Physics

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Questions and Answers 1953
Appendix to May 20, 1953
(Extract of a talk of Sri Aurobindo with Pavitra)

Questions and Answers 1953-05-20 Appendix.jpg
PDF (2 pages)


“(After this there was some talk on Science, especially Relativity, which started by reference to the term ‘light-year’ which Sri Aurobindo used in The Life Divine. Nolini Sen had pointed out that scientists didn't use it in that sense, so the term was changed to ‘light-cycle’. Jatin Bal supplied many quotations from Jeans, Eddington, etc., on various points. In our discussion Sri Aurobindo refused to accept Time as a dimension of Space. Purani noted, in connection with the complicated mathematical formulas involved, that scientists had first thought Science would be understood by everybody. Now only the scientists can understand anything about Science.)

Sri Aurobindo: They are becoming metaphysical physicists. It is like poetry. Dr. Leavis said that poetry would be understood by fewer and fewer people gradually.

Purani: Scientists say that the sum of universal energy is always the same.

I do not agree. Is it proved? If not, why can't there be something behind that is constantly putting forth energy into the universe?

(About the Law of Entropy Sri Aurobindo also didn't agree.)

One sun may be losing heat, but another sun may be created and thus perpetual creation go on. Nobody knows when creation began.

Purani: They say, for instance, that from a machine some energy is always lost, and for that reason a machine can't operate perpetually.

That is about man-made machines. Nature is cleverer than man and, besides, in future machines may be created which will go on perpetually. What happens to the energy that is lost?

Purani: It goes to the common stock of spent energy. It is no longer available.

Why? Why can't it be available in another form? What has been available once is always available.

Purani: When you burn coal for energy, you can't get the coal back.

That is true about coal because it disintegrates.

(Sri Aurobindo also said that the Quantum Theory was tending towards our Indian Vayu theory without the scientists knowing it. About the deflection of starlight towards the sun, he asked:)

Why should it curve towards the sun?

Purani: Because the sun contains matter, they say. Suleiman is now questioning Einstein's theory. He stands for Newton.

Einstein's theory seems to me fantastic. (At this time some dogs were barking outside.) There, they are protesting against Einstein![1]


“Purani: Scientists say that the light of a star passing close to the sun is deflected towards the sun; the light curves in this way because of the curvature of space.

Sri Aurobindo: How does space get a curvature and manage to do all these stunts?

Mathematically a curved space has been demonstrated.

Mathematics is like reason. As by reason you can logicise anything, so by mathematics you can prove anything.

But one has no means to verify these things. And the difficulty is that if anybody questions them, these scientists at once reply that you must first know mathematics. All these people get some idea first and then try to fit the idea into their work.

What Arjava said seems to be true, that according to the way you approach Nature, Nature will answer you.”[2]




  1. Talks with Sri Aurobindo (Vol. 2), p.868, 2 September 1940
  2. Ibid., p.872, 9 September 1940


See also