Neuroscientist, Bestselling Author & Speaker
Abhijit Naskar is one of the world’s celebrated Neuroscientists, an International Bestselling Author of numerous books and a renowned Public Speaker, on the topics of Mental Health, Self-Reliance, Neuro-Leadership, Neuromarketing and much more, concerning the life of the individual in all aspects of the human society. Naskar is loved and admired around the globe as an untiring advocate of mental wellness and global harmony, who has revealed to us with his contributions in Science and Philosophy, how the basic awareness of the brain can completely redefine our perception of life and make our daily life much more productive, meaningful and cheerful. He was born in Calcutta, India to Ashok and Purabi Naskar. He quit his computer engineering studies and embarked on an expedition of scientific research. Today, the works of this self-educated scientist have made it possible for us to be acquainted with various aspects of our emotions, thoughts and behaviors.
Naskar is the twenty-first century mind of science, whose glorious philosophical touch has enabled modern Neuroscience to effectively engage in the human society towards diminishing primarily the ever-growing conflicts among religions. With various of his pioneering ventures into the Neuropsychology of religious sentiments, he has hugely contributed to humanity’s attempt of eradicating religious and other perceptual differences, for which he is popularly hailed as the “Humanitarian Neuroscientist” who incessantly works towards taking the human civilization in the path of sweet general harmony.
After quitting my Computer Engineering studies, I renounced my home in Calcutta and became a wandering monk. And upon the attainment of the so-called transcendental state of consciousness, which has been called differently across cultures, such as “Samadhi”, “Nirvana”, “Oneness” and so on, I realized that the purpose of life is not renunciation of anything, but the realization of that purpose. So, I returned home and started investigating for a rational explanation for my experience of transcendence. As basically a useless and careerless young lad, I began studying hundreds of published materials on Neuroscience, Psychology and Philosophy, while constantly being mocked and laughed at. I was studying on my own only to have an understanding of the human mind in relation to the society and the world, without the expectation of any degree or job opportunity. I had no clue whatsoever, what would become of me, whether I’d be able to make a living at all. I did not come from a rich family, nor did I have rich friends, so, as far as everybody else was concerned, my life was doomed.
I was flowing like a canoe in the open seas without any sense of direction. And in that very directionlessnes, I constructed my own direction, without even being aware of it. Eventually, quite unexpectedly, I found myself publishing my own first book on the investigation of various aspects of our human mental universe. With that first book entitled “The Art of Neuroscience in Everything”, the world embraced me as their household Neuroscientist. With the magnificent tool of Neuroscience, I opened up to the world its internal realm in terms that every person could understand. After the publication of that first book, my brain kept exploding with one book after another, on various issues of the mind and the society. Along came an inpouring of invitations to speak at various educational and professional institutions. Thus, a useless university dropout turned into a globally acclaimed Neuroscientist, Bestselling Author and Speaker.
I am a scientist, but it’s not the popularization of science, that I have in mind, rather, my main concern is the well-being of the human society. This has been my innate interest since childhood, for which I renounced my home to become a monk, as I quite childishly believed that, in order to do good to humanity, becoming a monk is the best way. Below is an excerpt from my memoir “Love, God & Neurons”, which recounts my journey as a monk in brief.
“I roamed around some remote villages, in one long shawl covering my body. I ate whatever the kind villagers offered. One afternoon during my walk through the cornfield of a village in Bengal, I saw a big banyan tree. So, I sat down under it to have a little rest. After a few moments I found myself being lost in deep meditation. I realized the universe had consumed my whole entity with its divine sensation of eternal bliss. All I could consciously perceive in that state of mind was absolute oneness. I felt being one with the banyan tree, under which I was sitting. I felt one with the corns in the field. I felt one with the sky and the clouds in it. As if everything was me, and I was everything. I didn’t have any perception of time or space. All that there was, was an all-pervading eternity – a state of non-dualism… My purpose as a monk was complete. I didn’t need to stay away from home any more. So, I stood up and headed for home.”
