Staff Reporter

Experts deliberate on Buddhist angle at parapsychology conference

Buddhism believes that something stays behind after deathResearch should begin from there, says scholar20 experts from 10 countries participate

VISAKHAPATNAM: Reincarnation was the theme for the panel discussion at the first day of the four-day national conference and training-cum-workshop on yoga and parapsychology that began here on Tuesday.

Inaugurating the conference on the Andhra University campus, the chief guest and Vice-Chancellor of Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Sansthana, H.R. Nagendra, said yoga was not merely about postures and asanas. It was the science of holistic healing.

The conference, which is being hosted by the Institute of Human Science and Service (IHSS) will have four days of seminars and 17 days of workshop that will be attended by 20 research scholars from 10 countries.

From Lanka

The panel discussions was attended by S.N. Arseculeratne, professor of medicine in Sri Lanka's University of Peradeniya, and Arjuna D. Zoysa, professor in the department of mathematics in Sri Lanka Open University.

The discussion was moderated by the president of IHSS, K. Ramakrishna Rao.

Professor Arseculeratne focussed on investigative reports of Ian Stevenson with a Buddhist angle.

Prof. Arjuna dealt with the subject from the Buddhist point of view of 'Annica' or transience. "Nothing is permanent as per the Buddhist philosophy, but there is something that continues after death.

It is the science of observation and time, just like Einstein's Theory of Relativity. Reincarnation is transfer of consciousness from one material form to another.

It is like tuning the magnetic waves in a radio.

One might accidentally stumble upon the phenomenon while tuning," he said.

Hindu version

Prof. Ramakrishna Rao pointed out that though Buddhism did not believe in the concept of soul and its permanent nature unlike the Hindu philosophy, it accepted that something stayed behind after death apart from mere extra sensory perceptions.

"What survives death is the phenomenon and that is where research should begin," he said quoting a few suggestive cases of Stevenson and Parischa to support the concept of reincarnation.

Earlier, AU Arts and Commerce College Principal J.V. Prabhakara Rao earlier read out the message of seminar chairman and Vice-Chancelor L. Vengopal Reddy.

The message of Sadguru Sivananda Murthy, who could not attend the inaugural because of indisposition, was also read out.