Pseudoscience & Religion

Jaggi Vasudev Doesn’t Understand Science (or the Nature of the Universe)

Introduction

Jaggi Vasudev is a self-styled new-age guru whose philosophy and agenda are represented by his activities through his organization, the Isha Foundation. Isha Foundation has steadily been gaining a follower base among the educated middle class in India and among Indian expatriates in USA and other countries. Among other things, Isha Foundation and Jaggi Vasudev are primarily purveyors of instruction in yoga and meditation. Through their instructional sermons, blogs, interviews, and other literature, they also dish out unscientific advice about life, health, and diet.

CERN image of LHC from http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/10/science/in-higgs-discovery-a-celebration-of-our-human-capacity.html?pagewanted=all

This image from CERN shows simulations of proton collisions- of the kind that was used in the Higgs boson experiments at CERN. (Source: The New York Times, July 9 2012)

Mr. Vasudev has recently given a few sermons, which, are plainly speaking, anti-science. He tries to cast scientists as being naive outsiders to the supposedly wonderful world governed by the laws described in his pseudoscientific philosophy. In my opinion, the sermons are virulently and dishonestly anti-science. It is quite evident that Jaggi Vasudev does not understand the basics of the method of science that he self-righteously decries as being inferior. My hypothesis is that Jaggi Vasudev’s act of interspersing his religious sermon with science is a conscious attempt to appeal to the urbane middle class. Using intelligently misrepresented scientific concepts, Jaggi Vasudev willfully seeks to discredit the method of science so that his followers adopt his supposedly superior philosophies.

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The above video is a case study of sorts into how self-styled modern day ‘gurus’ make their woo-laden sermons appealing to the educated middle class. In general, the educated middle class (in India and elsewhere) is not educated well enough to reject pseudoscience, yet people remember enough science from high school to be awed by popular (mis)representations. Since most people last encounter rigorous science in high school, much of what one should know about science is forgotten later in life. The listeners that Mr. Vasudev seems to appeal are in this demography and know just enough science to ‘understand’ the dishonest and incorrect (pseudo)scientific claims of self-styled gurus. Further, Mr. Vasudev’s cunning and unprecedented use of ‘they’ and ‘us’ to refer to scientists and his followers suggests that he seeks to represent his organization as a ‘only path to The Truth‘-type cult.

Jaggi Vasudev fails to recognize that scientific progress is a remarkable by-product of human ingenuity. He wrongly claims that the scientific method is not the only approach to understanding the universe. At the beginning of the above video, Mr. Vausdev attempts to take listeners on a brief tour of the history of science. More specifically, he mentions facts that most people would remember from high school physics. He attempts a vague exposition on basic physics, by using unsubstantiated but accurate-sounding accounts of the history of modern physics. In the art of spin, such an introduction is probably designed to lend credibility to the scientific accuracy of Mr. Vasudev’s woo and to establish his physics credentials.

Let’s examine critically, Mr. Vasudev’s claims, while playing along with the ridiculous branding of scientists as some type of ‘the others’. Below, I paraphrase or quote Mr. Vasudev’s claims, and point out how he is always either inaccurate, illogical, factually wrong, or dishonest.

Jaggi Vasudev Does Not Understand Physics

Mr. Vasudev says, “They seem to have found something near to what they are referring to as God particle [sic]. The Higgs boson, that has a mass of certain significance.” Evidently, he knows nothing about what he is saying. If the entire premise of Mr. Vasudev’s sermon is the affirmation of the existence of a Higgs-boson like particle, shouldn’t he at the very least, understand what the Higgs-boson is? His claim that ‘Higgs boson has a mass of certain significance’ is not accurate enough to qualify as science. The Higgs-boson is a part of the standard model of physics and there have been several attempts at explaining the significance of its discovery, such as the video below by Jorge Cham of phdcomics.com.

Mr. Vasudev ignorantly claims that 1) yoga attempts to realize the space between particles, 2) scientists seek answers to the same questions (about the space between particles), but have given up on their attempt. The first argument has absolutely no scientific basis. The second assertion is a vague claim at best and false at worst, depending on how generous we are in interpreting it. If we assume that Mr. Vasudev is aware of the quest for understanding dark matter and dark energy, then he is willfully misrepresenting facts because this is indeed a very hot area of research.

Jaggi Vasudev states the interesting fact that much of the universe is ’empty space’ (e.g. in each atom, the nucleus and electron are separated by space that consists of ‘nothing’, loosely speaking). While it is true that ’empty space’ has recently baffled scientists, Mr. Vasudev’s description of the science is inaccurate, vague, and incomplete. Compare his loose remark with the impressive and scientifically accurate explanation by Brian Cox (via Phil Plait) of this very fact and its implications in simple, yet accurate language. Mr. Vasudev, however, attempts to give his sermon a pretense of scientific accuracy. Judging by the number of followers he has, his strategy appears to be reasonably successful.

“If you look at the universe, you see nothing. But if you look closely enough into an atom, it yields to you.[sic]”- This sounds so much like what a scientist like Carl Sagan would say. Yet, this platitude is neither complete, nor accurate as Mr. Vasudev intends to portray. Let’s assume for a moment that by ‘looking at the universe’ Mr. Vasudev refers to astrophysics. He seems to suggest that turning our sensors to the vastness of the universe teaches us nothing about the nature of matter. In reality, astrophysics is crucial to our understanding of the nature of matter. For starters, early particle physics involved studying cosmic rays in cloud chambers. Mr. Vasudev could have been useful to the popularization of science and the scientific method had he played on this platitude and suggested to his followers that they build cloud chambers to study cosmic rays, which is an interesting DIY project for a weekend. Such an exercise would teach us much more about the universe than any of Mr. Vasudev’s own pseudoscientific sermons. Actually, there is no better place to look for Higgs-Boson or any other sub-atomic particle, than in cosmic rays. As Ian Sample points out in this interview, the reason that the massive accelerator was built on the earth was because it is a much cheaper alternative to sending a sufficiently sensitive detector into outer space to look for the Higgs boson in cosmic rays that are not sullied by atmospheric effects. It appears that Mr. Vasudev is also ignorant, willfully or otherwise, of the entire field of cosmology. Only by ‘looking at the universe’ was Edwin Hubble able to arrive at the conclusion that the universe is expanding, leading eventually to the development of the big bang theory, and its verification via the discovery of background radiation.

Jaggi Vasudev Casts Scientists as Being Ideological Rivals of His Cult

Paraphrasing Mr. Vasudev, ‘they’, the scientists “first discovered the atom, then groped around, and discovered that there are things still smaller, etc.” That is again, a disingenuous claim as indicated by the derisive tone that Mr. Vasudev adopts. He seems to suggest that ‘they’, the scientists, don’t know what’s going, that ‘they’re just groping in the dark and with each discovery, face the crushing realization that they were wrong all along. In reality, that is a pretty inaccurate reading of the life of scientists. The gaps in understanding are rarely a cause of despondency for the scientist. Rather, for the scientists of Mr. Vasudev’s false dichotomy each ‘known unknown’ is a remarkable opportunity to seek answers, to sate curiosity. Thus, one of the goals of physicists since the mid-19th century has been to understand the composition of the atom to as fine a detail as possible. Each discovery related to particle physics enables us to get a more detailed and accurate picture of the world around us.

Mr. Vasudev says that ‘yogic systems always claimed’ that knowing the microcosm is knowing the macrocosm, and tries to portray these claims as being consistent with modern physics. The words ‘microcosm’ and ‘macrocosm’ are philosophical or literary terms that don’t have rigorous scientific definitions. This makes redundant and harmful, any attempt to link such an interpretation of what is vaguely mentioned in the vedic scriptures to science. Even if we assume that ‘microcosm’ and ‘macrocosm’ relate to the different scales over which phenomena occur, it is grossly wrong to claim that somehow, physical laws are invariant over scale. The most obvious counterexample to such a ‘microcosm-macrocosm’ equivalence is quantum phenomena which are drastically different from classical phenomena.

The second sermon which is a lengthy tiresome elaboration on Mr. Vasudev’s brand of woo is here:

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In this sermon, Jaggi Vasudev ups the ante in his imagined clash with scientists, perhaps emboldened by his appearance on national TV. He proposes that there is a grand unified community of scientists who are ‘becoming good marketers’. Haven’t we seen enough of such accusations of conspiracy elsewhere in the community of religious apologists? Every woo-peddler from the homeopath to the climate-denialist has adopted this line of attack. Skepticism and falsifiability are crucial to the method of science. Anyone who has experienced rigorous peer review knows how far from reality Mr. Vasudev’s unified-agenda-driven-community-conspiracy-theory is.

Delusions About Finding Physics in the Vedas and Meditation

He proceeds to mock how scientists expend effort and money into finding answers that are either, 1) ‘realizable’ via meditation, 2) given in the vedas. While some secular intellectual achievements of ancient Indians are impressive, these claims by Jaggi Vasudev are dishonest falsities. Mr. Vasudev is misleading his followers and the general public by claiming that the nature and composition of the universe can be discerned by contemplative meditation or by turning to the vedas. Such a claim would be laughable had it not been such a common belief among woo-peddlers and their customers. Mr. Vasudev takes the standard approach of suggesting that references to infinity, ‘Brahman’, etc. are actually scientific comments about the nature of the universe. This is totally false.

Modern physics rests heavily on observations and experiments that confirm hypotheses about the physical laws governing the universe. There is not a shred of evidence in the entire corpus of Hindu scriptures or archeological findings to suggest that ancient Hindus had any experimental or observational basis to support their contemplative musings. It is impossible for the authors of the vedas or anyone prior to at least the 19th century CE to have had any access to the knowledge and technology that has been indispensable in the development of physics. The path from physics as it stood prior to the 17th century to its current state can only pass through all the important technological advances since. When the famous biologist JBS Haldane was asked about the falsifiability of evolution, he replied that that the absurd and impossible discovery of rabbit fossils from the precambrian era would destroy his belief in evolution (600 million years ago- when there was barely any life on earth, while real rabbits have only existed since a few million years). Like Haldane’s proverbial precambrian rabbit, the impossibly likely event of finding fragments of large telescopes among archeological artefacts of ancient India would be sufficient evidence to convince the world of ancient India’s precocity in matters related to modern physics.

Meditation and yoga are functions limited to the human brain and the body. There is no way of learning anything about the physical nature of the universe from the kind of contemplation marketed by Mr. Vasudev. The only approach to understanding nature is to competently apply the process of rigorous theorization, observation, and experimentation that is characteristic of the scientific method. Further, competent application of the scientific method also involves a thorough understanding of the state of the art. Competence at being able to apply the method of science cannot be achieved without spending thousands of hours acquainting oneself with the scientific literature in one’s field. ‘Self-realization’ and other such approaches related to the act of contemplation are loosely defined religious concepts that entail none of this rigor and training. Thus there is no way to truly understand the laws of physics via meditation and contemplation as Mr. Vasudev seems to suggest. Meditation and yoga only result in personal experiences which, by their very confinement to an individual’s experience, are neither generalizable nor reproducible.

Mr. Vasudev Draws False Equivalences Between Vague Vedic Concepts and Modern Science

Jaggi Vasudev refers to the vedic classification of ‘existence’ into ‘sthUla’, ‘sUkshma’, ‘viJNAna’, and ‘shUnya’. Mr. Vasudev defines these terms in vaguely mystical terms, apparently consistent with the Hindu scriptures. The inexact nature of such classifications precludes the possibility of relating them to modern science. It is thus wrong of Mr. Vasudev to draw an equivalence between these supposedly Vedic concepts and modern science.

On Jaggi Vasudev’s Deceptive Appeal to Authority

Jaggi Vasudev then makes an appeal to authority. He claims to have spoken to a ‘great scientist’ about matters related to his own worldview. Mr. Vasudev uses the age old argument that ‘Indian culture is dialectical, narrative, etc.’ and wrongly attributes the superiority of modern science in describing the behavior of nature to an apparent difference between the ‘Eastern way of thinking’ and ‘Western way of thinking’. Mr. Vasudev makes what is arguably a sales pitch for his philosophy, when he asks listeners to follow his approach to ‘realize the self’ to ‘realize the universe’. This again is dishonest as he obfuscates by not naming the ‘great scientist’ who supposedly agrees with his philosophy. I call out Mr. Vasudev to name this scientist and narrate the supposed anecdote in more detail so that it can be subject to critical examination.

Vedic Speculations Are Irrelevant to Understanding the Universe

Mr. Vasudev claims that modern science conforms with the views of the vedas that the universe is ever expanding or endless. The history of human thought is full of conjectures about the nature and extent of the universe. Vedic views are yet another set of such abstract conjectures with no scientific foundations. The only reliably correct model of the universe is the one derived from the laws of physics as affirmed by rigorous observations and experiments. These are no mere conjectures, but hypotheses backed by solid, rigorous, and reproducible empirical evidence. Jaggi Vasudev disingenuously casts the results of modern science as being equivalent to the contemplative speculation of the Hindu scriptures. This is an obviously false equivalence. As stated earlier, there is no evidence that the authors of Hindu scriptures had any access to the technology that enabled say, Albert Michelson and Edward Morley, JJ Thomson, Edwin Hubble, and every important physicist in the last two hundred years, to arrive at accurate and reproducible conclusions about the composition and extent of the universe.

In order to understand the absurdity of Mr. Vasudev’s (and other Hindu apologists) claims that obscure references to the infinitude of the universe in the vedas are legitimate scientific statements, let’s indulge in a short thought experiment. Imagine, 2000 years from now, someone comes across the work of Isaac Asimov. Let us suppose that some speculation of Asimov’s, say, the existence of portable sources of nuclear power as used by humans in the fictional universe of Asimov’s Foundation series is a reality in the year 4000 CE. As contemporaries of Asimov, we know that it would be ridiculous for humans of 4000 CE to claim based on readings of Foundation that Asimov actually invented such devices. Science fiction of the recent past is replete with such uncanny predictions. HG Wells considered the possibility of a network such as the world wide web in a 1937 essay. The TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation from the late 1980s and early 1990s features personal computers that resemble the iPad. Yet, while we would readily agree that Asimov, Wells, and the writers of Star Trek were no more than just visionaries and speculators, most Hindu apologists are loathe to admit the same about ancient Hindus. In reality, any Vedic reference to an endless or ever expanding universe is no more than a speculative byline, with absolutely no relation to modern science. I should add that I am also assuming Mr. Vasudev is not lying in claiming that there are references to an infinite universe in the vedas. Once again, by peppering his spiritual sermon with misrepresented science, I am of the opinion that Mr. Vasudev intends to make his woo more credible and appealing to the middle class.

Lies About ‘science being nothing without its ability to create useful technology’

The most malicious claim in the sermon is reserved for the end. Mr. Vasudev claims that ‘scientists are nothing without technology [sic]’ and worse, that ‘science would be dead if it did not produce useful technology to the world to justify the enormous money spent on scientific research’. This is so egregiously wrong! The most significant scientific (and mathematical) breakthroughs came about without any apparent utility. Starting with Galileo Galilei and Isaac Newton, through James Clerk Maxwell, Albert Einstein, all the way to the work related to the Higgs boson, few, if any of the fundamental breakthroughs in physics were ever motivated by the need to create useful technology. Mr. Vasudev’s smug condescension about the inferiority of ‘science before it is/was useful’ is thus based on a wrong understanding of the history of science.

Conclusions

Jaggi Vasudev, like his fellow hustlers, Ravi Shankar, Zakir Naik, Deepak Chopra, the Catholic church, and others, is ignorant about science, and yet he dishonestly argues against science. As is de rigueur among the community of ‘spiritual’ ‘gurus’, ‘sadhgurus’, ‘jagadgurus’, and their apologists, Mr. Vasudev’s claims are intellectually dishonest, factually incorrect, and riddled with logical holes. In this article, I have elaborated on these mistakes in light of the true nature and history of scientific progress. Employing subtle malice and derision, Mr. Vasudev casts the entire community of scientists as his ideological rivals. By including allusions to science and the scientific method, Mr. Vasudev seeks to appeal to the educated listener. However, the general philosophy of science, the history and nature of scientific progress, and several key concepts in physics are grossly misunderstood and misrepresented by Mr. Vasudev. Further, contrary to Mr. Vasudev’s claims, one cannot discover the nature and composition of the universe from the practice of yoga and meditation. Supposed Vedic allusions to the nature of the universe are mere scriptural and philosophical comments and have no relation to the modern descriptive model of the universe, most of which is known to be correct and accurate beyond reasonable doubt. The unknowns concerning our universe cannot be discovered by meditative contemplation and the method of science is the only way forward.

Postscript

No, Mr. Vasudev, Solar Flares Do NOT Affect Human ‘Consciousness’

On July 21, 2012, Mr. Vasudev posted yet another pseudoscientific message on Youtube. This one pertains to how ‘human consciousness’ is affected by solar flares. Again, Mr. Vasudev is trying to capitalize on recent news from the world of science. The claims again, are utterly untrue.

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There is no way solar flares can affect the human brain the way Jaggi Vasudev wants us to believe. He also alludes to the moon affecting the human brain. There is only one way in which the moon can affect humans, that is with its gravitational pull. This is the only way you can ‘feel the energy’ of the moon. A simple back of the envelope calculation gives us, for a 65 kg human,

F = GMm/(R^2) = (6.673*10^(-11)*7.36*10^22*65)/(3.84*10^8)^2 = (6.673*10^(-11)*(7.36/1500)*65)/(0.0001)^2 (units: mass in kg, distance in m)

This equation basically tells you that the effect of the moon is approximately the same as the effect of an object that is about 8 grams situated at a distance of 0.1 mm. That is the entire gravitational effect of the moon on the entire human body is as negligible as that of fruit fly near your skin. Jaggi Vasudev, being savvy, perhaps knows that whipping up hysteria based on the ill effects of the moon may be futile given how outrageous the claim is. Thus, he resorts to scare-mongering using the more complicated phenomena of solar flares.

Solar flares are essentially electrical storms and their interaction with terrestrial objects (via changes to the earth’s magnetic field) is mainly electromagnetic in nature, governed by the laws of electromagnetic induction (Maxwell’s equations, etc.). If one were to compute their effect on the human body, it would still be negligible, since the entire human body is not large enough for large currents to be induced. More details can be found here: http://helios.gsfc.nasa.gov/qa_sw.html

Then, Mr. Vasudev appeals to empirical evidence about how people suffering from psychiatric conditions report exacerbation during lunar phenomena. This is again absurdly nonsensical. Skeptic Dictionary (skepdic.com) has a summary of studies which disprove this. To quote from The Skeptics Dictionary:

the moon, madness and suicide

Probably the most widely believed myth about the full moon is that it is associated with madness. However, in examining over 100 studies, Kelly et al. found that “phases of the moon accounted for no more than 3/100 of 1 percent of the variability in activities usually termed lunacy” (1996: 18). According to James Rotton, “such a small percentage is too close to zero to be of any theoretical, practical, or statistical interest or significance” (Rotton 1997).

