Invitation for Press Conference for sharing a groundbreaking discovery and Live Demonstration of Samadhi on the Eve of International Yog Day.

          I am Ved Prakash Gupta, a retired Scientist from RRCAT (Department of Atomic Energy), Indore. I am doing Yog Sadhana, an advanced meditation technique to develop the focus of mind for last 25 years.  I have also developed a science behind the Yog.  I have got extraordinary and amazing results which I am going to share in a press conference being organized at Gandhi Hall, Indore on June 20, 2023, on the eve of International Yog Day.  I am inviting you to kindly attend the press conference and watch unbelievable feat of Yog.  Following is the summary of my groundbreaking discovery.

          The Yog was developed by the ancient Rishis of India and its procedure was compiled by Rishi Patanjali in a commentary which the scholars of Yog call as “Patanjali Yog Sutra”.  The Rishis used to take Samadhi in a sealed underground pit and used to spend days doing Yog without oxygen.  After a rigorous practice of Yog for 25 years I have also attained Samadhi.  After the press conference I am going to demonstrate Samadhi by a scientific experiment.  I am mimicking the underground pit with a nitrogen chamber that does not contain any oxygen.  There is a oxygen meter attached with chamber which shows zero oxygen level.  To make doubly sure that there is no oxygen in the chamber a candle will be burn in gas coming out of the chamber but the candle will not burn.  I will spend 45 minutes in the chamber comfortable.  I will wear a pulse oxymeter on my finger.  The pulse oxymeter will show that the oxygen saturation level in my blood and the pulse rate remain within normal range after spending 45 minutes in oxygen free chamber.  This will establish that during Samadhi, my body functions normally without oxygen.  Many senior scientists, engineers and doctors will also attend this event to verify my claims. 

          Modern science can not explain this phenomenon because according to science life is not possible without oxygen and it will be a contradiction if science offer any explanation.  I have developed a new science by fusion of Yog and science, which I have named “Yog Science” which can be viewed as a convergence of science and spirituality.  Yog Science offers an explanation for this phenomenon.  According to Yog science, during samadhis when mind is fully focused, normal breathing is suspended and a new type of breathing takes place which is called Yogic breathing.  There is no inhalation of breath in yogic breathing and only exhalation takes place which keeps on repeating after an interval.  This type of breathing is also described in Sutra 1.34 of Patanjali Yog Sutra.  I have analyzed Yogic breathing experimentally and theoretically and found that during Samadhi, when mind is fully focused, Atman generates oxygen in the brain by interacting with the neurons and there is no need to take oxygen from environment.  The discovery of new aspect of Nature became possible only because of practice of Yog and will be of immense importance and utility for mankind. 

          Modern Science does not believe in existence of Atman but the Yog science has given a theory of Atman explaining the composition and properties of Atman. I have developed instruments and sensors to establish the existence of Atman experimentally. The Nitrogen Chamber experiment also proves the existence of Atman. These sensors and instruments can also record the degree of focusing of mind (Dhyan) during the practice of Yog. In this way the meditation and Yog that are considered subjective practices till now, have become fully scientific procedure. This very crucial development has become possible because of fusion of neuroscience and philosophy of Vedant. It has become possible to discover new laws of Physics by Yog and rigorous study of Vedant and Bhagvadgita. These new laws of Physics form the basic of Yog Science which do not only explains the spiritual phenomena such as Samadhi, Kundalini and Moksh but also explains the nature of Dark matter, a new explanation of Big Bang event and many cosmological observations that are mind boggling for scientists. After a public demonstration of Nitrogen Chamber experiment and its authentication by eminent scientists and engineer, a paper on Yog Science will be sent for publication in ‘Nature’ a most reputed journal of science.This discovery will have same place in the world of science which other great discoveries such as Gravitation, Atom and Quantum Theory have.


Yog is a spiritual practice to develop the concentration of mind which can be treated as an advanced meditation technique.  After practicing Yog for 20 years according to Patanjali Yog Sutra, I have attained a state of Samadhi in which I can live without the environmental oxygen comfortably for one hour or more.  I have recorded a video in which I have spent 30 minute in an oxygen free chamber and in this duration oxygen saturation level and pulse rate remain within the normal range. 

In the most authentic text of Yog, Patanjali Yog Sutra describes this final Samadhi as Nirbeej Asampragyat Samadhi, a state of fully focused mind, during which the normal breathing changes to the Yogic breathing described in sutra PYS.1.34. In ancient time, the Yogis used to practice Yog in an underground pit, in an environment without oxygen for days employing the Yogic breathing.

The modern science can not explain this phenomenon because the science only tells us that the life is not possible without oxygen and normally a person dies without oxygen within few minutes.  In order to explain this phenomenon I have developed a new dimension of Physics which remained explored till now.  I have called this new dimension of Physics as the Yog Science because it has come out as a result of the practice of Yog.  The knowledge of Physics was limited by now and it was not possible to explain many phenomenon of Nature and there existed an Explanatory Gap in Physics.  With the development of the Yog Science, the knowledge of Physics is now complete and it will possible to explain scientifically all natural phenomena including the dual nature of matter possibly.  I have written a book on Yog Science entitled :

An Introduction To Yog Science

Theory of Mind and Atman

Yog Science proves the existence of Atman (soul) theoretically and empirically.  The Nitrogen-Chamber-Experiment shown in video is an additional experimental evidence to establish the existence of Atman.  Yog science may emerge as the greatest discovery of science which has come as a package of many ground breaking discoveries and achievements. 



The new science that explains completely how a person can live without taking oxygen from the environment under a particular stage of Yog, appears to be a specialized science developed only to explain specific stage of Yog called Samadhis.  On the contrary this new science is a new dimension of Physics that remained unexplored till date.  I have given it the name “Yog Science” because this science has come into the existence as a result of the practice of Yog.  This practice of Yog is the original Yog that ancient Rishis of India used to practice and it is compiled by the Rishi Patanjali in a text called Patanjali Yog Sutra an original and authentic text for the practice of Yog.

The present day Physics does not explain the Nature completely.  For example Physics does not answers a fundamental question “What is life and what makes life possible?”.  Famous Physicist, Erwin Shroginder has proposed the chemical basis of life in his book.  ‘What is life’ but he could not explain what makes life possible.  Albert Einstein did not accept the Quantum mechanical explanation of dual nature of matter fully saying that it is more a Mathematics than Science and can not describe Nature fully and accurately.  Einstein did not like the idea of calculation of probability of an event in Quantum theory and said “God does not play dice with universe.”  According to him there is no room for fundamental randomness in science.  He envisaged another dimension of Physics for describing the Nature completely and accuratetly.  Yog Science is this new dimension of Physics that can solve the mysteries and the explanatory gap in science.  In this respect, the discovery of Yog Science is as groundbreaking as the earlier discoveries of Gravitation, Atoms,Theory of Relativity and the Quantum theory.

The evolution of Yog Science has become possible because of study of Nature by ancient Indian Rishis whom I refer as the ancient Scientists of India who provided us a huge and valuable source of knowledge in the form of Hindu Scriptures Veds.  The Yog Science is essentially a fusion of Neuroscience and the theory of Advait Vedant according to which the Atman and the Brahman are not two (Advait).  A rigorous account of Vedant is available in the text “Brahma Sultra Bhasya” written by Adi Shankaracharya ji who was instrumental in the revival of knowledge of Veds after the attack of Buddhist and foreign rulers.  I contemplated the Advait Vedant from the perspectives of Physics and incorporated it into Neuroscience and the Yog Science was born.

Yog Science is a multi-disciplinary field that encompasses the subjects such as Physics, Electronics, Neuroscience, Physiology, Psychology and Spirituality (Advant Vedant and the Patanjali Yog Sutra).  Yog Science does not only explain spiritual concepts and phenomena like Samadhis and Kundalini but it also explains each and every human behavior that have been observed by the psychologists and is taught in the books of Psychology.  In addition, Yog Science also discusses the para normal phenomenon such as Out of Body Experience (OBE), telepathy, re-incarnation and many more. 


