Abstract....How yoga brings a convergence between science and spirituality, how mysticism meets the rationale and the reasoning, how intellect meets the contemplator. They are not in conflict with one another rather in harmony with each other.
The point where science meets spirituality, where one shakes hands with the other to bring a harmony, between the body, mind and soul. The yoga awakens us, so there is a recognition of oneness between human being and the humankind. In the far extending impact of yoga, there is an enlightening convergence between science and spirituality.
The word yoga can be traced back to the Rig Veda, originating in India. The philosophy, and the science sprang from Patanjali, through the famous text, Patanjali yoga-sutra. The yoga teachings were to be practiced as a health regime which would lead to physical fitness. But its benefits go beyond the physical health. The human persona is not just reflected through a physical body but a harmony through body, mind and soul. And this is where yoga comes in to attempt a balance between all of them. It harmonizes the physical body, the reasoning intellect and the eternal soul.
The mind always runs in diverse directions. But through the harmonized approach of yoga, the it becomes unflickering, unwavering and we get a mastery of our warbling minds. What previously seemed uncontrollable, now seems to be in control through the balance attained by yoga. So, we realize the unity between personal consciousness and universal consciousness. In this sense the individual consciousness and the universal consciousness do not have any standing differences. Yoga teaches to see the unity, to recognize it between us and the environment and ultimately the bond of interconnectedness between everything in this universe. The essence of such a realization is to sense the oneness, to feel it deep down in our hearts, and to bow down to such a truth that resides in the heart of this universe. So, we can experience the oneness among all sentient beings in this world.
Scientific research investigated the relationship between a yoga practitioner and brain function, to see if there could be a connection at the most intense and mystical moments of a practitioner between the human consciousness and the compelling need to feel a bond with the greater whole. If human beings could step out of the individual consciousness and long for the belonging in a cosmic consciousness. As per neurologists Andrew and Eugene, the spiritual impulse is so deeply seated in the biology of the brain. After many investigations of the brain function, the behaviors, and deep rooted studies of meditators, the revolutionary conclusion was made, that a spiritual belief has its roots that can be traced back in the brain biology. The discovery found that spiritual contemplative practices creates an alteration in the brain activity, due to which our perception of the transcendent spiritual experiences can be viewed as real and not illusory. It feels so intense that it almost seems tangible. Through meditation and prayers performed by meditators and nuns, they feel the oneness with this universe and such a feeling arises due to the altered brain activity at the intense moments of contemplation. So the feeling of a divine presence is palpable and not a delusion, that results from a chain of neurological events behind which lies the observance, recording and they can be actually photographed.
Newberg and Eugene found an intimate connection between the spiritual experience and human biology. It is the biology that somehow compels the need for a spiritual longing, that drives the urge. Yogic experience in its purest form is mysticism and it is the science of ultimate, the science of union between the absolute and nothingness. The nature of such a reality can be realized through a yogic encounter which is mystical. It is a state of unitary continuum where the absolute and nothing else move together in a continuous sequence adjacently. They act as a cohesive force, existing side by side. They do not counteract each other, rather they solidify one another.
There is the concept of a participatory universe from the epoch- making discovery of Werner Heisenberg when he concluded that the electron picture is blurred and unknowable. And the quantum theory that attempts at an understanding of physics, chemistry and biology, one of its creators Erwin Schrodinger attempted to give some form to the sore ideas of Vedanta through quantum mechanics. The secrets of consciousness have a quantum basis. As per Heisenberg’s Uncertainty principle, any attempt for the discovery of ultimate reality is futile as the classification into subject and object, interior world and exterior world falls short of adequacy. Consequently in a sub-atomic world, the observer becomes the participator, a perspective that carries much of a similarity with the notion of participatory universe as per the yogic view. Much later J.S. Bell, a leading physicist confirmed that at the fundamental levels there is an intimate and immediate connection between the separate parts of this universe. They are not fragmented, rather they belong to a unified wholeness.
Jayita Bhattacharjee....born in Calcutta, India and later on education from University of Houston in Economics, she had chosen her career as a trustee and teacher.
Her books " The Ecstatic Dance of Life",
" Sacred Sanctuary", " Light of Consciousness", " Dewdrops of Compassion" " The Light of Life",
" Song of Eternity" " The Breath of Heaven" are among the many that she has authored.