Finally, the notion that there is a lunar influence on suicide is also unsubstantiated. Martin et al. (1992) reviewed numerous studies done over nearly three decades and found no significant association between phases of the moon and suicide deaths, attempted suicides, or suicide threats. In 1997, Gutiérrez-García and Tusell studied 897 suicide deaths in Madrid and found “no significant relationship between the synodic cycle and the suicide rate” (p. 248). These studies, like others which have failed to find anything interesting happening during the full moon, have gone largely unreported in the press.

 

postscript: There are likely to be many studies in the future that find a positive correlation between some lunar phase and some human behavior (or process affected by human behavior, such as the stock market). Remember to consider a few caveats: correlation doesn’t establish causation; studies that are well designed still need to be replicated before they are accepted as not being flukes; some studies with positive results will suffer from design flaws or methodological errors. For example, in 2005 Yuan, Zheng, and Zhu found “that stock returns are lower on the days around a full moon than on the days around a new moon. The magnitude of the return difference is 3% to 5% per annum based on analyses of two global portfolios: one equal-weighted and the other value-weighted.” Whether this is a lunar effect remains to be seen. The study needs to be replicated with a significant number of data points.

Mr. Vasudev ends the video with a call for people who wish to be saved from these effects (‘in the coming six years’ in his words) to join him in his plan. This again sounds eerily like the manifesto of a salvation cult such as Heaven’s Gate whose members committed suicide in the absurd belief that the appearance of the comet Hale-Bopp in 1997 was going to affect their lives in some way.

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The author would like to thank Arvind Iyer for his comments on the draft versions of this article.

Post-post-script: I’d like to add Arvind Iyer’s comment below. He points out that such views about mental illnesses as espoused by Jaggi Vasudev’s are harmful and disrespectful to people who actually suffer from psychiatric conditions. Quoting Arvind Iyer,

“The pseudo-psychiatric scare-mongering mentioned in the post-script is especially worrisome. One shudders to imagine the plight of folks from ‘at risk’ populations buying into the psychosis promoted by the likes of Jaggi Vasudev, instead of availing of genuine and potentially life-saving help from relatively unsung organizations like Metanoia (It will be worthwhile to compile a link of India-based resources). Psychotherapeutic quackery, which is as old as witch-doctoring, is as dangerous as other more common forms of medical quackery if not more.”

About the author

tArkika

In my day job, I do science, mathematics, and engineering. I am interested in the philosophy of science, history of science, history of human thought in general, and the history of Indian thought in particular. I cannot tolerate pseudoscience. I strongly advocate that gatherings and celebrations ought to take place in science labs, math circles, philosophy clubs, and museums, rather than under religious or spiritual pretexts.

My name, tArkika means 'skeptic' in saMskritaM. It is derived from root word tarka which roughly refers to logic, reasoning, dialectics, or inquiry.

172 Comments

  • And the skepticism around scientists, like the comment of Jaggi Vasudev that this article attributes to, rises when they, sometimes,do the job of predicting the future and their claims falls flat.

    Take the instance of dark matter, the hypothesized place holder, that gives limbs to the big bang theory. In the ’80s Vera Rubin said that dark matter will be found in a decade.In the ’90s Martin Rees stated that the dark matter will be found by 2000. In 2000 the same astronomer claimed that the dark matter will be found out by 2004. And recently John Ellis from CERN said that they will be finding it out in a decade. And now Carlos Frenk, a leading UK astronomer is saying that the dark matter theory, may be wrong, as known today.

    While someone can mount a defence that these were predictions based on technology available at the respective time periods, to the common man, it appears skeptical, given the dark matter theory itself is a hypothesis without which the big bang theory cannot stand.

    My source http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14948730

    • I mentioned in my article that this really isn’t a source of despondency for scientists. It instead is a great opportunity.

      You talk of predictions, taking their claims seriously is all about respecting their authority on the matter. While authority (of, for e.g. Martin Rees) may give some weight to their opinions, scientific results don’t stem out of authority, but only rigorous peer review.

      It is not correct to interpret failed predictions as failures of the method of science. Rather, it represents the success of this method that failed theories, no matter how high up the pecking order it comes from, will all eventually be weeded out. There may not always be accurate estimates of how long it will take for hypotheses to be proven to be correct or wrong. But there is no doubt that eventually the *only* approach that guarantees that this decision will be arrived at reliably is the method of science. Further, the kind of wishful prediction that Martin Rees, etc. made in itself is not an application of the method of science, so such wrong predictions do not imply in anyway, the failure of the method of science!

      • I do agree with you. And you were correct about Martin Rees’ wishful thinking. I have another question. I believe that particle physics,as an area of science is more pronounced in Europe than in the States. I seriously doubt if the States builds any of those particle accelerators at all. Do you see it the same way? If so, any idea why>

        • A part of the accelerator work was also done in the USA, specifically in the now defunct Tevatron at Fermilab near Chicago, IL http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tevatron

          There was a proposal back in the ’80s and ’90s before LHC to build the world’s largest particle accelerator in Texas in the US. This was cancelled by the US Congress after budget overruns, questions about its utility, etc.

          In any case, one of the earliest modern accelerators was built in the US- at Brookhaven near Long Island, NY, then at Berkeley (present-day Lawrence Livermore lab I think), Stanford Linear Accelerator (SLAC), etc. etc.

          The reason why USA is not at the forefront of particle physics today probably has a lot to do with the diversity of political opinions in this country, and the difficulty in getting big projects funded by Congress, as opposed to undertaking similar governmental projects in a small and rich entity such as Switzerland (where LHC, CERN, etc. are).

      • It is hard to analyze the concept of enlightenment or god or similar phenomena. Thousands of years of search for a logical explanation of god has failed. If there is something that has no equal, then it is impossible for our logic mind to come to conclusions of that being – this is because logic works on the if-then model. The moment we say if then it has to be compared with something else. In case of god – there is no comparison. We can also logically assumed (if not safely) that anything that cannot be compared does not exist. Jaggu is sharing his thoughts. It is left to us to decide if it an entertainment like a movie or just hear them and swipe under the carpet. We do not have any right to criticize him. The fundamentals of since are still unclear. The uncertainty principles are not that easy to visualize for our mind.

      • I have two readings and find it hard to get the crux of your arguments in rebutting Sri Vasudev’s take on science and the universe. Secondly your effort in collating scientific understanding is deeply hidden somewhere in negatively projecting Jaggi’s sermons, blogs and video chats. Thirdly, one or more of Jaggis can not snatch the opportunity that is awaiting the scientific community in its exploration journey. Fourthly, you could have sent your rebuttal to Mr Vasudev seeking his clarification. Neutral readers like me will be more enlightened about who is saying what and why. Thank you.

  • The pseudo-psychiatric scare-mongering mentioned in the post-script is especially worrisome. One shudders to imagine the plight of folks from ‘at risk’ populations buying into the psychosis promoted by the likes of Jaggi Vasudev, instead of availing of genuine and potentially life-saving help from relatively unsung organizations like Metanoia (It will be worthwhile to compile a link of India-based resources). Psychotherapeutic quackery, which is as old as witch-doctoring, is as dangerous as other more common forms of medical quackery if not more.

  • Good article. Religious mystics often use scientific jargon to lend credibility to their teachings. The average person isn’t familiar enough with critical thinking and scientific concepts to know when they’re being fooled. Well done for having the patience to go through and deconstruct his claims.

  • All Hindu-Gurus are Asadgurus–not Sadgurus.Only Jiddu Krishna Murthy pointed out to American Audiance that there is vaccum in their brains and Hindu ‘gurus’ fill that with their Rubbish This holds true in the case of Hindu Middle class. IF only Media and socalled Hindu Intellectuals speak out like Justice Markandeya Katju there can be some impact on the stupid middle class mindset. these Gurus are used as FRONTS by Hidutwa forces.

    • Sir,
      Why you and the author blame only middle class? Why don’t you just assume they (either middle class or anyone) have their solace or something like that while spending their time with someone like Vasudev? Or you think everyone should spend one’s time only the way you spend? Is it, you like an object and every one should like the same object or you term them middle class? What is the reason you don’t blame low class or high class? Hope you have targeted only Indian middle class. Note: I am a low class man. Hope some one do not blame me being low class.

  • thanks for the author for analyzing this issue in a rational way.i have been closely watching the devotees of jaggi vasudev(i cant call him mr. because he didn’t deserve this )how this people call western way of thinking and eastern way of thinking.science don’t have boundaries unlike religion.i was bit shocked about his energy definitions needs some psychiatric treatment.hindu religion(of course all religions)is a big myth it will say everything discovered by the ancient Indians only .but why they dont published before scientific results.actually these kind of people dividing humans as you western ,eastern,casteism,religion.

  • “Mr. Vasudev’s description of the science is inaccurate, vague, and incomplete.”- He does not intend to provide a scientific treatise, nor claims to be a scientist specialized in any field of scientific enquiry.Why the fuss??

    “There is only one way in which the moon can affect humans, that is with its gravitational pull”- Gravity is true for anything with mass.Are humans merely mass? We can clearly see a “person” who goes into scientific enquiry or writes about the same. Who is that person?Mass, energy, something in between??

    “Vedic Speculations Are Irrelevant to Understanding the Universe”. The very writer is part of the universe. Is he understood fully? Even “understanding” is a function of the living organism. What is it? Nueroelectrical impulse in parallel with storage in memory, something more, or something less? If it’s purely a function of physics, why bother whether you understand X or Y or nothing? Where is this concern for understanding coming from?

    “If one were to compute their effect on the human body, it would still be negligible, since the entire human body is not large enough for large currents to be induced.”- Assumption is that bodily effect is the total effect on a human being. Surely, electromagnetic efferct would be low, even by common logic.But did JV say “effects on body??”.Anger,digust,jealousy,disbelief,cynicism..these are all very very real effects in human life, though may not have much measurable electromagnetic output. Even if we scan the brain and find area of heightend activity, it’s still RELATIVE to usual activity, not having any major physical consequences in the universe.But can we deny their existence or effect?

    Neither is the writer a JV follower nor is argument his intention.Please be sceptical full-heartedly, even sceptical of your own positions 🙂

    • “Why the fuss?” For the same reason you chose to comment. You have a vested interest in defending the likes of JV. We have a vested interest in promoting science which also involves pointing out misuse of scientific terminology and concepts.

    • I think you misunderstood the point of skepticism. Being a skeptic does not mean that you should just be skeptical of everything and never be sure of anything. As a skeptic you are supposed to call BS where ever you find it. As a skeptic with a working knowledge of science people here are sure that JV knows nothing about science but he shamelessly uses scientific terms to fool his followers and low information on-lookers like you. Little bit of public shaming is the need of the hour for people like JV and you.

      • I have only one vested interest. And that’s neither JV nor science nor anything else. It’s getting things straight.

        The straight thing is that a person being very much part of nature is an immutable fact even if he is the very one analyzing nature and its laws.

        Science explores nature.Spirituality explores the very being exploring or even not exploring nature.

        I am a fan of the scientific method when I want to understand “something”. But to know myself, my origin, direction, thoughts, feelings,experience, I have to resort to direct observation.

        Reality comprises all.So “us” vs “them” is always going to limit our enquiry. It needs to be holistic.

        • I am with you Mr. Mandrake. One should call bullshit bullshit even when it’s our own.

          Science follows a method of observation,experimentation and establishment of a theory.If tomorrow I want to establish some new law of physics, I’m sure I’d need to form a hypothesis and its test scenarios, conduct experiments and record findings and establish a working paper which can then be shot down/accepted.Please call me the biggest bullshitter when I propound a whacky theory that way.

          I am not doing that. Even JV is not doing that. I claim zero scientific knowledge. But this not about scientific knowledge but about scientifc temperament isn’t it? If not,why not make this a resricted website meant only for discussion on specific research topics by specialized practicioners?

          So, scientific temperament is about enquiry and not reaching conclusions without proper research. In case of spirituality, that research takes different means than science coz the very thing being observed is of different nature.

          That doesn’t make mystics wrong.Surely, as far as objective understanding goes, scientific enquiry is needed.

          That was the crux.Sometimes, we need to just get the crux.

        • Science explores everything including our feelings and experience. But accepting that would mean accepting that it is nonsensical to say that ‘human consciousness’ is affected by solar flares. So you have to dance around with deepities and never actually address what the article really says. As evidence, I point to your first comment where you conveniently quote mined to form your own conclusions (Hint: Please point out where in the article was it denied that “Anger,digust,jealousy,disbelief,cynicism” effect the human life).

          • Only a FOOL would consider JV as any authority on physics.Have I addressed the crux of the article now? But you can’t take away the fact that he IS an authority in yoga. My point is that sweeping generalizations are being made about Yoga, Vedas etc like the ones below, which undermine the millenia spent on its practice.I’m ready to personally tell JV to his face to stop lecturing on physics. But what about statements like these:
            “Mr. Vasudev is misleading his followers and the general public by claiming that the nature and composition of the universe can be discerned by contemplative meditation or by turning to the vedas. Such a claim would be laughable had it not been such a common belief among woo-peddlers and their customers.” -Laughable for what? So does the article mean that the scientific approach is to not investigate but to laugh beacause something seemingly lacks rigor?Believe me, true yoga is damn rigorous, but in its own way. It’s a 24/7, day,night practice.His followers are anyways going to him to learn Yoga, not science. He has a whole body of lifetime work in that dimension.I don’t see him misleading anyone in that area .His takes on science I’m not taking seriously and hope none is. That end it there. But to take that premise to attack Yoga as a whole is nonsense. That’s the only thing I address.

            “Mr. Vasudev takes the standard approach of suggesting that references to infinity, ‘Brahman’, etc. are actually scientific comments about the nature of the universe. This is totally false.”- This is the sheer dogmatic stance that made me respond on this website in the first place. How do you know it’s totally false? Has the scientific community found FINAL answers to the existence of the universe?

            Probably JV is giving a little prep talk to his followers so that they enter meditation with lesser mental burden for all you know.But he has a very clear point that spiritual ‘awakening’ is a very concrete state reachable via a very specific way, and you’re free to try and find out for yourself.Please tell me with CERTAINITY that the universe can be fully understood that way in an objective way and I’m ready to research for life.

            “Mr. Vasudev’s description of the science is inaccurate, vague, and incomplete. Compare his loose remark with the impressive and scientifically accurate explanation by Brian Cox (via Phil Plait) of this very fact and its implications in simple, yet accurate language.”- Again the same thing, he’s not claiming to propound a perfect scientific treatise, but a perfect ‘inner’ treatise. You want me to define this ‘inner’ for you? If you take my word for it, it’s all there is to know. If you don’t take my word for it, please find out yourself. If you think you don’t need any of this ‘inner’ crap, are ‘educated’ and ‘knowledgable’ enough to know everything for certain, good luck.

            I mentioned human emotions because rationlism is NOT the means to master them. And it satisfies you, I also say that rationalism is the ONLY means to understand any external entity.The arguments in this article limited “effects on humans” to electromagnetic forces. I only added that there are many more things to consider when we put forth “effects on humans”.

            “Middle class, not educated enough..”-Doesn’t this carry the same overtones as the very Church dogmas against which “free thinking” emerged in the first place?Or the Hindu caste system very much blasted here that disallowed a class of people on having a say in matters of knowledge owing to them not having read scriptures? And many scientists and inventors started with little formal education. Are you saying that intelligence can be equated only with rigorous study of physical sciences? How about rigorous study of history or psychology for one?

            “Self styled guru”- Yeah that’s true.Spirituality is only knowing this “self”. Being self styled is an inevitability here because all understanding is very direct in nature. Please burn the vedas if you want, coz no written literature can be of any help in knowing yourself.Yoga can give no universal theory. It can surely give universal understanding. This I speak from my own insights with least regard to any sources.

            I’ve said my piece and have nothing more to add. If you found even a ray of truth in what I said, please investigate into that. Even otherwise, it doesn’t it doesn’t affect me the least.

          • If you want certainty you won’t find it in science. Instead of writing long comments, it would be nice if you understand the basics of philosophy of science, importantly the probabilistic nature of knowledge. This is a good resource.

  • Mr Jagadish Vasudev does not know what he is speaking and is only interested in one fact! How to get maximum no of people into his cult and rip their pockets by selling them pseudo hotch-potch spirituality at inflated prices.

    His Only concern is money! Money! Money! Nothing but money!

    He had claimed some years [early 2000] back that he solidified mercury at room temperature when he erected the Dhyanalinga[Hindu phallic form depicting Hindu Lord Shiva] at his Ashram.

    He claimed that the energy form of his Dhyanalinga cannot be destroyed even if the entire planet is destroyed. Still he cannot cut open his Dhyanalinga and show an international confederation of chemists and physicists where and how mercury can be solidified at room temperature. Till date people are seeking proof of the same when he has given none!

    check this http://zaysen.blogspot.in/2011/04/sadhguru-jaggi-vasudev-his.html

    • Sir,

      It is true that mercury can be solidified at room temperature. Also true is that metals which are poisonous to human beings can be made to loose their poisonous charactor. water can remain as liquid even at -37 deg C under specific conditions.

      Check out your assumptions.

  • @colonel Zaysen, You need to go to vellingiri where a linga is immersed in water which is made of solidified mercury in room temperature. You can see it and touch it for yourself. Good luck.
    Regards
    Shan

    • Shan,

      solidified mercury in room temperature

      Solid mercury at room temperature?? Now that has to be a lie for the melting point of mercury is -38.83 °C. But then why do I expect Jaggi Vasudev apologists to be truthful.

      • @Captain Mandrake,

        What I meant was that a Linga is immersed in the water for all to see and if you are interested in testing whether it is made of mercury, you can always go there and test it for yourself. That linga was made from people’s donations and is not a property of anyone and hence you have every right to go and test it.

        Without testing it, you cannot call it a lie that the linga was not made of mercury since Science believes in testing any hypothesis.

        I expect any serious scientist will test whether the linga is indeed made of mercury, even though the said scientist knows pretty well that under normal temperature and pressure, mercury is a liquid. That does not mean, according to science, that the normal behaviour of mercury cannot be turned into something completely different.If anybody can do it, he/she will be qualified for a Nobel Prize.

        And, I am not a Jaggi Vasudev apologist and it was my mistake that I mistook that people in this forum will use gentlemanly words instead calling others liars.

