This is perhaps the right time to look back at The Science of Life, a 1931 publication by the renowned biologists GP Wells, HG Wells, and Julian Huxley and look deep into the body machine and understand how this magnificent intelligent design works with a perfect synergy between rasayan, the chemistry and the jivavigyana, the biology, and allows the microbial kingdom to enjoy its fruits and produce the nutrients and proteins in the functioning of the metabolism. All our technology innovations should, now, be aligned towards our strengthening of the ‘Lifetech’ to make science and technology in the true sense, a valid means for living a life of bliss, happiness, and good health
The value and worth of life have become suddenly more important than anything else, at least since the COVID-19 pandemic hit us. It has been singularly proved during the COVID-19 that the ‘Power of Guns and Missiles’ and even nuclear arsenal is no match to the ‘Power of Microbes’. Even the strongest of the strong nations on planet Earth have been brought to the knees by the deadly pandemic from which we are still recovering after suffering a great economic loss and an irreplaceable loss of over 5.26 million human lives worldwide including 4,73,952 here in India.
I have all along been holding the view that man is not at the centre of creation, least its Lord, as besides the human, animal, and plant kingdom, it is the microbial kingdom that holds a much greater say in the creation and sustenance of this beautiful, well structured, smart and intelligent universe of which we the human beings are only a part. As such, we have no choice but to acknowledge the power of the microbial kingdom as being far superior to that of anything else. The sooner we do it is better, as the times ahead would require a more profound understanding of the role of the microbes in our life existence on Mother Earth.
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It is perhaps for this reason, that the Vedic Rishis, seers, and sages of the ancient Indian Civilization always regarded peace and harmony with nature as an essential condition for a happy and healthy habitat on this planet, and acknowledged the power of nature in its forces that showered both the bliss and, when required, the vice. That is why, great attention had been paid by the founding fathers of Indian Civilization to Body Tech (Yoga and Fitness), Food Tech (Indian cuisine), Herbal Tech (Ayurveda), and finally Mind Tech (Meditation). All these technologies were developed as an offshoot of the “Science of Life” that provided a highly developed and time-tested system of “Lifetech” in India that assured human existence for a good 100 years of life span as ordained in the Vedas as Jivem Shardah Satam, as in Atharva Veda 19:67
पश्येम शरदः शतम् ।।१।। जीवेम शरदः शतम् ।।२।। बुध्येम शरदः शतम् ।।३।। रोहेम शरदः शतम् ।।४।। पूषेम शरदः शतम् ।।५।। भवेम शरदः शतम् ।।६।। भूयेम शरदः शतम् ।।७।। भूयसीः शरदः शतात् ।।८।। (अथर्ववेद, काण्ड १९, सूक्त ६७)
The Lifetech of the Vedic times, strengthened our immunity to diseases, including the viruses and microbial attacks by an integral approach that included lifestyle, food habits, Ayurvedic Herbal Medicines, and maintenance of purity of mind and actions supplemented by yoga and meditation. Together, these kept the human metabolism highly efficient and effective to nurture the mind, body, and soul of the individuals to enable man touch the altars of human excellence and enjoy the bliss of divinity during his lifetime.
This is perhaps the right time to look back at The Science of Life, a 1931 publication by the renowned biologists GP Wells, HG Wells, and Julian Huxley and look deep into the body machine and understand how this magnificent intelligent design works with a perfect synergy between rasayan, the chemistry and the jivavigyana, the biology, and allows the microbial kingdom to enjoy its fruits and produce the nutrients and proteins in the functioning of the metabolism.
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The time to return to these basics of life has now once again arrived. Hence, I submit for the consideration of the learned assembly of scientists of our great nation, and the fellow scientists and technologists from around the world that the “Next Tech is Lifetech”. Let the modern scientists and technologists discover a more profound meaning of Lifetech and provide a turning point in our quest to create a happy and healthy living. As there is no fun in continuing with the lifestyle and work habits that create compulsions to fall prey to the microbial and virus attacks for which we pay a heavy price and even live in panic and uncertainty of the kind witnessed during the last two years of COVID-19 pandemic. A life full of mental agonies, stresses caused by our neglect of the body tech, food habits giving undue stresses to our body organs and even causing distressing diseases like diabetes, cancers, and our neglect of environmental health aggravating respiratory diseases and mental aggression are mounting up a distressing scenario that we need to sincerely avoid now that we have learnt the value and worth of life.
It is my considered opinion that the next tech is Lifetech and, as such, all our scientific and technological endeavours should be directed towards aligning the meaning and purpose of science to the meaning and purpose of life. Likewise, all our technology innovations should be aligned towards our strengthening of the Lifetech to make science and technology in the true sense, a valid means for living a life of bliss, happiness, and good health on Mother Earth. After all, life is a precious gift to us, the humans, to live a life of divine bliss and happiness and thus, a cause for celebrating life as a celebration of divinity. The Lifetech will empower us to live such a life of celebration of divinity in harmony and bliss, as it did in the past when the Vedic way of life was the guiding principle of life activities. A sea change is, however, needed in our attitude to life and our engagement in science and technology to create this vital shift towards Lifetech. This would also be the way to assure the highest levels of sustainability as the new lifestyle shall promote sustainable consumption, that is consuming only as much as necessary and possessing as may be required and no more.
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“As we redesign the world, post-COVID-19 let the science and technology discover their spiritual strength and the human face, respectively, and assure the highest levels of sustainability to cause a disease-free, happy, and healthy life for 7 billion-plus people”, said the author, while presenting his considered opinion at the 90th Annual Meeting of the Society of Biological Chemists, India at its recently concluded session at Amity University Haryana, Gurugram.
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About the author
Prof. P. B. Sharma, former Professor of IIT Delhi is currently the Vice-Chancellor of Amity University Gurugram. Prof. Sharma has been the Founder Vice-Chancellor of DTU and RGPV. He is also the Past President of the Association of Indian Universities (AIU).