The Hindu religion is the only one of the world’s great faiths dedicated to the idea that the Cosmos itself undergoes an immense, indeed an innate, number of deaths and rebirths.
Science and religion don’t normally go together. We’ve seen scientists dissing out people with religious beliefs, and vice versa. While religion might not be “logical” to some, but Hindu Religion has proven to have some science behind it. And as such, there are scientists who have been influenced by Hindu Dharma. Here are some of the international figures in the world of science who have taken inspiration from Hindu Dharma, and their own quotes about their influences and Hindu Dharma:
1. Erwin Schrödinger
You might have already known about Schrödinger’s cat. If not, then you should at least know that it’s a very famous experiment, and the inferences have a great value in the world of science. That was one of the many scientific experiments Erwin Schrödinger is known for. The Austrian physicist also won Nobel Prize in Physics in 1933.
The Bhagavad Gita… is the most beautiful philosophical song existing in any known tongue.”
But if you read his biography and some of the works he has published, then you will realize the influence of the Hindu religion in his works:
- “This life of yours which you are living is not merely a piece of this entire existence, but in a certain sense the whole; only this whole is not so constituted that it can be surveyed in one single glance. This, as we know, is what the Brahmins [wise men or priests in the Vedic tradition] express in that sacred, mystic formula which is yet really so simple and so clear; tat tvam asi, this is you. Or, again, in such words as “I am in the east and the west, I am above and below, I am this entire world.” [Schrödinger,’Meine Weltansicht’ (My View of the World), 1961]
- “The multiplicity is only apparent. This is the doctrine of the Upanishads. And not of the Upanishads only. The mystical experience of the union with God regularly leads to this view, unless strong prejudices stand in the West.”[Erwin Schrödinger, What is Life?, p. 129, Cambridge University Press]
- “From the early great Upanishads, the recognition Atman = Brahman (the personal self-equals the omnipresent, all-comprehending eternal self) was in Indian thought considered, far from being blasphemous, to represent, the quintessence of deepest insight into the happenings of the world. The striving of all the scholars of Vedanta was, after having learned to pronounce with their lips, really to assimilate in their minds this grandest of all thoughts.” [From an essay on determinism and free will]
- “Most of my ideas & theories are heavily influenced by Vedanta”
- “There is no kind of framework within which we can find consciousness in the plural; this is simply something we construct because of the temporal plurality of individuals, but it is a false construction… The only solution to this conflict insofar as any is available to us at all lies in the ancient wisdom of the Upanishad.” (Mein Leben, Meine Weltansicht [My Life, My World View] (1961), Chapter 4)
Known for his renowned uncertainty principle, Werner Heisenberg is a key figure in the world of quantum mechanics. You might have also heard about him in Breaking Bad. That kept aside, the German Nobel Prize winner for Physics is believed to have understood much of quantum mechanisms through his mystical experience in Hindu dharma.
Here are some proofs of it:
- In Uncommon Wisdom: Conversations With Remarkable People (1988), Frtjof Capra writes about the conversation between Rabindranath Tagore and Werner Heisenberg: “He began to see that the recognition of relativity, interconnectedness, and impermanence as fundamental aspects of physical reality, which had been so difficult for himself and his fellow physicists, was the very basis of Indian spiritual traditions.”
- In The Holographic Paradigm (pg. 217-218), there is a text that talks about Renee Weber’s interview with Fritjof Capra. Capra states that Schrödinger in speaking about Heisenberg has said: “I had several discussions with Heisenberg. I lived in England then [circa 1972], and I visited him several times in Munich and showed him the whole manuscript chapter by chapter. He was very interested and very open, and he told me something that I think is not known publicly because he never published it. He said that he was well aware of these parallels. While he was working on quantum theory he went to India to lecture and was a guest of Tagore. He talked a lot with Tagore about Indian philosophy. Heisenberg told me that these talks had helped him a lot with his work in physics because they showed him that all these new ideas in quantum physics were in fact not all that crazy. He realized there was, in fact, a whole culture that subscribed to very similar ideas. Heisenberg said that this was a great help for him. Niels Bohr had a similar experience when he went to China.”
- He has also been seen quoted couple of times saying; “After the conversations about Indian philosophy, some of the ideas of Quantum Physics that had seemed so crazy suddenly made more sense.”
- “Quantum theory will not look ridiculous to people who have read Vedanta.”
3. Robert Oppenheimer
Father of an atomic bomb, Julius Robert Oppenheimer was a theoretical physicist and was the head of the lab when the first atomic bomb was invented (Manhattan Project). Bhagwad Gita, Mahabharata and Indian historical facts have influenced Oppenheimer. He also studied Sanskrit and read Bhagavad Gita in Sanskrit itself.
