Why do Yoga?


#41

Yep, and science is basically systematic knowledge based on a valid means of knowledge. That is exactly what the Samkhya-Yoga system is, a systematic knowledge based on a valid means of knowledge(perception and inference) Yoga is based on direct perception(directly witnessing)

It is clear for anybody to know that every subject of study in the Indian tradition is treated like a science, a systematic knowledge, including the subject of god.

What I am making clear to you is that no divide between science and religion exists in the Indian tradition, because this divide only exists in the West and was born out of politics. This issue never arose in the Indian tradition.

More nonsense, if you had actually bothered to read a few books before posting your personal fantasies on forums, you would know that the concept of country and states were already present in ancient India.

This is absolute nonsense and anybody who reads the history of India will know this. India, like most parts of the world, was made of up hundreds of different kingdoms, fighting with each other. At some points in its history huge empires arose that united into a single political entity, like the Mauryan empire; Mughal empire and then the British empire. However, the modern nation state of India has never existed until now.

Nationalistic ideas was already present in Sanskrit literature long before modern Indian nationalism developed, if you had actually taken the time to study Sanskrit literature you would have known this.

Then why don’t you enlighten us all and cite these Sanskrit texts. No good just telling us these ideas exist, show us. I highly doubt your statement, because as the nation state of India did not exist, how could nationalism exist? :smiley:

Again, you are putting words in my mouth. I am very interested in the science and philosophy of Hinduism, but I am not a reductionist like yourself who tries to limit the entire vedic tradition to pop psychology and philosophy.

Pop psychology is just a pejorative term. I am not talking pop psychology here, but academic psychology. You can pick up any academic text book and you will see that yourself. You use the same pejorative term Neo-Vedanta to describe my knowledge in Vedanta, despite my knowledge being based directly on traditional Shankara tradition and reading the traditional canon of Vedanta texts.

You are too attached to the degenerate Puranic tradition that emerged later and the myths, gods and goddesses it produced. For you Hinduism is about Krishna, Shiva and Durga - all mythological beings.

I, on the other hand, follow the authentic Hinduism that flourished from the Upanishads i.e., the Jnana kanda. The Karma kanda died a long time ago. The seers of the Upaishads never approved of the rituals and would never have approved of the superstitious and childish garbage of the Puranas.


#42

Then why don’t you enlighten us all and cite these Sanskrit texts. No good just telling us these ideas exist, show us. I highly doubt your statement, because as the nation state of India did not exist, how could nationalism exist?

I am not your personal assistent. I can cite texts, but I am not going to waste my time here feeding milk to snakes. You consider yourself such a big scholar, but you are unware of very basic things in Sanskrit literature.


#43

I can cite texts, but I won’t since I do not feed milk to snakes.

Except at the altar of the snake god :wink:


#44

So, as promised, a post on the subject of transpersonal psychology. I am not going writer anything up this time, rather I am going to wiki the information:

Transpersonal psychology is considered an actual approach in psychology and actually has a long history. Sarva seems to be under the impression that it was invented by Ken Wilber(who is considered a major current scholar in the area) but actually transpersonal psychology stands at the beginning of the history of psychology itself. Major proponents have been pioneering psychologists like Jung, William James, Maslow.

A short definition from the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology suggests that transpersonal psychology “is concerned with the study of humanity’s highest potential, and with the recognition, understanding, and realization of unitive, spiritual, and transcendent states of consciousness” [1]. Issues considered in transpersonal psychology include spiritual self-development, self beyond the ego, peak experiences, mystical experiences, systemic trance and other sublime and/or unusually expanded experiences of living.

History:

Caplan (2009: p. 231) conveys the genesis of the discipline, states its mandate and ventures a definition:
Although transpersonal psychology is relatively new as a formal discipline, beginning with the publication of The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology in 1969 and the founding of the Association for Transpersonal Psychology in 1971, it draws upon ancient mystical knowledge that comes from multiple traditions. Transpersonal psychologists attempt to integrate timeless wisdom with modern Western psychology and translate spiritual principles into scientifically grounded, contemporary language. Transpersonal psychology addresses the full spectrum of human psychospiritual development – from our deepest wounds and needs, to the existential crisis of the human being, to the most transcendent capacities of our consciousness.

