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Open mind, legacy of human birth

india Updated: Feb 04, 2009 00:10 IST
Acharya Mahaprajna

Let us discuss the criteria of a scientific personality.

The first criterion is the quest of truth. A person with a scientific attitude will not be stubborn and will have a non-absolutist viewpoint. A scientific outlook eschews all presumptions and keeps a man constantly engaged in the effort to find out the truth and discover new facts. Lord Mahavira said, “Modes are infinite and laws are infinite.” The ‘Real’ means that which is existent at a particular time. One cannot lay claim to total knowledge just by knowing a few laws.

When someone told Newton, “You have discovered a number of laws,” he gave a very vital answer, “Whatever you might say, I am a child gathering shells on the sea shore. The precious stones hidden in the bosom of the sea are still far away from him.”

That person is gifted with a scientific outlook that acquires facts with great humility. He can keep an open mind, the true legacy of human birth. Many people boast they know as much as was necessary to know and nothing is now left to know. It represents one-sided insistence, which causes controversies, disputes and fighting. Prejudices and insistence breed endless problems.

The second criterion of a scientific personality is the discovery of man. The mind along with the nervous and endocrine systems is after all the patron and the governor of all our education, civilization, culture and values. The mind is yet outside the pale of scientific investigation and research. What is needed is a study of man and his mind, to begin integrating of the spiritual and scientific personalities.

If the spiritualist keeps sitting silently in his cave and the scientist keeps manufacturing nuclear bombs, the nuclear radiation is bound to reach the cave too. Our times demand that everyone entering a religious order or institution need not become exclusively ‘religious’. He must have a scientific outlook. Combined, they can answer our present problems.