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If all of the world´s cultural heritage was
contained in a time capsule, what would
you include to demonstrate the legacy ...
Why include Vedanta in the time capsule?
Across the world, India is best known for three things…
Taj Mahal

▪

▪

Architec...
What is Vedanta?

▪

Vedas, dating back to ~1700-1100 BCE (around the beginning of Iron age in India), are
a collection of...
Why only Vedanta?

1 It complements science

There are several
similarities between
modern physics and
Vedanta

2 It conne...
1 Vedanta complements science
Vedanta and classical physics

Vedanta

Scientific theories

▪

▪

Newton’s third law: Every...
1 Vedanta complements science
Vedanta, Einstein and quantum mechanics

Vedanta

Scientific theories

▪

▪

e=mc2: Einstein...
1 Vedanta complements science
Vedanta and unified field theory

Vedanta

Scientific theories

▪

Non-dual nature of world:...
2 Vedanta goes beyond science and connects it to philosophy of leading
a sustainable life
From science…

Karma theory

Mat...
From the thousands of verses overwhelmed with wisdom, for me, the most
important verse from Vedanta is…

“ You are what yo...
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Vedanta: Roots of Indian Philosophy

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Vedanta: Roots of Indian Philosophy

  1. 1. If all of the world´s cultural heritage was contained in a time capsule, what would you include to demonstrate the legacy of your country? Vedanta Ancient Indian scriptures on philosophy and spirituality Divy Malik IE Application
  2. 2. Why include Vedanta in the time capsule? Across the world, India is best known for three things… Taj Mahal ▪ ▪ Architectural masterpiece, one of the seven wonders of the world Limited sustainable value add to human life Indian food ▪ One of the most artistic and sophisticated cuisines ▪ Everyone can‟t handle spicy food  ▪ Limited sustainable value add to human life SOURCE: Wikipedia; The Roots of Vedanta (translated by Sudhakshina Rangaswami) Focus of discussion Spirituality ▪ Morality and spirituality becoming important in wake of recent events (civil wars, corruption, excesses by bankers) ▪ Vedanta, bedrock of Indian spirituality, offers a sustainable way of life 1
  3. 3. What is Vedanta? ▪ Vedas, dating back to ~1700-1100 BCE (around the beginning of Iron age in India), are a collection of prayers and hymns which continue to be part of the current Hindu religious practices ▪ Vedanta literally means the end or the appendix (anta) of the Vedas which contain the philosophical goals of Vedas ▪ Vedanta comprises of three main scriptures: Upanishads, Brahma Sutras and Bhagavad Gita. It‟s moral teachings are also explained through analogies in the great Indian epics: Ramayana and Mahabharata. They are the foundation of the Indian philosophy of life Rig Veda Sama Veda Essence of Vedas Vedanta Yajur Veda Atharva Veda SOURCE: Wikipedia; The Roots of Vedanta (translated by Sudhakshina Rangaswami) 2
  4. 4. Why only Vedanta? 1 It complements science There are several similarities between modern physics and Vedanta 2 It connects science, philosophy and practice Vedanta goes beyond laws of physical world and lays down some universal philosophies for leading a sustainable life e.g., belief in action and consequences rather than wrong or right actions “I find a solace in the Bhagavadgītā...when disappointment stares me in the face and all alone I see not one ray of light, I go back (to it)...find a verse…I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming tragedies” Mahatma Gandhi 3
  5. 5. 1 Vedanta complements science Vedanta and classical physics Vedanta Scientific theories ▪ ▪ Newton’s third law: Every action has an equal and opposite reaction ▪ Law of conservation of energy: Energy can neither be created nor destroyed but can only be transformed from one form to another Law of Karma: Karma means an action or a deed. Simply put, the law states that, the world is a cycle of cause and effect. One has to face the consequences of one‟s actions, in one form or the other SOURCE: Wikipedia; Bhagavad Gita 4
  6. 6. 1 Vedanta complements science Vedanta, Einstein and quantum mechanics Vedanta Scientific theories ▪ ▪ e=mc2: Einstein‟s famous equation which says that equates matter with energy ▪ Schrodinger’s cat: a thought experiment that explains quantum mechanics‟ principle of superimposition, i.e., the act of observation of an object is independent of the reality of the object (cat is both alive and dead until we observe the box and determine its state) ▪ The material world is Maya, an energy field created from perception due to nescience Maya’s existence depends on the observer. The observer is key to what is being observed (Maya), observer‟s nescience is the cause of Maya but for the wise, Maya does not exist. E.g., amount of money is real but value of money is Maya, i.e., value of money depends on the observer “Schrodinger and Heisenberg and their followers created a universe based on super-imposed inseparable waves of probability amplitudes. This new view would be entirely consistent with the Vedantic concept of All in One” - Walter J. Moore SOURCE: Wikipedia; The Roots of Vedanta (translated by Sudhakshina Rangaswami); Speech by Swami Jitatmananda 5
  7. 7. 1 Vedanta complements science Vedanta and unified field theory Vedanta Scientific theories ▪ Non-dual nature of world: “praanaave satyam”, the world is made of a single form of energy called „Prana‟ ▪ ▪ There is no duality in object and subject, everything is part of Brahman (absolute reality which is nirguna i.e., without any characteristics) Earlier, modern scientists believed in 5 fundamental forces: electric, magnetic, gravitational, strong nuclear and weak nuclear. Later, Maxwell discovered that Electric and magnetic forces interact with each other which left 4 fundamental forces ▪ In 1970s, Abdus Salam, Sheldon Lee Glashow and Steven Weinberg combined electromagnetic and weak nuclear forces and brought us to 3 fundamental forces ▪ Scientists continue to work on a unified field theory to combine electromagnetic, strong nuclear and gravitational forces SOURCE: Wikipedia; The Roots of Vedanta (translated by Sudhakshina Rangaswami); Speech by Swami Jitatmananda 6
  8. 8. 2 Vedanta goes beyond science and connects it to philosophy of leading a sustainable life From science… Karma theory Material world is Maya (energy field) Non-dual nature of world … to philosophy… … to practice  Karma in itself is not good or bad, its characteristics are determined by the context and the intentions; Selfless karma is superior to selfish karma  Belief in karma makes nonviolence a virtue of life which includes non-violence towards animals and environment  Maya or the material world  Equating materialism with comes from nescience and the nescience has built a society only way to realize the absolute which promotes intellectual truth (Brahman) is through enquiry and spiritualism knowledge that helps you look beyond the material world  Since world is considered to be  Seeing unity in multiplicity made of a single form of has kept Indian society energy, there is god in united in such diversity of everything and everyone beliefs, cultures and behaviors Vedantic philosophy is universal SOURCE: Wikipedia; The Roots of Vedanta (translated by Sudhakshina Rangaswami) 7
  9. 9. From the thousands of verses overwhelmed with wisdom, for me, the most important verse from Vedanta is… “ You are what your deep driving desire is As your desire, so is your will As your will, so is your deed As your deed, so is your destiny” … Brihadaranyaka IV.4.5 SOURCE: The Upanishads (translated by Eknath Easwaran) 8

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