Amongst the thinkers who are held to have set the stage for transpersonal studies are William James, Carl Jung, Otto Rank, Abraham Maslow, and Roberto Assagioli [7]. Research by Vich [8] suggests that the earliest usage of the term “transpersonal” can be found in lecture notes which William James had prepared for a semester at Harvard University in 1905-6. Another important figure in the establishment of transpersonal psychology was Abraham Maslow. Maslow had already published work regarding human peak experiences, and was one of the people, together with Stanislav Grof and Viktor Frankl, who suggested the term “transpersonal” for the emerging field. Gradually, during the 1960s, the term “transpersonal” was associated with a distinct school of psychology within the humanistic psychology movement.[9]
In 1969, Abraham Maslow, Stanislav Grof and Anthony Sutich were among the initiators behind the publication of the first issue of the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, the leading academic journal in the field.[10] This was soon to be followed by the founding of the Association for Transpersonal Psychology (ATP) in 1972.

Recognition:

Although the majority of mainstream psychology departments, as part of their curriculum, rarely offer training programs in transpersonal issues and practices [12], Transpersonal perspectives are starting to be applied to such diverse fields as psychology, psychiatry, anthropology, sociology, pharmacology [13] and social work theory [14]. Transpersonal therapies are also included in many therapeutic practices. Currently, transpersonal psychology, especially the schools of Jungian and Archetypal psychology, is integrated, at least to some extent, into many psychology departments in American and European Universities. Institutions of higher learning that have adopted insights from transpersonal psychology include The Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (US), California Institute of Integral Studies (US), John F. Kennedy University (US), Saybrook University (US), University of West Georgia (US), Atlantic University (US), Burlington College (US), Essex University (UK), Liverpool John Moores University (UK), the University of Northampton (UK), Leeds Metropolitan University (UK), Naropa University (Colorado), Pacifica Graduate Institute (CA), and Southwestern College (NM). There is also a strong connection between the transpersonal and the humanistic approaches to psychology. This is not surprising since transpersonal psychology started off within humanistic psychology [15]. In 1996 the British Psychological Society (the UK professional body equivalent to the APA) established a Transpersonal Psychology Section. It was co-founded by David Fontana, Ingrid Slack and Martin Treacy, and was according to Fontana [16] “the first Section of its kind in a Western scientific society”.

[B]Areas of research:[/B]

The transpersonal perspective spans many research interests. The following list is adapted from the Textbook of Transpersonal Psychiatry and Psychology [26] and includes:

The contributions of spiritual traditions - Hinduism, Yoga, Buddhism, Vajrayana, Zen, Taoism, Tantra, Shamanism, Kabbalah, Sufism, Spiritism and Christian mysticism - to psychiatry and psychology
Native American healing
Aging and adult spiritual development
Meditation research and clinical aspects of meditation
Consciousness studies and research
Psychedelics, Ethnopharmacology, and Psychopharmacology
Parapsychology
Cross-cultural studies and Anthropology
Diagnosis of Religious and Spiritual Problems
Offensive spirituality and spiritual defenses
The treatment of former members of cults
Transpersonal Psychotherapy
Music therapy
Addiction and recovery
Guided-Imagery and Visualization Therapy
Guided Imagery and Music
Breathwork
Dying and near death experience (NDE)
Past-Life therapy
Ecological survival
Social change
out-of-body experience


#45

You would rather see Hinduism as the worship of rocks, snakes and monkeys, than for its high philosophy and science.

If one does not understand idol worship as a means of reaching out to God/Supreme Atma, then one will criticize idol-worship.
Most Indians, until recent times, are not literate. They do not understand scriptures/vedanta/yoga…etc. The only way for them to be spiritual, is to worship stone Gods and perform rituals. Unless, one lives in Inida, one can not grasp/appreciate the good/bad part of idol worship.
Hinduism has many, many Gods in the form of rocks, snakes, monkeys, bulls, rats, peacocks, cows, birds etc.
You can ask questions like why that is so? Answer is that one need to see God in all of God’s creation.
To people who do not live/visited in India, my request is that, do not pass judgement just based on your half-baked knowledge…!!


