JICPR(Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research) Volume XX Number 1 January-March 2003 page 208-211
THE THEORY OF ZERO EXISTENCE by Prafulla Kumar Panigrahi
Book Review by Dr.Abdul Lathief
In the preface the author begins by saying he propounds a theory that bridges the gap between the findings of higher physics and those of vedanta.He further asserts that the book establishes the world as illusion and also identify the mother of this illusory creation for the first time.`
In the first chapter called Maya and her duality the author explains the horizontal&vertical duality of the opposing principles of the world which are really complementary.In the horizontal duality two opposing priciples,first&second constitute one single whole.This is further explained by material objects&non material sky,matter&energy,proton&electron etc..In vertical duality two opposing principles,first&second are one and the same.This is explained by wave particle duality of light&electron,individual cell&the whole organism etc.He further explains the dependence of sub atomic particle's nature on the observing mind as either wave or particle and comparing this with the concept of Maya of shankara as the power of Brahman which conceals the real&superimpose the unreal on it, the author comes to the conclusion that the object is an illusion.At the end of first chapter the author concludes with stating the vertical duality of creation the Phenominal world&Brahman as first&second respectively.
Now what the author call duality is what philosophers&mystics called the dual nature or the dual aspect of reality.Active spirit&Passive nature or essence of Mind&essnce of Matter or Being &Thought.Now both are real and it depends on the plane of reality whether it is Being or Thought or a combination.The ultimate expressing differerent aspects at different plane.Every thing is real in its own plane.So It is not right to say matter&energy are only attribute of subatomic object.At the subatomic plane they are the substance.In that realm they are real.What quantum theory prove is there is no independent reality in other words the inter dependence of subject and object.What the author says as non physical space&physical objects(phenominal world) and matter&energy(physical world) is one and the same thing.This is because the quantum field is nothing but energy field.so space is nothing but different forms of energy field.Now if by brahman the author means the highest plane of the reality it is not correct to say it as the second of the phenominal world in vertical duality.Brahman as the highest plane is beyond duality,opposition&comparision.
In the second chapter called Maya and her Tridhara the author describe the whole cosmos exists in and through tridhara of Maya.The first is positivity or plus one.when wakeful if an idea corresponds with external object it is plus one.The second is nullity and its concept is zero.If there is neither idea nor any thing external it is called zero.Third is negativity called minus one. Here there is only idea in the mind .This is produced by plus one acting on zero.The author further reduces all into minus ones by first showing the existence of zero in mind as concept and then explaining the wave particle duality of sub atomic objects and the principle of complementarity of Bohr which states sub atomic objects are wave and particle at the same time and at any time the nature depends and decided by the observing mind which proves the so called plus ones are also minus ones.The author further argues that for the formation of the world which is absolute minus one there must be absolute plus one and that is Brahman.The absolute minus one or the phenominal world is produced by the action of absolute plus one or Brahman on zero or Maya.
The authors nullity or concept of zero is debatable.As he himself later says as there is concept of zero in the mind it is minus one.but then he compares Maya with zero.Throughout the book and even the title of the book suggests the author takes Maya as zero existence.Now even nothing or nonbeing is a concept.As a concept it is minus one. zero existance is a concept.as a concept it is minus one.so there are only two category possible,plus one and minus one. Now if Maya or zero is not an entity a plus one(brahman)cannot act on it.If the author consider mother maya as an entity or existence it is not zero.Now from Heisenberg's uncertinity principle or bohr's complementarity principle it cannot prove that the world is minus one but rather the nature of reality also depends and determined by the observing mind or the interdependence of subject&object.
In the third chapter called Maya and her relativity the author explains the relative existence of everything like space,time,mass,volume etc except the velocity of light by explaining Einstein's theory of relativity and concludes that velocity of light is infinite and all the objects in the world lie between zero and infinite velocity.As the world is a creation of mind and velocity of light has cancelling effect on the velocity of mind they influence each other so both of them cannot be absolute.Now as human mind know plus one only as minus one so it is deficient so cannot be absolute.So the absolute is pure consiousness or Brahman which as plus one acting on zero(Maya)mind is produced.
The author's view that everything is between zero and infinite velocity is a novel idea which need further discussion.As I told earlier the world is not minus one but reality as a different aspect or plane other than highest plane and zero which is non being cannot be the cause of the world.
In the 4th chapter called Maya and the point of dissolution starting from the particle wave duality the author establishes every thing is activity and so becoming.The author further says time is only a mental concept and not objective reality.He explains why time stops for some one who travel with the velocity of light.This is because when one travel with the velocity of light all activities are cancelled by the velocity of light.so time being an index of change of activity also stops.this also means stopping of mental activities.so there is dissolution of both observing mind and observed world.Then being alone remains.This is Brahman,the pure consiousness.He further states that the cessation of volume is due to stopping of mind and mass not become infinite as Einstein says but also dissolve.
