1. Ideas from “We’ve no Idea – A guide to the Universe”: Scientists have made tremendous progress, in the last century, to understand how the universe and nature work but they now realize that there are certain limitations, mysteries, big unanswered questions, which we’re absolutely unable to tackle! They frankly admit that with all our science and technology, today we know only 5% of the whole universe! In addition, we can guess about 27% but have absolutely no clue whatsoever of the rest 68%.
2. Ideas from our ancient seers: So, shouldn’t our schooling let us know what our various seers have thought and discovered about the basic fundamental issues? It is good to know that the new education policy is planning to integrate philosophy propagated by ancient seers and scholars like Patanjali, Panini. Our Constitutional Fundamental Duties, enjoin on us to be aware of the rich heritage of our composite culture; and, Mahatma Gandhi, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi have put before the youth, Vivekananda, a modern Seer, as our ideal, to know, to understand and to love our nation and its culture.
3. What are the basic Building-blocks of the universe? The scientists feel the basic issues relate to the universe around us and so they’re busy trying to know it.
The cavemen discovered that things break into small pieces and so concluded that universe is made of small pieces! Learning from such ‘rock-breaking experiments’ scientists are looking for the building-blocks of the world. The great real-scientists of the world (not those who graduate today as B.Sc.) have gone deep into the ‘pieces’ and discovered atoms surrounded by electrons, etc. and have concluded that with electrons and up and down quarks, the smallest particle identified so far, everything in the world can be made.
Now Particles Physics says that while it is true in normal cases, they’ve discovered nine more matter-particles and five others particles that transmit forces. Some of these are very unique particles; they can travel trillion of miles thru’ solid lead without bouncing off a single particle. We’ve no idea what these particles are for. Of all stars, planets, all matter, energy, forces in the cosmos, these account for only 5% of what we know! What of rest 95%? We don’t know. 27% is what we call Dark-matter and 68% as Dark-energy which is perhaps causing the universe to expand. It’s like we had been studying an elephant for thousands of years and suddenly realize we were looking only at its tail! Dark Matter and Energy are untraceable and invisible but the scientists are able to infer it based respectively on the fact that distant galaxies appear in two different places, and that the universe is expanding!
3.1 What can be the origin of the world? The world we see around us is highly complex and full of variety and of baffling complexities. The probability of this multitude of highly organized solar systems and living beings evolving accidentally thru’ matter and thru’ big bang, as scientists say, is as good as being ZERO; there has to be some form of super intelligence behind all this we see; scientists also now call it ‘intelligent universe’.
Moreover, there is a gut feeling in all of us that there must be something, some stuff behind all this, which must be the common cause, which ought to be intelligent. Therefore, even science has been trying to seek that one cause, which can explain this complex world. Molecules, atoms, the unified field of energy and the latest statement of ‘intelligent universe’ and so on are all attempts to understand the creative energy and the basic stuff of this world of ours.
We need to investigate and wonder: Why do we have this gut feeling in us of striving to seek a unity, behind the changing universe?
4. How did our ancient Seers explore? Seers of Bharat also had the same urge to know; but they were not mere cavemen! After their introspection and exploration, they quickly seem to have realized that there is an infinite variety of things to be known. And so, they must have deeply reflected and were able to divide the entire universe into two, i.e. ‘matter’ and ‘living-beings’. The 1st entity is ‘Jagat, nature, world, universe, cosmos, all that is inert matter’. The 2nd is ‘all living beings that have life, consciousness, including plants and animals. Having realized this profound division, they were not yet fully satisfied, and reflected: Is that all?
4.1 The unknown 3rd entity? The Seers, wanted to know the why, how, for what purpose, when, by whom, etc. behind the world and ourselves. And this invisible cause behind ourselves, the unknown entity, they called Brahman, i.e. ‘greater than’, which in today’s language we may call the infinite, because, it is beyond or greater than all the known.
4.2 A simple but Profound Idea discovered by Seers: I am an integral part of Jagat! This was a profound realization of the Seers!
An important point to be noted here is that when the scientists of today discuss about the universe, ‘Jagat’, they deal with everything, but somehow exclude themselves from it! Science and scientists haven’t realized that our ‘body-mind’ complex is an integral part of nature that we’re studying out there! They haven’t bothered to know themselves while they’ve been very busy in trying to know the Jagat and Brahman, the invisible cause of us all.
5. Seers to Scientists: Seers have realized a profound fact that when we strive to explore our own nature, we come to actually experience ‘who I am’, ‘why am I here’, ‘where am I going’! And so, the message of our Seers to our great modern scientists and religions, is to look within, look inwards to find the unknown, the Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent, the ONE God; not my God versus your God!
Once we know the nature of anything, we can make use of it. For example, science and technology study the laws of nature and use it to live a little better and in a more comfortable manner. When we examine ourselves, we realize that while we may be very actively pursuing various things, at the end of the day we just want to be free from all tensions and just relax, be in a state of happiness – ‘I just want to be what I am’; and only when we are free from all burdens, are we at peace, we sleep, and wake up fresh and rejuvenated. We should reflect on this simple but profound reality of what actually refreshes us in sleep.
DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.