|Scientific Testing & the Future of Vedic Process
By Rajiv Malhotra
Lecture at Maharishi University, Fairfield, Iowa, 2014
Click Here to Watch
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was one of the foremost proponents of reviving the Vedic heritage for our modern epoch. At the same time, he insisted that scientific rigor must be applied. He deserves credit for bringing meditation, ayurveda, jyotish and various other Vedic principles and practices to the West. This triggered a revolution in fields ranging from health sciences to neuroscience to philosophy.
Sri Sri Ravi Shanker, founder of the Art of Living Foundation, as well as Deepak Chopra started out as Maharishi’s students and followers for many years, and worked in his organization in senior capacities. Numerous Western disciples of his also went on to launch influential new movements of their own in various fields.
I learned his Transcendental Meditation in the early 1970s, and have practicied it ever since. I also learned many other forms of sadhana from various other teachers, which I have incorporated into my own practice seamlessly.
This is why I was delighted to accept an invitation to deliver a major lecture at Maharishi University in Iowa. I addressed issues like: What must remain the same, and what must adapt for each epoch and context? Who decides what can change, and by what criteria do we make such adaptations?
For instance, let us consider the central Vedic principle of yajna. It is often misinterpreted. Some people think of it as a mechanical ritual around a fire. Others regard it as a relic of an old (and primitive/abusive) past tradition. At one extreme are those who do not wish to adapt it for modern times. At the other extreme are those who feel it can be changed into whatever one wants – a sort of relativism that makes yajna into a random exotic act. My view is somewhere in between these.
Before a gathering of serious Vedic theorists and practitioners at Maharishi’s University in Iowa, I discussed various issues, such as: Have the ideas and ways of practicing yajna evolved? Is it capable of evolving further into the future? What is its purpose, and how could one test this scientifically today?
I offered some provocative ideas, and hope you will find the lecture interesting.
We also had a lively Q&A at the end.
Click Here to Watch