        For your information, which I think is immaterial, but anyways, I have 14 patents to my name and I am a M.E graduate from a reputed institute and am continuously doing real research rather than talking or arguing in websites.

        Regards
        Shan
        PS: This is my last post to this forum. I may return if any form normal web etiquette is followed.

        • http://www.nist.gov/data/PDFfiles/jpcrd55.pdf

          You can find the phase diagram of mercury on page 808 of link above. Under room temperature and atmospheric pressure mercury is a liquid. Does not matter how the linga was made, if it is at room temperature and pressure of 1 atm then it has to be in liquid state. All your patents and degrees or Jaggi Vasudev’s BS can not change that simple fact.

          Liars like you have to be publicly shamed for the misinformation you spread.

  • I am happy to see that this article has created so many Sadhguru’s & Self realizations which was possible only by Sadhguru JV statements.

    What I could see is two possibilities, one who believed those statements and one who does not which opens two possibilities, One does not have any story to tell, and one has excellent arguments to prove that he is above everybody.

    However, those who know Sadhguru JV, will agree that he has never asked anyone to believe his experiences, but walk the path of self realization.

    • Why do you want to be neutral. Read up about Michael Faraday and James Clerk Mexwell’s contributions to physics. You will be shocked to learn that modern electronics, internet, youtube etc etc., is built on their fundamental ideas of electricity and physics. But they did not have a clue as to what their discoveries will be applied to in two hundred years! Nor were they bothered about it! In fact when the queen asked Farady about the usefulness of his invention (electricity) he is reported to have retorted if the queen could foretell the future of her baby. That Physics and Maths are also a form of meditation can be appreciated only by those who practice it! you have to be obsessed with it ‘inside’ and ‘outside.’

  • Badrinath,

    * However, those who know Sadhguru JV, will agree that he has never asked anyone to believe his experiences, but walk the path of self realization.*

    What the f%*& does that mean and how the hell is that relevant when his ignorance of physics is bring exposed in this article?

    • Badrinath: I wouldn’t try to learn physics from Jaggi Vasudev. But I might find him useful on the path to self-realisation. I think these are different aspects of reality. Science tells me about the external universe whereas religion tries to help me learn about myself, beyond what science says about the body, brain, etc. Swami Chinmayananda used to say that what he was teaching was a scientific experiment but it would take a long time to see the results. I will not reject this without proof.

  • It seems to me that your reasoning has some flaws…

    When he says “science would be dead if it did not produce useful technology to the world to justify the enormous money spent on scientific research” he is saying that science would not SURVIVE if didn’t produce useful things, people would not keep studying it, only a few people would be interested in doing it. If it produced nothing, it would have the same status that philosophy has today.

    He is not saying that science was created to produce technology.

    • You are right in a way. Spirituality also would be dead if it did not provide the weak with emotional crutches (useful technology, inner engineering!). Indeed science is philosophy and there are very few scientists…most practicing scientists do ‘translational’ research to develop technology. Imagining time and space as being relative to each other and imagining physical world in n-dimensions is possible only for YOGIS like Albert Einstein. Lesser mortals can only hope to follow their path and ‘experience’ the beauty of physical reality. How difficult it is to imagine a black hole swallowing up light! Only a TRUE YOGI can see it through meditation!

  • Dear All

    i also agree with science one thing i need answer from you people if science invent or discovered something will it change or not. even physical thing cannot be true as it is today.

    one more thing can we see current. we cant, just we can measure or we can say it is there, by switching on a light or fan. if the opposite will not believe it and say it is light not current in wire. it is fan not current in wire then it is his or her mistake. finally we has to make him or her to touch the wire and feel it.

    same way by Dhayanam or Bhakti only one can experience it.

    one more example of science and god. whether you believe god or not you will survive. whether you know what is current or not if you switch on the bulb it will burn. it cant come and say to you. you do not know what is current so i will not burn.

    here i would like to say not to make the believer not to believe and those who not believe do not make them to believe.

    let every one goes on there own and live as a being human.

  • Being an Science student I too question all certain superstitious are mixed up with our culture. So that doesnt mean all our ancestors understanding are stories…Before questioning theoritically ever one have you practiced the meditation.The people who have practiced with so rigoursly could understand the reality as they reach reality….

    He is no where blaming any scientist and science theories …He says to realize certain things a huge amount are spend but didnt say they are wrong.

    Theoritically questioning is not right come and practice and understand it.

  • If you consider modern psychology as a method built on scientific bases, and then look closer on its conclusions and ,,message,, that it carries for men as living individual, you will see, that it greatly corresponds with Sadhgurus teachings. His activity is focused on ones self development and well being, as well as existentional movement in psychology. He is a great skeptic, claiming not to believe blindly, but question. If he is talking about science and Vedas, it seems to be little bit off way, but it is not his main topic. His benefit for us is on spiritual level. He is limited as everybody else.
    p.s. He is for scientific approach, technology and development. This article is out of context. thumbs down

    • If he is talking about science and Vedas, it seems to be little bit off way, but it is not his main topic.

      The topic of this article is JV’s understanding of science. Not his “main topic”. Looks like you are simply trying to wave away all criticism.

    • Hi,
      What scientific approach did he adopt when he discussed effects of the solar flares or the moon on human ‘Consciousness’? Did he cite any studies conducted to find such relationships? Or are we to take only his words?

      • Dear Mr. Sriram,

        There is specific instances where in it has been observed that solar flares have effect on mind though the effect on individual mind could be very minimal. studies have been conducted in the western scientific community. I read these in a web site but unfortunately I could not immediately retrieve the address.

        How ever In a similar occurrence, You being an Indian must have been well aware that the phases of moon have effect on human mind and the effect is more pronounced on people having unstable mind.

  • I agree with the author. The only saying of Sadhguru that one can agree with is that “Bull shit can get you to the top”.

  • Dear scientists, Sadhguru is not against for science or scientists or anything, pleas understand this. You unable to understand what he has said, that is the problem!

  • let us not be under the impression that the science rules this world. when science could mitigate the hunger,eliminate poverty,foster equality,bring peace to the planet,and lastly explain convincingly where have we come from and what is the purpose of our stay here on this planet and where do we go from here,yes we agree with your views.science has harmed life more than it helped.

    • @msr sharma,

      No one here has said that science “rules the world”. So I’m at a loss as to why you made that comment.

  • Dear sir,

    I believe that science is not the only way to understand the universe. Typical example is even before the invention of electron microscope the structure of sodium and gold have been realised through mind focus by Annie Besant and one another meditator and same was found to be exactly the same observed through the electron microscope many years later.

    You can google it for details.

    • Does Mendeleef’s prediction that scandium, gallium germanium would one day be found, make him a ‘clairvoyant’ who relied on something other than the scientific method?

      Speculating model structures is only part of the scientific method, of which the next integral part is subjecting the speculation to empirical testing. For instance, Linus Pauling had proposed a triple helix model which was shown to be incorrect by later crystallographic supporting evidence for a double helix model. Just sketching a structure from the imagination is not science,in the absence of good reasons for choosing one structure and not another, and pending experimental validation.

      To say that the speculations of Besant and Leadbeater were somehow unprecedented and ahead of the science of the day, is ludicrous given how postulation of atomic structures was mainstream science during their time. The Periodic Law was already decades old when Besant and Leadbeater made their ‘astonishing’ discoveries by ‘clairvoyance’. To claim this work as miraculous is about as tenable as the narrative of an illiterate prophet.

      Clairvoyance unfortunately doesn’t seem to submit itself to peer review or lead to any cumulative development of a discipline. For some reason, clairvoyants seem to have an appetite for disconnected tidbits of information that is already becoming common knowledge, rather than for answers to either pressing questions or big questions. For instance, why didn’t Besant and Leadbeater use their impressive clairvoyance to see plasmodium in the anopheles mosquito’s belly? That could have helped avoid so many preventable malaria deaths before the painstaking non-miraculous discoveries of their contemporary Ronald Ross!

      • annie besat and the other person did this not in scientific persuit. they did it because they were asked to do that to show there are alternate way of gaining knowledge.

        If you dont want to accept this , I am sorry to say that you dont have the open mind which is the pre requisiste for any person engaged in gaining scientic knowledge ought to have.

        Please be open minded and try it for yourself and then you declare it either way.

      • I can’t comment on clairvoyance but just because a phenomenon isn’t amenable to peer review doesn’t mean it doesn’t occur. For example, intuition; without it, progress in science or mathematics is impossible!

  • Hi ,
    Really appreciate time taken to put-forth your point of view. However, I failed to understand one important point from your article. What is Scientific and what is Non scientific. Some thing written by great Indian people (Vedas) are unscientific and what modern day people see with their eyes is scientific?
    Don’t you think our inability to understand and criticize makes one, unscientific. don’t you remember, any contradictions on Newtons and Einstein’s theory in news papers. which one should be believed. did you ever notice that one day, Carrot was told good for health and after a week the very same carrot is bad for health so this so called scientific community that your are talking.

    you must be a respected a person in your field but that doesn’t give credence to the utterance over Veda’s. When science doesn’t doesn’t believe in God, Why you call something as God Particle. That it self a big fallacy.

    • A statement becomes scientific if it is backed by evidence and logic. It doesn’t matter whether it occurs in the Vedas or not.

      Newton’s theory, while not strictly true, is good enough for almost all engineering applications, like designing a dam or a car or a bullet train. Better approximations to reality were discovered in the 1st quarter of the 20th century: relativity and quantum theory. The functioning of a tubelight can’t be described in Newton’s theory but needs the quantum concept.

      The Higgs boson is called the God particle by analogy with the concept of God. It doesn’t imply belief or non-belief. Science doesn’t believe that God exists or that God doesn’t exist.

  • “Meditation and yoga only result in personal experiences which, by their very confinement to an individual’s experience, are neither generalizable nor reproducible.”

    Hmmmm…the epistomological basis of science also presumes the inability to come to certainty about any of your observations. As Kant and many since have asked: how can you be sure about the reality of anything your senses bring to your perception because they are mediated by sense organs and transformed many times in the transit from what we know as “outer world” to our “inner world” of conception and understanding? Thus the theoretical basis of all science offers which you proudly point out are reproducible events–hence objective?

    Furthermore, isn’t it intellectual arrogance to limit possibly by what you have personally experienced? Consider this thought experiment for a moment: What if in everyone lies hidden faculties of perception that remain dormant until they are made to awaken through meditative exercise? What if the world that is opened to perception through the awakening of these faculties is, indeed, just as objective as the perception we share of the natural world? What if the same discipline developed in scientific examination of the natural world is applied in this new world of previously unseen reality? What if spiritual science were a reality and you, simply because you haven’t had the interest or shown the curiosity, make a choice to remain blind?

    Might it be possible to cut this sadhguru guy some slack while exercising some obviously untrained capacity to remain open and tolerant to other points of view?

    Just asking?

  • The vedas are not scientific documents any more than the bible or quran are peer reviewed scientific manuscripts. The illusion of great knowledge in the scared texts comes from selectively quoting extracts to suit scientific theories. Therefore only after a noteworthy find is announced do proponents of sacred texts claim it was always present in their books, i.e. they do not propose any new theories based on the study of these documents but only claim certain obscure text refers to an already announced axiom. Also the scientific method requires falscibility which none of these pseudoscientific theories have therefore no we cant cut proponents of pseudoscience any slack. Hail discordia.

  • What is scientific method, a method derived of human mind and that mind is infinite and so not all answers have been given by science. Metaphysics is beyond science. science by human mind but not complete and the answers may lie from sages and enlightened Masters and of course from religious books eg vedas. They are incomprehensible to ordinary human conscious mind. Science cannot explain WHAT is human being can only explain HOW it function not WHAT it function WHO is the source of this miracle called HUMAN. SCIENCE can only name and explain the NATURE not create one. Take heed from Metaphysics explanation and we can survive as human being and not with science for long.

    • Leaving aside the question of how much science can explain or not, I think it is pretty arrogant to assume that there is only one kind of metaphysics that has all the answers. There exist others and they do a much better job than Vedic metaphysics.

      • How much science can explain really matters because of the limitation of the human mind; thus science cannot explain creation and existence. There is only one metaphysics as far as existence of universe is concerned that is based on spirituality via religions and ancient religious texts and seers.The pertinent question for modern science is who creates life? Religious texts and seers have answers but atheists refuse to SEE!

  • The controversy between science and religion is ridiculous. Each has its different domain.Both of the area is trying to attain some fundamental truth. It must be absolutely clear that there is no end to this journey.

  • Now firstly the point you’re making is correct that when we have study about higg’s boson we have to study cosmic rays, what I don’t understand is that where does “Satguru” claim the superiority of meditation over science ? All he says is that approaching nature and simply looking at things and seeing it as how it will be useful for me what can I gain out of it is a mediocre way of looking at things. I personally do not see that this is the scientific method. Also before commenting on Hinduism better do your research, please find out what “Carl Sagan” has said about Hinduism and then post it. Your post has merely created a false dichotomy which does not exist in any of the talks. Also this is no different from the view of fanatics who only view things as either you’re with us or against us.

  • Stories of Yore and Yogis of modern age claim that they have and is possible to achieve the state of oneness with the universe or mukti or freedom or nivana etc.

    Yes, the count is very very less compared to billions of humanity. Your immediate question is how do you believe in those? Did you experienced? My answer is not yet, but I am experimenting on myself on a regular basis. There are people in flesh and blood beside me who are seeing the light in the fore head and hearing sounds with in. there are many who could levitate in air still alive. Do I have to wait until Government funds a project on this and the scientiests prove some thing? If you have cancer and you are going to die anyway do you dare risking some alternative medicine. People are in a dire need. No one has the time to wait until science proves GOD or NO GOD in the lab.

    But, If we are so lazy,skeptical and biased to put the effort and soleley rely on the reasoning of the mind and the entertaining ego then it is not correct. Please set up an unbiased dedicated team of people who will risk self experimentation on these yogic techniques. Why dedicated people? Becuase it is not an hours or days lab job to observe the findings.

    Then we have every right to be a critic. Tagging ourselves as Theist or Atheist will not help a bit and waste of time.

  • Strange! The so called Hi Tech Gurus using science as an every tool for their existence irrespective of their preachings. They need science the moment they wake up or open their eyes…they need electricity, they need mobile phone even latest iphone, desires all the scientific methods of travel or scientific utilities for their well being including lavish ashramas or mesmarising outlooks and even vigourous publicity of their own promotions in the shape of not less than a song of Bollywood movie in the websites or internet..In this scenario where is their stand on arguing science is worthless? Shame of their comments on science being using science in their breath of the day!!! One Guru frequently used to say there is no GOD and even a Buffalo thinks a big Buffalo is it’s GOD..then I put a question who is buffalo the Devotees? or the Guru?

    • Modern day science does not reveal anything other than theories which has some profit motives, second thing what you believe as science is not the only science, these guru’s offer spiritual science, which is different from material science but nevertheless it’s a science,just by researching some sick people you can’t conclude that whole humanity is sick,only if you have answers for each and every question that exist in the universe, then probably you have a right to criticise someone who is beyond your value,if not try to search for a true meaning.

      • Sreeg,

        You are badly in need of education about what Science is, what its aims and objectives are and its methods of exploring phenomenon and application of such findings in advancing the quality of our life.

        Not all uses of science are completely materialistic. With technology, we can make and enjoy music better and other hobbies are made more pleasurable by scientific advances in making and doing things better.

        If you cannot describe, explain or formulate cogently the meaning of the term ‘spiritual science’, it will be just a weasel word, that has been thrown around and abused by Hindu Swamis and Acharyas.

        Do you have the answers to all the questions of the life and Universe?! Which does not look like from the utter rubbish that you are talking. Then why are you criticizing skepticism?!.

        No wonder you ended your nonsense with another weasel term ‘search for true meaning’!Happy searching in the wilderness of ‘Sanatana spiritualism’!

  • People can claim everything by science.Maybe if one visits the school in ashram Coimbatore will know the impact of understanding how to use science in the right direction.using science for well being is more sensible than to prove existence..

  • what is scientist? is it his brain? tongue which blaws?is it flesh? every signal is sent to brain. is the brain which claims ME, I, MY ..what is the origin? mere consciousness. it can not be tested in laboratory. you have to simply surrender to god nature. your eyes and intellect is not the proper scale to measure. what is true to you is not true to other living species.

    • What complete nonsense are you rambling on about? Consciousness can indeed be studied in a laboratory. Why else would there be the entire field of neuroscience?

    • Actually, science is the best tool we have to understand consciousness. What other alternatives do you think exist? Certainly not the whishy-washy stuff that gurus like Jaggi Vasudev peddle.

      • Science is incomplete tool. If you reject other alternative tools without understanding or disproving them..then you are not scientific… Did you see Newton is scientific in perspective of recent World views..?

      • do not take any body as reference? how can salt know the origin of sea? either egg knows its future or the chick knows its origin. you need to self enquire?
        science is part of universal intelligence.

        • Yssubramanyam,

          **do not take any body as reference? how can salt know the origin of sea? either egg knows its future or the chick knows its origin. you need to self enquire?
          science is part of universal intelligence.**

          All this Is total gibberish. Let us get back to your first post.

          **science is not realistic tool to know what is consciousness.**

          As Satish pointed out science is the only tool we have to know/understand anything. You seem to suggest that there is some alternative tool out there.

          Please let us know what this alternative tool is and how can it be confirmed that what this supposed tool tell us about anything is realistic in any sense.

          I would also request Subhajit to answer the same question.

          It would also help if people like you and Subhajit make a effort to understand what “burden of evidence/proof” is and where it lies.

          • As we are constituted as human beings, there is only one way to knowledge–thru perception and thinking. Natural science as a methodology of inquiry presumes there are limits to our perception, namely, limits based on our having physical senses only that can be expanded by tools such as telescopes, microscopes and the like. There are those (some argue Jaggi Vasudev is one of these and I take no position one way or the other) who have opened inner organs of perception that lie dormant unless a human being develops them through meditative exercises. With sufficient goodwill, one can at least consider the possibility that the new perceptions available through previously dormant organs could be thoughtfully (and scientifically) developed into a knowledge of a world that was previously unattainable. However, “skeptics” will always have the right to deny the existence of this world just as blind people have every right to deny such a thing as light exists or the deaf that sound exists. Commonsense, and some good will can go a long way to at least having a rational conversation about something that might be possible even if one hasn’t attained clairvoyant capacities.

          • Vicnada,

            You too do not understand what “burden of proof/evidence” is or where it lies. Also you do not understand what a “special pleading fallacy” is. That is the problem when you confuse gulibilty with goodwill. In short you will be laughed out of any freethinkers forum.

