Vedic theory of Light

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    Hare Krishna Prabhu. Could you please provide some more details about the Vedic theory of Light. I have read it from Mystic Universe and Quantum meaning. But I haven’t understood it properly. Also there are some scholars who claim that speed of light was already known to ancient Rishis by quoting some Samskrit Shlokas from Vedas. What is the right interpretation of such Shlokas?


    I have explained this many times. Here are two recent instances: this one and this one. There is a much longer and more detailed description in this blog post. There is a detailed description of the problem of relativity and its relation to the movement of light in the book Time and Consciousness. I am exhausted by explaining this over and over, so read these things and you may get it.

    The basic concept of speed of light comes from the classical mechanical concept of motion in which some body goes from one place to another. That motion is rejected in Vedic philosophy. The body is not moving. The soul is moving from one body to another. This is the basic principle of change as described by Krishna in Bhagavad-Gita 2.13. This principle underlies all kinds of change. For example, the planets are not moving in the sky. Rather, a soul is going from one bodily state to another. Therefore, what we call “space” must be that domain in which the soul moves. The “space” of body movement is an illusion produced by the stronger or weaker interactions between the souls.

    Just try to understand how Krishna comes to this world without leaving Goloka Vrindavana. He doesn’t leave Goloka, and yet, He goes to another place. How? The answer is that He just starts interacting strongly with the soul caught in the earth domain. When there is a strong interaction, then the illusion of proximity is created. When that interaction is weakened, then the illusion of distance is created. Likewise, He can come selectively in one person’s vision because He is strongly interacting with that soul, and by strong interaction, the illusion of proximity is created.

    I have explained this many times in Mystic Universe too. I have cited one conversation as a quote from Prabhupada where he says “Just like I am in America. I am not adopting any ways of life as the Americans do. So I am not in America. Not only myself, all my disciples who are following me, they are also not Americans. They’re different from American behavior, American ways of life. In that sense I’m not in America. I am in Vndāvana because wherever I go in my apartment or in my temple I live with Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa consciousness. I don’t accept any consciousness of America. And I teach my disciples also to take to that consciousness. So one who takes to that consciousness, he is also not in America, not in this world.” Try to understand what he is saying. He is living in Vrindavana, but you can see him in America. It is just like a TV transmission, but the method is not electromagnetic waves. The soul connects to other souls through prana, and by that connection, proximity is created. When that connection is broken then distance is created. Factually, nothing is moving. It appears to move.

    The problem is that at present nobody has any realization of what the soul is and how consciousness moves. They are incapable of understanding soul movement. They think that bodies are moving. So if Krishna comes to this world, then He must sit in a spaceship, which will then travel at the speed of light, and it will take Him thousands of years to come to earth. Then when He departs He will again board that spaceship and it will take thousands of years for Him to reach Goloka. And in the meantime, He would be absconding from Goloka, and everyone will be living without Him. This is the nonsense implied by the motion of light. But all these so-called experts have never meditated on how Krishna comes to this world. But they have become experts on the speed of light. There is no such thing as the speed of light. Krishna can come in a moment and He can go in a moment.

    That thing called speed of light is the delay in absorption and emission, not the delay in transmission. Just like if a teacher gives some knowledge, but some student gets it quickly and some student doesn’t get it even after years. The same principle is involved in seeing Krishna, communicating with other souls, the movement of the sun, and every other kind of change involved in nature.

    The first thing one needs to do is forget about the body and elevate themselves to the mind and understand mental causation. If you associate with a person, their qualities start manifesting in you. Those qualities are already within you, but they manifest in the association. This is why we chant Hare Krishna so that by associating with the sound, the picture of Krishna will manifest within us. This spiritual and mental process of causation is involved in everything. Even when the sun is said to have “risen”, the sun is simply looking at some part of the world, and by this looking, the heat and light within us are manifest. It is not coming from the sun. It is manifesting from within us.

