India’s Wisdom and modern Science

Modern science has come to the conclusion that all is one energy. Long ago, India’s wisdom came to the conclusion that all is one awareness/ consciousness, i.e. the one energy of science ‘knows itself’. It is not inert, not dead. So far, science either does not know about the claim of the Indian rishis or fights shy to investigate it.

Suppose there is a scientist whose theories have always turned out to be right. Other scientists have validated his theories, sometimes after a long time gap and after they had to discard their own theories. Now, this scientist comes up with yet another theory that is different from the theory that the scientific community holds. So far, the scientists have tried, but could not prove their own theory. Would it not be worthwhile to test the theory of that scientist who so far has had an amazing success rate?

Well, this scientist refers to the rishis of ancient India. Most western scientists have never heard of those rishis. They don’t know what they had postulated and it may also not interest them as science has made amazing progress in the last century and theories that are several thousand years old have no role to play today. Or have they? Most scientists are engaged in tedious work in their labs. Their field of research is highly specialized and path breaking technology has come out of it. Yet there are also scientists who look at the big picture, who, like Einstein or Hawking, want to find the explanation for everything in this universe, a unified theory. They try to push the frontiers of knowledge to reach the absolute. It has eluded them so far.

Maybe they should turn for inspiration to the Indian rishis whose track record is amazing. Thousands of years ago they had claimed that the age of our present (according to them it is not the first) universe is mind boggling, whereas the west maintained till a few hundreds years ago, that it was created only around 4000 BC. They knew that the earth orbits the sun and not the other way round – a fact that also only a few hundred years ago came to be known in the west. The Rishis knew that there are many suns, that atoms make up matter and at the same time, that the whole universe is one, that this world is maya, an appearance or superimposition on that what is really true, like a pot on mud or a bangle on gold – not really true, only relatively true. They even knew that the best symbol for the Whole is a lingam. Does it surprise that the ‘big picture of the entire universe’ which was released by the Max Planck Institute has an oval shape?

All this and much more has turned out to be correct, even though some insights, for example ‘the world is maya’ had actually been ridiculed in the west, till modern science, too, came to the conclusion that nothing is as it appears to be. Science has reached a point where ultimately nothing can be said with certainty, where, so to speak, matter contains no matter. On the relative realm and in our perception, an apple is still an apple and still falls to the ground. Yet if one inquires into what the apple truly is one ends up with nothing in one’s hand, as it were. Not even the hand is there as a hand. In short: The senses deceive. Truth is something else.

Now, here is the point where ancient India could help science to make a decisive step or rather, a decisive turnaround towards finding the truth. Nuclear physics has come to the conclusion that all is one energy. This insight was hailed as coming together of ‘ancient wisdom and modern science’ at international conferences already over 30 years ago. India’s wisdom says: all is one and modern science says: all is one. Yet there is still a big difference and it may be frustrating for some individual scientists who are ready to bridge this gap, yet the scientific community as a whole is opposed to it.

The difference is this: Rishis claim that this one energy is aware or conscious of itself. Awareness means knowing, being alive. Whatever seems to exist, comes out of one, absolute awareness. It follows that the universe is alive. There is a presence present in it and this one presence appears as many and expresses itself for example through the human brains. The brain can be seen as the adequate instrument to manifest pure, thought free awareness as thoughts, feelings, memory, imagination, etc., like a light bulb manifests electricity as light. The bulb does not generate electricity, nor does the brain generate awareness.

Here mainstream science refuses to go along. It holds that the energy that is making up our universe is ‘dead’. It does not know itself. Yet there is also the obvious fact that humans on earth are aware and science declares this awareness as being produced by the brain. According to modern science, it developed sort of accidentally as a by-product of chemical activity in inert brain cells. If one manipulates the brain cells, the human mind undergoes changes.Tthis fact is considered as vindication of their theory. Yet, does not the light look red, if one paints the light bulb red? The output changes if the equipment is manipulated but the input, the electricity, is the same.

