Life, Consciousness and Mind, A Physics Perspective

Aristotle is known as the father of Physics who referred to Physics as a branch of science that studies the natural phenomena. The word Physics came from ancient Greek, meaning knowledge of nature. Nature includes both non- living matter and living matter and so the study of behavior of non- living matter and living matter lies in the realm of Physics. Most philosophers after Aristotle did not confine their field of research according to non- living matter or living matter. After the development of telescopes and observatories for study of motion of planetary bodies by Galileo and the discovery of laws of motion and the laws of gravitation by Isaac Newton, a general notion prevailed that Physics involves the study of behavior of non- living matter only. Fast development in science in the last two centuries accumulated so much knowledge that it became inevitable to classify the vast knowledge into many disciplines. As a result of which a physicist thinks his field of investigation is limited to Physics only and he has nothing to do with biology or any other discipline. But for a dedicated scientist who is committed to study the nature, this division of science has no meaning, and he studies every phenomenon of nature ignoring this division. Many great physicists such as Erwin Schrödinger, Max Planck, Eugene Wigner and Max Delbrück have gone out of their native field to contribute to solve various the mysteries of life.

Spirituality is an important aspect of life, and it has made a surprising come- back in the mainstream in past few decades. Research has already begun to study the effect of spiritual practices on mental health.[1] My life took an unprecedented turn 25 years ago when I said goodbye to my well settled scientific career to begin my spiritual journey after a realization that spirituality is another dimension of Physics. The motive of my spiritual journey was to explore spirituality scientifically. I began to practice Yog which is a purely spiritual practice developed by ancient Rishis of India according to an ancient text of Yog known as Patanjali Yog Sutra. After exploring and studying every aspect of life from the perspective of Physics and spirituality I came to conclusion that human body is much more than a physical system made of flesh and blood that works on physical energy in term of calories we get from food and an important aspect is missing from the present study of life. Before presenting my study on physical, philosophical and spiritual aspect of life I would discuss the aspect of life which Schrödinger has discussed in his book What is life.


Ludwig Boltzmann was the first physicist to speculate on thermodynamic perspective of living organism. He proposed that living organisms also need entropy for existence along with food and energy. Richard McCulloh macroscopically explained this by drawing a comparison between human body and internal combustion or the heat engine. A human body gets energy from food and converts it into mechanical energy that a heat engine does by getting energy from fuel. In the fundamental expression PV=kT,  the variables vary greatly in case of heat engine and entropy also increases by great amount. But in case of human body the variation in these parameters is nearly constant. Physicists agree that this becomes possible only if entropy is negative, that is, entropy is fed into body.

Erwin Schrödinger analyzed the issue microscopically. He explained in his book What is life that living matter evades the decay to thermodynamic equilibrium by homoestatically maintaining negative entropy in the system. Schrödinger was among the founders of quantum mechanics who viewed living organism as ensemble of molecules that also contain hereditary molecule which later was identified as the DNA molecule. He compared the structure of molecules in living organism with the crystalline structure of solid. While the crystals in solids are in highly ordered state and repeat continuously, the hereditary molecule in an organism do not repeat itself much and Schrödinger called this aperiodic crystal. When solid gets energy in the form of heat, disorder of atoms increases and so entropy also increases. While in an organism when it gets energy, the order of molecules is not disturbed, meaning there is no change in entropy. Schrödinger did not conclude anything in his book why living organisms feed on negative entropy. He speculated that the behavior of living organisms may be understood by other laws of Physics, hitherto, unknown which however, once they have been revealed will form just as integral part of science as the former. Schrödinger also offered his philosophical views on living organisms. He was influenced through Arthur Schopenhauer, by Hindu philosophy of Atman = Brahman, according to which Atman is the animating principle in all living organisms and responsible for negative entropy in organisms.


