Plato used Hindu Microcosm and Macrocosm!


Research paper No 1944

Written by London swaminathan

Date: 20th June 2015

Uploaded in London at 21-50

‘Yat Pinde tad Brahmaande’

It is a well-known fact that Alexander the Great developed great interest in Hindu ascetics because of his mentor Aristotle who was trained in Plato’s Academy. Plato and his Guru Socrates were interested in Hindu Upanishads. Vegetarianism, Rebirth, Upanishadic question and answer method (which the westerners named as Socratic Method later) and several other Hindu principles entered the Greek world through these people. Since Hindus migrated to Greece and other European countries long before Socrates and Pythagoras, we find lot of Sanskrit and Tamil words in Greek language (I have already given the list of Tamil words in Greek in my earlier post).

Vedic dog story (Sarama=Hermes), Five elements (Pancha Bhuta, Earth is Mother (Gaia = Atharva Veda—Mata Bhumi Putoham) and hundreds of things were borrowed by the Greeks from India. Max Muller also acknowledged it. But not many people know the concept of microcosm and macrocosm also went to Greece from India.

Tamils say that “Andaththil Ullathu Pindathilum Ullathu” = What is found in the Universe is in your Body.  Yat Pinde Tad Brahmaande is the Sanskrit saying. Sufi Muslims, who are 50 percent Hindus in their approach to spiritualism, also had similar principle.


Microcosm and Macrocosm

Microcosm means ‘little world’. Greeks applied it to man. They considered man as a world in miniature like the Hindus. Macrocosm means the earth or the whole universe.

Sanskrit scholar Radha Vallabh Tripathi, in his article ‘Vedic World View and Modern Science’, says,

“The scientists who attempted to see the atom found a world within it that could not be described in ordinary language. They saw everything within the atom – the speed, energy, waves and matter all mixed. They found that if they could know the atom, they could know the whole truth of the cosmos. Yat pinde tad Brahmande  – that which is in microcosm is in the macrocosm – that is what the ancient seers of the Upanishads had said  — One is in all, All is in one. This is the essence of Quantum theory also. The entire universe is inter- connected, inter-related and inseparable. In the same way, connection between modern physics and Indian mysticism has also become inseparable.

The matter inside an atom cannot be said to be moving nor can it be said to be static. This is how the Upanishads describe the Ultimate reality. “It is neither gross, nor fine, neither short nor long, neither growing red like fire, nor fluid like water, neither shadow, nor darkness, neither air nor space, unattached, without taste, without smell,  without eyes, without ears, without voice, without mind,  without radiance, without breath, without mouth, without measure, having no within and no without. It eats nothing, nothing eats it (Brihad Aranyaka Upanishad III.8.8, translated by Dr S Radhakrishnan). This is the oldest of the Upanishads dated to 850 BCE.

It says

“It is full, this is full, from fullness, fullness proceeds. If we take away the fullness of fullness, even fullness then remains (ibid.V.2.1)

It is unmoving; it is one and it is faster than mind. (Isopanishad)”.

The more we understand science the better we understand our Vedas. Light is the fastest thing in the universe according to physics. But Hindus believe that Mind is faster than anything else. Mind can travel to a star 500 million light years away in a fraction of a second. The power of thought is not fully understood by the western scientists yet.

Global human chain

Chandogya Upanishads:

1.   Om. There is in this city of Brahman an abode, the small lotus of the heart; within it is a small akasa. Now what exists within that small akasa, that is to be sought after, that is what one should desire to understand.

  1. “As far as, verily, this great akasa extends, so far extends the akasa within the heart. Both  heaven and earth are contained within it, both fire and air, both  sun and moon, both lightning and stars; and whatever belongs  to him (i.e. the embodied creature) in this world and whatever  does not, all that is contained within it (i.e. the akasa in the  heart).”

-Chandogya Upanishad, 8-1-1/3

“Indian thought conceived an intimate unity between the macrocosm of nature and microcosm of the human body, between the ‘Adibhautika’ and the ‘Adhyaatmika’ aspects of nature; the latter is an epitome of the former. The gods thus represent not only the forces of external nature mythically conceived, but also the sensory and thought forces within the man” – says Swami Ranganadananda (The Message of the Upanishads).

Vedanta upholds the unity of the macrocosm and the microcosm. Swami Vivekananda says,

“The whole of the universe is built upon the same plan as a part of it.  So, just as I have a mind, there is a cosmic mind. As in the individual, so in the universal. There is the universal gross body; behind that there is a universal fine body; behind that a universal mind; behind that universal intelligence. And all this is in nature, the manifestation of nature, not outside of it”.

In another talk, he says,

Truth may be one and yet many at the same time, that we may have different visions of the same truth from different stand points. Just as nature is unity in variety an infinite variation in the phenomenal – as in and through all these variations of the phenomenal runs the infinite, the Unchangeable, the Absolute Unity, so it is with every man; the microcosm is but a miniature repetition of the macrocosm; in spite of all these variations, in and through them all runs this eternal harmony, and we have to recognise this”.


