Why is the science of Spirituality superior to other sciences ?


  • 1. The sciences connected with the mind and the science of Spirituality
  • 2. Amount of the Absolute Truth in other subjects and Spirituality
  • 3. Physical sciences and the science of Spirituality

1. Sciences connected with the mind and the science of Spirituality

The relationship of the science of Spirituality with reference to various sciences of the mind, is given in a tabular form, with comparison of various methods of treatment in a patient with high blood pressure induced by anxiety, below :

Site of
Special features Cure
A. Intellectual
The technique
is important
1. Shavasan
Mainly the
body and the
The patient is not
taught how to face
the anxiety provoking
situations. Hence the
treatment has to be
10 Temporary
2. Drugs to
lower the
Physician Nerve
3. Drugs to
Psychiatrist Brain 30
4. Psychothera-
py (discussion
, counselling,
As the patient is tau-
ght how to face anxi-
ety provoking situat-
ions incidentwise,
personality does not
change completely and
treatment has to be
continued off and on.
50 For some
5. Psychoana-
us mind
After some years, the
personality of some
individuals changes
markedly and they
are able to face most
anxiety provoking
situations. Consequently
, their chances of
suffering from high
blood pressure again,
are reduced.
10 Mostly
6. Hypnotherapy Hypnother-
cious mind
Personality of several
individuals improves
markedly within a
year. Thereafter, they
are able to face anxi-
ety provoking situati-
ons. As a result, the
chances of recurrence
of high blood pressu-
re are very low.
50** Mostly
B. Beyond
The technique is
not important,
but it is the
spiritual energy
in the one
the treatment
which is of
A. Subtle
and causal
B. Raja and

A. Within a few years,
the personality of most
individuals changes
Thereafter they are
able to face anxiety
provoking situations.
Hence, the chances
of recurrence of
high blood pressure
are very rare.
B. Factors beyond
intellect are also
2** Permanent

* Temporary (as long as treatment continues) / for sometime / permanently.

** Though these modalities of treatment are good, the number of those who recover is very small  because often the patient discontinues treatment / spiritual practice midway.

The difference between psychotherapy devoid of Chaitanya (Divine consciousness) and Spirituality endowing Chaitanya will be illustrated with the following examples.

  • A. A girl was in love with a boy. Rationally, theirs was a mismatch. After treating her with hypnotherapy for a year she finally abandoned the idea of marrying him. Here the Vaikhari (speech of an average individual) mode of speech was used to convince the girl.

In May 1993, a boy who was in love with a girl secretly got engaged and then informed his family members about it. After contemplating upon it from the spiritual angle, H.H. Dr. Athavale felt that this marriage would not last. Hence, the same was conveyed to the boy through someone, and also that he would receive the appropriate answer within three days. Till then he was not supposed to give it a thought. The three day period was meant to prevent him from taking a decision under the influence of emotions. On the third day he informed that he had broken off the engagement. No sankalp (resolve) that he should break off the engagement had been made. It had occurred solely through the Madhyama (mode of speech where chanting occurs automatically).

  • B. A person rejected the girl whose marriage proposal his brother had received as he did not like the girl. People questioned him as to how he had refused such a good proposal. Thereafter he felt very guilty. If he had really committed a mistake, then according to psychology he would have to be told for a few months that everyone makes mistakes and that he should forget the past, etc. On the other hand, if he were correct then he would have to be given suggestions to reassure him about the same. Only spiritual progress helps us determine whether a decision is right or wrong. H.H. Dr. Athavale perceived spiritually that if the boy had married that girl then they would have got happiness as in an average marriage.  On the other hand, the happiness which would be derived from the marriage proposal due to come six months later would endow double this amount of happiness. The moment the person was told this he could overcome his repentance.
  • C. A patient constantly feared that he would die of a heart attack. The moment he was told that he would live for another 35 years his fear vanished. Otherwise to cure him through hypnotherapy it would take at least eight to nine months.

