SWAMI RAMALINGAM AND SRI AUROBINDO’S VISION OF NUCLEAR PHYSICS AND THE NERVOUS SYSTEM
Matter Shall reveal the Spirit’s face
– Sri Aurobindo
These two Supramental Masters have their own respective direct vision and experience of the atomic and sub-atomic micro world of the wave-particles of matter and their relation with the supra-physical substances in the vital, mental and supramental realms of existence.
Any modern scientist will be astounded at the abundance of scientific materials found in their works.
Given here are only a few pages and for the detailed research work please read the entire book of ‘Vallalar’s Vision of Nuclear Physics and the Nervous System by Sri T.R.Thulasiram. General Editor: Dr. N.Mahalingam. Published by The International Society for the Investigation of Ancient Civilization, Chennai.
Swami Ramalingam (1823-1874) alias Arut Prakasa Vallalar, the Munificent Donor of divine Grace-Light, known popularly as Vallalar – had his unparalleled and integral realisation of the Divine, and fulfilment of his spiritual-physical life by supramental transformation of his dynamic nature, not only of mind and life energy into their divinised states and functionings, but also of the divinisation of his body in to a luminous and deathless body – which he repeatedly affirmed in his Arutpa poems and writings and speeches.
In such a divinised state of life, both in his inner soul as governed by Divine Spirit, as well as in the outer physicality of body, he had a total vision and multi-dimensional comprehension of the whole universe :
(1) in its immense infinitudes of worlds and planes – spiritual, supramental, overmental, mental vital, subtle – physical and the gross physical with all their contents, beings, forces of play and their interactions and effects – as well as;
(2) in its microscopic infinitesimals of atoms and nuclear particles like neutrons, protons, electrons, neutrinos and their exchanges into luminous energies of photons of light of various denominations, with their bearing on and relationship with gross physical matter, physiology, psychology and spirituality and their well-knit strands of harmonisation in the progressive evolution of human life.
In short, he had seen in a direct vision all the worlds, beings and forces of their nature as well as all their physical bodies. We may very well say that he has made a great and enlightened contribution by his writings, to the physical sciences, particularly to nuclear physics and astrophysics, and to physiology of the nervous system as seen by a direct scanning especially in its relation with the subtle centres of force and consciousness in the body called chakras which have a bearing also on the life energies and mental faculties and their functions as well as psychic and spiritual growth in man.
Atoms, Nuclei and Particles of Matter
Arut Prakasa Vallalar’s works are scientific. A careful research into these reveals that the book of Upadesha, the book of Tatva Lokas and the poems captioned Tiruvadi Perumai and Jothi Agaval deal with scientific subjects such as Atoms and Nuclear particles which are to-day considered important subject matter in modern physics. In his book, Upadesha, he discusses Shristi Jnayam which deals with the seven kinds of atoms and nuclear particles grouped under three broad heads – effectual, causal effectual and causal particles of matter. In his book of Tatva Lokas, he discusses the five elements, called the Bhoota Tatvas. His poems, Tiruvadi Perumai and Jothi Agaval, deal with Atoms and Nuclear particles, in a broad set-up and their link and relationship with the supra physical substances and forces. All these make his philosophical work scientific. Any modern scientist will be astounded at the abundance of scientific materials found in his works.
Proton, Electron, Photon, Neutrino, Graviton as in Swami Ramalingam’s Literature
We have seen that Swami Ramalingam has distinguished atomic particles of the physical elements broadly into three classes, the causal, causal-effectual and effectual namely :
(1) Vibhu anu, the substance of ether of space (corresponding to graviton and neutrino),
(2) Parama anu, a fine atomic substance (of light and heat corresponding to photon of visible and invisible light), and
(3) anu, the atomic substance of light and heat as of sub ray (corresponding to electron emitting light), The atoms have been classified into val anu the basic atom of science, drava anu to atoms or molecules of liquid, guru anu the atoms of metallic elements or molecules of heavy elements of a solid nature, laghu anu the atoms of gases or their molecules. Thus seven kinds of atoms and atomic particles have been distinguished.
