The story of our – homo sapiens – origin and evolution on this planet is very interesting and strange. Life as we know it first appeared here strangely –  as if it was the oozing of an energy of conscious will out of dead matter to fill some low lying hole (or a slot of vacant space) of available possibilities in the scheme of Nature. This oozing of life out of the dead matter was, to say the least, the most bizarre event – as if the infinity of universal matter broke off its bounds, left behind the confines of its defining properties and flowed into another domain of an alien infinity of life. Life has these defining properties: Life is curent of energy that acts and reacts; it has direction of flow towards perpetuity and immortality; this direction produces its multiplicity from cells to species; it is able to probe and know; it is able to repair and adapt itself. All these properties are nothing but the reflection of life into its different dimensions. These properties are executed by life into action by resorting to taking food, sexual reproduction etc. But these are nothing but devices only and it is logically possible for life to adopt different devices under different conditions, which could be better ones. Its traces have been found, by the latest scientific research, 3.4 billion years ago.

However, life’s evolutionary journey has not been a smooth one. Life has seen its extinction on massive scale within a comparatively short duration at least on five occasions. These extinctions may have been caused at different periods by either cataclysmic volcanism or cataclysmic meteorite strike or tectonic upheaval and their devastating effect on ecological and biological formations on earth. After every mass extinction, life has bounced back but with strikingly different traits. After one such extinction, there was a great explosion – Cambrian explosion – of life 541 million years ago. The heaviest one such mass extinction had taken place during the Permian – Trias geological era 251 millions years ago. It was so massive that the period before and after this extinction is labelled as Paleozoic (ancient life) and Mesozoic (intermediate life). We have been able to find fossilized record of life existing 500 million years ago and since then this life is flourishing and evolving into different species. Some paleontologists hold, we are currently undergoing the sixth extinction that started with the industrial revolution in 19th century. Once finding its place, life blossomed further in many hues – as if sprouting of many branches of a tree, the tree of life.

On a particular branch of this tree of life, which was the life of primates, we separated from our nearest primate cousin some 7,60,000 years ago, as if it was further sprouting of one more new branch in this tree. But our hominin cousin too, since then some 6,50,000 years ago, further branched out in two separate and new species, which came to known Denisovans and Neanderthals. We all – homo sapiens – had our original place of descent near a gigantic lake somewhere near the Zambezi river in modern day Botswana in Africa. We lived there for about 70,000 years, struggled to survive and evolved further in that process. After that period because of some compelling circumstances we came out of that place and migrated to different places on earth. During our period of migration some 2,00,000 years ago, we encountered en-route the presence of those Denisovans and Neanderthals living somewhere in Siberia and had occasional interbreeding with them. While we homo sapiens during our evolutionary journey have spread to all nook and corners of the  habitable places on Earth, those Denisovans and Neanderthals could not adapt themselves in their struggle for survival to new circumstances and became extinct. But we homo sapiens still carry their 4 to 5% genes within our DNA. Though in geological terms 7,00,000 years is not any significant period, yet in terms of our knowledge we have come a long way from our cave dwelling days to the modern times.

In this vast universe, we have our home at one place only: Earth. It is so at least till now. This universe is so vast that it seems edge-less and, therein, our Earth is so insignificant that it looks like a dot on an infinite canvass. Today we know this fact and realize the fragility of our Earth and our existence on this Earth.

The fragility of Earth and our existence creates a feeling of insecurity in our mind. We also know that in our evolutionary journey we have come a long way. Today, thanks to science we know many secrets of Nature and thanks to technology we can tinker many things in Nature to our liking.

Our wisdom impresses upon us that we should utilize this knowledge and capability to thwart any danger to our existence in whatever way possible. Obviously, the supreme important thing for us is to ensure our continued existence and our welfare. However, our existence and welfare are jeopardized by two sources of the danger: the threat posed by man-made circumstances and the threat coming from extraterrestrial circumstances. Humanity is wise enough to realize that we share a common cause and an imperative necessity in protecting ourselves from these twin dangers.

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(Milky Way galaxy; therein Sun; therein Earth! It is but a dot – difficult to spot!)

Though the extraterrestrial source of danger is more difficult to safeguard against, still the man-made one is more likely to happen and threaten our existence. The man-made circumstances threatening our existence would arise from our own disputes. Considering the normal human behavior that is still driven by the animal instincts, this threat – this danger – is not only more likely to happen and destroy us but also more difficult to manage by us. In fact, this source adds a serious dimension to our already fragile position.

