Attadhisthanam : Centre for Science of Consciousness
STRUCTURE OF SOUL
Soul and Science
A logical man in the age of science sees no role for soul in his life. He finds himself living physically and his fellows dead bodily. Philosophical discourses by clergy and nonscientists have little relevance for a materialist mind like him. A best seller like ‘Chicken Soup for the Surviving Soul’ (1), however, does surprise him occasionally because it shows that most of us feel or believe in an apparatus of consciousness behind our life and that we are not merely a living mass of matter.
Beliefs and concepts about soul and its transmigration are rooted deep in human antiquity. Andamanese have lived as a marooned people without any human contact for the last 45000 years (2). In their tradition, a man becomes spirit after death; and, they have elaborate rituals for their dead. Our beliefs and ideas about spirits and souls date back even to a farther past. No wonder, we have preserved human perceptions and convictions behind an invisible soul for ages before reaching ‘The End of Science’ (3).
Science has done immense good to man by imparting him logic and thinking to move away from fictions of blind faith. But it has also done some harm in convincing a layman, through faith in its oversimplified theories, that the conscious self of man is none other than his physical body. Any one may verify through an effortless experiment that his physical self is not the whole of conscious self. Such a belief is a blind faith, promoted unintelligently by the agents of science.
For the experiment, arrange a 35mm SLR camera with 400mm lens and Polaroid filters. Photograph sun during mid-day, afternoon and sunset. Also, remember the size of sun as seen during mid-day and at sunset through the viewfinder of camera. It is almost three times larger at horizon, as we are accustomed to see since childhood. Now develop the film to discover that the image is of same size in three positions (Fig. 1.1). Sun is not larger at horizon as we see through the viewfinder.
Fig. 1.1 : Sun in midday, afternoon and setting positions. Photograph from top of a building using 200mm Leitz zoom with 2x converter (Vadodara, April, 1993). Image of sun at noon (left), 3 PM (middle) and in setting position (right) has same size in the negative (3± 0.01mm).
In a textbook, mechanism of our vision is explained thus: human eye works like a camera. Eye lens forms an inverted image of an object on retina, as a lens of camera. Nerve cells pick up signals from retina and carry it to brain. Brain reads these impulses, corrects the inversion of image and the object is registered in vision (Fig. 1.2).
The SLR lens, eye lens and the brain are all physical entities. If the vision and mind of man were generated only by physical elements like eye and brain, then the size of sun of our vision must have remained constant in all positions like the image of camera.
The experiment proves that consciousness behind our mind and vision is not an exclusive product of physical body. Had consciousness been of physical origin alone, there was no chance of seeing a larger sun at horizon; and, if we see it, our consciousness has, for certain, another invisible apparatus of consciousness controlling human mind and vision. This apparatus of consciousness is invisible and of nonphysical character. It is soul. Since all of us see a larger sun at horizon, every one has a soul!
Fig. 1.2 : Mechanism of vision as explained in optics.
Role of soul in our vision is explainable by the thoughtographs of Indian solar eclipse of 1995, snapped by Vikram Bhandari. Thoughtographs are mental images captured by a camera. Young Vikram, son of Prof. Dr. N. Bhandari of Physical Research Laboratories, Ahmedabad, snapped a series of photographs of solar eclipse in Rajasthan on October 24, ’95. Some of these photographs contain paired thoughtographs of eclipse (Fig. 1.3). One of these images of sun is fuzzy and bright. The other is sharp, dull and red. It is eclipsed partially by moon. The size of the red solar image is almost three times larger than the optical image.
Fig. 1.3 : Thoughtographs of Indian Solar Eclipse on 24.10.1995. A: A pair of thoughtographs after commencement of eclipse showing optical halo of sun (a), fuzzy replica of optical sun (b) and a red psychic sun impinged by moon on lower side (c); inset is a picture of totally eclipsed sun at 0953 IST (d). Size of images: b = dx2.17 & c=d x 3.17. B: A pair of thoughtographs 11 min. after eclipse maxim showing inverted fuzzy image b’ and normally oriented red image c’. Image b’ is a composite of optical solar image a’ and red image c’. Visual sun is either a or c not b.
Our vision mechanism is not as simple as science explains it. Up in the sky, we see a bright thoughtograph of sun (b) above its optical image, a little bigger than size of sun. To the right and below the optical sun, there are other dull red thoughtographs of sun covered mostly by moon (c, c’). We see that red thoughtographs are almost three times bigger than optical image like our daily observation about sun at horizon. Both the thoughtograpic images (b and c) are generated by our consciousness apparatus or soul.