Heat of the sunray of light is defined in the third chapter bhuta karya anu, i.e. as the basic atomic particle which is yet derivative. This is the anu, proper, the atomic particle of electron and it is derived from its original causal source or causal heat of sun (Karana ushna of surya referred to in the said chapter possibly corresponding to Karana agni of the Jeeva as heat of vapour of the heart centre mentioned in the book of Upadesha under “Pinda Lakshana”) which is evidently the super heat and light of sun in its core giving rise to etherial substances possibly of a secondary nature corresponding to neutrinos, and the intermediate substance of photons of light, X-rays and gamma rays.
We have seen under the second chapter dealing with “Tatva Lokas” that the five bhuta tatvas are the five physical elements of ether, gas, fire (tejas), water and solid matter. They are five substances of different grades, energies and forms. The etherial substance of space is the subtlest of the physical matter and is the permanent causal substance, producing the effect of an outer visible form of the curvature of space, though in its inner nature it is formless (hence massless or having zero rest mass) and extremely superfine in its substance and lightness, so as to become the infinitely all pervasive physical substance or substratum to create and support all the other elements, their various motions and energies and also its own. We have regarded the massless neutrinos as the outer etherial substance, and massless graviton as the inner, supporting all energy levels of all kinds of substances from zero to maximum. According to the Swami, there are many kinds of akasa the etherial substance, hence implying different grades of spaces. There are also many different gaseous states from the subtlest to the gross. Through the varying light and heat energies of these gaseous states, condensation of matter is made possible resulting in the formation of heavier elements like liquid and solid.
In regard to the generality of bhuta tatvas or the physical elements the Swami observes under “Tatva Lokas” that the causal substance of atom or atomic particle (bhuta karana anu) is extended immanently (vyapti) in a free and unimpeded manner in (or into and upto) the effectual substance (karya anu Paryanta, i.e. from the causal above and within into and upto the effectual, below and outward) This evidently refers to the involutionary manifestation. The causal atom or atomic particle is involved in the effectual. Therefore, the substance of ether is involved in the gross material elements, or in other words solid matter contains ether. Speaking about each element more specifically the Swami says that bhuta karana anu is immanently extended into all the five elements, upto the gross physical matter of earth and the gross physical body
“Karana anu karya paryanta sadhyatva bhuta sati
samanya vyapti sakti” … “Pinda anda paryanta
sati samanya sadhya (Prithvi, ap, tejas, vayu, akasa)
(“Book of Tatva Loka” – p. 129-213 see under the 1st item of bhuta tatva in its general description and in its five bhutas).
Again with reference to the generality of physical elements he observes that the effectual atom or atomic particle (bhuta karya anu) extends pervadingly (vyapaka) upto the causal source (karana anu paryanta), but in a fettered and impeded way or under resistance (upadhi samanya). This is evidently evolutionary manifestation of matter, from without and below, into or towards the causal source above and within. This shows that ether has in it or possesses a part which is of the nature of material substance as in wild state of matter.
“Karya anu karana paryanta sadhyatva bhuta upadhi
samanya Vyapaka sakti”… “Maya paryanta upadhi
samanya sadhya (Prithvi, ap, tejas, vayu, akasa)
Thus the atoms of the five elements contain each other both in involutionary and evolutionary manifestations of matter. As we have rightly taken ‘bhuta karya anu’ to mean electron the wave-particle of heat of sun ray, the bhuta karana anu will naturally signify etherial substance which in the discoveries of science can be taken as graviton (including neutrino). As a matter of fact, the configuration of electrons in shells or layers surrounding the nucleus of atom decides the nature of the elements, its chemical and electrical properties and its chemical bond or binding relationship with atoms of other elements to form molecular compounds.
Psychological, Vital and Physiological Nervous System as Visioned by Swami Ramalingam
(NOTES ON CHAPTER 9 – PINDANUBHAVA LAKSHANA)
Notes on items numbered in para A (on Swadishtana Centre): see the text of Pindanubhava Lakshana under chapter nine.
