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Life and Immortality in Indian Thought
Life and immortality in Indian thought
What is Life?

In his book, What is Life, which, according to Roger Penrose, had ‘a great impact on human thinking’, Schrodinger asks: ‘What is the characteristic feature of life?’1 He answers that when a system is isolated from an environment charged with energy, all motion in that system usually stops very soon. The physicist calls this the state of thermodynamical equilibrium.2 It is the state of total disorder or death. How does the living organism avoid this state? The obvious answer is—by eating, drinking, breathing and (in the case of plants) assimilating. The technical term is ‘metabolism’, derived from the Greek word metabole, meaning change, transformation, or a process by which energy is made ...

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