#46

So Sarva, a devout religious man who feeds milk to statues of monkeys and snakes, and performs bizarre rituals to the mother goddess, Krishna considers a valid approach(transpersonal psychology) in modern psychology voodoo? Hilarious!!!

As the article above shows transpersonal psychology is definitely a legitimate and recognized approach within psychology. It is recognized by the official bodies of psychology in America and the England. It is taught as part of many psychology degree courses at several universities in America and Europe, and increasingly in other pats of the world. Major pioneering psychologists have endorsed it and done research in the area.

This is why I said Sarva’s view should not be taken seriously, because they are religious bigotry. What is ironic he is opposing a valid academic discipline that actually supports research into Yoga and Hinduism. The reason he opposes it, is because because Sarva does not like the universalist philosophy of transpersonal psychology, that Hinduism is just one of many traditions that has discovered some common truths of about the human condition, mind and consciousness. It undermines the specialness of Hinduism, subsuming it under the wider universal discipline of science. As Sarva wears Hinduism like a badge of national pride, that is why he is pissed off. It is because of Hindus like Sarva that I am no longer Hindu.


#47

[QUOTE=Surya Deva;72029]So, as promised, a post on the subject of transpersonal psychology. bla bla bla[/QUOTE]

I was not under the impression that transpersonal psychology was invented by Ken Wilber, I was only giving another example of non scientific theorisations that are rampant in this field. Here is another instance of you trying to put words in my mouth. Jung and the likes were not scientists by any means. You have not given any evidence that transpersonal psychology is based on the scientific method. In fact, transpersonal psychology is another belief system based on the perennial philosophy. Even Christian theology is taught in universities, that doesn’t mean Christianity is based on the scientific method.


#48

Jung and the likes were not scientists by any means.

Exactly why I said three times already this mans views cannot be taken seriously. First he said Patanjali is not a scientist. Now he is saying Jung is not a scientist!


#49

As the article above shows transpersonal psychology is definitely a legitimate and recognized approach within psychology. It is recognized by the official bodies of psychology in America and the England. It is taught as part of many psychology degree courses at several universities in America and Europe, and increasingly in other pats of the world. Major pioneering psychologists have endorsed it and done research in the area

The above summarizes the actual difference between Yoga and western attempts like some(transpersonal) psychology. Trans-personal psychology looks like a [B]“begging”[/B] sceince (for funding, for acceptance…etc). Consider this with Yoga where people are funding it voluntarily and deriving benefit out of it.


#50

Sarva, you are not an authority on transpersonal psychology. Your religious and nationalist motivated opinion on whether it is psychology/science or not does not matter. The fact is the actual official bodies on psychology both in America and England formally recognize it as an official and valid area of psychology. It is officially recognized as a valid academic discipline across many universities in America and Europe. Major research studies have been done into the area of transpersonal psychology and only a bigot would refuse to acknowledge these studies.


#51

[QUOTE=Surya Deva;72035]Sarva, you are not an authority on transpersonal psychology. Your religious and nationalist motivated opinion on whether it is psychology/science or not does not matter. The fact is the actual official bodies on psychology both in America and England formally recognize it as an official and valid area of psychology. It is officially recognized as a valid academic discipline across many universities in America and Europe. Major research studies have been done into the area of transpersonal psychology and only a bigot would refuse to acknowledge these studies.[/QUOTE]
The theories of transpersonal psychology are not proven by the scientific method. So much is written in this field that is pure speculation. But even if this field developed in a full fledged science in the future through testing its hypothesis with reliable methods of scientific investigation, that still wouldn’t turn yoga into psychology. You are too stupid to understand this.


