Advaitam and Science

OM, Purnamata purnamitam purnat purnamutachyate, purnasya purnamataye purnamevavasishyate – Bri.Up V.i.1



The sapta Rishis revealed many rules and procedures on various subjects and topics based on the Vedas to Manu, the first ruler of the world, who was meditating on how to rule the world.    Manu, while he was ruling the world, by the request of some Rishis he revealed the same to them and it is later coded as the Manu dharma sastra.  Among many topics discussed, Manu dharma sastra also describes certain rules and procedures for a leader shouldto rule the nation.  Some of the important points from it are given in this article.

The king is the ruler of the nation; the ruling king should decide the next king to rule his nation.  It may be his own children or relative or the one who is capable to rule.  The king must be trained in Raja dharma, just as how a Brahmana is trained in Vedas.

The king can have all the luxuries and facilities of the land, not for him to enjoy the luxuries, but use them to help the people and to protect them by any means.  The king must have self-control and must not have anger, greed or lust.  These three will destroy him and his nation. 

A true and dedicated king is like a father to the nation.  The subjects must feel comfortable with the king.  They must feel free to meet the king at any time and at any place.

As soon as a king is coronated, he implements a dhanda (rod of power).  The dhanda is also coronated along with the king.  The king must impart laws to the dhanda, and do abhishekam for the dhanda.  Any mistake done in administering the dhanda will result in corruption of the varnas and the downfall of his empire.   The dhanda is the power of the king.  This dhanda is referred to as shenkol in the modern day.  Even when the king sleeps, the dhanda will be awake to implement justice.  The king always has the dhanda with him.  Even if he fails to follow dharma, the dhanda will instigate him.  Even though dhanda is a rod like structure made of gold or silver, it is treated and respected like a king.

The king must treat all the varnas equally, and protect them all without any discrimination.  If dharma is not followed by the king, then the king as well as his subjects will be destroyed.  The king has the power to appoint the ministers equal to him in all ways.  The ministers also should be well trained in the sastras, Vedas and must be free from anger, greed or lust.  If the king has any doubt in administration, then he can get the advice of the ministers.  The king must discuss protection, prosperity of the kingdom and the distribution of the revenue with the ministers on the day-to-day basis. 

The king can appoint officials and with their help collect dhana (money) from the people as annual tax and it forms the dhana (revenue) of the nation.  The king as well as the officials should not demand money but collect it following rules and vedic principles.  The tax charged must not burden the giver, but must be like a contribution to help the nation.  Revenue can also be collected from the business done with the other nations, and when the king conquers a nation their dhana can be added to the dhana of the nation.  The revenue must be spent carefully for protection of the subjects and the nation, for free education, for the poor and needy.  If any of the official misuse power or money or become corrupt then the king should protect the subjects and confiscate the money from the officials.

When the king of another nation is captured, the king as well as their people must be treated with respect; the captured king must be given place, all comforts and money to live the rest of the life in peace.  If a soldier of his nation is killed in a battle, then the king should support the family of the soldier till the children becomes self-reliant.  The king should not think even twice to kill the enemy whether he is outside or inside the nation.

The king must appoint a person well capable to deal with business, loyal, honest, good memory, fearless nature, good communication skill, patience, dignity and personality to deal with the other nations in all matters.  He is called dhoota (ambassador).  The success of a kingdom’s relationship with other kingdoms to a large extend depend on the dhoota. 

The king has the power to form the law of the nation but that should benefit all the subjects.  While punishing a subject he must consider the place, time, strength of the offence, the level of knowledge of the offender etc, then apply the law who has transgressed the law. 

Each village will have a head and group of villages will also have a head and they report to the higher officials about the happenings in each village and thus the king is always well informed.  Apart from it the king will personally go for rounds in the villages to know about the administration and the welfare of the people.

The king must be a very responsible, efficient and learned person.

These are the rules and the laws given in the dharma sastra of Manu as the seventh chapter – Raja dharma.



Bhagavan Vishnu takes avatar (incarnation) from time to time; whenever dharma in the creation declines and adharma increases He takes avatar.  The ten avatars of Bhagavan Vishnu are known to all the bhaktas.  Apart from this there are many avatars which are lesser known and in this article, I would like to share with you some of the lesser-known avatars of Bhagavan Vishnu.

