Sri Sathya Sai expounds on the Synthesis of Science and Spirituality – Part 1

Benedictory Address by the Revered Founder Chancellor - Sri Sathya Sai

Truth is the beautiful mansion of God. Dharma is firmly established in Truth. The Vedas which represent Jnana and Vijnana (Knowledge and the Higher Wisdom) are the embodiments of Truth. Those who seek to achieve higher stages in life must follow the injunctions of Truth.

The Nine Gems

Truth, charity, penance, sacrifice, friendliness, purity, straightforwardness, service to the Guru and study are the nine gems which every seeker of knowledge has to cherish. Dharma, Shanti, Prema and Ahimsa are to be found in the state in which Truth and goodness prevail. The basic Truth is one, but the sages have called it by many names. The ideal man is one who adheres to Truth and does not give it up in any circumstance. He lives the true life. Truth does not exist for the sake of any one person. It transcends the limitation of time, place and personalises. It is the life-breath for all counties, for all people, at all times. 

The grand sire of humanity, the great Manu, after deep enquiry, analysis and experience, gave this as his boon to mankind: "Satyam Bruyaat, Priyam Bruyaat, Na Bruyaath Satyam Apriyam." (Speak the truth, speak what is pleasing. But never speak truth that is unpleasant). You should not utter an untruth because it may be pleasing. Nor should you utter truth which is unpleasant. This great advice was given by Manu to mankind.

True Knowledge

Man can make genuine progress only when the idea that education is for earning a living is given up. The link between education and jobs should be totally snapped. Education should be for life, not for a living. Only one who realises this truth is a truly educated person. From ancient times this truth had been recognised by the sages of Bharat, who preserved the nation's cultural heritage. Knowledge does not mean mere book-lore. It is not the transference of the contents of books to the brain.

Education is intended for the transformation of the heart. Man today is proud about the little knowledge he has acquired about the physical world and boasts that he knows all about the universe. True knowledge is that which establishes harmony and synthesis between science on the one hand and spirituality and ethics on the other. Man, therefore, should at the outset determine the true value of education. Today, because of the striking growth of the physical sciences, man tends to feel he is highly knowledgeable. But only when man tries to understand knowledge of things beyond the physical sciences can he fully benefit from the latter. Beyond physics lies metaphysics. Of late some are beginning to realise this fact and are embarking upon spiritual exploration.

Great sages like Vasishta, Vamana, Jamadagni, Vishwamitra, Gautama and Parashara were among the Saptarishis who achieved the distinction because of their spiritual greatness. Do we have such sages today? It cannot be said that the accomplishments of modern science are not prodigious. There is no question about the necessity of scientific knowledge. But it must be realised that it is necessary as much to develop our sense of discrimination for the proper use of science pari passu with the development of scientific knowledge. It is because this discrimination has been lacking in the use of science we find that the world is facing many dangers and difficulties.

The Great Western Scientists

Isaac Newton (1643 - 1727)
But even today there are some noble minds, who, even in the pursuit, of science, are exploring spiritual truths, analysing them and trying to see how these can be used for transforming man. Newton, after discovering the gravitational power of the earth, declared: “Although I have discovered the force of gravity, the gravitational force itself has been existing always before my discovery." He also admitted that while "I have been able to identify the force of gravity, I did not create it." He was convinced that there was a creator for the force of gravity.
Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)
Einstein also, after his scientific studies of the working of nature, turned his mind to spiritual matters. He realized that for spiritual pursuits the company of good men was necessary, and that the association of good men can transform the human condition. He declared, "Tell me your company and I shall tell you what you are." This shows that what we are is determined by the character of the people with whom we are associated.
Werner Heisenberg (1901-1976)

Heisenberg, a great philosopher, after studying various sciences, embarked on an investigation of the link between the physical sciences and spirituality. He discovered the great secrets contained in the Yoga-Shastras. He observed, "Master the mind: be a mastermind." 
Erwin Schrodinger (1887 - 1961)
Another great scientist, Schrodinger, found that science and spirituality were integrally connected and that in fact spirituality was the basis for science. He also noted that the growth of science had led to a multiplication of wants, which brought about a weakening of man's will and intelligence. He declared: "More desires, more despair."

The Ancient Scriptures and Modern Science

Paul Dirac (1902 - 1984)
There was another great thinker, named Dirac. He sought to know the connection between science and spirituality. He tried to discover the one entry underlying all things in creation and conducted experiments for this purpose. He found the truth to consist in the statement: "Love ever; hurt never." Dirac's conclusion is nothing but an echo of Sage Vyasa's pregnant pronouncement, after completing his works of the 18 Puranas: "To help others is meritorious; to hurt others is sinful."
Louis De Broglie (1892 - 1987)
We have yet another modern thinker De Broglie. Having begun as a critic of spirituality after serous enquiry, De Broglie confessed that his criticisms were due to ignorance. He proclaimed from his own experience that divinity was at the core of everything in the universe. Such seers of the truth are not absent in the world of science. These great scientists, who have examined, explored and declared the truth, are akin to the ancient Saptarishis (Seven Sages).
Fritjof Capra (born 1939)
Newton declared that the universe is a manifestation of God and everything revolves through the power of God. Fritjof Capra, at the present day, has explored the link between the atom and vibrations in nature. In ancient times, Vyasa declared that the universe emanated from the vibrations of the sound. 'Sita' and all things in creation - living and non-living--were the outcome of these vibrations.

Source: Benedictory Address at the Fourth Convocation of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Hill View Stadium, Prasanthi Nilayam, November 22, 1985

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