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What Unscientific Values Should Hindus Abandon?

To Appear in Scientific God Journal, October 2015

What Unscientific Values Should Hindus Abandon?

*Professor Emeritus of Chemical Engineering, University of Louisville, Visiting Professor of Management, Gatton College of Business & Economics, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, & President and CEO, Six Sigma & Advanced Controls, Inc., Louisville, KY 40222 USA. pradeep@sixsigmaquality.com

Everything must be based on a simple idea. Once we have discovered it, it will be so compelling, so beautiful that we will say to one another, yes, how it could have been anything different.

John Archibald Wheeler

In a recent newspaper article, RSS Chief Shri Mohan Bhagwat was reported as saying, Indian society has long maintained a tradition of rejecting redundant traditions and accepting good things from all over the world based on eternal life-values [1]. He also suggested that there was a need to reassess prevalent Hindu religious values along scientific lines. This article discusses what the scientific values might be, and how by embracing them India could reinvent itself and help transform the 21st century.

Founded on Indian wisdom several thousand years old, now corroborated by the experiments of Western scientists together with his scrutiny of four decades, the author has developed a scientific framework for individual, organizational, national, & global transformation, and peace that provides an explanation of what Shri Bhagwat might have meant. This framework will permit rising nations such as India to accelerate their rise, keep the inevitable decline at bay longer for developed nations such as the United States, and change the direction of nations currently in decline such as Greece (see Figure 1).The scientific framework is detailed in the recently published book on the Nature of Ultimate Reality [2].

 

Figure 3(a). Rise and Decline of Cultures Figure 3(b). Rise and Decline of Greece (Encyclopedia Britannica)

Since a reassessment of Hindu religious values is sought, it is appropriate to begin with the query, ‘Who is Eeshwar?’ Actually, an RTI applicant raised this query not long ago with the President’s secretariat who passed it on to the Home Ministry, who in turn turned it over to the Law Ministry for a response [3]. According to the newspaper account, the issue never could be resolved to the applicant’s satisfaction. The recent work of Jewish-American journalist Amanda Gefter [4], Christian-American theoretical Physicist turned medical doctor, James P. Kowall [5], and this Hindu-American author [6] sheds light on the applicant’s query.

In 1995 when she was a teenager, much like Saint Dnyāneshwar, Amanda’s father, Dr. Warren Gefter, a radiologist at the University of Pennsylvania, set her on a quest in search for the meaning of nothing and what is ultimately real. During the course of her twenty-year journey, the Gefters managed to meet Prof. John Archibald Wheeler in 2002 at the Ultimate Reality Conference in Princeton organized to celebrate his ninetieth birthday. Dr. Wheeler who has since deceased, was a renowned theoretical physicist and a colleague of Dr. Albert Einstein at Princeton. When the opportunity presented itself, Dr. Gefter asked Prof. Wheeler, If Observers create reality, who created the observer? Wheeler had responded, Physics; the universe is a self-excited circuit. Amanda had promptly made a note to herself, Wheeler thinks the Universe came out of nothing.

In her quest to unravel the meaning of ultimate reality, Amanda interacted with renowned physicists, cosmologists, and Nobel laureates, and exchanged emails with the likes of theoretical Physicist, Dr. Stephen Hawking of Cambridge, finally reaching the conclusion in her path-breaking book, Trespassing on Einstein’s Lawn, ultimately nothing is real [6]. That is, ultimate reality is the nothingness of the void. This finding too resonates with ancient Indian wisdom.

In 1929 Caltech astronomer Edwin Hubble had made a critical discovery that the universe was expanding. Clearly, the universe would be much smaller eons ago. Physicists say that in the distant past, some 13.8 + 0.2 billion years ago, the universe came into existence when it was the size of Planck’s length (10-33 cm in diameter); the so called Big Bang moment. Now, the four fundamental forces of nature (gravity, electromagnetism, strong nuclear force, and weak nuclear force) exist only because the universe is in an accelerated frame of reference, i. e., it is expanding. Physicists say that with a coordinate transformation these fundamental forces can be shown to vanish in a falling frame of reference. In other words, at the moment of the Big Bang, there really is nothing physical left. Inspired by the work of Shankara, Nisarga Datta [7], and logician Kurt Gödel, Jim Kowall reached an equally mind-blowing conclusion in 2014: Although nothing physical can pass through the size of Planck’s length, consciousness can. In other words, consciousness remains even after everything physical has vanished. Jim recognized this undifferentiated consciousness as Brahmanic Consciousness. This consciousness must necessarily be undifferentiated because the ultimate reality must always be present, be the same everywhere, and be the same for everyone meaning it must not vary from one perspective to another or from one observer to another.