Science further holds that conditions have to be agreeable for this awareness by-product to happen and these favourable conditions are extremely rare, but on our earth these conditions were just right and life and awareness had a chance to develop from matter. These conditions may also be there in some other planets among the billions of planets in space. Otherwise, the universe is inert, dead, and chance and time are ruling it. There is no knowledge of what is happening in the cosmos apart from those few exceptions, like on our earth. As a natural consequence of this theory, human awareness dies when the brain dies – like a flicker of light that dies with the firefly. Awareness does not find a place in equations that try to explain cosmic laws.

There may be two reasons why western scientists avoid giving a place to awareness. One, in the west, the Church had been the sole keeper of the ‘truth’ and had severely crippled scientific ventures for over thousand years. Only a few hundred years ago and with great difficulty, men of great courage had overcome the oppressive hold of the Church. Ever since, science not only ignores religion, but is opposed to it because, in the west ‘religion’ promotes as the ‘Highest Truth’ a personal god, who watches over all humans and loves some and hates others. This of course is anathema to scientists. Almost with a vengeance, they are out to prove that there is no god and terms like awareness or intelligence might bring in god through the back door.

There is another reason why scientists overlook awareness, even though, if they only would look, it stares them into the face or rather, out of the face. Awareness cannot be objectified, because it is the subject. Traditionally, science was focussed on objects, i.e. on the observed. Only lately it had to include the observer after it became evident that the observer influences the observed. Yet it treats the observer basically as just another object. The scientist does not dive into his own living awareness to find out about the observer, but places the ‘observing system’ in one line with the objects under observation. He does not realise that his subjective, living awareness is a completely different category and requires an inner exploration.

For anyone who is interested in finding out the truth, and scientists certainly are, the most obvious and crucial factor in any research, the living intelligence that can be felt by anyone and without which there would be no scientific research at all, surely cannot be done away with the improvable assumption that it is a sort of secretion of the inert brain. That would be unscientific, more so, since there is vast literature regarding awareness/ consciousness in India.

This literature gives valuable clues. For example the scriptures have two major terms – Atman and Brahman. Atman refers to the seemingly individualised awareness (often translated as ‘Self’) and Brahman to the infinite, absolute awareness. Brahman cannot be spoken or thought of, the scriptures claim. Brahman is that by which thoughts and speech are made possible. It is the independent, absolute truth that eludes objectification, as it is the one subject. Brahman alone is the truth, is stated.

Now if we look at Atman, we are on more familiar ground. It shows up as the capacity to know and feel and this capacity is right within us. It is what makes us feel alive right now. The scriptures have analysed our inner make up in great detail. There are efforts on to compile this knowledge into textbooks and teach it in psychology courses at university level.

Coming back to the big picture, there are intriguing statements in the Vedas. They are called Mahavakyas, the great utterances. Those claim that “this Atman is Brahman” or “You are That”. It means that our own, individual awareness or self is basically the great, all pervading Brahman. Atman and Brahman are one. It means further, the great one Brahman is right here. How can that be? Is our human awareness not rather ordinary? It is my direct experience that I am Maria, and certainly not Brahman, isn’t it? On the other hand, it is also my direct experience that the world is real and it has been proven to be illusory. Could this feeling that I am Maria also be illusionary? It would need an enquiry.

“Who am I?” is the big and ultimate question in Indian philosophy. Its answer may throw up the unified theory and more worthwhile, fulfilment. Yet the answer cannot be put into research papers. The scientist needs to turn around and dive deep within, beyond the thoughts and feelings right down to the pure, thoughtless awareness.

The Indian scriptures offer another approach: Everything in the universe according to them has five ‘components’. The first two, i.e. name and form, are changing. They belong to the world of maya. Yet beneath those two, there is Satchitananda: sat = being, chit = awareness, ananda = bliss. Those three are basically one and unchanging. Science takes note only of name and form and of sat (being). Something is there. Yet chit, the awareness aspect and ananda, the bliss that comes with awareness, are missing.