    So, one has to develop this understanding of mental causation in which causality is inside-out, which means something is coming out of the unconscious, then into the conscious mind, senses, and eventually into the body. Modern science is the inversion of this process of causality by making it outside-in, which means something is coming from outside going into the body, senses, mind, etc.

    All these “scholars” know nothing. They don’t understand the soul and body and they want to do science. Then they take something from the West and say that we already knew it. Okay, why don’t you tell us about the chariot of the sun? How is the sun riding a chariot when there is no sun god and no chariot in science? The problem is that people are cherry-picking things that suit their narrative and ignoring everything that they don’t understand and what they cannot explain. With all this discovery about their “Vedic science” why don’t they tell us about curved space-time? Why don’t they resolve the quantum-gravity problem? What is their answer? The fact is that they have no answer. If someone will solve that problem someday, then they will say: Oh, I already knew the answer; it is in my book. But if it is already in your book, then why don’t you find the answer and give it to us now?

    This desire for cheap victory based on Vedic texts is as destructive as the destruction due to aversion to Vedic texts. One of my friends calls this “triumphalism”. Once I have triumphed then I have to do nothing more. This is why we listen to Acharyas and how they talk about their realization. And one has to develop an understanding of how consciousness is moving. Just this one thing will make thousands of things clear. How the soul is going from body to body. Without this, everything is useless. At least, that is my view, and if you like it you can accept it. If not, then I have no answer.


    There is no problem in accepting. I am convinced that Vedic theory of light is radically different from modern theories. The problem is only about understanding. You have said that the apparent movement of light is due to the delay in transforming information at the destination by the photon. Does this delay also happens in case of human perception? Or are we perceiving things instantaneously? Before reading Mystic universe and Quantum meaning I read a book called Natural Realism and Contact theory of perception by Chittaranjan Naik. He says that perception is instantaneous and there is no delay or lag for light to travel from its source to an individual or in other words light is not moving. Stars we see in the sky are showing their present state and not past. Delay is only between Light source and instruments or objects and not between light source and senses of sentient beings. Light of the soul associates with the external light and perception happens instantaneously. Is this understanding right?


    An instrument is also a person, just not pure. There is a delay depending on a person’s purity. A pure mind understands quickly. An impure mind takes a long time to understand. There is a delay with an instrument due to impurity. Likewise, there is a variable delay with living entities depending on their impurity. When you wake up in the night due to noise, you don’t immediately comprehend where you are because you were previously sleeping and that is the state of tamo-guna. Likewise, if the mind is disturbed and confused, then you don’t quickly understand what someone is saying, due to rajo-guna. But a quiet mind in sattva-guna understands what a person is saying quickly. To understand these things, stop thinking of stars, planets, instruments, and humans. Think of everything in terms of modes, purity, and impurity. When there is material covering, then the comprehension is slow. When the material covering is removed, then comprehension is immediate.

    In some Vedic texts, it is said that the yogi moves in the sky at the speed of the mind. This means one moment they think of one place and they are there. The next moment, they think of another place, and they are there. This is mano-vega or the speed of the mind. The next question is: How fast can the mind move? How agile is the mind? Some mind is very slow, and some mind is very fast. That is also due to the three modes. The mind in tamo-guna is slow, the mind in rajo-guna moves in a haphazard way and doesn’t reach the destination quickly, and the mind in sattva-guna moves fast and in a focused way so it reaches the destination very quickly. So mind starts moving very fast, and yet in a very focused way, under sattva-guna. That way, the speed of the mind also changes.

    Narada Muni is able to move at the speed of the mind. So he goes from one place to another instantaneously. When Dhruva left his father’s palace to go to the forest, Narada Muni appeared immediately to tell him about a mantra. When Indra was stealing Kayadhu, Narada Muni appeared immediately to tell him to let her go because there is a devotee in her womb. In this way, he is called Muni because he has mastered the process of moving as fast as the mind can move. So, everything depends on the three material modes, which are called purity and impurity. If you think in terms of modes, then things will become easy. Otherwise, things can be very difficult to understand.

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