Fig 1. 4 : Mechanism of vision corrected for the role of soul. Optical image is routed to Antahkaran through brain for a projection of the inverted retinal image of the object into space. Soul generates another image corresponding to its real orientation. In the two-component information, psychic image provides orientation while the optical image renders color and brightness. Mind integrates the two components in vision.
In one of the thoughtographs (Fig. 1.3B), white and red images are seen together – almost juxtaposed and inverted in orientation corresponding to the image on retina. The final perception of the orientation of object, however, is with reference to the original disposition of the object, as indicated by the red image (c’ in Fig. 1.3B). Brightness and colors of an object correspond, seemingly, to the fuzzy image (b’). Accordingly, we don’t see by brain and eye couple alone. We see by mind after incorporating the contribution of antahkaran or main psychic organ (Fig. 1.4). Our ‘mind’ is constituted by two components thus -- a nonphysical soul joined by physical eyes and brain.
Our concept of vision has to be corrected after new inputs from thoughtographs, which necessarily imply a key role of soul in our life.
One may like to pose a question at this point. Why are thoughtographs not so common as other phenomena in nature? A plain reply to the question is “These are not so uncommon either”. We generally don’t look into our photographs with an idea to search something new; and, when an irregularity is noticed, it is ignored. Prof. Bhandari, a hardboiled physicist, told me about photographs of eclipse two years after the eclipse when we were discussing thoughtographs in the ‘Science of Consciousness’ (2).
Science has its own methods of ignoring new information beyond its established paradigm. Today, Soul and Consciousness are the subjects beyond the scope of science. On November 7, ’97, I sent an article to the ‘nature’ - A REPEAT PHOTOGRAPHY OF CONSCIOUSNESS SPHEROIDS AT KEDARNATH, INDIA. It was received back by me with a card dated 8.2.’98 reading, “ The Editor thanks you of the communication but regrets that he is unable to publish it….”. Nothing can be printed in the journal that could affect its established reputation in science.
Anyway, some staunch scientists are no better than clergy of religion in asserting their authority. They are too hardboiled to accept any thing new and would ignore it till the voice of researchers becomes loud and shrill. “Until the early years of nineteenth century, for example, scientists refused to accept that meteorites existed; consequently any body who claimed to have seen or found one was dismissed as liar. But as soon as meteorites gained acceptance, earlier witnesses could be rehabilitated” (5, p.14). Meteorites are hard rocks and a source of metals since prehistoric times. Yet, more than 250 years lapsed between the first leading scientist Galileo (1564-1642) and investigations on meteorites under the banner of science. This may prove true even for soul and consciousness.
Concepts through Ages
“In religion, idealistic philosophy and psychology soul is a non-material entity that is independent of body”(6). When did man discover it first during his evolution? Answer is somewhat unsettled due to unfathomable past of human prehistory. However, it is certain that the date is long before fifty thousand years when the aborigines settled in Andaman were marooned soon due to rise of sea level (2). Andamanese have an advanced concept about soul and rebirth. For them, spirit or soul is like an invisible corm in the ground and the body represents a leafy shoot on the surface. The two together form a single plant. When a green, leafy plant dries up at surface, its life continues in the ground. After death, soul grows and matures underground in the grave till man is reborn. Much elaborate rites and rituals for burial of dead (7) are based on their belief about a next life, it seems.
European Neanderthal of the Middle Stone Age (120000 – 32000 years before present) lived in the mental frame of Andamanese and buried their dead with elaborate rites (8). They were extinct around 32000 years ago. Human beings of Late Stone Age were psychically very distinct from Neanderthal. They also observed a cult of worship, unknown earlier. During the Perigordian period (32000 –20000 Years ago) they were scratching human figures in rocks and worshiping them as gods. One such carving in Rajasthan dates back to around 24500 years (2, p.143). It depicts a dual deity of Vedic age -- Dyaus-Prithivi or Dyavaprithivi (Fig. 1. 5). The godly figurines in the pillars relate to God Heaven and Goddess Earth. Concept of heaven as an abode for the noble souls emerged around this date among the Vedic people, it seems. It has been followed by other religions of Zero-gold-medal-zone where growth of consciousness and human soul has moved on a relatively accelerated pace (2, fig.1.2).