1. Hayagriva avatar

Bhagavan Vishnu took the Hayagriva avatar, to kill a demon named Hayagriva.  Hayagriva was a dhanava born to Rishi Kashyapa.  He had a horse neck and a human body.  He defeated the devas and ruled the world.  He did not want the human race to learn the Vedas, because learning Vedas will elevate them and they will not listen to him; so, he took the Vedas from lord Brahma and hid it.  Dhanava Hayagriva worshipped Devi Durga and obtained a boon that only another Hayagriva like him (one with a horse neck) can defeat and kill him.   The devas worshipped Bhagavan Vishnu and Bhagavan knowing the secret of the boon took Hayagriva avatar and killed dhanava Hayagriva, saved the Vedas and Devas.  Hayagriva avatar of Bhagavan is an embodiment of knowledge.

2. Mahahansa avatar (Golden swan avatar)

Sanakadi Rishis ( Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana, Sanat Kumara, ) were the mind born sons of Lord Brahma.  They were created by Lord Brahma to help him in the creation.  But from the time they were born, they were interested in Brahma vidya.  They already had very deep knowledge and Lord Brahma could not teach them further.  Knowing about their deep thirst for knowledge, Bhagavan Vishnu took the form of a golden swan (Hansa) and appeared in the Manasa Lake in the heights of Himalayas.  This is the Hansa avatar of Bhagavan Vishnu.  Bhagavan took the form of Hansa because among all the beings only Hansa has the ability to separate milk from the water; Just like how one knows to discriminate the illusory aspects of the material world from the Truth.  The Sanakadi Rishis approached Bhagavan Hansa and Bhagavan Hansa cleared all their doubts in Brahma Vidya in the form of Hansa floating in the Manasa River.

3. Nara-Narayana Avatar

Nara-Narayana are the twin brother avatar of Bhavan Vishnu.  They were born to preserve dharma in the world.  They were born to Dharma, the mind born son of Lord Brahmaa and Murti, the daughter of Daksha Prajapati.  Murti is the personification of Ahimsa.  From the time they were born they dedicated their life for meditation and penance.  They meditated in Badarikashrama.  Their tapas were so deep that not even Lord Shiva could disturb their tapas.  They did tapas to establish dharma in the world.  It is said that in the Mahabharata, Arjuna is the incarnation of Nara and Narayana Himself appeared as Lord krishna.  They worked together again to reestablish dharma.

4. Dhanvantari avatar.

During the Samudra madhana, churning the ocean of milk, by the asuras (demons) and the Devas (gods) there appeared amruta (divine elixir).  Bhagavan Vishnu appeared in a very attractive form with four arms and dark shining complexion, holding the pot of amruta.  This is the Dhanvantari avatar.  The asuras greedily grabbed it and each asura wanted to consume it all alone. So, there was a fight going on among them and Bhagavan Vishnu took this as an advantage and disappeared, and appeared in another form to get that amruta from them and serve it to the devas.  Before disappearing from them Bhagavan Dhanvantari said that he will appear on the earth in future.

The Raja of Kasi, King Dhirgatamas, had no son.   He worshipped Bhagavan Vishnu, the Dhanvanrti avatar, to get a son.  Bhagavan pleased by his bhakti was born as the son of Kasi Maharaj as prince Divodasa.  He imparted the science of Ayurveda to the sages in His life time including the sage surgeon, Susruta and so Bhagavan Dhanvantari is called the Father of Ayurveda.  It is believed that Lord Brahma created the science of Ayurveda before the creation of mankind.  Bhagavan Dhanvantari compiled it according to topics and gave the knowledge to the sages.  Any disease in this world can be cured by the science of ayurveda.

5. Mohini Avatar

Mohini is the only female avatar of Bhagavan Vishnu.  Bhagavan took the avatar as a beautiful woman with the power of captivating everyone through her charm and beauty.  During the Samudra madhana, churning the ocean of milk, by the asuras (demons) and the Devas (gods) appeared amruta (divine elixir).  The Asuras took away the Amruta, and if they consume it then adharma will prevail in the creation.  The Devas worshipped Bhagavan Vishnu, and Bhagavan appeared in a mohita rupa (deluding captivating form) and tricked the Asuras and gave the Amruta to the Devas.  But two Asuras in the name of Ragu and Ketu in disguise consumed the Amruta and they became eternal and they continue to disturb the world.

