Let me begin with the Vedic prayer which marks a decision border of transition when the scientist of the ancient yoga happened to stand at a height of clarity of the mental and over-mental peaks of consciousness, but not deluded by the growth of that clarity stream to arrive at the Sun of Knowledge by crossing the golden lid that covers the Form and Face of the Supramental Truth.
हिरण्मयेन पाात्रेण सत्यस्यापिहितं मुखम्।
तत् त्वं पूषन्नपावृणु सत्यधर्माय दृष्टये।।
“The face of Truth is covered with a brilliant golden lid; that do thou remove, O Fosterer, for the law of the Truth, for sight.”
This prayer is to be found in the Ishopanishad, which is also the last Chapter of the Yajurveda, and it points to profound treasures that lie hidden in the hymns of the Vedic Seers. These treasures are particularly relevant to the theme of the Seminar, since they speak of subtleties and complexities of consciousness, rising from the Inconscient to the Superconscient, all explored through what may be called scientific methods of experimentation and verification, tested by repeatability and constancy of experiences and abiding realizations.
The reason why I am induced to invite scientists and philosophers to study the Veda is threefold: Firstly, since the great Indian scientist, Jagdish Chandra Bose, demonstrated the presence of consciousness in plants and even in metals, the Cartesian and Newtonian dualistic and mechanistic view of the universe was shaken and, consequent upon the latest developments in Quantum Mechanics, such as those in Bell’s Theorem, the one theme that has now emerged as the focus of frontline research is that of Consciousness in Matter, Life and Mind. Secondly, the quest of Modern Science has demonstrated that knowledge of Facts needs to be synthesised with the knowledge of Values, if the world is to be guided by
wisdom that can prevent the use of scientific knowledge for destructive forces, for tyranny and for war. And thirdly, it has now become clear that the methods that Science employs for its investigations are not adequate for the kind of synthesis and integrality that is imperatively demanded by the practical needs of the irresistible march of culture of universality and durable peace. We are all poised for a great shift and are looking for a new methodology of knowledge, a new kind of knowledge that blends Facts and Values, and a new form of Science that has no barriers and integrates all the universal domains of extreme.
In respect of these three matters, it is suggested, the study of the Veda can be an invaluable art. Those who have fathomed into the meaning of the Veda, right from Yajnavalkya and Valmiki and Vyasa up to our present-day Seer, Sri Aurobindo, have found in the Veda a mine of knowledge and a systematic body of knowledge of consciousness from its lowest to the supreme levels. As Sri Aurobindo points out, while speaking of the seers who composed the Vedic hymns:
“They may not have yoked the lightning to their chariots, nor weighed sun and star, nor materialised all the destructive forces in Nature to aid them in massacre and domination, but they had measured and fathomed all the heavens and earths within us, they had cast their plummet into the inconscient and the subconscient and the superconscient; they had read the riddle of death and found the secret of immortality; they had sought for and discovered the One and known and worshipped Him in the glories of His light and purity and wisdom and power.”
 Sri Aurobindo: The Secret of the Veda, Centenary Edition, Vol. 10, p. 439.