Vedic philosophy was always of the view that the world is full of illusion and Brahma is the truth, light or consciousness. The world may be illusory but it is hard to believe that we all live in a non-real world. As we know our birth, death, miseries, pain, difficulties, happiness and so on and so forth are all real even though some Buddha, Zen master, seeker, guru, philosopher said that the world is illusory but that does not bother mankind because man lives and what happens around him is as real as it could be. The real trouble begins when a quantum physicist says that the world is a projection of the mind as a matter of fact it does not exist. The physicist echoes the same sentiments of Vedanta.
Quantum Physics penetrated the universe and changed the understanding of the Universe entirely in the last century. On the basis of that Einstein could foresee and develop the theory of relativity and later on scientists like Stephen Hawkings and others are exploring the world as never before. If the quantum physicists were exploring the cosmos in the last century then today they are trying to establish scientifically they influence of cosmic consciousness of each and everybody on this earth.
Quantum physicists are taking a leap further and are speaking the language of Vedanta and are saying that the world is an imaginary place. The new hypothesis is that the world exists because of your imagination otherwise it is not there. The physicists are also working on sub-particle of electron, neutron, proton and quark. Their findings of quark and other particles are astonishing. They have noticed that the same quark is appearing in more than one place. Since human body is also made of these elements it suggests that the same human body can be present in more than one place at the same time.
The Indian philosophy of Vedanta is based on this principle. Vedas and especially Upanishads know for sure that this world is a maya or delusion and existential reality pervades all over but can be seen only by crossing this illusory world. As a matter of fact Sankhya philosophy of Advaita – non-duality- believes that though the world is made of Ishwar, (spirit) and prakriti, (nature) but it was a sheer choice of Ishwar to create this world and prakriti provides and gives intelligent support to the spirit. Ishwar (spirit) can exist without the support of nature but this luxury, prakriti cannot afford. In other words it is the leela or creative play by Ishwar, where things look as they are happening in reality even though they are not actually happening.
About 1200 years back Adi Shankaracharya has said in his doctrine of Advaita that “jagat mithyam, brahma satyam”. The world is illusory and Brahma is the truth, light or consciousness. If we go back to the origin of the world, then Brahma was alone there in the Universe and did not create the world for a very long time. One day he was in a blissful mood and thought to himself ‘let me be many’ and the world started happening. In other words, the world is the creation of the mind of Brahma. Brahma did not use any other primordial force other than his mind to create the world. Science also gives the same kind of logic about the creation of the world based on its scientific analysis called the Big Bang.
Many analysts and philosophers derive the analogy between the Big Bang and Brahma as almost identical. Brahma was alone in the Universe for time immemorial and was least interested in any action whether of mind or physical. He was very happy in his state of ‘yog nidra’ (slumber), which went on for a long time and one day he suddenly woke up and with the thought of creation and existence started taking place. Scientists also apply the same kind of logic that the world was dense, filled with gases and different elements and immense heat, and then when it could not bear itself any longer then the big bang happened which brought life to the earth. Scientifically as well as metaphysically the creation of the world still remains a mystery but one thing is certain about the creation of the world is its suddenness or unexpectedness.
Quantum physics has given a new tool to the scientists to explore the universe and its existence right from the beginning and how it will unfold itself in the distant future. Science is not leaving any stone unturned to do research in the physical as well as metaphysical world. The beauty of science lies that it can explore unknown areas objectively as well as subjectively with the same pace and enthusiasm. Since scientists remain unattached to a great extent through the process of his research which helps them to know the hidden truths to validate their theories to a great extent. Science has also understood that a sub-atomic particle is made of two things energy and intelligence. The real source of creation is the energy and intelligence of an atom. Science wants to dissect the energy and intelligence and see them function separately which perhaps is not possible.
The world is made of five elements and these five elements are fire, earth, water air and space and human beings are made of eight elements which include these five elements and mind, intellect and ego. The combination of these eight elements gives rise to gunas in an individual’s personality. The three gunas are sattva, rajas and tamas. Sattva means purity, truth, light, intelligence; rajas means dynamism, action, aggression and ‘I’-ness, tamas: inertia, ego, dullness, ignorance. The imbalance or excess of these gunas leads one to form ones samskaras or attributes. All of us act in this world based on one’s samskaras or attributes. According to Bhagwad Gita, an individual is himself his own friend and his own enemy. Further, Krishna says man has six enemies (ripu). If other people become inimical then their enmity can be traced to the root of their activities; but Krishna says the real danger of man is man himself. These six ripus are:
Kama or desire
Krodha or anger
Lobh or greed
Moha or delusion
Madh or pride mixed with arrogance
Matsarya or jealousy
Besides these six ripus, man has three additional confinements. First is the confinement with outer influence and due to this man drags himself into the outside world. The second confinement is ‘I-ness’ or man’s ‘I’ the ego. Due to over indulgence Man usually forgets his real self and starts believing that he is just a body. The third confinement is the mind itself.
