‘Balance between scientific and Vedic approach to life needed'

G. Madhavan Nair, former Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation and writer C. Radhakrishnan at the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Swami Vivekananda in Kochi on January 15, 2012. Photo: Thulasi Kakkat   | Photo Credit: Thulasi Kakkat

The human kind has to strike a balance between the Vedic approach and the scientific approach to life, said G. Madhavan Nair, former chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) at ‘Viveka Bharatam 150' here on Sunday.

“The process of observation, analysis and conclusion, whether it is in scientific or in personal form can lead to precise solutions to the problems. Vedic approach leads to peace of mind and soul, scientific pursuit leads to material gains and comforts,” he said.

Speaking at the seminar on Practical Vedanta of Swami Vivekananda organised as part of the four-day celebrations of the 150 birth anniversary of the eminent saint, Dr. Nair said the history of Indian science is closely linked to Vedic texts. Many scripts of the Rig Veda have observations of the universe and nature. Since the language of Vedas is not explicit, as it dealt with issues of matters, life, mind and super-mind, many people interpret it with modern findings of physics, especially on the evolution of the universe and the concept of Big Bang.

He said the Vedas stand for self revelation, cosmic revelation, self realization and cosmic realization joining towards the reality of truth. The sages of Vedic times and ancient India were trying to look inward and understand the process associated with the mind and body, and how to achieve harmony and spiritual peace through meditation and yoga practices.

Speaking on Swami Vivekananda, Dr. Nair said the Swami's vision of a shift from religious to social uplift speaks of his practical Vedanta as he quotes his Guru Ramakrishna Paramahamsa: “An empty stomach is no good for religion”. He had grown up with a questioning mind and had debated the Vedas, Upanishads, Mahabharata and Bhagavat Gita with well-known scholars, and had extensively toured not only the country, but also America and Europe, enriching his Advaita philosophy.

Dr. Nair said he advocated religious establishments help improve the living condition of the poor people in the country. He built his strength through four modes of Vedas, namely Karma Yoga, Rajya Yoga, Bhakti Yoga and Jnana Yoga — the principles of which could help man achieve salvation in a social, secular harmony, said Dr. Nair.

M. Lakshmikumari, founder of the Vivekananda Kendra Vedic Vision Foundation, welcomed the gathering. M. Ramachandran, judge, High Court, presided. Writer C. Radhakrishnan and career consultant P. R. Venkitaraman, were among those who spoke on the occasion.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2021 6:46:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/%E2%80%98Balance-between-scientific-and-Vedic-approach-to-life-needed/article13368405.ece

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