We pose a question to ourselves: Why should there be any disputes among us, especially when we cherish a common ideal: ‘Ideal of Truth, the truth of everything’, share a common goal: ‘Goal of Well-being of all’ and belong to one human family: Family of Homo sapiens?

In our evolutionary journey spanning millions of years, we have reached a point where we use reason not only to solve our day-today problems to make our life comfortable but also to solve the most intricate mysteries of Nature. We have evolved the capacity to put questions; to apply reason; and to find answers to those questions. Thanks to our capacity to ‘reason’, we have walked a long way from our cave-dwelling days to this – today’s – scientific age.

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(Why … why? We evolved as humans out of animals because we inquired and searched!)

It is our civilization journey. In this journey, we have uncovered a great number of the working principles and secrets of Nature. These discoveries have made our daily life easy in the face of Nature’s odds. Today we lead a comfortable life only because of our knowledge of these secrets.

(Scientists – all Nobel laureate, including Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, Marie C. Curie)

In the light of our knowledge of all these secrets of Nature, we are today in the position to put a generic question of great importance: Do we have some purpose to be here – any reason to exist at all? Are we – and this creation – an accident wherein we find ourselves posited in this unresolved riddle of great complexity?

Our ability to put questions and find answers to them is the key to our continuous development and progress. It is the secret of our evolution. We want to know everything in this universe, the truth of everything. The answer to this generic question – the discovery of the universe’s hidden secret – howsoever we get it – will surely be to our benefit. The history of science testifies to this fact. This answer will be an addition to the store of our knowledge and make us climb up one more step in our evolutionary ladder.

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(Knowledge makes our life easy!)

The story of human race is nothing but the story of ‘putting questions, applying reason, finding answers, acquiring knowledge and utilizing such knowledge in fabricating technologies’. It is the way we march ahead on our evolutionary journey.

However, unfortunately, in many respects we are still not better than animals. We have not been able yet to utilize our reasoning-power to tame our animal instincts that put us on a collision path. Though our reason tells us that we share a common fate on Earth, our heart tells us that we cherish a common ideal, the truth, truth of everything; and we realize that our common goal is the Well-being of all. But still we are guided by our individual petty sentiments of nations, religions, languages, ethnicity, political ideologies and economic interests and are inimical to one another.

Remaining oblivious to our commonality of ideal, goal and fate, we pursue our petty selfish interests and mutually inimical agendas; we act in unjustified ways. We go ahead in these perilous pursuits doggedly and pretend otherwise hypocritically. Because of our unreasonable conduct we bring on Earth uncomfortable conditions and perilous circumstances for life. Because of these antagonistic stands, we have disputes – serious disputes – among us that can destroy us. With all this knowledge, how come we do not mend our ways?

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(Atomic explosion: We can destroy all life and our world!)

This has been our general history so far. But now it cannot continue for long like this. In terms of knowledge and technology, what it took for us to achieve in centuries, now we are achieving in mere days! Now things have changed and we are moving very fast in time. We have already developed highly efficient – and destructive – technologies and acquired a capacity to destroy ourselves. Our mistakes – our blunders – will not give us a second chance to correct our ways. And, we are racing ahead in developing more efficient – and more destructive – technologies. We are living in the critical times today!

We have reached a point in our evolutionary journey where we have got the capacity to change Nature – living and non-living parts both – to our liking. It is dazzling progress but it is too heavy a load for our capacity to handle it wisely. We have great challenges today. Human foundation based on reason is too feeble to take the right decisions.

We as a race are the disoriented and perplexed lot today. We can fabricate to our liking automated machines – robots armed with artificial intelligence – but do not know what to do if these robots chose to act according to their own liking and against our liking! We can change the genetic architecture of life to our liking but we do not know what to do if such new form of life behaves to its own liking and against our liking!

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(We can tinker with life! Genetically modified human(?) beings!!)

A fateful question stares us all: How can we guarantee our safety against all that which we have achieved? How can we guarantee our safety against an ever increasing probability of our extinction in a mass-destruction war launched to resolve our disputes? How can we safeguard ourselves against an unintended accidental blunder in utilizing our biological and technological capacity? Our greed knows no limit; our disputes are countless; in our psychological composition we are still animals within; and, we are likely to commit blunders any time.