2. Amount of the Absolute Truth in other subjects and Spirituality

The table below will illustrate why Spirituality is called paravidya (supreme science) and the other sciences are called aparavidya (inferior sciences).

Subject Amount of the
Absolute Truth %
1. Stories, novels, poetry etc. 0
2. Physical sciences 1
3. Classical dance, classical music,
sculpture, etc.
3. Spirituality 100

3. Physical sciences and the science of Spirituality

‘Science has varied meanings such as specific knowledge, scientific knowledge philosophical knowledge, direct knowledge and knowledge of Brahman. However generally the knowledge which is acquired through the sense organs by analysis and experimentation of gross substances and natural phenomena following a specific order and procedure is called science (vidnyan). In this context, Prof. K.V. Belsare gives the following explanation – the role of science is to study the properties of physical substances, their interactions with one another, the general principles therein and to derive a system with logical explanation from them. The four steps in the methodology used in science are careful observation, classification, framing a hypothesis and deriving inferences from them. Once the properties of substances are studied, their actions can be controlled. Thus, man can control energies such as electricity, heat, light, sound, water, air etc. and use them to gain mastery over place, time, speed, disease etc.

Among all the rules in the behaviour of substances in the universe, the rule of cause and effect is common to all. Hence, in science more emphasis is laid on determining the cause and effect relationship between substances. From the scientific point of view all events in the universe are entirely dependent on rules. Nothing in Nature is mysterious or miraculous. Events which appear perplexing, appear so only until one realises the cause and effect relationship between them. With the help of this knowledge, man has invented extraordinary appliances such as the train, the aeroplane, electric lamps, the radio, the telephone etc. which have dramatically changed his quality of life.

Though with the help of science, man has acquired external prosperity, internally he does not derive the feeling of contentment. Ancient Indian scholars have made attempts to provide society with both external and internal happiness because eventually without internal happiness, external happiness proves to be futile. After the 10th century A.D. the progress of Bharat came to a standstill because we began to concentrate only on internal spiritual practice. Plenty of discussions in the spheres of devotion and Dharma continued, but we neglected the field of physical sciences. To add to this we even forgot the knowledge compiled by our ancient sages.’

Today science claims, ‘After visiting Mars we will have crossed a great milestone in the annals of science and will know if there is existence of life there etc.’ In Spirituality, visiting Mars through the subtle body and returning to earth is only a ‘snake-charmer’s game’ or simply ‘purification of the chitta (mind)’.

‘If devices to record such subtle events are invented then at the most they will be useful for documentation and not for endowing the actual experience. Whereas, it is important to actually experience them. If scientists discover the blue dot with the aid of scientific devices, they will accept its existence, contemplate on it for several years, hold discussions and write theses on it. But it is more important to meditate and get introverted so as to actually experience the blue dot than to do all this. You will undergo a total tranformation due to this experience. Internally one will be endowed with Bliss, will be able to hear divine music and will be able to acquire supernatural powers such as divine vision, hearing heavenly messages etc. There will be a flow of amrut (divine nectar) from the Akash (Absolute Ether element) within.’ It is for this alone that physical sciences is the first step in the learning process while Spirituality is the final one.

‘People complain that faith has declined due to modern science. Despite that curiosity about Spirituality has increased. What does decline in faith actually mean ? Or what exactly is faith ? Can blind and naive belief be considered as faith ?

Here, it becomes necessary to explore into the basic nature of faith, as described in the Nirukta holy texts. The author, Vachaspati has defined faith as ‘the strength to support the truth’. If we understand this concept, then the distinction between faith and rationalism will be destroyed. Today, when we say that curiosity about Spirituality has increased it is as if faith itself has been augmented. The intellect aroused by curiosity ‘grasps’ knowledge and faith strengthens that knowledge. There is faith where there is curiosity about Spirituality and knowledge. Jidnyasa (Curiosity about Spirituality) and mumuksha (desire for the Final Liberation) are both complementary to each other in all aspects.’