          • Had I the wish to join you in your so-called “freethinkers forum”, I would heed your warning against the ridicule that apparently greets all who don’t “freely think” as you do. Those swaddled in the comfortable limits of materialistic science have reason to fear unbinding their imagination to include the unseen universe. Conflating “goodwill” with “gullibility” (yes, they share double ell’s) is a dodge. Why should tonal arrogance replace reason in said “freethinking forums”?

          • **Why should tonal arrogance replace reason in said “freethinking forums”?**

            Because people like you do not know the first thing about reason. You are yet to answer the question I asked in an earlier post. Here it is again.

            **Please let us know what this alternative tool is and how can it be confirmed that what this supposed tool tell us about anything is realistic in any sense.**

            The second part of the question (how can it be confirmed…) is very important. Please answer the question without resorting to special pleadings. If you can not answer it then stop hanging out in freethought forums. Go and hang out with quacks like Miss Cleo and Deepak Chopra instead.

          • **Why should tonal arrogance replace reason in said “freethinking forums”?**

            *Because people like you do not know the first thing about reason. You are yet to answer the question I asked in an earlier post. Here it is again.*

            Having you acknowledge your arrogance, if tacitly, is satisfying enough to have one more go.

            **Please let us know what this alternative tool is and how can it be confirmed that what this supposed tool tell us about anything is realistic in any sense.**

            I don’t think what is called for is an “alternative tool” to replace science. That’s where you are stuck in your inquiry. Science–a tool of thoughtful methodology developed to build consensus around what we call reality–is required for human beings because of our constitution: we are built 1) to perceive and 2) to think about what we perceive. We must approach the world first as separate from it. The world is given by way of perception but useful concepts about reality are only formed over time by linking perceptions logically and meaningfully.

            Science is the perfect tool insofar as it demands rigor, repeatability and consonance in it’s results BUT there is nothing in the thoughtful discipline of science that precludes the previously unseen world EXCEPT the prejudice held by some that this unseen world does not exist.

            My question is simply this: If there is an unseen world that can be accessed (perceived) once meditative discipline is engaged to develop the slumbering organs of perception, why could not that world be investigated to thoughtfully new body of knowledge? The scientific approach required might need modification as the world approached might not follow the natural laws we know apply to the physical world (I don’t think anyone expects angels to line up for double-blind experimentation, for example) but might there be a world as “objective” behind the veil of the physical that exists here? And might this this physical world be so important just because it stands still long enough for us to develop these scientific skills and thoughtful methods?

            *The second part of the question (how can it be confirmed…) is very important. Please answer the question without resorting to special pleadings. If you can not answer it then stop hanging out in freethought forums. Go and hang out with quacks like Miss Cleo and Deepak Chopra instead.*

            Sadly, one of the first signs of prejudice is the name-calling that follows so quickly when confronting something outside one’s comfort zone. It is the bully’s mask least someone see through to what is quaking at the core. It’s often a hard blow that is required to wake one out of the materialistic dream.

            Eben Alexander, a neurosurgeon of great repute and scientist of the highest calibre, gleaned enough experiences of another world during a prolonged coma to convert him from his “skepticism”. But he is no less a scientist now than he was before. He is simply at work integrating concepts that include this world into a contiguous reality with one he mastered as natural science.

          • **Having you acknowledge your arrogance, if tacitly, is satisfying enough to have one more go.**

            Wrong again. The fact that you do not know the first thing about reason is why me asking you to not resort to special pleadings and learn about burden of evidence appeared to you as tonal arrogance. Perhaps you would have picked up on that if you knew how “not to beg the question” as you did here **Why should tonal arrogance replace reason in said “freethinking forums”**.

            Also you have not said anything new to convince me that you are no different from quacks like Miss Cleo and Deepak Chopra.

            The question still remains “Please let us know what this alternative tool is and how can it be confirmed that what this supposed tool tell us about anything is realistic in any sense”.

            Makes no difference to me whether you call it alternative tool or meditative discipline. You have not answered “how can it be confirmed…” part of the question yet. How do we know what you picked up from your meditative trance is not something that just made up?

            Also, Eban Alexanders hallucinations are not evidence of anything other than his hallucinations. He also belongs in the company of Miss Cleo and Deepak Chopra.

          • **Eben Alexander, a neurosurgeon of great repute and scientist of the highest calibre, gleaned enough experiences of another world during a prolonged coma to convert him from his “skepticism”. But he is no less a scientist now than he was before.**

            Apparently Eban Alexander’s reputation was mud even before he claimed to have seen a girl riding a butterfly during his coma. He again lied about verifiable things (the weather, and whether or not his coma was medically induced) that happened around the time he was in coma. But we are being asked to believe his BS about him seeing his sister riding a butterfly during his coma for which he can not give any evidence anyway.

            This guy does belong in the company of Miss Cleo.

  • Sir,

    You have written such a big article on your fault findings with JAggi’s teachings. I totally respect your views. I can only tell that there are a few things, which cannot be grasped by your mind or intellect. Once you experience that first hand, all the findings, the rights and the wrongs vanish away. Science is always progressive- They find new things daily. Spirituality is just unveiling the truths, which you already know at some deeper level. What you said might just be true now- but jaggis views have to be respected too. 🙂 Take care

  • Vasudev personally stated that he’s not a scientist nor claiming to be one. He said that he reads all scientific findings online when he has time.

    You can’t understand what his understanding is like, nor what his intent is all about. He’s not wrong, even when he’s wrong about scientific classification, get it? He also said once that galaxies turn supernovae, not stars. This is also scientifically wrong, isn’t it? But this is just like not knowing what’s outside your memory. It’s nothing about insight or understanding, clarity etc.

    Simply, your point of view is wrong when judging him.

  • We are discussing science vs. spirituality. If science is building theories based on observations, then I must say that modern science has changed its theories so many times over history, as we know. First atom was like this, then it became like that, now it is like this. First it was Newtonian mechanics, then Einsteinian, then something that falsifies both. In contrast, the spiritual theories based on observations of the human mind have remained the same over ages. Even today, one can reach the same conclusions that our Upanishadic seers did.

    Now, the difference is that science, as we understand it, is all object science. Spirituality is science of the mind, or subject science. Does spirituality unlock the secrets of universe? Sure, it does, but not in an objective way as science understands it. Since all observations depend on the observer, the understanding of the observer gives the key to the observed, that’s what spirituality says. Not convinced, Mr. tArkika? Please refer to Einstein’s general theory of relativity.

    • **We are discussing science vs. spirituality. If science is building theories based on observations, then I must say that modern science has changed its theories so many times over history, as we know. First atom was like this, then it became like that, now it is like this. First it was Newtonian mechanics, then Einsteinian, then something that falsifies both. In contrast, the spiritual theories based on observations of the human mind have remained the same over ages. Even today, one can reach the same conclusions that our Upanishadic seers did.**

      Every religious fool has come up with this kind of an objection (it keeps changing) to science. Here (http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Science_keeps_changing ) is an atheist who has done a good job of addressing this issue. A cut and paste from the link shown below.

      **In order to understand this issue, it must first be understood what this nebulous “change” is, that the objectors speak of. There’s two different kinds of “changing”:

      1. Updating – A process of learning and improving where the knowledge or object is changed into a better state.

      2. Resetting – A process of replacing the knowledge or object with a completely new, and contradictory set of knowledge or objects.

      Science gets accused of #2, when it’s really doing #1.
      Science doesn’t consider computer technology unreliable because they’re changed to be faster, with more memory.
      Science doesn’t consider a cook unreliable because he/she learned how to prepare a particular meal faster and more healthily.

      Science doesn’t consider an archer to be unreliable because he/she found a new way to increase his/her precision at hitting the bulls-eye.
      To criticize science for changing is to criticize the very act of learning.**

      The final sentence hits the nails on the head. What the religious fools are objecting to is really the act of learning.

      Shame on them!

      • Dude, there’s no point debating with such people. There’s absolutely no common ground – the (stupid) axioms they start off with aren’t compatible with yours. Unless of course you’re trolling them, in which case more power to you.

  • Indians are quite passionate when it comes to Vedas and upanishads. Nothing wrong, but in reality, most people have trouble in implementing the teachings or techniques. People who criticize science often send their children to modern education hoping they would become scientists,engineers or doctors. They want to believe, but have this dilemma.

    Scientists are passionate people. I am one of them, but I am open to the idea that modern science has just started to understand how little we know about how the universe works. Conflicts exist even among scientists. Even the molecular structure of water continues to be a puzzle. It’s an interesting challenge though.

    Science is yet to embrace the possibility of exploring the world by a different approach. People – that includes doctors and scientists around the world are only now beginning to recognize the benefits of Yoga and meditation created by ancient Indians.

    Science and technology are two edge swords. I am of the opinion that the focus of these gurus is to help us to be good human beings, so that we can do what we do better. If scientists like me can follow these principles, we can do science better and ethically as well.

    After all, yoga is a science of body and mind!

    • Yoga and Meditation benefit the people to the extent of being a physical and mental exercise like reducing pain, anxiety etc., It is not recognized as a tool to solve scientific problems. Please don’t generalize the effects of Yoga and Meditation. Our ancient Scientists and Mathematicians used proofs and experiments to come up with their theories. There is not even record stating that Aryabhatta, Bhaskara used Meditation as a tool to come up with their proofs let alone anyone tested it.

  • The history of evolution in scientific ideas is a testimony in itself that its search for the truth has not ended, it is still on! The reality as understood in Newtonian view looks no longer the same in Quantum world. It is even more enigmatic in “string theory”. It shows that science is still struggling hard to conceive the fundamentals of reality. So, what is the point of arguing with things that is in transition itself ? Being a hardliner makes it a “religious belief” only.

    The fact that these revolutionary scientists could bring in a new view is an indication that they were not satisfied with what was prevalent scientific understanding of their times. Instead of holding onto these views as “religion” and “ultimate”, they still went ahead to seek the truth, based on what they envisage as a likely “possibility”. By the way, they also made their observations in their minds, often through mathematical abstracts and thought experiments (in subtler dimensions).

    The spiritual world has its ways of observing realities and has well-defined disciplines for that. Only the means and subject of observation are different, the goal is still the same – seeking the truth about reality.

    Without following those methods/means, how do you know the view of reality as experienced are not the correct? I would rather refrain from thinking that targeting Mr. Jaggi Vasudev is NOT the goal here.

    So, trying to see science vs spirituality would be a very novice idea, albeit exciting. It servers little purpose so far as knowing the truth is concerned.

    However, there are physicists and scientists who looked at the same subject with an open mind and tried to see if how Science and Spirituality correlate, if at all. I highly recommend to read them.

    Fritjof Capra (physicist and author of “Tao of Physics), Moni Bhoumik (scientist and author of “Code name God”,
    Roger Penrose (sceientist and author of “Shadows of the Mind”) are three books – I can readily recall – in that direction.

    Hopefully, that will help broaden our views.

    • **The fact that these revolutionary scientists could bring in a new view is an indication that they were not satisfied with what was prevalent scientific understanding of their times. Instead of holding onto these views as “religion” and “ultimate”, they still went ahead to seek the truth, based on what they envisage as a likely “possibility”. By the way, they also made their observations in their minds, often through mathematical abstracts and thought experiments (in subtler dimensions).**

      Yeah, but these scientists are always constrained by evidence. They never make shit up like the charlatan Vasudev. This idiot and other spiritualists do not realize that their hallucinations are evidence of nothing but their hallucinations. It says nothing what so ever about the world.

      **Hopefully, that will help broaden our views.**

      No. Your approach will only muddle the search for truth. And I suspect that is the goal of Vasudev.

      • Kindly read what the scientists say and go by, including “Stephen Hawking”. “Hypothesis” is always something made-up. Please read what he clearly says about all these “hypothesis” (Brief History of Time) and how the success and failure of experiments are viewed in the world of science, in the context of a hypothesis.

        What I sense from your ungracious comments is that the objective of these discussions is more a personal attack on someone whose views do not conform to your thoughts and beliefs. Well, be happy with your ideas and views about science. But please do not leave a bad taste in the mouth. I am not interested in belief-vs-belief fights.

        • Mr. Das,

          **Kindly read what the scientists say and go by, including “Stephen Hawking”. “Hypothesis” is always something made-up. Please read what he clearly says about all these “hypothesis” (Brief History of Time) and how the success and failure of experiments are viewed in the world of science, in the context of a hypothesis.**

          Yes I read that book long time ago. Do not remember Hawking ever taking an “anything goes approach” to hypothesis. Hypothesis have to falsifiable to be taken seriously. Show me one falsifiable hypothesis that Vasudev came up with. Falsifiable as in showing exactly how it can be falsified. And then show me how he constructed an experiment designed to falsify the said hypothesis and what were the outcome of these experiments. Oh, and btw the experiments should be verifiable. If you can not do that then have the common decency to admit that Vasudev makes shit up.

          If you do not understand what a falsifiable hypothesis is then please read this.

          http://scienceblogs.com/ethicsandscience/2007/01/31/basic-concepts-falsifiable/

          • Mr Mandrake,

            This is what Stephen Hawking has written in this book
            “Any physical theory is always provisional, in the sense it is only a hypothesis: you can never prove it. No matter how many times the results of experiments agree with some theory, you can never be sure that the next time the result will not contradict the theory. On the other hand, you can disprove a theory by finding even a single observation that disagrees with the predictions of theory.” (Chapter 1, Page 11)

            I have also seen youtube videos of Mr Vasudev saying that do not believe or disbelieve what I say. Just try out the method I am offering and see for yourself. Have only as much trust on the method as you believe that the person filling petrol in your car is not filling it with explovsives. Try it and go by what you are convinced about only. That means it is ok to discard it if it does not convince you. This sounds a fair approach to me to accept or dismiss something after experiment.

            Winning or losing an argument is of very little consequence. If the search is for the reality ( by this word I mean: the fundamental field /law that governs the universe and gave rise to our known universe ), scientists still have not reached the conclusion. But they have able to unify three forces so far and only one is still left out. If we reach there someday, and I hope we will, it will be truly wonderful.

            There are interviews in YouTube of Dr. Mani bhaumika, a renowned scientist, about consciousness and physics. Dr Rozer Penroze is also pointing to the same. Please have a look at them too, to see how the scientists are approaching this concept of consciousness and physical reality (” Our brain has been designed to experience the oneness”). The books I had mentioned in my first posts are all dealing with that by the scientist today. Again, I am not asking you to get convinced because someone has said (be Scientists or mr. Vasudev). But may be it will be a worthwhile exercise to explore this subject, at least once through the eyes of the scientists.

            This is my last post as my intention was not to argue for the sake of it, I just wanted to make aware what all explorations are going on and how liberal those thoughts are!

            Regards
            Nabatanu

          • Mr. Das,

            Nothing you quoted from Hawking’s book says that you can take an anything goes approach to hypothesis. The hypothesis still has to be falsifiable. You still do not seems to understand that.

            Let us get back to what you said in your earlier post.

            **The spiritual world has its ways of observing realities and has well-defined disciplines for that. Only the means and subject of observation are different, the goal is still the same – seeking the truth about reality.**

            I asked you to present one falsifiable hypothesis that Vasudev came up with. Show how the claim can be falsified. Show how he constructed an experiment designed to falsify the said hypothesis. Present verifiable data from the experiment and what kind of conclusions he drew from the data.

            If you can show a single example we can agree that these people have the capability to seek the truth about reality as you said. But since you refuse show a single instance of that I can only conclude Vasudev is a quack and you are a fool.

          • **Our brain has been designed to experience the oneness**

            Idiotic statement irrespective of who said it.

          • **Again, I am not asking you to get convinced because someone has said (be Scientists or mr. Vasudev). But may be it will be a worthwhile exercise to explore this subject, at least once through the eyes of the scientists.**

            What do you mean by **this subject**? So far you have not even presented a falsifiable claim. How can anyone study **this subject** with out presenting a falsifiable claim?

      • I totally agree with you. I think “evidence” is the key word here, that differentiates science from all the pseudo science. Scientists, like spiritualists, have many exotic ideas about the world and its ways of functioning.
        However, all these exotic ideas remain just that – the ideas. They never become theory unless they are supported by evidence. Moreover, when a scientist proposes a theory, it is never taken by the rest of the scientific community at its face value. Others replicate the experiments to see if the theory holds good, and also find flaws in it. This falsification process is in fact the root of the scientific development. So their is a big journey for any new idea, from hypothesis to an accepted theory. And this is the major difference between scientific and spiritually driven theories…. the later don’t bother to bear the burden of this long journey to be accepted. In the later world, “who said it” carries more weight than “what was said”.

        • I beg to differ. The Vedas and the Upanishads are only asking the people to walk on the path, using the tools mentioned by them, whether meditation, contemplation, karma-yoga, devotion, whatever. These are tools, or theories, or models, whatever we wish to call them, which need to be tried and replicated, just like any scientific theory.

          The difference between science and spirituality is that when one scientist makes a claim of some kind, others question him, but also try to replicate the claim. This indicates an open mind to try and find out. If it doesn’t work out, the theory is discarded. In spirituality, there are few takers, who are willing to use the tools and walk the path. There are many, however, who would challenge and shoot down the theories, without budging an inch to try and replicate the experiments.

          • **I beg to differ. **

            Beg and differ all you want. Also keep on harping about other ways of knowing. Would not make an iota of difference. The freethinking community will continue to treat quacks like you and Vasudev exactly the same way they treat Miss Cleo. With derision and mockery.

        • **I think “evidence” is the key word here, that differentiates science from all the pseudo science. Scientists, like spiritualists, have many exotic ideas about the world and its ways of functioning.**

          There is nothing wrong in having exotic ideas. But the ideas themselves must be falsifiable. The spiritualist fools do not understand this simple requirement. This is another major difference between science and pseudoscience.

          • Mr Mandrake,

            I do not understand what qualification or right you have got to call other fools, quacks etc. This is not the way any healthy discussion / arguments happen in any science community, by calling names!
            “I beg to differ” does not mean “beg” – google it out to see what it means.

            I do not hope/want this to be published. But I would like the moderator to check if that is the quality of discussion they want on this site which claims to be ‘nirmukta’, of course unless Mr Mandrake himself is the moderator. Then there is nothing more to expect!

          • Mr. Das,

            Anyone who sells other ways of knowing is a quack. And those who follow the quack are fools, ie these people are being fooled.

            Let us see what you said in one of your posts.

            **The spiritual world has its ways of observing realities and has well-defined disciplines for that. Only the means and subject of observation are different, the goal is still the same – seeking the truth about reality.**

            You can not say that and expect not to be mocked. OK, tell me how you or Vasudev can figure out what is the acceleration due to gravity on the surface of the earth using means and subject of observation that are different from that used by a scientist? What kind of tools and methods does spirituality offer you to get an answer to that question? I can easily tell you what tools and measurement devices I need to answer the question. I need a pendulum, a ruler to measure its length, and a stop watch to measure time period of oscillation.