- In the gross physical body the square receptacle (sac or pouch) would signify the seminal vesicle along with the prostrate gland. As it is said to be two and half inches above the sex organ of man, the yogic centre referred to is Swadishtana which lies in the depth at the centre of the lower abdomen. However, the said receptacle is connected with the Hypogastric plexus (of the navel region) through its main nerve of a similar name i.e. Hypogastric nerve. Mooladhara yogic centre lies below Swadishtana in between sex organ and anus but in the depth there at. But the said Hypogastric plexus and the beginning part of its connective nerve which innervates and controls the seminal receptacle below, lie in the region of Nabhi, the navel. In the succeeding para B, Swami Ramalingam observes that a nerve descending from the navel region dips down into and floats over the vapour content of the seminal vesicle, and so, this nadi or nerve would evidently be the same as the hypogastric nerve. The Swami uses the term nadi or narambu to mean a nervous plexus or ganglion or a nerve trunk or nerve according to the context and the descriptions connected with it or thereunder. The real Yogic centres, particularly the centres below the Ajna, may be taken as lying in the central axis of the spinal cord (or rather the spino medullar column) and each may be identified with the centre of the respective segment of the spino-medullar cord (spinal cord here viewed to include the medulla oblongata) and thus the presiding psycho-physical power, here named as a god may be taken as ruling and regulating the function in the respective region, of the spino-medullar column, covering also a few adjacent spinal segments above and below. Thus Brahma ruling over the Swadishtana Yogic centre has rule and control over the hypogastric plexus formed from and connected with the centre of the concerned spinal segment which is however not separated from but connected with the other immediately adjacent segments above and below, and in fact through them with the whole central nervous system which is at once psychological and physiological. It is also understood that the nerve fibres enter into or terminate in the walls of blood vessels, arteries, veins and lymphatic vessels and also in the visceral or internal organs and glands.
- In the above context the seminal vesicle ruled over by the creative power of Brahma is properly called ‘Manasa Thatagam’, the pool of psycho-physical creation. Brahma is the god of creation or the creative power both in man and woman. The heat of creation is conveyed through a nerve and this heat called Moolagni is said to be carried by the (hypogastric) nerve descending from the navel (or rather from the hypogastric plexus) and floating over the seminal receptacle so as to form or create the golden vapour. In para E it is said that this nerve of creative heat (Moolagni) is connected with the nerve of causal heat (Karanagni) of the heart region (i.e. the Yogic centre of heart and its nervous cardiac plexus) through the intervening nerve of digestive heat (Udaragni) of the upper abdomen (i.e. coeliac plexus, two and half inches above Nabhi, the navel). A connective nerve from the coeliac plexus innervates, controls and regulates the Receptaculum Chyli (Ksheerabdi). Thus Moolagni, Udaragni and Karanagni are respectively ruled, regulated and balanced by the gods or powers namely Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra.
On the Centres or Chakras of the Body and the Nervous System and on Causal heat and Plasma heat
(SEE NOTES IN CHAPTER 10)
” Manasa Thatagam “, or “The pool of mind” – How the Seminal fluid secretes after the Sixteenth Year of Age ? Swami Ramalingam correlates the supra-physical system with the psychological counterpart.
We give below the translation of the “Pindanubhava Lakshana” subject in the book of Upadesha, the oral teachings of the Swami as recorded by his disciples. On the last portion of this topic (paras H & I) we have given elaborate explanations elsewhere in our book “Arut Perum Jothi and Deathless Body” and it is concerned with the overhead spiritual centres and gradations of planes leading to Supermind (Suddha Siva Sthana).
” There is a square receptacle (literally sac or bag) two and half inches above the sex organ of man. In it seminal fluid which is watery is collected up to the sixteenth year of age. This receptacle is called ” manasa thatagam “, the pool of mind. Seminal fluid that secretes after the sixteenth year is collected in the centre of the frozen or concentrated watery semen of the earlier period. This latter secretion so stored has a golden colour, It is called “lotus flower”. In the centre of that flower is a fine vapour, which is a hundred times finer or more rarefied (i.e. thinner and light weighted) than air, The God presiding over it is called Brahma (the god of creation). He is said to have a period of active manifestation (sakala kala) when there arises the said (golden) vapour and a period of involved or hidden state of existence (Kevala kala) when the vapour remains in a potential or inert state (i.e. involved and not apparently or overtly active). If there is mating by sex at the time of the birth or existence of the said vapour, there will be conception and it is called creation.”
The Swami correlates his actual experience of the yogic or supra-physical system with the psychological counterpart as well as with the inner parts of physical nervous system and the body, and he also correlates these with the visions of symbols arising the practice of yoga and also with gods and goddesses of the traditional religions as seen in vision. The experience is total and whole, at once psychological and yogic as well as physiological. The said marked correlations (see numbers) are given at the end of the chapter as they are not directly connected with the subject matter of this book, but the reader may read the relevant notes or correlations and the concerned pan side by side.