#52

[QUOTE=yaram;72034]The above summarizes the actual difference between Yoga and western attempts like some(transpersonal) psychology. Trans-personal psychology looks like a [B]“begging”[/B] sceince (for funding, for acceptance…etc). Consider this with Yoga where people are funding it voluntarily and deriving benefit out of it.[/QUOTE]

This is not fair. Yoga has been established for thousands of years. On the other hand, transpersonal psychology is a very recent development within psychology, and psychology itself compared to the hard sciences is relatively new. Even today, psychology does not get as much funding and acceptance as say physics, chemistry, biology and medicine.

What we can say that psychology is basically the Western attempt at developing something like Yoga. However, it is definitely not a completely indigenous Western development, because they are heavily drawing from Yoga and other related areas of Indian philosophy. But it would be unfair to say that the modern Western development are just copycat systems of Yoga. They are also bringing some innovations to Yoga which did not exist before, mainly in the areas of technologies like neuroscience. Today using new technological methods it is easier to achieve the higher states of consciousness that Patanjali describes. In the future it will be even easier.

We should no longer look at the world as East Vs West. This is an old way of looking at the world. The new 21st century world we are living in today is a globalized world. It is no longer about being Indian, or English, or Chinese, it is about being human. We are living more in a Vedic like world today than ever before.


#53

[QUOTE=Sarvamaṅgalamaṅgalā;72036]The theories of transpersonal psychology are not proven by the scientific method. So much is written in this field that is pure speculation. But even if this field developed in a full fledged science in the future through testing its hypothesis with reliable methods of scientific investigation, that still wouldn’t turn yoga into psychology. You are too stupid to understand this.[/QUOTE]

Again your opinion cannot be taken seriously. You are not an authority on the subject of psychology, but you are a religious fundamentalist and nationalist. If transpersonal psychology was not a valid scientific discipline, it would not be recognized by the official bodies.

Yoga is definitely a psychology and I have already proven that by citing most of the Yoga sutras already. The entire Yoga sutras is about the minds activities, types of activities, stares of consciousness, types of diseases that affect the mind, how to treat afflictions like attachment, fear, anxiety, worries, identifications and ego problems, change and loss how to cultivate higher mental states. These are areas that come under the science of psychology.

I don’t care what you say anymore, because you have clearly proven you are a religious fundamentalist. First by saying Yoga is not psychology but a religion, then saying that transpersonal psychology is voodo, and then saying Jung is not a scientist. You clearly are not rational.


#54

[QUOTE=Surya Deva;72038]Again your opinion cannot be taken seriously. You are not an authority on the subject of psychology, but you are a religious fundamentalist and nationalist. If transpersonal psychology was not a valid scientific discipline, it would not be recognized by the official bodies.[/quote]This is another appeal to authority which only strengthens my position that transpersonal psychology is not a science.

Yoga is definitely a psychology and I have already proven that by citing most of the Yoga sutras already. The entire Yoga sutras is about the minds activities, types of activities, stares of consciousness, types of diseases that affect the mind, how to treat afflictions like attachment, fear, anxiety, worries, identifications and ego problems, change and loss how to cultivate higher mental states. These are areas that come under the science of psychology.
The objective of yoga is not to treat mental disease like in psychology.

I don’t care what you say anymore, because you have clearly proven you are a religious fundamentalist. First by saying Yoga is not psychology but a religion, then saying that transpersonal psychology is voodo, and then saying Jung is not a scientist. You clearly are not rational.

Don’t call me a religious fundamentalist, you are the one who claims to follow the only true religion. :slight_smile:

Jung is not considered a scientist, but a psycho-analytical theorist. The fact that you do not know this, just shows your ignorance on the field of psychology. You can compose 20 page long posts about any subject, but in the end you always show that you do not understand what you are talking about.


#55

[QUOTE=Surya Deva;72037]This is not fair. Yoga has been established for thousands of years. On the other hand, transpersonal psychology is a very recent development within psychology, and psychology itself compared to the hard sciences is relatively new. Even today, psychology does not get as much funding and acceptance as say physics, chemistry, biology and medicine.