            The fact that Vasudev can not answer that question using his spiritualist tools and methods and yet makes millions by claiming that spirituality is another way to seeking truth about reality makes him a quack. And people who fall for his quackery are fools.

            There are different ways to handle these quacks and fools. I prefer derision and mockery. Good natured and mild mannered freethinkers might prefer a more friendly approach. I can certainly have a healthy debate with those freethinkers on the pros and cons of each approach.

            But a healthy debate with you is impossible.

  • Right. He uses the little bit of science words and terminologies and lowers science and technology.Without that he would not be having his bikes , rovers, golf,beatles records,and the khush life he has.He has a good level of energy,his so called enlightenment is just a pretty high level of lucky flash of conciousness, not enlightenment.Good enough for dumb people and some not so dumb people to follow.But he is quite a few steps from the real thing;ie enlightenment.Good enough though,he does’nt kill people or rip off people. I hope.

    • **Good enough though,he does’nt kill people or rip off people.**

      Not sure about killing but he does rip people off. Here is something he teaches. He calls it innerengineering. The online version costs $150 and the live version an arm and a leg.

      https://www.innerengineering.com/

      Some of the claims about the benefits of the course are shown below.

      **91% of Inner Engineering participants gained a deeper sense of inner peace. 87% found improved emotional balance. 80% increased mental clarity.**

      Hilarious!

  • The problem with this article’s reasoning, is that even if Jaggi has incorrect views of science, it does not disprove the validity of Yoga practices or obtained results. The flip side of of any criticism of Yoga by scientists who say Jaggi doesn’t understand science, is of course, that scientists don’t understand Yoga. The fact is, Yoga IS a science which operates to elevate human consciousness, and the results of its practice always vary depending upon innumerable qualities of the student & the teacher; results therefore do not have the degree of predictability that satisfy the rigid requirements that scientists demand. Jaggi may indeed be a fake, an impostor, a con-man, or just a dumb ass, but until one engages in a dedicated & serious study of Yoga, damning the practice can only be from a perspective of ignorance. Ultimately, it really matters very little for personal betterment if there is or isn’t an understanding of how chemicals react or the cosmos was formed, but it matters greatly how much knowledge an individual has of methods to improve personal equipoise & awareness of the intricacies of human function which will foster advancement to higher levels of personal evolution.

  • **The fact is, Yoga IS a science which operates to elevate human consciousness, and the results of its practice always vary depending upon innumerable qualities of the student & the teacher; results therefore do not have the degree of predictability that satisfy the rigid requirements that scientists demand. **

    Don’t you get tired of contradicting yourself in the same sentence? If something “IS a science” then that something should “satisfy the rigid requirements that scientists demand”.

    • I would only “get tired” of contradicting myself if it had any relevance or effect upon my yoga practice. Yoga is ACTION, not word games. Whatever I SAY, or you SAY, doesn’t really matter; what we DO does.

  • Jaggi Vasudev’s Isha Ashramam occupied the forests and elephant routes in vellingiri hills and constructed 4 lakh square feet building without any single approval from bodies. Govt ordered demolition — tamilnadu based wikileaks kind of site savukku revealed and wrote a very detailed article about this. he is neither logical nor honest.

    • Senthil,

      **Jaggi Vasudev’s Isha Ashramam occupied the forests and elephant routes in vellingiri hills and constructed 4 lakh square feet building without any single approval from bodies. **

      And this crook was complaining about political corruption ahead of the elections.

      • If he is a honest guru let him reply with in 15 days to the charges of illegal occupation of Elephant routes in Vellingiri Hills and do not make a mockery of his ecological concern and Tree plantation drives.

    • When government ordered for demolition..dont blab…The land was already in use. The savukku is saying the land was bought from Lakshmi Mills owner..If so how u r saying isha has occupaid forest land.

  • I got interested in this guy as someone sent me a video on Whats App about him. I spent entire day listening to his clever You Tube clips. Initially he impressed me but when I examined him with more open mind, I could see the chinks in his armor.
    In one of his sermons he is saying there is no Diabetes in America as scientists there have started adding Vitamin D3 in bread making process since 1950s. As a physician practising in USA, nothing can be further from truth. Diabetes is really very common in USA and bread may be one of the many causes.
    I think these Pseudo Gurus exploit the basic need in every human being to have “The Experience”. Most of the people want someone else to do the hardwork and provide them with the answers. There is really a need for someone to stand up and expose these frauds.

  • Tarkika,

    After going through this and several other articles on this site, I am not quite sure what your group’s objective as a whole is. If your claim is that Ancient India was not scientifically advanced (far more so than any other group of people at that time in the world) then you have not explored world history enough. If your claim is that the Vedas and the related texts such as Brahmanas, Upanishads and Puranas are devoid of any scientific value and/or observations then you have not read them or assimilated them as yet.

    Last but not the least, this is not to be misconstrued as any sort of defense of any godman. Perhaps most godmen understand basic science. How many in your group can claim to understand, read and write basic Sanskrit and claim to have read through the works in question?

    It is about time people with scientific background really sat down to do a thorough study on some of these ancient works and try and correlate the ancients’ findings with what we know from modern science! Need of the hour!

    Best Regards!

    • Agree with u Bala, but this is not exactly what the group is discussing(I know its diverted a lot). I think we are in a discussion whether JV is correct or not, or let me be little flexible, if he is incorrect on physics basis then is his incorrectness incorrect as a whole??
      Thanks

  • I am not sure of this extensive criticism on Vasudev. I am a scientist, a prcticing physician in USA and have been living in USA over 40 yrs. I was not satisfied with the science and its methods becasue I am not interested in the mater that is already in existance. I started wodering – who am I and what is my purpose? Science could not explain this becasue this question arises in oneself when they really ask themselves and go beyond the matter. I do not desclaim the scientist but they are still looking with in the BOX. One would get this questiong “who am I” when you start getting out of the box and look outside. Why don’t you and others like you learn transendental meditation and spend atleast 6 hours a day and just few years on meditaion and find out what you will discover. Just imagine how much of our life is spent sitting in the class room day after day and year after year learning about the nature and then go on trying to understand its workings with so called scientific methods. we simply waste our short precious time on this earth doing this instead of going beyond to the ultimate truth of this matter. I will assure you that you will not be disappointed. Please do not waste your time.

  • I had listened to a few of Sadhguru’s online videos and was impressed in the way he presented eastern philosophy. However after watching
    http://www.ishafoundation.org/blog/lifestyle/food/food-and-lunar-eclipses-bad-combo/
    I was shocked realise how totally ignorant he was on very basic science. It is a pity when those who have good communication skills are unaware of the limits of there knowledge and talk absolute nonsense. I then looked for a review and found this well written piece on Sadhguru.

  • Jaggi Vasudev is enlightened, there is no doubt as far as the science of body features go, he has all the signs that show that he has gone through the process. However, As Osho said in one of his discourses, enlightenment does not make one super intelligent, you remain what you were as far as your abilities, your intellect and your level of understanding goes. If this was not true than Narsingdatta ji maharaj would have dropped making bidis (Indian Cigarettes) because why would an enlightened master pump negative stuff into the society that causes cancer? Narsingdatta should have dropped making bidis, should have opened up and ashram like Jaggi vasudev and should have lived lavishly on seekers money.

    Even if Jaggi Vasudev has something to offer to the real seeker, the problem is that Isha foundation is set in such a way that unless you show them that you are a multi millionaire from the west, you will never get a chance to be in front of Jaggi Vasudev and ask questions that can help you come closer to self realization.

    For seekers, I would strongly recommend to listen to Osho without bringing in your conscious/active analyzing mind and let your unconscious steer you in the right direction. Just as Buddha said: appo divo bhavo (Be your own light).

  • yoga is good.

    but why you should fool people?

    vellingiri is already a fertile land, with good rain.

    how can you boast as if you are protecting the forest?

    why cant you choose an area where there is less rainfall and make it your ashram?

    why cant you live a simple life, while you preach others to be simple? why you use hummer? helicopter, five star hotel?

    You are good in communication, I appreciate you for making well educated persons a fools and make them your followers.
    you say you have picture on vellingiri in ur eyes. if you are NOT SELFISH, you will not tell these bullshit information and spoil nature around vellingiri.

    In the name of Yoga, you are spoiling nature around vellingiri.

    there is no difference between you and a pimp. you are raping the nature. pls get our of vellingiri. leave the nature as it has to be.

    I know nothing can be done to you, as being a pimp you know how to owe the customers.

    as long as those educated fools are with you, you can rule. enjoy jaggi!

  • Believers of hindu vedas pls stop arguing with captain mandrake. He declare himself as captain of his ship. So no point giving opinion. He wants tools before proving science!!??Knowledge of vedas is not science but far beyond that. Science cant explain dream. What tools we need? But in vedas ,sure you can. You have to be a believer first. No need tools.
    He is still in that level(hypothesis,materials,tools,procedures,method,observation,result,conclusion……). He does not understand that he is in the field of science but trying not to understand knowledge of vedas. He can hear here only the present but in outer space, cant. But yogis can hear anything from any space n time. Ofcause our captain who is still at that level cant or never want to understand us. LET HIM BE AS THE WAY HE WANT. DONT WORRY. BYE

  • We can evaluate someone through the way they answer a question. But we also can judge someone through the question raised by them. We should be careful when asking question because people will label us wrongly. We need certain amount of knowledge in a field to raise question.
    The way human defecate n where they defecate is two different thing. Something like how we have sex n where we have sex. Am sure you n me need to know how to make proper sex. This is written in kamasuthra. And no ñeed to teach u or me where to make sex. Proper way to defecate is taught but where to defecate u decide. How u think can b explained but where you think who cares. How to see god is important rather than to ask where to see god. So therefore dont waste time searching why vedas never explain where to defecate.

  • Science, as yet, is too immature to understand the universe.

    You never know S.JV maybe true. I speak of the experiences of Yoga: an incredibly powerful technology that lies within all of us.

  • Sorry . I m not sure what Sadguru meant when he said what he said but it is equally true that scientists often land up saying what they do not know. Modern science has been built on a plethora of wrong assumptions though there are a few partial truths. I, myself from a rigorous science background am saying this. My own work ( passion) for past few years has been to unite all Vedic symbolism, particle physics , mythological symbolism,linguistics, chemistry, quantum physics, music, geography,psychology, genetics, evolution, arithmetic, cosmology et al and thus establish the unified theory of everything. It unites almost everything and much more. Large part of this project is over and hopefully, it won’t take long before I complete it and lay it down before u. What is more it unites all the religions and all the mythologies as well. So, let us not be too carried away by the tall claims of modern science and neither by the bigotry of religion.

    • My own work ( passion) for past few years has been to unite all Vedic symbolism, particle physics , mythological symbolism,linguistics, chemistry, quantum physics, music, geography,psychology, genetics, evolution, arithmetic, cosmology et al and thus establish the unified theory of everything

      Have you considered Lithium? 🙂

      The last guy I met who said he was writing a book (he really was, don’t know if he finished it) to unify EVERYTHING, never attended college, and I think he did not even finish high-school (US). I talked to him for a couple of hours (traveling, nothing better to do) and he was completely clueless about how real science is done, but nevertheless knew every pseudoscience out there and could not obviously distinguish between them. So there he was: an otherwise normal IQ guy, in a fantasy science land, believing he was an intellectual. There are of course, even more clueless people in US, who would be interested in buying his books.

      myself from a rigorous science background am saying this

      So whats this “rigorous science background”? Several PhDs, in each of those subjects, from well ranked universities? Lots of science publications in reputable journals?

      It certainly would not be some degree mill certificates and blog posts, would it? :-).

    • What I fail to understand is why don’t these scientific enthusiasts work on the scriptures to find something new? We have a lot of ambiguity around dark matter and dark energy. I would love if they can clarify something new rather than correlating what science has already proven to the past, trying to interpret by false pattern recognition to suit their agenda. I am dying to see one study that reveals something new (and I’m sure a lot of us are waiting for it to happen) that baffles the scientific world. Then I’ll accept it graciously that our scriptures are so uber-scientific. Until then, please don’t pass off metaphysical philosophy as science.

  • There are some things that science hasn’t explained: does the soul exist, what is death, is there reincarnation, etc. It is not clear whether science will or can ever provide answers to the above. Astrology claims that the heavenly bodies have effects on us, beyond what is known to science. In my opinion there is empirical evidence that astrology works, at least sometimes. I have no explanation. Maybe there are interactions which science has not yet discovered. I think we should respect the scientific method but also recognise its limitations. The study of Vedanta certainly teaches us something beyond science, but it can’t teach us science! Also, we shouldn’t assert that Vedanta comes to the same conclusions as current physical theories, which are subject to change with the passage of time.

    • As a follow-up to the soul question below…

      There is empirical evidence that astrology does not work.

      The most cited paper being…
      Carlson S. A double-blind test of astrology. Nature. 1985 Dec 5;318(6045):419-25.

      There have been several studies on astrology. They all show that the predictions are no better than chance, frequently worse.

  • I wish you had meditated before trying to understand jaggi. And I know how you scientists dismiss meditation as hocus pocus. Unfortunately, science is claiming the same unquestioning status for itself as religion once did. You must read Lyotard’s idea of postmodernism.

  • how you scientists dismiss meditation as hocus pocus

    Scientists don’t dismiss meditation as hocus pocus. Scientists dismiss hocus pocus claims made on behalf of meditation.

    Unfortunately, science is claiming the same unquestioning status for itself as religion once did.

    Spoken like a true postmodernist.

    You must read Lyotard’s idea of postmodernism.

    You should also read Alan Sokal’s view of Lyotard’s view of post-modernism. Like most post-modernists, rather than stay safely in the zone of social sciences, where he (Lyotard) can add some value (metanarratives), where some loose talk goes with the territory, he also opens his mouth on science and reveals himself silly, way over-reaching beyond his expertise; not different from JV, although the comparison is very unfair to Lyotard.

  • it seems that indians venerate science because of some kind of western colonial remnant which the British used to undermine their culture. so indian gurus then use their ideas about science sometimes badly in trying to make their point. it would be better for them to limit their comments to their metaphysics and not tread in dangerous loose talk which can then destroy their fine points of philosophy or religions. Fritjof Capra wrote the tao of physics which seemed to b critically acclaimed at the time. The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels Between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism is a 1975 book by physicist Fritjof Capra. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tao_of_Physics.

    even intelloigent people need to believe. they seek meaning in their lives. it is unfortunate that spiritual gurus need to coopt science in this way, when it could be counter-productive. their ideas might have merit on ther own terms. they should not quote any ‘science’ or western study, eg psychology, when they don’t fully understand both fields, theirs and the ones they co-opt.

    science also has its share of special interests and false steps and its progress might not be as smooth as this post suggests.

    it would be best to educate such gurus so that they don’t lose the main theme of their message.

    • it seems that indians venerate science because of some kind of western colonial remnant which the British used to undermine their culture.

      Indians don’t venerate science, at least no more than it as a path to better careers. If we did, we’d be talking Astronomy, not Astrology and we’d laugh at Homeopathy. Astrology and Homeopathy hold a sway on our culture because we don’t even understand the bare basics of science at the common man level and often at even the level of the so-called science professionals. If we venerated science, we’d always ask: What does the data say?, in public discourse. We don’t.

      Using science is not about aping a more prosperous culture. Science is a universal method, not a western method, because it plainly speaks to reality with clarity. It is about thinking in precise numbers vs. imprecise words; that cannot be deemed culture specific. It is to be used because it actually works everyday, not because it is “cool”.

      so indian gurus then use their ideas about science sometimes badly in trying to make their point.

      A true guru is a teacher who properly understands the world. It should not mean a mystic. Our real gurus today should be physicists, biologists and mathematicians. Our so-called gurus today are mostly charlatans who don’t care about actual knowledge and wisdom and are only adepts at tugging at the emotional strings and insecurities of the common man who has an extremely outdated understanding of the world.

      We have idiots (education-wise, not in a social or political sense) for gurus because we don’t know who to put on a pedestal. That’s our fault as a civic society and we should reflect on that and own up.

      it would be better for them to limit their comments to their metaphysics and not tread in dangerous loose talk which can then destroy their fine points of philosophy or religions.

      They won’t. If you want to know the fine points of philosophy, talk to an academic philosopher. If you want to know the fine points of religion, talk to a theologian or a historian of religions. These gurus are not an authority on any such things.

      People need to intellectually mature. Our current crop of gurus won’t get us wisdom and enlightenment. A better economy and better school systems will… schools that will help us understand the historical, philosophical and intellectual struggles of the entire humanity, not these gurus.

      Fritjof Capra wrote the tao of physics which seemed to b critically acclaimed at the time. The Tao of Physics

      We have always been a culture that emphasized the past. I understand the value of having strong roots and a cultural identity. But trying to fit modern scientific revolution into the models of the ancients is no longer a productive exercise. We need to grow to a point where we do not feel an emotional need to do so, without losing confidence in our identity. That will take generations.

      even intelloigent people need to believe.

      Intelligent people want to know, not believe.

      they seek meaning in their lives.

      Intelligent people can turn to rational philosophy. There are entire schools of philosophy that deal with the question of the meaning of life. A modern mind does not need mystical metaphysics. Mysticism is just a cheap shortcut for those who are not equipped to deal with the complexities of philosophy.

      That said, an average man does indeed want and need simpler answers to grand questions and that is the market place these gurus exploit.

      it is unfortunate that spiritual gurus need to coopt science in this way, when it could be counter-productive. their ideas might have merit on ther own terms.

      They need to co-opt because they want to sound smarter and better educated than they really are. Their ideas are not original at all, just recycled and repackaged platitudes.

      science also has its share of special interests and false steps and its progress might not be as smooth as this post suggests.

      Everything managed by people has at least some special interest influence. These gurus do too. At least science has a heavy dose of regulation that guards it against special interests, more than anything else today. When an interest is recognized, it is weeded out. Scientists are still regarded as among those who have the highest commitment to truth.

      it would be best to educate such gurus so that they don’t lose the main theme of their message.

      We need to educate people, not these gurus. These so-called gurus are not trying to enlighten. They are trying to grow their flocks. The quality of science education of these gurus depends on the quality of the science education of their audience, not the other way round.

      Of course, we need real gurus, well-educated gurus… but these are ones that will lead young minds in classrooms, not claim wisdom from fancy flowing robes. We need science gurus, philosophy gurus and history gurus. By that I mean scholars who communicate all the nuance, rather than graduate students by the assembly line. Enlightened and committed teachers are the real gurus. The people we call gurus today are just glamorous, self-styled preachers.

