Who is Eeshwar Asks an RTI Applicant
Professor Emeritus of Chemical Engineering, University of Louisville,
Visiting Professor of Management, Gatton College of Business & Economics, University of Kentucky,
and President and CEO, Six Sigma and Advanced Controls, Inc., Louisville, KY USA
Who is ‘Eeshwar’ in whose name top constitutional functionaries & legislators take oath of office?
This deceptively innocent inquiry recently came from an RTI (Right to Information) applicant. According to newspaper reports the application was originally addressed to the President’s Secretariat but was transferred to the Home Ministry which forwarded it to the Law Ministry. Failing to get a satisfactory response, the applicant took the matter to the Central Information Commission. Actually, the question is unbelievably wise and it is a compliment to India where such questions are raised and officials take the time to respond. The applicant must be congratulated for his perseverance. It is doubtful such questions would be raised anywhere else.
The definition of the term Eeshwar in the Bhagvad Geeta (Chapter 18, Verse 61) or for that matter in the Vedic literature does not shed light on what it means for the oath. What is striking about the question is this. If the top officials are taking an oath in the name of something that is ill-defined or unclear then what is the hope that the oath-taker will ever honor the principles for which the oath may stand? After a scientific scrutiny spanning four decades and founded on ancient Indian wisdom now corroborated by western scientific experiments, a scientific framework for world transformation has been developed that answers the questions like this among other things. The book, The Nature of Ultimate Reality and how it can transform our World: Evidence from Modern Physics; Wisdom of YODA, by Pradeep B. Deshpande, PhD and James P. Kowall, MD, PhD, Six Sigma and Advanced Controls, Inc., 2015 (available on amazon) details the scientific framework. In the book there is a chapter titled Science and Spirituality: A Perfect Standoff which provides a detailed scientific explanation to the applicant’s question. This article presents a synopsis.
Strange as it may sound, to wrap our rational arms around the applicant’s query, it is necessary to begin with an exercise to unravel the mystery of the universe: How the universe came into existence, what is nothing, what is ultimately real? Now, if everything physical in the universe were to vanish leaving behind nothing and yet if something remained, then one may surmise that which remained is ultimately real. Thus, nothingness and ultimate reality are closely related. For her 2014 New York Times best-selling book, Trespassing on Einstein’s Lawn, journalist Amanda Gefter undertook a journey to get an answer to these questions. Assisted by her father, a radiologist at the University of Pennsylvania, she met with dozens of renowned physicists, interviewed several Nobel Laureates, and exchanged emails with the likes of Stephen Hawking arriving at the conclusion, ultimately nothing is real since all the fundamental forces of nature (gravity, electromagnetism, strong nuclear force, and weak nuclear force) are observer-dependent and they only arise in an observer’s accelerated frame of reference. That is, they all will vanish in a falling frame of reference. Thus, the ultimate reality is the nothingness of the void. Theoretical physicist turned physician Jim Kowall who retired from private practice several years ago to spend time to search for the answer to the question, what is the ultimate reality, extended Amanda’s conclusion: Kurt Gödel’s Incompleteness theorems prove that the nature of ultimate reality cannot be anything else but consciousness as nothing physical can free-fall through the size of Planck length (10-33 cm in diameter), the size of the universe at the moment of the Big Bang. The scientific explanation tells us that in an accelerated frame of reference the world is real but it is also an illusion in that in a falling framework of reference it can vanish.
Now, if this undifferentiated consciousness had no effect on us humans, then these surprising findings would have been of little interest other than to theoretical physicists. But that is not the case. Western scientists have conducted several experiments in recent decades concluding that everything is connected to everything else although not physically linked. They are so connected with a field of energy which has enormous intelligence in that it responds to the power of human emotion. So, we may surmise that we too are connected to one another although not physically linked. Our individual, differentiated consciousness is not only connected to the undifferentiated consciousness but it is a microcosm of it. As an example, when a group of individuals begins to meditate, chant a mantra, or join in collective prayer it does not take long before their heart rates and respiration rates synchronize autonomically. Additionally, scientists have also shown that positive emotions (unconditional love, kindness, empathy, compassion) have a positive effect on human physiology while negative emotions (anger, hatred, resentment, hostility, despair, fear, sorrow) have the opposite effect, not only on themselves but on others as well.
This is as far as science comprehends the mystery of the universe and the mystery of life but as Stephen Hawking puts it, All scientific theories are provisional in that as more and more data arrives that conforms to the theory, our confidence in the theory rises but if a single data point were to materialize that contradicts the predictions of the theory, then that theory must be abandoned in favor of a new or modified theory.
