The similarity in the teachings of many religions and modern science
Many people of modern day and age tend to criticize our ancestors for being religious and wasting time on such trivial things. But in my opinion, many of the cultures of the past, the spiritually advanced civilizations especially the rishis and saints were the first generation of researchers of the human race. The astrophysicist Carl Sagan clearly explains the knowledge of the rishis in his famous series Cosmos. If one spends a considerable amount of time reading the Vedic scriptures they may begin to wonder how many Nobel prizes each one of the rishi’s/saints would deserve for their selfless service to humankind in terms of science, spirit, and knowledge. The only downside to these scriptures is that they were documented or captured according to the consciousness or level of understanding of those times which our present level of consciousness is unable to interpret. The rishis were the most brilliant of astronomers and physicians to have ever walked on this planet. They have composed such exemplary works in astronomy and works related to medicine (Ayurveda) during a day and age when neither telescopes or microscopes were available. One may begin to wonder how they even managed to discover such intricate details without any advanced tools/instruments? One may even wonder if they managed to discover so many things without any sophisticated tools then imagine the kind of discoveries they would figure out if they lived in today’s day and age? Perhaps, the answer to such questions can be best answered with the below assessment and quotes.
Refer to the below quote from Yajurveda–
“Yatha pinde tatha brahmande, yatha brahmande tatha pinde” which translates to “Although I’m such a pin-head, I’m just like the whole Universe and beyond (Brahman), Or “As is the individual, so is the universe, as is the universe, so is the individual”, Such as “As is the atom, so is the Universe” Or “As is the human body, so is the Cosmic Body” Or “As is the Microcosm, so is the Macrocosm”, Or succinctly put “As Above, So Below”.
Rumi, a Persian Islamic poet also has a similar quote –
“Everything in the universe is within you. Ask all from yourself.”
Christ who was a great Yogi also preaches the same –
“Seek the Kingdom of God First
Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
“Ask, Seek, Find”
“Matthew 7:7,8 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”
Popular science also states, “We are all made of star stuff”– Neil deGrasse Tyson (21st-century astrophysicist). What Neil is teaching today was recited as bedtime stories (see a short clip from the movie Life of Pi below to understand) to every small kid in India while they are growing up and was known to the rishi’s at least 6000 years ago (a conservative estimate by historians).
All religions should ideally preach the same and the best religion is worshiping forces of nature because in the process you are honoring the Universe. The above quotes are just a few simple examples iterating the fact that all religious teachings promoted self-inquiry and knowledge. Of course, during the dark ages, the true essence of spirituality in religious teachings was devoured leading to darkness and dogmatic beliefs. This paved way for the scientific revolution of modern day and age. But one has to keep in mind that the essential seed of this scientific revolution was first planted in the spiritual teaching of self-inquiry. Astrology has a special connection to both spirituality and science. Astrology is nothing but logical astronomy. Astronomy is the foundation of astrology along with mathematics. Astrology belongs to the Samkhya (deals rationally with the dualistic/causal nature of reality) and mimansa (critical investigation) Vedanta school of Sanathana Dharma philosophy.
Astrology and the study of planets along with the deities of Hinduism thus represent the ideal form of worshiping forces of nature and honoring the Cosmos. The idea that we are made of star stuff is definitely true but what one has to also remember is the fact that if we are all nothing but star stuff then isn’t it obvious that our creators, the planets have total control over us? Best explained by gravity! Below are some of the famous laws of science that govern the universe. I like to call it the three laws of karma and nature! Although these laws were known to the Vedic rishis in a divine way and prefaced it several centuries before the modern scientists, I prefer to quote the modern scientists just for the sake of variety in this topic.
1) “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” – Newton’s third law of motion
Good actions will lead to good results and bad actions to severe results. Pretty straightforward concept! This can also be applied to remedial measures if you take the right action to improve your life like charity, healthy diet, mantras etc. you will gain good results instead if you waste away precious life on drugs, booze, bad diet, addictions etc. it will result in painful results.
2) “Energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it only transforms from one form to another”– Law of conservation of energy
One of the basic laws of Physics, conservation of energy, may even explain the concept of Karma and re-birth. Consider an example of a tree that starts as a seed and then grows to give fruits or flowers. This in turn develops a new set of seeds that will fall to the ground and grow into another tree. This concept is very profound as it explains how everything returns to the source energy after completion of its duties and the energy of the universe is conserved. All that occurs is a transfer of energy from one form to another. The cycle repeats itself as if it were stuck in a recurrent loop until the final dissolution of the Cosmos. The same applies to human beings who are just a composition of energetic particles and electromagnetic waves.
3) “Entropy of any system will not decrease other than by increasing the entropy of some other system.” – First law of thermodynamics
This law is extremely useful in understanding the way remedies work. The best use of astrology is self-realization and changing birth-imprinted patterns. This is where remedies play their role. They work based on the above law. For example, say you have seen the weather forecast on the TV and noted that there is a hurricane headed towards your city. Then it is a basic common sense that one has to avoid long-haul journeys, at least find a safe place to live and know where all the evacuation routes are during that period of bad weather. Astrological remedies work on the same basis. In the client’s chart if an astrologer sees some health issues rising up for the future he may advise some specific remedies to avert the major difficulties of that period. So if you follow the remedies in a disciplined and optimistic manner you have already begun to re-shape the future event. Thus in the process of exerting willpower and making a free choice you have modified the future event for the better. To re-phrase, the energy you have exerted to make the desired change will not go wasted as that energy will influence another system like your family members, work-sphere, health, emotional well-being etc. in a positive way taking you one further step closer to liberation.