Modern science presents us with a rather bleak scenario, where there is basically no meaning in living, all is chance and with the death of the body everything is finished. It is still the in-thing to believe among the so called intellectual elite in the west. The bleakness is not so much due to the fact that science considers the human mind as just a temporary flicker. Even the Indian rishis consider the mind as just thoughts, modifications in pure awareness that are ultimately as unreal as the solidity in matter. The bleakness is rather due to the fact that scientists don’t figure in the big (the word Brahman comes from big, expanding) living, blissful Presence, Intelligence, Awareness, Absolute or whatever name we want to give to the Unnameable.

The rishis claim that it is here, right beneath the individual awareness full of thoughts and feelings that prevent the experience of the underlying pure awareness. They encourage stilling thoughts with the help of meditation. When thoughts are stilled, it will become obvious that there is no separate individual awareness. Brahman is all there is.

In all likelihood, the rishis have the deeper insights. The Chandogya Upanishad describes how the sage Uddalaka prodded his son Svetaketu to know “That by knowing which everything is known” and how he helped him along with valuable questions and metaphors. Today, scientists like Hawking, also search for ‘That by knowing which everything is known’ but they still have a blind spot. They don’t search where it is to be found: Within their own awareness. Eventually, they may realise that the rishis were right, but before this happens, they will have to learn to ‘look’ or rather ‘sink’ inside. Then, sacredness and wonder might overwhelm them: What a miracle! I am and know that I am – spread out all over, immortal!


by Maria Wirth



  1. suresh maheshwari · · Reply

    It is so amazing that Maria Wirth knows so much about India’s scriptures and spiritual knowledge.
    I think she can teach Anti-Hindus Hindus and Anti-India Residents.
    We Indians need to learn from her.
    suresh maheshwari

  2. v.c.krishnan · · Reply

    Why only anti hindus and anti indian residents. She can contribute by talking to the Indian and hindu who does not know the value of what he has.

  3. Subhash S. Phadke · · Reply

    Another excellent thought provoking article from Maria. Instead of blindly eulogizing everything Western and condemning everything Hindu or ancient Indian; one should seriously study the scriptures, especially the Upanishads. The social media is used mostly to share jokes and photographs rather than serious thoughts and discussions. Those Indians who have access to social media should use it for sharing the nuggets of truth hidden in our old scriptures with a new and objective perspective. It is better than giving empty slogans like ‘garva se kaho hum HIndu hai’

  4. Maria Lozano · · Reply

    BRAVO!!! Wow, Maria….you took me into the clear crystal reasoning you make and I started flowing on it. I finished the reading with tears in my eyes. Thank you.

  5. Dr. P. Mukherjee · · Reply

    Dear madam Maria, this is Dr.P Mukherjee from India. First of all, thanks for the excellent article. I am into these for a long time, and recently I came into reading the book “Code name God” by Dr. Mani Bhowmik. He is a scientist, and he tried to prove that this universe(he does not yet acknowledge that there are others) has consciousness. It tried to catch a glimpse of Brahman, and he dug it up to “Chit” and thinks this awareness is Brahman, which of course is far from the truth. But the step is progressive, and maybe later it would help the scientists get to the truth.

  6. I Menon · · Reply

    I’m so glad that you got the gist of almost all that Sanatana Dharma tries to teach one and all universally without discrimination, discretion and any reservations.
    Very comprehensive presentation without any ambiguity.

    Now, I would not dare to explain what and what not Dharma is, because you have it all, including a great insight and understanding of scientific discoveries. at subatomic levels. Maybe I will take lessons from you.