The practice of Yog was taught under Guru-Shishya Parampara (Teacher-Disciple tradition) in ancient times which discontinued due to the rise of Buddhism and invasion by foreign rulers.  But fortunately we have the text of Patanjali Yog Sutra that describes Yog in 195 sutras (Aphorisms).  These aphorisms are extremely abbreviated and not well understood.  There are many commentaries on PYS by different authors who simply translated the Sutras from Sanskrit without understanding the truth conveyed by Sutras.  I understood aphorisms of PYS by actually practicing the Yog according to eight limbs of Yog and I attained all samadhis (Mental States) as mentioned in PYS.  Now the Patanjali Yog Sutra has not only been decoded but it has been developed into a complete scientific practice which will be practiced according a scientific theory of Yog given in the book of Yog Science.  There are the devices (gadgets) for monitoring the progress made during the practice of Yog.  This will eliminate the need of Guru Shishya tradition and Yog can be taught through the education system globely


The Rishis of ancient India discovered the existence of Atman thousand of years ago and attributes of Atman are explained in detail in Hindu scripture Veds.  But the modern science has never accepted the existence of Atman because science accepts the existence of only those things for which there is a complete theory which can be verified experimentally.  Yog science has accomplished this task by presenting a complete theory of Atman which can be verified experimentally.  The Nitrogen Chamber experiment shown in the video is also such experiment which offers an evidence for existence of Atman.  Yog science explains in the language of Physics that when mind is fully concentrated, then by a new mechanism of Yogic breathing, Atman generates oxygen in the brain and there is no need to take oxygen from the environment.  Such experiments are only needed to prove the existence of Atman scientifically but according to Yog Science the Atman is ubiquitous : Our thoughts, consciousness (Chetna), every movement of body and working of body are simply the manifestations of Atman.


The human mind has always been a great mystery for the philosophers and later for the scientists.  The neuroscience only studies the brain and not the mind.  A serious experimental research to understand the functioning of mind began in 1990 by the effort of Nobel laureate Dr. Francis Cricks who discovered the helical structure of DNA molecule.  This was the beginning of a new field of research called the “Science of Consciousness”.   Hundreds of scientists tried to study consciousness (chetna) by proposing the concept of Neural Correlates of Consciousness (NCC) and making use of brain imaging techniques such as PET’s scan and functional MRI.  The scientists could not reach any conclusion even after 30 years of research.  A few scientists have now expressed the view that it may take another 50 years to understand the mind while many others are skeptic about it.  The Yog science has not only explained the consciousness, it has provided a detailed theory of mind which can be verified experimentally.  This theory is known as the NeuroBrahmic Theory of Mind.  The research on consciousness could not reach any conclusion because scientists involved in research were of materialistic mindset who didn’t believe in the existence of Atman (soul).  They began the research on the proposition that the consciousness is generated by the complex network of neurons of the brain.  While the Yog Science has proved scientifically the existence of Atman and consciousness as a product of Atman.  The Atman exists independently without the support of body.


Dhyan, that is the concentration of mind is central to the practice of Yog.  Until now it is believed that Dhyan is a subjective entity and it can not be monitored.  In other words, if a person is practicing to concentrate the mind during Yog, the other person can not know whether his mind is concentrated or it is wandering.  The NeuroBrahmic theory of mind has defined Dhyan as a scientific parameter and on that basis entire instrumentation has been developed to monitor Dhyan.  Now it will be possible to monitor the progress in the practice of Yog by measuring the Dhyan and recording the data.


                   Advait Vedant is the basis of Yog Science which discusses in great detail the Brahman, a cosmological matter pervading the universe.  On contemplating on the Brahman from the perspectives of Yog Science, a basic nature of Dark Matter is revealed. Yog science proposes a theory according to which the Dark Matter has evolved during the Big-Bang complying to the laws of Physics.  The new Big Bang theory explains the mysteries which earlier theory of Big Bang could not explain.  Those mysteries are : (1) Why is there an unexplained gravitational field around the distant galaxies, (2) Why are the galaxy accelerating instead of receding with constant speed.  What gravitational force is causing the acceleration of galaxies.


During his tour to America, Swami Vivekanand emphasized on the union of science with spirituality and he even said “Spirituality is  the science of soul.  Spiritual Guru and Nobel Laureate Dalai Lama expressing a similar view said “Universe is a single atom, the convergence of spirituality and science.  Max Planck, the father of Quantum Physics was a great advocate of unity of science and spirituality and he even said that spirituality and science are complementary to each other.  The Yog Science is nothing but the fusion of spirituality and science.  This fusion would be a great initiative to establish peace across the world.  The spirituality is an inseparable part of religion. Various religions were founded to establish peace and harmony in the world but the religions not only failed in their mission but they also created hatred and violence. 


                   According to Advait Vedant, Atman and Brahman are one and the same, they only differ in dimension.  When Yog Science proves the existence of Atman scientifically, it can also be taken as an evidence for existence of God. The Brahman, Ishwar, Paramatma and Universal Consciousness are names for Nature God. When anything exists in Nature, according to science it must exist in the form of a matter or substance.  Although this matter may be too subtle to observe directly, but existence of matter give rise to some physical effects that can be observed by devices and instruments.  The Atman and Brahman are also such suble substances which can not be observed directly by any scientific equipment.  The Yog Science has revealed many such observable effects of Atman and generation of oxygen in the brain is one such effect.  At cosmological scale, the physicists have hypothesized the Dark matter and many cosmological observations are being attributed to the presence of Dark matter without knowing its nature.  The scientists are of the opinion that Dark matter is too subtle to be observed empirically but the experiments are still continuing to detect the presence of Dark matter.  According to Advait Vedant, the matter of Atman is the same as the matter of Brahman and Yog Science has revealed the nature of Atman and thus the nature of Brahman (Dark matter) is also revealed.  According to the new explanation of Big Bang event, by the Yog Science, the Dark matter has evolved during the Big Bang event and this is compatible with the fundamental laws of Physics.

According to scientific hypothesis the Dark matter is pervading the universe and according to Advait Vedant Brahman is pervading the universe.  Both the Dark matter and the Brahman have been hypothesized as too subtle to observe.  This leads to a conclusion that the matter of Brahman is the Dark matter. In Religions, the Brahman is known to exist in the form of a person God such as Allah, God the Trinity and Bhagwan. Thus God exists in the universe as the Dark matter.  The existence of Dark matter is sufficient scientific evidence for the existence of God.   This is only a beginning of Yog Science, as the Yog Science develops further we shall be able to understand God scientifically in more detail.  Of course we may not understand God fully because God is said to be infinite in every dimension but a long standing argument “whether God exists or not” will come to an end.


(A)    The discovery that the oxygen can be generated in the brain by concentrating the mind, will add a new dimension to the Medical Science and it will be immensely useful for the humanity. Imagine a hypothetical situation, where Yog was a common practice and it was known that oxygen can be generated in brain by concentrating the mind, millions of lives could have saved during Covid pandemic.

(B)     The medical science has developed on the belief that there is no Atman and it has no role to play in the body.  Now it is established scientifically that the Atman exists and it controls each and every activity and function of the body, there will be need to review Medical Science with reference to the role of Atman and this will lead to solutions to many unanswered questions in Medical Science.  For example we will come to know the root cause of many diseases and of ageing.

(C)     The stress, anxiety and depression have increased upto an alarming level in modern era.  These disorders are being treated symptomatically without knowing the root cause.  Yog science has explained in detail the root cause of these mental disorders.  There is no instrument in Medical Science to measure the stress and the doctors are treating the patients on the basis of Self-Report only.  The instruments developed for measuring Dhyan can be modified to measure the stress on body caused by anxiety.

(D)    The Psychology is still not a complete science.  The psychologists study the behavior by collecting the data but they can not explain the cause of the behavior.  The cause of behavior is mind and psychology has no scientific explanation of the mind.  Yog Science has provided NeuroBrahmic Theory of Mind and now the psychology will proceed to become a mainstream science.

