pippala leaf

December 5, 2005

Intelligent Design and Eastern Mysticism

Filed under: Uncategorized — MBN @ 12:04 am

In these paradoxical times where sci-fiction becomes non-fiction and shallow religious beliefs zealously push Intelligent Design into academic curriculum, the article on panspermia hypothesis in Scientific American magazine seems interesting. “The panaspermia hypothesis posits that living cells or their precursors could have emerged on another planet or moon billions of years ago and hatched a ride to Earth on a meteorite”.

This echos the Hindu scriptures like Yogavasishtam which describes the existence of other ‘earths’ in the universe. Parallels to modern science can be found in eastern mysticism, especially in Advaitic and Upanishad thoughts and Buddhism. Advaita school of thought ultimately rejects any kind of creation or Intelligent Design theories. It even reject the idea of re-incarnation. It teaches this world that we experience through our senses forms out of Vishwa Pranan or Cosmic energy. Similarly the resemblance (was it a coincidence..?) between the theory of evolution and the sequence of Dashavataram of Vishnu in the Bhagavatha Purana is fascinating.

The book Einstein and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings by Thomas J. McFarlane attempts to provide clues and hints regarding eastern mysticism’s attempt to understand reality and similarity of it’s finding wih modern science. It is a thought-provoking book for a sckeptic who refuse to believe there exists a common ground between modern science and mysticism.

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12 Comments »

  1. you’ll find a remarkable openness to new ideas (including complete acceptance of evolution) when you hear eastern religious leaders (like the Dalai Lama) speak….

    just comes from completely different ideologies.

    But i can guarantee you that you can find plenty of nutjobs in eastern thought also who have to take every thing literally…..and so won’t get it.

    Comment by Sunil — December 5, 2005 @ 4:21 am

  2. Advaita rejects reincarnation? Could you quote a reference? Thanks.

    Comment by froginthewell — December 5, 2005 @ 5:34 pm

  3. froginthewell:
    Here are some quotes. Pardon my imperfect English translation.

    From the Masters
    ================
    There is neither past nor future; there is only the present. — Sri Ramana Maharshi

    There is neither creation or destruction, neither destiny nor free will, neither path nor achievement. This is the final truth. — Sri Ramana Maharshi

    Realize now that duality never existed; it is illusory — Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

    From Scriptures
    ===============
    ‘Neha nanasthi kinchana’
    (there is absolutely no duality here)

    ‘Sarvam Brahmamayam’
    (Everything is Brahman)

    ‘Tatwamasi’
    (You too are that)

    ‘Ayamatma Brahma’
    (Everything here is Brahman)

    Comment by Old Path — December 5, 2005 @ 7:13 pm

  4. Hi ! Just checked out here. Too nice articles.

    ( I am surpriesd at these words themselves. when it comes to East, it is mysticism, for the west it’s intelligent design. Though we have been debating about it for 1000s of years,one fine morning the Americans find something,give a fancy name,then it comes to be new idea.
    I think everything right or wrong(i mean the perceptions)is determined by who dominates the world,however stupid he is.)

    Comment by Raajk — December 6, 2005 @ 12:36 pm

  5. Sir,

    Thank you for the extensive quotations. But still let me express my point of disagreement. This comment is going to be long, feel free to delete/trucate it.

    The notion of reincarnation is something defined on the realm of this illusory world, where we all are. Thus advaita wouldn’t reject reincarnation any more than it would reject materialistic science, theory of evolution, or even our daily life ( all these being illusory ).

    Otherwise advaita stands in contradiction to “saMbhavAmi yugE yugE”, which can’t be. In fact shan.karAcArya begins his gIta commentary by quoting a shlOka and writing thus : “That bhagavAn, having created this world, desirous of its maintenance…”. Elsewhere ( within his “introduction” ) he writes “As dharma declined and adharma flourished owing to decadence in knowledge and discriminatory faculty effected by the rise of “kAma” among the adherents ( of the two-fold vEdic dharma ), the initial-doer viShNu who goes by the name nArAyaNa, wanting to look after the stability of the world, to protect the “brAhmaNatva” of the earth-brahman(?) became kRShNa by “aMsha” of dEvaki in vasudEva”.

    The (?) means I am not sure of my translation there. You can verify this from shankarAcArya’s commentaries available on the web. Hence as long as we are in this illusory world I suppose we need to talk of reincarnation. Hope we are not contradicting each other? Thanks.

    Comment by froginthewell — December 6, 2005 @ 6:53 pm

  6. Errata : please read by an aMsha of vasudEva in dEvaki and not the other way round.

    Comment by froginthewell — December 6, 2005 @ 6:55 pm

  7. Raajk: Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

    Comment by Old Path — December 8, 2005 @ 5:09 pm

  8. To know more about the Evolution in the eyes of an Advata-Vedantin (Absolutist) check

    http://www.advaitavedanta.co.uk/content/view/42/0/

    secrion 7: 7. EVOLUTION IN TERMS OF CONSCIOUSNESS

    Section 8. THE PLACE OF EVOLUTION IN A NORMALIZED CONTEXT

    Comment by Pradeep — December 11, 2005 @ 1:12 am

  9. Pradeep:
    Thank you for the link. I am so fond of the teachings of Nataraja Guru and Nitya Chaitanya Yati.

    Comment by Old Path — December 11, 2005 @ 8:33 pm

  10. Sunil:
    Search for the Truth is no place for a closed mind. Religion only serves as a tool to find the Truth – nothing less and nothing more. When goal of a follower deviates from this, it becomes a meaningless performance of rituals, and then it becomes a political tool, and ultimately fanatism.

    Comment by Old Path — December 11, 2005 @ 9:00 pm

  11. here is another intresting link
    http://www.acns.com/~mm9n/hindu/index.htm

    Comment by Anonymous — April 2, 2006 @ 8:01 am

  12. RE: froginthewell’s concepts regarding reincarnation: As noted in recent postings at advaitavedantameditations.blogspot.com, if there is no birth, how could there possibly be a rebirth?

    Comment by Floyd Henderson — February 5, 2007 @ 8:48 pm


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