A modern scientific awareness of the famous advaitic expression Brahma sat, jagat mithya, jivo brahmaiva na aparah is presented. The oneness of jiva and Brahman are explained from modern science point of view. The terms dristi, adhyasa, vivartanam, aham and idam are understood in modern scientific terms and a scientific analysis is given.
Further, the forward (purodhana) and reverse (tirodhana) transformation of maya as jiva, prapancham, jagat and viswam, undergoing vivartanam is understood and explained using concepts from physics and electronics. The application of such an understanding to the field of bionics, the electro-chemical neural communication processes is discussed. The possible use of this insight to build software for modeling human cognition and language learning and communication processes is hinted.
Human knowing, perception, reasoning, intellectual abilities, understanding, experience etc., are mental processes in the organism human-being belonging to homosapien species with vertebrate, helping it to cognize. Naturally, human mental processes are biological involving physico- chemical energy transitions and transformations relating to brain and the nervous system. Proteins, which are made up of amino acids which are oriented in space as poly-peptides, are one of the chief macromolecules that take part in these cognitive processes. All this is the hard-ware part of human cognitive system and relates to physiological psychology discipline.
The soft-ware describing human mental functions is being developed in the modern scientific fields of artificial- intelligence. Human knowing (through sense organs and brain) and perception are being modeled by many philosophers and scientists. Also several branches of learning take modeling of human cognitive process as one of their subject matters. Epistemology, psychology, physiological psychology, neurology, artificial-intelligence contribute to the study of human cognitive processes in their own way.
The Upanishads are replete with many expressions which deal with human faculties and mental processes which can be used to understand and model human cognitive processes [1-14]. Indian spiritual wisdom contained in the Upanishads, Advaita siddhanta, Shad Darshanas and similar texts is not necessarily theological but is also psychological and scientific. The Upanishads are traditionally commented on as theological texts . But Upanishads are also texts of science on human mind [2-9. ]Advaita and Dvaita concepts can be successfully used to understand the theory of human mental processes [3-5]. Atmajnana, the Upanishadic wisdom when interpreted from psychology and modern science point of view, yields a mine of information about phases of mind, states of mind and functions of mind [3-9]. The physical structure of mind and a model and possible theory of human cognition and language learning and communication processes can be presented when the ideas from Upanishadic wisdom, Advaita thought and Sabdabrahma theory are clubbed [6,7]. As a continuation to this approach, vivartanam, the chief idea of Advaita thought about generation of maya from Atman and transformation of maya to form idam consisting of jiva, prapancham, jagat etc., and their modern scientific implications are presented from physics and electronics view and understanding.
Vivartanam is the type of change that maya undergoes while sristi (creation of mental impressions) takes place, when sristi is in the awareness we are mentally functioning. When sristi is in the awareness a veil is formed on dristi and creates adhyasa. According to Advaita thought only two mental situations are available for humans in the awareness of the Atman. The situations are nidra or sristi. Nidra corresponds to the sushupti state of consciousness. During this phase of mind, all mental functions cease to be in the awareness and maya, whose transformations these mental functions are, becomes nirvishaya suddha vasana pravaham. During this phase of mind maya does not bifurcate as divyam (jnana sakti) and swaram (prana sakti) as in jagrat and swapna conscious states and both sense and actions organs remain dormant and functionless [3-5].
All human learning, knowing, communication, perception, reasoning, experience, understanding and a state transcending these mental functions are the combined and simultaneous operation of Atman, maya, antahkaranas (inner mental tools), pancha pranas, sense organs and action organs [3-5]. Mental functions take place as the inter-play of advaita (vishranta dristi-unoccupied awareness-pure consciousness) and dvaita (simultaneous presence of antarmukha dristi-awareness of within of the body and bahirmukha dristi- awareness of the without of the body). Sense organs are activated by the antahkarana manas and this forms the baharmukha dristi- awareness of the without of the body. During this awareness of mind tanmatras (object-energy forms) are sensed by sense organs by tuned manas. Perception is a construct from the inputs through sense organs and manas. Manas gives dristi or awareness of without and within of the body, concerning the sensing and sensed and created object-energy forms.