Garuda Purana

In layman’s term we can compare the rivers on the earth to blood vessels in the human body, mountains to chest and plants to hairs etc.

Garuda Purana has a lengthy comparison:

Garuda Purana compares the 14 lokas – 7 worlds under and 7 worlds up – to parts of the body from foot to head; E.g.sole-Atalam, head- Satya lokam.

Then it compares it 7 Dwipas – from Jambu Dwipa to Pushkara Dwipa to other parts of body.

Then it compares the seven seas to seven liquids in body such as urine to salt sea, water to milky ocean, blood to curd sea etc. These seven seas are listed in all our Puranas/ mythologies.

It continues comparing the two chakras in the body Nada Chakra to sun and Bindu chakra as moon. Other seven planets are also compared with eyes ( Mars), Heart (Mercury), Mouth (Jupiter), Semen (Venus), Belly Button (Saturn), Face (Rahu) and Leg (Ketu).

We may not know the link between each part of the body and different things. But the interesting thing is that Hindus saw the entire universe in human body. The universe is divided into 14 worlds in Hindu mythology. Neither the Greeks nor any other culture has gone to this extent in the subject of microcosm and macrocosm. Since Upanishads were written before the Greeks started writing, it is certain that they borrowed this idea from us along with the principle of Panchabhuta/five elements.

Sufi Saints

Philosopher and ex President of India Dr S Radhakrisnan says (on Sufism),

“The one aim of all the orders was to lead men along the path whose goal is the realization of the unitive state. The theory is that man is the microcosm, in contrast to the universe the macrocosm, contains within himself the elements of the world of command (Alam-I-amr) and the world of creation (Alam—Khalq). The first is the world of spirit and the second of matter. The five spiritual elements in man are heart, soul, consciousness, the hidden, the deeply hidden. The five material elements are ego and the four elements – earth, water, fire and air (History of Philosophy: Eastern and Western, Edited by Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan)

Science and Religion in Upanishads


Compiled by London swaminathan

Article No.1925

Date :11th June 2015

Time uploaded in London: 21-24

I have read an interesting book titled “Vedic World View and Modern Science”, edited by Radhavallabh Tripathi. I wanted to share with you some of the points raised by the authors of various articles in the book. After reading it, I felt that there is a need to rewrite our science books as well. Along with the world view, we must give the Vedic seers’ views as well. Let the students decide who is right and who is wrong.

The second thing that we should do is to convene a conference on Futurology where the scientists and the Vedic scholars may predict what will happen in the next 50 years in the field of science, environment, medicine etc. Let the future generations tell the world who is right and who is wrong.

Youths with scientific bent of mind may ridicule us if we always talk about the past. We must be able to tell them what will happen in future on the basis of our scriptures. I have already written two articles about Hindus’ Future Predictions.


Atman is Motionless, yet it runs Faster!

In one of the articles S C Goswami says,

To say that a thing is stationary and yet it moves faster than mind sounds totally illogical. But logic proves to be a very poor instrument while dealing with the depths of truth.

The Atman (soul) is motionless, yet it runs faster than mind, thus asserts the Isopanishad.

The self is one, unmoving, and faster than mind. It moves, moves not (verse 4 and 5)

Being infinite and all-pervasive, the Atman does not move, but it appears to move because of its association with the moving mind and the senses.

Subtlest and Biggest

How can a thing be smaller than the smallest and bigger than the biggest? But the Kathopanishad says

Anoraniyam mahato mahiyanatmasya jantornihito guhayam


Subtler than the subtle, huger than the huge, the self is lodged in the secret heart of every creature.

Big and small are physical concepts which arise from spatial determination. An object in the gross, physical world is big or small in the relative sense. In the quantum world, however an object is small in the absolute sense if the effect of the disturbance caused by the act of observation is not negligible. On the other hand if the disturbance has negligible effect on the state of the object, the object is termed big in the absolute sense.

The moon is a big object because looking at it, observing its motion has no effect in the motion of the moon. An electron or an atom is a small object in the absolute sense, because the unavoidable disturbance (inherent in an act of observation) drastically alters the state under observation.

The small objects exhibit another unique characteristic, viz, wave-particle duality. An electron is a particle that is an object confined to a small volume (anoraniyan). It is also a wave, a probability wave extending to infinity (mahatomahiyan). Incidentally, the core of an atom, that is, the nucleus, occupies a very small space inside the atom (nihito guhayam). By describing Truth as the tiniest of tiny and also the biggest of the big, the Upanishadic Rishi (seer) conveys that even the minutest space conceivable s permeated by the All-pervasive.

strange-albert-einstein          bohr

Localized and Delocalized

Atman permeates all objects which have shape and form itself remaining formless and changeless in the phenomenal world, asserts kathopanishad,

Bodiless in the embodied, changeless in changeful entities; Swami Vivekanada has beautifully described the relation between man. i.e. localized Self and God i.e.delocalized self. Man, according to him, is a circle whose circumference is at infinity but the centre is located in the body. And god is like a circle whose circumference is at infinity but the centre is located everywhere. This idea is again echoed in the Kathopanishad

What indeed is here is there, what is there is here likewise

Self, which associates itself with limiting adjuncts, viz, body and senses, becomes localized in the individual and appears as being possessed of physical or worldly attributes to the ignorant. That very self, devoid of all physical attributes, a mass of pure consciousness, established in its casual condition as Brahman, is present here, there, everywhere.

