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Hinduism and science

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The world is seeing a rise in disbelief for religion. Science is now the oracle of truth not the holy texts. However, I believe science must not close its gate on religion it has a lot to learn from it. I am a Hindu and a staunch believer of science, and I will try to explain it from a point of view of a Hindu.

Before, I divulge further I would like to say two things first that we must not  blindly follow religion and second we must not just throw out religion. Let me talk in context of Hinduism as I belief Hinduism has a lot to offer to modern science. Hinduism is one of the oldest religion, which is believed by some that it existed since the origin of time, whereas many scholars consider the origin of Hinduism to be around 2300 BC. No matter the exact origin of it, it has lingered around with us for thousands of years, believed by rational minds like Swami Vivekananda, Chanakya etc. Years of human experience, literatures comprise Hinduism. I believe it won’t be fair to term it irrational, if it would be so, it would have been bound to perish long ago. “Survival of the fittest” as said by Drawin.

We should not belief religion blindly. Why? A game of Chinese Whisper is a great example of it. Here is a short story I came across recently. A school inspector visited a village school and asked the last bencher to answer who have painted Mona Lisa. The school teacher somehow managed to say the answer to the student in first bench and asked to relay the answer to the student at last. The last bencher answered the inspector “Priyadarshin Munshi” . The teacher was shocked. Later it was understood in the relay of answer, “Leonardo Da Vinci” became “Priyadarshin Munshi”. This is true with religion even. It has been years after years commented, explained, translated and modified by various individuals and it has changed religion in a drastic way. Particularly Hinduism a religion that does not have a specific code defining it and its principles and so it is bounded to have been mended according to individuals and the need of time. Even at times many social norms where made in place with the help of religion so that people follow it.

A good example of it is in among the Hindus. Hindus tend to believe going to temple or cooking food is a sin when a women who is menstruating. This might seem very absurd. Periods does not make someone bad, and the whole month a women can do the chores visit temple but just for those certain 3-5 days they don’t become dirty. It is correct. Hinduism does not say that is sin at least what I believe so.  We Hindus even pray menstruating Goddess. And this is something for which I am a Hindu, Hinduism allows you the liberty to analyze and custom it your own way. There is no particular eternal text that codifies the Hindus. It is a spiritual way of life. Anyways let’s come back to menstruation and sin. Imagine just a hundred years ago that women had so much physical work to do.  In a traditional Hindu family the household chores and hindu rituals are conducted by women. 

Most houses domesticated animals that was taken care by women. Even today, when it comes to make a house a home, the women is the master. I believe it is fair enough to make sure that women take rest for at a regular interval. And what could be better than allowing them to rest on periods. Moreover, we have to remember we did not have such good hygiene/sanitary products and painkillers then. So a religious norm was justified. But yes as I said Chinese Whisper, people interpreted their way and made it a sin. And yes we can surely do away with this norm as the situation have changed giving woman free choice where or not she is willing to cook and visit temple. If periods would be a sin then we all would be sinful as no human would be born without it. By the way, a lesser known fact even the Supreme God, Krishna was not free from this misinterpretation, The Bhagwad Gita was originally said by Krishna to the Sun God, but as it passed down, it got modified; so the lord himself, decided to say it once more to Arjuna.

Hindu texts have many scientific knowledge with accurate numbers. Like the Hanuman Chalisa written around 16th Century AD which has  a quite accurate information about  speed of light, a data that in known to us in the 19th century. Among other innumerous examples, some that align with modern science and some that might be truth according to modern science in future, I would like to discuss a scientific theory along with my explanation and connect with Hinduism.

Let me define a symbol repeater , it is a set of brackets followed by a number in subscript , anything inside the bracket needs to be repeated as many times defined in subscript. For example, If I want to write English alphabet 10 times I can write as (A to Z)10. Now this is very simple and we use such things in our day-to-day life. We compress information to a smallest possible way and extract it as our need. For example if I want to know the square plus 1 of integers we can write as y=(x)2 +1 where x belongs to integers. With this particular compressed information, we can figure out “the square plus 1 of integers”. We give the needed input and get the corresponding output. Similarly, in science complex mechanism can be easily predict if we have its equation. Now it is clearly understood something that has pattern is not random can only be compressed to so that we do not lose any bit of information and use the compressed information to predict the extended information.

Imagine (AB)100 easy to predict right! Even without writing, the uncompressed information we can easily say it is AB written 100 times. But imagine this particular essay, is it possible to compress it into a simple form like (AB)100 ., No we cannot. There the words are random in the sense there is no definite pattern governing it. The words are used and placed as it was necessary not following any particular sequence so it is not compressible. Right now alphabets are in my brain. My brain is forming it words. The words then form an essay in my computer. But this is interesting, that information could be compressed cannot be now compressed back when used. Letters of English can be compressed as alphabets of English, a clear definite and anyone can retrieve the exact information. The second stage is words, now one can define it as all meaningful words in English language but that is breaks the preciseness. While writing this my brain can only provide me with those words that I know which a subset of all meaningful words in English. And compressing it to all English words I know, that will be absurd as no one can predict that, no one can accurately extract back the definite information from the compression. And for the third stage, a paragraph I find no meaningful way to compress that.

Now in general we don’t generally repeat a definite pattern like (AB)100  when communicating and sharing information. We use the compressed information to create new information, which might be not be compressible back. Just like using alphabets a compressed data stored in our brains, used to form words, sentences and essays making it impossible to compress it back. So can say information is randomness, which is ever increasing in the universe and is not compressible.

These ever increasing nature of information reminds something core to universe. Yes Entropy! Very simply disorder is increasing. Imagine a piece of coal and compare to (A to Z)100 the chemical  energy of coal gets liberated to heat light etc. (A to Z ) 100  changing to meaningful words. Just as meaningful words are useful to us, heat and light energy from coal is useful to us. But yes we can term the meaningful words a disorder and randomness in the original state that is the alphabets and similarly to heat and light energy liberated by chemical energy in coal. This is something very fundamental to the universe, 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, “The second law of thermodynamics states that the total entropy of an isolated system can never decrease over time, and is constant if and only if all processes are reversible” and it holds true of information. If information can be opened and compressed, back it does not adds or loses anything and if it is not compressible then the information just keeps adding up. Information is an interesting analogy to understand entropy.

We have many theories explaining our universe none can be claimed that as a final or ultimate theory. Two theories that are in discussion are the big bang and the big crunch theory. The universe was born from a singularity and it will collapse again to a singularity and then we will have a new  big bang and again a new beginning of universe, the day of big crunch (if this is correct) will happen as my belief says when entropy cannot be increases any more.

The Bhawgad Gita hints so. The Supreme God, Krishna said he created this whole universe from a singularity, and one day it will end, annihilated by the lord himself, he will destroy all bits of information and again then again a universe will be formed. And this cycle will repeat after a definite interval of time again and again. And these are not just statements of the Supreme God but also has the numeric data of time which might come out to be true!

I believe Science and Religion must not fight against each other. Both have lots of information to share and can help in advancement of each other. Religion has lot to change, the misinformation it has acquire, and adapt it with modern world and Science has lots of research to be done, not with objective to prove religious theories but to understand and take help of the ancient rich sources to know the world more efficiently.

As scientist* I would like to bow down to the Hindu religion and the scientific community for its service to humankind.

Thank You!

(*a person who is curious of the world notwithstanding he is a research scholar or a schooling going children is a scientist, according to me.)

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