This explanation of the mystery of the universe gives rise to many perspectives. Among them are:
- Many among us are instinctively devotional requiring no proof of the existence of Eeshwar. 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. For example, when the Gefter’s asked the renowned theoretical physicist the Late John Archibald Wheeler at a Physics colloquium on Ultimate Reality in Princeton in 2002, If the Observer creates reality, who creates the observer? Wheeler responded, Physics, The Universe is a Self-Excited Circuit. Rig Veda also has something similar to say (Nasadiya Sukta -10.130): Whence all creation had its origin whether he fashioned it or whether he did not, he, who surveys it all from highest heaven, he knows-or maybe even he does not know (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nasadiya_Sukta).
- Yet others may feel that all this is irrelevant to life on Earth.
Now, with this explanation who is Eeshwar? Well, it depends on who you ask. So, is the oath-taking a futile exercise? It does not have to be. The scientific explanation of the universe itself gives a clue on how to reinterpret it. Note that the notion of Eeshwar has practical significance only because human emotions are involved and therefore, the path forward for progress too is via emotions. The idea is this. Each of the 6 ½ billion of us have three components of the mindset S, R, and T that defines who we are. The two emotions, positive emotions and negative emotions, are in turn related to the three components. A little reflection will reveal that positive emotions strongly and positively correlate with the S component while negative emotions strongly and positively correlate with the R and T components. The specific proportions of these components determines the level of internal excellence of an individual. These ideas are depicted in Figure 1. The noble ones are towards the top of the scale while the wicked ones are towards the bottom and the rest of us somewhere in between. The lifelong objective of every individual should be to rise on this scale of internal excellence. Everywhere in the author’s seminars on Internal Excellence in several countries, audiences had no difficulty in naming individuals towards the top end of the scale and individuals towards the bottom end of the scale. Furthermore, no one has ever raised a hand indicating a desire to go in the downward direction on the scale of internal excellence. Note too that internal excellence is not static, it varies with time and the lower it is, the larger the fluctuations.
- Mindset Components:
S: Truthfulness, honesty, steadfastness, equanimity
R: Attachment, bravery, ego, ambition, greed, desire to live
T: Lying, cheating, causing injury in words or deeds, sleep
Positive Emotions: Unconditional love, kindness, empathy, compassion
Negative Emotions: Anger, hatred, hostility, despair, resentment, guilt, jealousy, fear, sorrow
Figure 1. Level of Internal Excellence Explained
As a side bar, the readers should find the nearly identical messages of incarnations, prophet, son of God, etc., striking. All of them have made the raising of the S component and control of R and T components the single most important pursuit of their lives. The reader could also reflect on why there are so many problems on account of religion, race, caste, etc., in spite of this fact. The answer is in this paper.
For reasons that are not entirely amenable to logical scrutiny, the three components of the mindset undergo transformation over time and that induces the rise and decline of societies. As the average S component of a society increases, the society rises but the S component cannot increase indefinitely and when it reaches a peak, the T component begins its ascent and the society declines. The T component cannot increase indefinitely either and so the decline must eventually come to an end and the society begins to rise again and so on. All societies aspire to rise. India has declared a desire to rise and join the rank of developed nations. It should be clear that this is only possible if the average level of internal excellence of the society sufficiently increases.
This explanation provides a sound basis for the reinterpretation of the oath on Eeshwar. If the oath is taken to mean “I pledge to strive to increase my level of internal excellence”, then that will be great for the country. Pledging to do something is a conscious approach, it is not sufficient to materialize the intention. We have to change ourselves inside and out and our ancestors developed the know-how for it eons ago. If a fraction of the population of India were to take the pledge and strive to live by it, India will emerge as a superpower in no time. If all nations were to embrace the ideas, the world will be a far better and more peaceful place. The pledge does not invoke the names of the masters of any of the religions and there is no need for the scriptures of different religions at the time of oath-taking.
The ideas presented here may appear India-centric but they are perfectly general and apply to all democratic societies where such oath-taking is practiced. The explanation is not a philosophical treatise but a scientific exercise amenable to validation. In engineering, we propose a hypothesis, design and conduct experiments, collect and analyze data, and test the validity of the claim with hypothesis testing. The importance of the re-interpreted oath is subject to such an audit.
The author thanks Guruji Maharishi Paranjothiar for his blessings and inspiration. He has also learned a lot from Baba Shivanand Ji’s discourses on television. The author is grateful to Dr. James P. Kowall for his review and comments. The author also thanks Dr. S. N. Bhavsar in Pune for his review and comments. The author is grateful to Mr. Tony Belak, Ombudsman, University of Louisville for the editorial assistance.