• Philosophy,  Physics,  Religion

    What is Prāna?

    Sāńkhya divides matter into manas (mind), prāna (life force), and vāk. In the previous post, we discussed the nature of vāk and manas as the relation between word and meaning, or between matter and mind. This post elaborates on the third aspect of matter called prāna. The post discusses the role prāna plays in the motion of material objects, in the creation of bodies, and in the transmigration of the soul. The topic is fairly complex, so reader patience is essential to get through to the end. I will begin with a discussion of the problems of motion in mathematics and physics, because grasping these problems is essential to laying…

  • Philosophy,  Physics,  Religion

    Why Sāńkhya Is Important for Quantum Theory

    This post discusses the relevance of the idea of “gross” and “subtle” matter in Sāńkhya to the problems of prediction in quantum theory, highlighting the solution using everyday examples. I also discuss how the attempts to divorce “gross” and “subtle” matter, or reduce “subtle” matter to “gross” matter, lead to the widespread proliferation of alternate “spiritualities”, which are thriving on the misconceptions about the quantum problem: wherever you look, you can find impersonalistic or voidistic “spirituality” based on a flawed interpretation of the quantum phenomena. The post discusses why a solution to this problem based on Sāńkhya would not only produce a scientific theory and advance science to a newer…

  • Overview,  Philosophy

    What are Manifest and Unmanifest States of Matter?

    This is a follow-up to the previous post, which discussed the nature of space in Śrimad Bhāgavatam (SB). The goal of this one is to describe the ideas of “manifest” and “unmanifest” states of matter. Matter in the Śrimad Bhāgavatam (and indeed in many other Vedic literatures) is described as originating in an “unmanifest” form, which essentially means that it cannot be known and observed, although it exists. From this “unmanifest” state, a “manifest” state of matter is produced, which can be known and observed. This post discusses how we must understand these states of matter, and how this understanding is related to the observer’s knowledge.