In recent times, scientific epistemology seems to have revealed several similarities, even identities, between the ancient though structures (though based on revelation, intuit or empirical knowledge) and the modern scientific postulates on matter, motion, space, time etc.
To understand the universe and to seek individual and collective welfare, man has had recourse to the ways of knowledge and action; knowledge verified in the course of action and providing the impetus for further knowledge. Towards this end, men have adopted two distinct approaches: one based on science and the other based on intuition gained from the disciplining and chanelising of the human psyche. These seemingly distinct approaches have stimulated modern minds to undertake deeper study of both with a view to establishing a meaningful relationship between the two approaches. Such studies have engaged and continue to engage the attention of Indian Scientists with a Sanskrit background and Sanskritists with a scientific bent of mind. These attempts have been sporadic. More scientifically minded Indians have, therefore, felt the need for a forum to conduct sustained studies to exploit relationship between ancient insights and modern discoveries.
Such a need and the possibility are all greater, since many of the discoveries of modern science bear amazing resemblance to the insights that the ancient seers had gained into nature and working of the universe. The realization must promote a healthy desire to study similarities in perception and explore the effectiveness and possible complementarity in the methods that have been employed. Results of modern scientific enquiry have placed tremendous power at the disposal of man. The knowledge that has come from science can be used for the welfare of mankind or to engineer destruction that may jeopardise the very survival of mankind and the great heritage that man has built up. Society has also been the victim of superstitions and faith in miracles fostered by those who claimed to have attained spiritual powers through esoteric practices. It has therefore become necessary to ensure that the knowledge is used for the welfare of mankind and not for the destruction of values that are imperative for survival.
Amongst eminent Indians in the recent history, Mahatma Gandhi demonstrated that a seeker after “Truth” has to have the very qualities that a Scientist has, and use the very methods that a Scientist employed. He has to perfect his means and instruments of observation and perception, be free from prejudices and per-possessions, base himself on evidence collected with diligence and thoroughness, impeccable truthfulness and objectivity.
The BHARATIYA VIDYA BHAVAN embarked upon in 1977, a new project , “ANCIENT INSIGHTS AND MODERN DISCOVERYES (AIMD)” with the object of examining and evaluating critically the possible inter-relationships or correlations between ancient intellectual endeavors, specially of India, and modern scientific thoughts and achievements.
This new projects in three wings:
While considerable work has already been attempted in the first two wings, the third wing for which a centre for the synthesis of science and spirituality had been proposed was delayed for want of adequate support.
A couple of years ago, eminent Scientists and Sanskritists began to take fresh and renewed interest in this project and offered to associate themselves actively in promoting a Centre with definite objectives.
The plan to set up such a Centre got further impetus through the munificence of Shri Ramakrishna Bajaj who offered generous support for starting the Centre.
It was thought appropriate to name the Centre after Mahatma Gandhi and found it as a Jamnalal Bajaj Centenary Project.
The Gandhi Centre of Science & Human Values will function as a constituent unit of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bombay. The Centre will initially be located at the Bangalore Kendra of the Bhavan. The activities of the Centre will be administered by an Advisory Council and a Management Committee, both appointed by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bombay.