  • Science is based on observations that are used to construct hypotheses, theories etc based on accumulated evidence that can be evaluated by peers. It is the building of a body of knowledge through carefully designed experiments over a period of time. Scientific methodology itself is an egoless process, that must minimize ‘observer bias.’ Injecting ego into the process can invalidate scientific inquiry. Further, one should recognise that (a) attacking the messenger and his deeds doesn’t invalidate his/her argument (or) (b) invalidating the science in some of messages cannot invalidate the ‘inner engineering hypothesis.’ Now, to the question. Can musings of the mystics be subject to scientific inquiry? If the knowledge acquired is an individualistic process that comes through ‘self reflection’ or ‘meditation’ then it must have ‘observer bias’ and it is difficult to have a peer review process without trusting the observer. The belief system of the ‘peer’ itself may influence results. Science is based on the rational mind. Inner Engineering hypothesis argues that you cannot go into the intuitive realm if you do not surrender the rational mind. Herein lies the dichotomy in world views. This is why this is a hard nut to crack. Is is correct to dismiss the hypothesis because scientific methodology cannot address it? Is simply wishing it off as hoccus poccus good enough? One cannot deny that there have been many enlightened souls in the world who have accessed this inner knowledge and have dramatically changed world views. Were their brains simply differently wired or is there more to it. As scientists, we must be open to it.

    • “Inner Engineering” is a term made-up by Jaggi Vasudev to brand and market his Yoga program. It isn’t some scientific model of cognition. The word “Engineering” there has all the appeal to the crowd he wants to target and none of rigorous connotations that the word ordinarily signifies. It is not unlike Deepak Chopra’s “Quantum Healing”, a woo term.

      A mystic’s claims can certainly be subjected to scientific critique. If he says the moon or solar flares effect the mind, that absolutely can be scientifically criticized as it has been in the article. If a mystic gets a lot of followers and in fact changes “world views” that isn’t a proof of validity, but merely an evidence of irrationality in the public at large.

      If the mystic’s claims do not produce any convincing evidence, we can of course quite reasonably conclude that he/she does not have any special powers of intuition. Mystics, as a group, through history, have a terrible track record at presenting any verifiable discoveries using their claimed super intuition. So we can also reasonably conclude that mysticism is bunk.

      If the mystics were indeed operating by a special intuition, then all mystics in the world would point to a single reality. But they don’t. All mystical claims should be congruent. But they aren’t. They are pretty culture-specific. That tells us that this is hardly an Ontological matter and is instead an Anthropology matter.

      Science isn’t at all against intuitive thinking. But the products of intuitive thought don’t get a pass are still subject to verification.

      It is rather trivial to claim non-verifiable super-powers for oneself, with the right rhetorical gifts and if a gullible audience is available. Evidence should not be optional for any kind of claims. If it is, we invite a world directed by charlatans. This should not be done casually. We need to move to a world that demands a lot more evidence for everything, not less. We already tried the other way for the entirety of human history until the last few centuries and we are still quite far from a rational world.

      This is not a hard nut to crack. This is not about being “open”-minded. Open-mindedness isn’t about poor standards of truth. Being open-minded does not mean – never closing questions when answers are obvious. At this point, we do know how to distinguish what-works from woo. Without verification, knowledge claims, regardless of their claimed epistemic origins, have little value. Saying that one is a mystic should not grant privileged immunity from verification or critique. Mystical claims must be subject to MORE critique, not less, because they rest on much more shaky foundations.

      We did not discover mystics and mysticism yesterday. Human history is littered with mystics making grand claims about the grand reality. We do know about their track record in producing enduring knowledge. At their humble (that quality does not seem to describe Vasudev) best, regular mystics are doing amateur non-rational philosophy, not an alternative to science. Rarely, mystics do do good philosophy… like Vivekananda. Even then, the only thing that endures in the end is their philosophy, not their mysticism. We can celebrate Vivekananda, ignore his mysticism and critique his philosophy. Nothing needs to be spared from rational critique. Surrender of reason is in my view, the greatest spiritual (non-mystical sense) sin.

      Note the differences from a respectable mystic like Vivekananda who is genuinely trying to make sense of the world in his own way and Vasudev’s shallow anti-rational position.

      Inner Engineering hypothesis argues that you cannot go into the intuitive realm if you do not surrender the rational mind.

      Vivekananda: “It is wrong to believe blindly. You must exercise your own reason and judgment”.

      So what surrender of the rational mind are we talking about here?

      Is is correct to dismiss the hypothesis because scientific methodology cannot address it?

      Vivekananda: “Are the same methods of investigation, which we apply to sciences and knowledge outside, to be applied to the science of Religion? In my opinion this must be so, and I am also of opinion that the sooner it is done the better. If a religion is destroyed by such investigations, it was then all the time useless, unworthy superstition; and the sooner it goes the better”.

      So Vivekananda is not at all against a scientific review of mysticism and does not at all see it as beyond science.

  • Everything that can be said on this subject has probably been said. But maybe a bit of clarification can be given.

    If there is such a thing as enlightenment, how can it be reviewed by peers who are not enlightened? If the process of enlightenment takes several lifetimes, as stated by, e.g., Sankara, can it be reviewed?

    I don’t have answers.

    Well, maybe this doesn’t clarify but I hope it opens some minds!

    • There is no reincarnation because there is no such thing as a soul. Biology is pretty clear on this. Life is a process, not a thing. Religion becomes plainly clear once this simple aspect of science is understood. The wish to deny the reality of death is however understandably too strong and makes people to not accept this simple fact.

      With no soul, there is no such thing as accumulating enlightenment or any cognitive attainment in one’s life past death.

      Yes, enlightenment can be peer reviewed. Produce something that can be verified (by people who don’t believe in it – that is the whole point of ANY critical review) beyond fancy rhetoric. If nothing can be produced, it is quite reasonable to conclude that it is a fantasy claim.

      • As far as I can see, biology is not in a position to say anything about the existence of a soul. Would you please provide references for your assertion?

        We have gone far from Jaggi Vasudev! He is now really irrelevant.

        • Emperor Napoleon: But where is God in all this?
          Pierre-Simon Laplace: Sire, I had no need of that hypothesis.

          Same story with the soul. People used the soul hypothesis as a gap filler because they did not understand life in enough detail. The whole idea is discarded now because it is simply not needed anymore to explain anything.

          There won’t of course be a positive proof from science for the absence of anything (not just the soul), because negatives are not logically provable… God, Russell’s Teapot and all that.

          We have gone far from Jaggi Vasudev! He is now really irrelevant.

          I agree.

          • Your response seems to confirm what I wrote. At least in mathematics, there are impossibility proofs. Your statement “… soul hypothesis as a gap filler …” is only an opinion (maybe of someone like Dawkins or Hawking). I don’t have to accept it. I guess there is no way to resolve this matter. If it is a matter of accepting someone’s opinion, I prefer Ramana Maharshi to Hawking: enquire into the nature of the ‘I’ thought and find out by oneself, no room for peer review.

          • is only an opinion

            It isn’t an opinion. It is something that is well past debate in the scientific community – stuff that people roll their eyes over now. In all ancient medical texts, there was soul talk. In modern medical texts, there is none… simply because it is now known to be fluff talk with no value whatsoever. These are simply non-falsifiable culturally-driven pre-scientific ideas.

            I guess there is no way to resolve this matter.

            The person who claims that there is such a thing as a soul has to prove the claim, not the person who disagrees. That’s the basic idea of the burden of proof (that was the reason I brought up Russell’s Teapot earlier). You should be presenting proof for the soul, not asking me proof for its absence. If there is no proof for a soul (and there isn’t), the matter is fully resolved. The case can be reopened if any new evidence pops up in the future. But things are settled, as they stand.

            Why Hawking? He is a physicist, not a cognitive psychologist or a philosopher. It is not within his expertise to talk about “I”.

            When I talk about souls, I am not talking about psychology (ego, identity, higher thought, senses) or convenience metaphysics. I am talking about the idea of stuff of some sort (claimed to be non-material), jumping from one body to another elsewhere, at the event of death… i.e. reincarnation… or going to some sort of Heaven/Hell… or merging with the super-soul. We do know enough Neurology, to understand that this simply cannot happen, just as we know enough Chemistry to say that Homeopathy cannot work or know enough Astronomy to say that Astrology cannot work.

            and find out by oneself

            To “find out” is an extremely complicated affair. Science understands what finding out means and how difficult it is. So it is extremely productive. Mystics don’t understand what to “find out” means. So mysticism has not yielded any useful knowledge in all these thousands of years human history. What you call “find out by oneself” is simply about subscribing to a belief. Actually finding out is something entirely different.

          • It seems obvious that concepts like soul and reincarnation are beyond the scope of medical science. Evidence is there. For example see http://www.victorzammit.com. In every part of India, throughout its history, there have been saints who convinced people of the existence of God, etc..

            The burden of proof is o.k. for debates and courts of law but it has its limitations. As recently as the 19th century, there was no evidence that aircraft could ever be built. A scientist could argue, following the “burden of proof” argument, that it was impossible. I would not base my life on such a principle. Better keep an open mind.

            Hawking was just an example of an atheist. You can put any other name there.

            Homeopathy is also rejected by science merely because there is no explanation so far. But millions in India have benefited from it. I have seen its effect personally.

          • It seems obvious that concepts like soul and reincarnation are beyond the scope of medical science.

            A better way of putting it is that these concepts simply don’t stand up to scientific scrutiny… because they are held by non-falsifiable statements and don’t offer any evidence. Nothing needs to be beyond science. People just say stuff is beyond science to avoid scrutiny. If it effects the world, it should be testable. If it does not effect the world, we are simply dealing with fantasy/imaginative concepts.

            Evidence is there. For example see http://www.victorzammit.com.

            An unimpressive, amateurish resource. There have been loads of testimonies like this… lots of books written affirming afterlife. They never stood to critical scrutiny. Near Death Experiences represent hypoxic cognition, not afterlife. Past life accounts never tested out well.

            In every part of India, throughout its history, there have been saints who convinced people of the existence of God, etc..

            I agree, in the sense that it just doesn’t take a lot to convince people to believe in things. The entire human history is a cavalcade of misplaced belief, with low standards for establishing truth. If you look at news these days, it appears to be not that difficult, even in these modern days, to convince people to kill blow themselves up, and many along, to reach a God that they are completely convinced of. You don’t even need “Saints” for that. Convincing people is hardly a standard of truth.

            The human mind is naturally prone to a great number of cognitive biases. It takes a great effort to shield ourselves from it. That is where science comes in… so that we try to know, not believe. Knowing needs a critical and rigorous process. That is all science is.

            As recently as the 19th century, there was no evidence that aircraft could ever be built. A scientist could argue, following the “burden of proof” argument, that it was impossible. I would not base my life on such a principle.

            Every year, for the foreseeable future, there will be something technologically that wasn’t there before. That’s not the burden of proof we are talking about.

            Better keep an open mind.

            Open mind is fine. But there is a line between an open-mind and a lack of critical thought. Too often, the former becomes a euphemism for the later.

            Homeopathy is also rejected by science merely because there is no explanation so far.

            No, it was just (reasonably) viewed suspiciously because its explanations made no sense. It was rejected because there was no EVIDENCE (regardless of whatever silly mechanism it proposed) it worked even after thousands of studies… not even in a SINGLE case. In the end, it is just water over sugar pills that people fool themselves is medicine, for conditions that naturally remit after a while. At this point, please don’t be compelled to share your personal experiences. I get it.

            But millions in India have benefited from it. I have seen its effect personally.

            They haven’t at all. Millions of people no doubt strongly believe they benefited from it. And I understand your conviction as well. However, these are not things to be established by personal conviction. They are meant to be demonstrated statistically. That is why we spend a great deal of resources organizing studies, because personal testimonies have no value in medicine. People who don’t understand probability theory (we just don’t teach these things well) think that these things are personally knowable. Even the opinion of an experienced physician means little on whether a cure occurred, when effect sizes are low and variance is high, let alone that of a patient.

  • It seems Mr Jagadish Vasudev aka Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev aka Jaggi has been accused by his own father in law of killing his daughter (Sadhguru jaggi’s wife) Vijji aka Mrs Vijaya kumari either by strangulation or by poisoning, in 1997. Mrs Vijaya Kumari was 31 years old then with a 6 year old daughter . Jaggi has escaped saying that she went into mahasamadhi. (Now, which court accepts mahasamadhi and acquits a murderer?).

    Mr. Jagadish cremated the body of his wife on the next day itself, hence no autopsy could be performed. Before marrying Jagadish vasudev, Vijaya kumari was working in a bank and was previously married to someone else. After her death, another woman who was involved with them (in the tri-vortex of energy needed to consecrate the so -called dhyanalinga), a certain Mrs. Bharathi divorced her husband and came to live with Mr. Jagadish vasudev.

    Mr. Jagadish vasudev has a daughter named Radhe, who is a dancer and she is married to a classical singer and is living a normal, luxurious life in Chennai and the USA, whereas most young women and men in the ashram live as unpaid slave labour, just on 2 meals a day and 3 sets of clothes and hard work to produce products and money for his so called Isha foundation, which many say is just an excuse to get tax exempt status in India and the USA for all ashram activities and businesses. Isha foundation doesnt seem to work much as it is advertised.

    Mr Jagadish Vasudev once said that children who go to govt. schools are walking 4 km per day and giving the bus charges (7rs/ day) to the ashram and that they are very commendable.
    Also, while he asks people to live frugally, and donate to the ashram, he and his daughter, and Bharathi etc live very luxuriously and Jaggi has bought himself a landrover, a landcruiser and a hummer apart from other things. He advises people not to drink coffee, but he himself drinks folgers coffee and is seen at starbucks. His family members (daughter, son in law etc ) go to movies, malls, foreign vacations, and drink coffee and hang out with friends along with their latest i-phones as normal people do. It seems that Mr. Jgadish vasudev is keeping them in “miserable” luxuries while the ashramites are enjoying sublime “spiritual” bliss in bare frugality.

    He has once said that 3 things should never be commercialized…education, health care and spirituality. He is commercializing all the three as – a) isha home school charges around 6 lakh per annum, b) isha arogya (medicine) products are sold through isha stores and c) inner engineering and all other programs (spirituality) are also being sold to the masses.

    He is good with words, but he himself never practices what he speaks. Some people who want to come out of the ashram are threatened from leaving saying that their spiritual progress will be stopped and that they will also affect the lives of many people around them…or something like that. Anyways most of them are in a kind of hypnotic delusional state where they worship their master since he is offering them something intangible like enlightenment, and they believe all the lies he continuously says and defend him and the organization to the best of their abilities.

    You can read more on sadhguru jaggi vasudev aka sjv on guruphiliac forums written by ex ishaites. They say that few people were found dead at both his ashrams in India and the US.

  • I am on LOGIC Tarkika is using When he(she) is saying ” First claim is unscientific ” . No need to say that. Yoga and science are founded on two different ASSUMPTIONS .

  • Recently, the AP govt proposed to gift sadhguru jaggi vasudev 400 acres of land in the new capital city worth 800 crores. (Deccan herald and DC- The Andhra Pradesh government’s proposed allocation of 400 acres of land near Vijayawada for the development of spiritually-oriented institutions to isha group.)

    It seems Mr Jagadish Vasudev aka Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev aka Jaggi has been accused by his own father in law of killing his daughter (Sadhguru jaggi’s wife) Vijji aka Mrs Vijaya kumari either by strangulation or by poisoning, in 1997. Mrs Vijaya Kumari was 31 years old then with a 6 year old daughter . Jaggi has escaped saying that she went into mahasamadhi. (Now, which court accepts mahasamadhi and acquits a murderer?).

    Mr. Jagadish cremated the body of his wife on the next day itself, hence no autopsy could be performed. Before marrying Jagadish vasudev, Vijaya kumari was working in a bank and was previously married to someone else. After her death, another woman who was involved with them (in the tri-vortex of energy needed to consecrate the so -called dhyanalinga), a certain Mrs. Bharathi divorced her husband and came to live with Mr. Jagadish vasudev.

    After his wife died, Mr. Jagadish Vasudev flew to the united states and got himself certified seriously ill to escape the prosecution. He then started rumors about how the consecration of the dhyanalinga made him ill, so that no one would doubt his fake illness.

    Mr. Jagadish vasudev has a daughter named Radhe, who is a dancer and she is married to a classical singer and is living a normal, luxurious life in Chennai and the USA, whereas most young women and men in the ashram live as unpaid slave labour, just on 2 meals a day and 3 sets of clothes and hard work to produce products and money for his so called Isha foundation, which many say is just an excuse to get tax exempt status in India and the USA for all ashram activities and businesses. Isha foundation doesnt seem to work much as it is advertised.

    Mr Jagadish Vasudev once said that children who go to govt. schools are walking 4 km per day and giving the bus charges (7rs/ day) to the ashram and that they are very commendable.
    Also, while he asks people to live frugally, and donate to the ashram, he and his daughter, and Bharathi etc live very luxuriously and Jaggi has bought himself a landrover, a landcruiser and a hummer apart from other things. He advises people not to drink coffee, but he himself drinks folgers coffee and is seen at starbucks. His family members (daughter, son in law etc ) go to movies, malls, enjoy luxury villa stay with private pool type vacations both in India and abroad, and hang out with friends along with their latest i-phones. It seems that Mr. Jagadish vasudev is keeping them in “miserable” luxuries while the ashramites are enjoying sublime “spiritual” bliss in bare frugality.

    He has once said that 3 things should never be commercialized…education, health care and spirituality. He is commercializing all the three as – a) isha home school charges around 6 lakh per annum, b) isha arogya (medicine) products are sold through isha stores and c) inner engineering and all other programs (spirituality) are also being sold to the masses.

    He is good with words, but he himself never practices what he speaks. Some people who want to come out of the ashram are threatened from leaving saying that their spiritual progress will be stopped and that they will also affect the lives of many people around them…or something like that. Anyways most of them are in a kind of hypnotic delusional state where they worship their master since he is offering them something intangible like enlightenment, and they believe all the lies he continuously says and defend him and the organization to the best of their abilities.

    You can read more on sadhguru jaggi vasudev aka sjv on guruphiliac forums written by ex ishaites. They say that few people were found dead at both his ashrams in India and the US.