The basic difference between man and animal is of mind / intellect. All animals are bestowed with special instincts and qualities. The basic qualities are directly connected with a specific element. The earth element represents touch; when one has to tame a wild elephant then the female elephant is brought near the male elephant and with a touch he starts chasing her. The touch sense is so strong in the elephant that he goes mad and wants to hold her at any cost. This is how he is tricked by hunters; they dig a pit and trap the elephant. The fire element denotes attraction (roopam). The moth’s fatal attraction to fire is well known. Air represents smell; the bee / bhanwara is drawn to the fragrance of flowers and gets trapped in it and loses his life. The element water represents juice/ras. Fish is attracted towards the bait on the fishing line and gets caught in the hook. The partridge / Chakora goes crazy when he sees the full moon and flies in the sky and loses his life.
All the five senses play a very important role in the life of a human being. The imbalance of one element can create havoc in nature; one can very well imagine if there is a chaotic functioning of all five elements then what would happen. All of us are deeply engrossed and influenced by these elements. Besides this with our mind we create a different beautiful world of our liking and want to spend the rest of our lives in that cozy environment. Intellect also plays a very important role in our life and we can ward off all the difficulties with the use of our intellect. With the use of mind and intellect one automatically becomes an achiever. It is next to impossible to not get an inflated ego when one is such an achiever.
Man utilizes his mind, intellect, senses and ego to move ahead in life. These give shape to his mind’s creations and help him to accomplish what he desires. Once his creations and needs are fulfilled then there is a sense of achievement and accomplishment and here is where his ego comes into play. New avenues and new dimensions open up for him and this increases his confidence and also inflates his ego. He begins to think that he is infinite so he also feels that he has the ability to decipher the infinite with his mind.
Using their scientific mind physicists want to unlock the mysteries of the cosmic consciousness. They are not wrong in thinking that they can achieve this because they have gained confidence over the years as they have already unravelled many ambiguities of Nature. There seems to be a parallel between what the scientific minds are thinking and Brahma’s creation of the world with his mind. It therefore seems possible as they are using the vast and inexhaustible mind to reveal the intricacies of cosmic consciousness.
Modern day quantum physicists have gone further in their study of the atom where in the sub-sub particles they have seen that one sub-particle is available at more than one place. If we look at our saints like Raman, Ramakrishna Paramhans, Nanak, Sai Baba etc. and our perceptions of them, then they too were seen to be present at more than one place at the same time. In their discoveries the scientists are trying to establish that this is a general phenomenon and no mystery is attached to it. Man is made of sub-sub particles quark; and once this secret is known then a single man can also be present at several places like the great saints. This reminds us of the legend of Lord Krishna dancing with several gopis and no gopi ever complained that Krishna was not with her when dancing the raas leelas. The same facts were revealed by more than 16,000 wives of Lord Krishna and none of them ever felt that Krishna was not with them. They all had their own story to tell about their togetherness with Krishna. Physicists in their zeal and enthusiasm are not stopping only here but are going further to decipher the cosmic consciousness and this could be realized by every human being in his body, mind and soul on this earth. It looks like a sci-fi fantasy but physicists are in reality working on this and hope that one day each and every human being will understand the cosmic consciousness or Brahma or enlightenment or Krishna consciousness or Christ consciousness or Buddha consciousness and become a realized soul.
The world is made of Ishwar (spirit) and Nature (prakriti). Nature (prakriti) is an important element but the formation of the world cannot happen without the direct cooperation of Ishwar. Though Prakriti is an important factor in the whole process but cannot create without the support of creator. Hence without the direct support of Ishwar the world cannot be formed. Here lies the magic of duality and non-duality. The world although seems to be of dual nature but at the same time non-duality persists more than duality. At the same time ordinary mind cannot understand and grasp the duality and non-duality. Unless the mind ceases there is no way to grasp the duality and non-duality at the same wavelength.
Existence or consciousness pervades all over the universe. Mind is the sharpest instrument that nature has given to mankind and with the help of mind man has been able to understand many horizons and cross many frontiers which only mind can reveal. When the limitation of mind ceases, only then it can grasp consciousness. Cosmic consciousness is beyond the capacity of mind so only when mind ceases to exist then existential consciousness reveals itself. Isha Upanishad says that mind can reach out anywhere wherever it wants within no time. For instance if mind thinks of the moon it is there, if he thinks of the sun and the galaxies then it is there in the next moment. In this bargain mind consciousness takes fraction of seconds to reach where it wants to reach but consciousness is already there. If mind wants to grasp the consciousness of the universe then it has to cease completely otherwise there is no hope.