Attaining the absolute divine state of unification with the Universe, I realized that the purpose of life is not renunciation of anything, but the realization of the purpose itself. And my purpose was to bring actual practical growth and harmony in the human society. So, I chose science as my domain, and began self-education in various fields. In this process, I came across the field known as Neuroscience, and quite spontaneously, things got clearer than ever before. I could see through the field something that perhaps no other scientist could – I saw its potential – the potential that no other neuroscientist or psychologist had taken interest in. When you hear “Neuroscience” you would probably be thinking about the study of the nervous system. And that’s exactly how the field began its journey into scientific investigation. But I wanted to do something with it, which no other scientist or philosopher had done before.“I wanted to present Neuroscience to people in a way that would diminish their differences”(quote from ‘Love, God & Neurons’). I began moulding the soft clay of Neuroscience with the ingredients of my own mind to prepare the actual science of self-realization and harmony. Thus the world of Naskar Literature came to existence.
Neuroscience is the key science to sustaining mental wellness in the human world. In the world of rising smart devices, the combined act of Neuroscience and Psychology (collectively known as Neuropsychology), is the only tool available to us scientists to make sure that people don’t lose their sanity in their pursuit of success. Added to this, in the near future, combined act of Neuropsychology, Electronics and Robotics would help the blind to see again and the paralyzed to walk again. But these are only a few in the long line of miracles that we humans would accomplish with Neuroscience and Technology.
Also, there are many challenges in the field of Neuroscience, just like in any other field, however, what I would address is the responsibility of a Neuroscientist towards maintaining health and wellbeing in the society. The reason for me to say so is that, Neuroscience is the field of science that actually gives us insight into every human being on this planet, so in the wrong hands it can become the most destructive weapon to manipulate the minds of the people. And this is much more than a challenge. The intensity of the impact of Neuroscience upon the human society is the same that nuclear energy has over people. Nuclear energy can light up a whole nation, but it can also destroy it. Likewise, the field of Neuroscience can help humanity live healthier and happier, but it can also be abused to manipulate human happiness for financial or political gain. When a nuclear bomb falls, you’d know that a bomb has fallen, but when your decisions are being manipulated, to buy a certain product, to vote for a certain political candidate, or in any other manner, you won’t even know that your decisions are not your own genuine decisions. So, if you want to be a Neuroscientist/Psychologist or any other form of scientist of the mind, you must know in your heart, that the purpose of scientific advancement is to take humanity ahead in the path of progress and harmony, not to push it into the abyss of mental and physical degradation.
I don’t try to motivate anyone, I only make them think.
There is no magical ingredient for success in any career. What matters is, that you find an idea that resonates with you, and endeavor to accomplish it, even if the whole world turns against you. As I have said in my works, “the history of progress, is the history of people who didn’t follow rules.”
I am not best at anything! The so-called scale of “good, better and best” is a social construct, and often it does more harm to the mind’s growth, than good. If you love something, you just do it, without thinking about being good, or better, or best. Such expectation-less action gives rise to the most beautiful of results. Comparison paralyzes progress, both of the mind and the society.
Success for me will be the day when all humans everywhere will stand up with a sense of unity and call themselves humans above everything else.
I am a being of action, not of mottos. Mottos can change – what really matters is action.
A Day in My Life:
If I’m not galloping across nations to give talks, you can usually find me in my study working on a book.
Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?
We live in a world where countless souls are starving to death or surviving on one hard-earned meal a day. In such circumstances, I can’t even dream of thinking about favorite meals and favorite restaurants.
What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?
My mind is my offering to humanity, therefore I despise alcohol, for it corrupts the mind as well as the body. However, I do take one kind of beverage quite a few times throughout the day, and that’s tea, with lots of sugar and milk.
Where do you enjoy getting lost?
I am lost most of the time, in writing, whether I’m doing it physically on the computer, or in my head during choirs.