I will give just one example of how science without Dharma is blind.
Many years ago there was a tragedy in Bhopal. I was a witness to that. I live in Bhopal. The Union Carbide plant emitted huge amounts of highly toxic gas. They didn’t know what effects it would produce. It killed thousands of people that very day. It affected about 500,000 people in the city. People continued to die, I think by now the dead number between 10,000 and 15,000. People are still suffering to this day.
Whatever science knew was done. Hundreds of doctors and the Indian Council of Medical Research, in all its strength, came and provided the best services at their disposal. The social scientists were also there trying to see what they could do.
As a consequence of this, several hundred crores of rupees were spent and assistance given: hospitals, dispensaries and various centres were opened. But the end result was—I observed it all at close quarters—nothing really changed.
People got money; they gambled with that money or spent it on liquor, and the crime rate increased. When science had gone ahead with its research to produce that gas, it had not discovered the full facts about the gas, about the consequences if a leak occurred. The doctors then did not know and disputes continue till now about the correct method of dealing with this tragedy. This, then, is what happens if science goes unbridled without Dharma.
-Mr. M.S. Choudhary, Former Chief Secretary, Madhya Pradesh
Professor Dhar gave a very lucid exposition of how the Buddha was a scientist. From what I have read in the texts and commentarial literature, it has become clear to me that indeed he was a real scientist. Whatever he said about mind can only be said by a scientist, a psychologist of great depth.
Our mind, he said, keeps jumping like a monkey from one object to another. This is exactly what we experience when we sit in a Vipassana course and try to look within. We soon come to the realisation that the mind is difficult to control, fickle and unsteady. In order to control mind Buddha prescribed different subjects of meditation for different types of persons. The monasteries were actually the laboratories and workshops for the process of purification of mind.
Again the Buddha was really a scientist in the sense that he discovered some laws operating within ourselves, not only in the outside world. The laws that he discovered are eternal dhammas. Enmity cannot be appeased by enmity (n±hi verena ver±ni samantidha kud±cana), it can be appeased only by non-enmity (averena samantidha)— this is eternal law (esa dhammo sanantano). Just like a scientist he made experiments and theorised only on the basis of his own experience. One finds evidence of this repeatedly in the Dhammapada and the Tipiµaka in general. By going beyond the realm of reason, by developing non-attachment to the changing nature of mind and body, he attained nibb±na and became a Buddha—a fully enlightened person.
-Dr. Angaraj Chaudhary, (Retired Professor of Pali, Nava Nalanda Mahavihara), VRI, Igatpuri