[B]What we can say that psychology is basically the Western attempt at developing something like Yoga.[/B] However, it is definitely not a completely indigenous Western development, because they are heavily drawing from Yoga and other related areas of Indian philosophy. [B]But it would be unfair to say that the modern Western development are just copycat systems of Yoga.[/B] They are also bringing some innovations to Yoga which did not exist before, mainly in the areas of technologies like neuroscience. Today using new technological methods it is easier to achieve the higher states of consciousness that Patanjali describes. In the future it will be even easier.

We should no longer look at the world as East Vs West. This is an old way of looking at the world. The new 21st century world we are living in today is a globalized world. It is no longer about being Indian, or English, or Chinese, it is about being human. We are living more in a Vedic like world today than ever before.[/QUOTE]

These attempts at developing something similar to Yoga or bettering Yoga concepts is actually wrong approach at the very effort they make. The point to be noted is the term “scientific approach”. Under that definition lies the method of observation, experiment, repeated experiment under the same conditions, study and observation of facts/data. However, that very scientific approach definition states that it is applicable only to matter and material things. And these attempts are going to fail, because, they are applying the wrong method of approach. Unless the psychologists frame a modified/different “scientific approach” to study the science of spirituality, they are almost certain to face failure.

For example, consider “idol worship” as practiced by Hindus. That can not be explained by the current definition of “scientific temper” and those so called scientists will easily label it as dogma and rule away its worth.

If we are living in a real global world, even the scientific temperament needs to have global appeal. The current “scientific exploration” is based on 19th century concepts of western science and that needs to be changed.


#56

Again readers are cautioned to take Sarva religious objections seriously. There is no validity or substance in Sarva’s objections. They are motivated purely by religious dogma and nationalism. Unfortunately, most objections against Yoga come from religious mindsets. But most scientists can see validity in Yoga.

Returning back to Yoga :smiley:

In Yoga we can clearly see that the mind is seen as something we can study. If mind could not be studied then Patanjali could not have written the Yoga Sutras. In meditation we can very thoroughly study the mind by watching it directly. The type of thought activity, the way thought and behaviour interrelate, emotions and how they affect our mental and physical states, how the mind builds associations, the various states of consciousness the mind can enter etc can all be directly watched.

Now let us look at the anatomy of mind according to the Samkhya-Yoga system. The mind is known as the inner-instrument(antha karana) it consists of three parts:

Manas: Its function is to cognize the information received from the sense organs and to send information to the motor organs. It has both a conscious and unconscious function: Consciously its performs all our deliberations, discriminating between this or that, choosing between a or b

Ahamkara/ego: Its function is to personalize the information. It is what filters the information received from the mind by ego filters. Otherwise, the information received by the mind would just be received and processed like a machine. The camera does not receive the light and then say, “I am receiving the light” It is the ahamkara that makes it seem like the information is being received by it. It also says “my body, my house, my parents, my name, my gender, my religion”

Buddhi/intellect: It’s function is to will and desire. It is the sentient or feeling part of us and it is driven purely by impulses or desires. It is where feelings like pain and pleasure take place. It is this aspect of the mind which is cultivated through the practice of Yoga, as it is the most important part of us. If it is impure, it leads to impure thoughts and actions. If it is purified it leads pure thoughts and actions.

The manas, ahamkara and buddhi operate in tandem with one another and require for their support the subtle body(sukshma sharira) They cannot exist without the subtle body to support them. This is explained in the Karika:

  1. The subtle body is produced at the beginning of creation, for each purusha. It is not confined to physical matter and can go through it. It is the constant vehicle for consciousness from the beginning of creation to dissolution. The subtle body is the carrier of the intelligence down to the primary elements. The subtle body transmigrates from one body to the other, tinged with dispositions, but devoid of experiences.
  2. The subtle body must be posited because there needs to be a common vehicle to carry and hold the intelligence and senses organs. As a picture needs a frame to be held up. Similarly, intelligence etc need the subtle body.

The subtle body is made of the five primary elements.

  1. The subtle body transmigrates impelled by the purpose of consciousness, taking on various bodies like an actor takes on roles in a drama, playing all kinds of roles and coming into association with all kinds of bodies, owing to its merits and demerits.