(E)     Yog science has evolved as a mainstream science like Physics, Chemistry and Medical Science and it is ready for teaching in the education system globally.  It is secular in nature as it is not directly related with any religion.  Spiritual development of students can be possible if it is introduced early in the education system.  The students can lead a life free of stress and anxiety.  There will be no social evil.  The cause of social evil is Agyan, the ignorance and the Yog destroys the ignorance and instills the truthfulness. 


The inquisitiveness about consciousness is as old as the inception of homo sapiens species and it is as prevalent and mysterious as God. Philosophers have been contemplating on it for thousands of years but the more it is studied the more confusing it becomes. Since most scientists are either atheist or agnostic, they were never interested in this topic, also because they did not foresee any potential in the research of consciousness. Scientists largely found this topic ‘unfit’ for science. Although the topic of consciousness was discussed in psychology that was never considered a mainstream science because of lack of empirical research. Finally, a scientist of mainstream science Dr. Cricks, a Nobel prize winner for discovery of double helical structure of DNA, veered off from molecular biology and put great efforts to start research on consciousness. As of today about 100 research papers on this topic are being published every year and research on consciousness has been established as a full-fledged discipline of science.

I have bifurcated the discussions on consciousness based on conceptual differences between consciousness in East and consciousness in West. In the first part I have discussed studies on consciousness by the West and in the second part I have discussed the studies on consciousness by the East. The conceptual difference arises because of the difference in approach of study. The Western world has been largely materialistic traditionally. Therefore, most scientists think that in the physical world there is nothing beyond matter and consciousness has emerged from matter, that is, from complex assembly of neurons in the brain. Scientists are studying consciousness with this premise.

The study of consciousness started in the East, in the prehistoric period, perhaps 7000 years ago when Rishis (Whom I call ancient scientists) started the tradition of meditation. Many Rishis studied the nature of mind and consciousness through meditation and the knowledge they acquired is compiled in ancient scriptures, Vedas.  According to Vedic model of mind, consciousness is generated by Atman, the Soul.

The earliest study of consciousness in the West is attributed to Greek philosopher Plotinus, who proposed that consciousness is related to experience. According to him the self is made up of different layers of consciousness, each layer representing a different experience. Thus, Plotinus was the first to introduce the notion of subjectivity. In addition to subjective experience, Plotinus may be the first to attribute consciousness to the divine soul and introduced the idea of hypostasis, which is akin to the concept of ‘Brahman’ given by ancient Indian Rishis and seers and is the basis of Advait Vedanta.

Aristotle used the word mind for consciousness and proposed the theory of how the mind senses external objects and events and makes an impression in mind. His work can be considered as laying the foundation of science of mind. Aristotle can be regarded as the father of materialism though he never used the word materialism. According to him, anything that exists, even the soul, must be an embodiment of a material. He also defined the material as the one which can have form or the formulable essence. Aristotle may be regarded as a pioneer in setting the terms of reference for the future discussion of the problem of consciousness.

Rene’ Descartes, a renowned mathematician and philosopher, discussed mind and consciousness through a famous mind-body problem. He identified the mind with consciousness and self-awareness. He considered the brain as the seat of intelligence. In his views, the mind is a non-physical and therefore non-spatial substance. Descartes went ahead of previous philosophers and said that the mind cannot be discussed without reference to the body (brain). According to him, mind and body are distinct and separable, and this duality of mind and body is known as Cartesian Dualism. Discussion on consciousness was limited to philosophical debate till the time of Sigmund Freud who was first to discuss consciousness in the realm of science. He used the concept of consciousness while developing a model of mind based on which he proposed the psychoanalytic theory of personality. Though the model of mind and Psychoanalytic theory faced harsh criticism and collapsed,  it paved the way for future research.

The study of consciousness became a subject of scientific investigation when American Psychologist William James, one of the foundation pillars of modern psychology, first coined the phrase “stream of consciousness” of which thoughts are the content. In this way he was quite close to understanding the nature of consciousness.

I believe the credit of speeding up research on consciousness should also be given to Mahesh Yogi, the Indian spiritual guru, who taught and popularised meditation in the West. Since meditation is nothing but the control of consciousness, many scientists started designing experiments to study the effect of meditation on the mind. It was Francis Crick who launched a sort of campaign to convince the scientists that consciousness is really a subject of mainstream scientific research. He was aware that the subject of consciousness was viewed with deep suspicion in the scientific community. Therefore, he wrote in a 1979 editorial of Scientific American:……the time has come for science to take the previously forbidden subject of consciousness……. As a part of his campaign, he wrote a book: Astonishing Hypothesis : the scientific search for Soul. According to the book, emotions, ambitions and sense of identity are results of behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. He was first to outline an empirical approach to study consciousness for which he chose visual consciousness. He collaborated with Chistof Koch and introduced the concept of Neural Correlate of Consciousness or in short NCC.

David Chalmers posed the Easy problem and Hard Problem of consciousness. Giulio Tononi, a neuroscientist proposed integrated information theory (IIT), which he claims can predict whether a system is conscious or not. By 2004, consciousness research was established as a full-fledged multi-disciplinary field integrating psychology, neuroscience, philosophy and physiology. Large number of research papers are being published every year in mainstream journals and journals dedicated to consciousness study. A centre for consciousness study in University of Arizona and many similar research institutes have been established with an objective to bring together disciplines like philosophy, cognitive sciences, neuroscience, physical science, and medicine.


Consciousness is a very broad term with multiple meanings. Oxford dictionary defines consciousness as The state of being aware of and responsive to surrounding or a person’s awareness or perception of something.  Merriam Webster dictionary defines consciousness as the quality or state of being aware especially of something within oneself. According to Cambridge dictionary, consciousness is a state of understanding and realizing something. Psychologists, scientists, and doctors adhere to this dictionary definition of consciousness. Every normal human being has the experience of being conscious of its surroundings via sensory organs and conscious of what is going on in the mind and body. According to scientists and psychologists, human beings have the ability to be conscious because of a quality  of the brain  which they call ‘consciousness’. The scientists consider consciousness a physical entity that has emerged from brain and they even have proposed a mathematical expression for it which is denoted by symbol ɸ. According to an assumption the consciousness is a physical entity like heat, light and sound etc., but so far they have not found any physical property of consciousness which is normally attributed to physical entities under the realm of Physics. The widely agreed notion about consciousness is the intuition that it exists. Perhaps this may be the reason why consciousness is not a topic of research in Physics. Although there is no well-established physical property of consciousness, the psychologists have agreed upon various states of consciousness. Here I have differentiated consciousness from conscious-ness. The conscious-ness is an abstract noun derived from the adjective conscious and consciousness is a hypothesized physical entity. Psychologists, based on observations categorized many states of consciousness:

          (1) Fully conscious, when a person is fully awake. (2) Fully unconscious, when a person is in deep sleep, or when a person is under influence of drugs or he is under coma. (3) Inter-mediatory conscious when a person is in sleep but dreaming. (4) Altered state of conscious-ness when a person is under the effects of recreational drugs.

There are many other usages of the word ‘conscious’: When a person drives the car for the first time, he is fully conscious but after he learns driving the car completely, he becomes less conscious.  These states of consciousness have anything to do with consciousness is a matter of research. However, some modern scientists are so confident in treating consciousness as a physical entity that they are talking of consciousness as having information and have proposed integrated information theory.

Many ancient philosophers expressed their views on consciousness which are different from that of modern scientists who relate consciousness to awareness and subjective experience only. The philosophers who advocated Physicalism like Aristotle regarded consciousness as a matter, he used the word soul  for it. Many philosophers used the words mind and consciousness interchangeably. For example, Rene’ Descartes did not distinguish between mind, consciousness and self-awareness. According to him consciousness is a non-physical and non-matter entity but still can interact with matter (brain). Baruch Spinoza though not used the word consciousness but according to him everything that exists is a substance, a substance of God and the thoughts which appear in the mind are given by God.

