• Cosmology

    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…

  • Cosmology

    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…

  • Biology,  Cosmology,  Medicine

    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…