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(Machines equipped with Artificial Intelligence will compete with humans!)

For example, how can we safeguard ourselves against, say, the risk of genetic manipulation of life? Or, an accidentally created  ‘run-away-race’ of robots? Or, creatures powered by Artificial Intelligence? Or, total – or almost total – human unemployment resulting from the deployment of robots? Or, compressing matter / mass / gravity too much and artificially re-creating ‘Black Hole’ in laboratory? Or, ecological imbalance on Earth? Or, over-population, over-demands, over-industrialization? This list will grow with each passing day with the fast developing science. Let us leave apart the danger posed to us by an eventual extraterrestrial catastrophe on Earth and consider how likely we are to destroy ourselves with our own acts!

How can we live in peace as a family, resolve our disputes as rational beings, make progress and realize our dreams? Let us hear a voice of wisdom in this Atomic Age from the people of an ancient land called India.

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(We are a family … really are we?)

The voice of India is not the voice of nationalism or religion. It is the voice of an age-old inquiry, discovery and technology: the inquiry into the mystery of this universe; the discovery of working principles of this mysterious universe; and the technology to make humans noble, peace loving and devoted to their supreme welfare, which (technology) was pioneered and enriched by Vedas, Upanishad(s), Purana(s), Mahavira, Buddha, Shankaracharya, Fareed, Guru Nanak, Mira Bai,  Chaitanya, Ramakrishna, Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo and many more. It is a civilization.

This knowledge, and its application into a technology called Yoga, has been deployed by India since ancient times to raise humans in their evolution a step higher to get victory over animal instincts, which instincts have set us onto this destructive course. Yoga serves the humanity of their supreme interests without any petty reservations of religion, caste, creed, ideology or nationality! The architecture of this science – knowledge and technology of Yoga – does not give any space to the lower sentiment of ‘We versus Others’.

It is the secret – the reason – that India in its very long history has never invaded any foreign country despite being a mighty power in military, wealth and culture, and still managed to exert its spiritual influence over most of Asia and beyond!

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(How did Indians live 5000 to 9000 years ago? Look at the Harrapa, Mohenjo Daro, Rakhigarhi excavated sites )

Founded on this knowledge and technology, India has an old civilization, which is an unbroken continuity of its past. It has amazingly preserved this wisdom over the ages to face over the ages the unknown challenges of an unfolding future. India, though an ancient civilization, is a modern nation. Its civilization connects it to the past, allows it to face the present and offers it an opportunity to shape a better future.

India is a land where space-ships zoom and Bullock carts crawl side by side.  It is a land where English (a modern global language) is spoken by its ordinary folks along with Sanskrit (an ancient language with a computer’s precision) with an equal fervor.

Indian civilization is incredible and it is incredible because its foundation is laid on an open architecture of inquiry with the widest possible scope. Though it is the way of life of Indian people but its spread is not confined to geographical India of today and it has nothing to do with Indian nationalism. It is not a religion either, in the sense in which a religion is generally understood, though it has given birth to world’s many great religions.

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(Buddha: What is the cause of Birth, Death, Universe, … ? – Exploring the inner Universe)

In fact, it is a way of life of a people who are solemn in their intention, unflinching in their aspiration and serene in their conduct; who are almost completely devoted to the pursuit of this inquiry in their life; and who in aid of this inquiry resort to all means – their mind, emotions, will, conduct and entire self – which they possess as humans! Where does this civilization stand in the light of our knowledge in 21st century?

The history of our race – Homo sapiens – testifies to the fact that it is the inquiry based on reason that is the real powerhouse of our development, progress and evolution. In the form of science it has made many discoveries and in the form of technology it has invented many machines. It has given us to a great extent the victory over Nature. It has also given the victory to a tiny number of wise people over a large number of ignorant multitudes, the victory both in the sense of a brute physical power over this ignorant crowd and in the sense of a superior moral claim to truth; and it has made this ignorant multitude to respect and follow in the footsteps of the wise few. Inquiry, knowledge, discovery and invention are the four wheels on which Homo sapiens have rolled on to reach the point where they are today. Their achievements on the strength of these four-some have made them different from animals.

Inquiry opens the door to the knowledge of truth. But what is truth? Truth is a perception; it is a belief. Unfortunately, there has always been a wide gap of the perception of truth between the wise few and the ignorant multitudes. Though the perception of truth is nothing but a mere belief, nevertheless with the passage of time this belief goes on continuously changing with the advances made in science and our knowledge. Since it is our belief and perception of truth that shapes our civilization, a civilization too undergoes constant changes with the advance in our knowledge.

