03 Mar

Did We Land on the Moon?

According to a Gallup poll, about 6% of Americans believe that man never went to the moon; they endorse conspiracy theories in which these landings were supposedly staged in a studio. This post is not about such conspiracy theories. I will discuss why we cannot go to the moon, although we can have the experience of going to the moon, based on a fractal space in which there is a ‘moon’ within earth (because the whole is represented in the part), but it is not the real moon. I will discuss how fractal space is evidenced in Sāńkhya when space is described as a tree rather than a box. Since modern science treats space as a box rather than a tree, we can interpret the arrival on the earthly moon to be the arrival on the real moon—assuming such a journey is undertaken. Thus, regardless of whether the moon landings were staged or not, we cannot go to the real moon, but we could go to the moon within the earth space. To understand the real moon, we will have to revise the model of space from a box into a tree.

Read More

08 May

The Universe in a Lotus Stem

One of the most enduring images in the Vedic scriptures is that of Lord Brahma sitting on a lotus the stem of which goes down to the navel of Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, who is also praised as Hiranyagarbha. The fourteen planetary systems in Vedic cosmology are described to reside inside the “stem” of this lotus, which is kind of perplexing because the universe is three dimensional—and described as a sphere—but the lotus stem is one dimensional. How can we squeeze three dimensions into one dimension? This post discusses this question, and shows how the three dimensions are reduced to one dimension by “twisting” the single dimension using a process like the “curved” flow of kundalini. The post discusses parallels between the body and the universe, the process of primary and secondary creations, and how these are connected to Sāńkhya as well as the forms of Lord Viṣṇu who are “controllers” in the material universe. 

Read More

19 Mar

Lessons of Ayurveda for Vedic Cosmology

The previous post discussed the model of the human body in Ayurveda. If you haven’t noticed, the most surprising aspect of Ayurveda is that it remains silent on what modern medicine calls heart, lungs, intestines, brain, pancreas, spleen, etc. It is surprising because modern medical education begins with anatomy and memorizing anatomy is every student’s job in the first year of medical school. Of course, Ayurveda also has a branch called shalya-chikitsa or surgery which relies on anatomy. But for the most part, Ayurveda doesn’t dwell on anatomy because it uses a conceptual model of the body quite different from the perceptual model. This means that the gross body is not the human anatomy as we see it. This fact offers some insights on the Vedic cosmological model too, because the cosmological model is not what we see. Just as a complete description of the human body exists without a description of human anatomy, similarly, a complete description of the cosmic model exists in Vedic cosmology without reference to what we see.

Read More