Biology presents living organism as having multiple biological self- sustaining processes such as the growth, movement, metabolism, reaction to external stimuli, energy transformation and reproduction. I will begin with the claim that the biological processes are self- sustaining. This cannot be true because in nature nothing can be self- sustaining. There is a fundamental law of nature, the law of causality according to which there cannot be an effect or a change without a cause. No motion is possible without a force. For example, if you ask a doctor why a heart pulsates, he may reply that heart gets a train of electric pulses from a sophisticated oscillator made of neurons and housed in medulla region of brain. The muscles of heart contract due to electric shock and heart continues to pulsate according to the pattern of electric pulses. When asked a neuroscientist what causes oscillator to stop suddenly leading to a cardiac arrest. He may either have no answer or may reply just like that. I have seen many cases where many health- conscious, young persons with no history of heart disease have died of sudden cardiac arrest and the doctors do not know the cause. Biological studies cannot tell what causes oscillator to work. The self- sustaining process can be compared with perpetual motion in Physics. Perpetual machine is fantasy of many engineers which cannot turn into a reality because it would contradict the basic law of conservation of energy, and nothing can happen against the law of nature. In this article we are exploring what causes heart to pulsate.

There is a misconception that physical system of human body works on the physical energy we get from the food. If this preposition were true, then it would be impossible to explain many inequalities among the human beings. For example, we know that physical energy consumption of an adult can be considered around 2000 kilo calories with a margin of about 15%, but there is an order of magnitude difference between the outputs of individuals. At one end we find extremely inactive persons in the category of beggars who cannot earn their bread and depend on others for survival. The just sit on roadside whole day asking for food. clothing or money. On other hand, we may find very active persons who work up to 18 hours a day with smiling face and they may even consume less calories than a person with sedentary life. In short, the output in terms of achievements is not proportional to input.

According to psychology the active person has lot of motivation while the inactive person lacks the motivation. The seat of motivation is the brain; therefore, I will discuss motivation from the perspectives of neuroscience. It is an established fact that the structure of brain of every human being is almost identical except for minor variations. What may play the role in human behavior, intelligence, and motivation is the number of neurons in the brain that processes the information required to perform a task. A small mental task needs the activation of fewer neurons, while a very complex task needs to activate much larger number of neurons. The number of neurons in the brain is so large that a scientist like Einstein used only 30% of total neurons present in brain in entire life.  According to this information the motivation and intelligence of every human being should be the same, since the motivation, consciousness, intelligence, and creativity are the product of brain only. But it is found that there is a continuous spectrum of motivation and intelligence in human beings. There is a class of people who spend who life doing petty jobs because they neither have motivation nor intelligence for learning a higher skill and to earn more. At the other extreme, there is a category of great people who did magnificent work that changed the course of the world. This discussion implies that the faculties like motivation, intelligence, creativity and consciousness are not the products of brain, a part of physical system of human body. This can also be concluded from an analysis of brain of Abert Einstein carried out posthumously. His brain was preserved after death to investigate a region of brain that could be attributed to his extraordinary intelligence, but the scientists could not find anything in the brain that was remarkably different from the brain of normal people. It is not difficult to conclude that in addition to biological processes of movement, growth, metabolism, reaction to external, energy transformation and reproduction the life has many other Extra- Physical features such as consciousness, intelligence, motivation and creativity and in this article, we are exploring the agency responsible for these features. I would like to clarify here that I am considering all biological process as physical processes because all biological processes can be explained with concepts of Physics and Schrödinger has explained it beautifully in his book What is life. What is more intriguing is that there are myriad of organisms in nature without blood and flesh and even without brain still possess consciousness and intelligence. An article published in Scientific American reveals a fascinating behavior of a specie of slime molds that are single-celled organism without brain, nervous system in any form and even without sense organs. [3] Scientists have found out in a study that slime molds behave in intelligent way. They have consciousness and memory. They navigate through a maze to reach out to food and when food is in scars many bodies of slime molds merge together to form a single unit to save energy. If a U-shaped path is provided to them to reach a food, they attempt to follow the shortest path such as the upward climbing in order to save the energy. Thus, intelligence and consciousness are essential features of life, that do not require a structure such as the brain. This makes the belief firm that plants also have consciousness. A growing body of empirical research suggests that the consciousness and intelligence traditionally assumed to be exclusive to animal are also exhibited by plants. [3] An Indian scientist, Jagdish Bose established empirically that plants have consciousness a century ago. There is a lot of opposition to the concept of consciousness in plants and cells therefor I would like to present an argument that the consciousness is not only and integral part of plants and cells, but the existence of life is not possible without consciousness.

