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Einstein: A believer of cosmic spirituality seeking the Universal experience

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By Gaurav Sharma

An assemblage of more than 25 lots of memorabilia and documents of renowned Physicist Albert Einstein are all set to be auctioned in the US, projected to fetch anywhere between $ 15000 and $ 40,000.

Apart from the personally handwritten autograph letters addressed to his family, the memorabilia includes a set of rare and intimate letters, including two that voice his views on religion and God.

Einstein’s views on the Atomic Bomb and the Relativity Theory are quite well known, but how exactly does the German-born Nobel laureate visualize the concept of religion and God?

The Beginning 

Born to secular Jewish parents, Einstein was a free-thinking man who, after reading various scientific books, came to realize that the state was intentionally deceiving the youth.

With this realisation, Einstein’s disposition towards every kind of social conviction became deeply skeptical.

“It is quite clear to me that the religious paradise of youth, which was thus lost, was a first attempt to free myself from the chains of the ‘merely personal,’ from an existence dominated by wishes, hopes, and primitive feelings”, says Einstein in his autobiographical notes.

At the same time, he found that an insight into the causal connections of the world presented an opportunity to, at least, partially access the great, eternal riddle of the universe.

A fierce ‘Personal God’ critic

Einstein, unequivocally, rubbished and derided the thought of a Supreme God. The concept of a personal God as propounded by the Church seemed “naive” and “childlike” to the father of the photoelectric effect.

“It seems to me that the idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I cannot take seriously. I feel also not able to imagine some will or goal outside the human sphere”, he is known to have stated.

Einstein bluntly demolished the concepts of a Supreme Being, proposed by philosophers and theosophists, as mere myths.

After reading Eric Gutkind’s book, Choose Life: The Biblical Call To Revolt, Einstein lettered a reply which said that the word God for him was nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends.

Such sentiments are also expressed in his book The World As I See It. Questioning that very morality of a personal God, Einstein says, “I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the type of which we are conscious in ourselves.”

He lambasted the believers of such a God as “fearful and absurdly egoistic” feeble souls.

An Agnostic Spiritualist

Even though Einstein, outrightly denounced the concept of God as a personal being, he did not consider him as an atheist either.

You may call me an agnostic, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being”, the genius freethinker is known to have said.

Einstein’s views on the Universe were more on the lines of Pantheism, a doctrine which identifies God with nature.

While contemplating the universe Einstein compared himself to a child who notes a ‘mystical order’ in the arrangement of books, which it does not comprehend but dimly suspects.

A believer in cosmic religion

While recognising the “miraculous order which manifests itself in all of nature as well as in the world of ideas”, Einstein dubbed himself as “devoutly religious”.

After segregating himself from the religious beliefs of fear and social morality, Einstein formulated a brand new category of religion called “cosmic religion”, and cast himself within its bounds. He classified this specific religious category as one of deep awe and mystery.

However, Einstein’s conjecture, “the sublimity and marvelous order which reveals itself in nature, makes the individual want to experience the universe as a single significant whole”, suggests a close similarity with the concept of Brahman as expounded by the Vedanta philosophy.

Also, Spinoza’s philosophy of the unity between the soul and the body, which has significant parallels with the Vedanta philosophy, deeply fascinated Einstein.

Both philosophies start with concept of the indeterminable being and admit the relative reality of particular things. And both schools of thought rule out existence of an external creator at the very outset.

Moreover, both philosophies posit the idea of a self-dependant and unconditioned being, albeit in different forms. In case of Spinoza, that being is the Universe, whereas for the Vedantist, it is an underlying principle.

Further, the hypothesis of modification by Spinoza is analagous to the Vedantic theory of Maya or illusion

Hence, it can be reasonably argued that Einstein’s view on nature, reality and Universe were close on the heels of Advaita Vedanta, although he never could fathom the concept of a transcendental reality.

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Indian Origin Girl Rajgauri Pawar tops Mensa IQ test in front of Britain

Pawar has outshined the greatest scientists on earth to achieve the prestigious feat, which is recorded by only one percent of those who appear for the elite society’s entry paper.

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Rajgauri Pawar outshines Einstein and Hawkings, Source- Twitter

London, May 15, 2017: Indian-origin girl Rajgauri Pawar has aced Stephen Hawking and Einstein in British Mensa IQ Test to get the IQ of 162 which is the highest IQ possible for the under-18 group.

This 12-year-old girl appeared in the British Mensa IQ test a month ago and has scored 2 points higher than the world renowned scientists.

Pawar has been invited to join the coveted Mensa IQ academy as a member.

It is believed that Mensa is the largest and oldest high-IQ society in the world. Anyone who can demonstrate an IQ in the top 2 percent of the population, measured by a recognized or approved IQ testing process can become the member of this society, mentioned TOI report.

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According to Mensa, she is one of only 20,000 people to achieve the score worldwide.