Another important facet of human communication about an evolving knowledge related to his soul conveys a model of transmigration of our soul. It dates back to the Upper Paleolithic period and figures as a tell tale picture in the Lascaux Cave, France (Fig.1. 6). In the picture, drawn around 16000 years ago, a hunter has hurt a bull grievously. The latter is charging the hunter in a fury of rage. The man is falling and collapsing. A bird is quietly standing by his side to fly away as he dies. The picture conveys an unmistakable story: the bird will fly away from his body at death and will take over a new body of a baby. This concept is alive till date in the belief of Indians in Gujarat and other part of North India. ‘Pran Pakheru’ or ‘life (soul) bird’ is a common phrase in many Indian languages, emphasizing a perennial soul perching over an ephemeral body.
Fig. 1. 5 : A Perigordian carving of Rajasthan. A pair of pillars shows a dual deity Dyavaprithivi, God Heaven and Goddess Earth. A: sun, B: moon.
Fig. 1. 6 : Soul Bird of Lascaux Cave, France.
After analysis of their experience during Yog and Tantra, enlightened Vedic men conceived the soul bird of consciousness as a bird twin -- indulgent and non-indulgent. An Upanishad says “Friendly bird twins are seated over a tree (human body);one of these eats fruit while the other only looks intently at the other” (9a). Vedic bards also talk of five components in human consciousness: an omniscient self, fathering other four units – Brahm, name-unit, form-unit and food (9b). This is cited from a Upanishad, a part of Atharvaved wherein one of the verses is astronomically dated around 4300 years before present (2, p.108). Duality Conceptual of soul bird in Mundak Upanishad of Atharvaved possibly dates back to third Millennium BC.
Vedic bards used to memorize Veds and follow a ritualistic life in earlier years. Then, they moved to isolation of forests in old age for assiduous efforts to ascend to higher goals of life. They prayed for living up to ripe old age “I wish to attain, through rituals, reincarnation, longevity and old age” (10). During isolation and penance of old age they discovered a very simple fact of life. Those, who perceive experientially the consciousness self or soul, the object acting as ‘the eye of eyes and the ear of ears’ become immortal if they acquire death while living physically (11a, 12a).
Vedic men in Immortal State or enjoying Eternal Life not only established the bird twin concept of consciousness but also a duality in our knowledge. They felt that our learning falls in two steps. The first covers Veds, grammar and arithmetic to support goals of lower consciousness, corresponding to the bird eating fruits of agony and ecstasy. These relate to physical or spiritual goals life. The second step covered the subject matter of Upanishads, aimed at perception of primary conscious self as a non-eating bird (9c). The first segment of learning, related to worldly knowledge and rituals, was termed Avidya or Null-education because it could not lift one’s soul to immortality. The young preparing to enter the world were taught to pass through it diligently and then judge, in forties, if they qualified for the second step. Study of Upanishads was named as Vidya or Real-education because it leads to the terminal state of consciousness or Eternal Life. Upanishads were taught and practiced during old age after withdrawing from world, when soul ripens to experience immortality.
Vedic society was aware that any amount of reading about Vidya does not induce immortality during early years of life. Like arriving of feelings of sex is only after childhood, perception of immortality could be achieved only after forties when the age of reproduction is over. There is no gain for Eternal Life in the elimination of sex in a householder’s life. Vidya and Avidya were imparted together for proper living in the young age to attain immortality later (13).
Why were people so keen about immortality and considered that life is fulfilled only after it is achieved, else a waste (11b). Bards of Upanishad cult knew that eternal life liberates soul and opens a new state of consciousness, named as Virajapar (12b) or Abhivimanatmanam (14). In this state, meaning literally ‘beyond-the-ego-free’, a person lives as a Brahm or soul independent of body. He eats consciousness directly from fellow humans, spirits and social consciousness regime (14). A man transcends barriers of his physical food for growth of his soul. A liberated soul grows much faster when the food of consciousness is ingested directly from its prey through Tantra and Prajna.
Many Upanishads have survived through the tradition of memorizing Veds among Brahmans. However, experiential attainment of Virajapar state reached near extinction when people took to secure, sheltered life of towns and abandoned the tradition of confining to forest in late age, as prescribed in classical manuals of conduct (15). Even the brilliant among the learned Brahmans of city culture could not realize that old age and isolation have a specific contribution in reaching the terminal state of consciousness. They tried to infer the truth of an experiential Virajapar state of Upanishads by guess and logic. A beginning in this direction was made first by Purans (Story + Gospel) around 1500 BC and the termination reached after Gita, around first century BC. Then every sinner found an all-forgiving Krisn, in the image of a Biblical God, and soon Virajapar state sank into an abyss of religion.
