New Man : New World: [16] The Building of a Spiritual cum Scientific Personality

Published: 25.12.2008
Updated: 30.07.2015

Mahavira said, 'Discover the truth yourself.' It is a scientific viewpoint. The modern scientist discovers facts with the help of machines like fine microscopes and telescopes. Mahavira said, “The instruments you manufacture and use for discovering facts are all within you. Your spiritual awareness has infinite possibilities of development. You can know microscopic, remote and hidden facts. The whole reality is in front of you, the whole sky is before you, the whole time faces you. But such truth can be only experienced and such consciousness only awakened as are beyond time and space.”

The Materialistic View

Modern scientists are also engaged in discovering facts. They have discovered subtle laws and have done such fine investigations that they have succeeded in analysing matter up to the level of atoms. The scientific view of investigating truth has thus developed, but the spiritual view has not developed. Instead of creating goodwill, nuclear, biological, chemical and laser weapons capable of destroying the whole world in a few minutes have been developed. It represents the materialistic view of the modern man.

Discover facts and be friendly towards the subtle facts discovered. The concept of education in the form of Jeevan Vigyan is based on these very two facts.

The Criterion of a spiritual Personality

That man can be said to be spiritual who has developed the feeling that everyone else has to be treated as himself. He becomes aware that everyone has the same kind of soul as he himself has. Everyone is poised on the same spiritual scales. The personality of a man who develops such awareness is truly spiritual.

One who has conquered the Sense Organs

Similarly, that man has also a spiritual personality who has understood the importance of controlling the senses and the mind. Wants, desires and passions of the senses are infinite. No man who fails to control them can be a boon to society. The big problem today is that man can rule others but cannot rule his own senses. He can be a social leader or a big industrialist, but cannot control his senses. Chanakya said that one who leads people would always suffer. It is also true of anyone who wants to develop a spiritual personality. He should not be a slave to senses, but their master. He should control his mind.

Refining Desires and Passions

The third criterion of a spiritual personality is refinement of desires and passions. It is inconceivable that man can be free from desires and passions. Man carries repressed desires of many lives with him. If these desires are subjected to constant refinement, all is well with life. If they are not refined, man suffers a moral decline and so does society. A spiritual man is he who knows how to refine desires and keeps trying to refine them.

Awareness of the Importance of Money in the Context of the Inner Nature

The fourth criterion of a spiritual man is his social and economic sense in relation to his inner nature. Today, economic factors have acquired a dominant role and all other considerations are subordinated to them.

Engels, a colleague of Marx, once remarked, “Our doctrines have been distorted to imply that the economic aspect alone is the decisive factor in one's life. I never said so.” In this money-dominated, keenly competitive world people have come to believe that money is the be-all and the end-all of life. What was merely means of satisfying life's basic needs has been made an end and given the highest importance. It has caused a lot of suffering to mankind and raised a number of problems in society.

Basic Importance of Instincts

The criterion of a spiritual personality is to see money in the context of one's inner nature. A spiritual man will give importance to money but not by ignoring the inner nature. Money and society shorn of the context of man's inner nature become a hindrance rather than help. The basic element is our inner nature and it is being ignored. Modern education is oriented towards economic and social factors but not towards man's inner nature. A student is not told that it is his inner instincts, which give birth to economic rivalry. It is these instincts, which cause problems in society. These repressed desires are responsible for generating an atmosphere of conflict. Students are not asked to refine them, to practise restraint and to control the mind.

Controlling the Instincts: Self-restraint

We must accept each situation as it arises and do not attend to instincts and natural desires, we create a vicious circle and the circumstances go on becoming more and more intractable. The mouse is afraid of the cat, the cat of the dog, the dog of the tiger, the tiger of man and man of death. It is an unending series.

Accept the challenge, face the circumstances, do not seek escape from the situation. The above lesson is not taught. The inevitability of circumstances and therefore living under their constant threat is taught. We can face circumstances only when we are first given to conquering the instincts. Spiritual teachers discovered the above truth regarding practising self-restraint and defeating natural desires. Mahavira had said, “Observe restraint.” Anuvrat proclaimed, “Life is nothing but self-restraint.” One of the criteria of a spiritual personality is paying full attention to the instincts and studying the economic or social situation and reforming it in the light of the instincts.


The fifth criterion of a spiritual personality is nonattachment. It is true that without material goods life is not possible. Food, housing, clothing, medicines, education are all possible only when there is money to buy them. However, a spiritual man regards them essential and useful only as goods, and no more. He does not treat them as a part of himself. He does not have any attachment for them. When 'me' and 'mine' occupy the centre stage, society gets derailed. It functions well when the soul is central. Psychology has discussed 'ego' and 'super-ego' at length. Spiritual teachers have concentrated on the instinct to possess. This concept of possession is a big illusion. The truth is that even the body is not mine. If it were mine, why would it leave me one day? That it is 'my body' is a mere belief, which is not really true. In reality, nothing is mine, for if it were so, it would never separate from me.

One's own and someone else's

Many years ago I wrote a poem. Its idea was as follows: It rained heavily. It was first welcomed by pits and trenches, which took as much water as they needed. The rest was allowed to flow further. It was next welcomed by ponds and lakes and they too took as much water as they needed and allowed the rest to flow out. Next came the rivers and they took it to the sea, which not only welcomed it but also allowed it to make the sea its home. After all one's own is one's own and someone else's is someone else's. The latter will welcome the former only to the extent it finds it useful. Once the utility is over, it will push out what it no longer needs.

