Science, Spirituality and the Modernization of India
296 Pages
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Science, Spirituality and the Modernization of India


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Learn more
296 Pages


Explores the lively transaction between science and spirituality during the last 150 years in India.

Spirituality played a key role in the construction of Indian modernity. While science has certainly been an agent of modernization in India and other non-Western countries, what makes Indian modernity somewhat special is that spiritual leaders have also been instrumental in the process. Moreover, leading Indian scientists and spiritualists have recognized the immense potential for dialogue between the two disciplines. Post-colonial India, with its ready access to a holistic spirituality and significant achievements in science and technology, is a fertile site for such a dialogue.

Each of the book’s four sections addresses specific themes: (1) The tension not just between science and spirituality, but also between the East and West; (2) how some key figures in India became carriers of modern consciousness, and explored the relationship between science and spirituality in the very process of trying to reform their society; (3) significant areas of research in which science and spirituality are both deeply implicated; and (4) the relationship of both scientific and spiritual practice with gender and social justice.

Foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama; Editor’s Preface; I. Science and Spirituality: East and West; II. Coming to Terms with Science: Some Change Agents; III. Building Bridges: Evolution, Consciousness and Healing; IV. Science and Spirituality: Culture, Society and Gender



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Published 01 April 2009
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EAN13 9781843317760
Language English
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Science, Spirituality and the Modernization of India
Anthem South Asian Studies
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Science, Spirituality and the Modernization of India
Edited by Makarand Paranjape
ANTHEMPRESSAn imprint of Wimbledon Publishing Company
This edition first published in India 2008 by ANTHEM PRESS C49 Kalkaji, New Delhi 110019, India 75–76 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8HA, UK or PO Box 9779, London SW19 7ZG, UK 244 Madison Ave. #116, New York, NY 10016, USA © 2008 Makarand Paranjape editorial matter and selection individual chapters © individual contributorsThe moral right of the authors has been asserted. All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication maybe reproduced, stored or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book. 1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2 ISBN13: 978 1 84331 748 7
Printed at Replika Press, Sonepat, Haryana
For Madhav, Chhota aahe, shahana aahe, gojirwana aahe…
Notes on Contributors Foreword by His Holiness The Dalai LamaEditor’s Preface I. Science and Spirituality: East and West CHAPTER1 Science, Spirituality and Modernity in India Makarand ParanjapeCHAPTERPilgrimage: Indian and Western2 Spiritual Perspectives; Spirituality, Logic and Science R P Singh II. Coming to Terms with Science: Some Change Agents CHAPTER3 Sir Sayyid Ahmed Khan and the Modernization of South Asian Muslims Javaid Iqbal BhatCHAPTERJagadish Chandra Bose: Looking beyond4 Acharya the Idiom Susmita Chatterjee CHAPTER5 Sri Aurobindo and Krishnachandra Bhattacharya on Science and Spirituality Raghuram RajuCHAPTER6 Chaos, Complexity and Emergence Mechanisms: Spiritual Evolution in Sri Aurobindo and Teilhard de Chardin Frantisek Mikes
ix xiii xxi
CHAPTER1357 Science, Spirituality and Swaraj: Towards a New Aesthetics of Ethical Existence Sudhir KumarIII. Building Bridges: Evolution, Consciousness and HealingCHAPTERConcept of the8 The Yuga: Modern Scientific 149 Approaches to Bridge Spiritual and Philosophical Concepts Bal Ram Singh CHAPTER162Aurobindo’s Concept of Evolution of 9 Sri Consciousness: Exploration through the Paradigm of Health and Disease Rajni VyasCHAPTERBlending of Science and Spirituality in the 10 The 169 Ayurvedic Tradition of Healing P Ram ManoharCHAPTER11 Microsensing 181by Indian Mystics Bhaskar Vyas and Rajni VyasCHAPTER12 The Big Picture for the Science of Consciousness 189 Ravi KhannaIV. Science and Spirituality: Culture, Society and GenderCHAPTERoutside the Lab 22913 Faith Anjali RoyCHAPTER238Calling of Practical Spirituality 14 The Ananta Kumar GiriCHAPTER15 Spiritual Hysteria: A Gendered Perspective 255 Vijaya Ramaswamy
Notes on Contributors
Ananta Kumar Giriis by training an anthropologist, and has worked and taught in many universities in India and abroad including Free University, Amsterdam, University of Kentucky, US, and Aalborg University, Denmark. He has an abiding interest in social movements and cultural change, criticism, creativity and contemporary dialectics of transformation, theories of self, culture and society, and ethics in management and development. He is currently on the faculty of Madras Institute of Development Studies. He has written numerous books in Oriya and English including Global Transformation: Postmodernity and Beyond,Conversations and Transformations: Toward a New Ethics of Self and Society, andBuilding in the Margins of Shacks: The Vision and Projects of Habitat for Humanity.
Anjali Royis a Professor of English as well as Chairperson of the Department of Humanities and Social Science, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. She is a wellknown literary critic and scholar, and has extensively published in the areas of Australian literature, postcolonial literature, women’s studies, Indian writing in English as well as African literature.
Bal Ram Singhis a Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. He is also the Director of the Centre for Indic Studies at the same university. He is the author of numerous articles in the areas of biochemistry, philosophy and religion.
plastic surgeon by profession, has many varying studied and practised Hindu and Buddhist s a deep understanding of Patanjali’s Raj Yoga
Bhaskar Vyas, a interests. He has meditation and ha
Science and Spirituality
as well as the Vajrayana practice. He is also interested in philosophy and psychology, and has written widely on the two areas. His books includeSpacetimeconsciousness: The Fifth Dimension,Changing Course of Brahmaputra,Dalai Lama, the Change Initiator, and Towards Holistic Health.
Frantisek Mikesis the Founder and Head of the Centre for Dialogue between Science and Religion at the CyrilMethodius Theological Faculty of Palacky University (UP) in Olomouc, Czech Republic, in addition to being Director of Eastern Laboratories, Springfield, Massachusetts, USA. He received his training in organic chemistry and subsequently studied theology during the Communist governance in Czechoslovakia. He is the author of several papers in the areas of chemistry, science and religion.
Javaid Iqbal Bhatis pursuing his M.Phil/PhD from the Centre for English Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He is a lecturer in English at Kashmir University, Srinagar.
Makarand Paranjapeis a Professor of English at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. A critic, poet and novelist, he is the author ofThe Serene Flame,Playing the Dark God, andUsed Book (poetry);This Time I Promise It’ll Be DifferentandThe Narrator (fiction); andMysticism in Indian English Poetry,Decolonisation and Development, andTowards a Poetics of the Indian English Novel(criticism). The books he has edited includeIndian Poetry in English,Sarojini Naidu: Selected Poetry and Prose,Nativism: Essays in Literary Criticism,The Best of Raja Rao,The Penguin Sri Aurobindo Reader,In Diaspora: Theories, Histories, Texts, Saundarya: The Perception and Practice of Beauty in India,Dharma and Development, andThe Penguin Swami Vivekananda Reader. He is also the founding editor ofEvam: Forum on Indian Representation and the current Chairperson, Centre for English Studies, JNU. He is also the principal investigator of the project ‘Science and Spirituality in Modern India’.
P Ram Manoharis the Director of Research at the Arya Vaidya Pharmacy in Coimbatore. He is a certified practitioner ofAyurveda. His books includeNomenclature and Taxonomy in Vrkshayurveda,Regionally Substituted and Introduced Plants of KeralaandAyurveda: A System of Medical Psychology. He is the