There are not many physicists who expressed their view on consciousness partly because most of them are materialistic.  Max Planck who is the father of quantum physics expressed his idea on consciousness. According to him: I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot……….  Another physicist Eugene Wigner has similar views. He said: He could not have completed his research on quantum mechanics without postulating consciousness. The proponents of Panpsychism have similar views on consciousness, but they use the word mind for consciousness. According to the theory of Panpsychism: The mind is the fundamental nature of the world which exists throughout the universe’.

The concept of consciousness was first given by Rishis (Indian ancient scholar) and is extensively discussed in Vedas. In Sanskrit it is known as Brahman,  which is all pervading, infinite, eternal truth, and bliss which does not change and is the cause of the origin of the universe. In Vedas, Brahman is discussed with the concept of Atman. When translated in English, Brahman is translated as Universal Consciousness and Atman is translated as consciousness. According to Advait Vedanta, Brahman and Atman are not two (Advait) but one and same. They differ in quantity only; while Brahman is infinite, Atman is finite. When Lord Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita to Arjun: Atman is eternal and indestructible…… It is a big hint to modern scientists that consciousness is a form of energy, which is fuelling (giving life, prana) every living being.


It is really a matter of concern that after three decades of research (and about 100 research papers being published every year), there is still no universally accepted definition of consciousness. Scientists offer an unscientific sort of description of consciousness instead of defining it. There is a general agreement that sensation and subjective experienceConsciousness is a quality or a state of being aware of an external object (surrounding) and something within oneself (mental phenomena) such as thoughts, feeling, emotion, 

It is not because of proper understanding of consciousness but because of proper and scientific designing of experiments, that consciousness research has proven to be actual and functioning discipline and reproducible and meaningful results are being obtained. Despite such results, research on consciousness is still at surface level only. Some of the objectives of current consciousness research are as follows: (1) To understand inner workings of the brain to find a possible treatment of mental illness and psychological disorder. (2) To develop the model of mind in respect to mind-body problems, and (3) To understand the origin of consciousness.


Before discussing the problems in consciousness research, it is required to discuss briefly what research is being conducted and how. There are mainly two types of research being conducted; (i) finding the NCC, neural correlates of consciousness and (ii) measuring the level of consciousness i.e. to what level a person is conscious. The framework for research on NCC was devised by Crick and Koch, the founders of consciousness research. Neural Correlate of Consciousness, NCC, is defined by Crick as the minimal neuronal activity jointly sufficient for any specific conscious experience. In layman language, NCC is the physical footprints of conscious experience. NCC can be elucidated with some more detail like this: Any subjective experience such as tasting a dish, listening to a piece of music or fantasizing, gives rise to a physical activity (in terms of electrochemical changes) in the brain called neural activity. There  is a serious objection to this definition of NCC. The time scale of neuronal activity is in milliseconds while the vibrations in light are in the order of 500 Terahertz which imply that neurons cannot respond to ultrafast changing Electromagnetic field of light and therefore fundamentally  the neurons cannot distinguish between red colour and green colour.  Consciousness comes into picture only because a person can have subjective experience when he is conscious, i.e. consciousness is required for subjective experience to take place. The subjective experience takes place in mind, but corresponding neural activity takes place in the brain. Theoretically, there is a one-to-one relationship between a subjective experience and neural activities which can be measured by brain imaging tools. In a single neuron, the neural activity can be thought of as a pattern of changing electrical and chemical parameters in amplitude and time. In fact, a single subjective experience activates a group of large numbers of neurons, so a neural correlate is integration of electrochemical changes of all neurons in the group. Since there are activation thresholds and phase shifts involved, the entire mathematical job of integration is extremely tedious and demands very complex computer computation which itself is very challenging. The estimate of neural activities calculated in this way necessarily and regularly correlates with specific subjective experience. In this approach of research there are many problems and challenges:

(i)       It is not evident from this procedure, where consciousness, a physical entity, is involved. If a person is listening to high pitch-sound, the auditory signal produced in cochlea is of high frequency and so the time variation in neural correlates will be fast which is a physical phenomenon and nothing to do with consciousness. If a person is unconscious, there will be no subjective experience and hence no neural correlates. That means the consciousness functions like a switch or a gate and what we are getting is a neural correlate of subjective experience and not of consciousness. To study the effect of consciousness, it will be necessary to vary the amplitude of consciousness and study the effect of variation on neural correlates. But a person is either completely conscious (fully awake) or completely unconscious (deep sleep). This will require varying the consciousness level from outside to perform an experiment. But nature has not provided any knob on the head to vary the level of consciousness.

(ii)     In order to establish a relationship between subjective experience and neural correlate, it is necessary to know subjective experience accurately which is a challenging task. How truly the subject is reporting the experience cannot be ascertained. Thus, the approach for finding NCC is not truly empirical and hence not fully scientific in nature in the sense that the conclusions cannot be drawn with the same accuracy as in the case of research in the field of pure sciences.

Another empirical research on consciousness was initiated by G. Tononi. He pioneered a technique, called Zap-Zip, to probe whether a person is conscious or not. In this experiment a sheathed coil is placed in contact with the scalp and a pulse of magnetic field is sent into the brain by passing a pulse of high current in the coil, a process which they called Zapping. The response of neurons in the brain was recorded by an array of EEG sensors. The pulse of the magnetic field perturbs the normal value of tiny currents of neurons and EEG records a perturbed response from neurons. Analysis of output from EEG revealed a mess of damping oscillations from a bulk of neurons. There was no regular or completely random pattern to draw any conclusion. The data of EEG was compressed using an algorithm generally used to zip a file in computer or mobile. The compression of EEG data yielded an estimate of complexity in the mess of oscillations, which is called “Perturbational Complexity Index”. The index provides a very crude approximation of consciousness but reasonable enough to confirm the behavioural evidence of consciousness.

Since the brain is highly interconnected and has an extremely complex structure, the data obtained from any experiment is expected to be complex. G. Tononi made use of this complexity to develop integrated information theory (IIT) to quantify consciousness. Tononi postulated that consciousness has intrinsic causal power associated with complex mechanisms such as the brain. As an example, he quotes “in cerebellum, the mechanism lacks integration and complexity, so it is not conscious”. IIT theory derives a parameter which quantifies consciousness, from complexity of underlying interconnected structure of the brain. The IIT theory is yet to be verified experimentally.

In addition to IIT theory, the ‘Talk of the Town’ in the scientific community engaged in consciousness research is “Hard problem of consciousness” formulated by David Chalmers, a mathematician turned philosopher. On the issue of understanding consciousness, he formulated the “Hard problem on consciousness” in contrast to the “Easy problem of consciousness”. The easy problem is to explain how the mind has the ability to discriminate, integrate information, report mental state, and perform different functions. The requirement is to specify a mechanism that can perform a function of mind. Although most of the easy problems are yet to be solved, there are less challenges. The hard problem of consciousness is related with the experience or Qualia – a term used by philosophers for subjective experience. The hard problem of consciousness is about explaining why and how we have subjective experience while interacting with the environment. Why people have phobias, and why phobias are so powerful. We know very well that some events are innocuous, but still we do not dare to face them. Subjective experiences have power, they feel like something pushing us back. According to Chalmers, Hard problems will persist even when all easy problems are solved, and it may take another 100 years to solve the hard problem of consciousness. I strongly disagree with him. In fact, the philosophers are there to pose the problems. It is a scientist who solves the problem. In my view philosophers are like politicians who create problems and linger on it to take benefit from it. If all problems in nature are solved what will philosophers do, so they create and pose problems for survival.

