In the Ramayana there is the story of a devoted son, Shravan Kumar, who carried his aged and blind parents in two baskets hanging from his shoulders, taking them to various holy places on pilgrimage. The story also says that when Shravan Kumar reached close to Meerut (Hastinapur), suddenly, negative thoughts came to his mind regarding his parents. He began to wonder why he was wasting his life ferrying his aged parents; that he should abandon them, and so on. Only when he left the area did these thoughts vanish.
Changes in the earth’s gravitational and magnetic field, the gravimagnetic field, could affect the mind. The brain produces low level electromagnetic (EM) field as a part of its thinking process. We live in an electric age engulfed by EM fields. Whether they are from our cell phones, overhead high voltage wires, microwave ovens, or MRI scans, all the time, we are bombarded, so to speak, by EM fields. These human-made fields together with fluctuations in earth’s magnetic fields created by solar storms provide a number of possibilities of impacting the human thought process. The exact mechanism of how this happens is not presently understood.
Nevertheless, scientists have used magnetic fields – both static and dynamic – for treating brain disorders. Hence, depression, and some forms of fits and headaches have been treated by applying a small amount of static and dynamic magnetic fields on the human skull. Such cranial treatments reportedly enable sleep and reduction in anxiety.
The functioning of the brain of astronauts who stay for long time in microgravity environment of outer space is reported to have been adversely affected. Tests done on them after they return to earth show reduction in their response time and sharpness of mind. How this happens is still not understood.
Some indication on how gravity affects thought can be seen in the interaction of alpha waves with earth. Alpha waves are produced in the brain when we are in meditation or relaxation mode. These waves are generally in the range of 8-12Hz frequency. The earth’s diameter (~ 12,800 km) is such that it can have a standing half-wave of 11.7Hz (very close to 12Hz). Is it therefore possible that our brain evolved in such a manner that the earth’s geometry (and hence its gravity) influenced the alpha wave production?
Incidentally scientists have also discovered that before major earthquakes an electromagnetic wave of 0.01-10Hz emerges from deep inside the earth. This wave is sometimes sensed by animals and could be the basis of their premonition of a coming quake.
The relationship between alpha waves and earth’s gravity may have other implications. Practitioners of Bhakti Yoga (devotional yoga) and Buddhist traditions have always stressed the need to allow full flow of thought waves without any interference from ego or sense of identity for achieving samadhi. One should completely sublimate the ego by abandoning oneself to God or Universal Consciousness. Perhaps this enables the mind to get tuned to the gravitational field of the earth, resulting in meditation and samadhi.
Also, both gravitational and magnetic fields of the earth, world over, vary slightly from their mean values. Since they can affect the working of the brain, it is possible that some places may be more conducive to creating deep thought and creativity. In ancient times this could have been one of the criteria of site selection for locating places of worship and meditation centres.
First published in Times of India on April 26, 2018