Sunday, August 03, 2014

Why is Adi Sankara considered the most intelligent human being ever?

There are two fundamental features about almost all basic phenomena in nature - that they are symmetric and/or cyclic. This can be noticed in the form and functioning of all tangible and intangible matter and phenomena around us. Almost all ancient civilizations across the globe have noted this and have developed their own postulations and philosophies about nature. Many of them have even developed the concept of an all powerful God based on these observations. However, for an impartial and unprejudiced observer, none of the civilizations have approached a near perfection in these aspects as the Vedic civilization of India. Some of the theories intrinsic to Vedic civilization like Adi Sankara’s Maaya theory are indistinguishable with those of the most modern Science.

India’s Vedic civilization started at immemorial times with the revealing or recitation of Vedas and continues unabated in the core of India even now. Many historians want to contain it within a specific period but have failed miserably because of the simple fact that Indian continues to the only ‘civilisational” entity that remains essentially unchanged in the entire world, despite the worst atrocities by the invading Muslim forces and the colonial masters for about one thousand years. All the other civilizations like Chinese, Greek, Mayan, Japanese, Egyptian etc., have undergone paradigm changes and maintains only minimal or no continuity with their glorious pasts. The main reason for this remarkable achievement is the contribution of our own Sastras and outstanding Gurus like Adi Sankara.

Sastras and Science

Many of the concepts and words which are central to India’s prestigious ancient language viz. Sanskrit have suffered from translation. Sastra and Dharma are just two of them. Very often Sastra gets wrongfully interpreted as modern Science and Dharma as Righteousness as we use now. Many of the outstanding postulations and literary works by ancient Rishis of India get ridiculed in modern times, especially by Indians with very clear vested interests, mainly because of this utterly wrong translation. In ancient India, all those fields of knowledge which has a rational base were considered Sastras. This is in stark contrast with modern Science which is all about measurement, objective evidence and zero nonconformity. 

Quite in keeping with such a rational definition of the Sastras, we have several branches of knowledge like Astrology, Vaastu, Ayurveda, Yoga, Yagam, Tantra, Temples etc in ancient India which are continuing to catch our attention even today. All of them have solid rational basis but many of the theories within these fields may not have the solid proofs that modern Science is asking for. But that does not belittle the importance of all these fields of knowledge in the lives of common Indians. Despite India’s great achievements in modern Science, most of the Hindu Indians still continues to abide by these Sastras in their individual lives. Quite surprisingly, the latest developments in the field of modern Science has started matching with these Sastras in recent times.

Sankara’s Advaita

Ever since the Europeans started illegitimately and immorally colonizing the rest of the world, they have usurped the leadership in Science from the ancient civilizations like India, China and Japan. Quite expectedly history of Science is also being written by the Europeans because Indians are one of least history-conscious people in the world. Though the latest mathematical tool of Calculus was quite popular in India in 14th century (Madhava of Sangamagrama), European historians have given the credit for its discovery to Newton and Leibnitz who lived in the 17th century. And when almost all the Vedic literature refers to heavenly bodies as Golas (meaning Spheres), the claim goes to Greek and Roman astronomers. Luckily the credit for the modern numeral system and zero still belongs to India even though it is designated as Arabic numerals because Arab traders carried it West from India.  

Physics has always been the cutting edge branch of Science that has shaped modern history of mankind. Modern Physics owes its development so far to the continuous thread of development from Aristotle to Galileo to Newton to Einstein. It has successfully established Big Bang and answered most of our questions with Stephen Hawkings in the lead. But for the unexpected development in Quantum Theory, Albert Einstein, the most brilliant scientist in history so far would have attained his Theory for Everything. The spooky behavior of minute particles at a distance resulted in the failure of Einstein who sincerely hoped that God will not play dice. As it stands today, most of the definite measurement theories of Physics fail at the sub atomic level and only probabilities are possible. It has been proven that the same particle can be present at different points of space at the same time. Current talks about eleven dimensional multiverses (Edward Witten) make it more evident that God is indeed playing dice.

The latest developments in our relentless pursuit for unraveling the universe bring the European Sciences face to face with Hindu India’s Sastras once again. One of India’s greatest Rishis, Shri Adi Shankaracharya (CE 788-820) had established almost 1500 years ago that the world we see is really unreal, which essentially means it is only probabilistic. The crux of his Advaita theory is that Brahman (not Brahma or Brahmin) alone is real, and the phenomenal world is unreal or an illusion. Modern Science is coming to the very same conclusion. Based on the quintessential symmetry and cyclic nature of universe, it is quite possible that there are trillions and billions of Micro Bangs occurring every nanosecond and what we perceive as reality is the sum total of the interference of the after effects of these staggered Micro  Bangs. Jagat is the Sanskrit word for the universe and it literally means Create, Sustain and Destroy. No wonder the most brilliant mind that humanity produced so far is called Jagatguru Adi Sankaracharya.