There are five components or phases of life. These are: (1) origin of life, (2) biological functioning of life, (3) long term stability of life functions or the survival, (4) continuation to next generation or the reproduction, (5) termination of life functions or the death. Life is not possible if any of this component is absent or unstable. By stability I mean that there are many biological functions going on in a living organism and these functions are basically physical process which are intrinsically stable. Why I am saying this is because I have developed myself from a physicist to a full- fledged electronic engineer and I have devoted 20 years of my life developing the control circuits for electronic, electric and mechanical machines. After studying neuroscience and physiology I came to know that every biological process is working in closed loop with negative feedback that is essential for the stability.  The negative feedback requires monitoring which is not possible without consciousness. The next component of life is survival or the continuation of biological functions taking place within the organisms. These processes need energy from food for which the dependence on environment is necessary. Life is not possible in isolation and interaction with the environment is inevitable. The interaction with environment takes place through the consciousness in highly evolved organisms such as animals and human beings but less evolve organisms like slime mold and plants do not have sense organs and the consciousness is the only medium for interaction. Due to consciousness, the cells and plants are aware of food that is present in the environment and due to the intrinsic intelligence, they choose the right food to eat. As a human being we are taught which food to eat and which not. But lower organisms and animals use intrinsic consciousness and intelligence choose the right food only. The animals never eat poisonous plant, and the apes are known to have knowledge of the medicinal plants also.

I would like to jump into the argument presented in an article rebutting the concept against plants having consciousness. [4] First of all, the consciousness has not been defined unanimously and so there is lot of confusion among scientists about what is the consciousness and what is its source. They are talking of plant consciousness animal and consciousness. This classification is meaningless; the plants are less evolved organisms, so they are not able to use the consciousness much. Whereas the animals use consciousness much more than plants do, and the human beings use consciousness in more varieties of ways. There is nothing like primary consciousness and secondary consciousness as many scientists have classified thus. It is a universal and fundamental entity that originates and sustains life. A botanist has dismissed the idea of plants having consciousness and cognition on the ground that they simply do not have necessary structure and functional complexity that is necessary for consciousness to emerge. [5] In fact, this idea is not new, and is derived from the proposition of Francis Crick, according to which consciousness emerges from the complex network of neurons. I have discussed this topic later and proved empirically that this proposition is false. Secondly, there is no singularity in nature according to which if consciousness is present in higher organisms like animals, it has to be present in the lower and the lowest living organism because higher species have evolved from the lower organisms, according to Darwinian theory of natural selection.

I have been studying consciousness and Atman for last 25 years. I have also experienced and explored consciousness through Yog. I have attained a very advanced stage of Yog, known as Samadhi, where the mind becomes completely thoughtless, and I can have a direct experience of consciousness. On the basis of this experience, I have proposed a theory of consciousness on the basis of the concept of Physics. The consciousness is not only about the feeling or experience, but it also means awareness of inside and outside world. The process of sensing and awareness is possible because of consciousness only. The organisms are aware of food that is present in environment because of consciousness. I will discuss later that the consciousness is a physical entity like electromagnetic field. Max Planck, father of Quantum Physics also firmly believed that the consciousness is fundamental. Not only this, but most of great thinkers also advocated the relevance of consciousness in life. Perhaps this may the reason, the research on consciousness remains inconclusive after thirty years. According to a theory of Atman that I have proposed, the consciousness existed since the beginning of universe and the life came much later. In fact, it is the consciousness only that originates and sustains life. There is a famous quote of Max Planck, father of quantum physics; I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness. I regard consciousness a