Giving a very physical and material basis of interpretation which is proper in the context, we may observe that the fine vapour here spoken of may possibly be similar to or identical with the lightest and simplest gaseous element namely the atom of hydrogen which is the basic building material of the physical universe forming 90 per cent of its content, and because of the nuclear fusion of which, the stars and the sun shine bright as for ever, and radiate their energies and substances of light and heat to the distant planets and the earth. The atoms of hydrogen or rather their nuclei the protons invariably enter into all material atoms and molecular structures. Hydrogen has also its important role in the cells of the body and it helps the breathing process in the cells. Possibly the gaseous state of hydrogen is seen as a golden coloured vapour formed in the seminal vesicle, when seen in the psycho-physical vision of a is called ” manasa thatagam “, the pool of mind. Seminal fluid that secretes after the sixteenth year is collected in the centre of the frozen or concentrated watery semen of the earlier period. This latter secretion so stored has a golden colour, It is called “lotus flower”. In the centre of that flower is a fine vapour , which is a hundred times finer or more rarefied (i.e. thinner and light weighted) than air, The God presiding over it is called Brahma (the god of creation). He is said to have a period of active manifestation (sakala kala) when there arises the said (golden) vapour and a period of involved or hidden state of existence (Kevala kala) when the vapour remains in a potential or inert state (i.e. involved and not apparently or overtly active). If there is mating by sex at the time of the birth or existence of the said vapour, there will be conception and it is called creation.”
Swami Ramalingam’s reference to the Ajna in his
“Mahopadesha (recorded Oral Teachings)”
Why concentrating at the Ajna Center is very important in the Supramental Yoga of Transformation?
Ajna Center- Medical Correlation of the configuration of both the cortico spinal tracts of fibres (i.e. both the lateral and anterior fibres).
Ajna – The centre of the pure wisdom and Bliss of the supreme Truth-consciousness.
Ajna, which has two petals (TM 1704) is seen its own sixteen petals (TM 1711) and that the sixteen petals are said to arise due to the sixteen kinds of vayu (i.e. rarefied vaporous energies of prana) and by their integration link the Ajna centre with the powerful super-mind above.
However, in his “Mahopadesha”, the Swami has given some hints about the Ajna centre, in so far as it is concerned with the nerves connected with it. We give his observations here-under and make the possible correlations with the still imperfect findings of the medical science in regard to the anatomical and physiological structure, nature and functions of the nervous system, which are restricted to only about 5% of the total number of nerves. Explanations given within the brackets are our own.
Swami Ramalingam, in one of his early writings (in a letter to a disciple, speaks of the lotus of Anahata, the heart centre, as having 12 petals, of which 8 petals are to be considered as of the Shakti, 2 as of the ruling power or god, and 2 as, meant for their seat. (Vide his letter dated August 1866 book of letters p. 413). Though he does not specify the colour of the lotus, it is implied. The important point is that the reckoning of the 8 petals of the Shakti is made within the total 12 petals of the Chakra. So the Shakti is to be considered as within the pericarp of the Chakra, i.e. in the lotus of the divine power or god. “Shatchakra Nirupana” of Purnananda Swami mentions god and goddess (or shakti) of each Chakra and the shakti is invariably mentioned to abide in a red lotus or pinkish red lotus within or inside the main lotus or pericarp of the god, except in the Ajna chakra where the shakti’s lotus is also mentioned to be white and its within the white lotus or pericarp of the Ajna Chakra. (See “Serpent Power” by Arthur Avalon). Here we get a clue for correlation of the vision of the pinkish red lotus (or its pericarp) of the Shakti with that of the configuration of the rubro-spinal tract of efferent fibres, because of the pinkish red nucleus of the mid brain which gives off its fibres downward into the spinal cord without synapse or break of continuity, and the said configuration being seen at the spinal segment of each Yogic centre below the Ajna. The vision of the main lotus of the god each chakra or yogic centre may be correlated with that of the configuration of the lateral cortico-spinal tract (Pyramidal tract). This is seen in different colour at each centre below the Ajna possibly because of its differential vibrations of white fibres (axons) at the respective segmental levels of the spinal cord. The different colours of some centres are also explainable because of the combination of colour with that of the red coloured lotus (red nucleus).
