Monday, June 30, 2008

Science and spirituality - Dr Baldev Raj

Science and spirituality have much in common

By Baldev Raj

(Deccan Chronicle, June 30, 2008)

I was born in a middle class business family in Jammu. My mother taught me to love all creatures in nature. She taught me that every day, before going to sleep, I should think if I have hurt anyone or done injustice. In case I have, I must go to the concerned person and admit my mistake and then work out a solution. These lessons have been my guiding principles.

I have always been interested in science. Science is basically driven by the commitment to have new ideas, understand with better insights, do new measurements and develop products and technologies.

Science can never give complete answers. Science gives immense pleasure as one understands better and uses the understanding for producing wealth and removing the sufferings of the society. Thus, science teaches you to respect nature. Science does not allow one to differentiate between religions and castes. That is spirituality to me.

I have learnt from my Guru that the most difficult thing for a person is to be a good human being — noble, caring, selfless and humble. I must mention that I was fortunate to be guided by my Guru, mother, my teachers and a few of my peers and colleagues. My family members (wife and children) strengthen my approaches and correct me whenever I go wrong. They always help me to strive for better human qualities.

Science and spirituality have some commonalities and some differences.

Science is to explore the external truth. It can be explained to others. It has its limitation due to lack of comprehensive knowledge and understanding and can contribute to fulfilment only if it improves quality of life and removes suffering.

At the same time, spirituality is to explore the internal truth. It can be experienced by individuals. It can also inspire others to explore. It has no limitation of knowledge and understanding and brings bliss and fulfilment.

I strongly believe that we need internal and external truth in synergy to live a quality life.

Padmashree Dr Baldev Raj is the director of Indira Gandhi Centre

for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam. He is also the present chairman of NCB

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