Bhagavad Gita Through Science

Dear Readers, I think most of you know very well that Bhagavad Gita is one of the most popular holy books all over the world. It’s a 700 verse Hindu scripture which is a part of the longest epic of the world, the Mahabharata. Though it’s a holy book of Hindus but this is well accepted all over the world irrespective of religions. So, there should be some reasons behind this maybe you are thinking, it’s because of the ultimate spiritualism of the human beings and the verses are quite realistic which give most of the answers even all the answers about the philosophy of life. But, the problem is people also think there is a very old bitter relationship between science and spirituality. If anyone of you have read this book you might have got answers to some questions you wanted to know about you, your existence and everything related to it. Now I’ll portray a different image of this holy book which will be envisioned as an ultimate science coming out from the immense spiritualism.

Yes!! Bhagavad Gita told up a lot about science which are till now decoded very less but still at some point of view you will definitely start to think that scientific realization has overcome the holiness of this book. Here we will discuss two very well-known topics which are very popular and well established. We will enjpy today’s blog with some verses too.

1. Lotus Flower Effect

ब्रह्मण्याधाय कर्माणि सङ्गं त्यक्त्वा करोति : |

लिप्यते पापेन पद्मपत्रमिवाम्भसा || 10||

                                                    (Chapter 5, Verse 10, Bhagavad Gita)

(brahmaṇyādhāya karmāṇi saṅgaṁ tyaktvā karoti yaḥ
lipyate na sa pāpena padma-patram ivāmbhasā)

This means, those who dedicate their actions to God, abandoning all attachment, remain untouched by sin, just as a lotus leaf is untouched by water.

The sacred lotus, Nilumbo nucifera, a flowering plant, is very important for in practices of the Hinduism and Buddhism. It’s revered due to the striking pink or white that remains free of dirt even after having seen submerged in muddy river or pond water. That’s the main idea of purity of soul as well as it gives the idea of superhydrophobicity.

The high surface tension of water causes droplets to assume a nearly spherical shape, since a sphere has a minimal surface area, and this shape, therefore, minimizes the solid-liquid surface energy. On contact of liquid with a surface, adhesion forces result in wetting of the surface. Either complete or incomplete wetting may occur depending on the structure of the surface and the fluid tension of the droplet. The cause of self-cleaning properties is the hydrophobic water-repellent double structure of the waxy surface. This enables the contact area and the adhesion force between surface and droplet to be significantly reduced, resulting in a self-cleaning process. The epidermis of the lotus plant possesses papillae 10 μm to 20 μm in height and 10 μm to 15 μm in width on which the so-called epicuticular waxes are imposed. These superimposed waxes are hydrophobic and form the second layer of the double structure. Nanosized air space between the waxy bumps attached causes the extra repulsion between drops that results in contact angle more than 150°. This biochemical property is responsible for the functioning of the water repellency of the surface. Some plants show contact angles up to 160° and are called ultra-hydrophobic, meaning that only 2–3% of the surface of a droplet (of typical size) is in contact. Plants with a double structured surface like the lotus can reach a contact angle of 170°, whereby the droplet’s contact area is only 0.6%. All this leads to a self-cleaning effect.

Dirt particles with an extremely reduced contact area are picked up by water droplets and are thus easily cleaned off the surface. If a water droplet rolls across such a contaminated surface the adhesion between the dirt particles, irrespective of its chemistry, and the droplet is higher than between the particle and the surface. This is known as the famous Lotus Leaf Effect. This cleaning effect has been demonstrated in common materials such as stainless steel when a superhydrophobic surface is produced.

2. Energy Conservation

भूमिरापोऽनलो वायु: खं मनो बुद्धिरेव |

अहङ्कार इतीयं मे भिन्ना प्रकृतिरष्टधा || 4||

                                                         (Chapter 7, Verse 4, Bhagavad Gita)

(bhūmir-āpo ’nalo vāyuḥ khaṁ mano buddhir eva cha

ahankāra itīyaṁ me bhinnā prakṛitir aṣhṭadhā)

That means, earth, water, fire, air, space, mind, intellect, and ego—these are eight components of my material energy.