Biggest problem in consciousness research stems from what we understand by consciousness. Are  we studying Consciousness – a hypothesized physical entity or are we studying Conscious-ness – an abstract noun derived from the adjective, ‘Conscious’. This point is supported by writings of Dr. Crick, in which he described consciousness as ‘conscious awareness of subjective experience’. This description of consciousness does not appear to suggest that consciousness is a physical entity. At another place Dr. Crick mentions that there are specific neurons in the brain which are responsible for consciousness and he referred to it as awareness neurons. This notion of consciousness itself limits the functional significance of consciousness because it would imply that the role of consciousness is to generate awareness and subjective experience.

Neuroscientists and philosophers both accept the problems and challenges in consciousness research and express their helplessness in resolving them. As Anil Seth, Prof. of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience, rightly says, It looks like scientists and philosophers might have made consciousness far more mysterious than it needs to be. In my view, when there is too much research on a topic than reasonable, with no output it becomes mysterious. Seth adds further that instead of finding neural correlates of consciousness, one must try to find explanatory correlates which actually accounts for subjective experience. According to Morton Overgaard, “One major obstacle for consciousness research is lacking consensus of how to optimally measure consciousness empirically” and to identify neural correlates of consciousness which is not possible unless we can measure consciousness. A scientific tradition and procedure demand that it is necessary to define a parameter before measuring it. Thus, it is yet to be established that consciousness is a physical entity. It is a big paradox that extensive research has been done for the last three decades on an entity which is not yet identified as a physical identity.

We should also not overlook the views on consciousness expressed by Max Planck, father of Quantum Physics. He quotes: 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. Not only Planck, many renowned scientists and philosophers also treat consciousness as fundamental. The idea of Panpsychism is nearly the same as the idea of Max Planck on consciousness. Greatest philosophers of all time like Plato, Spinoza, Leibniz, William James, and Bertrand Russell have advocated the idea of Panpsychism. It is a matter of great surprise that present research on consciousness is based on the idea that consciousness has emerged from matter (neurons) – an idea opposite to the idea of greatest minds of all times.

When I personally look at the whole scenario of consciousness research, I am reminded of an analogy which I heard at a very young age of about 14. I used to accompany my father to Satsang for discourse by Sant Kirpal Singh (Maharaj Ji), a saint from Radha Soami Lineage. In one of the discourses, Maharaj Ji described how people are searching for God and to explain that He used to tell a story according to which five dwarf and blind persons are asked to investigate the shape of an elephant. One person has an approach for the trunk, the second person has an approach for huge ears, the third person can access the middle portion of the body, the fourth person can only investigate the tail and the fifth one can touch the foot. After the search is over, they are asked to describe the shape of the elephant. Each person could describe their part only, nobody could describe the shape of the elephant as a whole. Likewise, the mind is equivalent to an elephant and to completely understand the mind, all aspects of mind are required to be studied because study of different aspects may reveal different aspects of consciousness. These aspects, in short, are mental events, mental function, mental properties, consciousness, and relationship of mind with body. In the layman’s language, mind has to be studied to understand human behaviour, mood swings, emotions, motivation, and cognitive activities – thought generation, root cause of stress, depression, anxiety, mental disorders, mental illness, origin of conscious awareness, problem solving capability and everything that human being is capable of doing. This also includes various mental states of meditation such as bare concentration, state of pure consciousness (zero thought), state of Samadhi (zero-breathing) and Kundalini activation. The research on consciousness to study Qualia or subjective experience is only equivalent to investigating the tail of an elephant only.

It is my intuition that a solution to the mind – body problem to explain above mentioned functions and properties of mind might be possible through Advait Vedanta. The intuition is not out of a prejudice, but it is based on my study of Advait Vedanta. I have not only studied Advait Vedanta extensively but I have found from my experiences during meditation that Vedic description of mind is true. There is a need to advance the ancient work on consciousness by Indian Rishis with the help of modern scientific developments.


Psychology and Spirituality

On a Quest to Understand Consciousness

Psychology and spirituality, prima facie, appear as two diverging fields. The concepts formed in psychology are based on empirical observations and reasoning and the concept of Ultimate Reality does not fit into its framework. On the contrary, in spirituality the concepts do not seem to have underpinning of reasoning and empirical observations, the observations are internal, subjective experiences or mystical experiences. The concept of Ultimate Reality is central to spirituality. Despite so many basic differences in psychology and spirituality what binds them together and what is that strong bond which has been carrying two disciplines together and has become even stronger in modern times after the comeback of spirituality in the West. This bond is of ‘mind and consciousness’. Both exist in reality and both occupy supreme position in psychology and spirituality. Within the domain of mind, there is also a concept of ‘the self’, which is also of central importance in psychology and spirituality and that determines the behaviour of a person. The concept of ‘the self’ is much older than the history of psychology. Until the middle of the nineteenth century, the discipline of psychology was non-existent and its concepts such as mind, consciousness, the self, human behavior and ethics were discussed in a branch of philosophy. But as  new concepts and new experimental methods began to develop in Natural Sciences, the empiricism of science outweighed the rationalism of philosophy and with the efforts of 3 W’s; Wilhelm Wundt, William James and Watson, Psychology came into existence, just 150 years ago! Psychology treats ‘consciousness’ as a literary term and the ‘self-consciousness’ is a personality trait in which a person is excessively conscious of her / his looks, appearance or manners, which when escalated can become a psychological problem. In a positive context, a person can be self-conscious of his weaknesses and try to overcome it by improving himself and in turn achieves boosted self-confidence. Further, details of ‘self-consciousness’ can be found in any text books of psychology.

Apart from the psychological usage of ‘self-consciousness’. There is a philosophical and spiritual usage of ‘self-consciousness’. It is the awareness that one exists as an individual being. From ‘self-consciousness’ derives a concept ‘the self’. It is a congregation of one’s life-experiences, learning, values, thinking and everything that is stored in the subconscious mind and it determines the behaviour of a person. I have specifically underlined the meaning of ‘the self’ because many other religious and spiritual interpretations exist in literature. Since psychology has emerged from a branch of philosophy, it is imperative to discuss thoughts of western philosophers on ‘mind, consciousness and the self’. The most ancient concept of the ‘the self’ can be found in the aphorism ‘know thyself’ that is inscribed in the forecourt of the temple of Apollo at Delphi Greece. The interpretation of this aphorism attributed to Socrates is as follows: ‘We should examine our life, as the unexamined life is not worth living’. Persian scholar and physician Ibn Sina (Avicenna) suggested that self-awareness (consciousness) is not sensory in nature, a view different from psychology and neuroscience, which treat consciousness as related to the sensory system of the body only. He devised a thought experiment to prove it. ‘A person floating in air and cut off from all sensory organs can still be aware of his self-existence’. Italian scholar, thinker and theologian Thomas Aquinas stated that ‘ for self-awareness, only the presence (existence) of mind is required and no sensory organs are needed’. Great mathematician and philosopher Rene’ Descartes said ‘I think and therefore I am’.

In Hinduism the concepts of ‘the self, mind and consciousness’ have been existing since prehistoric times. One of the most significant messages of Bhagwad Gita (the most read Hindu scripture worldwide) it that ‘self-knowledge’ (Atma-Gyan i.e. knowledge of ‘the self’) alone eradicates misery; self-knowledge alone is the means to highest bless and that self-knowledge alone can lead to perfection in life. According to Advait Vedanta, the mind is an internal sense organ (in Sanskrit Antarindriya) which senses the presence and content of thoughts in a similar way it senses signals from five sense organs. Every normal person can communicate to the external world and knows what thoughts are running in the mind. It sounds paradoxical that modern psychology does not recognise the mind as a sensory organ. As a scientist my analysis is as follows: The thought is a phenomenon in mind, which is of subjective nature. It is not possible empirically to measure a thought i.e. to read a thought within specified accuracy, although its presence can be detected by its physiological effects. On the other hand, functions of five sensory organs can be verified empirically. For example, if N number observers are observing a flower, then all the N number of observers will describe the flower in the same way within considerable accuracy. This is not true in case of a thought because the thought is observed by a single person who also describes it. His description cannot be verified. This is not a true empirical method of observation in natural science. In spite of the fact that mind exists in reality and thought process is a natural phenomenon, the functioning of mind is not subject of study in natural sciences and still a philosophical issue.