 The question What runs life has been boggling the minds of philosophers since the millennia. The concept of an animating principle, as a life force, that drives a living organism is very ancient and can be found in Greece and India. Greek philosopher such as Socrates, Plato and Aristotle believed that the concept of soul as the life force is very logical and difficult to rebut. They considered soul incorporeal that animates a living organism. Plato was the first to propose that the soul was both, the source of life and the mind. Aristotle defined the soul as the first actuality of organized body and also used the term Actus et Potentia that is responsible for full actualization of living body. According to Emanuel Kant, the soul and body occupy same space at the same time and the human soul gives rise to the cognition. Baruch Spinoza had the same views about the soul, but according to him the soul was not immortal, and it dies with the body. Rene Descartes was more specific on his views on soul. He considered body and soul to be separate entities but mutually interacting. According to him, the seat of soul is the brain and when soul interacts with pineal gland, the consciousness is generated.


 The discipline of psychology did not exist until the middle of 19th century. The concept such as consciousness, the self, human behavior and ethics were discussed in a branch of philosophy. When new scientific concepts and new experimental methods began to develop in natural sciences, the empiricism of science outweighed the rationalism of philosophy. Sigmund Freud was the first scientist who attempted to explain philosophical concept of soul by a scientific concept of psychic energy. He treated biological system as a thermodynamic system that works with physical energy. Later he realized that the psychic energy has nothing to do with physical energy. According to Freud, psychic energy is a force like thing that drives and sustains the mental activities. For this reason, psychic energy was also called the mental energy. Carl Jung developed the concept of psychic energy further and proposed that it is not possible to measure psychic energy. According to him, the psychic energy performs all psychological tasks such as the perceiving, thinking, feeling, wishing and attention related tasks. These activities are possible only if life exists. Therefore, the psychic energy is the same as Vital energy. It is the Vital energy that drives the life.


Yog is the only way to experience the existence of Vital energy in the body. Rishis of ancient India to whom I refer as the ancient scientists, began the practice of Yog thousands of years ago. They explored the nature of Vital energy by experiencing and studying the effect of Vital energy on body during the practice of Yog. They concluded that the body is only a yantra (machine or the instrument) made of blood and flesh. It is the Vital energy that performs all the life functions such as the working of internal and external organs of the body and all mental functions such as the consciousness, thinking, desire, intelligence and creativity. They argued that the body of human beings are identical in every respect, and therefore it cannot be the identity of a person and also it is perishable.  Therefore, the body cannot be considered as the true existence of human being. They used a word Atman in Sanskrit for Vital energy, psychic energy or the mental energy. Though the word Atman translates into English as soul, yet the soul is not an equivalent to Atman because the soul is a religious word while Atman is a scientific word as it has been referred to in ancient science of India known as the Vedanta. Rishis of India studied every aspect of nature in a very comprehensive way. They studied specifically human existence in terms of mind, consciousness, human behavior, cause of miseries of life, overcoming the miseries of life and herbal medicines to cure ailments of body. The enormous knowledge acquired by Rishis by the practice of Yog was compiled in four scriptures known as Veds which are the pillars of Hinduism. All other scriptures such as Bhagwat-Gita either elaborates further the concepts given in Veds or apply these concepts to understand and improve human life.

