Home

  News & Views

  Journal

  Seminars

  Publications

  I S C

  Research Project

  About Us

  Contacts

 
 

BACK


Sikh Dharam Attay Wigyan (Pbi)

A Review by Prof Kulwant Singh*

Author: Dr Hardev Singh Virk
Published by: Raghbir Rachna Parkashan, Chandigarh
Pages : 128; price Rs 160/-
Edition: Sep 2008

“Since even when the senses give the lead, thou see’st reason hath wings too short.”
This is Beatrice’s advice to her paramour protagonist’s soul while playing the role of his guardian angel during his soul’s voyage to the higher regions of Paradise in Dante’s Classic “The Divine Comedy”. In other words, it sums up the limitations of human sensual and mental perception of the physical world, universe and beyond through the exercise of his highest faculities of intellect, cognition and logical deductions even after keen observation, experimentation and verification. In the empirical world of science, whatever is physically and quantitatively verifiable is real and true. In other words, its jurisdiction ends wherever its range of perception of human mental antennae ends. Just as human ears can not hear beyond a certain degree of decibles or human eyes cannot see beyond a certain distance, similarly human cerebral faculties are unable to observe and perceive beyond a certain limit. For example, as the learned scientist author has stated that human eye’s maximum reach and sensitivity for seeing rays of light is between four thousand angstroms to seven thousand angstroms, although there are innumerable rays of light on both sides of this spectrum. Similarly, whatever sounds human ear is capable of hearing, their range is twenty to twenty thousands cycles per second. Certain animals like dogs and bats have a slightly higher range of hearing. With the aid of modern tools of microscope and telescope and other gadgets, this range has been increased to a certain extent. But still it cannot reach infinity. So far human perception has gone beyond an atom to proton, to neuron, to electron to quarks of it in one direction and to the observation of some other galaxies beyond the already known galaxy in the other direction. Everyday, Scientists are discovering newer and newer facets of matter and universe like peeling the layers of an onion-like entity but still without arriving at the core and kernel of it.

On the other hand, the Sikh Gurus, saints, spiritual savants, mystics and transcendental thinkers had perceived the infinity in one quantum jump through the exercise of their intuitive, supra-conscious mystical faculties. In their transcendental moments of enlightenment, they had perceived and communicated such universal truths and observations about nature and universe which scientists are now discovering layer after layer and finding the mystics’ observations to be true. Such, for instance, is Guru Nanak’s famous observation about myriads of astronomical clusters of planets, galaxies and solar systems in Japji. Time and again, Guru Nanak has emphasized the infinite nature of the universe. The only difference between mystical approach and scientific approach lies in its mode of communication. Although both scientists and spiritualists / mystics start their enquiry from the visible/concrete to the invisible / abstract, the former gets stuck in between and endeavours to explore further. But the mystic reaches the final goal, the Infinite, and then correlates the Invisible/Abstract/Infinite to the visible/concrete as parts of a Single whole. Moreover, both differ in their mode of communication. Whereas the scientist explains his thesis and formulations through concrete, varifiable facts which can be mentally grasped, the mystic conveys his information through abstract, somewhat poetic images which ordinary human beings fail to experience, comprehend and appreciate due to the constitutional limitations of their biological and physiological constitutional make up. Only exceptions to this rule are some rare individuals like the celebrated scientist Albert Einstein who could experience and grasp both the scientific as well as mystical sensations when he says, “The most beautiful and most profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sewer of all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead”, and “The cosmic religious experience is the strongest and noblest mainspring of scientific research.”

In fact, some other modern scientists, researching at the sub atomic level, have started observing, though vaguely, some kind of energy which seems to operate at that level. It is in this grey area where there is a scope for a synthesis between science and spiritualism because it is here where science ends at present and spiritualism begins. This, in nutshell, is the thesis of this book.

The author of the book under review gives the impression of being a devout Sikh, a man of faith as well as a brilliant Scientist whose intuitive and cerebral faculties have evolved in tandom. It is a rare “unity of Being” with “blood, intellect and imagination running together” to borrow a phrase from W B Yeats.

Referring to invention of cybernetics, he feels that there is a distinct possibility of man being finally united with the Supreme reality after having experienced the phenomenon of weightlessness of human body in space after crossing the boundaries of earth’s gravitational pull. This gives us a hope of a harmonious synthesis between science and religion where all contradictions between the scientific and the spiritual approach are likely to be resolved.

The author, undoubtedly, has an excellent command over Punjabi but he is being a little overzealous by using the seemingly unusual usages in Punjabi for a well-known scientific terminology. Such unusual Punjabi usages tend to get on the readers’ nerves. Words like relativity had better been used as such. The chapter on nanotechnology is really informative. It is indeed creditable for a thorough-bred scientist to present a composite vision of God, Universe, Religion and Science.


¤


ęCopyright Institute of Sikh Studies, 2007, All rights reserved. Free Counters from SimpleCount.com