For the last three decades, neuroscience is playing the role of an objective science to study a subjective phenomenon, the mind and consciousness in a hope to get a treatment for mental disorders which appear to be consciousness related, such as schizophrenia, with help of brain imaging techniques such as functional MRI and PET scan. Neuroscientists are trying to understand consciousness in terms of neural activities induced by a train of Action Potentials, triggered by a stimulus through computer computation and modelling. Even if some valid pattern of neural activity is recorded and its relation with stimulus is also established through some algorithm, how it can provide any clue about consciousness is a big question. Scientists do not even know the causal property of consciousness: Is it a ‘cause’ or is it an ‘effect’. Though a large number of papers on research on consciousness is being published in scientific journals and many dedicated research institutes for study of consciousness have come into existence, scientists are very far from understanding consciousness. Some scientists are sceptical while others who are optimistic say it may take another 100 years to understand consciousness.

According to me, if a scientist is exploring the nature of consciousness, he should have a first-hand experience of it, after all it is so easily accessible. We, all are, in very close touch with consciousness even then scientists are relying heavily on technologies such as fMRI, PET scan etc. Most of neuroscientists are materialistic who believe that the consciousness emanates from matter and their entire approach rests on this proposition. Whereas the great scientists who were also spiritual have the opposite views. According to Max Planck, originator of quantum theory and founder of Modern Physics: I regard consciousness as fundamental, I regard matter as a derivative of consciousness …… Eugene Wigner, who laid the foundation for the theory of symmetry in quantum mechanics stated: It was not possible to formulate the laws of quantum theory in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness. An American neurosurgeon who experienced the Near Death Experience  asserted that consciousness is non material. Thinker E.F. Schumacher writes in his book  Guide To The Perplexed for the materialistic scientists: There is a need for such scientists to take recourse to seeking self-knowledge of the inner world. In this scenario, spirituality can play a decisive role because consciousness is the central theme there. The experiences of spiritual practitioners and neuroscientific experiments on these practitioners can reveal a great deal of information about consciousness. By spiritual practitioner, I mean those mediators who have attained the extreme meditative states such as Samadhi or those who have fully awaken their Kundalini because these meditators have full control on consciousness and they can play with it. Also, these meditators can maintain a meditative state for sufficiently long time required for experimentation. This idea prompted me to pursue  spirituality  very  seriously and in fact, the views of Max Planck and Eugene Wigner about consciousness have greatly influenced and inspired my spiritual journey. Now, I find that ‘Mind and Body’ is a great laboratory to study consciousness. I remember, during the school day I used to attend Satsangs with my father and Guruji used to say: Whatever you are searching in the outer world is present in the inner world and there is a need to open the inner eye. At that time, I could not understand the hidden meaning of this piece of preaching but now I am able to understand the hidden meaning  and also experience the truth of it.                                                                                                                 


In the beginning, I found spirituality very perplexing because many of its concepts I found irrational, unrelated and even contradictory with each other and out of tune with science. Soon, I realised that spirituality is an umbrella term which encompasses various activities and concepts and it might be the reason why spirituality could never be defined uniquely. I treat spirituality as having many dimensions so that it could be studied systematically without perplexing any one. These dimensions are as follows:

  1. Religious Dimension
  2. Tantric Dimension
  3. Intellectual Dimension
  4. Personality Dimension
  5. Philosophical Dimension
  6. And the latest, Adhyaatmic Dimension

The ontological description of spirituality is very useful for a beginner for understanding and creating interest in the subject. I will be discussing these dimensions of spirituality in detail later in my posts in this blog, at present I am giving only a brief account of each dimension.

Religious Dimension

Though spirituality has sprung from religion (by religion I mean institutionalised religions), the two are quite different from each other. There are two aspects of a religion. The first one deals with rituals, beliefs, prayer and services and the majority of followers believe in performing  rituals  with a hope that by performing  rituals  God will be pleased and offer his blessings. This is the most prevalent aspect of a religion. The second aspect deals with preachings and improving the quality of life by subsuming the preachings. This second aspect of religion is related with spirituality but rituals and beliefs greatly affect the spiritual practices. For example in India, many schools of meditation teach concentration by chanting the names of deities or mantras. In ISCON devotees meditate on ‘Hare Krishna’ Mantra. The consumption of alcohol and non-vegetarian food is strictly prohibited following a belief of the religion.

Tantric Dimension

This dimension of spirituality has its root in religion but the focus is on attaining so-called spiritual powers ( and not the peace of mind ) by using various bizarre techniques as support for meditation ( called Sadhana in this dimension ) such as Yantras (instruments), animal sacrifice, use of taboo substances such as alcohol, meat, cannabis, maithuna (ritual sexual union). People who are involved in this type of sadhana live an ascetic and very disciplined life. Aghori Babas of India also practice similar spiritual techniques. They use human skulls and human bones as yantra. They meditate on cremation grounds and smear cremation ashes on their body and allegedly consume human flesh of parts of the body left unburnt. I also include in this dimension paranormal activities such as calling the spirit of the dead person and claiming to be treating some psychological disorders by tantric techniques. This dimension of spirituality is really mystical and its techniques are esoteric. There is no rational and scientific explanation for its activities and concepts.

Intellectual Dimensions

The intellectual dimension is the most popular dimension of spirituality, which has developed into a billion dollar industry in America.  Spirituality is inherently experiential, but it is being presented as an intellectual discipline mainly through internet, where one can find tons of blogs on spirituality discussing mysticism, esoteric techniques, awakening, enlightenment, non-attachment and Samadhi state of meditation without having any experience. Bloggers use alluring text to impress and attract customers. They convince them about the large number of benefits of meditation. They are teaching various techniques of meditation with the aid of mobile Apps. But meditation is much more than the techniques of concentration.Meditation or the Dhyan is the seventh of eight mandatory components of Yog as described in sutra 2.29 of Patanjali  Yog Sutra. It is obvious that by practicing Dhyan directly and omitting the first six components, one cannot concentrate the mind by using any technique. Dhyan is not possible without a spiritual mindset which is missing from the practice of meditation and most people practicing Meditation do not understand spirituality. In short, Meditation is an incomplete practice and therefore it is not as effective as claimed.  Many brands of meditation with intellectual knowledge can be found in the market of spirituality. These  brands are so powerful that they have made their entry into clinics and big hospitals of America despite the fact that the American Medical Association has not accepted the claimed efficacy of this type of meditation and refused to recommend meditation for the treatment of mental disorders. As pointed out earlier, the commercial  form of meditation is a mere practice of concentration, a mental exercise and one should not expect the benefits or the results of an exercise as equivalent to that of a treatment. For example, physical exercise may lower the glucose level in blood but can not cure diabetes. A 2013 research by the scientists of John Hopkins University published in Journal of American Medical Association confirms this.

Personality Dimension

The personality dimension of spirituality is personal in nature. The seat of spirituality is in the mind of a person and not in literature. As I quoted earlier that most of the great philosophers and scientists whom I have read were inherently spiritual which implies that persons are born spiritual. Not all great thinkers might have sat for meditation. They need not to either because they are spiritual by nature, by their thoughts and by their behaviours. All spiritual persons have almost the same personality traits. They are cool, reserved, calm, relaxed, stable, sober, serious, conscientious, imaginative, forthright, experimenting, self-sufficient, self-disciplined, kind and full of perseverance. These traits serve as markers on the scale of spirituality and by studying these traits in a person, the extent of spirituality in that person can be assessed. If I am asked to rank the great thinkers on the scale of spirituality, then I would rank Max Planck on the top. Max Planck, father of modern physics and the founder of Quantum theory, was deeply spiritual and considered spirituality and science as the two sides of a coin. His thoughts were instrumental in my transformation from an atheist to what I am today. The potential and importance of spirituality in life and in science can be understood from some excerpts from his book titled Where is Science Going? According to a famous quote of Planck: There can never be any real opposition between religion and science, for one is the complement of others. Every serious and reflective person realises, I think, that the religious element in his nature must be recognised and cultivated if all powers of the human soul are to act together in perfect balance and harmony and indeed, it was not by accident that the greatest thinkers of all ages were deeply religious soul.   He further writes his observation on the complementary relation between spirituality and science: The one does not exclude the other; rather they are complementary and mutually interacting. Man needs science as a tool of perception; he needs spirituality as a guide to action..