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(Modern civilization)

How much is the reigning civilization – Western civilization – in accord with our knowledge revealed by science in 21st century today? What is the position of Indian civilization in this respect? Let us examine the situation in this regard.

We know that humanity ever since its emergence out of caves, in pursuit of its unquenchable quest, has been longing to search and know this vast and complex universe. Apparently, this complex universe is made-up of dead matter.

But this universe is not made-up of dead-matter alone; there is life too, at least on Earth. And, life is not dead-matter, though this life may be – or may not be – dependent on dead matter.  Naturally, humanity’s quest is not limited to knowing vast expanse of material universe alone.

Humanity’s gut-feeling is that it is good and advantageous to know this material universe; acquire the knowledge of its operating principles; and utilize this knowledge in forging appropriate technology to win over material comforts, which comforts are the most  satisfying and joyful to us. This gut-feeling – that is, knowing about what is apparent and utilizing it to our benefit – has been inherited by us from our past prehistoric day’s animal life. And we are still persisting in this gut-feeling to our benefit.

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(This visible universe is made-up of matter)

The reigning – Western – civilization is founded on this gut-feeling. It is founded on our knowledge of the material universe and in that it is indeed dazzling in providing us comforts and capacity. Only on the strength of this knowledge, today we are able to routinely undertake voyage in outer space and shape the material world around us to our liking and comfort.

India is no exception to this natural human urge to know this apparent material world and to reap the sweet fruits of this knowledge. Everyone lives in this material world and no one can afford to ignore the realities of this material world. The realities of this material world are not illusions but realities – as real as a reality can be.

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(Mangalyan Space Ship blasting off to Mars – What is there in the outer Universe?)

No search for the ‘non-material realities’ can ever be made by ignoring – and at the cost of – the ‘material realities’ of this world. One must first go ahead in exploring this material world, near and far. In fact, the path to search for the realities – whether they are material or non- material – passes only through this material world.

Humanity cannot afford to shun the realities of this material world. She must first conquer it by uncovering its working principles and only thence proceed further to the search of other worlds, which may not be so material!

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(What is there on Mars? Images of Mars sent by Mangalyan)

However, we humans have an insatiable inquisitiveness and cannot stop searching and knowing only that what is apparent to us. Our urge pushes us to go further to search for and know the reality, which may not be apparent but beyond what is apparent. Our insatiable inquisitiveness does not permit us to remain satisfied with the enjoyment of material comforts alone.

The elements of our dissatisfaction with the material comforts, curiosity to know more and a deeper urge within to know the reality of everything, which are ingrained in human nature, psychologically compel us to go further in our quest without any full stop! This human urge is further accentuated by our realization of the impermanence of life, in a universe that otherwise enjoys an eternal existence!

Responding to an inner whisper coming from deep within our heart, we long to know the phenomenon of life – the life that is just an antithesis to the dead-matter – and to somehow change ourselves also into an immortal life in this everlasting universe. A stem of grass, a tree, an insect, in addition to humans, are all conscious of themselves and their surroundings. But what is this consciousness? Is it merely an outcome of a particular chemistry of dead matter – or something that was potentially already present there, which this chemistry simply made possible to manifest?

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(Life inside us and outside us too?)

Here, our reason prompts us to make a bit hard thinking: We know that all things exist in ‘Time’ and ‘Space’ (which are the two dimensions) and ‘Time” and ‘Space’ have their own peculiar special relativity related properties, which affect all these things! “Time” and “Space” have their independent existence. These two dimensions (Time and Space) not only have their peculiar relativity related properties but they also have many “Planes”. “Space” has three planes: Length; Height; and Breadth. “Time” has two planes: Past; and Future, which are determined by the “Arrow of Time”.

A queer thought now: Could it be so with ‘Consciousness’ too? Could ‘Consciousness” be also a “Dimension”? Could this “Consciousness” be having its many “Planes”? If it is so, then it would be axiomatic to say that all things must exist in “Time”, “Space” and “Consciousness”! But, apparently, we do not find everything in this universe possessed with the properties of “Consciousness” as we do find all things possessing the properties of “Space” and “Time”. Then, how can one reconcile this anomaly?