Veds were the subject of intensive debates amongst the later Rishis that led to consolidate the essence of the knowledge of Veds which is widely known as Vedant. According to Vedant, Atman plays a gross role in human existence while the body is merely an instrument, or a machine made of blood and flesh. The food supplies nutrients and physical energy to body, needed for mechanical work and to make up the loss of physical energy to the ambience. It is the Atman that directs and controls the movements of body. We mistakenly understand our body as our identity. Following passage is the Vedantic description of Atman. It is the Atman that thinks and creates new ideas. The consciousness is a dimension of Atman that makes us feel our existence. It is the Atman that feels pain and pleasure. Atman only sees, hears and senses the environment. It is the Atman that moves our hands and legs.  We are alive and our existence is due to Atman. In first person, I am not a body, I am an Atman and therefore, in philosophy and in spirituality the word self is used for Atman. My body is not the real me or my self, it is the Atman that is real me or my real self. I do not exist without Atman because my body stops working without Atman and turns to a corpse that is not me. When Atman is gone, my existence is gone.


Foregoing Vedantic description of Atman seems to be a part of philosophical or a spiritual discourse. I hail from a spiritual family, and I used to attend weekly Satsang, a holy gathering, to listen to the discourse of spiritual Guru of my parents. There was a large collection of spiritual books in my house and once a while I used to go through the spiritual literature out of curiosity. At the school age, I could not grasp anything, but the spiritual quotes embedded in my mind as question marks. After I began the practice of Yog and I could shift my attention from outside to inside, I could grasp the meanings of those spiritual quotes and I realized the existence of Atman. But for a layman, it is not necessary to practice meditation or Yog to realize the existence of Atman. If a person contemplates on Vedantic description of Atman, it may sprout and cultivate a curiosity about knowing Atman further.

Why scientists have kept distance from the subject of Atman and spirituality is because Atman or soul is considered the subject of spirituality. A large number of scientists, particularly of later generation, consider spirituality very different or even opposite to science. When I explored spirituality as a scientist through the practice of Yog, I found that there is no such opposition between science and spirituality. The physics mostly studies non- living matter and spirituality is about human life which is a living matter. The living matter and non- living are both parts of nature and the science is a systematic study of nature. Therefore, science and spirituality cannot be different. Max Planck, father of quantum physics never considered spirituality different from science. Here is a famous quote of Planck; There can never be any real opposition between religion and science for the one is the complement of other. Here the word religion is used for spirituality. Perhaps in German language, the words religion and spirituality are used interchangeably. The spirituality is a secular word that is about exploring the nature. The word religion stands for the institution of worship such as Christianity, Islam and Hinduism. The ways of worship are mostly considered irrational and without scientific underpinning and therefore, most scientists keep distance from religion. A confusion between spirituality and religion may be the cause of scientists keeping distance from spirituality.

After I began my spiritual journey as a scientist, I studied all the religions to understand the difference between spirituality and the religion. I found that the spirituality is the root of all religions, but most people ignore it because it is difficult to practice Meditation and Yog. People find it easier to pray and worship God and perform religious rituals such as fasting and pilgrimage. Most people follow religion out of fear and social pressure, or they expect something from God that may fulfil their wishes. All religious practices are irrational, monotonous, passive and non-yielding. After studying Hinduism, I found that it has two distinct components. The first is a religious component and like other religions, it is also a kind of institute of worship where people worship idols of different Gods according to protocol set by the priests. The second one is the Dharmic component based on teachings of Vedant and therefore it is spiritual and secular in nature. One may call it secular Hinduism that is about truthfully performing the duties of life with peaceful coexistence by crossing the boundaries set by religion, race, caste and creeds. Hinduism keeps the performing of duties of life truthfully over the worship. According to Hinduism there are five mental distortions in human beings that are referred to as the enemies, that are obstructions to development of a person. These distortions are: (1) Kaam, that is, unethical and unreasonable desires, (2) Krodh, meaning, anger (3) Lobh, meaning greediness (4) Moh, meaning, unreasonable attachment (5) Ahankar, Egoism a belief that I am only right. After addressing these mental distortions only, a person can achieve maximum potential of mind. Although the pioneers of Humanistic psychologists, Abraham Maslow and Carl Roger also put forward the concepts of Self-actualization and Fully functional personality, it is Vedant that describes a practical way to attain it.


