How Quantum Entanglement and Samsara are Entangled

Entanglement – the action of entangling or being entangled. To entangle means to become twisted together or caught in process that is difficult to escape.

Quantum entanglement is a physical phenomenon which occurs when pairs or groups of quantum particles are generated, interact, or come together in ways such that the quantum state of each particle cannot be described independently of the other(s), even when the particles are separated by a large distance. To put it simply quantum entanglement is a phenomenon in which two particles interact and form a bond that means that they will interact with each other even over large distances.

Measurements of physical properties such as position, momentum and spin of the entangled particles are used to test this theory. For example, if a pair of particles develop a bond in such a way that their total spin is known to be zero (they balance each other) then if one particle is found to have clockwise spin on a certain axis, the spin of the other particle, measured on the same axis, will be found to be counterclockwise. This is due to their entanglement.  

Quantum entanglement, although it was not called that at the time, was first discussed in modern scientific research papers by Albert Einstien, Erwin Shrödinger and colleagues in 1935. Einstein referred to this phenomena as “spooky action at a distance” for this phenomenon violated the view of the world held by scientists of his time.

However, ancient Indian philosophy seems to have described a similar concept at least 2000 years before Einstein and colleagues.

Saṃsāra is the concept of the “cyclicality of all particles of existence”. Over the ensuing centuries this concept has been adopted by many eastern religions and the original meaning has changed to refer to multiple related concepts such as transmigration, karmic cycle, reincarnation or the “cycle of aimless drifting, wandering or mundane existence”.

While the concept of Saṃsāra has roots in the Veda’s, the full theory is not discussed there. It appears in developed form in the early Upanishads.  The full explanation of the Saṃsāra doctrine is found in the sramanic or ascetic philosophies of India such as Ajivikism, Buddhism and Jainism around the mid-1st millennium BCE.

In Hindusism, the Saṃsāra doctrine is tied to the Karma theory and the liberation from the cycle of Saṃsāra has been at the core of the spiritual quest. The liberation from the cycle of Saṃsāra is called Kaivalya, Moksha, Mukti or Nirvana.

However Saṃsāra in its earliest description means “wandering” or “cyclic change”. Saṃsāra is a fundamental concept that underlies “the cycle of successive existence” or the “cyclicality of the fundamental particle of existence”.

According to Monier-Williams, Saṃsāra is rooted in the term Saṃsṛ (संसृ), which means “to go round, revolve, pass through a succession of states, to move in a circuit”. A conceptual form from this root appears in ancient Indian texts as the word Saṃsaraṇa, which means “going around through a succession of states, without obstruction”.

In later texts the term shortens to Saṃsāra, referring to the same concept. The idea that samsara applies to the human body and not just the particles of existence comes only in later texts and forms the basis of the reincarnation theory. The concept is then contrasted with the concept of  moksha which refers to liberation from this cycle of aimless wandering.

The concept of Samsara is traceable to the Samhita layers of the Rigveda – sections 1.164, 4.55, 6.70 and 10.14. This idea fully develops in the early Upanishads: Katha, verse 1.3.7, Shvetashvatara, verse 6.16 and Maitryi verse 1.4 and 6.34.  

To reiterate, the original concept of Saṃsāra is closely related to our current understanding of quantum entanglement. However in more recent Indian history the term has come to be associated with the belief that a person continues to be born in various forms based on the actions and conditioning in the current life. The practice of yoga was designed to recondition the body and mind. Multiple levels by which to observe the body were described – these levels are called kosha’s. The practice of yoga was used to balance all levels of the body. This balance enables moksha or zero spin. Hence quantum entanglement and samsara collapse into the same idea.

Dr Nitasha Buldeo is an Integrated Medical Practitioner, Entrepreneur, Scientist and Yogi. She created  I-Yoga & Organic Apoteke and is Director of the Centre for Exceptional Human Performance. She researches human potential and delivers programs that encourage you to live exceptionally. Nitasha believes that every one of us is striving to be the best we can. Her passion is bringing you experiences that inspire you. Her intention is for you to unlock your genius.

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