According to the holy text, Sri Dasbodh the meaning of science is as follows :

साक्षत्‍व वृत्तीचें कारण । उन्‍मनी ते निवृत्ति जाण ।
जेथें विरे जाणपण । विज्ञान तें ।। ७.४.५०
जेथें अज्ञान सरे । ज्ञान तेंहि नुरे ।
विज्ञानवृत्ति मुरे । परब्रह्मीं ।। ७.४.५१

Meaning : The stance of a spectator is the action of the subconscious mind. Going beyond the mind (unmani), that is beyond the stance of the spectator is non-action (nivrutti). Where the awareness [absolute ego (ahambhav)] that I am the knower dissolves, is pure knowledge (vidnyan). – 7.4.5

At the level of Parabrahman both ignorance and knowledge disappear. Even the pure knowledge (vidnyan) dissolves. [Only non-duality (advait) persists.] – 7.4.51

Why the science of Spirituality and not the physical sciences are useful for making spiritual progress will be clear from the following table.

Physical sciences Spirituality
1. Origin Western countries Eastern countries
2. What is it
called ?
Spiritual knowledge
Spiritual experiences
3. What is that
which perceives
the information/
called ?
Jiva (embodied soul) Inferior spiritual knowledge – jivatma(Embodied soul undertaking
spiritual practice)
Superior spiritual knowledge – Shivatma (God realised soul)*
4. What is the
information /
about ?
Gross things such as a
word, touch, form, taste,
odour, emotion, thought,
Initially – Subtle fragrance,
subtle sound etc. so also
subtle things such as aura,
waves etc.
Finally – The soul (atma)
5. From where is the information/
obtained ?
Externally. The five sense
organs, mind and intellect
too are external with
respect to the jiva
Initially from the Guru, and
later from within. The
and the Shivatma
spiritual knowledge from
within, that is from the soul
6. Medium of
information /
Information is acquired
externally through the
five senses and internally
through the mind and
Knowledge is realised with
the sixth sense organ that is the jivatma and the Shivatma
7. Difference in
Absent May be present, for instance
the implied meaning is inter-
preted differently by indivi-
duals at different spiritual
8. What are they
A. Maya (Great Illusion)** Brahman (God principle),
the soul (atma)
B. Ignorance Spiritual knowledge
C. Trigun (Objects containing the
three components)
Trigunatit (Objects beyond the three
D. As Brahman
unlimited forms in Maya e.g. in
food, speech, sound
etc. the subjects are
exists in
The sole subject is the
eternal and infinite Brahman
E. Gross Subtle
F. Entire creation The Creator of everything
G. Things which undergo
The eternal Brahman
H. Psychology is one of
the branches of science
in which the subconscious
mind is studied with
the objective of
eliminating unhappiness
The universal mind,
is studied in order
to attain Bliss
9. Objective Achieving temporary
Attaining eternal Bliss
10. Methodology A. Understanding the
difference between
various objects
Perceiving the similarities or
oneness between various
B. Relative to an object :
Relative to place, time
and object. Hence it
has limitations of place
and time
Not relative to an object : Not
relative to place, time and
object as everything is
nothing but Brahman
C. Dependent on the object
(place, time and the
object are required)
Independent of the object
(place, time and the object
are not required)
11. State in which
information /
knowledge is
Waking state A. Samadhi (Superconscious state)
B. Sahajavastha (Natural state of communion with God)
C. Sadeha mukti (Liberation when still
12. New creation Impossible. Highlighting
what already exists or
changing it.
13. Awareness of
the body
Present Absent
14. Duality /
There is duality
between intellect and
Since the one in pursuit of
merges into It,
there is Advait (Non-duality)
15. Happiness and
Science can give a lot
of happiness to man
but cannot always save
him from unhappiness,
e.g. a television set, air
conditioner, etc. give
happiness but when
they break down man
becomes unhappy.
Spirituality never gives unhappiness. One gets worldly happiness from sakam sadhana whereas
one can attain supreme hap-
piness (Bliss) with nishkam sadhana
16. Duration of
the experience/
A. Short Depends upon the duration
of the superconscious state,
continuous in the natural state
of communion with God and
eternal in Liberation (Mukti)
B. Whatever is learnt
through experience
in this birth has to be
learnt again in the
next, for example,
writing, reading etc.
Whatever is learnt through
spiritual experiences in this
birth is carried forward to the
next one
17. Quality Inferior*** Supreme
18. Extent Limited*** Unlimited
19. Complete /
incomplete and
truth / untruth
The ‘truth’ in science
constantly undergoes
changes. Hence, editions
of books require
improvisation. In brief,
science is incomplete
and untrue.
The knowledge of the soul
principle never changes. The
truth found in Spirituality is
eternal and beyond time.
Hence, the Veds, Upanish-
ads, etc. have reprints but
no revised editions.
20. Additions There are additions to
scientific information.
Spiritual knowledge does not
have additions.
21. End Occurs, e.g. when it is
discovered that all types of
energies are created from
a single energy, it will be
the end of physics. After
the discovery of that basic
element from which all
elements are created, it
will be the culmination
of chemistry.
Does not occur
22. Boredom May occur Does not occur
23. Contentment Temporary, as after
realising one ‘truth’ one
feels like knowing the next
Present. After one acquires
the ultimate spiritual experie-
nce of Self-realisation, nothi-
ng more is left to be experie-
nced. Hence, one experien-
ces the Bliss of contentment
24. Definition ‘विगतं ज्ञानं यस्‍मात्‌ तत्‌ ।’
means, that from which
knowledge (dnyan) has
departed is science
(vidnyan), is how the word
science can be humorously
but meaningfully defined.
‘सा विद्या या विमुक्‍तये ।’
means only that which
liberates is called spiritual
knowledge (vidya / dnyan).
This spiritual knowledge is
acquired only through the
science of Spirituality.
25. Fame Occurs fast, as it is useful
in day-to-day life.
Occurs slowly, as there is
hardly any connection with
day-to-day life.
26. Relation with
other subjects
Absent All subjects including the
physical sciences are a part
of Spirituality.