A little before the sophisticated concept of bird twin in Upanishads, men at Catal Hoyuk, Turkey, had sketched their perception about soul, body and death (2, p.81). They regard soul and body as two distinct units of a living being. The former is lodged in head. God of Death is a monster bird that visits a man at the time of death. It eats his soul. Departure of soul leaves the body dead (Fig. 1.7). The concept was in vogue some seven thousand years ago.
Fig. 1. 7 : Deity of Death at Catal Hoyuk, Turkey.
At the excavation site of Catal Hoyuk, meaning a cleft mound, people had no written word but their expressions in a sketch about soul are impeccable. When the written word arrived, soul has been discussed for more than three thousand years by many civilizations between India and Egypt. Concepts about soul figure mostly in stories, beliefs, religions and philosophy. These are considered less relevant in the context of our purely scientific approach on the lines of Upanishads.
Why Study Soul?
Patanjali, the famous grammarian of Sanskrit, starts his book with definition of grammar followed by reasons for reading the difficult subject. In doing so, he communicates to his readers, most importantly, not to waste their time if utility of grammar enumerated by him does not serve their purpose. Sanskrit Grammar is tedious, tough and taxing, and those who feel its assimilation lies beyond their caliber may better save their time for reading literature or memorizing mantras. Situations with study of Soul are no different. That every one of us has a soul is demonstrated. However, knowledge of soul has a specific and practical importance for only a few. Consciousness and soul have evolved in time and advanced powerful souls are common only in specific cultural communities and geographic conditions (2). Only persons with evolved soul may evince keen interest to excel in its knowledge and pursuit.
In the name of religion, I am reminded of my experience during a short stay in Kashmir. It defines the type of mind where faith and religion grow and also the kind of communities who nurture such minds.
I was in Kashmir for two weeks during April 1980 and stayed in the boathouse of Rahim Pala, floating in Dal Lake. Rahim discovered an exalted Muslim self in me and our daily deepening relationship was based on his perception of strong Muslim feelings in me. He treated me as a Muslim, knowing that I was a Hindu physically.
Rahim asked me one evening “Do you know, how India won over Pakistan in the war of 1971?”
I looked at him a little bewildered. Reply was known too well – Pakistan lost the war.
“Indira Gandhi was dancing naked before Khwaja of Ajmer for the grace of the saint on the night bombs were pouring at Agra” He confided to me.
Rahim’s revelation shook me at heart at his stark ignorance about the Indo-Pak war. However, it was relevant for fixing a generic type of mind wherein faith or religion anchors with firmness of a rock.
For Rahim and his likes, in Pakistan and Kashmir, defeat of Pakistan at the hands of India was more than her defeat in a war. It was a defeat of Islam inflicted by Hindus. Mullahs had generated a story about Indira Gandhi, the then Indian Prime Minister, and spread it among Pakistani and Kashmiri Muslims to assuage their hurt feelings for strengthening Islam. The incidence proved that persons like Rahim form a generic type of less intelligent, faithful religious minds. They lack logic and believe even in absurd stories under the authority of a religion. Fancy and concocted lies of clergy condition the minds like Rahim on logically unacceptable ‘gospel truths’ in every cult. Religious heads often reap the weakness of such simple minds to coin stories for strengthening their faith in Gods A to Z. Even Science has its ‘Black Holes’ and Faithful!
Position or post does not change the quality of mind. Zail Singh, President of India, opined against the validity of Darwinian Evolution, Bush Jr., President of USA, emphatically stressed that human cloning is ‘wrong’ and Imam of Jama Mosque of Delhi says that jihad by Taliban is valid against American war on terrorism. Logic dictates, they and their brethren belong to the same group. All of them are conditioned by community thoughts; they reject logic and act under force of emotions.
Faith bound non-analytical minds line up for God, Kaba or Kumbh because ‘Favorite men of Gods are fools’ (16) and believe in cooked up religious stories. Hence, intelligentsia alone may opt for liberation of soul if they can discipline their minds and body, follow Yog and Five Mahavrats (2,p. 161), as required in the pursuit.
Guru culture is pretty old in India. Since long, running out of home early, preaching of scriptures subsequently, and establishing an Ashram ultimately is a respected tradition among Hindus. Missions, Ashrams and Maths add every year in the country by the children who renounce home early and become Gurus later. A logical person sees something despicable in the gamut of gurus. “In almost all ashrams, more than the radiance of the teacher, one meets the nauseating crowd of vultures in the shape of administrators and volunteers forming a coterie. As usual the lure is money”(17).
To a reader, however, an old maxim of Sanskrit (18) may serve as a guide in choosing proper path in the game of Gods and Gurus. “Alone for meditation, two for learning, three for dance, four for journey and many for war” (are needed). Growth of soul is best in a loner, living in isolation, away from community, religious congregations and gurus.
