Fritjof Capra, physicist, on Hinduism

The most important characteristic of the Eastern world view – one could almost say the essence of it – is the awareness of the unity and mutual interrelation of all things and events, the experience of all phenomena in the world as manifestations of a basic oneness. All things are seen as interdependent and inseparable parts of this cosmic whole; as different manifestations of the same ultimate reality. (Capra, The Tao of Physics)

In Indian philosophy, the main terms used by Hindus and Buddhists have dynamic connotations. The word Brahman is derived from the Sanskrit root brih – to grow- and thus suggests a reality which is dynamic and alive. The Upanishads refer to Brahman as ‘this unformed, immortal, moving’, thus associating it with motion even though it transcends all forms.’ The Rig Veda uses another term to express the dynamic character of the universe, the term Rita. This word comes from the root ri- to move. In its phenomenal aspect, the cosmic One is thus intrinsically dynamic, and the apprehension of its dynamic nature is basic to all schools of Eastern mysticism.
They all emphasize that the universe has to be grasped dynamically, as it moves, vibrates and dances. ..The Eastern mystics see the universe as an inseparable web, whose interconnections are dynamic and not static. The cosmic web is alive; it moves and grows and changes continually. (Fritjof Capra, 1972.)

In Hinduism, Shiva the Cosmic Dancer, is perhaps the most perfect personification of the dynamic universe. Through his dance, Shiva sustains the manifold phenomena in the world, unifying all things by immersing them in his rhythm and making them participate in the dance- a magnificent image of the dynamic unity of the Universe. (Capra, The Tao of Physics)

(From the website ‘On Truth and Reality’; ‘Hinduism – Hindu religion’)

Capra’s ability to explain Hinduism is impressive. The paradigm so presented is worthy of consideration in societies pre-occupied with material progress – to little avail. When the soul leaves a body, it takes nothing material with it (it doesn’t need to).

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