Philosophical Dimension

Philosophical dimension deals with ethical aspects of spirituality and is very significant for the progress on the spiritual path. Starting with Socrates, Aristotle, Stoic philosopher Epictetus, Kant, Rene Descartes and Spinoza posited their ethical systems and resolved the questions of human morality by defining the concepts such as ‘good and evil’, ‘right and wrong’, ‘Virtue and Vice’, ‘justice and Crime’. This is now an independent branch of philosophy known as Moral Philosophy and is related to Moral Psychology. The significance of moral Psychology in spirituality lies in the fact that when the behaviour and thoughts are ‘right’ (Positive), the wandering of mind is less and it is easy to focus the attention and for more duration of time, because there are no worries about the consequences. In Hindu Philosophy the place of the ethical system is taken by Dharma (not to be mistaken for institutionalised religion). It is a Sanskrit word meaning performing duty righteously. Dharma is an inseparable part of Indian spirituality and not an intellectual discipline as in the West. In India, Dharma was an essential part of Vedic education system because ancient scholars (the Rishis) realised that spirituality and hence meditation was incomplete without the knowledge of Dharma. This could be the reason why meditation was in such an advanced stage at that time. There is no place of Dharma in contemporary meditation and it is the reason why today the meditation is lacking very far from the original form of meditation as described in ancient scriptures. I will elaborate on ‘Dharma’ in a separate post entitled: Hindu Dharma vs Hindu Religion.

Adhyaatmic Dimension of Spirituality

Adhyaatmic dimension of spirituality is the result of rigorous study of mind and consciousness with perspectives of psychology, physics neuroscience and Advait Vedanta through the practice of Yog. I am systematically advancing the on research on Yog with an objective of coalescing neuroscience, psychology and spirituality into a novel discipline.

To understand the Adhyaatmic dimension of spirituality it is necessary to know the real meaning of the word Adhyaatm. The word ‘Adhyaatmic’ should not be confused with ‘spiritual’. According to the English dictionary both words are equivalent to each other, but in fact this is not so. The Sanskrit word Adhyaatma is a composite word composed of two words ‘Adhya’ and ‘Atma’. The word ‘Adhya’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Adhyayan’ which is equivalent to the English word ‘study’ or ‘to study’. The word ‘Atma’ is translated into English as ‘the self’. Thus the meaning of ‘Adhyaatma’ is ‘to study the self’. In this way ‘Adhyaatm’ is a discipline under which one studies the self through Yog to find out if his thoughts and behaviour are according to Dharma or not. Adhyaatm is very near to science and not connected to any religion, hence secular in nature. On the contrary, the word spirituality is derived from ‘spirit,’ the soul and has its roots in religion and so it is not secular in nature and unlike Adhyaatm, it is poorly defined word. In this way the words ‘Adhyaatm’ and ‘Spirituality’ convey different  meanings and therefore they are not equivalent to each other. I consider the translation of ‘Adhyaatm’ as ‘Spirituality’ in English as a serious etymological mistake. Therefore, in order to preserve the meaning of Adhyaatm I will continue to use this Sanskrit word as it is in the English text. The use of Sanskrit words in the English language is inspired by the tradition of adopting Latin and Greek words in English text of science and it is a homage to ancient Hindu scriptures Vedas and Upnishads which are composed in Sanskrit and from where the present work is inspired. In fact, carefully studying the Vedic literature reveals that in ancient India Adhyaatm was a discipline in the education system and Indian scriptures, Veds and Upnishads were the ‘Text Books’ of the discipline Adhyaatm. The purpose of Adhyaatm was to study the thoughts and behaviour of ‘the self’ in order to identify ‘Mental Distortions’  (known as Vikaras in Sanskrit) and to rectify them through Yog. According to Vedanta, there are five Vikaras of mind which are main obstacles in spiritual and physical progress of human beings. These are: (1) Kama (the Lust), wish to get or getting things unethically, in wrong way, (2) Krodha (the Anger, irritation), (3) Lobha (the Greed),(4) Moha (the Attachment with worldly things; money, property etc.),(5) Ahankar (the Ego), I am only right. During Yog, it is not possible to concentrate without overcoming those vikaras. These five vikaras are components of a single word of Sanskrit ‘Agyaan’ the nescience, lack of knowledge which is the cause of stress, anxiety and human suffering. In short, Adhyaatm is a way to overcome our shortcomings, to work with our full potential, and to live a happy life. Adhyaatm conjugates well with Humanistic Psychology. It teaches how to execute in practice the concept of ‘becoming fully functional person’ posited by psychologist Carl Rogers and the concept of ‘Self-actualisation’ put forward by Abraham Maslow. Rogers and Maslow posited their concepts but could not explain how to execute their concepts and now Adhyaatmic dimension will complete this task. One of the founders of modern psychology Wilhelm Wundt introduced the concept of ‘introspection’ in psychology, which is also a concept in Adhyaatm.

Adhyaatmic dimension of spirituality is a vast and multidisciplinary field encompassing psychology, neuroscience, technology, physics, electronic, philosophy of Advait Vedanta and understanding of religions. There is a complete theory of Adhyaatmic dimension of spirituality which can be referred to as Adhyaatmic Vigyan but I have chosen a simple name, Yog Science. There will be measurable parameters to monitor the progress of process of Yog and the theory of Yog also defines a parameter, a quotient and a mathematical expression which defines and quantifies the progress of Yog. Approximate value of this quotient can be measured experimentally by a device, specifically developed for this purpose. The device records the breathing pattern during the Yog and generates an output which is called EBG (Electro Breathing Graph) which is similar to ECG used for Cardiac investigation. A software analyses EBG and can assess the long term progress in Yog during a specified period of time. The device will be known as breathograph and it will be mandatory for all who opt to learn the Yog and for this reason the device is made very cost effective, costing less than an ordinary smartphone. The mental state of the meditator recorded in EBG will be stored in the memory of a smartphone and can be used later for comparison to assess the progress in Yog. This entire theoretical, experimental and technological development is an effort to present Yog as a discipline for academic learning and providing an alternative system to ancient and an ultimate tradition of teaching the Yog by Guru-Shishya Parampara which is not feasible in the present context.

Adhyaatmic discipline is not only about the scientific transformation of Yog it will also scrutinize earlier concepts and aspects of spirituality on a rational and scientific scale, in order to put forth a true, clear and easily understandable picture of spirituality. Unfortunately, there had been a tradition according to which earlier philosophers, spiritual gurus and religious authorities have intentionally presented spirituality a field of esoteric techniques, shrouded in secrecy; they made explanation of its concepts mind boggling and presented the path of spirituality an extremely difficult to follow and that it was meant for the privileged ones only, to prove themselves and present themselves as possessing supreme knowledge and supernatural powers. The scriptures in India on spirituality too are composed in the forms of verses with multiple meanings. There  has  never been any sincere and serious efforts for teaching Yog in a simplified manner for an attempt to make humanity free of stress, anxiety and suffering and to foster love among human beings. Unfortunately, all self-proclaimed spiritual gurus of India who popularised and exported meditation to the West, only cultivated their personality in the name of meditation and piled up wealth. They only preached meditation(yog). Meditation should not be a thing for preaching, it should be a thing for teaching:  This has been my sole motto and an inspiration force behind developing the science of Yog. Along with developing Adhyaatmic discipline, I am also constructing a Brain Mind model to explain psychological and transcendental functions of mind. During the construction of this model, I found psychology and spirituality converging into a path, which may lead to understanding and explaining Consciousness.

