the last 5000 years – the oldest being Zoroastrianism and Judaism. Buddhism, Jainism, Christianity, Hinduism (in its current form with idol worship included), Islam and a host of others took birth within the last 2500 years.


    The religions have existed for sufficiently long. They might have given some benefit and temporary solace to a section of the humanity but as a whole, they have caused havoc. Millions of people have suffered and died at the altar of one religion or another. Inter-religion conflicts and wars have killed millions of people. The present "hot spots" such as the Afghanistan, Iraq, Western Asia (Middle East), Bosnia, Northern Ireland, Kashmir, Chechnya, East Timor, etc. are primarily inter-religion conflicts. Even the current wave of terrorism sweeping the whole world has its origin probably in religions.

    The correct answer to the current situation is an ideal fusion of science and religion as it existed in India for thousands of years, and probably, for millions of years. There is a blueprint in the name of dharma readily available in the classical Indian literature. Even with all kinds of onslaught, the core of this literature has survived. This will form the basis for our exploration of the inner sciences. Undoubtedly, the exploration will yield an appropriate fusion of science and religion that it will be based on logic and rationality and it will include both matter and spirit within its scope of study.   

    Dharma is what everyone holds within, intrinsically and inherently. Of course, humans have the freedom not to follow the dharma but all other species must follow their respective dharma. Obviously, it means that every thing's dharma is determined by the Dharmaraja , the designer and creator of the creation. For example, the fire has its dharma of giving heat and light and it always does so. Every thing in the creation and all the conscious beings must follow their respective dharma, only exception being the human beings. We have the freedom to follow the dharma or otherwise but then we must be prepared to obtain the rewards in accordance with the Law of Karma that applies to us. So, the dharma for the human beings is what is acceptable to every objectively thinking, intelligent and reasonable human being. It is not that we decide what our dharma is – it is decided by Dharmaraja (another name for the Infinite Cosmic Spirit whom people may call Isvara, God, Allah, etc.); we merely discover it within our pure conscience. Let us tabulate the key differences between dharma and religion as we did a couple of months ago with science and religion. This is necessitated by the fact that a number of people use these two words interchangeably, thinking that they are synonyms though they are as different as day and night.

    Dharma

    Religion

    1. It was/is determined by the Creator.

    It is founded by a human being.

    2. It is eternal. It has no beginning and no end too. We cannot live without it.

    It was born on a certain date. What takes birth must die too, and hence, it will not exist for ever. We lived without it and we shall again live without it.

    3. It doesn't go through any modification/ revision.

    It needs to be modified with the passage of time.

    4. It is applicable to all human beings irrespective of their gender, color, culture, national origin, etc. It favors none. Every human being has fundamental right to heed and follow it.

    It originates from a mortal human being, and therefore, it's likely to be preferential to a section of the human population. It may have discriminatory clauses.

    5. The world is dependent on it like it depends on the sun, air, water, etc. It is as basic as anything we can imagine. The daydharma vanishes from the world, the world will vanish too. Dharanat iti dharmah, i.e. dharma holds the creation, the creator being the Dharmaraja.

    It is a fabrication of a mortal human being who is not likely to be all-knowing and as benevolent as the Cosmic Spirit is. It can certainly not be a basic thing because the humanity managed without it before it came into being.

    6. It is so natural that a few wise people can sit together to discuss and search in their conscience what our dharma is.

    It requires an extraneous authority for its determination.

    7. It has universal acceptance.

    It can never have universal acceptance.

    8. It has nothing that contradicts the laws of nature because the dharmaand the laws of nature originate from the same source, the creator.

    It often contradicts the laws of the nature.

    9. Its purpose is to guide the humanity towards righteousness for our overall personal and collective good.

    Its purpose may be the selfish interest of an individual or a group of individuals.

    10. It brings universal love, brotherhood and peace among the entire humanity as parents desire in their family.

    It often causes conflicts and strife leading to wars among followers of different religions.

    11. It can be understood by an intelligent person through his/her intellectual faculties.

    It discourages us to use our intellectual faculties. It requires blind faith in a human being.

    12. It appeals to the natural human compassion and love.

    It may give rise to hatred among its followers towards the followers of other religions.

    13. It encourages us to know and understand the Cosmic Spirit and to be in communion with Him directly.

    It gives importance to a human being, past or present and positions that man between us and the Cosmic Spirit. Thus, it creates an artificial distance between 'me and God.'

    14. One is encouraged to maintain pure innocence to see and enjoy every event as a miracle, such as a bud blossoming into a flower.

    It brings in false concepts of miracles and thereby snatches away our pure innocence, encouraging irrationality, blind faith, conceit and hypocrisy.

    15. There is considerable individual freedom for personal growth provided it doesn't hurt others.

    There is no freedom because there is fear that an individual may become equal or even superior to the person who founded that religion.

    16. One can followdharma anytime, anywhere at any age.

    One must go through certain rituals to be initiated into a religion. There may not be an appropriate guideline applicable to every place and at all times.

    17. If dharma sees its decline then …

    religions flourish and create havoc for the noble people.

    18. Dharma is one and only one.

    Religions are many.

    19. Dharma gives rise to higher moral and intellectual stature.

    Religions may cause decay in moral and intellectual stature.

    20. Dharma is a unifying force towards a global village of the entire humanity.

    Religions are divisive that the entire earth can become a battlefield.

    Let us now summarize the key features of inner sciences – some of which I might have mentioned in the previous articles.

    1. Scope: The scope of this study and investigation will include both matter and spirit. In other words, we will discuss everything under the sky and the sky itself, and even beyond the sky whatever it is.

    2.  Method: The study must be rational and logical with sufficient rigor. It must be found acceptable to a reasonable open-minded person. In other words, it must utilize our entire prowess in "the head region."

    3.  Purpose: The study must lead to an improved quality of life at an individual's level, and collectively, it must lead to the collective good for all concerned. In other words, it must make the life an enjoyable experience, or so to say, make us feel good in "the heart region".

    To indicate the above features, I have used the words "inner sciences". But these words may give an impression that the word "inner" may refer to "within us" only. Therefore, it should be clarified that the inner sciences will include "within everything". That is, we will study the outer world as well but our investigations will attempt to take us to the innermost core of the outer world. I hope that our scientific inquiry will justify the choice of the words "inner sciences".  

    Indeed the next article will be titled as "Inner Sciences through the Outside World" that will briefly tell us what to expect in so far as the inner sciences pertaining to the outside world is concerned. That will be the concluding article in the first series of "Introduction to the Center for Inner Sciences."

    - Dr Harish Chandra
    B. Tech. (IIT Kanpur)

    Category: General | Added by: Aryaveer (2011-11-12)
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