The author's view everything as activity and at the velocity of light the dissolution of mind,volume, mass is a novel idea which need further consieration.Time as mental concept is similar to Kant's view of time as apriori.but as Hegal says time is not only subjective but also objective reality.The changes in activity or duration is real in objects.Now time stops, mass become infinite and volume zero of an object with the velocity of lihght is to an observer who is not moving with it.for the thing in itself there is no change.Relativity theory is relative to an observer from another frame.
In the 5th chapter called maya and her amazing city he states as mass and volume are different aspects of the same object when one becomes zero the other also becomes zero and not as Einstein theory which says mass become infinite when volume become zero at velocity of light.further he argues that zero and infinty are same because all numbers are limitations so we cannot get infinity by increasing numbers.not only is light at absolute motion but also at absolute rest.This is because when one travel with the speed of light time stops but as velocity is the relation between unit of time and distance when one is zero there will be no motion.
As I told earlier the theory of relativity is with relative to an observer from another frame.it does not say the object in its own frame change.An object with the velocity of light there is no change in time,volume or mass.The authors view that true infinity is beyond number is a novel idea.but both increase in number and decrease in number are limitations. zero is the concept of absence of quantity so it is also inadequate to the concept of infinity.the author's view that light is in absolute motion and absolute rest is debatable.Now light has a velocity of 186000miles/sec.An object with the speed of light time stops for the observer not for the object.so there is no point in saying there is no time element for light.light takes minutes or days to reach earth from sun or other stars.so there is a specific velocity.so it is not infinite or absolute motion, and lastly zero and infinity are not the same.
In the 6th chapter called Maya and the nature of her creation stating light velocity as both zero and infinity he say light is both at absolute rest and absolute motion He further elabrates the massless charecter of light photon and the zero volume of the light velocity object to the observer hence conclude that light is zero or nonexistence, so that the velocity of light is absolute.All the other existences which are minus ones are produced by this zero,velocity of light, so this is Maya herself.In explaining the Heatdeath theory the author illustrate the creation from zero or infinite point. just a fraction later there is maximum energy and minimum matter.This is also the point of maximum velocity and hence activity.There is waxing and waning process and at some other point matter become maximum and energy minimum,then at zero or infinitey point there is dissolution of universe.
As we told earlier light has a definite velocity.so it is neither zero nor infinite. Activity also depends on frequency.Infact the activities of human brain during waking,dreaming and deep sleep are measured by alpha,beta,,delta waves with different frequency.Now light is only one member in the electro magnetic spectrum.only the velocity of EMR is same but it contain radio wave with the least frequency to cosmic rays with the highest frequency.So if we take frequency as the parameter of activity as there is in EMR waves with other frequencies, we cannot say light is in absolute motin or rest.It is true that photon is massless but the zero volume is not that of light but to an observer of any other object with the velocity of light relative to the observer.so we cannot conclude from this velocity of light is absolute.
In the 7th chapter called Maya and her lord he states that the Brahman or pure consiousness or plus one acting on Maya or velocity of light or zero form mind and the mind create the world which is the minus one.When we reach the plane of zero the minus one or the world disappear.If we observe zero from the plane of plus one zero also dissolves, then only Brahman remains and we come to the realisation that both the world and Maya are Brahman.Further he argues that maya(illusion) itself is the proof that the real is Brahman.
Now the concept of Maya as velocity of light is debatable.Now velocity is only a property.it depends on a substance.it has no independent existence.The author througout the book take maya as a being or entity.he refer maya as she or her.Now is maya illusion?. According to kasmir shaivism Maya is real and denotes limiting power(emanating principle) by which the five kanchuka evolved.In vedanta also badarayana and other commantaters like ramanuja and madhava treat the universe as real.Now the concept of Maya of shankara as the power of Brahman which conceals the real&superimpose the unreal is from the highest plane where except Nirguna Brahman everything is unreal.Now the reality of Maya or Illusion is taking the material world as something devoid of Mind.According to Self realised men Reality is Knowledge(Thought or Mind)The two aspect or form of the knowledge is thought and images(feeling,sense perception,imagination) or Discursive Mind and imaginative mind or in Hegal's terminology speculative thought and picture thought).Now what mystics says illusion is taking this imaginative thought as something devoid of mind or as inert matter.Another point is when the author talks about maya as the cause of mind and wolrd the author's concept of maya is that of being or essense of matter or prakriti which acted by essence of mind or purusha form the world, but maya is not only the nonspiritual principle of reality but also the emanating power.When we reach brahman or at realisation it is not dissolution of world or maya but realisation that all are different aspect or planes of brahman which is the highest plane and every thing is real in its own plane.
Now the Ultimate is neither mere affirmation nor mere negation.it is a dialectics of affirmation and negation.the highest vision is of course not divresity or multiplicity but neither is it unity.the state of self realisation is a dialectcs of unity in multiplicity and multiplicity in unity.