Advaita Siddhanta and Sabdabrahma Siddhanta of Indian grammarians are cases in point. Like Vedanta Darsana, Sabdabrahma Theory has advaita philosophy as its basis - . Advaita philosophy is an integrated psychology, which professes the sameness of the knower in both the self-conscious (jivatma) state and the Witness in the transcendent pure-conscious (paramatma) state with Being and Becoming in forward and reverse directions during the processes of Expression/Teaching and Knowing /Learning . Brahma sat jagat mithya jivo brahmaiva na aparah- means What is present always is Brahman and jagat (which is moving or transient) is adhyasa and mithya (unreal); jiva is Brahman Itself, not different or distinct or separate.
In Advaita (No Two or non-dual) state human mind possesses consciousness only. As Prajnanam, Atman gives Dristi to observe, be aware of and be conscious of understanding, meanings and senses of cognitions and cognition created experiences. During advaita phase, no transformation of maya-no creation, transformation and functioning of antahkaranas (inner mental tools) takes place but the current of awareness is connected to sense organs and action organs which are ready to function but not in a functioning state. In dvaita (two or dual) state of mind human mind exists as consciousness and awareness. Upanishads call consciousness as Aham and awareness of vasanas and prapancham as idam. The awareness, the manifestation of human mental functions is transitory and exists or ceases to be depending on the phase of mind. Awareness is present in Jagrat (Wakeful) and Swapna (dream) conscious states or phases of mind. In Jagrat Sushupti (Wakeful Sleep) or Sushupti (Deep Sleep) consciousness states or phases of mind awareness of mind as being intelligent to mental operations and doing mental functions will be absorbed in pure consciousness. In Wakeful Sleep conscious state awareness will be always on and mind functions if willed [1-7]. We, humans learn, know, communicate, teach, perceive, think, experience, understand etc., when an interplay of wakeful , dream conscious states happen simultaneously making use of dual (dvaita) and non-dual (advaita) conscious states during which time maya, the reflected chit energy transforms reversibly to facilitate us to perform mental tasks. This two-way- forward and reverse transformation of maya- is technically known as vivartanam in advaita thought. In dual (dvaita) state of mind, sense organs and action organs are active and function forming mental operations and thus enable us to perform all mental functions with the help of inner mental tools (antahkaranas--manas, buddhi, chittam and ahamkaram) which are two-way transformations of maya [4,5]. The alternating and simultaneous rise and set of dual mental state and ever present non-dual consciousness give us cognizing, communicative and other mental abilities.
Most of present attempts aim at modeling machine cognition as an isolated process which is the result of sensing [4,5]. But if human mental processes are observed, it becomes obvious that human perception is but an intermediary process which transfers sensing into sense (understanding/experience) and sense into expression. Human cognitive process can be stated sequentially as follows:
(1) sensing: through sense organs (knowing),
(2) perception (thinking, reasoning, decision making, etc.,),
(4) purport - meaningful experience or experienced meaning.
Human mental process is generally held to be a combination and quick successive transformations of four modes i.e.,
(a) Purport/Awareness (Meaningful Experience or Experienced Meaning
(d) Utterance /Expression
(a) Knowing (through sense organs)
(d) Purport (Meaningful Experience/Experienced Meaning)/Awareness.
Language is the chief communication tool in day-to-day transactions and also in learning, understanding and imparting various knowledges, disciplines and skills. This paper intends to show that the understanding of human cognitive processes could be improved if due attention were paid to relevant data of physics- energy and its transformations playing a vital role- and- more surprisingly and interestingly – to Upanishadic wisdom and advaita philosophy.
Atman can be compared to present-day electronic oscillator and can be considered as a bio-oscillator issuing out psychic energy pulses of period 10 [-1] sec. [3-9] and thus relates to the field of bionics. Atman is construed to be the Energy-Presence which provides psychic or mental energy and mental time-space [4,5]. The psychic energy pulses when reflected in the Medha become maya- the virtual chit energy; chidabhasa. Maya is also known as pranavam [3-5] .