All of this is matter and can be studied and examined according to Samkhya-Yoga. In fact the Karika even says that the subtle body can be revealed:

  1. There are three kinds of specific objects: subtle bodies, gross bodies and 5 gross elments. The subtle bodies are everlasting, and the gross bodies are persishabe.
    Subtle bodies are imperceptible, but can be made perceptible under special conditions.

Thus Samkhya-Yoga is definitely not a religious system. It studies matter, and here matter includes mind as well(including intellect, ego and lower mind) All of these types of matter can be studied by practicing Yoga. As we can see there is no attitude in Samkhya-Yoga that the study of mind, states of consciousness or even subtle bodies is in any way a religious affair. It is considered material science.

In transpersonal psychology we have found Samkhya-Yoga postulates to be entirely true. The subtle body and its effects can indeed be studied. In some experiments we have been able to even make the subtle body visible(as Samkhya says, in in certain conditions we can make it visible) Studies into NDE, OBES confirm that a subtle body definitely exists. Studies into higher states of consciousness confirm that these higher states do indeed exist and they match descriptions given by Patanjali(re: 4 types of concentration)
Studies into parapsychology confirm that some of the siddhis patanjali describes(re: telekinesis, telepathy, clairvoyance etc) do in fact exist.

The proof is clear that Samkhya-Yoga is REAL SCIENCE. It is not a belief system, it is not a philosophy, it is not a myth. When you are fully convinced that Samkhya-Yoga is real you will definitely have a successful practice. If that conviction is not there, then ones Yoga practice will not bear fruit.


#57

You clearly do not know what an appeal to authority fallacy is. An appeal to authority fallacy is when you appeal to an authority to prove an argument that is unrelated to the authority e.g., “Newton was Christian, therefore Christianity is scientific” However, when you appeal to an authority on a subject that it has authority on, that is not an appeal to authority.

Are you telling me the official scientific bodies on psychology in America and UK(APA, BPS) have no authority in declaring that transpersonal psychology is a valid scientific discipline? You clearly have no idea what you are talking about :smiley: In the UK, all practicing psychologists and all university courses have to be accredited by the BPS before they can be officially recognized.

The objective of yoga is not to treat mental disease like in psychology.

The objective of Yoga is to treat the biggest mental disease of them all: ignorance(which is recognized as the principal affliction of the mind) It says in Samkhya-Yoga it is because of the primal ignorance that consciousness enters into bondage.

Show me where it says that Yoga is the search for god or the practice to get to god or Yoga is the worship of monkeys, elephants and snakes :wink:

Don’t call me a religious fundamentalist, you are the one who claims to follow the only true religion. :slight_smile:

I don’t follow any religion.

Jung is not considered a scientist, but a psycho-analytical theorist. The fact that you do not know this, just shows your ignorance on the field of psychology. You can compose 20 page long posts about any subject, but in the end you always show that you do not understand what you are talking about.

So you are saying psychologists are not scientists? Pray/tell then who are scientists? You clearly are completely out of touch.


#58

[QUOTE=Surya Deva;72043]You clearly do not know what an appeal to authority fallacy is. An appeal to authority fallacy is when you appeal to an authority to prove an argument that is unrelated to the authority e.g., “Newton was Christian, therefore Christianity is scientific” However, when you appeal to an authority on a subject that it has authority on, that is not an appeal to authority.

Are you telling me the official scientific bodies on psychology in America and UK(APA, BPS) have no authority in declaring that transpersonal psychology is a valid scientific discipline? You clearly have no idea what you are talking about :smiley: In the UK, all practicing psychologists and all university courses have to be accredited by the BPS before they can be officially recognized.[/quote]No official body of anything has to decide whether something is scientific. Something is scientific if it’s theories are validated through the scientific method. The fact that transpersonal psychology is taught in colleges or used in clinical settings doesn’t say anything about the scientific nature of the subject. It only shows your ignorance that you bring them forth as examples.

The objective of Yoga is to treat the biggest mental disease of them all: ignorance(which is recognized as the principal affliction of the mind) It says in Samkhya-Yoga it is because of the primal ignorance that consciousness enters into bondage.
This is a religious pursuit, not a psychological one.