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(Things in Space and Time, still better – Events in Space, Time and Consciousness!)

Today science is able to conceive that “Things” may exist in “One, Two and Three” planes of Space-Dimension! What does it mean? It means that, under certain conditions, some of these “Planes” of Space-Dimension may not be ‘visible’ to us, though they potentially still remain there! Let us proceed a bit further in this queer thought: Could it be likewise with the “Dimension of Consciousness” also? If it be so, then everything must be possessed with the properties of “Consciousness” either in “apparent form” or ‘potential form”. Also in that event (in accord with the Einstein’s theory of relativity wherein under some conditions “Time” can be converted into “Space” and vice versa), “Space”, “Time” and “Consciousness” could be converted under certain conditions into each other! And this hard thinking stops here.

Then, what does that mean in simple language? It means that under some conditions this entire universe can become a living existence, which concept is very near to our mental idea of the Supreme Divine Being! Amazingly, this universe has been described as a living entity in ancient Hindu sacred book called ‘Kathopanishad’!

Let us come to “Consciousness”. What is consciousness? Naturally, the referral point in our investigation could be our own consciousness – human consciousness. In pursuit of its inquisitiveness, humans since their cave-dwelling days have been at work to know what life is all about. There is a long history of this pursuit.

It is here that India has contributed the most. It is an addition to the humanity’s storehouse of knowledge. These are the discoveries of the seminal importance to humanity’s ultimate welfare. And, in this statement there is not an iota of nationalism or religiosity.

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(Triple Dimensions: Space; Time; Consciousness? With their Multiple Planes?)

Many enlightened individuals in India over the ages have realized that – just like ‘Time’ and ‘Space’ – ‘Consciousness’ too is a dimension of the reality of Nature. These individuals also verified the truth of their claim in a credible way. But how did they verify this truth in a credible way? Is this claim not merely a subjective mental impression of those persons?

What is the guarantee that such claim is true and not the ignorance of a fool or the deceit of a crook? How do we verify the truth of an assertion – a claim that it is truly so?

Fortunately, we have a foolproof test to verify the truth of a claim, which is applied by science every day. What is this test? It is the test by verifying a hypothesis of such claim of truth by experiment. What is a hypothesis? Hypothesis is a proposed working mechanism followed by Nature that explains why an event happens in a particular way.

Scientists, if they are correct in their hypothesis, can tell beforehand that a certain event shall happen in a particular way under the given conditions. If that event happens that way, then their hypothesis is correct and their claim to truth is also correct!

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(Scientific inquiry: Hypothesis, prediction, experiment and verification!)

All scientific technologies are made possible only because the truth of such claims underlying those technologies has been verified by scientists in this manner. This test is routinely applied by science to verify the truth of a claim. In fact, modern science is founded on this truth verification process. Once an outcome of a hypothesis is predicted and comes true in the experimental test, the hypothesis becomes the part of this science. Since Nature behaves uniformly, if the claims of scientists can be tested this way, then the claims of Yogis can also be tested this way. So let us apply this scientific truth verification process to Yogis.

Yogis, if their hypothesis is correct, should also be able to tell beforehand that a certain event shall happen in a particular way under the given conditions. If that event happens that way, then their hypothesis too would be correct!

Science defines those given conditions and technology simply puts those defined conditions into place to bring out the desired result. Likewise, Yoga defines those given conditions and Yogis simply put those defined conditions into place to bring out the desired result.

There is a great wonder that there have been since ages spiritual persons (Yogis) who too could predict many coming events beforehand, which predictions always came true. The world has seen such Yogis in the past as well as in the present (Read here how in 326 BC a Yogi named Kalanus had foretold six months in advance the coming death of Alexander, the Great). In India – more than any other parts of the world – such spiritual persons or Yogis are a common occurrence.

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(Alexander, the Great: He was informed of his death six months in advance by a Yogi!)

Yogis are able to foretell coming events – that is, they are able to predict an event beforehand – which truly happens that way. In this way, their hypothesis (explanation of this universe) is also tested and verified. On the basis of their explanation of this universe, they are able to make such prediction.

Yogis are no less technologists!

Humanity’s curiosity to know this life – life endowed with consciousness – has been knocking since ancient times at the gate guarding the great secret! It is not the so-called natural science only, which has its very recent origin in rationalism, that is making this knock. India has been in the forefront since the dawn of civilization in knocking at this ‘Gate of the Great Mysteries’ (Refer to prehistoric Rig-Veda’s mysterious Sutras of Hiranygarbha). 