Here are his quotes:
- “Access to the Vedas is the greatest privilege this century may claim over all previous centuries.”
- The general notions about human understanding… which are illustrated by discoveries in atomic physics are not in the nature of things wholly unfamiliar, wholly unheard of or new. Even in our own culture, they have a history, and in Buddhist and Hindu thought a more considerable and central place. What we shall find [in modern physics] is an exemplification, an encouragement, and a refinement of old wisdom.
- The juxtaposition of Western civilization’s most terrifying scientific achievement with the most dazzling description of the mystical experience given to us by the Bhagavad Gita, India’s greatest literary monument.
- The Bhagavad Gita… is the most beautiful philosophical song existing in any known tongue.” [“Sacred Jewels of Yoga: Wisdom from India’s Beloved Scriptures, Teachers, Masters, and Monks”]
It is the only religion in which the time scales correspond, to those of modern scientific cosmology.
4. Niels Bohr
Niels Henrik David Bohr is another Nobel Peace prize winner in the list. The Danish physicist is known for his tremendous contribution in atomic structure and quantum theory. In Stephen Prothero’s book God Is Not One (pg. 144), Niel Bohr has quoted:
- “I go into the Upanishads to ask questions.”
5. Carl Sagan
American astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist and philosopher, Carl Sagan’s contributions to cosmology and modern space science are unprecedented. He was a devout Hindu and has been seen quoting:
- “The Hindu religion is the only one of the world’s great faiths dedicated to the idea that the Cosmos itself undergoes an immense, indeed an innate, number of deaths and rebirths. It is the only religion in which the time scales correspond, to those of modern scientific cosmology. Its cycles run from our ordinary day and night to a day and night of Brahma, 8.64 billion years long. Longer than the age of the Earth or the Sun and about half the time since the Big Bang. And there are much longer time scales still.” [Carl Sagan, Cosmos]
- “The most elegant and sublime of these is a representation of the creation of the universe at the beginning of each cosmic cycle, a motif known as the cosmic dance of Lord Shiva. The god called in this manifestation Nataraja, the Dance King. In the upper right hand is a drum whose sound is the sound of creation. In the upper left hand is a tongue of flame, a reminder that the universe, now newly created, with billions of years from now will be utterly destroyed.” [Carl Sagan, Cosmos, pg 213-214]
- A millennium before Europeans were willing to divest themselves of the Biblical idea that the world was a few thousand years old, the Mayans were thinking of millions and the Hindus billions.” [Carl Sagan, Cosmos, pg 213-214]
Nikola Tesla is perhaps the greatest scientist (debatable for sure) ever lived and his inventions have given a great contribution to mankind; he was a pioneer in many fields. From Tesla Coil to Radio to Alternate Current to Telephone (yes, there is a great controversy between Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla for this, but much of the
evidence point out to Nikola Tesla as the true inventor), the Serbian-American physicist and engineer are highly respected in his field. But he has been seen quoting Vedantic concepts:
- “All perceptible matter comes from a primary substance, or tenuity beyond conception, filling all space, the Akasha or aluminiferous ether, which is acted upon by the life-giving Prana or creative force, calling into existence, in neverending cycles, all things and phenomena.” [Man’s Greatest Achievement, John J. O’Neal., & Prodigal Genius, The Life of Nikola Tesla, 1944]
[…] Why do outsiders have to arrive and comment on it like they know the final truth. They need not tell the indigenous people about what is right and wrong. For many traditions, there are some scientific/ nature conservation aspects. But, people fail to understand it. Critical thinkers don't. Many of the modern keyboard warriors claim to be the followers of Science and dismiss traditions/ rituals because they don't understand it. But I suggest you go out and read what great scientists have to say about our very own scriptures and Sanatan Dharma. […]
[…] Scientists on the Upanishads […]
Hindu dharma ekmatra dharma hai aur aaj ka vigyan hindu dharma ke tathyon ke saamne exist hi nahi karta . Aaj ke scientists zero hai hamare hindu dharma ke saamne . Aaj ke vaigyanikon ke vanshaj bhi aise khoj nahi kar sakte jo hamare rishi muniyon ne lakhon saal pehle ki thi
Thank you PGurus for this article. The bad situation in Bharat is that we need western authentication to our pure conscious, age old, time tested sanatana Dharma.
