New Indian research chair at UCLA to study consciousness

February 23rd, 2008 - 11:10 am ICT by admin  


Los Angeles, Feb 23 (IANS) The University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) here will soon have another Indian chair. The chair - to be named Dr Mani Bhaumik Chair of Consciousness Study - will be set up at the Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology of the UCLA.

The university already has the Navin and Pratima Doshi Chair in Indian History, set up by Los Angeles-based millionaire Navin Doshi in 1999.

Beverly Hills-based physicist Mani Bhaumik, who co-invented the laser technology that made LASIK surgery possible, will fund the new chair, named after him.

“I have given $1 million to UCLA for the chair. The groundwork has been done. We have to just put our signatures on paper. It can start any time now,” Bhaumik told IANS.

“This research chair will be geared towards exploring the mind-universe connection,” he said.

The 77-year-old scientist said: “Physics has done a wonderful job of pinning down the physical reality of the universe. But it has no knowledge about the origin and nature of its consciousness. This chair will work on this theme”.

Referring to ancient Indian Vedic heritage, Bhaumik said: “Consciousness is not just within our skull, but throughout the universe. In Hinduism, we call this consciousness Brahma, which is the basis of the universe. In Physics, the so-called magnetic field is the basis of the universe. Thus, Brahma and physics are two sides of the same coin. The goal of my chair is to marry Brahma with physics”.

He said the late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of the transcendental meditation (TM) programme, showed to the West how our consciousness affects the body.

“The mind of man and god is a single finely tuned broadcast system. Ten universities are now doing research on the effects of TM on the human mind,” Bhaumik said.

Bhaumik said he chose the Cousins Center for the chair because it has done pioneering work on the mind-body relationship.

The Indian-born scientist has also instituted the $15,000 Mani Bhaumik Award at the Cousins Center for pioneering work on mind-body connection.

The multi-millionaire bachelor scientist is also building the Mani Bhaumik International University in Kolkata.

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