  7. Bharat Gohil · · Reply

    Excellent article. I just wish that the reference is made to Hindu Wisdom because name India is only 400 years old and that was given by the inavders of this sacred land that was called Bharatdesh in Vedic times. Later Mughal invaders called it Hindustan and then Britishers called it India. The identity of Bharatdesh is changed by the invaders and so is the history of this greatest land on the Planet Earth. Thank you.

  8. Maria,
    This article is great. I would like to add another concept of Hindu philosophy here. That is the concept of ‘shunya’ or zero. In science, we can not imagine anything today without it.
    One point I would rather argue that western scientists did not know about it. Please see this related youtube post what Oppenheimer said after testing of the nuclear bomb.

    Also, you can see the number of comments here compared to your some other recent posts (on Indian secularism). Because, these things are slightly difficult for common people to understand. Also, you can see some comments about Hindu Anti-Hindu. Do you think they have understood your points properly?

  9. […] As the ancient Rishis were on target on these issues, their other statements may well also be correct or at least worthy of being taken seriously. Please see in this context my article on India’s wisdom and modern science: […]

  10. […] As the ancient Rishis were on target on these issues, their other statements may well also be correct or at least worthy of being taken seriously. Please see in this context my article on India’s wisdom and modern science: […]

  11. […] As the ancient Rishis were on target on these issues, their other statements may well also be correct or at least worthy of being taken seriously. Please see in this context my article on India’s wisdom and modern science: […]

  12. k.mohan · · Reply

    it is great that somuch intution has played to you which we are suffering to give out with bountiful knowledge accumulated let us join to achieve the ends k.mohan msc(ag)pgdee,caiib,mba,(Ph.D)

  13. […] being taken seriously. Please see in this context my article on India’s wisdom and modern science: China is not hesitating to extract what it can from its ancient knowledge, and why not? A major […]

  14. v ckrishnan · · Reply

    Please do not take these criticisms seriously; They come from putrid minds which do not have the capabilities of understanding knowledge. They live on the periphery and are like the CHATTERRATTIES who come on the daily talk shows of the news. If The Mahatma had not realised who he was by reading the Gita we would be slaves jsust as these minds still are. There are greater things to be done and than being sde lined by these comments. Ms. Wirth we all know about your contribution so continue on the path.

    On 05-01-2015, via wrote:

    > Mitash commented: “All Indian reshi’s are like “Rapist Asaram and Ram Pal”. It is easy to claim evry thing by lies. Indians were hungry untill Mandel discovered food for them, So India (BJP) is spreading myths in the world.” > >

  15. Your knowledge of Hinduism is incredibly deep-much more than that of most Hindus! Appreciate your views immensely! A big thank you!

  16. Thanks Maria. There are still numerous unsung scholars in India, who know what you have written and much more, but cannot relate to an English-educated audience. Hope your article will be an eye-opener for them. The point is not how advanced were the ancient Indian Seers’ thoughts but the fact they were forerunners in various aspects, when the modern west was still evolving.

    1. fully agree that a lot of knowledge is among Hindus who are not fluent in English which is – fortunately in my view – the great majority. And why should they be fluent? wished this gap between between the English educated and Sanskrit pandits would close.
      why prop up western Indologist instead of genuine Hindus who have done sadhana? If texts need to be translated into English, a translator can be used, like it happens in Europe or in China, where even academics are not fluent in English.

  17. Reblogged this on Posts of Interest ! and commented:
    Kudos to Maria Wirth on her expondung knowledge on Indian Scriptures and her analysis.

  18. “So far, science either does not know about the claim of the Indian rishis or fights shy to investigate it” DO NOT AGREE WITH THIS STATEMENT and the whole article seems to revolve around this blind assumption. It is like giving a free pass to western scientists and say that they discovered science and laws of nature on their own since 16th century starting from Copernicus – WHICH IS NOT TRUE.

