Question: There is an aspect of science that is very joyful, regarding discoveries that are made and so forth.Sri Chinmoy: The difference between science and spirituality is this: science is running after discovery, whereas spirituality is running after self-discovery. "Who am I, who am I, who am I?" This question of South India's Sri Ramana Maharshi can never, never be answered mentally. From the spiritual point of view, this question itself is the answer. Spirituality is only digging and digging inside to discover "Who am I?"
Science is always discovering something, and every time it discovers something, we get tremendous joy and pleasure. We say, "Ah, a new discovery!" But science does not consider that thing as its very own. It is only self-expression, self-revelation, not self-manifestation.
In spirituality, when self-discovery is achieved, the achievement itself is the manifestation of its own reality, its own existence. When we say 'self-discovery', it is the same thing as God-discovery. There is no difference between God-discovery and self-discovery. When I discover myself, at that time I do not feel it is something else that I am discovering; it is my own reality. I have become more aware of my own eternal, infinite, immortal reality.
Science does not do that. Science discovers something and immediately feels that it is a new creation. But spirituality says that it is not creation; it is self-unfoldment and self-revelation. I am only revealing myself; now I know who I am. Each time we discover something spiritually, we are only discovering our own immortality, our own infinity, our own eternity. We are diving deep within, and these are our discoveries.
Each time a spiritual seeker discovers something, he is discovering a portion of his birthless and deathless reality. Science does not subscribe to this view. A scientist discovers something out of the blue, and he thinks that he has received it from a planet or from the sky or from the ocean. From somewhere else he has received his discovery. By virtue of his imagination or aspiration he has got it. But he does not feel that it is his own divinity that is emerging, and therefore he cannot claim it as his own. A scientist can claim his scientific research or discovery as his property, his belonging. But he cannot claim it as his own, the way a spiritual person can claim his self-discovery as his own.
A spiritual person is only realising his own highest and deepest. A spiritual person looks inside a drawer and says, "O my God! I did not know that I had kept five dollars inside this drawer." Then he opens up the other drawers and finds ten, twenty, fifty or one hundred dollars. Each time he makes a new discovery, he is not separating himself from what he is getting. He is only becoming identified with it, one with it, like a flower with its fragrance. Where is the difference between the two?
Now we shall consider science. Let us say science has come to know how to make a knife. The scientist is holding the knife and he has got a fruit. I always say that with a knife you can cut a fruit and share it with your friends or you can stab the person near you. Now I am adding something.
Suppose the scientist has cut the fruit and given it to his friends. Then one of them says, "Your fruit is not delicious at all. I saw a much better mango." What does the scientist do? He may become furious. Either he may throw the mango at the other person or he may even go to the extent of using the knife against that person because he has criticised the mango. Science may react by destroying something. Like this, if a weaker party says to a more powerful party, "You are very bad," immediately the one with superior strength may drop a bomb on the weaker one.
When a spiritual Master has discovered himself, on the strength of his self-discovery he does not act in that way. Suppose he is holding the same knife and the same piece of fruit. If somebody criticises the mango or the knife, he will say, "All right, if you do not need my mango, there will be somebody else to appreciate it. Since you do not care for my mango, my brother also has one. Perhaps you can go and see if you like his mango." Or he will say, "If you do not have any appreciation for my mango, no harm. A day will come when you will have to appreciate somebody's mango, because if you do not eat a mango, you are not going to be nourished and you will remain weak. And if you do not have a knife, how will you cut the mango?"
Self-discovery immediately brings us universality, a feeling of universal oneness. You do not appreciate what I have? Then go to this side; there is my brother. Go to that side; there is my sister. Go in that direction; there is my friend. Real spirituality sings the song of oneness. But science does not sing the song of oneness. Science sings the song of supremacy.
Self-discovery spreads. It goes here, there and everywhere. But science, whether it is going this way or that way, brings with it the emotion of supremacy. Spirituality will always carry the message of intimacy, the message of oneness, oneness, oneness. Scientific discovery will be found in the competition-world. But in self-discovery is the feeling of the universal reality.
Science is always running after a new discovery, whereas spirituality is always running after Eternity, Eternity, Eternity. What is Eternity? Eternity is Here and Now. Inside Here is Eternity. Inside Now is Eternity. Science always wants a new discovery. But spirituality says, "I am giving you Eternity." And where is that Eternity? Eternity is inside the words 'Here' and 'Now'.