The new book Unity in Diversity discloses the universal principle of simultaneous oneness and difference in scientific, philosophical and spiritual ways. The book can be appreciated by academics and common readers alike.
The human search for harmony and an all-embracing truth asks for universal unity. At the same time, individuality, freedom of thought and respect for the cosmic diversity are human values that require and celebrate diversity. A most essential question of humanity is therefore: How can unity and diversity exist together without restricting each other? The answer is found in a proper understanding of the phenomenon of unity. Unity means that different living beings and elements are united in a common cause and purpose. This book shows that there already is an underlying unity in the cosmic diversity – we just have to learn how to realize it.
The cosmic unity in diversity is best explained by the principle of simultaneous oneness and difference, in Sanskrit called Achintya-Bhedabheda. This principle was first taught by Shri Chaitanya, the founder of the Gaudiya Vedanta school of thought. The book Unity in Diversity presents this universal principle and shows how it applies to all fields of human action, including science, philosophy and religion. Despite conforming to academic standards, this book is written in simple language, allowing also the common reader to have deeper insights into the principle of simultaneous oneness and difference. A special feature of this book is that it keeps a focus on the practical application of this principle in our daily life, allowing us to actually participate in the unity of the cosmic diversity.
The principle of Unity in Diversity reveals scientifically how the entire cosmic diversity operates in unity or harmony. Those who have properly understood this principle can see how even seemingly dissonant relations of certain elements are ultimately in unison. They can recognize the ultimately consonant functions of different sciences, different philosophies, different religions and other occupations.
When we observe nature, we find that there is a great amount of diversity: countless different galaxies, stars, planets, climates and living beings. All this diversity is orchestrated in unison. Consider for example how the various planets are kept in stable orbits around the sun and neither crash into it nor fly away from it. Or think about how different micro-climates with their many inhabitants are in unison within themselves as well as with all other climates.
If we look closely, we can find unity everywhere in nature - from the huge planetary system down to the tiny atomic structure. If we cannot recognize unity in nature, then nature’s diversity is stripped off the dimension of quality and the world is reduced to mere quantity or digits of data. If there is no higher purpose in life, then there is no basis for ethics and service, and people will exploit other people and the environment without a feeling of responsibility. Those who see a higher principle in creation become the humble servants of that principle. Those who are not servants of a higher principle have not yet recognized something higher than themselves and at least unknowingly think themselves the center of creation. If we don’t want to be egocentric we must recognize and serve a higher principle of life. Only if we expand our service to the highest principle of the complete whole will we perfectly serve all creatures including ourselves. Such service is like watering the root of the tree of life. Only by such service can one serve the entire creation.
The book Unity in Diversity shows how we can recognize and serve this highest principle in life. It explains that every living being can only find true fulfilment by entering individual unity with the highest principle, and how this can be achieved. It fulfils the academic standards of a doctoral thesis and is therefore based on sound logic, scientific research and accurate references. It also deals with spiritual topics, but without confusing them with material topics. It explains how proper spiritual practice is not a refusal of reasoning, but its culmination. It gives evidence why the self or soul (what we call ‘I’) is not the material body, and shows why almost the entire humanity is in illusion about this fact. It gives a gradual introduction to Vedic science. It exposes the weaknesses of material sense perception and the way of complete perception. It explains the logic of the existence of God and introduces God universally without sectarian bias. It explains with crystal-clear logic and illustrations how different forms of God are manifestations of the same Supreme God, and how everything in creation is simultaneously one and different from Him according to the principle of Achintya-Bhedabheda, simultaneous oneness and difference. Oneness refers to certain aspects of quality and the potential to enter unity with the will of God; difference refers to difference in person and power and diversity in manifestation. We are eternally different from God in person and power and we can become one with Him in will.
We live in a time in which the ways we think and act are strongly shaped by modern science, and less by philosophy and religion. The rationalization of education and research is reaching a climax - but without bringing us closer to a good quality and understanding of life in many aspects. At this point, many people realize the need to again approach philosophy and religion. In quantum mechanics for example, scientists express the need to re-integrate consciousness. Simultaneously, by becoming less popular than material science, religion and philosophy are reminded to prove that they are scientific and useful. This reciprocal approach brings up the quest for a universal principle that can convey and reconcile the essential goals of all philosophies, sciences and religions. The book Unity in Diversity explains:
The cosmic principle of Achintya-Bhedabheda conveys and harmonizes
the essential goals of all sciences, philosophies, religions and other human activities.
The book Unity in Diversity uncovers the underlying unison of various elements and occupations in life, even of seemingly contradictory ones, by disclosing the all-harmonizing philosophy or principle of Achintya Bhedabheda. Everything in creation is simultaneously one (abheda) and different (bheda) from the Creator. This book emphasizes the practical use of the principle of Achintya Bhedabheda: One should aspire for oneness with God’s will (unity) as His individual servant (diversity). Hence the title Unity in Diversity. By factually realizing God and His will, one can see how the cosmic diversity is in unity. Before entering the central topic, the book presents the urgent need to transcend the limitations of human perception, the ways how to realize God, and the nature and will of God. The presentation is non-sectarian. The gained understanding is all-accommodating and all-harmonizing. This proves that the Vedic knowledge and its principle of Achintya-Bhedabheda are truly universal.
Some contributions of this book are: The principle of Achintya-Bhedabheda can reconcile seeming contradictions between various philosophies and even between concepts of different disciplines. It integrates the material energies and sciences into the spiritual energies and sciences, allowing a harmonious cooperation. It answers the fundamental questions of epistemology (theory of the nature and limits of knowledge) and ontology (theory of the nature of the ultimate reality). It synthesizes the partial approaches of bheda (also called dvaita, the dualistic doctrine) and abheda (also called advaita, the monistic doctrine) into an integrative whole that can reconcile seeming contradictions. It allows seeing very deep into the fundamental laws of creation and explains how duality and non-duality are both necessary principles for material and spiritual phenomena. The proper synthesis of duality and non-duality and moreover their proper use in any human field of action lies at the basis of an understanding of the nature of all cosmic structures and how they are related in harmony. The principle of simultaneous oneness and difference applies to relations of matter (from atomic to galactic scale) as well as of spirit. It has the power to purposefully connect all fields of human action such as science, philosophy and religion. It harmonizes the extreme poles of exclusive agnosticism (man cannot know the complete reality/God at all), exclusive immanence (the complete reality/God is inherent and can be independently realized by anyone), and exclusive transcendence (the complete reality/God can only be realized after attaining the spiritual realm). It establishes the self to be beyond the material body, yet having a spiritual body, and thus solves problems arising from bodily misidentification such as racism, sexism, material greed and mental diseases. The philosophy of Achintya-Bhedabheda enables man to fulfill his most important task, the task of God- and self-realization, by explaining the relations of Divine Spirit, human spirit and matter and by offering a scientific method to factually access complete reality. It is a great contribution to human welfare, because only the complete can truly satisfy, and the principle of Achintya-Bhedabheda allows entrance into the complete perception, reality and harmony.
The book Unity in Diversity presents:
…and much more.
The underlying harmony of all sciences, philosophies and religions.
An Encyclopaedia of Vedic and Gaudiya-Vaishnava philosophy and practice.
The philosophical basis of personal theism in Vedic traditions.
- An introduction to the universal God.
The foremost principle of philosophy, Achintya-Bhedabheda, and its practical application, perfect individual unity with God’s will.
- Modern nuclear science in the light of Vedic science.
The book Unity in Diversity is written in down-to-earth language and contains many illustrations. It is spiced with around 1000 quotes, 300 color pictures, 80 short stories and 30 diagrams and charts.