Pawar said, “I was a little nervous before the test but it was fine and I’m really pleased to have done so well.”

Pawar has outshined the greatest scientists on earth to achieve the prestigious feat, which is recorded by only one percent of those who appear for the elite society’s entry paper.

Pawar’s father, Dr. Suraj Kumar Pawar said, “this wouldn’t have been possible without the efforts of her teachers and the support which my daughter enjoys every day at school.” Rajagauri’s proud teachers and

Rajagauri’s proud teachers and elated schoolmates at Altrincham Girls’ Grammar School cannot stop celebrating the big feat achieved by their student. “We are very proud of Rajgauri,” said Andrew Barry, her maths teacher. “Everybody is delighted. She is a very well-liked student, and we all expect great things from her!”.

In 2016, another Indian-origin boy, Dhruv Talati attained the coveted score of 162 to ace Stephen and Einstein.  Dhruv Talati, who lives in Ilford, London topped the high-IQ society’s Cattell B paper.

These young buds are being named as the most intelligent people across the globe.

– prepared by Nikita Tayal of NewsGram, Twitter: @NikitaTayal6 

 

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Core of Hinduism: Know about the Concepts of Vedanta Philosophy

Vedanta goes on to assert that beneath this outward changing lies a fundamental reality which is supreme, called Brahman

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Wikimedia Commons, Vedanta
Wikimedia Commons
  • Main concepts of Vedanta- the first is human’s real nature is divine and the second concept is that the aim of human life is to realise this divinity
  • Brahman is designated by Advaitins as saccidananda: as “being” (sat), “consciousness” (cit), and “bliss” (ananda)
  • Brahman, for Advaita Vedanta, is a name for that fullness of being which is the “tranquillity” of non-dualistic spiritual experience

Vedanta philosophy or Uttara Mimamsa is the orthodox philosophy of Hinduism. It has two main concepts. The first is human’s real nature is divine and the second concept is that the aim of human life is to realise this divinity. Vedanta goes on to assert that beneath this outward changing lies a fundamental reality which is supreme, called Brahman.

The Hindu scriptural tradition is quite remarkable for its size and diversity;not only are there a very large number of works designated as revelation,but the specific content of these works varies greatly. In order to make this vast body of literature more manageable, it was necessary for theologians to summarise and reconcile the many different theological doctrines found in scripture. Within the Hindu tradition, the task developed into a separate field of theological writing, known as Mimamsa, mentioned the Hinduism expert Subhamoy Das in hinduism.about.com.

The Mimamsa tradition developed along the two lines that stand out in varying degrees of conflict and conformity throughout the Hindu tradition, namely the distinction between Karma (or dharma) and jnana or action and knowledge as the means of liberation. From this tradition came two Mimamsa-type works, the Kalpa Sutras, which were concise descriptions of the Brahmanical sacrifices, and the Purva Mimamsa Sutras, which summarised the doctrines and principles behind the sacrificial tradition. Uttara Mimamsa represented a systematisation of jnana Kanda and drew its texts primarily from the Upanisads and Aranyaka portion of the Brahmans.

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Knowledge of Real-Self

The hinduism.about.com mentioned, in the age of scepticism and materialism, few people care to know their real Self, which is divine and eternal. But the knowledge of the true Self has always been the principal theme of Vedanta philosophy. Upanishads, which form portions of the Vedic Scriptures, discovered and taught that knowledge of self-lies at the root of all knowledge, whether science, philosophy or religion. Every sincere seeker after knowledge , hence, who aspire intellectual, moral or spiritual development, must first learn to distinguish between spirit and matter, soul and body, and then realise the all-knowing spiritual Self who is the eternal foundation of the universe.

Advaita Vedanta

Advaita means oneness. According to the scriptural approach, the Advaitic thinking can be condensed into three concise statements: Brahman is non-dual; the world is a delusion; (Atman) which is immortal is not different from reality (Brahman).

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The swan is an important motif in Advaita, Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Brahman is designated by Advaitins as saccidananda: as “being” (sat), “consciousness” (cit), and “bliss” (ananda).

Being (sat)- point to the ontological principle of unity, to the oneness not constituted of parts, to the existential sun stratum of all subjects and objects. Brahman is experienced as pure unqualified being. In fact, it alone truly “exists” – which means that manner of being is not comparable to the supposes existence of anything else.

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Consciousness(cit) indicates to the principle of awareness which informs being and which is, for the Advaitin, an unchanging witness of our being.Brahman experience is an illuminating experience; it is a state of conscious enlightenment.

Bliss (Ananda) indicates to the principle of value; to the fact that Brahman-experience is ecstatic and nullify all partial value in its incomparable splendour.

Advaita Vedanta distinguishes two aspects or modes of Brahman, nirguna, and saguna. Nirguna Brahman: a Brahman without qualities is just that transcendent interminate state of being about which ultimately nothing can be affirmed. Saguna Brahman: a Brahman with qualities, is Brahman as interpreted and affirmed by the mind from its necessarily limited standpoint.

