One Day National Panel Discussion cum Seminar
SCIENCE OF PANCH-MAHABHOOTAS (Earth, Air, water, Fire, Ether) & CONSCIOUSNESS
पञ्च-महाभूत (पृथिवी, जल, तेज, वायु, आकाश) एवम् चेतना का विज्ञान
DATED – 16TH APRIL, 2016, SATURDAY TIME – 9.30 A.M. TO 1.30 P.M.
Organized By – Department of Sanskrit & Enquirers’ Forum
Funded By – Popular Traders, Ambala Cantt.
Academic Support –
- D. Human Development Research & Training Center, Ambala City
- D. Adarsh Sanskrit College, Ambala Cantt.
Council for Historical Research & Comparative Studies, Chandigarh.
Darshan Yoga Sansthan, Dakshina Murti Bhavan, Dalhousie.
Dear sir/ Madam,
What is the use of life?
If you have resolved this query either by your esteemed intellect which essentially divides or by wholesome intelligence which allows to realize / understand things/ situation in totality then obliviously you have made / drawn some conclusion/s about life and surely those conclusions are making some sense and you are living a blissful life but if this is not the case then department of Sanskrit of this college humbly invite you to share your scholarship/ expertise/ opinion/ understanding/ insight on the above mentioned topic with other scholars of different subjects.
Department of Sanskrit Sanskrit seeks your guidance to explore and understand these five elements from various perspectives; like how to explain relationship among 70% of water to 6% of air to 12% of earth to 4% of fire to 6% of ether with human body. Following is a brief of traditional wisdom of panch mahabhootas.
In 2004, eight neuroscientists felt it was too soon for a definition of consciousness. They wrote an apology in “Human Brain Function”: Page 74-
“We have no idea how consciousness emerges from the physical activity of the brain and we do not know whether consciousness can emerge from non-biological systems, such as computers… At this point the reader will expect to find a careful and precise definition of consciousness. You will be disappointed. Consciousness has not yet become a scientific term that can be defined in this way. Currently we all use the term consciousness in many different and often ambiguous ways. Precise definitions of different aspects of consciousness will emerge … but to make precise definitions at this stage is premature.”
The ambiguity of the term “consciousness” is often exploited by both philosophers and scientists writing on the subject. It is common to see a seminar on consciousness begin with an invocation of the mystery of consciousness, noting the strange intangibility and ineffability of subjectivity, and worrying that so far we have no theory of the phenomenon.
So any theory of consciousness, if it is to be a successful one, needs to be embedded in the known facts about the world. As far as we can tell, consciousness is prima facie a biological phenomenon. Therefore, any model of consciousness needs to have robust biological foundations. It becomes thus necessary, in order to understand the wherefroms and whys of consciousness, to really tackle the biological phenomenon.
- Consciousness is actually the only thing we can be sure of: we are sure that “we” exist, and “we” doesn’t mean our bodies: it means our consciousness. Everything else could be an illusion, but consciousness is what allows us to even think that everything else could be an illusion. It is the one thing that we cannot reject.
- Unfortunately, precisely consciousness, of all things in the universe, still eludes scientists.
- Physics has come a long way to explaining what matter is and how it behaves.
- Biology has come a long way to explain what life is and how it evolves.
- Neurology tells us an enormous amount about the brain, but it cannot explain how conscious experience arises from the brain’s electrochemical activity
- But no science has come even close to explaining what consciousness is, how it originates and how it works?
- One wonders if there is still something about the structure of matter that we are missing?
- Could one say that the origin of life came about when a set of particles arranged in the right way were tipped into a sort of energy equilibrium that jiggled things back and forth, in obedience to physical laws (modern physical laws of course)
- And as this interaction of physical laws become more complex (where we study the trends of their overall behavior: chemistry, biochemistry, biology, etc.) they eventually led to organisms that interact, not solely on a biochemical level but at a macro-level too, perceiving, processing, and interacting on a level of general summary of all the micro interactions (what we call consciousness).
Department of Sanskrit is curious, how did this transition, between being a little chemical interaction factory (a single cell and its organelles) to a large-scale physical interaction machine (a creature with organs) occur?
It has been said that life is biology’s greatest embarrassment. Almost all biologists are materialists and believe in the “fact” of evolution. But when they attempt to trace life back to its beginning the so-called “fact” proves rather to be that miraculous “something” which came out of the ocean and subsequently, thanks to another mysterious and miraculous mechanism, became alive. And for a third miracle, this living “something” somehow developed consciousness. – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – — —
Hopefully, the combined contributions of this broad range of viewpoints could shed some light on the difficult, complex and elusive subject of consciousness. Unfortunately, there was instead a high level of confusion, interdisciplinary rivalry and even hostility. Chalmers has, in fact, challenged the attendees to address the hard problem of consciousness, which he says is actually not one, but many, theories. We join him in the challenge; meanwhile we believe that there remain two fundamental mysteries,
“How Was Life Created?” and
“What Is Consciousness?”
Can evolution explain life and consciousness? By Ken Van Cleve and Brunla Van Cleve, Ph.D.
PS – 1. No TA/ DA admissible. 2. There is no need to write full paper, just shorts notes are welcome. 3. This seminar is not for API score so join the discussion for academic purpose only. 4. Only light refreshment will be served. 5. Please do confirm your participation so that you are given enough time to share your views.
Ashutosh Angiras Dr. Rajinder Singh