Now coming to the lotus seen at each Yogic centre or Chakra Sri Aurobindo gives their colours and significances. According to him, the colour of the chakra, i.e. the colour of the pericarp of the lotus and that of its petals are the same, though the colour varies for each centre. Thus the colour of the lotus (its pericarp and petals) of the Yogic centre Mooladhara (spinal base) is red; that for Swadishtana (lower abdomen) deep purple red; for Nabhi (the navel) violet; for Anahata (the heart centre) golden pink; for Visuddhi (throat) grey: for Ajna (in the middle of the forehead) white; and for Sahasrara (at the top of the head) blue with gold light around. But there is variation of colour in regard to some centres as seen by Purnananda Swami who also refers to the colour of the Shakti and her lotus (see serpent power – by Arthur Avalon). This however gets reconciled if we take into account the combination colour by combining the colour or petals of chakra and the colour of the shakti (or goddess) as seen by the latter. Thus e.g., the vermillion of the petals of the Swadishtana Chakra and the blue colour of its Shakti (who is seated on a pinkish red lotus) as seen by the latter would give deep purple red of the lotus as seen by the former. The blue or bluish black of the petals at the Nabhi Chakra and the blue colour of its shakti who is seated on a pinkish red lotus) when combined with the red colour of its god Rudra would give the violet colour of Sri Aurobindo’s vision. The vermillion of the petals at the Anahata Chakra and the golden colour of Shakti (who is seated on a pinkish red lotus) would give the golden pink of Sri Aurobindo’s vision.
Thus, in the above we find an agreement in the vision of colour of the chakra or of the lotus for all the centres. Sri Aurobindo however does not specify the colour of the shakti or that of her lotus-seat, whereas Purnananda Swami does, as above referred to. The red lotus of the Shakti seen at all centres below the Ajna may be considered as pinkish red that is the colour of the Indian red lotus. But this is seen in the Ajna as her white lotus within the main white lotus of the Ajna as explained above. The varying colours of the chakras below the Ajna are possibly due to the different frequencies of vibration in the white axons of the lateral cortico-spinal tract in the respective segmental levels of the spinal cord. The cortico-spinal tract of white fibres is having its cells of origin above in the grey (or yellowish grey) matter of the cerebral cortex and its terminating points in the white matter of the spinal cord at the different segmental levels or Yogic centres. Further the differential vibrations of the respective segmental parts of the said tract below the level of Ajna, and the resulting colour variations of chakras are evidently due to their close link with the autonomic nervous system, whereas the same tract, in the level of Ajna, (i.e. above the point of decussation in the medulla oblangata or above the medullar region) fully and directly becomes part of the central nervous system and hence appears white. But in the case of the red or pinkish red lotus of the shakti formed in each chakra, the colour does not vary below the Ajna, possibly because unlike other nuclei of nerves, which have only grey-matter as the source, the red nucleus (from which the rubro-spinal tract is formed and considered to give rise to the vision of red lotus) has in addition a pinkish red pigment in many if not all of its cells. However it gives off from its nuclear base the white axons as the fibres of the rubro-spinal tract which in the circumstances might by its radiation appear red in the inner vision of the chakras below Ajna. Correspondingly white fibres called cortico-rubro tract descending from the cerebral cortex and terminating in the red nucleus pass through the internal capsule which is a white band of nervous path and possibly the configuration of this tract, seen at the Ajna appears as a white lotus of the Shakti i.e. its white pericarp.
Further, the yogi after some time of inner concentration at the Ajna, feels an upward ascending consciousness which is the continuous path of nervous current from Mooladhara (spinal base) to the top of the head. At the Ajna, it is said that, all that is seen and realised at the respective chakras below is totally made visible, and the Ajna centre also commands the vision of what lies above it i.e. between the Ajna and the top of the head (Sahasrara). Therefore, in this background, the Ajna centre, has to be taken as lying centralised in the thalamic region with the internal capsule serving as the pathway of the current of consciousness through the cortico-spinal tract (which possibly gives rise to the vision of main white lotus of the Ajna) and the connected and closely lying cortico-rubral tract and its continuation as the rubro-spinal tract (which are possibly seen in vision respectively as white lotus of the shakti at Ajna and as red lotus below it). Sahasrara at the top of the head (not in its overhead significances) is only an extension or rather a distributive extension of the thalamic nervous system and hence also of the Ajna. In short, the Ajna centre may be considered as the key centre of the whole cerebro spinal system.