Overall: Brahman, for Advaita Vedanta, is a name for that fullness of being which is the “tranquillity” of non-dualistic spiritual experience: an experience in which all distinctions between object are shattered and in which all distinctions between subjects objects are shattered and in which remains only pure unqualified “oneness”.

–  by Akanksha Sharma of NewsGram. Twitter: Akanksha4117

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Mayan, Sumerian, and Mexican: The Untold Link and Similarities to Ancient India

Elephant bar on the temples of Yucatan city holds a strong resemblance to the Hindu text of Ramayana, the elephant, and deeds of King Rama of Ayodhya

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Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Ancient India, one of the world’s earliest urban civilisation has crossed several centuries. It had a long-lived civilisation. Many shreds of evidence have been found that culture of Ancient India has similarities with Sumerian, Mexican, and Mayan culture.

Similarities: Indian Sumerian-

Evidence has been found that there was a social interaction between the Indus valley and Sumeria. Indian teak was found in the ruins of Ur(Mugheir), which was the capital of the Sumerian kings in the IV millennium B.B. and the other is that the word Sindhu or muslin is mentioned in an ancient Babylonian list of clothing.

The occurrence of ‘s’ in the word proves that this muslin did not go to Mesopotamia via Persia, for then ‘s’ would have become ‘h’ in Persian months, as the name of this country, derived from the river Sind. Therefore, muslin went directly by sea from the Tamil Coast to the Persian Coast and the Babylonian word Sindhu is not derived from the name of the river but from the old Dravidian word, ‘sindi’, which is still found in Tulu and Canarese, and means ‘a piece of cloth’ and represented by the Tamil word ”sindu”, a flag.

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Excavated ruins of Mohenjo-daro
Excavated ruins of Mohenjo-Daro, Wikimedia Commons

Harappa was known as Meluha to the Akkadians. Like the evolution of state-building in Mesopotamia, its focus was land- based, but it also engaged in significant sea-going trade with Gulf. The Sargon I text refers to Meluhha boats as being large cargo vessels.

Similarities: Ancient India and Mexico-

Mexican art and architecture display a combination of cultural and social themes, such as the ancient Indian civilisations. Mexican indigenous art before the invasion of Spanish people achieved a remarkable level of development and sophistication. Created by Indian with virtually no outside influence.

Most Mexican indigenous art before the arrival of the Spanish was inspired by religion. The gods of the indigenous Indians dominated every facet of Indian life, and many Indian works of art were created as offerings to the gods. The Olmecs, who developed the first civilised culture in Mexico between 1300 and 400 B.C., were also the country’s finest artists. They made jewellery and ceramics but are best known for their stone carvings. Huge shapes of human heads, discovered mostly in the state of Veracruz, are the earliest portraits that remain of these ancient people. These heads are believed to have the honour of the Olmec rulers.

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Teotihuacan, Wikimedia Commons

The Olmecs pyramids began as a mound of earth covered with rough stones. The pyramids served several functions. They were temples where priests could pray and perform rituals for the gods . They were also symbolic mountains meant to bring people closer to Heaven.
Teotihuacan, located to the northeast of Mexico City, is another fine example of an ancient Indian city, with extraordinary pyramids, temples, and roads made for the kings, mentioned a book by Gene D. Matlock

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Similarities: Mayan dynasty and Ancient India-

Chichen Itza 3.jpg
Chichen Itza, Wikimedia Commons

Elephants are featured in Mayan sculptures, although the mammoth supposedly was extinct during the time of the Mayan civilisation. One of the oldest artistic works found dates back to 30,000 B.C., done on an elephant bone. In March 1952, Mexican pre-historians Maldonado Koerdell and Lis Aveleyra found at Ixtapan a complete skeleton of an elephant with the stone artefacts, including two spearheads between the ribs of an elephant and nearby, the remnants of ‘Tepexpan Man’. the radiocarbon date was determined to be at about 10,000 B.C. , Indian myths and legends tell about an animal similar to the mammoth.

In Indian life, we find tales about monsters and heroes that effectively describe an animal very similar to the mammoth. Elephants are very common in India and played an important role as the elephant gods, Ganesha, in the Hindu religion. Artefacts featuring elephants in a seated position posed as tough praying have been uncovered as stone pipes in mounds in North America, elephant bar on temples in the Yucatan, Mexico and in Copan, Honduras. This elephant bar holds a strong resemblance to the Hindu text of Ramayana, the elephant, and deeds of King Rama of Ayodhya are featured in the creation myth. Architectural stone carvings in Hindu temples of India and the extensive Mayan temple ruins of Chichen Itza in the northeastern Yucatan state of Mexico have similar stone carvings.

– prepared by Akanksha Sharma of NewsGram. Twitter: Akanksha4117

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