Being and Becoming

Being and Becoming and One and Many are both the same thing. One is Brahman and Many is manifest in nature. The immense diversity exhibited by Nature is , in fact, the manifestation of the underlying Unity. All that exists in Nature, animate and inanimate, is the Becoming of the one Self. We must experience the One Being but at no point of time should we cease to see the many Becoming. How is it possible? Through ignorance we identify ourselves with ego, which as Buddha said, does not exist. This false identification leads to a sense of separateness and contradiction. Once we get rid of it we immediately experience our oneness with all beings, we expand to infinite dimension as it were.

The Upanishads are unique in their approach towards seemingly opposite concepts, some of them described above, because they assert simultaneous validity of such opposites. Life in the world, according to them, and life in the Spirit, are not incompatible. Work or action is not contrary, is rather means to knowledge of God. By renunciation it meant the renunciation of the ego, not of life.


Neil Bohr Quotation

Bohr dedicated thirty years of his life in spreading, the message of complementarity in fields outside of physics. One of his favourite maxims was, as told by his son Hans, the distinction between two sorts of truth: trivialities where opposites are obviously absurd, and profound truths, recognised by the fact that the opposite is also profound truth.

The Upanishads do not deal with trivialities. They deal with profound truths.

Who discovered Gravity? Newton or Aryabhatta?

Radhavallabh Tripathi says,

The Vedic seers could visualise many things through their observation or by their intuition, which the latter

Scientists discovered. For example Aitareya Brahmana (III-4) says that the Sun neither rises nor sets, it is the earth which rotates around it.

Yajur Veda further mentions (20-23) that the whole cosmos is rotating, it also suggests that the moon does not have its own science, it reflects the light from the Sun (ibid18-40 and Nirukta 2-6). Authors of Vedic Samhitas were clearly aware of seven colours in sun rays. The gravitational force is hinted upon.

Aryabhatta clearly propounded the theory of gravity eight hundred years before Newton.


Pythagoras Theorem or Vedic Seer Theorem?

Vedic altars were constructed in different shapes and sizes for the performance of Yajna. Strictly set measurements were prescribed for construction of different types of altars for different rituals. This lead to the discovery of a geometrical theorem around 1500 BCE, which after quite a centuries was discovered by a philosopher and mathematician Pythagorus in Greece. The theorem along with several other principles of geometry has been explained in detail in Sulvasutras, the Vedic texts on rituals. They were composed around 1000 BCE.

Cosmology and Carl Sagan

Cosmology is one of the areas in which the ancient seers were particularly interested. Carl Sagan, one of the most brilliant cosmologists said that Indian cosmology gave for the first time a time scale for the earth and for the universe a time scale which is consonant with that of modern scientific cosmology. The Hindu tradition has a day and night of Brahma is 8-4 billion years.

The Vedas are the oldest literary records of ancient Hindu wisdom. Atharva Veda records brilliant thoughts on Time in two of its hymns, both entitled as Kalasuktas (Hymns on Time)

The Upanishads provide in depth analysis of the concepts of time and space.  The terms dik and akasa have been used for space in the Upanishads. Even present, past and future percolate akasa/space and at the same time, are imbued in akasa.

katho        iso1969a

Potter’s Wheel and the Universe

The circuitous movement of this cosmos has been compared by the author of Sri Bhagavata to a potter’s wheel. The potter’s wheel is rotating and hundreds of ants are going on the wheel just as the potter’s wheel rotates, along with it rotate the lump of clay placed by the potter on it and along with rotate the ants. But the ants moving on the wheel also move by own speed and at the same time also rotate with the circuitous movement of the wheel. In the same way the cosmic wheel of time and space is rotating, along with it are rotating infinite number of stars and planets and each of these ants or planets is moving by its own momentum also – Srimad Bhagavatam V-22-2

Einstein Quotation

Physists like Fritzof Capra find the image of Cosmic Dance of Siva a very suitable metaphor to describe atomic reality.

Ken Wilbur, himself a scientist, says that every one of the greatest physicists of 20th century, Einstein, Schrodinger, Heisenberg etc. were spiritual mystics  of one sort or another. “The most beautiful emotion we can experience is mystical” says Einstein.

Source: VEDIC WORLD VIEW AND MODERN SCIENCE, Edited by Radhavallabh Tripahi, Pratibha Prakashan, Delhi, Year 2006