Conservation of Consciousness Energy
Now, benefits from study: protection, survival and growth of body, mind and soul through accretion, saving and judicious expenditure of consciousness energy. One may see a hornets’ nest in the sentence. It has an unconventional and, to some extent, unbelievable word like consciousness energy.
A graduate of science sent me nine questions in his letter of March 14, 2001 after going through the ‘Science of Consciousness’. The ninth is “Finally, what is consciousness? Is it a field that radiates energy like gravity or electromagnetism?” The young man is convinced that consciousness is an energy domain, but the main issue before him is its nature. For most us, intricacy of physics in explaining the energy may be less relevant than the actual description of energy as it affects our body-mind system.
Energy of consciousness is related to more than one type of function or perception in a living being like man. In the thoughtographs of Ted Serios depicting a Neanderthal man (5, p. 37) and thoughtograph of an ancient fort at Lakhpat (2, fig. 9.11) our consciousness has a dual behavior. Firstly, it acts like a ‘field of time’, which annuls the present scene and bring the scenario of past time frame before the camera; and, secondly, it regenerates ‘material image’ of past objects that get photographed by a camera. Decay behavior of consciousness objects (2, fig. 9.15) suggests that these are not optical images. Duration of each ‘material image’, formed by human consciousness, is about 0 .0085 second, while its frequency of generation is around 345 frames per second (Fig. 1.8).
Property of conscious self to go back or forth in time is used by Ping pong players to position their racket for hitting back the high speed ball sent by the opponent (19).
Fig. 1. 8 : Frequency of materialized image generation and its decay. The image of a pen-clip in a period of O.009 Second shows formation of pulsed images 1,2,3 and 4(4’) and their decay profile A (4’), B (1) & C (3). Position [2,4] in the figure, is the original position of the clip while 4’is residual decayed image of site 1.
Conservation of energy of consciousness goes a long way in protection, survival and growth of soul because the last requires serious attention on the type of life and lifestyle. Soul and mind mature no earlier than 50 years. An all out pursuit for health of mind, antahkaran and soul, thus, follows a simple logic: if one conserves energy in childhood his youth is fulfilled; when energy is conserved till forties then only a soul can separate out of the body as Brahm through rigors in Yog. That is why there is a prayer in Yajurved for reaching up to old age by ritual men of Vedic age (10).
For protection of our conscious self we have a body, a soul and a period of 45 years between five and fifty when body, mind and soul may be mauled individually or together by contagions, physical enemies or ‘floating souls’ and spirits through draining of consciousness energy. Protection of body, mind and soul till mature old age is a tough challenge. However, if the goal is clear and discipline is observed, gains are not disparaging. In the long journey of time, Eternal Life or Experiential Immortality could be set as target for soul. Mind may accordingly be set on the target and trained for conserving consciousness energy on the paths of Yog and Tantra.
Study of soul enables a person to visualize a true picture of his own conscious self besides his understanding of real objective of human life and relevance of consciousness energy. Peace of mind and food of consciousness are immediate gains for him from an in-depth study of the subject through channeling his consciousness potential.
Natural and Supernatural
A word like ‘supernatural’ is an unnatural nonsense scientifically if it is taken to mean, as in a dictionary, ‘above or beyond nature; not
according to the course of nature; miraculous, spiritual’. We discover a Pi meson once in a 50,000 photograph. Is this elementary particle supernatural? Or, does a lone pine tree, at Varanasi, among a million billion tropical trees of the blistering Ganges basin forms a supernatural phenomenon? Neither, so long as the elementary particle is predictable in theory and the tree in the Botanical Garden of Banaras Hindu University has a history of an extraordinary care in a hostile environment. In the same rarity are lions and elephants of circus dancing and cycling or Yogis like Satyamurti living without breathing for days (2, box 2.1). Not only these but objects like Brahm (often confused as God) also fall here – very rare but experientially verifiable.
I confronted a friend in France during autumn of ’83 who considers God as something supernatural and unbelievable. Our discussion on God commenced with his assertive conviction “I don’t believe in God.”
My reply was “I also don’t believe in God.”
“But I am told you are a very religious person” He said.
“Let me correct you my friend, about your information,” I clarified “I am not a religious man of faith, instead I am an enlightened Yogi who has experientially perceived Brahm or body-free soul, and documented the experience scientifically (20). It is also true that people in France cannot experience and verify my perceptions due to their warm body and inability to reach Samadhi. Taking the body to 96.5° F in Samadhi is a pre-requisite for the experience of Brahm. Cold climate, low solar energy and fabulous food habits with plenty of alcohol are the natural barriers in France. As mangoes don’t grow in your country, this experience of Indian mango belt also cannot be planted in France.”