Vedant is a science developed on the basis of experiential knowledge acquired during the practice of Yog. The experiential knowledge is not much different from the knowledge acquired by an experiment provided the basis of investigation is the Law of causality.  An experiment is performed with electronic instruments while the Yog is performed with instrument of Mind. Indian Rishis realized that human body is a great source of knowledge, and this knowledge can be explored and tapped by the practice of Yog. During the practice of Yog, I found that when attention is focused on breathing, it slows down considerably. Similar results were also reported earlier by an experiment by Wallace et al [7 ]. Discovery of this relationship between Mind and body corroborates the proposition of Rene Descartes that Mind can only be studied by its effects on body. Yog will make an important place in science for providing a solution to centuries old Mind-Body problem posited by Rene Descartes. This discovery of Mind- Body relationship has proven instrumental in founding the basis of an entirely new science to be known as the Yog Science that will be discussed in later posts. This relationship between Mind and body is so strong that when I make my mind fully focused by the practice of Yog, to the extent that wandering thoughts stops and I attain a thoughtless state of mind, the inhalation part of breathing disappears. In this state of mind, I do not need environmental oxygen and I can survive without oxygen. I have demonstrated it by a nitrogen chamber experiment performed publicly on International Yog Day,2023. [7] I have also made use of the Mind-Body relationship to develop instrumentation that monitors the change of state of mind empirically by measuring the change in breathing. I have written a book (upcoming) entitled, An introduction to YOG SCIENCE, Theory of Mind and Atman which establishes the existence of Atman beyond doubt.


The biologists have limited their field of study to biology and physiological processes going on in body. The neuroscientists have limited themselves to the study of brain and neurological processes while a neurophysiologist studies the relation between brain and body only. What they have missed is the basic law of nature, the law of causality in these studies, according to which no process or change can take place without a cause. They have not bothered to know the cause behind a biological process. There is a large consensus on the view that mind controls the body, but the life scientists have little to say about role of mind in life. There is myriad of observations that establishes the effect of mind on living body beyond doubt. It is a very well-known fact that body begins to shiver in fear. There are a large number of physiological effects caused by various state of mind, for example, during depression our body becomes weak, and we do not feel like doing anything. Too much stress causes malfunction of heart and lungs, and prolonged stress and anxiety gives rise to many diseases.

It is also known that there is a positive effect on body due to a positive mindset. A review on the research on religion, spirituality, and mental health suggests that the religion and spirituality may play crucial role in improving the mental health. [1] This is because true religious and spiritual teachings help develop a more equanimous state of mind with less wandering thoughts that relaxes the mind. In addition to religions and spirituality a new non-academic field pioneered by Napoleon Hills and Norman Vincent Peale emerged in last century. These authors wrote extensively on the power of positive thinking and to develop a positive mindset to perform better in life. Renowned psychologist, Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow founded a movement in psychology to tap human potential to develop a fully functional personality and to strive for Self- actualization. These studies confirm that mind has great potential to improve the functioning of body and behavior. In other words, the mind is a crucial component of life, and the study of mind will provide valuable information, that may help cure many psychological disorders.

Life science has developed a great deal, and we understand the biological processes to a large extent, but we know little about the mind. We do not know how mind affects the functioning of body. The mind is the closest to us but still it is a mystery for scientists. It is very surprising that earlier, a majority of scientists did not agree to study the mind scientifically. They argued that mind is a subjective phenomenon going on in head and it cannot be studied empirically as no instrument would interact with mind. Psychologists may devise a procedure to study mind, but the self- reports are not as reliable as the reading of instruments. Another group of scientists argued that study of mind is in the realm of spirituality. Whatever may be the arguments, but the reality is that mind is a natural phenomenon that must be studied with protocol of scientific investigation. Natural scientists cannot shrug off the responsibility of studying mind on the pretext that there are no instruments to interact with mind. Inspite of all these odds, Francis Crick convinced few neuroscientists and ventured into the empirical study of consciousness, an attribute of mind. He faced so much criticism that he wrote a book, Astonishing Hypothesis-The Scientific Search for Soul, to convince the scientists. But Crick was criticized for materialistic approach for studying consciousness.


