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The fixed interior milieu

When man achieves nirvana, he becomes free through the scientific pursuit of yoga. That is the highest state of existence.

india Updated: Apr 24, 2006 12:08 IST

Modern Biology says the human brain was meant by Nature to guide the organic system, not vice versa.

B Grave Walter, in his book, The Living Brain says: “When we were students in Cambridge under Sir Joseph Barcroft, he gave us a dictum coined by a famous French physiologist: a fixed interior milieu is a condition for a free life. Earlier mammals had no thermostatic equilibrium and their nervous system could not function quickly. So survival became a problem. Nature tackled this by building the thermostatic apparatus in later mammals so that whatever the temperature outside, the temperature within was constant. This is called the fixed interior milieu. At the human level, this perfection is called the homeostasis condition: our bodies have an automatic system of stabilising the inner man, which allowed the evolution of the higher brain. The higher brain is not for mere survival. It is “for taking man to freedom”. For animals, homeostatis is meant only for survival.

Through our wonderful apparatus, the cerebral system, we can discipline our energies and bring calmness within. Neurologists say this level is what we call yoga, samadhi  or nirvana.

The Katha Upanishad defines yoga as: “Yadapancha vatishthante jnanani manasa saha/buddhischa na vicjeshtati tamahuh paramam gatim tam yogamiti manyante.”

Meaning, “When the five sense organs are made calm, when the mind does not flicker, even the seasoned intellect becomes absolutely steady: that is the highest state of existence.”

This tremendous experience is what the Buddha achieved. Man becomes free through the scientific pursuit of yoga without any kind of ‘magic’ or the abracadabra of religion. We discover our own dimension and discover our own infinite nature.

(Abridged from Man the Known & Man the Unknown, Sri Ramakrishna Math.)