Two Conditions

How can we say that someone is ours? It is only the soul, which is one's own, for it never separates. It is wrong to suppose that only elderly people can be wise and discriminating. The soul of a child may be awake, while that of an adult may be asleep. A small child was playing with clay. A ruler and his royal entourage passed by him. The ruler saw the child. He found the child so attractive that he went to him uninvited. The child went on playing, unmindful of the royal presence. The ruler said, “Look here, child, see who is standing near you.” The child looked at the ruler. The ruler spoke to him, “You are a very good child. Why are you playing with clay?” The child replied, “Don't you know it? With what will an effigy of clay play if not with clay?” The ruler was taken aback. He once again praised the child and told him, “I want to take you to my palace. Will you go with me?” The child grew a little serious and replied, “I can accompany you on two conditions.” - “What are they?” The ruler asked. The child said, “The first condition is that you will keep awake while I am asleep and the second one is that you will stay with me throughout, not leaving me even for a moment.” The ruler said, 'How is that possible? My guards are awake when I sleep. How will it be possible for me to remain awake? I have to go to various places as the state's ruler. So even your second condition cannot be met.” Hearing it the child remarked, “Then I cannot fulfil your wish. I always live with the Lord and He always lives with me. He keeps awake while I am asleep. Why should I leave Him and go with you?”

Beyond the Illusion of Attachment

Spiritual consciousness dictates: Nothing is mine except my soul. You can call the soul by any name, Lord, God, etc. When we are with the soul, the worldly goods are treated merely as essential or useful objects. There is no attachment for them. Nonattachment cannot develop without the experience of the soul. Else, why would a millionaire get worried about the loss of a hundred-rupee note? This is not because of the value of the money lost, but the attachment for the money. It is attachment, which causes suffering.

Our search for the truth will reveal that in reality, nothing is ours. The truth dawns on some quite early in life, while in the case of others it does not dawn even in old age. A spiritual personality is not subject to the illusion or falsehood of the feeling of possession.

The Quest of Truth

Let us discuss the criteria of a scientific personality. The first criterion is the quest of truth. A person with a scientific attitude will not be stubborn and will have a non-absolutist viewpoint. A scientific outlook eschews all presumptions and keeps a man constantly engaged in the effort to find out the truth and discover new facts. Lord Mahavira said, “Modes are infinite and laws are infinite.” 'Real' means that which is existent at a particular time. Modes and laws are infinite. One cannot lay claim to total knowledge just by knowing a few laws.

A very vital Answer

When someone told Newton, “You have discovered a number of laws,” he gave a very vital and touching answer, “Whatever you might say, I am a child gathering shells on the sea shore. The precious stones hidden in the bosom of the sea are still far away from him.”

That person is gifted with a scientific outlook that acquires facts with a sense of a lot of humility. He can keep an open mind. Many people boast they know as much as was necessary to know and nothing is left to know. It represents one-sided insistence, which is what causes all kinds of controversies, disputes and fighting. Everything appears coloured to the person wearing coloured spectacles. Prejudices and insistence breed endless problems.

The Quest of the human Mind

The second criterion of a scientific personality is the discovery of man. Very little has been done in this direction. Scientists have experienced on mice, frogs, monkeys and other animals, not on human beings. Hardly has any effort been made to understand man. It is time man has thoroughly to be studied, particularly his mind. The mind along with the nervous and endocrine systems is after all the patron and the governor of all our education, civilization, culture and values of life. All of them are outside the pale of scientific investigation and research, which are confined to matter. This is our basic mistake. How can we find a proper solution under these circumstances? What is needed is a study of man and his mind. The day it is undertaken, there will be the beginning of the integration of the spiritual and the scientific personalities.

The first Point of Departure

The concept of a spiritual-cum-scientific personality took shape in the seventy-fifth year of revered Gurudev Tulsi. We got an occasion to seriously deliberate on it. If the spiritualist keeps sitting silently in his cave and the scientist keeps manufacturing the nuclear bombs, the nuclear radiation is bound to reach the cave too. Therefore the need of the hour is that every student should become a scientist, not an ordinary one, but a spiritualist-cum-scientist. Our times demand that everyone entering a religious order or institution need not become exclusively spiritual. He must have a scientific outlook. A combination of the two alone can offer an answer to the present-day problems and it is this combination, which marks the point of departure as far as Jeevan Vigyan is concerned.

Edition 2005
ISBN No. 81-7196-019-7

© Adarsh Sahitya Sangh
210 Deendayal Upadhyay Marg,
New Delhi-110 002

Edited by:
Muni Dhananjay Kumar

Translated by:
Prof. R.P. Bhatnagar

Published by:
Kamlesh Chaturvedi
Adarsh Sahitya Sangh,
210 Deendayal Upadhyay Marg
New Delhi

Printed at:

R-Tech Offset Printer Delhi-110032

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Anuvrat
  2. Body
  3. Chanakya
  4. Consciousness
  5. Gurudev
  6. Jeevan Vigyan
  7. Mahavira
  8. Newton
  9. Soul
  10. Space
  11. Tulsi
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