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)


(Mother:) “I see with these naked eyes, I hear and I perceive quite naturally, simply by these organs, Nature which constitutes life, the microscopic things, the gigantic and shattering phenomena which sweep and govern entire worlds where men with their inventions and their machines are like crawling insects. In this manner, I see the cells of the body, the molecules and the atoms with their parts and their organisation of specific movements around the nucleus according to the substance which constitutes that element, what varies from one object to another, and the movements which differentiate the materials; I see how these particles in the atoms dance and play with an unbelievable speed to form one element, then another, by a change of varying movements to form another; how the nucleus divides itself; how each element follows an order which is its own according to a rhythm and definite cadence which characterises its mode, its type and its individuality.
         It has perhaps become possible to distinguish and deduce by formulas, and with the help of microscopes of high intensity, to see the movements, and by sensitive instruments to connect and relate the atomic systems of things and the molecular constituents, and how the energy propagates – but only in the rudimentary forms. The scientists have been able to find the effect and the action of some elements, but know nothing of what is happening in the constituents, and how the elements function under a certain pressure and charge to increase the tension and the force which is inherent in each atom. Man does not know the reason and the procedures which determine the sequence of these consequences of the actions of the energy which is hidden within. But I see not only the energies which determine and act – the how and the why of this microscopic substance – but the consciousness which thinks and works in all these mechanisms, their state, their attitude and the will to transform, the aspiration in the atom which wants to unite with the Divine. I see all this, and how they converse among themselves. I hear them – as I talk with you all – how the atoms communicate among themselves, how in this dizzy movement of these particles there is no clash at all, neither in this criss-crossing bombardment is there any conflict. All moves so harmoniously and according to a definite order. It is so minute, so tiny, that one does not see it with the naked eye, nor with the machines, nor with microscopes or sensitive cameras. It is the invisible which becomes visible in my vision which has an extraordinary power – faculties which develop and open up by the spiritual discipline I have practiced and acquired.”[1]


“(There was some talk on Science, especially Relativity, which started by reference to the term ‘light-year’ which Sri Aurobindo used in The Life DivineNolini 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![2]


“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.”[3]




  1. Blessings of the Grace: Conversations with the Mother Recollected by Mona Sarkar and Some of Her Written Answers, p.81
  2. Talks with Sri Aurobindo (Vol. 2), p.868, 2 September 1940
  3. Ibid., p.872, 9 September 1940


See also