The fundamental difference between Art and Science is that one is movement towards finer sentiments, and the other is a rational expression, with each and every stage having cause and effect.
What is Art? You do so many things. If you do these things in a fine way, in a subtle style, then within that style, they come within the scope of Art, as in the art of saying, and writing languages.
When you are doing something along a rational line or on the basis of logic, and at the same time, you are drawing attention to cause and effect, it is Science.
In this world, everything comes within the scope of causality. Nothing in this world is non-causal. What we can detect by seeing has got some causal factor. You see sugar. What is the cause of sugar? The cause of sugar is sugar cane or sugar beet. Where sugar cane or sugar beet is the cause, sugar is the effect. Then, where sugar cane or sugar beet is the effect, the seed is the cause. So, in all spheres of life, there is a cause.
What is science? Science means, that which is based on rationality and pays proper attention to cause and effect. About 2000 years ago, one philosopher named Maharśi Kańáda said,
“Where there is no causal factor, there cannot be any effect.”
Spiritual practice comes within the scope of Science. The first scientist who invented this spiritual science was Lord Shiva who was born about 7000 years ago. The name of His spouse was Párvatii. In Old China, Párvatii was known as Tárá. Now, this spiritual science was divided into two portions – two compartments just like two wings of a bird. One portion was known as Nigama, the other portion, Ágama. The questions of Párvatii were known as Nigama, and the replies of Shiva were known as Ágama.
Once Párvatii asked Shiva, “Oh Lord, in different spheres of life, we see there are certain fixed minimum qualifications. Before becoming a doctor, a person must be a medical graduate. That graduation in medical science is the minimum qualification for becoming a physician. In all different walks of life, there are certain minimum qualifications. Now, according to this science of spirituality, what is the minimum qualification? There must be some minimum qualification.”
Shiva said, “In the process of introversion – the introversial march of this created world, everything moves from crude to subtle.” What happens? Due to eternal clash and cohesion in the material world, primitive protozoa or protozoic cells develop. And as a result of further clash and cohesion, these protozoic cells get converted into different metazoic structures. And finally, these metazoic structures, maintaining a standard of intellectuality, take the forms of human beings. In other living creatures, other living forms, there is intellectuality, but it lacks intuition. In the case of human beings, there is intellectuality, and there is also intuitional faculty. Human beings have a peculiar nature. Certain portions of their minds are conscious and certain portions are unconscious. And therein lie all their potentialities. Lord Shiva said, when one acquires the human form and develops devotion, that is the minimum, final, and only qualification.
Everyone should remember that when there is human body, then that human body by dint of its devotion, is able to attain the Supreme Stance, the Divine Stance. Nobody is inferior or superior to others; it is the birth-right of all humans to attain that non-attributional stance, which is the Supreme Goal, the Supreme Desideratum. There cannot be any distinction of caste, creed, race, or academic qualifications. The man who has acquired immense educational wealth may lag behind if he has not one drop of devotion, and an illiterate man can attain the Supreme Status or the Supreme position if there is devotion in him. This was the reply of Shiva.
I told you that the old Chinese name of Párvatii was Tárá. Tárá asked Shiva how one is to know that devotion is the only way, and how, when one feels that devotion is the only way, one can devote one’s all possibilities, potentiality, and stamina in developing devotion. When one devotes everything to Parama Puruśa, those devoted propensities of the human mind make a man a devotee, and his faculties are then known as devotion. The collective name of these propensities devoted unto the Parama Puruśa are known as devotion because they are devoted to Him.
Now, what is Átmajiṋánam? Then He answered Párvatii’s question. Shiva said,
Átmajiṋánaḿ vidurjiṋánaḿ jiṋánányanyáni yánitu;
Táni jiṋánávabhásáni sárasyanaeva bodhanát.
I am using Saḿskrta slokas and not Páli because Páli may not be intelligible to you. Saḿskrta is better understood. That is why I am using Saḿskrta slokas.
When a man knows something, what is the actional side of knowing? The science of knowing is but the internal projection of external vibration; introversial projection of external feeling, external vibration, is known as knowledge. In philosophical language, you may say that knowledge means subjectivization of objectivities. A certain portion of your mind is the knower, and a certain portion of your mind is metamorphosed into the known when you are knowing something external.
But when you are to know yourself, i.e. in Self-realization, what are you to do? Your knower portion is the subjective mind who is seeing the elephant, who is seeing the cow, but it is not seeing itself. It is seeing so many things, but it is not seeing itself. So what is Átmajiṋánam, what is self-realization? Self-realization is when one sees one’s subjective entity with the vibrative faculty of one’s Spirit, of one’s Consciousness.
So Shiva says that the actual knowledge is knowing one’s Self, knowing the subjective portion. There are certain defective philosophies which think that the material world is everything. When matter becomes everything, then matter becomes the goal of life. And consequently human existence, human consciousness, subjective portion of the human mind, everything will become like earth and stone. That’s why such a philosophy is detrimental to human development. Reverend Karl Marx preached that defective philosophy. You should keep your mind free from the bindings and fetters of such a defective philosophy because it is anti-human, morally anti-human. It is most detrimental to the human existence and human development. You should never forget this.
Now, Shiva says that this self-realization, when the subjective portion of the mind is metamorphosed into Consciousness, is the proper knowledge. Other knowledge is of no avail.
You, students of science, know that in a shadow, there are two portions – the umbra portion, and the penumbra portion. Here Lord Shiva says that neither the umbra nor the penumbra are the actual jiṋánam. He says, all objective knowledge, where knowing means subjectivization of objectivity, is actually not knowledge. There lies the umbra and penumbra of shadows. By seeing the umbra and penumbra, you cannot have a proper idea of the actual thing. There is a lichee tree, there is a guava tree. By seeing the shadows, you can’t understand which is the shadow of the Lichee tree and which is the shadow of the Guava tree. You have to see the original tree. This was the reply given by Lord Shiva who started this spiritual science.
The question asked by Párvatii was, “Oh Lord, there are so many people who say, ‘This is a holy place, that place is an unholy place.’ They go on moving throughout the world in search of so many Tiirthas, places of pilgrimage. What should be the correct approach?”
Idaḿ Tiirthaḿidaḿ Tiirthaḿ Bhramanti Támasájanáh
Átmatiirthaḿ na Jánanti kat́haḿ Mokśo Varánáne.
“Oh my Lord, so many people are moving throughout the world, they do not know that the highest Tiirtha (Tiirtha means place of pilgrimage) lies covered within their very existence. One needn’t go elsewhere in search of Tiirtha”.
Just now, I have told you that, in the case of physical knowledge, external or extroversial knowledge, the process of knowledge means subjectivization of external desideratum. But in the case of true knowledge, as explained by Lord Shiva, what happens? The very subjective mind is metamorphosed into Consciousness, Átma, the supreme knowing entity. So when the final goal, the Supreme Desideratum is metamorphosed into the Supreme knowing Entity, the Supreme “I” that is the best Tiirtha, rather, the only Tiirtha, that lies covered within your “I” feeling.
Each and every man has the feeling that “I exist”. This feeling of “I exist” is the final form of the expressed world. Behind that final form of the expressed world, there lies covered the Supreme Consciousness, the Átmá. So, átmá is the best tiirtha. Átmá is the Supreme Tiirtha. Rather Átmá is the only tiirtha.
You are all spiritual aspirants. You should remember that your movement is not from subtle to crude, but from crude to subtle. You must not neglect this crude world, because your existence is being nourished by this crude world. That is why you should pay your proper respect to the crude world also. That is why I say, ours is a subjective approach through objective adjustment.
16 August 1979, Taipei