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A mathematical model for being, mind and body PDF Print E-mail
Gita - Gita Articles

This is a draft version only. I will post the final version after input from mathematical experts. Thanks to everyone for their interest in this column.

In the last column we saw the role of the being, the state of the being, the state of mind and its expression via the body. We mentioned about atma (soul) as being the center. Let us say we all have a center; we are all born as Buddhas. We simply do not know of this state of existence. The difference between a Buddha and us commoner is of awareness. Buddha-hood is not in our awareness, it is our goal, and it is our destiny. But, since we are not aware of this center we will keep it out of the discussion for now.

Can this all be expressed in some mathematical model? Should there be a mathematical expression at all? Is there any need for this expression? What will be the advantage of making a simple thing complicated and difficult? There are many such questions for which I truly have no answers. I know for fact that my mind has been struggling with this model for a long time. And the thought of putting it in black and white makes me feel good. I have my doubts for I am not a mathematician. I talked with Dr. Sat Gupta, a very good friend of mine, to find some support and support I got. I am going to call it draft version until it has been seen and approved by some of these friends.

We will try to see the being, mind and body in the form of a graph. The being, the mind and the body as a unit happens to be a dynamic phenomenon. This makes mathematical expression. However, we will try to take the dynamism in to account as well. The vertical axis (the Y) represents growth through knowledge and increased awareness through realization. The ultimate goal is to get to the infinity. We will get back to this again later.

The X-axis is a circle. The center of the circle is the atma (soul) that we are not conscious of. Then there are three concentric circles or more like rings and these are interconnected. The being is more towards the center, then the mind and the outermost is the body. The outermost ring is present when we have the body and the only way the being can express or progress higher on the vertical axis. Whatever the position is on the X and Y-axis at the time of death is maintained in memory and when we are born again in the physical form, we start from that point.

Most of us are born off center on the X-axis and at some distance from the bottom on the Y-axis. All of us have the center, the atma, but this is not in our normal consciousness. What we know of ourselves is always off center. There is possibility of movement, there is potential for growth, there is the possibility of moving towards the center, but we are not there. The mind is further from the center and still further is the body. Body makes it possible to express the mind by karma (doing). Mind is the bridge between the body and the being. Soul or Atma remains unknown to most us most of the times. Location of the being can be at one of several possible points on the circle. Even if the radius of the circle is the same, a surgeon can be on a point right to the axis, while a murderer may be on the left of the axis. The positions have some latitude or range and are not static.

We can conceive of several kinds of movements possible on the circle on the X-axis and on the vertical Y-axis. The radius of the circle can stay the same, but the individual can move to a different degree on the circumference. A Tulsidas could overnight become a Sant Tulsidas, A robber and killer Balmiki could write a Ramayana. The shift is qualitative; the potential is there but was focused and located on a different degree on the circle. Then there is the possibility of movement of the being towards the center, until it becomes one with the center, the Atma or the Soul. Whenever the being moves towards the center, it also moves higher on the vertical axis. This movement is related and happens with increased awareness through realization or from the grace of Guru. Yoga and meditation is one way to cause a shift in the state of being. We will come back to this later.

There are two types of vertical growth. One is simple. A child goes to school and then to college. He acquires knowledge at college, learns normal behavior pattern from home and grows. There is a vertical growth, but there is no shift on the horizontal plane. He becomes more knowledgeable, He may get wealthy and become very successful, but there may have been no shift in the radius of his being. He still gets angry at the same stimuli, he still has jealousy much the same and he still gets stressed at things that used to stress him when he was young. This has to be understood very deeply. Success in general terms do not bring happiness because there has been no shift in the state of being on the horizontal axis. Success might have added ego giving the feeling of a growth of the being on the vertical axis, but actually this may just be a virtual growth when dissected down deeply. We will address ego in a separate column.

A growth in horizontal or the vertical axis is real only when it shows through the outermost circle or ring in its karma (doings) and behavior. In practical terms, someone in high school is on a lower vertical axis compared to someone in college and as the person goes to medical school and then becomes a doctor, his or her educational information gets higher and higher. Now, if we chart his applied aspect on a horizontal plane we can see that as his education grows higher he is more focused and centered and this is expressed by his confidence and other’s confidence in him. A surgeon is and should be able to do surgery successfully in the field he is trained in. A person who has passed a driving test should be able to drive a car. This should also apply to the movement of the being towards the center on the X-axis and upwards on the vertical Y-axis. He should appear more centered and his behavior should change accordingly. This has been addressed very beautifully by Krishna as we explore Gita further.

The other kind of growth in the vertical Y-axis is also related to the movement of the being on the horizontal X-axis. As the being moves higher, it also moves closer to the circle. This shift in the state of the being happens usually by realization through increased awareness via the techniques of yoga, meditation, and other related techniques of mantra chanting, tantric techniques and energy transfers etc. As the off center being moves towards the center, it also moves higher on the vertical axis. This relationship has to be understood clearly. The movement happens in both the horizontal and the vertical axis. When Gautam Siddhartha left his princely palace he was off center and was on a lower plane in the vertical axis. He went looking for his center. He moved up on the vertical axis as he moved closer to the center. When he attained Buddha-hood he was centered on the horizontal axis and also was at infinity on the vertical axis.

It gets a little complicated here at this point as to how to express the rest of the story in a mathematical format. When a Buddha reaches the center and is at the peak on the vertical Y-axis, he also realizes that this is the same center for every individual (being). He also finds out that his center is also the center of the whole universe. And at this point both the X-axis and the Y-axis disappear. Everything has come to a center, there is no up and down and there is no right and left, call it Shunya (nothing) or call it Purna (Whole).

This brings us to the formula mentioned in the Ishavashyopanishad:

That is the Whole.
This is the Whole.
From Wholeness emerges Wholeness.
Wholeness coming from Wholeness,
Wholeness still remains.

We have to try to understand the difficulties of communications that can happen between people of two different planes. In Gita, Arjuna’s state of being is at a different level compared to Krishna. He is well trained in warfare; he is intelligent and has a conscience. He is convinced that he should not fight or is he? His mind comes out with wonderful supporting logic. Krishna is on a different plane; he is at the penultimate possible state of existence. If Arjuna was talking to a psychologist or a psychiatrist, he would have been given a prescription of anti anxiety drug along with may be an antidepressant and advised to take it easy for a few days when psychoanalysis may be done. If he were to talk to his brothers, they would have all gone into panic and would have tried to remind him of what atrocities the Kauravas had caused to Draupadi and them. It may or may not have worked. Krishna takes a totally different approach and a very daring and brave approach. He does not try to persuade Arjuna to fight. He first breaks the momentum of Arjuna’s thought process and then starts working on the state of Arjuna’s being. The dialogue between Arjuna and Krishna starts at the level of Arjuna. If Krishna spoke from his level it may not have been possible for Arjuna to grasp everything. Arjuna asks questions and Krishna clarifies, but only when the thought process has changed towards Krishna’s line of thinking. A transformation in Arjuna’s being is bound to happen.

Another thing worth noting is that the real change in ones life is the change in the state of the being. This is not to say that a growth through knowledge and acquired behavior is not important, but a side-by-side growth in the state of being is paramount in today’s society. We need to be more meditative; we ought to be more centered. Science has come to a point where we can destroy ourselves if we are not balanced people. If we do not develop a more loving and compassionate society, may be all our scientific progress will simply bring disaster to us. But, there is the potential of bringing heaven on earth. There is wealth and prosperity in the society and there is possibility of more. If we can bring peace and prosperity through growth in the state of being of most of us, then what more can we ask for?

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