The notion of God has any meaning for most people, not everyone, only because Eeshwar is thought have an impact on them personally and collectively; the risk-reward scenario. What has been discussed so far appears to be cut-and-dry physics and may not invoke such feelings. The following is an explanation of why and how these feelings come about. Clearly, everything was connected to everything else at the Big Bang moment when the size of the universe was the Planck’s length. What is fascinating is that everything remains connected to everything else forever even though not physically linked. We are so connected with a field of energy that has enormous intelligence in that it responds to the power of human emotions [8]. Western scientists have conducted experiments to demonstrate this connectivity. In Mahayana Buddhism this connectivity goes by the name Indra’s Net. It follows therefore that our consciousness, let’s call it Atmanic consciousness, is connected to the Brahmanic consciousness. The reader can see how the notion of Eeshwar comes about. It is only because of emotions. This explanation of the mystery of the universe accommodates many perspectives, none superior to others. Among them are:

  • Many among us are instinctively devotional requiring no proof of the existence of Eeshwar. According to them, this universe is his creation and functions according to the divine plan. They may give different names for Eeshwar: Brahman, God, Allah, YHWH, etc.
  • Some may conclude that the universe functions according to natural laws, nothing more, as in the case of the Wheeler-Gefter conversation.
  • Reflect on what Rig Veda says towards the end of a long Sukta, He in the highest heavens knows or perhaps even he does not know [Nasadiya Sukta, RV 10.130].

However, with the material presented, it difficult to make the case that all this has nothing to do with us humans, because it does. Now, we know that the Brahmanic consciousness has created the physical reality, i. e., this universe. Since everything is connected to everything else, it would appear reasonable to suggest that the Atmanic consciousness must be a microcosm of the Brahmanic consciousness. It also follows that we too must have the capacity to create. This is how the notion of Aham Brahmasmi (So hum) or Nisarga Datta’s I Am That [7] comes about. The author has coordinated several experiments to demonstrate this concept of human creativity. Demonstrating the capacity to create reality strengthens the hypothesis that the Atmanic consciousness is connected to the Brahmanic consciousness.

Although the Atmanic consciousness is connected to the Brahmanic consciousness, the ability to create requires the strengthening of this connection, and this in turn requires two things [9]: (1) The space must be conditioned, and (2) There must be a strong intention to create. Conditioning of space in turn depends on the level of internal excellence explained at the end of the article. Thus, the capacity to create is intricately related to the level of internal excellence. The process to raise the level of internal excellence is Yoga and the science of it is detailed in Deshpande and Kowall [2].

Just as individuals have a level of internal excellence, so do societies but with societies we speak of averages. As the society’s average S component increases, the society rises reaching a peak when the T component begins its ascent and the society begins to decline reaching a peak when the S component takes over again. Thus, rise and decline are cyclical phenomena but they are extremely slow taking thousands of years to complete one cycle. Reflect on the conversation between Bhishma and Karna on the battlefield of Mahabharata where the sage alludes to the fact that India had already been in decline even then. It is rising only now. This explanation will resonate with the readers who are familiar with the Bhagvad Geeta [10]. The author used these concepts developing a cyclical theory of excellence predicting the rise of China and India in the early nineties [11, 12]. This paper is attempting to explain how to accelerate India’s rise. The unscientific idea to abandon here is that Varna characteristics can be acquired hereditarily. The scientific framework for transformation is the best way to increase the level of internal excellence of individuals and societies and the pursuit of internal excellence is internal Mahabharata. The counsel remains the same as it was in Krishna’s times but the difference now is that we have a better understood process, measurement devices to track progress, and the knowledge of what the benefits are when we succeed: from health & wellness, to exemplary performance in all walks of life, to better leadership decisions, to less discord and violence.