Now we shall quote Sri Aurobindo on the chakras or Yogic centres.
“All these centres are in the middle of the body. They are supposed to be attached to the spinal cord, but in fact all these things are in the subtle body, sukshma deha, though one has the feeling of their activities as if in the physical body when the consciousness is awake”. In the process of his yoga, “the centres have each a fixed psychological use and general function which base all their special powers and functionings. The Mooladhara governs the physical (including its consciousness, down to the sub-conscient. The abdominal centre Swadishtana governs the lower vital, i.e. the small vital movements, petty greeds, lusts, desires, sense instincts etc.; the navel centre Manipura or Nabhi padma, the larger desire- movements; the heart centre, hrdpadma or Anahata, the emotional being (the higher emotional being with the psychic soul entity deep behind it); the throat centre visuddhi governs the expressive and externalising mind (commanding expression and externalisation of mind movements and mental forces); Ajna chakra governs the dynamic mind, thought, will, vision and mental formation; the thousand petalled lotus sahasradala (above the head) governs the higher thinking mind and the illumined mind and opens upwards to the intuition and the overmind. The seventh is sometimes identified with the brain, but that is an error, as the brain is only a channel of communication situated between the thousand- petalled and the forehead centre”.
So too Swami Ramalingam and Tirumoolar and others have recognised six centres upto the Ajna in the adhara (embodied existence within the psycho-physiological system) and the seventh, the sahasrara, as above the head in the niradhara (above the physiological hence called the supportless system) and the last leads finally into the supermind, satya Jnana sabha.
As the Ajna centre is said to begin from the middle of the eyebrows and lie a little above it centrally in the depth of the mid forehead, and extend up to the top of the head, we may trace the correlation of the vision of its main white lotus (i.e. its pericarp) and its petals with the configuration of both the cortico spinal tracts of fibres (i.e. both the lateral and anterior fibres) which according to medical science become three compact bundles in the anterior part of the upper medulla oblangata (i.e. after or at the level of decussation or crossing of most of the said fibres to the opposite side) and again break up into a number of bundles in the pons and the mid-brain. They are formed into more or less 16 bundles in the mid-brain in the region of crus cerebri and then they enter the internal capsule to pass on to the cerebral cortex above.
In the upper part of medulla i.e. at the said level of decussation or just above it, we find that all the cortico-spinal fibres enter the medulla oblangata and form the pyramidal mass on each side of the anterior medulla oblangata, we can distinguish three tracts – a major medial tract formed by the mostly crossed lateral cortico-spinal fibres, a minor tract formed by the uncrossed lateral cortico-spinal fibres and another minor tract formed by the uncrossed anterior cortico-spinal fibres. The last two might give rise to the vision of a white petal on each side of the pericarp of the Ajna lotus, where as the said pericarp is formed by the central or medial part of the tract. Thus as these tracts are of radiating white axons (nerve fibres), the configurations of their cross-sections will give rise to the vision of a white lotus with two white petals in the lower Ajna (i.e. in the upper part of the medulla oblangata).
Now the breaking of the said pyramidal cortico-spinal tracts into a number of bundles -possibly into seventeen bundles with a central one serving as the pericarp and the rest as its sixteen petals – takes place in the pons and the mid brain. Therefore the white lotus of the same Ajna seen in the middle of the fore bead, a little above the middle of the eye-brows, i.e. as seen in the mid brain or in the thalamic region, has sixteen petals; This sense is clearly readable from the Tirumantram of the ancient well-known supramental Yogi of the south, namely Tirumoolar. He observes in stanzas in TM 1711, 2359 and 796 of his Tirumantram that above the beautiful lotus of the Ajna which has two petals (TM 1704) is seen its own sixteen petals (TM 1711) and that the sixteen petals are said to arise due to the sixteen kinds of vayu (i.e. rarefied vaporous energies of prana) and by their integration link the Ajna centre with the powerful super-mind above (TM 796) and make it a centre of the pure wisdom and Bliss of the supreme Truth-consciousness (TM 1711 and 2359).