6. Dattatreya Avatar

Bhagavan Dattatreya is believed to be the incarnation of the Trinity Gods, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiv, and so His form is believed to have three heads and six arms.  He was born as the son of Sage Atri and Devi Anasuya.  Some tradition considers Him as the incarnation of Shiva and some as the incarnation of Vishnu.  It is believed that Bhagavan in this avatar imparted the secret of Yoga to the sages.  He is known as the first teacher of Yoga.  He is believed to be the author of Tripura Rahasya, which is a treatise in Advaita philosophy.  He taught Tripura Rahasya to sage Parasurama.

7. Kapila Avatar

Sage Kapila was responsible for propagating the Sankhya Philosophy.  He is the avatar of Bhagavan Vishnu and was born as the son of Kardama Prajapati and his wife Devahuti.  Sankhya philosophy is spiritual knowledge combined with the elemental knowledge.  It deals with Purusha (Brahman) and Prakriti (maya).  Sage Kapila is the brother and guru of Devi Anasuya, the mother of Sage Dattatreya.  He first taught this knowledge to his mother Devi Devahuti.  His philosophy is recorded as sankhya philosophy.

8.Ved Vyasa Avatar

Sage Vyasa was the son of Rishi Parasara and Devi Satyavati.  Satyavati was a fisher women engaged in Ferrying passengers across the river Yamuna.  At one instance, Sage Parasara was her passenger and they both got married and Sage Vyasa was born.  He was born on an island in River Yamuna and he was dark in complexion and was called as Krishna Dwaipayana (black man of the Island).  Hinduism cannot have this glory without the effort and work of Ved Vyasa.  He compiled and edited the Vedas into four sections as Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva Veda.  He taught the four sections to His four students Sage Sumantu, sage Vaisampayana, Sage Jaimini, Sage Paila.

Later He wrote the eighteen puranas.  He wrote the Mahabharata and wrote the Truth of the Vedas in the form of Sutras (aphorisms) as Brahma Sutra. 

These are some of the avatars of Bhagavan Vishnu that are lesser known among the many avatars and that are need to be known to the Bhaktas.



The meaning of Sanatana dharma is made complicated by misinterpretation.  Sanatana dharma can easily be said as the rules and discipline derived from the Vedas by the Rishis for the righteous way of life.  No one dictated the people to follow it; they themselves followed the rules because the rules helped them to see the unity in diversity which is the goal of the Vedas.  Later, when the concept of kingdom and rulership came in to existence the first ruler of the universe Manu, briefed these rules and discipline under the request of the Rishis.  It was later brought out as Manu Smriti with different topics.  The Rishis requested Manu to do so and he briefed the rules from the Vedas for the better living of the people in the future.  According to the Vedas an individual is born to understand his real nature and unite with Brahman. The rules and discipline help one to realize his real nature.  Later the rules were quoted in many smritis like Ramayana, Srimad Bhagavada, Mahabharata, Bhagavad Gita etc.

Sanatana dharma cannot be accepted as a religion, because there are no specific rituals or doctrine or commandments or a dictator in Sanatana dharma.  It is purely based on the principles of the Vedas which are eternal and infinite.   No one knows from when did Sanatana dharma began; it is eternal.  In short, Sanatana dharma can be said as the righteous way of life to realize the Truth.

Sanatana dharma divides the society into four groups based on the guna (nature) and karma (action).  It is only division and there is no place for discrimination.  Discrimination is against culture.  The Aryans, meaning people who are educated, are cultured and noble, will not discriminate people.  Discrimination, insulting, defaming are all part of the uncultured society.  The division of the society is strictly based on the nature of the individual and the action he performs is based on his nature.  This division is called varna. 

Brahmana varna

People who have the natural flair to learn Vedas, teach it and do karmas prescribed in the Vedas are called Brahmanas.

Shatriya varna

People who have the natural flair to save the people under all circumstance and look after the welfare of the people are called the shatriyas.