Einstein Mass-Energy Equivalence (E = mc2) was first expressed in his paper Annus Mirabilis during 1905. In physics, mass-energy equivalence is the concept that the mass of an object or system is a measure of its energy content. A physical system has a property called energy and a corresponding property called mass; the two properties are equivalent in that they are always both present in the same (i.e. constant) proportion to one another. The equivalence of energy E and mass m is reliant on the speed of light c and is described by the famous equation: E = mc2. Thus, this mass-energy relation states that the universal proportionality factor between equivalent amounts of energy and mass is equal to the speed of light squared. This also serves to convert units of mass to units of energy, no matter what system of measurement units is used.

जायते म्रियते वा कदाचि

नायं भूत्वा भविता वा भूय: |

अजो नित्य: शाश्वतोऽयं पुराणो

हन्यते हन्यमाने शरीरे || 20||

                                                                        (Chapter 2, Verse 20, Bhagavad Gita)

(na jāyate mriyate vā kadāchin
nāyaṁ bhūtvā bhavitā vā na bhūyaḥ
ajo nityaḥ śhāśhvato ’yaṁ purāṇo
na hanyate hanyamāne śharīre)

This means, the soul is neither born nor does it ever die, nor having once existed, does it ever cease to be. The soul is without birth, eternal, immortal, and ageless. It is not destroyed when the body is destroyed.

Energy can be neither created nor destroyed, but can change form – this is an accepted scientific fact and known as the Law of Conservation of Energy. This verse describes the soul as energy which only transforms in birth and death. In the Law of Conservation of Energy, the total energy of an isolated system cannot change and energy cannot be created or destroyed but can only change form. In the same way, the soul is unborn, without death and only transforms itself. This is also the binding thread of the oneness of this universe. The eternal energy transforms itself portraying the differentiation that can be seen in this universe.

Thus Bhagavad Gita is not limited into a Holy Book of Hindus, it’s also the book containing a lot of unrevealed topics in Science may be. Last but not the least I’ll definitely mention that this book never ever prefers the different ideas of religions, in this book lord Kirshna himself taught us to devote ourselves to one and only himself, who is  but the superpower  or ultimate power from whom the whole universe is generated. He said,

सर्वधर्मान्परित्यज्य मामेकं शरणं व्रज |

अहं त्वां सर्वपापेभ्यो मोक्षयिष्यामि मा शुच: || 66||

                                                                (Chapter 18, Verse 66, Bhagavad Gita)

(sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śharaṇaṁ vraja

ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣhayiṣhyāmi mā śhuchaḥ)

That means, Abandon all varieties of dharmas and simply surrender unto me alone. I shall liberate you from all sinful reactions; do not fear.

By,

Shubhankar Kundu

Department of Chemistry

IISER Bhopal

References:

a)Introduction to nanoscience and Nanotechnology by Gabor L. Hornyak, H.F. Tibbals, Joydeep Dutta
b)Wikipedia
c)The Bhagavad Gita

About the author: Shubhankar Kundu is pursuing BS-MS integrated degree in Chemistry from IISER Bhopal. He is a DST-INSPIRE fellow. In his leisure times, he loves writing poems and his is also a fantastic painter. He has a knack for music and loves to play violin. He also loves to recite Bengali poems and football is his most favourite game.Except this he is a die hard fan of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. Exploring unknown places and photography, these are his noteworthy hobbies. Shubhankar is one of the of admins and blogger of The Qrius Rhino.

Author: Shubhankar Kundu

A fifth-year BS-MS student and a DST-INSPIRE fellow at IISER Bhopal, pursuing a major in Chemistry. Loves writing poems and painting during leisure times. Has a knack for music and loves playing the violin. Also, loves reciting Bengali poems and football. A die-hard fan of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, the legendary Indian freedom fighter. Exploring unknown places and photography, are some other noteworthy hobbies. Associated with the core team of TQR since 2018.

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