On the other hand, the ancient Hindus from India inquired into the ‘Ultimate Reality’ or ‘Truth’ using a totally different approach and didn’t spend $5 billion on a collider inside a 27 km tunnel like they did to discover Higg’s Boson. We know who Mr.Higgs is by now but not many know about the Indian scientist Satyendranath Bose whose last name is behind the name ‘Boson’.
The other approach - Guru is the Chief Scientist and the disciples are the researchers
The truth-seeking Dharma communities of ancient India have a solid heritage of inquiry into the truth and have some fascinating discoveries to share. These esoteric truth-seeking communities continue to exist till today in India with an enlightened Guru as the Chief Scientist and the disciples as the researchers.
The mystical research disciples of India operate on a paradigm that is not easily understood to modern science, but yet very methodical in their analysis. Their main emphasis was on personal experience “within” rather than experiments “without”. Really speaking, the approaches, equipments and methods of mysticism are quite different to that of science and cannot be compared by any standard. Bar the quest perhaps, everything else is different. The approach of the mystic is rather metaphysical in nature than empirical because the observer is part of the experiment. In science the observer is excluded.
So where can we find the history of truth-seeking in India? The questions, method and discoveries of the ultimate truth are mainly found in the end part of the ancient Vedic literature i.e. in the Upanishads collectively called as ‘Vedanta’. In the archives of Vedanta, the quest for truth simply begins with a question much like in modern science. For instance in the very beginning of the Mundaka Upanishad of the Atharva Veda, the truth-seeker Shaunaka asks his teacher Angiras to teach him ‘THAT knowing which everything becomes known’. There is a huge body of knowledge available in the Vedic literature just on this topic.
How can the 'PART' know the 'WHOLE'...
Even before the search begins, the Indian spiritual masters logically assert that we are just “part” of the universe. So naturally they ask “how can the part know the whole”. Even the definitions of the truth that is discovered are quite startling and enlightening. The quest for truth in fact begins with defining about “Truth”. The wisdom traditions of India, especially Vedanta defines Reality or Truth in the most rational way.
Vedanta defines Truth as “That which exists in all periods of time, in the past, in the present, and future, without any change”. So the conclusion is that which is changeless alone can be eternal.
An insightful analogy on creation from the Mundaka Upanishad goes this way: "As the spider sends forth and draws in its thread, as plants grow on the earth, as hair grows on the head and the body of a living man- so does everything in the universe arise from the Imperishable."The great sage Ramana Maharishi in the very style of dharma dialogue dismisses the quest of creation when he says "All metaphysical discussion is profitless unless it causes us to seek within the Self for the true reality. All controversies about creation, the nature of the universe, evolution, the purpose of God, etc., are useless. They are not conducive to our true happiness. People try to find out about things which are outside of them before they try to find out ‘Who am I?’ Only by the latter means can happiness be gained."
Science was not completely forsaken in India…
About the Indian legacy of truth seeking found in the dharmic religions, Osho a great Indian mystic writes “India’s whole genius is invested in religion, just as the whole Western genius is invested in science.”
However ancient India was not short of any scientific discoveries, many of which modern science has borrowed but this is not well known. Books like the ‘Computing Science in Ancient India’ by T.R.N. Rao and S. Kak has documented the contribution of Indian science to the world. Look for ‘List of Indian inventions and discoveries’ in the Wikipedia and you will find many more inventions.
Somehow the culture of the truth-seeking Rishis accorded a very low priority to documenting the discoveries of their quest.Nor were they interested in getting them validated in scientific circles. However new ages books like the ‘The Tao of Physics’ by Fritjof Capra and ‘The Dancing Wu Li Masters’ by Gary Zukav are providing evidence on the parallels of Eastern mysticism and modern physics especially that of Quantum physics. These popular scientists maintain that the mystics have experienced the truth which seems to match with what physics is discovering. There are many other researchers like Deepak Chopra, Eliot Deutcsh, Dr. Amit Goswami etc who hold same or similar views.
Hindus of the past may not have been interested in the God particle but certainly invested their time to know the truth or the God principle that they claimed beyond the sphere of cause-and-effect. What if today’s scientists discover that the DNA of all livings beings has the same God principle which is the secret to the mystery of creation? I guess one would have to say “Aham BrahmAsmi” meaning ‘I am Brahman (GOD)’ as said in the Brihad – Aranyaka Upanishad from the Yajur Veda.