Vaisya varna

People who have the natural flair to do business and agriculture and have the talent to look after the economy of the nation by doing trade are called the vaisyas.

Sudra varna

People who have the helping mentality by doing service to others, helping others to come up in life, serving the other three varnas are called sudras.  They have the special talent to do rough and hard work.

In the ancient times each varna helped each other and the society developed uniformly.  There was no discrimination then because each varna helped the other and the motive of all was Self-realization. 

Brahmanas excelled in understanding Vedas and so they were respected by all and the Brahmanas treated others equally since they were well versed in Vedas. 

Women were respected in the society and many women Rishis were part of revealing Vedas. 

The people and their life style aligned with the Vedas and there were no other religion or beliefs during that time and hence no misunderstanding prevailed.

Later when the time moved on, people began to see everything very grossly and began to view in a narrow way and many noble facts were given wrong meaning; people also followed the wrong understanding and began to live an egoistic material life.  The varnas were divided in to castes and some people dominated the others and made the system worse.  The divinity of the Vedas and seeing unity in diversity which is the goal of the Vedas is questioned by wrong values.

The world is passing through the kali yuga.  The understanding and the intellect of the people will align with the yuga.  the understanding of the Vedas will also differ according to the yugas.  It is better to understand the Vedas in the right sense; because misinterpretation will lead to decline in the values in the society. 



Infinity – it is what the Vedas explain.  But, the term used is not Infinity; it is Brahman.  Brahman literally means vastness, without any limits. 

Vedas declare that the Self is Infinite; however, we do not realize it.  To realize it many sadhanas are prescribed in the Vedas.  Still, it is elusive to some people. 

Infinity cannot be revealed, it can only be realized.  At present we do not realize our Infinite nature.  We feel that we are finite, with many restrictions and boundaries.  We carry a gross body and we feel that the limit of the body is our limit.  We are not trained to think beyond a limit.  Since our true nature is Infinite, we are never satisfied with whatever we have and at the same time we cannot go beyond a limit.  We limit ourself.  The urge in knowing more and more and the thirst for knowledge are the main indications that we are Infinite.  The true Infinite nature in us urge us to know more. 

We limit ourself by space, time and objects.  we feel that we are limited by space and do not feel the all-pervading nature.  When we identify with the body then definitely the body is gross and limited by space and we too feel the same.  We misidentify with the body and we think that the end of the body is the end of our Self.  We identify with our finite perishable body and we are worried of its perishable nature.  Whatever is gross is perishable and so is our body.  But the Atma is subtle and it never dies.  When we identify with the Atma then we realize our all-pervading nature.

We limit ourself by time.  We imagine that time can limit us and we will be perishable after a period of time.  The imperishable Atma is omnipresent.  The nature of the Self is imperishable.

We limit ourself by objects.  we identify with the body and feel the separation from one form with the other form.  Actually, the subtle nature of the Self is all-pervading.  There is only the Self and the different names and forms are mere illusion.  The separation due to desa (space), kala (time ) and vastu (objects) is the result of maya and it make us believe that it is true.  

We get miseries and sorrows in life because we are not aware of our Infinite nature.  We have limited knowledge and intellect and we identify with it and worried of its limited nature. 

In fact, the Atma is Infinite.  It is Brahman.  Brahman existing in the individual is Atma.  Atma is our Self.  But we misidentify with the body, mind and intellect as the Self and limit ourself.  When any insult or pain or misery come to the body, mind or intellect we mistake it as our self and gets hurt or feel unsafe.

To realize that our nature is imperishable, we have to do shravana of the scripture, manana and nidhidhyasana.  Only by self-contemplation these facts become clear.  Even when someone explain us these facts, we are not sure of it until we realize it. 

In our life sorrows and misery are due to ignorance.  We assume the ignorance and maya (illusion) as real and go after it.  Our true nature is sat-cit-ananda, Reality-consciousness- bliss.  Our subtle nature is all pervading and infinite awareness.  There is no place in this creation where we are not.  We are beyond this creation itself, but we are unable to believe it or some people are even ignorant of it. 