Sri Aurobindo on Atoms and Atomic Particles and Etheric Space
Sri Aurobindo has expressed himself on the discoveries of modern science and in particular on nuclear physics, apart from the revelations he had by his own direct vision and experience of the atomic and sub-atomic micro world of the wave-particles of matter and their relation with the supra-physical substances in the vital, mental and supramental realms of existence. The extracts reproduced herein below are taken from his “Life Divine” written and revised in 1940 and from his epic poem “Savitri” completed by about 1950.
“When Science discovers that matter resolves itself into forms of Energy, it has hold of a universal and fundamental truth; and when philosophy discovers that matter only exists as substantial appearance to the consciousness and that the one reality is spirit or pure conscious Being, it has hold of a greater and completer, a still more fundamental truth. But still the question remains why Energy should take the form of Matter. ……….” (Life Divine, Tenth edn. p. 234).
” ………… as the All – Existent converts all His self-aspectings into various energy of His creative Force of consciousness, cosmic Mind turns these, its multiple view-points of universal existence, into stand points of universal Life; it turns them in Matter into forms of atomic being instinct with the life that forms them and governed by the mind and will that actuate the formation. At the same time, the atomic existences which it thus forms must by the very law of their being tend to associate themselves, to aggregate; and each of these aggregates also, instinct with the hidden life that forms and the hidden mind and will that actuate them, bears with it a fiction of a separated individual existence ……………” – (Life Divine, Tenth edn. p. 238)
“Thus not any eternal and original law of eternal and original Matter, but the nature of the action of cosmic Mind is the cause of atomic existence. Matter is a creation, and for its creation the infinitesimal, an extreme fragmentation of the Infinite, was needed as the starting point or basis. Ether may and does exist as an intangible, almost spiritual support of Matter, but as a phenomenon it does not seem, to or present knowledge at least, to be materially detectable. Subdivide the visible aggregate or the formal atom into essential atoms, break it up into the most infinitesimal dust of being, we shall still, because of the nature of the Mind and Life that formed them, arrive at some utmost atomic existence, unstable perhaps but always reconstituting itself in the eternal flux of force, phenomenally, and not at a mere unatomic extension incapable of contents, Unatomic extension of substance, extension which is not an aggregation, coexistence otherwise than by distribution in space are realities of pure existence, pure substance; they are a knowledge of Supermind …. They are the reality underlying Matter, but not the phenomenon which we call Matter. Mind, Life, Matter itself can be one with that pure existence and conscious extension in their static reality, but not operate by that one-ness in their dynamic action, self-perception and self-formation. – (Life Divine, Tenth edn. p. 238.)
Notes: Sri Aurobindo seems to refer by “formal atom and essential atom” to the atom as known to science and the nucleus of atom respectively. In subsequent passages he refers to electrons by the term “electric infinitesimals”.
“There must be and there are grades between inconscient substance (i.e. phenomenal matter) and utterly self-conscious self-extension, as between the principle of Matter and the principle of spirit …………. these gradations of substance, in one important aspect of their formulation in series, can be seen to correspond to the ascending series of Matter, Life, Mind, Supermind and that other higher divine triplicity of Sachchidananda. In other words, we find that substance in its ascension bases itself upon each of these principles and makes itself successively a characteristic vehicle for the dominating cosmic self-expression of each in their ascending series” (words within brackets are our own). – (Life Divine, Tenth edn. p. 255).
“A consciousness-Force, everywhere inherent in Existence, acting even when concealed, is the creator of the worlds, the occult secret of Nature. But in our material world and in our own being, consciousness has a double aspect; there is a force of Knowledge, there is a force of Ignorance.”– – (Life Divine, Tenth edn. P. 295)
6. “Actually to our Science this infinite or indeterminate Existence reveals itself as an Energy, known not by itself but by its works, which throws up in its motion waves of energism and in them a multitude of infinitesimals; these, grouping themselves to form larger infinitesimals, become a basis for all the creations of the Energy, even those farthest away from the material basis, for the emergence of a world of organised Matter, for the emergence of Life, for the emergence of Consciousness, for all the still unexplained activities of evolutionary Nature.”
-Courtesy : ‘Vallalar’s Vision of Nuclear Physics and the Nervous System’ by Sri T.R.Thulasiram.
General Editor Dr N.Mahalingam.