NOTE: I thank Sri H.S. Vora, my friend and colleague from earlier organisation Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology, Indore who is collaborating with me in the development of technology and software of Breathograph. I am also looking for a collaboration from the field of experimental neuroscience for advancing this work further.



I am Ved Prakash Gupta, a retired scientist and now I am developing the science of Yog.

My Beginnings

I started my career in 1977 as a scientist in the reputed Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai, India. I studied Particle Physics and Quantum Electrodynamics in my post-graduation from Delhi University. During the studies I was very much fascinated by the wave-particle duality and I used to contemplate for hours to understand Physics behind this behavior. I realized that the Physics only explains the behavior of matter, it does not explain the nature of matter and how it evolved. I wished to pursue research in this direction but in a government owned organization you cannot choose the field of your interest as funds are provided for the sanctioned projects only.

Consequently, I became associated with a project named Indus-I which is a Particle Accelerator developed to work as a booster for Synchrotron Radiation Source, Indus- 1. I was heading a team responsible for developing very high power pulsed supplies for powering the electromagnets for injecting and extracting the electron beam at various input and output ports. I had to veer off from Physics to Electronics, but since Electronics is my second love after Physics, it was not difficult for me to carry out this work.

The work was challenging and I was enjoying it thoroughly and I was successfully heading towards completion of the project. Unfortunately, I became a victim of lobbying, internal tussle and ego of higher authorities. I had to work under extreme stressful conditions which continued for more than a year and because of this I was in the grip of extreme depression. I had to undergo psychiatric treatment and simultaneously I was learning relaxation techniques from a mentor, a clinical psychologist because my breathing had become fatally irregular.

I  practiced relaxation techniques, a kind of Meditation, religiously for 2 years but still I was not able to relax because I could not focus my attention as guided by my mentor. The discursive thoughts continued distracting my mind and my breathing problem escalated further. I discussed the problem with my mentor many times. He told me unless the thoughts subsided I couldn’t focus my attention and I took charge of getting a solution to the problem for which I began  reading books and literature.

At the same time, I came to know about the beginning of a new research field known as the Science of Consciousness by Francis Cricks, winner of the Nobel prize for the discovery of helical structure of DNA. The objective of this research was to explore empirically the nature of consciousness by using brain imaging techniques such as functional MRI and PET scan and for which a concept of Neural Correlates of Consciousness was introduced. On the basis of my experience during meditation I had realized that consciousness can be studied better by subjective experience rather than by any physical means. I was already thinking of switching from Engineering to Physics because of problems in my job at RRCAT.  When I found that the nature of Consciousness can be explored from the perspective of Physics through Meditation, I committed to pursue the new field wholeheartedly. 

The Journey

One day, I came across a book on positive thinking by Norman Vincent Peale in which the author explained that mind wandering occurs because the mind searches for the solutions  to problems you face in your environment and if an appropriate solution is provided to mind by auto-suggestion, it stops wandering. When I incorporated this idea of auto-suggestion with relaxation practice, it really worked. Within a month, I was feeling remarkable improvement in me. I stopped taking psychiatric medicines and my depression had cured to a large extent and I was feeling energetic as before.

Being a scientist, I did not follow any spiritual guru or online channels blindly and I explored the field of meditation first.  I found that there is no scientific approach in the practice of meditation and the channels and the spiritual gurus are making tall claims on the benefits of meditation.  These claims were false according to my earlier experiences.  There was a study on the claims of Meditation in universities like Howard and John Hopkins and the study did not endorse the claims.  I also found that meditation has developed into a market and nothing better can be expected.  Most spiritual gurus used Meditation as a medium to become popular and to attract crowds to their Ashrams.  The crowd, too, is least interested in learning meditation and they are more interested in seeking blessings from guru and Meditation is no more than a cult and one cannot go against the teachings of guru.

I began to explore this subject and found that the books of Swami Vivekanand on Yog, Bhagvadgita and Vedant can provide the true guidance.  I became convinced that the popular meditation techniques are not useful to develop the control over mind, that is, to develop the concentration of mind because it is not based on spirituality.  A complete control over mind can be attained by the practice of Yog developed by ancient Rishis of India and is described in the text “Patanjali Yog Sutra.”  I began decoding PYS and simultaneously started the practice of Yog according to eight limbs of Yog as described in PYS.  I also began studying Vedant and Bhagvadgita.  I contemplated what I studied.  After a long time I could find something as interesting and engrossing as Physics.  I was really learning new concepts and I was surprised to learn that in ancient India the Rishis were far ahead in exploring Nature than the modern scientists.

After practicing the Yog for a few months only, I found that not only the depression but all old diseases, such as the migraine, severe asthma and repeated infection, have begun to cure and the number of regular medicines which I was taking have begun to reduce.  This experience was dramatic and it was inspiring the scientist in me to explore scientifically the cause of this dramatic change.  My mental as well as physical health was improving as if I am undergoing some medical intervention.

In addition to all these improvements, I experienced and also observed carefully that during the practice of Yog my breathing rate is reduced by a noticeable amount.  I have read in a research paper on meditation published in America, according to which breathing slows down during the meditation.  My father was a spiritual person and he used to do meditation for a long time.  He was initiated by a Saint of Radhaswami philosophy, Sant Kirpal Singh Maharaj ji.  I got my first exposure to spirituality from my father.  He used to tell me the feats done by yogis in ancient India.  Once he told me that in ancient India yogis used to practice Yog in an underground pit covered with a thick layer of soil and used to spend days in the pit without oxygen. 

I became convinced that there is a strong relationship between the rate of breathing and the concentration of mind.  While studying philosophy, I came to know that there were discussions among philosophers on Mind-Body Relationship.  My favourite philosopher, Rene’ Descartes, was also a mathematician and a scientist who has written a book on meditation titled Meditations On First Philosophy.  He also introduced the system of Cartesian Coordinates in Mathematics.  Rene Descartes was first to propose the Mind-Body problem scientifically.  According to him, Mind can only be studied by its effects on the body and reduction in breathing rate during the concentration of mind was such an effect.          

I was overwhelmed to find that I have got a new and unique research field in which I will be able to study Yog with the help of devices and instruments.  So far the meditation and Yog was discussed on the basis of subjective experiences which cannot be recorded by the instruments. I began the development work to make devices and instruments to record the breathing pattern during the practice of Yog.

I employed my past experience in the field of electronics for developing sensors and the instrumentations for recording the breathing pattern which was necessary for assessment of progress in Yog Sadhana.  When I reached near attaining Samadhi, I experienced one more strong physiological effect which I have named WBC, short name for Whole Body Contraction.  When the concentration of mind increases, the muscles of the body begin to contract.  The contraction of muscles of the body makes the practice of Yog very gruelling in the advanced stage of Yog.  This contraction of muscles was found almost linear with concentration of mind.  Therefore, I developed devices and instrumentation to monitor the contraction of the muscles.  Now I have two parameters that are independently and directly related with concentration of mind and I call these parameters as the Yog parameters because these two parameters, namely Breathing Pattern and WBC are used to assess the progress in the practice of Yog.  My friend H.S. Vora who also retired from RRCAT developed the necessary software for recording the signal in a laptop.  The progress in the practice of Yog will be assessed by comparing the present signal with the previous signal. I am now developing a theory of mind that could establish a relationship between the Yog parameters and the concentration of mind. As I am progressing in the practice of Yog and attaining higher states of mind, known as Samadhis in PYS, I am developing a theory of mind to explain the various physiological effects in respect to the concentration of mind. For this I am studying Neuroscience, Physiology, Molecular Cell Biology. Spirituality is the basis of practice of Yog for which I am studying a commentary on Vedant written by Adi Shankaracharya Ji “ Brahma Sutra Bhasya ” and books of Swami Vivekanand Ji on Yog. I hope I will be able to develop a complete theory of mind by applying the philosophy 0f Advait Vedant to neuroscience.