In India, since ages, Rishis, Yogis and Sages have been knocking at this secret gate. These spiritual persons have discovered long ago that there exists a bizarre world with subtle conscious entities in this universe. With this knowledge, they laid the foundation of spiritual science and invented the technology of Yoga. Yoga is a unique technology that enables humans to have access to and interact with such bizarre subtle worlds of consciousness!

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(Swami Vivekananda, who first made the West aware about Yoga)

These Yogis are more profound than the modern natural scientists in the matters of the quality of their inquisitiveness, depth of their inquiry and penetration of their insight in uncovering the mysteries of this universe. There is a fascinating history of the development of the science of Yoga, and it is more fascinating than the history of the development of natural sciences.

It was discovered ages ago by Yogis that like Space (with three planes) and Time (with two planes), there are many complex planes of consciousness, of which life is composed and of which humans are not aware. India is the only country that has consistently devoted its major energy since ages to enter this ‘Gate of Great Mysteries’ and uncover the secrets lying behind this gate.

Yogis had uncovered the great secret that the ‘human-self’ is not a ‘single homogeneous psychological’ entity – that is, the human-self is not one homogeneous formation. On the contrary, it is composed of many layers of one’s consciousness.

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(Ramakrishna, Shirdi Sai, Neem Karoli Baba, and countless others, who foretold events)

These spiritual giants assert with authority that there is a great mystery of this universe! This mystery is: Events that we humans perceive here in this material world, do not originate in the first place here in this world; they first happen in subtle worlds at other planes; and thereafter they happen here; it is because of this reason that they are able to foretell coming events and, even, able to influence the events in those subtle worlds before they actually happen here in this material world; and in this way they are able to avert many events that are otherwise destined to happen in this material world!

In India ordinary people, being aware of these mystic realities, live a simple and spiritually wakeful life even in this 21st century in the way they had lived (at least) in 326 BC, when Alexander the Great visited this land. They accord the highest importance to the spiritual wakefulness and, because of this wakefulness, Indians possess an ancient and incredible civilization.

In India the ancient science of Yoga and the modern natural science both are routine parts of its people. While the modern science is concerned with exploring Nature and its working principles, the science of Yoga opens the gate of the secret of all secrets. It provides the key to open this gate and have access to a mysterious universe. It enables us to fabricate the technology that is able to defeat death in this otherwise timeless universe. Yoga enables one to discover and become identified with one’s eternal Psychic Being*. Yoga makes one eternally conscious of one-‘Self’ in the dimension of time!

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(Linking ‘our’ consciousness to  the consciousness ‘outside us’!)

Is the claim, “Yogis become eternally conscious of one-‘Self’ in time” scientifically true?  Consider this fact: Once ordinary humans die and scientifically declared so, they do not come back to tell their tale. But it is not so with Yogis! Yogis would die, declared as dead, and remain so dead for days (and months, and even years) and, then, they can come back again to  life to tell their tale! Once a medical doctor became dumbfounded, when according to science and his belief, Ramakrishna was declared (by him) ‘dead’ but Ramakrishna again came to life (and this doctor became his disciple)! Yogi Shankaracharya remained ‘dead’ for six months and then came back to life! Yogi Shirdi Sai Baba remained ‘dead’ for three days and then came back to life! India is full of such Yogis, where ‘Dead men come back and tell their tale’!!

In comparison to this knowledge (of there being many planes of human consciousness), the later day discovery by Sigmund Freud of the existence of the ‘unconscious, sub-conscious and conscious’ mind is nothing but merely a scratch on the surface of a deep mystery of human-self lying within and beyond human consciousness.

Yogis tell us that the essence of this universe is not the one that seems apparent in our consciousness; that this essence when seen from the subtle plane(s) of consciousness is different from the apparent one; that one can access those subtle planes and make them an integral part of one’s own consciousness; that it can be achieved by involving one’s whole being – the physical body and the psychological self, mind and emotions – in the process; and that Yoga is the technology that enables one to bring this complete self-transformation. Yoga is defined by Patanjali – an ancient Yogi – as “चित्तव्रति निरोध (i.e. Calming down / quietude of the inclinations of the combined-self: body, emotions and thoughts)”. This self transformation brings in one’s life an awakening into a new birth.