Meditating on an abstract idea such as singularity of the Big Bang moment or the undifferentiated consciousness is difficult for most people and therefore in the Hindu tradition idols and temples are used to ease the quest to connect the individual consciousness to the undifferentiated consciousness. In the absence of extensive experimentation it is difficult assess the role rituals might be playing in facilitating this connection. The edict, Do no harm is as valuable in this context as it is elsewhere. That said, knowing the rationale for why one prays in temples has to help. Consistent with the teachings of the Geeta, the theory or rise and decline posits that certain individuals are born age after age with the express purpose of raising the S component of societies. Such individuals are referred to as incarnations because their teachings are nearly identical although independently developed. It is unscientific to rank-order incarnations for that implies a capacity to discern truth from falsehood [13] and it can be easily tested.

The scientific framework consists of two components: (1) External excellence which teaches how to do all that we do from wake up time to bedtime including all that we do at work in the best possible manner. The US-developed six sigma framework is the best way to realize this goal [14], and (2) Internal Excellence. In addition to the referenced book, The Nature of Ultimate Reality, several papers on internal excellence may be found on the site sot.sixsigmaquality.com. It is interesting that that the two component of excellence are intricately related [15]. That is, in the absence of an adequate level of internal excellence, we neither possess the capacity to materialize intentions, nor can quality initiatives such as six sigma and others deliver acceptable performance. India has to embrace both components of excellence if its vision of joining the ranks of developed nations is to become reality.

Discussion

The scientific framework for world transformation has become available arguably for the first time in human history in part because the Nobel Prize winning discovery of DNA by Watson and Crick was only made in the twentieth century. Until then, there really was no scientific way to study how something within us affects our own selves. This issue had stumped Max Planck which is self- evident from his remark: This problem is difficult because we are part of the problem we are trying to solve. Furthermore, the scientific mysteries of the beginning of the universe, the notion of nothingness, the meaning of ultimate reality, the nature of that reality, and what all this has to do with life here on Earth, have been unraveled only a couple of years ago. Still, in an ego-bursting candid admission, no one really invents anything. All information, data, facts, past discoveries, and discoveries yet to be made are already there in the domain of undifferentiated consciousness. We only need to download it to our consciousness so that we can talk about it, write about it, put it to use, and so on.  And this requires conditioning of space, a high-level of internal excellence, and a strong desire to materialize that intention. Mysticism is science not yet known but take care, mysticism and superstition are close cousins and so validate all observations with six sigma principles.

Science demands that scientific experiments must be repeatable and reproducible regardless who conducts them, where, and how many times and that is the way it should be. When it comes to human consciousness the experiments may not be repeatable or reproducible. This is because the individual level of internal excellence of most people varies from one day to the next. Therefore, what has been presented here although scientific is not science. Nonetheless it is possible to make progress but it requires the use of a systemic methodology such as six sigma that is based solely on input-output data. For a paper on How to Work Smarter with Six Sigma in French, Spanish, Greek, Russian, and English the reader is referred to the home page of the site, www.sixsigmaquality.com. Fundamental approaches to problem-solving should always be preferred but when it comes to human beings, detailed mechanistic information about ourselves is not yet available. When he was Chairman of General Electric in the mid-nineties, fellow chemical engineer, Dr. Jack F. Welch, Jr., would remind his staff, NIH (Not Invented Here) is dead at GE, meaning that good ideas should be adopted regardless of who developed them, where, and when. This resonates with Shri Bhagwat’s comment. The ideas presented may appear to be Hindu-centric but they are universally applicable. Finally, in our haste to transform the world, let us not forget, the journey must begin from home.

Acknowledgments

This article is written with the blessings of Guruji Paranjothiar. The author gratefully thanks Dr. Jim Kowall and Dr. B. D. Kulkarni, Distinguished Scientist with the Academy of Scientific and Industrial Research, Government of India for their review and comments on the paper.

In Closing

A scientific perspective on what Hindu unscientific values should be abandoned is presented. India has a unique opportunity to take advantage of the scientific framework for world transformation to reinvent itself and help transform the 21st century.

