Triveni Journal

1927 | 11,233,916 words

Triveni is a journal dedicated to ancient Indian culture, history, philosophy, art, spirituality, music and all sorts of literature. Triveni was founded at Madras in 1927 and since that time various authors have donated their creativity in the form of articles, covering many aspects of public life....

Modern Scientific View of Human Uniqueness

Swami Ranganadhananda

Swami Ranganathananda

Darwin established the fact of evolution and some of the factors of evolution; and during the next one hundred years after him, biology clarified these still further, and also dealt with the direction of evolution and with the uniqueness of evolution at the human stage. Biology was now bringing to science the concept of the uniqueness of man from a scientific point of view. All these developments were reviewed at the week-long Darwin Centenary Congress held at the Chicago University in 1959.  The proceedings of this Congress were later published by the Chicago University in three volumes: Evolution After Darwin : Hundred Years of Evolution.  According to Sol Tax, the Editor, the Congress was dominated by the late scholarly Sir Julian Huxley.  Among his contributions to the Congress was his lecture on The Evolutionary Vision, included in volume III entitled issues in Evolution, and his writing on The Emergence of Darwinism in volume 1, entitled The Evolution of Life. In the latter, Huxley tells us that at the time when Darwin’s books were published the main need was to establish on a firm basis the fact of evolution and its scientific comprehensibility. In recent years, however, biology has turned its attention to the course and direction of evolution and, as a result, it has reached a number of important conclusions about the evolutionary process, in general, and the place and role of the human being with it, in particular.  In its progress from the inorganic to the organic or biological stages.  Huxley refers to the novel features of great significance when evolution has achieved.

Dharma’ constitutes the principle for integrating human being with human being in society, from the family to the international community level; it does not mean religion, to indicate which there is another appropriate word, namely, ‘matam’, and so dharma does mean a creed, doctrine or ritual, or a scheme of other – worldly salvation.  A mere accumulation of bricks does not constitute a building; there is the cement to unite brick, with brick.  Similarly, no accumulation of human beings can constitute a society. There is something that unites human being to human; and that is what Vedanta calls ‘dharma’.  It is a set of spiritual values, acting silently from within. It is the subtle expression in the life and society, of the one Atman within all.  Even a fraction of this spiritual touch of the Atman can make the human being and human society a playground of values and free from all fears, says the Gita Svalpamapyasya dharmasya trayate mahato bhayat.  Dharma stresses the concept of mutuality and interdependence.  There is no full freedom for the human being within the social context.  When we examine the four Purusarthas, we shall find a place for full freedom only in the fourth Purusartha – Mukti or Moksha, which means freedom or emancipation.  It is a spiritual experience the highest and best, available here and now, in this very life, and meant for the purest and bravest.  It makes the human being cease to be gregarious, without being anti social.  The four deliberate human purposes or purusarthas are dharma (ethical values), artha (wealth), kama (sensory pleasures) and moksha (spiritual liberation).


Vedanta accepts science, but science does not yet accept Vedanta, because science is still a sectarian entity, dealing only with a segment of experience.  A large circle can include in it a small circle!  “Take the adjective Physical away from physical science, it ceases to be a small circle; then science becomes all comprehending science”. Says Romain Rolland in his Life of Vivekananda.

From ‘Science of Human Uniqueness’

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