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(‘Axis’ of our consciousness, hidden beneath many ‘layers’ of our consciousness!)

The accomplishment by Yoga of this ‘human self-transformation’ is no less a technology based on a science than the modern technology based on natural science. Like natural science, spiritual science of Yoga too has its own special postulates, principles, rules and safety precautions!

The greatest discovery ever made by humans is that there is an eternal conscious element universally present everywhere and in everything!  It is present even in the nonliving things too in frozen state, which element first descends from the Conscious Singular Supreme Force (or Being or State, which is the same thing) and then ascends to it, again and again in cycles! The credit for this discovery goes to Indian Yogis.

The universal presence of this element is the fundamental principle of harmony and unity in humans and all living beings, in an otherwise world of stark diversity. The awareness of this element is the fountainhead of blissful joy in us, a sense of our life’s fulfillment, our love towards fellow humans and the feeling of compassion in us for all living beings.

Yoga’s objective is of the supreme importance to a human being in its significance, in so far as humans can think of their best interest. Incidentally, enhancing the life’s span with the aid of modern science’s genetic engineering is nothing in its significance compared to the Yoga’s objective of making one eternally aware of oneself, in this timeless universe.

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(Sri Aurobindo – Who spoke of Yoga in this age of science with reason)

Is Yoga a religion – more so the Hindu religion? Yoga is not a religion – Hindu or otherwise. Yoga is a science founded on inquiry and reason. It is thus summed up by Sri Aurobindo, “All life is Yoga.” Yoga is the foundation of Indian civilization.

Can we define the Indian civilization? Yes. Indian civilization is an outlook from humans’ viewpoint, which regards everything in this world to be nothing but a cosmic evolution in eternal cycles of the supreme conscious reality from its singular state to its infinite discrete states, and back again to that singularity, which (outlook) puts the greatest value on human inquisitiveness, search, knowledge and innovation.

As Yoga is not a religion, Indian civilization too founded on Yoga is not a religion, though this civilization has given birth to world’s many great religions like Hinduism (also called Santan Dharma), Buddhism, Jainism, Sufism, Sikhism. Even spiritually awakened Jesus Christ is claimed by some to have lived in India for about 20 years and got trained by Buddhist masters in the spiritual discipline, which he later taught to his disciples in Jerusalem.

In fact, Hinduism is a way of life having its roots in this spiritual science of Yoga. Because of its roots going back in the remote antiquity of India, Hinduism has become the synonym of Indian civilization. However, time degrades everything and Hinduism is no exception to this natural phenomenon. On being so degraded, Hinduism has been brought one after another to its true inquiring spirit by all these Indic faiths.

Hinduism does not seek to bring non-Hindus to its fold as it is not founded on some exclusionary narrow religious considerations. In fact, in spiritual development, no two individuals enjoy the same level of its development and ideally every person should have his or her peculiar religion, which should be in tune with one’s spiritual inclination and psychology. It is here where everybody needs the maximum freedom and liberty because one needs to somehow find a foothold – somewhere to find an opening – in his or her onward spiritual journey.

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(Indic faiths, including Hinduism, are like a banyan tree)

Indian civilization is like a huge banyan tree with one root having many branches in the form of so many Indic-faiths, each of which branch going deep into the ground to support and nourish this big one tree!

All these Indic faiths are essentially one in their approach and solution to the problems of death, life, universe, eternity and their eternal cycles. (For example, have a look HERE at what Buddha says). While they all are essentially one in their approach and solution to the problem, they individually lay emphasis differently on certain aspects to suit the different needs of human psychology. This essential unity of their approach and solution to the problem is the foundation of Indian civilization.

The vision of this civilization is so broad that it includes within its sweep not merely human beings but all living beings; and, beyond all living beings, it treats every part of Nature as if it were the ‘consciousness in a frozen state’. Indian civilization holds Nature – rivers, forests, mountains, animals, every bit of it – as sacred! An unjustified human aggression of Nature is forbidden in this civilization!!

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(O Divine, I see Only You in Everything! Everywhere! I Sing Thy Name!)

Its vision holds the entire Nature as sacred and hence inviolable! This vision is so flexible that it accommodates even those religious faiths within its domain that may outwardly appear foreign to its spirit. In its depth and nobility, this civilization may serve us as the ‘Scientific Attitude with Spiritual Openings’ in our global village today. It has the potential to become the preferred civilization of an enlightened humanity in this 21st century.