In life we are aware of only grossness.  If we consider ourself as separate from others, then it is limiting ourself.  The meaning of Infinity itself is there is no dual.  Infinity cannot have another one.  When it has another one then it is limit and it cannot be Infinity.    One cannot apply numbers to Infinity.  Infinity is vastness without any limits and it includes everything in this creation and beyond it.  When we say that ‘my nature is Infinite’, then there is no one other than the Self and it does not mean the finite ego; the Self is Infinite and the Self alone remains.  The Self does not mean the gross form or objects.  the Self means the subtle infinite Atma, which is our true identity.  The separation we feel is due to avidya.  The entire spiritual practice is removing this avidya and transforming oneself from individuality to Infinity, which is our true nature.



When we see Hinduism at a glance, we could say that it is a Religion.  Hinduism is a Religion practiced by majority of the people in the land of India.  However, when we see it in the deeper sense, Hinduism was tailored from Sanatana Dharma, according to the convenience.  Sanatana dharma is not a religion.  Sanatana dharma is Spirituality.  Sanatana dharma means the eternal and righteous way of life.   Practicing Hinduism as a religion gradually leads one to spirituality.  Sanatana dharma is based on the ancient immortal Vedas.  Hinduism is also based on the Vedas, however there are some regions and people who deviate from the core Vedas and have faith in ancestral practices.  In this context, I would like to explain the difference between Religion and Spirituality.

  We all have been introduced to Religion right from the time we were born.  Parents and elders introduce us to Religion they follow, and we follow their beliefs and faith blindly.  This is going on for generation after generation; no one takes care to question it and if questioned they were rejected.   

Religion is based on faith, rituals, ceremonies and dogmas.  Humanity is separated in the name of Religion.  Religion cares for caste, colour, race and creed.  Religion is based on beliefs and faith.  The belief of one sect or one Religion may not go along with the set of beliefs and faith of other sect or Religion.  Religion limits our thinking.  No one dares to question anything about any Religion.  This leads to many unanswered questions from time to time and ultimately when people cannot find answers, they are ought to leave that Religion and follow the next.  The concept of God is prominent in Religion.   Religion makes one to believe that worshipping God is the ultimate end to problems.  Religion personalises God and give a form and name to God.  Religion makes one believe that God is outside the beings and God resides only in a particular space given for God.  Rules are strictly followed in Religion.  Religion gives certain qualities for God.  Religion specifies a certain path and as said earlier, it separates humanity and even it separates the universe in to different spheres as fourteen lokas and so on.  It doesn’t mean that all the lokas does not exist, but in spirituality everything is considered as one. 

Spirituality helps one to expand the mind to vastness, to infinite.  Spirituality is not based on beliefs.  It is purely based on experience.  The essence of the Vedas guides one in the path of spirituality.  Vedas guide one to realize and experience one’s Self and realize the vastness of the Self.  One realizes that the Self is infinity.  A person in the path of spirituality either see the Self in all or He will see all in the Self.  The presence of a guru will help one in the path of Spirituality.  Practicing Religion for a long time will gradually lead one to Spirituality.  Hinduism as a Religion is very close to Spirituality.  The concept of God gradually vanishes and the Universal Atma as the Self is established in the mind.  One can select any right path to reach Spirituality.  Spirituality as well as Sanatana dharma is not allergenic to other religions and beliefs.  Gradually, dualities will fade away from the mind.    Spirituality makes a person inclusive and help him to balance his emotions. 

Sanatana dharma is a path to attain liberation; which means to understand and experience that there is nothing else in this creation other than Brahman, the Self.  To fine tune in this path many rituals are done to train the uncontrolled mind.  Only a controlled mind can grasp the higher principles needed for liberation.  By time, the rituals gained importance and the core concept took back-stage.   The rituals and beliefs needed to train the mind took the shape of Religion and the universal concepts are given form and name and worshipped as external Gods in temples.  Thus, Hinduism emerged from Sanatana dharma.  People took the support of the Gods to move forward in the path of Spirituality.  By time, many people began to believe that there are many Gods in Hinduism.  They forget the fact that all the different forms of God lead to that ultimate destination Brahman.

Thus, Hinduism paves way for liberation. In a way Sanatana dharma is not different from Hinduism; but Sanatana dharma is more advanced than Hinduism, which is practiced as a Religion.