    1. Why the west did not discover any science or laws of nature before 16th century or before coming into contact with Hindu civilization (present day India)? If someone says it is because Christianity was against science which led to so called Dark ages for 1000 yrs. Then we have to ask ourselves the next question

    2. Well, then why the west did not discover any science or laws of nature before Christianity became a major religion in Europe (before 400 AD)? If someone says that Greeks had discovered science – SORRY- It is well known that Greeks studied math, philosophy and science in India and took them back to Greece and put their names under them- But Greeks blindly copied whatever discovered by Hindu/vedic Maharishis and they did not how laws of nature were discovered by Hindus. (We all know the power of consciousness philosophy which Hindu/vedic maharishis followed)

    3. Back to 16th century or starting of colonial presence in Hindu civilization or present day India. From Copernicus to Albert Einstein – it is obvious that they all had access to Vedas. Herman Gundert (a German evangelist) translated vedic texts from malayalam from Kerala school of Astronomy and mathematics in the name translating bible to malayalam. Newton also got his Calculus and laws of motion and gravitation theories in the form of Hindu/vedic philosophies from Kerala school of astronomy and mathematics in the 16th/17th century via Jesuit missionaries. It was acknowledged by British mathematicians (even though reluctantly) in 2007 (an article appeared on CBC.CA dated August 2007).

    4. German Quantum physicists also had access to Vedas . After watching Double split experiment all quantum physicists from Erwin schrodinger to Albert Einstein wanted to be cremated like Hindus (after understanding the power of consciousness philosophy discovered by Hindu/vedic maharishis)

    5. Some quotes by German Quantum physicists on Vedas

    Erwin Schrodinger’s biographer 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 naïve–and will NOT understand Quantum theory and consciousness.

    Albert Einstein on Vedas

    ” When I read Baghavath Gita and reflect about how God created this universe, everything else seems superfluous (Un-necessary). I’ve made the vedas as the main source of information and guide for the purpose for the scientific investigations and formation of my theories”

    For eg Space time dilation concept Einstein copied from Mahabaratha’s allegories can be even seen in hollywood movies like Interstellar

    Conclusion – Without reaching higher levels of consciousness (which Hindu/vedic maharishis reached) through deep meditation and yoga, it is impossible to discover laws of nature and science which came out of it through the fractal mindset of brilliant hindu mathematicians, astronomers, surgeons, metallurgists, chemists etc. As far as claims by so called modern scientists that they discovered by so called “intuition” is a BIG LIE. In other words, modern scientists just blindly copied hindu/vedic philosophies and allegories and tried to prove them mathematically (again math from 0 to calculus discovered by Hindus of India)

  19. A lot of unfortunate events can be attributed to mistranslations of Sanskrit text. These incorrect translations have, at times, arisen out of carelessness. At other times, they have been intentional. The primary culprit, however, is the very notion that translations are always possible. No they are not. Communication rests on a commonality of fundamental notions. If two languages have nothing common in terms of their underlying grammar and philosophical outlook, then there cannot be an accurate translation of anything more serious than entertaining stories.

    Why am I suddenly going on a rant about mistranslation? Because of one word, “God”. There are thousands, and perhaps hundreds of thousands, of instances where the Sanskrit word “devataa” has been translated as “God”. Based on my readings, I blame this one mistake (intentional or otherwise) to have given birth to the whole notion of Sanskrit texts being in the realm of mythology.

    So what is “devataa”? The root is “dyotanam”, which may be translated as oscillation or vibration. Devataa literally means “that which oscillates/vibrates”. The same word is also, understandably, the root for the word “dyuti” (light), “dwaita” (duality), and so on. The texts were never, ever talking about an anthropomorphic superhuman controlling and regulating the universe. They were talking about energy. That is why every action has its own “devataa”, every creature has its own “devataa”, and so on.