This civilization, though originated in the remote antiquity, is so vibrant that it has defeated the ravages of time and has come unscathed to our own times. Though it is associated with India, but the only role that India fatefully played in its life is to preserve it as a living civilization to this scientific age. To be fair, India deserves no more – and no less – credit for achieving this feat!

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(Indians – Ancient; Contemplating; Simple; Loving; Well-wishers of All)

Yoga in its impact on human mind is so powerful that its education in our academic institutions can bring a fundamental shift in human behavior and in economic institutions of our civilization. Economics is founded on the demand (of consumers) and the supply (of commodities). The knowledge of Yoga has the power to change the priorities of our life. As economic activities of production, distribution and consumption of commodities are dependent on normal human behavior, a change in this behavior is sure to bring a tectonic change in the economic model that we follow today.

The academic education of Yoga is sure to create a new perception of life and awareness to cater to the needs of that perception. And, in turn, such spiritual awareness will kick-start a chain reaction: Change in normal human behavior would result in lesser demands; lesser industrial activities; lesser production; lesser global warming; lesser crimes (born out of the decreasing resources and increasing competition to possess them); and lesser social immorality.

We already know that economic prosperity and wealth, beyond a certain limit, do not necessarily bring more happiness in our life. This wisdom coupled with the education of Yoga can usher us into a new age of a simpler and enlightened life. History teaches us that knowledge, education and awareness have great impact on our way of life, personal and social both.

Then, what is the way out of the present human predicament? The way out is: Turn away from mind and turn towards heart. The output of mind and heart both is nothing but a feeling of human consciousness. While mind gives knowledge, it gives restlessness too. Heart gives light, peace and morality. Heart’s light is superior in quality to mind’s knowledge in understanding the cause of universe. Mind’s knowledge of the working principles of this universe is superficial in depth in comparison to the heart’s light of the cause of this universe.

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(What is in store for us next?)

Now, if it is correct that events first happen in the subtle worlds (before they materialize here in our world) and if it is correct that one can visit and witness those events there in those subtle planes of consciousness before they happen here, then the question arises: Can any spiritual person tell us – ordinary mortals – about things that are going to happen next in this material world?

One such spiritual person who was able to visit and witness those subtle worlds is Sri Aurobindo and he says that a new race – a race higher than human race – is going to evolve on Earth! Of course, it is subject to two conditions: Humans must allow our world to survive and its time is dependent on the humans’ willingness to change them!

What is going to happen next on our earth is an evolutionary event. We associate mind – thoughts – with only biological evolution of our brain. But it is a partial truth. Biologically humans are not much different from animals. But spiritually humans are much developed – evolved – than animals. How humans are spiritually more evolved than animals? What is this spiritual evolution?

Humans unlike animals have their self regulated collective – social – life, self created public institutions, laws, governments, organized but controlled brute force, self imposed ethical standards, an evolved self regulated co-existence etc. It is our civilization. All these are the outer signs – manifestation – of an inner development of our complex being, the physical, vital or emotional, mental or rational and ethical or spiritual parts of our being. Our civilization is the outer reflection of an inner spiritual  state of our being. It is our spiritual evolution, which is reflected in our civilization.

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(Inner Evolution of Consciousness: Animal to Human to … ?)

The next evolutionary agenda of life on Earth is to evolve and manifest a new plane – next plane – of consciousness. It is an evolutionary agenda of evolving our race of mental beings into the new race of supra-mental beings! It is asserted by Sri Aurobindo that humanity as a race is heading to evolve this next state of consciousness on earth.

It is a prediction, which is yet to materialize. And today, in the rapid development of science, human restlessness and universal human spiritual awakening in this materialistic age, we are already witnessing the precursor signs of an unfolding future in that direction.

We owe a responsibility to help unfold this future. We owe an obligation to contribute our individual and collective efforts to avoid disputes and wars among us, which waste humans’ energy and distract them from this goal. Indian People’s Congress is an effort  devoted to this cause. In this work it acts on the policy of cooperating with all those forces – whether political, social or cultural – that are working in this direction whether in India or outside of India. In this work, it has no adversary! None to compete with!

We are living today in an incredible age and this incredible voice of India, riding on the wings of information technology, will be heard by humanity – and heard in this Atomic Age with thanks!

Footnote: *What is Psychic Being? Click HERE

(Read the next step here)

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