MIDWAY : Cutting no ice

Biswas Baral

The answers to the baffling questions posed by modern science lie in ancient Vedic texts. Maybe. But I am unconvinced. While the fact that the Eastern philosophy has greatly contributed to our understanding of the modern world is undeniable, it is a different matter altogether to assert that the most complex of scientific theories have readymade Vedic, often religious, explanations. If indeed so, why are there in these texts mere allusions to science but very little definite assertions? In Bhagwat Geeta, for example, why would Krishna only say to Arjun, “I am time itself,” but not add, “beware, in Kaliyug a fraud named Albert Einstein will claim that the time is relative. Before you follow his path, remember it is I who is time. And I, the God, cannot be relative.” If we had been forewarned thus, who would have believed Einsteins and Humes?

Attempts to find scientific explanations in religious texts are not new. The famous paradoxes of Einstein’s theory of relativity may easily be solved by Jewish Talmud’s concept of ‘flowing time,’ according to Lubavitcher Rebbe, the great Jewish sage. He says human biological age is determined by permanently flowing time, and not by local measurable time. Similarly, western scholars like Maurice Bucaille and Keith Moore have claimed that the scriptures of Qu’ran readily explains, inter alia, the expansion of universe, black holes, Milky Way, white dwarf, embryology, theory of relativity and the super string theory. His efforts to mix up religion with science has, likewise, led US President Bush to withhold federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research. Such claims to religious origins surface only after science comes up with possible explanations to previously vexatious questions — but seldom before. And if someone writes 1000 random sentences, he, a rational being, is more than likely to come up with a few that may have scientific foundations. Is it farfetched to assume that this maybe a coincidence?

Hymn 149, Chapter 10 of ‘Rigveda,’ starts: ‘Savitar (The Sun God) fixed the ear-th with bands to bind it, and made heaven steadfast wh-ere no prop supported.’ Wh-ich science explains the ea-rth bound by bands, neither free to rotate on its axis nor to revolve around the sun?