* Jivatma (Embodied soul undertaking spiritual practice) is one which has experienced a little of the soul principle (atmatattva) to some extent. Rather it is the jiva (embodied soul) which has got inferior type of spiritual experiences. Inferior spiritual experiences are related to the five subtle sense organs, mind and the intellect e.g. experiencing fragrance in the absence of an incense stick, knowing the answer to a query. Shivatma (The God realised soul) is one which has almost blended with God (Shiv) that is, the embodied soul which has got superior type of spiritual experiences. Superior spiritual experiences are in relation to siddhi (higher supernatural powers), Anand (Bliss) and Shanti (Serenity).

For information on supernatural powers so also on superior and inferior spiritual experiences refer ‘Science of Spirituality : Chapter 41 – Spiritual Progress and Chapter 42 – The Spiritually Evolved’.

** Hence this is like running after a mirage. The truth is never found in it.

*** ‘The physical sciences are incomplete in one sense as at any given point of time some of its questions remain unanswered. If ever they are solved then new questions arise.’ – Mr. Jayant Naralikar, Maharashtra Times, 24th March 1991.

The difference between the physical sciences and Spirituality can be explained in simple language thus – The physical sciences cannot explain how to attain Bliss (Anand) which only the science of Spirituality can. It is only the science of Spirituality which teaches one to observe the problems in day-to-day life and unhappy events, e.g. a loss in business, death of a near one, etc. with sakshibhav (the stance of a spectator) and attain Bliss, something which none of the modern sciences can do.