Mind was a favorite topic for discussion amongst the philosophers since the ancient times as the mind is an instrument of thinking and they enjoyed using it. According to Aristotle mind is a dimension of soul that permeates through the body. While Aristotle assumed that mind is a part of body, Plato and Socrates believed that mind is made up of a substance that is different from body. Rene Descartes was a dualist like Plato, but he added further that mind cannot exist without body. Descartes was way ahead his ancestral philosophers; he was a mathematician and a scientist too and he also practiced meditation and wrote extensively on it. His thoughts about mind are more scientific that can be easily grasped by a scientist while the thoughts of philosophers are difficult to grasp. Descartes describe mind as follows:

  • Mind is different from matter in the sense that Physics can explain matter but not mind. Scientific equipment can interact with matter but not with mind.
  • Brain exists in physical space, but mind does not. There is a boundary of brain and matter that can be measured. This is not true with mind.
  • The mind experiences sensations that cannot be explained by Physics.
  • The mind is a necessary whole which cannot be divided like matter.

 We will see later that this description is close to Vedantic description of mind because it is based on experiential knowledge acquired by meditation and Vedant is also based on experiential knowledge acquired during Yog.


Sigmund Frued proposed a model of mind in which he suggested that human mind consists of three layers designated as conscious mind, subconscious mind and unconscious mind. Conscious layer is the topmost layer of mind that generates the consciousness. It directs our attention on work we do, the thinking process and the imagination takes place at this layer of mind. The subconscious layer is just below the conscious layer, and it stores information needed for quick recall. This layer stores information that we have learnt in life and it also directs our behavior. The involuntary thinking process that goes on in our mind actually originates in this layer and then pops up in conscious mind. It may be regarded as a RAM (random access memory) of mind. The unconscious mind stores old past memories, past experience and trauma that have been forgotten. It is the deepest layer of mind, so its information surfaces up to conscious mind less frequently. Frued also introduced the concepts of Id, Ego and Super ego that contemporary psychologists found irrational and unscientific, and they rejected it. Freud’s model ignored Mind- Body relationship as proposed by Rene Descartes and it lacked empirical basis also. Frued developed this model specifically for theoretical underpinning for his psychoanalytical.


Vedantic model of mind is based on the experiential knowledge acquired through the practice of Yog and the principle of Advait Vedant, that proposes the existence of a subtle matter, called Brahman, pervading the universe and an infinitesimally small portion of it, is the animating principle in every living organism known as the Atman. Schrödinger expressed this principle as: Atman=Brahman. When Rishi attained a thoughtless state of mind by practice of Yog, they could study the nature of mind and proposed a model of mind. According to psychology, there are five senses organs; eyes, ears, tongue, nose and skin that senses the external signals. Vedant proposes mind as the sixth sense organ that senses the internal signals such as the thoughts and emotions. That is why the mind is known as an internal organ or Antahkaran, in Sanskrit. Frued described mind as consisting of three layers while Vedant proposes the mind as having four faculties. First faculty is Chitt, a hub of consciousness. It can be experienced only after a long practice of Yog when thinking process comes to a halt. Second faculty is the Manas, a hub of thoughts. When there is problem in life, thoughts begin to appear in Chitt, and it takes the form of Manas that we all experience in terms of thoughts and emotions. We normally do not experience Chitt because it is always full of thoughts. Third faculty is Buddhi, a hub of wisdom, logic and reasoning. Fourth faculty is Ahankar, a hub of all personal experiences such as the learning of life, personal thoughts and ethical values. It is the ego system of a person. Every person behaves and thinks according to his ego system.