This is perhaps the best blog anywhere for decades. Hats off Team PGurus. Santana Dharma is the only system which is in consonance with sub particle and astro physics, Evolution, Paleontology, molecular chemistry (which meets up with physics) and the analytical methods of modern medicine. The system allows for debate and for criticism like nine other and includes the great Purva Paksha tradition. Unfortunately the Gurus and the Godmen, instead of pursuing these disciplines and becoming multi matter specialists like the Rishis of old have lost themselves in ritual, dogma, triviality and at times fraud. Perhaps it was the result of confidence after being rubbished systematically by the Nehruvians and the Left. While they should have been in the lead for a vibrant spirit of learning and inquiry most of them have got themselves into cocoons of formalism or have been the peddlers of the inane. If PGurus could take the lead in persuading the great Mutts and Orders to become centers for state of the art scientific research what a great service that would be.
David bohm had conversations (3 hours) with UG Krishnamurthi im 1968 on the biological changes that happen in an enlightened person. The first hand account is sth one must listen to.
You could have added David Bohm to the list. His dialogues with J Krishnamurti are widely cited as also his book, the Implicate Order
We should not lose such wisdom packed religion to other religions…
Christianity steals all great things from all religions n fits it all in its own and keeps revising their holy book..
They destroy every native religion n great wisdom n finally steal all those concepts n teach the world as if it was theirs…
Everything related to Hinduism is business for them…
When i was working long back, there was a Christian girl known to me in hostel n she was working in an animation company…
Her head was a Christian n most of them working were also Christians except a few Hindus… They were creating animated Stories of all hindu gods and goddesses and various avatars etc…
(Most of the CD versions wouldn’t even have bindi on the females …)
They used to make a lot of money ..
Hope people know about jagath Casper and how he made illayaraja compose album of thiruvasagam… (Thank god he didn’t make profit)
We have lots n lots of Hindu stories but we fail to notice them…
But missionaries see a business in all these n even give their own missionary twist to all hindu stories in an unsuspecting way…
You know how Carnatic singers fell prey to them ….
They give money n document all their copy paste versions of a Hindu songs…and in future will even claim credit to them…
They will even say theyagarajar sang about jesus…. Just like they say Thiruvalluvar isn’t Hindu…
Valluvar is a caste among Hindus…
But who will be there to argue with them when all educational institutions are run by these missionaries and our Hindu kids don’t even know the true history…
It was Bhagwan Shiva advice to me…
Never ever believe in a Christian even if he is so sweet and nice to you…
Read kalki book — solamalai elavarasi… Or something… About a princess near madurai…
All those words on British fits very well to Christians.
Never ever trust them…
We don’t want to ask a Christian in future to teach classical music or Bharatnatyam…
So Brahmins should try to restore Hindu dharma… And should pray that identities of Hindu dharma are preserved ….and not looted by other religions…
Be a proud Hindu and teach the younger generation to have pride in being a Hindu…
Never mind the way movies depict all Brahmin boys as dumbo .. right from “Sethu” ….
But educate your kids on the Christian conspiracy…
* copy paste versions of all hindu songs
There is no religion called Hinduism. It’s a way of life. Those who support this contention are called religious bigots by leftists. At the same time we need to be worried about some jerks who want Hindus to emulate other Semitic religions, which are dogged by dogma. These jerks want to give unitary definition to Hinduism by prescribing their own customs, rules, codes of conduct, one language dominance etc. ignoring the saying in Sanskrit एकम् सत् विप्रा बहुधा वदन्ति to the detriment of our way of life. We survived several onslaught by tyrant invaders only because of our core strength i.e. non dogmatic approach to religion.
There is no religion called Hinduism. It’s a way of life. Those who support this contention are called religious bigots by leftists. At the same we need to be worried about some jerks who want to Hindus to emulate other Semitic religions, which are dogged by dogma. These jerks want to give unitary definition to Hinduism by prescribing their own customs, rules, codes of conduct, one language dominance etc. ignoring the saying in Sanskrit एकम् सत् विप्रा बहुधा वदन्ति to the detriment of our way of life. We faced several onslaught by tyrant invaders only because of our core strength i.e. non dogmatic approach to religion.
No Hindu activists are imitating the Semetic religions Sir. They are only pleading for that intellectual space in their own Country which has been denied to them. We must be discerning. The crumbling of the Anti Hindu social arrangements should not so rattle us that we start seeing more ghosts than heaven can hold.
You have left out ECG Sudarshan who was possibly one of those great scientists who missed a Nobel he deserved. He was also one of those who drew inspiration from Upanishads
There is a separate hangout on Dr. George Sudarshan – https://youtu.be/Xnn13CTyzP4
No one brought or come with a religion into the world and whatever religion it is. No one remains in the world but go, go as?
Go as he or she come. we have come as children should go as children not as devotees. With any religion we are devotees, not heirs like children.
Its a wonder how the greatness of the ancient Hindus have been stifled and reduced to a sideshow enumerated in Bollywood and Kollywood. Yet the renewal of India seem on the go.