    P.S. I used “grammar and philosophical outlook” while raising a linguistic issue because, for Paninian grammar, they are the same. The semantics of the language IS the philosophy. There is nothing else in this world that comes close to this elegant framework of language. I remember the day I first realized this. Quite literally, I spent the day in a blissful delirium! You know how there are different paths leading to the truth: bhakti yoga, karma yoga, etc.? I am convinced bhaasha-yoga is a viable path … sorry, that was my blissful delirium speaking again … it’s probably a sub-path of gnaana-yoga and/or naada-yoga.

  20. Very lambi.. will get migraine headache. so not reading it.
    Can you try to be very short ?

    1. Harim yes, concentration span in our times very short…. Read the latter part of article on India’s wisdom.

      somehow i get the feeling that the extreme restlessness on Indian TV channels is not good for the brain. i discovered subliminal messages twice: once “kill it” written in a circle at the bottom right corner, and once a hand holding a pistol firing a shot across the screen on newsx during the sandelwood smugglers debate. it was so fast that i had literally to lay in wait for the next pop up.
      Would be good if a study would be done.

  21. this article can be preface to vedanta.

  22. Beautiful. Why don’t you start posting these as your blog posts on Quora? You can reach a wider Indian audience on Quora

    1. how do i do it? i thought i can only answer questions on quora… am not very computer savy and not patient enough to learn more about it.
      did you see my content list (the questions i answered so far) on quora?

  23. Maria, it’s really exciting and thrilling to know that you know about India in such a broad extent .We all are deeply indulged in worldly pleasures assuming them to be real , indeed it is hard to believe that we are living in a illusion, really really hard and seems to be impossible to come out of this dream . But God has given solution to each and every problem and question raised by human being, he sent some special souls , we can say xerox of him and they are called Saints. And India is so blessed to have long history of many Saints who came only for us and they came and never went, they are still alive in our thoughts , feelings and prayers ,whenever we pray them there presence can easily be felt. I read your blog on devrah baba and really liked it. One more Saint was there better to say he is still alive and his name is Sai baba of Shirdi. And for me he is God because he is not different from God in every aspect. He always said god is one, and to spread equality in people of various religion he used to celebrate every festival of each religion. Om Sai Ram

  24. I need to read this agn & agn. will give commends later

  25. Amarendra K Pandey · · Reply

    Thanks for a very enlightening article. I have tried to find an answer to the “thoughtless awareness” through some commonplace experience.
    It is like this. If a person goes to a place of scenic beauty, he says he enjoyed the place. But same place in different scenarios (like a severe headache or in the midst of a news of some dear one’s accident or so) may not be enjoyable.
    What makes the difference?
    I think in the first scenario he experienced thoughtless awareness and consequently experienced blissful joy (Anand) which he could not in other scenarios.
    Within our daily lives we can forget our worldly self by caring about others as much as we care for ourselves (love thy neighbor as thyself) and experience the Anand (bliss).
    Hopefully I am on the right logical track!?

  26. Most of the people blindly talking against Hinduism. Its very interesting. Jai Hind

  27. Are you sure that the Indian rishis thought that the ulitmate one energy is aware and conscious. I would think that this energy is “not-conscious,” endless, spontaneous, neutral, with no end and no beginning. I would think probably, its the sub energies that form part of this ultimate energy that are conscious, have specific goals, interests, and are finite, with an end and a beginning (which are constant ends and beginnings) that don’t effect the larger ultimate energy.

    1. best description for Brahman is Sat-Chit-Ananda…

  28. neeraj jain · · Reply

    i am not well versed in these matters, but while telling somebody about copernicus propounding the heliocentric theory, he stumped me by asking me whether ancient indian civilisation had not concluded this much earlier? can somebody enlighten me as to where is the heliocentric theory propounded (ie earth revolves around the sun).

    1. in Rigveda 10.22.14,
      also beware of a webside called ‘truthaboutHinduism.’ whihc ususally shows up first and is written by one Suleiman Razvi to expose ‘scientific errors in Vedas”…
      check this
      10.22.14 is translated

  29. wonderful truly wonderful

  30. […] Source: India’s Wisdom and modern Science […]

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