Apart from these four faculties, the sense organs are seen as the extension of mind. The sense organs are incomplete without mind. A very significant revelation of Vedant is that all faculties of mind and the sense organs need Atman to work. This implies that the thought process, consciousness and other mental processes are the products of Atman. No sense organ works without Atman. For example, the eyes, retina, and optical nerve are only the instrument for transmitting the signal, it is the Atman that senses and views the sight. Similarly, sound, smell, touch, taste and pain are felt by Atman and not by brain. It implies that the faculties of five senses are the intrinsic properties of Atman, and it is not the property of any region of the brain as understood by neuroscientists. It is not mere conjecture or a hypothesis, this truth is experienced by Indian Rishis during various stages of Yog and is also mentioned in Patanjali Yog Sutra.[8] An authentic text of Vedant, Brahma Sutra Bhasy written by Adi Shankaracharya presents the theory behind these experiences.


The research on consciousness that began three decades ago has still not produced any conclusive results and it failed to tell us, what is consciousness and how brain generates consciousness. The research is facing criticism from many quarters. The foremost criticism is that the consciousness is only described, and no universally accepted definition exists and therefore the measurement of such entity is not possible. In absence of a definition, scientists may raise doubt that consciousness may have more than one NCC. Another fundamental problem is that consciousness is subjective and can be accessible from the first person only, but the self- reports are not reliable and cannot be part of a true scientific investigation. There is no consensus on how to measure the consciousness. Out of all odds, if it could be possible to measure the consciousness in future, will the research on consciousness help understand other more important aspects of mind such as attention, thinking process, motivation and creativity. Will the research provide answers to metaphysical and philosophical questions pending so far,

Amidist this criticism and unending list of questions, Vedantic model of mind may give a big jolt to consciousness research. According to Vedantic principle: Atman= Brahman, Atman is the operating principle in brain that gives rise to mind, which is the hub of consciousness, attention, thoughts and all mental activities. Max Planck also believes consciousness to be fundamental. If Atman is the operating principle and consciousness is a fundamental entity then the hypothesis given by Francis Crick that consciousness is generated from the complex network of neurons, becomes invalid. The Advait principle: Atman= Brahman is also present in West in the form of panpsychism, which was the default philosophy of mind. Philosopher Plato, Aristotle, Leibniz, William James and Bertrand Russel also ascribed to the concept of panpsychism. I have also posited a theory of Atman on the basis of experiential knowledge acquired during the practice of Yog after attaining thoughtless state of mind and on the principle of Advait Vedant. I have explained the structure and properties of Atman in my upcoming book Yog Science, according to which Atman generates oxygen in the brain when mind is fully focused. I have demonstrated it by performing publicly the nitrogen chamber experiment on International Yog Day 2023 in which I enclosed myself in a pure nitrogen gas chamber for 30 minutes and showed that oxygen level in my blood does not fall. This experiment establishes the existence of Atman beyond doubt. This implies that the philosophical thought of Materialism according to which matter is the fundamental substance in nature, and all other things such as the consciousness and mental states are result of material interactions with material things is not true. This is the outcome of study of life from the perspectives of Physics, Psychology and Spirituality.


[1] Research on Religion, Spiritualty and Mental Health by Harold G Koenig, The Candian Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 54 No 5 May 2009

[2] How brainless slime molds redefine Intelligence, Ferris Jabr, Published 13 November 2012, Nature 2012.

[3] Consciousness and Cognition in plants. Miguel Segundo-Ortin, Paco Calvo,1002/wcs.1578

[4] Debunking a Myth: Plant Consciousness, Jon Mallatt, Michael R Blatt, Andreas Draguhn, David G. Robinson, Lincon Taiz

[5] Plants neither possess nor require consciousness, published in 2019 Prof. L. Taiz.

[6] Wallace and Benson, (1972) Journal Behavioral Medicine

[7] YouTube link:

[8] This is a. spiritual text that describes the practice of Yog with theory extensively.