 
Figure 1. Internal Excellence Explained

Further Reading

  1. Singh, Mahim Pratap, Hindu values that have no scientific basis should be given up: RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat, Indian Express, September 14, 2015.
  2. Deshpande, Pradeep B., PhD and Kowall, James P., MD (Neurology, Internal Medicine), PhD (Theoretical Physics), The Nature of Ultimate Reality and How It Can Transform Our World: Evidence from Modern Physics; Wisdom of YODA, SAC 2015 (available on amazon).
  3. Press Trust of India – IBN Live, Who is Eeshwar in whose name oath is taken? Law Ministry Stumped, May 4, 2015.
  4. Gefter, Amanda, Trespassing on Einstein’s Lawn: A Father, a Daughter, the Meaning of Nothing, and the Beginning of Everything Random House, 2014.
  5. Kowall, James P., The Physicist’s Dilemma: Ultimate Reality – The Non-Physical Nature of Consciousness, Journal of Consciousness & Research, 5. 4. 2014 pp. 392 – 396.
  6. Deshpande, Pradeep B., Who is Eeshwar, Ed-Op, Scientific God Journal, 6, 7, September 2015.
  7. Frydman, M., I Am That: Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, The Acorn Press, Durham, NC 2012.
  8. Braden, Gregg, The Divine Matrix, Hay House Publishers, 2007.
  9. Tiller, W. A., Psychoenergetic Science: A Second Copernican-Scale revolution, Pavior Publishing, Walnut Creek, CA 2007.
  10. Swamy Chidbhavananda, “Commentary on Bhagvad Gita”, Tapovanam Printing School, Tirupparaitturai, Tamil Nadu, India, 1992.
  11. Deshpande, P. B. and Christopher, P. M., On the Cyclical Nature of Excellence, Reflections, No., September 1993.
  12. Deshpande, P. B., On the Scriptural Nature of Varna: Is India on the Rise? Reflections, No. 3, October 1996.
  13. Hawkins, David R., Truth vs. Falsehood: How to Tell the Difference, Hay House Publishers, Carlsbad, CA 2005.
  14. Deshpande, P. B., Six Sigma for Karma Capitalism, Six Sigma and Advanced Controls, Inc., 2015 (available on amazon).
  15. Deshpande, P. B., Profound Implications of Minimum Variance Control, Dr. Mikel Harry’s Blog Business Improvement Times, May 2015.

Shankara, Hinduism, and Modern Physics

James P. Kowall*, MD (Neurology, Internal Medicine), PhD (Theoretical Physics)

If Hinduism is understood the way Shankara understood it, the mystery is already solved, except for a mathematical-scientific-information based understanding of how the world is created along the lines of the expression of dark energy, the expansion of space, the creation of an observer-dependent cosmic horizon, and the holographic principle, which explains how all the information for the observer’s world is encoded on the horizon. Atmanic consciousness is then understood as a focal point of perception that arises in relation to a holographic screen, which is differentiated from the undifferentiated Brahmanic consciousness of the void when the screen arises and the observer’s world is created.

The whole thing begins with the expression of dark energy and the expansion of space, which begins at the point of singularity of the observer. The singularity is present at the center of a cosmic horizon, just like the singularity of a black hole. In existential terms, that singularity is what we really are as long as we are present for the world we observe. When we are no longer present, we become the void. The hard thing to accept about this explanation is that the world we observe is no more real than the animated images of a movie we are watching on a viewing screen from our own central point of view of that world.

Only consciousness is ultimately real, and in its ultimate form, when dark energy is no longer expended, is void. As Shankara stated: Brahman is the only truth, the world is illusion, and there is ultimately no difference between Atman and Brahman.

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*Dr. Kowall retired from private medical practice at the age of 55 to devote full-time in search for the ultimate reality. 

Need of the Hour: Excellence of the External and Internal World 

Bhaskar D. Kulkarni*, PhD

Distinguished Scientist (Engineering Sciences)

CSIR Distinguished Professor and Dean, AcSIR

CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory, Pashan road,

Pune 411 008 (India) 

I have read your article on ‘What unscientific values should Hindus Abandon’. It is written in a very free flowing and lucid manner trying to pin down the flexing issues.  The message that anything that drives individuals, organizations, societies and nations towards achieving excellence of the external (physical world around us) and the internal  (subtle,  nonphysical, nonmaterial) world simultaneously should be fostered, retained, encouraged, and accepted. Needless to say, the rest should be given up and discarded.  Embracing scientific methodologies to excel in both the external and internal world is thus a necessity.  Wonderfully written, accept my appreciation of the same.

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*Dr. Kulkarni is a Fellow of the Indian National Science Academy. He has supervised 70 PhD scholars and authored or co-authored authored several books and 350 technical papers in international journals.