Human mind functions in Jagrat (wakeful conscious state) and Swapna (dream conscious state) – termed as dvaita ( Two – aham- idam ) conscious states - using above mental tools and simultaneously uses these Jagrat and Swapna conscious states and alternates between dvaita and advaita No Two – only Aham – Aham - the Jagrat Sushupti- conscious state and aids humans to know, reason, do intellectual operations, understand, experience and be blissful, peaceful and silent .
In the dvaita (aham-idam) conscious state a differentiated perception of knower and known exists while knowing/learning. Thus a triad (triputi) of knower-knowing-known exists and perceived. The perception of this triad is absent in advaita (Aham-Aham) conscious state; then perception of knower and known gets absorbed in knowing and only awareness of knowing in the form of meaningful experience / experienced meaning /understanding remains /results . In advaita state experience / understanding / sense (of a word) becomes cognitive energy-form by and in Eternal Awareness Prajnanam , transcending dvaita conscious state. Advaita conscious state is also the state of purport - tatpara, tatparya, rasa or bhakti state.
Bhakti defined as swa swaroopaanusandhanam bhaktirityabhidhiyate or cheto vrittirupetya tisthati sadaa saa bhaitirityuchyate is the normal or natural or ground –energy state of mind. This is the state of absence of mental functions - the two-way transformation of maya and antahkaranas . This is the state of Atman or Brahman. In this state the chidaabhasa or virtual chit -energy maya – does not transform into antahkaranas (no vivartanam takes place) and no antahkarana parinama (transformation of inner mental tools) takes place. This state is also known as suddha sattava guna state, which amounts to nirguna state. Rajo guna (antahkarana mode) or Tamo guna (antahkaranama parinama-cognition of objective energy-form) cease be. Transformation of maya, reverse transformation of maya and cessation of transformation maya-the dvaita and advaita conscious states respectively- taking place simultaneously, consecutively and alternately is the structure, form, function, state and essence of human cognitive processes.
Transformation of maya as antahkaranas and pancha pranas and thence activating sense and action organs respectively and simultaneously (wakeful and dream phases of mind) is the vibhakti state or the state of ego- jivatma -state. All knowings /learnings /expressions /teachings take place in this vibhakti state making use of all mental tools in the awareness of Atman. Sabdabrahma Theory as proposed by Patanjali and developed by Bhartruhari et al takes this advaita/dvaita concept and a theory of language learning/teaching, speaking/understanding in the four modes of mind (para, pasyanti, madhyama and vaikhari) is developed using sphota vada, a consequence of Sabdabrahma Theory [7-19].
In this theory the advaita state - Jagrat Sushupti- proposed by Vedantins corresponds to para mode of language communication process. This is the tatparya (purport) or rasa (experienced meaning) state. This tatparya state is a state of awareness of experience of meanings. And in this awareness the untransformed maya is the flow of suddha vasanas. Pasyanti mode of language is the state of senses (of words/sentences) or artha sthiti or state of verb. The verb will be in a present continuous or infinite form without subject and object.
When an object energy-form. the tanmatra – a vishaya- is sensed through antahkaranas, this verb state becomes a state of sentence – bhava or thought. This state is known as madhyama mode of language -the vibhakti state of sentence or thought and is the modulated chidabhasa (undergone vivartanam). This modulated energy- form gets transformed into sound energy through vocal chords’ movement and is expressed /uttered. This is the vaikhari mode of language. All this happens in the speaker/teacher.
This uttered sound-energy (the vaikhari mode of language) is picked up by the ears (sense organs) of the listener/learner and becomes sentence in the madhyama mode- the modulated chidabhasa mode in conjugation with the antahkaranas (inner mental tools). This sentence-energy form in madhyama mode is in subject-verb-object (the triad-triputi) form. This mode of language gets demodulated (reverse transformation of maya - the vivartanam in the reverse direction) into meaning, resulting in understanding/experience in the pasyanti mode- to a verb (sense), in present continuous or infinite form, the subject and object being dissolved in the sense of uttered /expressed sound.. This, when meaningfully experienced in the awareness of para mode, is the purport or rasa or tatparya of the uttered word- Bliss, Being, Peace or Unoccupied Awareness , the normal or natural state of mind - i.e, the state of Self, Atman or Brahman.