My running into the French friend clarified, how the phenomenon of enlightenment, described commonly in Upanishads, moves to a shady area of disbelief in Europe. An experiential Brahm of India shifts to the status of a supernatural and unbelievable entity in France, Canada or USA, purely on account of geographic and cultural factors. Many ESP experiences relating to consciousness, like Brahm, are also rare in higher latitudes (21).
In subjects like consciousness and soul an ancient, twofold classification of knowledge is quite useful. Topics of our learning fall under two categories: first, subjects amenable to human learning and logic; and, second, beyond logic (Paurusheya and Apaurusheya vishayas). ‘As you sow, so you reap’ exemplifies the first. The second category includes phenomena like death of Jawahar Lal Nehru linked to rituals in the temple of goddess Vindhyanchal, as some claim (22) or bending of spoons by Uri Geller (23) and movement of a walking stick without any support (23). Most experiences relating to consciousness fall under the second category. These are hard to analyze or understand because they don’t repeat often and lie, invariably, beyond the principles of science known to us. Upanishads discuss some of them commonly.
Understanding of Upanishads merely on intellectual plane from grammatically lax translations of western pundits like Deussen (24) is wastage of time. N one can follow Upanishads properly before reaching the state of enlightenment or being taught by an enlightened. An example of their understanding merely by speculative reading is here. An intellectual asserts “ They (Upanishads) contain many contradictions, many concepts that are just empty boxes into which meaning are stuffed according to the convenience of the moment and many others that are just ‘black boxes’, concepts that are said to ‘explain’ what is going on but when one searches out their substantive content one draws a complete blank” (25). If this writer goes through human anatomy, his understanding of the subject will draw a similar blank because he does not qualify to read the subject. Ignorantly, he presumes that he can read Upanishads because he lacked a qualified guide, like my father, to tell him that Upanishads are beyond him. This is true for most men, from translators like Paul Deussen to the free lance writers who are not aware that Upanishads too have a pre-qualification prescribed long ago: “The competent student is an aspirant who, by studying in accordance with the prescribed method the Vedas and the Vedangas, has obtained a general comprehension of the entire Vedas; who, being absolved from all sins in this and previous life by the avoidance of the actions known as Kamya and Nishiddha and performance of actions called Nitya and Naimittika as well as by penance and devotion, has become entirely pure in mind, and who has adopted the four Sadhans or means to the attainment of spiritual knowledge” (26).
Upanishads are not for all. They are mainly for those few who qualify to live with the conducts of Upanishads under supervision of an enlightened, proficient teacher prescribed in Veds and Upanishads. Many such persons with maturing souls pass through several experiences conforming to the perceptions of Upanishads.
Uncommon and unexplainable experiences of consciousness have invaluable contribution in modelling the soul. The second chapter of the book describes experiences of the author since his teens. They provided important leads for establishing rules about consciousness and helped in erecting the model of soul.
Western material and ideas on consciousness have brought out some eminent publications recently (27,28,29,30,31,32,33). However, these works end up far below the level of Upanishads, focusing essentially at brain. These have no use in modelling our soul.
Contribution of Twentieth Century
Initial impact of science with the commencement of twentieth century was the absorption of a concept after the theory of relativity. According to the theory, world had only two components– matter and vacuum. Human mind was conditioned accordingly and a common man wrote off soul or consciousness as unacceptable entity by the mid-fifties of the twentieth century. With the acceleration of communication technologies during the late fifties to early seventies, there was a spate of events and data, which were authentic and impossible to put in the materialistic jacket of scientific thinking. There were ‘Mysteries of the Unexplained’ (34) and also incredible events falling ‘Into the Unknown’ (23) territory of science. Many of the events, records or phenomena relate to consciousness or soul. At the same time, a conservative, materialistic conception of mind has continued in the garb of a scientific philosophy (35).
Seventies was also a period when western psychologists dared to look at the functions of mind or human consciousness as a manifestation beyond brain. To an Indian mind, soul is no enigma and its travel from one to another life falls under a common principle of all major religions like Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Indian psyche, in spite of penetration by scientific thinking of materialism, remained firm about data gathering on reincarnations, Yog and Tantra. They found a place due to them in magazines and journals.
