Can Science Define the Soul?



With due respect I submit the following for clarification.

How Atma/Soul can be defined through scientific method. If any development for specific valuation of one's soul is established. I would further request about views of Swami Yogananda Paramhansa in this context keeping in mind that Science and Religion are closely related. It is often discussed that there is no existence of Atma in the eye of Science.

Pranam & Profound Regards.

Santanu Mukherjee

—santanu mukherjee, kolkata, India


Dear Friend,

It is stated in the scriptures of Sankhya (I forget now which one) that “God cannot be proved.” The existence of the soul can be inferred but only by intuition can we truly know the soul. For the soul is immortal, wihtout substance, it cannot be found in a test tube, no microscope, or complex formula will reveal its existence.

The only “tool” that can perceive the soul which is pure consciousness is consciousness itself. And to do so all the fluctuations of physical, mental and emotional “motions” must be stilled.

However, the soul can, therefore, be proved through the scientific techniques of raja yoga by which the natural turbulence of body and mind can be stilled that we might “know that I AM God.”

It is not the province of the material sciences to seek and find the existence of the Soul, unless it be by inference and speculation. The scientific method necessarily proceeds from observation of repetitive motions (experiments) of time, space, energy, etc. and the soul is, by its own nature, Consciousness itself. Only consciousness can become “Self-aware.” It needs no machines, nor mathematics.

Science and Soul are, however, like twin stallions pulling the chariot of the body and of human life. They need not be at war, if each respects the domain of the other and recognizes its own inherent limitations. Yes, a Vedantin would say the soul has no boundaries but in all fairness the soul isn’t intrinsically interested in the time, space, and matter but in Self-realization. That, in turn, is not a rejection of time and space but is simply a different direction of interest.

As partners, one who seeks Self-realization of the Soul (Atman) can function more creatively and intuitively in the material realms. Indeed great scientists such as Einstein held in awe the power and mystery of the universe as a cosmic principle to which they attuned their individual mind to the OverSoul. Together, there are no limits to perfection.

Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras enumerates the powers that arise as the the ego retraces its steps towards re-uniting with the Soul. Those powers include dominion over all matter. Spirit and Nature dancing together, victory to Spirit and victory to Nature, Radhe, Radhe, Radhe Govinda Jai!


Nayaswami Hriman