Thus chit-energy pulses, being issued out by Atman (Sat-Chit-Ananda) and after getting reflected in the medha as virtual or chit- energy (chidabhasa or maya) pulses , first get modulated from this para / rasa / tatparya state by cognizing stored energies in potential (jada) form–in the form of subject-object- free verbs/senses, experiences, intuitions, understandings, urges , volitions through the antahkarna chittam to be transformed in to the mode of pasyanti; then again gets transformed into subject-verb-object state, the madhyama mode - by simultaneously cognizing the object energy-forms –vishayas, stored as potential energy (jada) forms – as idam, jagat or prapancham through the antahkarana, manas in the awareness of within – antarmukha dristi- as bhavas or thoughts. Intellectual operations such as reasoning, decision making, take place in this awareness. When the antahkarana, manas is tuned to the object energy-forms (light-eye, sound-ear, chemical- tongue, nose and heat, mechanical-skin) through jnanendriyas –sense organs- then the awareness becomes bahirmukha dristi-awareness of without. This process and the reverse of this process, happen in human-beings while expressing/speaking or listening/learning- as transformation or reverse transformation respectively-together known as vivartanam- of maya and antahkarnas in conjugation with sense organs and action organs, karmendriyas.
This is the essence or gist of human cognitive process and language communication process as envisaged by the Upanishads and the advaita philosophy together with Sabdmabrahma Theory in terms of vivartanam. Thus this simple model of integrated psychology (the science of mind and mental functions) and language communication process when compared with the radio broadcasting and reception processes, depicts the gross energy-transforms’ model of human cognitive process. This model provides necessary soft-ware while constructing machines which can perform human mental tasks.
The following are relevant Lalita Sahasra namams which further aid and clarify present article and enhance the understanding:
Jagrat swapna sushupteenam sakshi bhootyai namah Sarvaavasthaa vivarjitaai namah
Sarvoopadhi vinurmakta chantainayayai namah Tatwamartha swaroopinyai namah
Punaraavritti rahita pura sthaai namah Mithya jagadadhisthaanaaai namah
Sristi sthiti tiroodhaana sankalpaai namah Satya jnaana ananda swaroopinyai namah
Iccha sakti jnaana sakti kriya sakti swaroopaai namah
Para pasyanti madhyama vaikhari swaroopinai namah
Namaroopa vivarjitaai namah
Psychological and Scientific Meanings of Chief Upanishadic Mahavakyas
1. Aham Brahma Asmi – I am Brhman
The real identity of ‘I’ is Unoccupied Awareness. ‘I’ is not a body, person, thought or not a sense. ‘I’ is pure consciousness.
‘I’ is the impersonal Seer which is the source of mental energy and guide of and witness to transformation of mental energy as mental functions but unaffected by them and transcending both mental functions and their cessation.
2. Tat Tvam Asi – That is You
Self and Pure Consciousnesses are same in nature, content, structure, form (function) and presence. At a given moment either self-consciousness or pure consciousness will be present. Self-consciousness is super imposition over pure consciousness. Pure consciousness is continuous, self-consciousness is transient and transitory.
3. Ayam Atma Brahma – This Atman is Brahman
Atman is Brahman – Unoccupied Awareness – Energy Presence without transformation.
4. Prajnanam Brahma – Prajnanam is Brahman
Brahman– as Atman –– Energy Presence – is Mental Time- Space and Continuous Awareness.
Prajnanam is Unoccupied ( by cognitions, thoughts, cognition-related and created experiences, senses or their retrieval) Awareness in Pure Consciousness.
5 Raso vy Saha – Awareness of Experience / Experience of Meaning is Brahman
Experience of Essence of the meanings of all vakyas (sentences) - All Cognition-related experiences in the awareness of the Atman- Meaningful Experience. Silence. Peace. Bliss. Experienced meaning. Purport. Import
6. Anando Brahma – BLISS IS BRAHMAN
Unoccupied Awareness is bliss.
7. Sarvam Khalu Idam Brahma – All Idam is Brahman
Idam, (prapancham or jagat ) ( all the world - the collection of cognitions sensed by sense organs through the medium of manas) – is composed in, made up of, sustained by Brahman/Atman/Self.
Radhakrishnan. S., 1994, The Principal Upanishads, Indus, An imprint of Harper Collins Publishers India.