Show me where it says that Yoga is the search for god or the practice to get to god or Yoga is the worship of monkeys, elephants and snakes :wink:
Yoga means union, yoga is a search for god within yourself. This is also a religious pursuit, not a psychological one. Even without the mention of “god,” kaivalya, nirvana, moksha would still be a religious pursuits and not secular ones. Yoga has never been secular.

I don’t follow any religion.

Read what you have written before about following the true Sanatana Dharma, i.e. your personal interpretation of the upanishads while denigrating other methods of sadhana. This is religious fundamentalism at its height.

So you are saying psychologists are not scientists? Pray/tell then who are scientists? You clearly are completely out of touch.
No, that is not what I said. You are either deliberatly misreading my posts or you have incredibly bad reading comprehension. The latter seems to make more sense, since you do not show understanding of anything you write about.


#59

Sorry, I think I phrased my wording wrong. Modern science is not actually attempting to develop something similar to Yoga or improving on Yoga, rather Modern science is moving in that direction. Modern science, at least theoretically is actually quite behind Indian science. I will give you an example atoms for example have long been accepted and discussed by every school of Indian philosophy, and the most detailed descriptions of atoms can be found within the atomist school itself Vaiseshika. However, in the West, atoms have always been rejected and no further discussion was done on them. It was not until the 18th century that atoms were taken seriously again.

There are many other areas Western sciences lags behind in. Linguistics in Western science is actually a very recent development. The type of development we see in linguistics today, was already reached in Indian in the times of Panini. Today, Western science is closer to developing scientific grammars like Panini did.

Another area Western science lags behind in is medicine, and it arguable whether modern Western science is actually ahead of Ayurveda now or not, but it certainly was not 100 years ago. The types of surgeries and theories of disease that the West was only just developing then, were already thousands of years older in India. Today, modern medicine have very similar theories to Ayurveda that lifestyle and diet is the main cause of disease, and disease is caused by imbalances to the bodies regulation systems.

Now, psychology is another area Western science lags behind in. However, it is definitely moving along now to a system of psychology very similar to Yoga, but it is not quite there yet.

Traditional definitions of the scientific method no longer hold true today. Today in science we use a range of research methods to collect data, quantitative and qualitative: experimental , theoretical, phenomenological, journalistic. The method that is best used to study the mind is mental phenomenology i.e., the method Patanjali uses - directly to watch it. Using these methods over decades we have now tons of research on what different consciousness states exist, what do you look and feel like, what physical and mental states do they produce.

Now days far more sophisticated methods exist for scientifically studying OBES, NDE’s, reincarnation.

For example, consider “idol worship” as practiced by Hindus. That can not be explained by the current definition of “scientific temper” and those so called scientists will easily label it as dogma and rule away its worth.

Well, idol worship can never be considered scientific, because it is based on faith. Even within the Samkhya-Yoga tradition idol worship is considered to be superstitious, lowly and stupid practice practiced by the lowest common denominator of society, by mostly illiterate people. The Upanishads in particular criticize these practices heavily. The Gita also criticizes these practices. Many Hindu reformers also criticize these practices.

It is not that we don’t understand the psychology of idol worship - we do. It is an attempt of early humans to connect to the divine. By showing reverence to an external object they expressed their religious sentiments. This practice is indeed very old, and goes back to caveman days. But come on my friend we are not in caveman days anymore, we are in the 21st century. Worshiping stones, fire, monkeys, snakes and elephants in this day and age is like like an adult human being putting his broken tooth under his pillow for the tooth fairy or waiting for father Christmas to come down the chimney on Christmas day with presents!

We don’t need idol worship today because we understood the psychology of spirituality a lot better today. In fact since the times of Samkhya-Yoga we have understood that the real purpose of spirituality is self-realization, to achieve a pure mind through meditation. Why worship some rock when we just sit in silence and watch our mind?


#60

Sarva,

I think most people have stopped reading this thread long ago, and engaging in Surya Deva’s ridiculous debates is really a colossal waste of time and energy. I think it will be more effective to stop feeding his ego. Just ignore him.