A worldwide teacher of timeless Vedic wisdom, Devamrta Swami is a Yale graduate whose ability to share spiritual wisdom is immediate and profound
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The exactitude of physical arrangements in the universe awes contemporary thinkers. To uneducated eyes, the properties of the universe and their interactions may appear arbitrary. But scientists know that the constants of the cosmos reveal an eerie precision that is quite startling. What we take as incidental conditions just happen to be minutely right for life.
Just consider what are deemed the four fundamental forces of nature: electromagnetism, gravity, and the strong and weak forces in the atom. Scientists are sure that any slight variance in them would render the universe - as we know it - impossible.
In the Vedic universe, just as variables of matter are micro-adjusted to a wondrous precision, so the reactions to consciousness are also minutely calibrated. The Vedic vision acknowledges a universal law of justice, exactly balancing the actions of consciousness with their consequences. Hence we should not anguish over why bad things happen to good people, or good things happen to the bad.
The sages of the Vedas urge wise persons to verse themselves in what is appropriate and inappropriate action - not according to their own intuition, but in line with the authorized texts of universal law. Consciousness is both causal and accountable.
We might consider: If the movements of matter in the environment cause such precise reactions, what about the movements of the most crucial ingredient in the ecosystem-consciousness? What are the natural reactions to the proper and improper use of consciousness? Who are the scholars who have catalogued the consequences of consciousness in its affair with matter? Where is the knowledge system to inform and guide us about the whole of existence, not merely the inert, insignificant energy of matter?
The Vedas hold that consciousness indicates the presence of the superior, spiritual energy. Therefore, without denying the implications brought on by the reactions of the inferior, material energy, the Vedic vision sees the actions and reactions of consciousness as paramount.
The Vedas certainly do not deny the field of material reaction; rather, they simply urge us to concentrate our major attention on the spiritual energy. Without contact with spirit, matter is inactive. Therefore spirit matters most, and the pollution of consciousness is recognized as the deadliest environmental problem.
From the Vedic perspective, just the concession that modern brains have endowed matter with inconceivable mystic potencies is a great step forward. The world can only benefit from a fair comparison between the two metaphysical views: modern materialistic science and the ancient spiritualistic science of the Vedas. Then we would probably want to consider: Where's the best bet?
Should we passionately throw all our support behind inanimate matter, or should we calmly investigate a hunch that consciousness - completely resistant to material dissection - may signal the reality of a spiritual energy, with its own appropriate laws of nature?
The Vedic literature reminds us of the havoc we bring down upon ourselves by not seeing the whole picture of the cosmos. This cosmic entirety includes consciousness and its laws. Without knowing the Complete Whole, all our best efforts at compassion, love, and humanitarianism are rendered utterly inadequate.
The Vedic literature says we need knowledge - full comprehension of the complete scene we call life and universe. Otherwise, our response - based on limited and incomplete knowledge of the cosmos - will actually harm, not help. Real human life is described as a quest for all-inclusive knowledge, a ready acquaintance with all the factors at work in the biosphere or the cosmos. Like the grand movements of underlying tectonic plates, the consciousness laws of nature - though we are oblivious to them - produce monumental effects.
Today's pundits put forth “laws of nature”. In this way they acquiesce to the reality of something ultimate ordering cosmic phenomena. But if we moderns cannot vault over the chasm between physical processes and consciousness, we will find that same insurmountable gap frustrating our versions of the “laws of nature.”
Eluding our attempts to discern overarching laws regulating everything in the universe, consciousness roams on its own - unexplained and unaccounted for.
The Vedas firmly tie consciousness to a spiritual energy, emanating from the Supreme. Tracking consciousness to its source in this way opens up an exciting realm of transcendental knowledge and experience. The ultimate causative principle that underlies reality is presented as a singular yet infinite self-conscious being, Krishna.
Full of limitless knowledge, pleasure, and potency, Krishna emanates matter, as well as minuscule subjective selves. These tiny, finite selves - in minute quantity - possess the same self-conscious, spiritual nature as the unlimited Krishna.
Decades ago, the Nobel Laureate and patriarch of modern physics Niels Bohr concluded:
“We can admittedly find nothing in physics or chemistry that has even a remote bearing on consciousness. Yet all of us know that there is such a thing as consciousness. Simply because we have it ourselves. Hence consciousness must be part of nature or, more generally, of reality, which means that, quite apart from the laws of physics and chemistry as laid down in quantum theory, we must also consider laws of quite a different kind.”