In the West, with the concept of one time life in Bible or Koran, a psychologist needed courage to look into events like ‘Life Before Life’ (36). When it was done by Wambach, a marvelous statistical figure emerged on a comprehensive and a credibly large data. The document proves that we are in a mill of reincarnations, taking birth and living again and again. There is little role for any God in the whole affair, and even if it is, God has a relevance of only 0.1 percent in the life –death-life mill of nature. A knowledgeable conscious self or soul alone is the principal unit in the whole game of human life after life and interlude in between. The study also put to an end a hoarse claim of the materialist that life begins and ends only with our organic body.
By the nineties of the twentieth century, information was enough to place the consciousness in the paradigm of science covering life, death and evolution of human mind or soul. The ‘Consciousness of Science’ (2) documented the origin and evolutionary path of organic consciousness from anoxic conditions of initial life on earth to the same state reached by a Yogi – the man at the apex of organic evolution. The document also demonstrates that four types of invisible consciousness bodies govern our life. At the level of soul, life is far more complex than conceived usually. Not only soul has a complex structure but it also undergoes sinuous mill of karms life after life. The new information constitutes a valuable basis for modeling the structure of soul. Seemingly, man is created and supported by soul for its own ends.
We look at the contributions of last century on our soul, in view of consciousness bodies and role of karms, in the third chapter of book.
A Constrained Model for Soul
After conducting her experiments and concluding that each of us existed prior to birth as a soul, Wambach (36, p.167) runs through a pressing feeling of verifying her data in the truest form. Sadly, however, she realized that “short of committing suicide and observing my rebirth, there was no way I could validate the material that came through my subjects”. It may also be predicted that her desired step is bound to be a failure. She cannot ensure that her memory and observations after death would continue in the new life. Once I consoled a grieving lady “Don’t lose heart, remember you were a powerful Cleopatra some two thousand years ago.” Her distressed mind was clear and loud “ I don’t remember, I was a Cleopatra ever; I’m miserable and she is of no help to me.” This is a certain end for each of us till we reach a higher state of consciousness called Buddh State (2), when the past lives open up automatically.
Feelings, emotions, ideas and word-bound knowledge do not travel from one life to the other, normally. Most discussions on death and soul, therefore, end up in a theoretical analysis and discussion citing Upanishads (37, 38, 39). The only well understood point in the matter of life and death, however, is the distinction between body, spirit and soul. A spirit is an ethereal replica of a physical body (including its clothes!), separable from it under certain conditions by some persons (37), or moving out of body during the out-of-the-body experience (40). Contrarily, a soul is ‘seen’ as a tiny glistening ball, hovering over an unconscious man, in a sitting of Tantra (41). Description and size of the object and the near dead condition of the subject under experiment establish its identity with atta -- one of the three consciousness bodies photographed by me (2). The other accompaniments of atta in a living man are attadhar, brahm, and atma. These together constitute our soul
Ultimate understanding of human consciousness could only be reached after photographic evidence on the constituents of soul came to light. How does a model of soul look like after meeting the constrains listed above? The answer to the question is attempted in the fourth chapter of the document.
Notes and Comments
It is felt that the Western Pundits have made, often, a very lax and incorrect translation of Veds and Upanishads, mainly due to their avoiding of learning grammar of Sanskrit through a tougher traditional route. Even the pronunciation of Sanskrit words is mauled. Sanskrit pronunciation of Varanasi has been taken as standard here for the nearest transliteration in Roman script. Sanskrit is a living language and the cited material or its explanatory notes are provided here for reference in the same language. Any one who wishes to undertake exploration of soul has to study this language for his/her faster progress on the path of consciousness accretion. Sanskrit controls the thought-field of the explorer and enriches him with the energy of mantras.
Perception of soul as Brahm has been a geographically restricted phenomenon of the Zero-gold-medal zone where Sanskrit was a leading language during Vedic age and even later period (Fig. 1.9). It has helped people generate a mindset, which opted for renouncing worldly gains and pleasures in pursuit of Yog, Tantra and Brahm. Those keen for exalted state of their consciousness may not have other options except to chose a proper location within the Zero-gold-medal-zone and take to specific pattern of renunciation in middle and old age.
A glossary of Sanskrit words and unfamiliar terms is provided in the terminal part of the book for facilitating a better understanding of the subject where a few new words figure as technical terminology. Some Sanskrit words are current in English but spelt differently in the book due their standard pronunciation of Varanasi.
Fig. 1.9 : Zero-gold-medal-zone of Barcelona Olympics, 1992.
1. CANFIELD, J., HANSEN. M.V., AUBERY, P. and MITCHEL, N. 1996: Chicken Soup for the Surviving Soul, 359p. Health Communications Inc., Dearfield Beach, Florida.
