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The relationship between Spirituality and Science
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
5 min
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Acharya Prashant (AP): (reads question) "Only a soul free of desire can taste eternity." She is saying, “Had there been no desires, there would have been no inventions and discoveries, which ultimately led to a better life for all of us. According to an average person", she says, “living a comfortable life is far better than tasting eternity. So, why should one be free of desires?"

You get the result according to the status of your desire. Small desires fetch you small results. A little bigger desires fetch you results that are a little bigger. And great, mammoth, infinite desires bring you the infinite. So, somebody desired something petty, so at the most, he got something petty. Then, somebody desired something bigger, he got something bigger.

The question is: how much will satisfy you? The little obviously does not satisfy you. Even that which is relatively bigger does not satisfy you. The proof of that is that you don’t stop, your desires don't stop, even at that which is relatively bigger. And that is why those who knew had to talk of eternity. Eternity is the same as infinity. When you use space as the reference, then you say infinity. When you use time as the reference, then you say eternity. In either case, space and time are being negated. Eternity, infinity, immensity – they are all the same thing.

Inventions, discoveries are alright. They are products of relatively bigger desires, but there is something beyond the relatively big. The relatively big appears big only when compared to the relatively small. But the relatively big does not suffice. There has been no discovery or invention so far that has becalmed man’s tumultuous mind.

In fact, all discoveries and inventions have been co-opted by man’s tumultuous mind. Show me one invention, show me one discovery that has not become an accessory of war. Whatever man discovers ultimately comes to a violent use as well. It may have peaceful uses, yes, but because your restlessness has not been assuaged by the discovery, so, the discovery itself becomes an appendage of the restlessness.

The restlessness is so big and the discovery is so small that the restlessness consumes the discovery, the invention. So many great scientists were involved in the project that led to the building and then the subsequent dropping of the nuclear bombs over Japan and they were all wonderful scientists. The restlessness, the violence of the times was bigger, much bigger than the creative force that led to the splitting of the nucleus and the release of the great energy. So, the relatively big does not suffice.

Man wants something absolutely big. That’s when invention starts appearing so small and meditation comes into the picture. Those who are of little desires, to them, toys of inventions and discoveries appear significant, and those who have great desires, they move beyond inventions and discoveries. It is not as if they reject inventions and discoveries, it is just that they do not stop at inventions and discoveries. They are alright with invention, they are alright with science, they are alright with all the inquiry. It is just that they do not stop at science. They say, “Science is good, science is wonderful, but I need to go beyond science. Now that I know science, now that I know the fundamental principles of the philosophy of science. I need to go beyond that.”

Then, their desire for the absolute gives them something that is absolutely big, bigger than all the discoveries and inventions, bigger than the nuclear bombs, bigger than all the power plants, bigger than your space vessels, bigger than aircraft carriers, bigger than the biggest fruits of science and technology. That’s what you get when you have great desire.

That great desire is called the desire for realization, that great desire is called devotion, and remember that great desire is not opposed to science. It is just bigger than science. It includes science. It is just that science is small in front of it.

The spiritual man is not at all at odds with the scientists. In fact, he will agree with science. The spiritual man will fully agree with science. He will just say, “Science is wonderful but limited.” Because science takes no cognizance of consciousness. Science just takes the world as the material reality without ever asking to whom is the world a material reality?

Science will say, “that exists, that exists, that moves, that rises, that falls, that is that way.” But science does not ask who is saying all this, to whom does all this appear and why does all this appear? That is why science is not false but just incomplete.

Spirituality completes science. Spirituality is a step beyond science, not opposed to science.

Inventions and discoveries are wonderful, otherwise, how would we be chatting with each other right now? Yes, but the content of this chat does not come from inventions and discoveries. The content of this chat comes from the Absolute.

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