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Monday, July 27, 2015

Do we need to redefine science? (continued 3)

One of my readers suggested to me that I should write something on as that can be very useful in many ways. There are several authors who have done it before. I myself have written one book ("A mantra to enhance your mental capabilities"). But my effort has been to rationalize the practice and explain it in scientific terms.
But what I see now-a-days is that people seem to be least bothered about scientific basis or otherwise of several mysterious practices – be it mantra chanting or some weird hand gestures (called mudras) – that are supposed to be a cure-all for all our problems. Going by their popularity, I wonder whether science has become obsolete!

Mantra (mono syllabic) and mudra are remnants of age old tantric practices – the other three that are left out being liquor, meat and ritual sex (mantra, mudra, madira, maamsa, maithuna – the five ‘M’s of tantric practice). If one looks at the tantric books, the first principles of tantra are completely anti scientific – secrecy, subjectivity, total surrender to the teacher, acceptance without questioning, total rejection of reasoning, and so on.
If tantra can really achieve things as claimed, in spite of its being anti-science, it is high time that we redefine science.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Do we need to redefine science? (continued 2)

Recently I watched a prerecorded video of a well known Yoga teacher of yester-years about how Yoga works. This supposedly Cambridge educated, one time NASA scientist was giving mysterious explanation about how Yoga works. The theory was not something new – the same “opening up of the mystical Sushumna  Naadi by regular Yoga practice so that the dormant Kundalini force gets channeled through it and reaches the Sahasrara – all located in the Pranic body and ‘somehow’ connected to the physical body” and so on.
Many people including several well known Yoga proponents put forth this theory. What is amazing is the fact that
  1. There is no verifiable evidence that such a body/naadi/force exists and such a process actually takes place.
  2. Yoga system of Patanjali talks about none of these. 
  3. The theory is neither consistently nor logically defined, let alone its correctness.

In spite of these limitations, how is it that teachers after teachers talk about such mysterious things that can neither be scientifically verified, nor logically concluded, nor supported by ancient texts?

I only hope that the proponents of these theories do some serious scientific research and provide an acceptable explanation. Or suggest ways of extending our current scientific approach.   


Saturday, July 18, 2015

Do we need to redefine science?

Recently (March 2015), the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) released a statement concluding that “there is no good quality evidence to support the claim that Homeopathy is effective in treating health conditions”

Though many Homeopathy fans are furious about this statement, the finding is by no means surprising. With its two fundamental principles – (1) whatever causes the disease can itself cure it as well, when administered in small quantities, and (2) more dilute the medicine is, the more effective it is - Homeopathy can easily be brushed aside as unscientific and illogical.

But there are several anecdotal reports claiming miraculous cures by Homeopathy. Even highly qualified allopathic doctors sometimes vouch for the efficacy of Homeopathy. In one of the cases I know, a gynecologist friend of mine who was almost bed ridden due to slip disk problem that needed immediate surgery, claims that she recovered completely by Homeopathy with no surgery. And today she is completely alright and attends to her busy medical practice.

In spite of all illogical principles and lack of concrete evidence, is there something in Homeopathy that science is yet to discover? I keep wondering. Though Homeopathy practitioners are very defensive about their system and attack with emotionally charged words anyone who questions, they seem to offer very little concrete evidence or convincing explanation about the working of their system.

I wish that they do it sooner than later. We need to either forget about Homeopathy and move ahead, or evolve our scientific approach based on new findings. I only hope one of these happens in the near future.