2. JAGADISHOMRITYUNJAY. 1997: Science of Consciousness, 275p. Attadhisthanam, Doon Enclave, Vijay Park Extn. Rd, Dehradun -248001.
3. HORGAN, J. 1996: The End of Science, 322 p. Broadway Books, New York.
4. STEMMEN, R. 1984: Ted Serios in Focus, in Strange Talents, p. 34-37, Macdonald and Co., London.
5. INGLIS, B. 1977: Natural and Supernatural, 490p. Hodder and Stoghton, London.
6. SHIKHIREV, P. (Ed.) 1985: A Concise Psychological Dictionary, 358 p. Progress Publishers, Moscow.
7. ROUSSOT, A. 1978: Aspects de la Prehistoire en Aquitaine , 112 p. Musee d’Aquitaine, Bordeaux.
8. MAN, E. H. 1883: Aboriginal Inhabitants of the Andaman Islands, 224 p. (Reprinted, 1975), Sankaran Prakashan, Delhi.
9a, b, c => NOTES & COMMENTS I, II, III; 10 => IV; 11a, b => V, VI; 12a, b => VII, VIII; 13 => IX; 14 => X; 15 =>XI; 16 => XII.
17. IYER, U. S. 2001: Letters, India Today, v. 26, n. 48, p. 8.
18. NOTES & COMMENTS XIII.
19. PENROSE, R. 1989: The Emperor’s New Mind, 466 p. Oxford University Press, New York.
20. JAGADISHOMRITYUNJAY 1982: Brahmasparshah: Eka Vaijnaniki Vicharana (Sanskrit), Surbharati, M. S. University, Vadodara, p. 82-83.
21. BROOERSMITH, P. 1989: Strange Talents, 84 p. Macdonald & Co. Ltd., London.
22. PAWAR, P. 1981: The Politics of Tantra, Mirror, v.20, n. 6, p. 66-67.
23. BRADBURY, W. (Ed.) 1981: Into the Unknown, 352 p. Reader’s Digest Association Inc., Pleasantville, New York.
24. DEUSSEN, P. (1897: German Ed.) BEDEKAR, V.M. AND PALSULE, G. B. (Engl. Trans.) 1980: Sixty Upanishads of the Veda, 995p. Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi.
25. SHAURIE, A. 1980: Hinduism: Essence and Consequence, Imprint, v.20, n. 3, p. 39-107.
26. NIKHILANANDA, S. 1978: Vedantasara of Sadananda, 133 p. Advaita Ashram, Calcutta.
27. ARKLE, W. 1974: A Geography of Consciousness, 240 p. Nevil Spearman, London.
28. GARNETT, W. 1987: The Spring of Consciousness, 42 p. Tabb House, Cornwell.
29. BLAKEMORE, C. and GREENFIELD, S. (Ed) 1987: Mindwaves, 525 p. Basil Blackwell Ltd., New York.
30. HANNAY, A. 1990: Human Consciousness, 241 p. Routledge, New York.
31. MCGIN, C. 1991: The Problems of Consciousness, 216 p. Basil Blackwell Inc., Massachusetts.
32. DENNET, D. C. 1991: Consciousness Explained, 511 p. Allen Lane, The Penguin Press, London.
33. PENROSE, R. 1994: Shadows of the Mind, 457 p. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
34. CALKINS, C. C. (Ed.) 1982: Mysteries of the Unexplained, 319 p. Reader’s Digest Association Inc., Pleasantville, New York.
35. KULIKOVA, I. S. and MSHVENIERADZE, V. V. (Comp. Russian) 1988: Engl. Trans. CRIGHTON, H. C., The Philosophical Conception of Man, 360 p. Progress Publishers, Moscow.
36. WAMBACH, H. 1979: Life Before Life, 212 p. Bantam Books, New York.
37. ABHEDANANDA, S. 1944: Life Beyond Death, 240 p. Ramakrishna Vedanta Math, Calcutta.
38. SIVANANDA, S. 1992: What Becomes of Soul after Death, 208 p. Divine Life Society, Rishikesh.
39. KAVIRAJ, G. 1984: Akhand Mhayog ka Path aur Mrityuvijnan (Hindi), 112 p. Bihar Rashtrabhasha Parishad, Patna.
40. FOX, O. 1962: Astral Projection, 160 p. University Books Inc., New York.
41. SUKHANTAKAR, A. and INAMDAR, A. 1981: Tantra, Mirror, v. 20, n. 6, p. 58 – 65.