    This news came in the Indian Express in 1997-
    Coimbatore, Oct, 11: Close on the heels of scandals relating to fake godmen getting exposed, yet another ashram from Coimbatore is in the limelight with Jaggi Vasudev aliash Jagadeesh of Isha Yoga ashram at Poondi near Coimbatore, being charged with the murder of his wife Viji alias Vijayakumari.A team of police personnel recently visited the premises of Isha Ashram at poondi and interrogated the inmates of the ashram. Godman Jaggi is away in the US.According to police, T. S. Ganganna of Bangalore (father of Viji) had preferred a complaint with the Bangalore Police suspecting foul play in the death of his daughter Viji. The complaintant had stated that his daughter left him last on June 15, 1996. He reportedly received a message on January 23, 1997, from Jaggi Vasudev, stating that Viji was no more.Ganganna said that Jaggi Vasudev had hurriedly completed the cremation on Jan.24 even before they could rush from Bangalore, raising suspicion about the nature of death. He suspected death due to poisoning or strangulation.According to him, Jaggi Vasudev could have caused the death of Viji to facilitate his illicit relationship with yet another inmate of the ashram. Based on the complaint of Ganganna to the Bangalore City Police on Aug. 12, a case was registered.The Bangalore City Police transferred it to the Coimbatore Rural Police.The Coimbatore Rural Police have registered a case against Jaggi Vasudev under Section 302 of IPC (murder) and IPC 201 (suppression of evidence).

    Update- Also he got his daughter married at his ashram in 2014 and invited 6000 (six thousand) guests for the ceremony, some of the guests were celebrities and politicians too…Wonder where did the money come from for the accommodation, the festivities, the food and decorations ?

  • Not a surprise,,, that which goes beyond our understanding, the only way we have known to deal with it is to criticize… Just like we can’t stop people like you, nobody can stop the immensity of yoga or Gurus like Sadguru from working towards it..

    He clearly mentions that not everything in universe can have scientific proof.. & if you argue he is wrong,, you should by now have scientific reasons on every thing that is happening right from the reasons why the universe if formed…

    Not that I’d agree whoever written this article has thorough knowledge about science or even yoga.. So, when we are half-baked & don’t understand something completely, with all due respect, either try to understand or walk away from passing vague & insensible comments.

    If you still want to make comments against yoga or for yoga,, against science or for science, I’d insist that you know about it thoroughly before making such irresponsible comments..

    In short, you could only be a critic if you have mastery of the subject (in this case yoga & Sadguru).. If you have not known about them, you just miss the basic qualification of being a critic..

  • @Sridevi

    In short, you could only be a critic if you have mastery of the subject

    That is kind of the point of the article. These self-proclaimed gurus (as opposed to actual gurus who spend decades in advanced formal training and rigorous evaluation before advancing the understanding of the nature of things via very focused questions) should not talk flippantly about science, when they do not understand the basics, let alone “have a mastery of the subject”. Vasudev is incompetent to be a critic of science.

    So, when we are half-baked & don’t understand something completely, with all due respect, either try to understand or walk away from passing vague & insensible comments.

    Which is exactly what Vasudev is doing – He has a half-baked understanding of science (he has no formal training in science at all… and it clearly shows) and he is passing “vague and insensible comments”.

    If you still want to make comments against yoga or for yoga,, against science or for science, I’d insist that you know about it thoroughly before making such irresponsible comments..

    EXACTLY. When will you be insisting that Vasudev train “thoroughly” in science “before making such irresponsible comments”?

  • This is the argument between a Man and an Owl, one says night is the time of light other says day is the time of light. Neither has a faculty to see light both the times. I did yoga for quite some time and now can clearly feel the impact of the moon on myself during its different phases. Saying that “He also alludes to the moon affecting the human brain. There is only one way in which the moon can affect humans, that is with its gravitational pull” is clearly nonesense in my experience. I cannot categories it has a gravitational impact but it just shoots up the energy level of the body and every cell in the body feels it.

  • I get where you are coming from because i used to have that “non-plastic” “scientific” mindset, but you lost it when starting to talk about “nothingness”. When he says nothing he is not talking about the “nothing” that invalidates and that is so rooted in our culture that it disqualifies. If you see how he speaks about the first yogi, “Adi Yogi” that for others is a god but for yoga is only the most extraordinary human being, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev refers to it as “that which is nothing”. He is not desquilifying science by saying it is nothing, he is saying (i’m expresing this in a crude way) that nothingness is that which unifies. Since that very basic concept is not understood in the present analysis, the rest is not valid. It is valid as an opinion but has no debatable content.

  • regarding your solar flare argument above…I think you are justifying the whole argument of JV being ignorant with your own limited “ignorance” and “knowledge”….Now

    ” If you ever do a Raman, you will see quite a significant background “noise” …primarily due to cosmic rays….now imagine for a 1mm by 1mm sample , you have such “detectable “interactions…so for complete human body this cosmic ray “particle” interactions can be quite significant…How they effect us physically …”we dont know” …yet
    Now same goes for neutrino…well it may not be colliding with human matter, but could be causing certain “interference” at atomic level …the truth again is “we dont know yet” , we only know secondary interactions like cherenkov radiation (in Icecube etc) ….
    So if a solar storm can significantly disturb magnetosphere , then that could lead to change in flux of both cosmic particles , neturino “types” on the ground from normal equilibrium…
    If yogic guys are claiming it does, then you can be skeptic about ….and reach to the point saying this is the point “where” we dont know…rather than saying its absolute bullshit…

    Amusingly….jains have always worshiped sun as binary star..now richar muller nemisis theory is also looking for that “failed”..and recently altast one binary star with exo planet configration was observationwise confirmed…that makes me wonder…”were jains really bullshitting ”

    Remember….the life of “star Wars” story will always be much longer (by millennia) in human memory than space station (max 2030)…stories survive …a bit fiction..a bit non…

  • Let me try explaining with one of your examples…. “solar flare argument above ”
    I think you are justifying the whole argument of JV being ignorant with your own limited “ignorance” and “knowledge”. Now…..

    If you ever take a Raman(IR) spectra of a sample, you will see quite a significant high energy background “noise”. This is primarily because of cosmic particles interactions with both the Raman detector and sample. For such a small detector and sample, about 5-10mm sq area , you have such “detectable ” external disturbances/interactions. So imagine, for complete human body this cosmic “particle” interactions will be quite significant (extrapolate to human body surface area). Now how that physical vibration (raman) translates to biochemistry to consciousness, is simply “we don’t know” in modern science…yet!!

    Now same goes for both solar and cosmic neutrinos. Well, they may not be colliding with human matter directly, but could be causing certain “interference” at atomic level. Again, the truth so far about how is, “we don’t know “, we are today only capable to(by 2016) detect secondary interactions like Cerenkov radiation (in Icecube etc). Again any interactions, no matter how small inside human body will remain physically-directly “non detectable” for some time. But do they effect human consciousnesses?? Modern science will only say “we dont know” rather than saying NOT AT ALL. So its a research question/direction that makes sense and needs to be investigated before negating completely.

    So if a solar storm can significantly disturb magnetosphere , then that could lead to change in flux of both cosmic particles and neutrino ” flavor types” on the ground in comparison to normal Sun.
    If yogic guys are claiming it does, then you can be skeptic about it, and say this is the point so far “where” we don’t know…rather than saying this “theory” its absolute bullshit !!

    Amusingly….Jains have always worshiped sun as binary star. Surprisingly, Richard Muller’s Nemesis theory is also looking for that other Sun, and has experimentally so far “failed”. Although recently, atleast one binary star with exo-planet configuration was confirmed with observations. Now, that makes me and “modern science” both wonder “were Jains really bullshitting ” or we were not good skeptics to begin with that this took so long. At-least we (in west & desi-west) could have theorized or simulated the whole binary star concept first, before making fun of Jain mythology.

    Remember….the life of “star Wars” will always be much longer (by millennia) in human memory than actual ISS space station (max 2030)…stories survive …a bit fiction..a bit non…

  • Well already there a r many comments posted on ur site…good for u that u have got great response to ur article from scientifically ignorant middle class of india…See, my first point is that a spiritual guru need not b a theoritical physist…if you believe that an enlightened person knows everything…my frnd I find you rather ignorant to understand that humans cannot know everything…However, the goal of everyones life is to live a life with unending happiness and bliss…Whether sadhguru really has meta human powers, to know everything, or not is unnecessary…He has used higgs boson as an analogy to describe smthng else…Chill bro…its fine…

  • Come on dude, “middle class- the less educated”- does science tells that education is based on social classes, then you might infact yourself be proving the hindu caste system very scientific……Then what about his low class and upper class followers????? First of all he is not a scientist and in order to refute a theory you must first know the fact….Though he might be wrong in some of his assumptions, but first one has to know the fact. We do not know much about the universe yet to disaprove every theory….Secondly, people go to him to learn yoga not science and I don’t see how’s that misleading.

  • De-bunking spiritual BS essense of jaggi Vasudev.

    If there is one science that jaggi is good at, it is at confusing already confused people.

    This is how he sells Ice to a snowman in Antarctica,

    ** See baba, you are not a snowman, you are a questioner. so I’m speaking to the questioner even when I blabber BULLSHIT.
    ** Look at this water,, when I look at it it will turn to ice at room temperature…
    .
    . After some time,,
    .
    ** Climate cools the ice. The stupid snowmen end up believing that Jaggi dit it.
    ** Sitting in silence, a.k.a meditation, calms anyone’s mind. The meditator feels fresh and will obviously attract better lifestyle. Jaggi has nothing to do with it.
    ** BTW, I heard that some of the weakling bhakthas actually act like Snowmen during this fatallic Inner Engineering workshop . It is more of an inner handjob to their confused minds. Isha volunteers live up to the snowman potential in every workshop

    IMHO

    https://www.quora.com/Why-does-Sadhguru-seem-to-claim-that-he-knows-the-whole-thing/answer/Sujai-Karthik-M-S

    Now, a little spirituality,

    *** Having considered all spiritual systems/theories, even if we assume that JV refers to the soul[jeevatma] when he says questioner, the basic principle that your soul is made in the image of god is taken for a toss. Why TF is he addressing the questioner/You / Your soul / I am that already knows everything. It is the mind which clouds the connection with the soul and the actual confused person who asks the question that has to be answered to in order to get clarity.
    *** If the answer is only for the questioner, Why TF is it hosted publicly as blogs/videos?

    ** A few people in this thread used several exclamation marks when JV was called a liar.
    *** Pls think, neither is his science correct
    *** nor is his spirituality correct
    **** He sells you religion in the name of yogi philosophy [Kashmiri Shaivism ie. everything is darkness and then blah blah happened. Who TF is this Adi Yogi?]
    **** This is cheap. Providing Relegious sounding BS when asked a spiritual question like settling for a Chevvy when you have actually paid the price of a Bentley.

    Have fun reading this ! [ An abstract answer I wrote in Quora ]

    EVERY MAN HAS A PAST,EVERY MYSTIC, A HISTORY.

    There was a tall dark man,

    he went to the top of the mountain and meditated.. on the peak, he found eternal bliss.. Then he came down and shared his knowledge with 7 rishis.

    When did this happen? , people dont know.

    But one thing is sure, Jaggi vasudev was there,hiding behind a tree. He still lives to re-tell the story.

    Again in 1990’s, This tall dark man who had renamed himself Adi Yogi appeared in Jaggi’s dreams and asked him to build a big spiritual theme park with big reception, swimming pool, temple,big statue, residential quarters and a souvenir store.

    To teach Yoga, Jaggi took some crash courses from the lineage of maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s lineage has not been acknowledged so far. Adi Yogi asked jaggi to keep silent about this.

    And Jaggi being a good storyteller used the Adi Yogi story to grab land from people around Velliangiri. Being a construction contractor before becoming self-proclaiming to be a mystic, he was able to build building after the other in forest land.

  • You are no different from Jaggi vasudev in claiming the audacity of what you know knowing very well that what you know is limited and can change tomorrow yet you claim others are wrong or ignorant when you are equally ignorant!! Accept the fact that we humans don’t know enough about the cosmos to make authentic statements, we know nothing, absolutely nothing, that’s the fact!!

  • If anyone try to say yogis are not scientists, then how could they able to identify the colours of planets in solar system, when there is no telescope or any facilities are available to see it. Actually the yogis found the universe within them and identified it’s colors and given in the “navagraham” . Yogis said everything but now the scientists are trying to prove that’s all.

  • How many of you here know Sanskrit and know the Vedas completely?
    Unless you know it and understand what it says, you cannot argue for or against it.
    Modern science current or next big thing is the study of wat the currently unbreakable fundamental particles are made of, string theory proposes models that cannot be completely proved or even try to attempt in its experimentation. Physics is proven mainly on the basis of mathematical models and experiments cannot be even modulated based on super advance mathematical string modelling.. it may take years for the theory of string to be proven through experiments. I have, by the way done research on fundamental particle physics. Mathematics is the only way modern science community depends on to explain its theories. Having said that,i don’t think mathematics is the only way to understand the true nature of this universe
    Nobody, who accuses SJV has tried to understand what he says. There is this yogic science which has existed over many thousands of year, explores nature of universe, our very life in a fundamentally different ways. You can understand it’s credibility, only if you attempt practice it, for that you first need some level of trust and skepticism and willingness to try.

  • Namshkar and hello .
    With due all humility and politeness ..I want to state that : Vedas are entirely scientific and I hope I will clear the misconceptions of this scientific forum .

    my brothers of science .
    it’s going to be little bit lengthy(sorry)

    Before I start explaining things ..

    A small scientific concept from Vedas .
    -Sanskrit “Nada Brahma” – all the world is sound. i.e (universe is vibration )And anything that vibrates reacts to vibrations.

    At times we put out a signal unaware of its unique imprint and shocked when it returns to us as a harsh reflection, sometimes misunderstood by all.

    The scientific research today has come up with the recognition that all creation is energy in movement, vibration, each vibration having it’s own sound, colour, visual pattern. When the vibration is slow enough we recognize it as our material world.

    Actually it’s quite enough to prove Vedas scientific credibility.

    (Typically It takes 10-12 year to learn veads alone)

    Now I start ..om

    Vedas and Puranas, which were revealed second time 6,000 years ago centuries ago, mentioned facts only recently discovered or proven by scientists.

    Sphericity of Earth:

    The existence of rather advanced concepts like the sphericity of Earth and the cause of seasons is quite clear in Vedic literature. For example, the Aitareya Brahmana (3.44) declares:
    The Sun does never set nor rise. When people think the Sun is setting it is not so. For after having arrived at the end of the day it makes itself produce two opposite effects, making night to what is below and day to what is on the other sideHaving reached the end of the night, it makes itself produce two opposite effects, making day to what is below and night to what is on the other side. In fact, the Sun never sets.

    Shape of Earth is like an Oblate Spheroid. (Rig VedaXXX. IV.V)

    ‘Earth is flattened at the poles’ (Markandeya Purana 54.12)

    “Sixty-four centuries before Isaac Newton, the Hindu Rig-Veda asserted that gravitation held the universe together. The Sanskrit speaker subscribed to the idea of a spherical earth in an era when the Greeks believed in a flat one. The Indians of the fifth century A.D. calculated the age of the earth as 4.3 billion years; scientists in 19th century England were convinced it was 100 million years.”

    Polar Days and Nights
    For the period when the sun is north it is visible for six months at the north pole and invisible at the south, and vice versa. – (Ibid Sutara)

    Now Lets see what modern science says about this:
    June 21, 1999: Later today, at 19:49 UT (3:49 p.m. EDT), Earth’s north pole points more directly at the Sun than at any other time during the year. For polar bears and other denizens of the Arctic it will be noontime, the middle of a 6-month long day, as the Sun climbs to 23 1/2 degrees above the horizon.
    June 21st marks the beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere and the beginning of winter in the Southern Hemisphere. In the North it’s the longest day of the year. At mid-latitudes there is sunlight for over 16 hours. Above the Arctic Circle the sun doesn’t set at all!

    “He made this Earth fixed by different devices like hills and mountains in shape of pegs but it still rotates . Sun never sets; all parts of earth are not in Darkness.” [RIG VEDA]

    movement of earth:

    “Earth rotates in two ways by the Will of Brahama, first it rotates on its axis secondly it revolves around sun. Days and Nights are distinguished when moves on its axis. Season change when it revolves around Sun”. (Vishnu Puran)

    “There are suns in all directions, the night sky being full of them.” (Rig Veda)

    Now lets see what what the modern sceince says:
    In the 1920s astronomers realised that our island universe, the Milky Way Galaxy, is not alone in space. Outside it are other galaxies, each containing thousands of millions of suns. One of these other galaxies is visible to the naked eye, as a faint fuzzy blob in the constellation of Andromeda. The Andromeda galaxy is similar in size and shape to the Milky Way and is our galaxy’s nearest neighbour, 2 million light years (20000000000000000000000 km) away. Further away are other galaxies, too faint for the eye to see. With powerful telescopes, millions have been photographed. Remarkably, all the galaxies are fleeing from one another: the whole Universe is expanding. This is one of the key pieces of evidence that about 15000 million years ago, there was a beginning to the Universe, an immense explosion we call the Big Bang. The debris from the explosion is still flying apart. Earth is one of the cinders.
    stant cluster of galaxies.
    Each galaxy contains
    about a 100000 million suns.

    Because each galaxy contains about 100000 million suns, galaxies can be seen to enormous distances, and they light up the distant universe for us.

    Modern scientists’ comments:

    Hinduism is the only religion in which the time scales correspond, to those of modern scientific cosmology. The Hindu literature is work of a Genius.
    (Dr. Steinn Sigurdsson, Pennsylvania State University)

    It looks like that the writers of Vedas and Puran came from the future to deliver knowledge. The works of the Ancient Arya Sages is mind blowing. There is no doubt that Purans and Vedas are word of God.
    (Scott Sandford , Space Scientist, NASA)

    How could Hindus have possibly known all this 6,000 years ago, when scientists have only recently discovered this using advanced equipment which did not exist at that time? Such concepts were found only recently.
    (Dr. Kevin Hurley of the University of California at Berkeley)

    Blue Sky is Nothing but scattered sunlight (Markandeya Purana 78.8)

    what Modern Science says about it:
    The blue color of the sky is due to Rayleigh scattering.

    Nothing in Brahmand(universe ) is immovable (Sam Veda)

    “NOTHING IS STATIC IN THIS WORLD NEITHER LIVING OR NON LIVING”. (Brahmand Puran)

    “Earth is divided in many plates as much as 14 of them in present Manavatara.” (Brahmand Purana)

    In the 1920s, Edwin Hubble used the 100″ telescope (2.5 meters) at the Mount Wilson Observatory in California to detect variable stars in nebulae. He discovered that the stars he observed had the same characteristic variations in their brightness as a class of stars called Cepheid Variables. Earlier, astronomer Henrietta Levitt had shown there was a precise correlation between the periodic change in brightness of a Cepheid Variable and its luminosity. Hubble was able use this correlation to show that the nebulae containing the variable stars he observed were not within our own Galaxy; they were external galaxies far beyond the edge of our Milky Way.

