Spirituality and Prayer
Pi-Day Reflections on Einstein and Vedanta
by Rajiv Bhole
A circle symbolizes anything that is periodic or cyclic, as in the circle of birth and death. The law of relativity or e=mc2 is a mathematical way of saying that energy e is proportionate to the mass m with the square of the velocity of light c2 as a constant. Alvares won the Nobel prize for creating a bubble chamber at the University of Berkeley and showing us that mass is constantly being converted to energy and back again 1,023 or c2 times every second, thus physically validating Einstein’s law of relativity. This is Truth at the subtlest level in all physical compounded matter.
The Buddha arrived at the same Truth. He says in the Tipitika that we are made up of tiny particles or kalapas. There being 43,000 such particles in a dust particle under the chariot wheel. In the blink of an eye trillions upon trillions of these kalapas arise and pass away. It was this Truth or law that the rishis and sages of ancient India were trying to discover, so that by following it they would reach their goal, get liberated and be supremely happy. At the gross level they found that “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction”. This was the law of karma. We are born rich or poor, healthy or unhealthy because of our actions in previous rounds of birth and death. If we perform wholesome actions we are rewarded; if not, we’re punished, so to speak.
Since we all carry the conditioning or seeds of our past karmas, the rishis started experimenting on how to eradicate them. The body and mind was their laboratory and tool. Diligently sharpening their mind with meditation and searching within their own body they discovered that the root of all our actions lay in our own body. They found that the outer world becomes a reality for us only when it comes in contact with our sense doors. Then in our body starts a flow of aasavas or biochemical flow which produces pleasant or unpleasant sensations all over the body. Being unaware (moha) of them we react with craving (lobha) or aversion (dwesha) to these sensations. This reaction increases the biochemical flow, thus increasing the intensity of our feelings and sensations and causing us to react.
Having identified the root of human action, rishi-munis observed sensations without reacting to them with craving or aversion and found themselves getting liberated from seeds of past actions and started feeling subtler sensations till they could feel a free flow of sensations from head to toe. This was the dharmganga that we have to take a dip in to get liberated. When we eradicate all our past karmas we experience e=mc2 in our body and experience the amrit, deathless state of nirvana where nothing arises or dies.
This science of liberation of ancient India is called Vipassana available to us even today. May all beings be Happy.
Source: Times of India
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