Vivekananda’s concept of evolution

10th February 2016 // By Dhyan Praveshika Team // HomeArticles


Human curiosity attains its zenith when philosophical questions of birth and death are contemplated.  From the beginning of civilization, no question has evoked such a profound seeking as death of a loved one and birth of a new life.  What happens after death is an even deeper mystery sought after by sages, prophets, artists and poets alike.

Are experience of the world is that, right from the seed to the animals and man; all are under a constant state of flux.  Countless answers or solutions have been put forth regarding the ever changing nature of the world we inhabit and are an intrinsic part of.

One of the matchless gifts offered from the treasure trove of spiritual wisdom come from the words of Swami Vivekananda, the fountain head of reason and logic. Uncovering the dust from the much neglected Vedic perception of the underlying reality behind the Universe can usher a wave of intellectual but empirical revolution.

“Modern science is now recognizing matter as one substance manifesting itself in different waves and in various forms, rendering redundant the division and breaking of one thing into multifarious smaller entities,” says the pearl of Vedantic knowledge on evolution.

 Vivekananda, however, further extends this idea of evolution further to ancient Vedantic thought of involution; wherein every evolution presupposes an involution.  A beautiful analogy is then drawn to practically demonstrate the theory:

The plant comes out of the seed, grows into the tree, completes the circle, and comes back to the seed. But what was the seed? It was the same as the tree. All possibilities of a future tree are in that seed; the possibilities of future man are in the baby; all possibilities of any future life are in the germ,” Vivekananda states lucidly.

Modern science again corroborates Vivekananda’s analysis of truth, particularly when mathematical reasoning states that the sum total of energy displayed in the universe is the same throughout. This further quashes the notion that the universe cannot come out of nothing or Shunyatta (zero).

This presupposition of involution in every evolution cannot be better illustrated than in the succinct words of Vivekananda himself; that the child is the man involved and the man is the child evolved.

In other words, the evolution of mankind from the protoplasm to human beings and to God himself is but one life wherein the whole manifestation is involved. This is to say that the highest expression was present in the germ in minute form and that one mass of intelligence is uncoiling itself.

Hence, growth must not be something extraneous but that perfection lies latent in every life. There can be no question of growth when something is already present within but manifests itself in different forms.

The uniformity and continuity is further elucidated by Vivekananda when he says that effect is the manifested and thus there is no essential difference between the two differently appearing phenomena.

For example, the laws of physics state that glass is the sum total of the material plus the will of the manufacturer. But what keeps the glass from crumbling to pieces is the force of adhesion. In that case, the effect is the cause itself.

Vivekananda enunciated the same notion but had a greater vision to perceive the same principle involved in the evolution of life.

“Cosmic life got involved and became finer, and out of that fine something which was the cause itself, it has gone on evolving, manifesting itself and becoming grosser,” says India’s spiritual stalwart as if a scientist of the highest order.

Also, the idea of destruction takes a whole new meaning with Vivekananda’s flawless reasoning as going back to the source. To illustrate the picture am inference is drawn from the throwing of die. When thrown, the die produce a combination of numbers, say 1-2-3-4. After a certain number of throws it is but a given that the same combination will repeat itself.

When applied to matter, the forms of a table, chair, glass, among other things are one combination. In time, they will break and segregate and after a certain period, the same combination will manifest. This is theory of reincarnation stated in scientific parlance.

Thus far, Vivekananda has stated with glaring precision an extensive empirical analysis of the Universe, its evolution and the idea of reincarnation, discoveries which modern science is just beginning to understand.

Vivkananda’s unparalleled perception is testimony to the fact that the knowledge of Indian seers have surpassed, both in breadth and scope, western philosophical and scientific notions which are still struggling to provide an empirical anodyne to the perennially pricking question of the nature of existence and the metaphysical mystiques involved in its manifestation.




The Immortality of the Soul by Swami Vivekananda( Complete works)

Dhyan Praveshika Team