Ramabrahmam, V., 1997, Meditation on the Self through Physics, Proceedings of the World Congress for the Synthesis of Science and Religion, Calcutta.
Ramabrahmam, V. November, 2003 The Significance and Use of Absence, Bharatiya Bauddhika Sampada 7.
Ramabrahmam, V., 2004, A modern scientific awareness of Upanishadic Wisdom: Implications to Physiological Psychology and Artificial Intelligence Proceedings of the World Congress on Vedic Sciences, Vijnana Bharati, Bangalore, pp. 562-68.
Ramabrahmam, V., 2005a, Human cognitive process-An ancient Indian model, Proceedings of the International Vedic Conference on Contribution of Vedas to the World, Haridwar
Ramabrahmam, V., 2005b, Being and Becoming: A Physics and Upanishadic Awareness o fTime And Thought Process, Ludus Vitalis, XIII Num. 24, pp 139-154.
Ramabrahmam, V., 2006, Elements of cognitive sciences and artificial intelligence in Gayatri Mantra - Proceedings of National seminar on Bharatiya Heritage in Engineering and Technology at Department of Metallurgy and Inorganic Chemistry, I.I.Sc., Bangalore, India, pp. 249-254
Ramabrahmam. V. 2007a, The Science of Human Consciousness. Ludus Vitalis, XV. No. 27, pp. 127-142.
Ramabrahmam, V., 2007b The physics and electronics meaning of vivartanam, Paper presented at 2nd World Congress on Vedic Sciences, February 9-11, 2007 Banaras Hindu University, VARANASI, UP, India
Ramabrahmam, V., 2007c Upanishadic ways of calming the mind, Presentation at the national seminar on “The Indian Approach to Calming the Mind” on 25th and 26th August, 2007 at VedaVijnana Gurukulam, Bangalore.
Ramabrahmam, V., 2007d, Physics of Yoga, Paper presented at the National Seminar on “Yogic Methods of Enquiry” held at Maris Stella College (Autonomous), Vijayawada from 10th to 12th December, 2007.
Ramabrahmam, V., 2008a, The physical structure and function of mind: A modern scientific translation of Advaita philosophy with implications and application to cognitive sciences and natural language comprehension, Paper presented at national seminar on Sanskrit in the Modern Context conducted by Department of Sanskrit Studies and the School of humanities, University of Hyderabad between11-13, February 2008.
Ramabrahmam, V., 2008b, Concept of mind in yoga sutras and vedanta panchadasi: A comparison, Paper presented at Patanjaluiyam, tetradic national seminar on Bharatiya Scientific Heritage Patanjaliyam-Kautilyiyam-Parasshariyam-Bharadvajiyam (Exploration into the interface os Spiritual, Social, Agricultural and Engineering Sciences) held at SDM College, Ujjire-Dharmastlala, Mangalore, 13th-16th May, 2008.
Ramabrahmam, V., 2008c, The infrasonics of human cognition and communication, Paper presented at Bharadvajiyam tetradic national seminar on Bharatiya Scientific Heritage Patanjaliyam-Kautilyiyam-Parasshariyam-Bharadvajiyam (Exploration into the interface os Spiritual, Social, Agricultural and Engineering Sciences) held at SDM College, Ujjire-Dharmastlala, Mangalore, 13th-16th May, 2008.
Ramanuja Tatacharya, N.S., 2005, Sabdabodhameemamsa-An Inquiry into Indian Theories of Verbal Cognition Part I - The Sentences and its Significance Institut Francais De Pondichery, Pondicherry - Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan,
Ramanuja Tatacharya, N.S., 2006, Sabdabodhameemamsa-An Inquiry into Indian Theories of Verbal Cognition Part II - Case Terminations and their Significance Institut Francais De Pondichery, Pondicherry - Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan,
Bhartruhari, 1974 Vakyapadeeyam, .Telugu Akadami, Hyderabad.
Vaasishta Ganapati Muni., 1982, Viswa Mimamsa, Kavyakanta Bharathi, Anakapalli.
Vaasishta Ganapati Muni., 1994, Uma Sahasram, Sri Sai Shyam Trust, Nandyal.