    The current continental and oceanic plates include: the Eurasian plate, Australian-Indian plate, Philippine plate, Pacific plate, Juan de Fuca plate, Nazca plate, Cocos plate, North American plate, Caribbean plate, South American plate, African plate, Arabian plate, the Antarctic plate, and the Scotia plate. These plates consist of smaller sub-plates.

    Origin of Universe

    Hindu concepts of Hiranyagarbha (golden womb) and Brahmanda (the first egg), are comparable to cosmic egg origin systems. The Bhagavata Purana, Brahmanda Purana, Vayu Purana among others contain references to the initial process of the origins of the universe as a cosmic egg. The twelve phase creation of the universe and the history of our Brahmanda is described in Srimad Bhagvatam.

    The Hiranyagarbha Sukta announces: Hiranyagarbhah samavartatagre bhutasya jatah patireka asit, which means, Before creation existed the golden womb Hiranyagarbha, Lord of everything born. (Rig Veda 10.121.1)

    The whole universe including sun, moon, planets, and galaxies was all inside the egg, and the egg was surrounded by ten qualities from outside. (Vayu Purana 4.74-75)

    Before creation, it was only the braham that was everywhere. There was no day, night or sky. First I created the waters. And in the waters I sowed the seeds of brahmanda. the great egg. From this seed there developed a egg which began to float on the waters. This egg is known as Brahamand (Universe)

    Finally we came to conclusion that Universe is shaped like a egg but this information was already present in Hindu Literature.
    (Alan Kogut, NASA)

    Modern Science:

    If we take a look at the COBE results, we notice the uneven pattern in the radiation stemming from the decoupling of matter and radiation when the Universe was a mere 300,000 years old. The blue and magenta patterns represent areas that were slightly cooler and slightly warmer than average. These variations are at a level of about 1:100,000, but they must have been enough to seed the structures we see today.

    OZONE LAYER

    Protection of Earth

    After the formation of the earth planet, Brahama created atmosphere in group of seven , from that formation oceans began to exist, and the first form of life appeared on the earth planet. Atmosphere was created as protective skin of earth (Shrimad Bhagwatam)

    “Amazing isnt it Vedas and Puaran are divine source of knwoledg” said Dr. Donald Mitchell of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. It is hard to believe that these facts were already mentioned in hindu books thousands of years back, in the time when Human didnt knew much about Astronomy.

    The Vishnu Purana gives a quite an accurate description of tides:
    “In all the oceans the water remains at all times the same in quantity and never increases or diminishes; but like the water in a cauldron, which in consequence of its combination with heat, expands, so the waters of the ocean swell with the increase of the Moon. The waters, although really neither more nor less, dilate or contract as the Moon increases or wanes in the light and dark fortnights”..

    About Creation of Moon

    Theia colliding with Earth.

    “In the initial stage of creation of Universe some creation material slipped from the hands of Brahma and collided with earth resulting in the formation of Moon”.
    (Brahmand Purana)

    what Modern Science says

    At the time Earth formed 4.5 billion years ago, other smaller planetary bodies were also growing. One of these hit earth late in Earth’s growth process, blowing out rocky debris. A fraction of that debris went into orbit.

    Vedas theory of evolution is so conspicuous to understand …

    Now on quantum physics
    The famous Danish physicist and Nobel Prize winner, Laureate Niels Bohr (1885-1962) , was a follower of the Vedas. He said, “I go into the Upanishads to ask questions.” Both Bohr and Schrödinger, the founders of quantum physics, were avid readers of the Vedic texts and observed that their experiments in quantum physics were consistent with what they had read in the Vedas.

    Niels Bohr got the ball rolling around 1900 by explaining why atoms emit and absorb electromagnetic radiation only at certain frequencies.

    Then, in the 1920’s Erwin Schrödinger (1887-1961), an Austrian-Irish physicist who won the Nobel prize, came up with his famous wave equation that predicts how the Quantum Mechanical wave function changes with time. Wave functions are used in Quantum Mechanics to determine how particles move and interact with time.

    Bohr, Heisenberg and Schrödinger regularly read Vedic texts. Heisenberg stated, “Quantum theory will not look ridiculous to people who have read Vedanta.” Vedanta is the conclusion of Vedic thought.

    Furthermore, Fritjof Capra, when interviewed by Renee Weber in the book The Holographic Paradigm (page 217–218), stated that Schrödinger, in speaking about Heisenberg, has said:
    “I had several discussions with Heisenberg. I lived in England then [circa 1972], and I visited him several times in Munich and showed him the whole manuscript chapter by chapter. He was very interested and very open, and he told me something that I think is not known publicly because he never published it. He said that he was well aware of these parallels. While he was working on quantum theory he went to India to lecture and was a guest of Tagore. He talked a lot with Tagore about Indian philosophy. Heisenberg told me that these talks had helped him a lot with his work in physics, because they showed him that all these new ideas in quantum physics were in fact not all that crazy. He realized there was, in fact, a whole culture that subscribed to very similar ideas. Heisenberg said that this was a great help for him. Niels Bohr had a similar experience when he went to China.”

    Consequently, Bohr adopted the Yin-Yang symbol as part of his family coat-of-arms when he was knighted in 1947.

    Schrodinger wrote in his book Meine Weltansicht:
    “This life of yours which you are living is not merely a piece of this entire existence, but in a certain sense the whole; only this whole is not so constituted that it can be surveyed in one single glance. This, as we know, is what the Brahmins [wise men or priests in the Vedic tradition] express in that sacred, mystic formula which is yet really so simple and so clear; tat tvam asi, this is you. Or, again, in such words as “I am in the east and the west, I am above and below, I am this entire world.”
    ब्रह्मैवेदममृतं पुरस्तात् ब्रह्म पश्चात् ब्रह्म उत्तरतो दक्षिणतश्चोत्तरेण ।
    अधश्चोर्ध्वं च प्रसृतं ब्रह्मैवेदं विश्वमिदं वरिष्ठम् ॥ 2.2.11
    This is a reference to the Mundaka Upanishad mantra (above) in which the Vedic understanding of the connectivity of living entities is put forward to help the Bhakta (practitioner of yoga) to understand the difference between the body and the living entity. How the real nature of the living entity is realized only in union with the source, the supreme being (Brahman/Krishna) through a platform of transcendental divine loving service.

    Schrödinger, in speaking of a universe in which particles are represented by wave functions, said, “The unity and continuity of Vedanta are reflected in the unity and continuity of wave mechanics. This is entirely consistent with the Vedanta concept of All in One.”

    “The multiplicity is only apparent. This is the doctrine of the Upanishads. And not of the Upanishads only. The mystical experience of the union with God regularly leads to this view, unless strong prejudices stand in the West.” (Erwin Schrödinger, What is Life?, p. 129, Cambridge University Press)

    “There is no kind of framework within which we can find consciousness in the plural; this is simply something we construct because of the temporal plurality of individuals, but it is a false construction… The only solution to this conflict insofar as any is available to us at all lies in the ancient wisdom of the Upanishad.” (Mein Leben, Meine Weltansicht [My Life, My World View] (1961), Chapter 4)

    In his biography on Schrödinger, Moore wrote: “His system – or that of the Upanishads – is delightful and consistent: the self and the world are one and they are all… He rejected traditional western religious beliefs (Jewish, Christian, and Islamic) not on the basis of any reasoned argument, nor even with an expression of emotional antipathy, for he loved to use religious expressions and metaphors, but simply by saying that they are naive.
    Vedanta and gnosticism are beliefs likely to appeal to a mathematical physicist, a brilliant only child, tempted on occasion by intellectual pride. Such factors may help to explain why Schrödinger became a believer in Vedanta, but they do not detract from the importance of his belief as a foundation for his life and work. It would be simplistic to suggest that there is a direct causal link between his religious beliefs and his discoveries in theoretical physics, yet the unity and continuity of Vedanta are reflected in the unity and continuity of wave mechanics. In 1925, the world view of physics was a model of the universe as a great machine composed of separable interacting material particles, During the next few years, Schrödinger and Heisenberg and their followers created a universe based on superimposed inseparable waves of probability amplitudes. This new view would be entirely consistent with the vedantic concept of the All in One.” (Schrödinger: Life and Thought (Meine Weltansicht), p. 173)

    In Schrödinger’s famous essay on determinism and free will, he expressed very clearly the sense that consciousness is a unity, arguing that this “insight is not new…From the early great Upanishads the recognition Atman = Brahman (the personal self equals the omnipresent, all-comprehending eternal self) was in Indian thought considered, far from being blasphemous, to represent, the quintessence of deepest insight into the happenings of the world. The striving of all the scholars of Vedanta was, after having learnt to pronounce with their lips, really to assimilate in their minds this grandest of all thoughts.”

    According to Moore on page 125 of his biographical work, A Life of Erwin Schrödinger, Schrödinger found “Vedanta teaches that consciousness is singular, all happenings are played out in one universal consciousness and there is no multiplicity of selves… The stages of human development are to strive for Possession (Artha), Knowledge (Dharma), Ability (Kama), Being (Moksha)… Nirvana is a state of pure blissful knowledge. It has nothing to do with individual. The ego or its separation is an illusion. The goal of man is to preserve his Karma and to develop it further – when man dies his karma lives and creates for itself another carrier”.

    Regarding mystical insights, Schrödinger tells us: “The multiplicity is only apparent. This is the doctrine of the Upanishads, and not of the Upanishads only. The mystical experience of the union with God regularly leads to this view, unless strong prejudices stand in the West” (Amaury de Riencourt, The Eye of Shiva: Eastern Mysticism and Science, p.78).

    In autumn of 1925 Schrödinger wrote an interestingly personal account of his philosophy of life called Mein Weltansicht – My World View.

    He completed this in 1960. In chapter 5 of this book he gives his understanding of the basic view of Vedanta. He writes, “Vedanta teaches that consciousness is singular, all happenings are played out in one universal consciousness and there is no multiplicity of selves.”

    Maya (illusion) is the cause of our faulty identification with this material world. In all the embodied forms of existence, Atma (the individual living entity) is fully able to at any time revive his forgotten, eternal and inherent connection with Brahman or Paramatma, the supreme self and source of all the living entities.

    Schrödinger did not believe that it is possible to demonstrate the unity of consciousness by logical arguments. One must make an imaginative leap guided by communion with nature and the persuasion of analogies. He understood the nonmaterial eternal nature of the conscious self and how the Atman is intimately connected to the supreme.

    In the 1920’s quantum mechanics was created by the three great minds mentioned above: Heisenberg, Bohr and Schrödinger, who all read from and greatly respected the Vedas. They elaborated upon these ancient books of wisdom in their own language and with modern mathematical formulas in order to try to understand the ideas that are to be found throughout the Vedas, referred to in the ancient Sanskrit as “Brahman,” “Paramatma,” “Akasha” and “Atman.” As Schrödinger said, “some blood transfusion from the East to the West to save Western science from spiritual anemia.”

    In 1935 Einstein Prodolsky and Rosen challenged Quantum Mechanics on the grounds that it was an incomplete formulation. They were the first authors to recognize that quantum mechanics is inherently non-local, which means it allows for instantaneous action across arbitrarily great distances. So an action in one place can instantly influence something on the other side of the universe in no time at all. This very powerful paper (The EPR paper) explaining Quantum Entanglement changed the world and alerted us to the magical implications of quantum mechanics’ metaphysical implications.

    But, Einstein states in his letter from to Max Born, 3 March 1947, “Es gibt keine spukhafte Fernwirkung” which translates to “There is no spooky action at a distance.” He did not believe in magic. He believed in science and would regularly read the Bhagavad-gita.

    Einstein’s famous quote on the Bhagavad-gita is: “When I read the Bhagavad-gita and reflect about how God created this universe everything else seems so superfluous.” He also wrote in his book The World as I See It, “I maintain that the cosmic religious feeling is the strongest and noblest motive for scientific research” (p. 24-28).

    Since scientists like Schrödinger did not possess a direct knowledge of Sanskrit to discern first-hand what the Vedic texts actually were saying, they were forced to read various translations of these great books of wisdom, such as the Upanishads. There are persons like Robert Oppenheimer (1904 – 1967) (pictured on left) who were not lacking in such an advantage. Oppenheimer learned Sanskrit in 1933 and read the Bhagavad-gita in the original, citing it later as one of the most influential books to shape his philosophy of life, stating that “The Vedas are the greatest privilege of this century.”

    Upon witnessing the world’s first nuclear test in 1945, he instantly quoted Bhagavad-gita chapter 11, text 32, “Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.”

    The fact is that, irrespective of east or west, great minds that come in contact with the Vedic texts agree that the ultimate reality remains timeless and changeless, and is contained in the Vedic texts such as the Bhagavad-gita and the Upanishads.

    The well-known early American writer Ralph Waldo Emerson, read the Vedas daily. Emerson wrote: “I owed a magnificent day to the Bhagavat-Gita”

    Henry David Thoreau said: “In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita… in comparison with which… our modern world and its literature seems puny and trivial.”

    So great were Emerson and Thoreau’s appreciation of Vedantic literatures that they became known as the American transcendentalists. Their writings contain many thoughts from Vedic Philosophy.

    Another famous personality who spokes of the greatness of the Vedas was: Alfred North Whitehead (British mathematician, logician and philosopher), who stated that: “Vedanta is the most impressive metaphysics the human mind has conceived.”

    Lin Yutang, Chinese scholar and author, wrote that: “India was China’s teacher in trigonometry, quadratic equations, grammar, phonetics… ” and so forth.

    Francois Voltaire stated: “… everything has come down to us from the banks of the Ganges.”

    Another genius scientist was Nikola Tesla, a super genius Serbian. Tesla, along with the others mentioned above, knew that the ancient Indian Brahmans (wise men), well equipped with knowledge from the Vedas, had understandings of the intricate laws, mathematical formulas and subtle workings of the universe that far surpass anything we can even imagine today.

    Much of Tesla’s life and work has been erased from history due to this mastermind inventor and scientist wanting to make the fruits of all his work available for free to the world(tesla free energy) .

    Tesla understood the great power of Zero Point Field or Akasha or Ether: the power of space between the electrons and the nucleus. Vivekanda’s effect on Tesla was so great that he became vegetarian, became celibate and started using Sanskrit words. He died with his scalar energy science in his head, because he did NOT want the US military to use it to destroy the planet. No wonder he was denied the Nobel prize and eventually killed. Knowledge is power, and there are many people that want all the power for themselves. Tesla wanted to give power to everyone for free! He was actually the first person to figure out how to make radio communication possible across the Atlantic ocean. But because he wanted to make this ability free for others his funding was stopped and the credit was later given to someone else that played the power game better than him.

    The Vedas recommend for yogis, and those wanting super intelligence and inner power, to conserve their own divine energy by observing celibacy. As Tesla himself has said, “The gift of mental power comes from God, divine being, and if we concentrate our minds on that truth, we become in tune with this great power.” and “Our senses enable us to perceive only a minute portion of the outside world.”

    Carl Sagan stated, “Vedic Cosmology is the only one in which the time scales correspond to those of modern scientific cosmology.”

    Nobel laureate Count Maurice Maeterlinck wrote of: “a Cosmogony which no European conception has ever surpassed.”

    French astronomer Jean-Claude Bailly corroborated the antiquity and accuracy of the Vedic astronomical measurements as “more ancient than those of the Greeks or Egyptians.” And that, “the movements of the stars calculated 4,500 years ago, does not differ by a minute from the tables of today.”

    Voltaire, the famous French writer and philosopher) stated that “Pythagoras went to the Ganges to learn geometry.” Abraham Seidenberg, author of the authoritative “History of Mathematics,” credits the Sulba Sutras as inspiring all mathematics of the ancient world from Babylonia to Egypt to Greece.

    As Voltaire & Seidenberg have stated, many highly significant mathematical concepts have come from the Vedic culture, such as:

    The theorem bearing the name of the Greek mathematician Pythagorus is found in the Shatapatha Brahmana as well as the Sulba Sutra, the Indian mathematical treatise, written centuries before Pythagorus was born.

    The Decimal system, based on powers of ten, where the remainder is carried over to the next column, first mentioned in the Taittiriya Samhita of the Black Yajurveda.

    The Introduction of zero as both a numerical value and a place marker.
    The Concept of infinity.

    The Binary number system, essential for computers, was used in Vedic verse meters.

    A hashing technique, similar to that used by modern search algorithms, such as Googles, was used in South Indian musicology. From the name of a raga one can determine the notes of the raga from this Kathapayadi system.

    Cosmology and other scientific accomplishments of ancient India spread to other countries along with mercantile and cultural exchanges. There are almost one hundred references in the Rig Veda alone to the ocean and maritime activity.
    This is confirmed by Indian historian R. C. Majumdar, who stated that the people of the Indus-Sarasvata Civilization engaged in trade with Sooma and centers of culture in western Asia and Crete.

    …as we can see many renowned intellectuals believed that the Vedas provided the origin of scientific thought.

    And there are plenty of them
    but I think it’s enough expounded.

    And last some one raised a question of toilet …I Will finish it in brief
    So kindly allow me to update that fella ….in archaeological survey of Indus valley …toilet with flushing facility has been founded and I don’t think I have to explain the reason why we are a developing country (thanks to invaders)large amount of our history,education and scientific works was extirpated but we are recovering and hope will lead the world towards peace(our intrinsic nature).

    Brothers,
    science and spirituality complement each other .

    Tat tavm asi (that thou art – you are that )
    Vasudhaiva kutumbakam (the entire world is one family)

    Nanashkar
    Thank you

  • @Sangeetha Baskaran:

    I think mathematics is not sufficient but it is necessary, in fact essential, for understanding the universe. Don’t you think relativity and quantum mechanics are needed? They don’t tell you what life is but they do explain some aspects of reality; are there any non-mathematical substitutes for them?

    Of course, humans lived for thousands of years without learning GR and QM, and we believe that some of them achieved enlightenment regarding the nature of life and death, the soul, etc.. Some such individuals probably existed even in recent times and some may be around now. If this is true (I think it is, but can’t prove it; that is why I say “probably”) did such people understand things like the curvature of space, quarks and so on? I have no idea. What do you think? Please don’t dismiss it as unnecessary knowledge!

    It is another matter whether Jaggi Vasudev is in the same league as Ramana Maharshi or Shirdi Sai Baba or Ramakrishna (of course, assuming that they were enlightened souls, which we believe without proof).

    From the information in this blog, I don’t think so.

  • Is this the same science that ignores elegant and explanatory models like the Electric Universe in favor of the old and increasingly falsified gravity driven model? You know, the “science” of faked studies with false conclusions concocted to get more grant money?

    I’ll take Sadhguru’s rationalism any day of the week.

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