..............Religion, Science and Logic
1. When I was in Primary school, of the age of 7-8 years, we read the story which ran roughly as follows: A Teacher asked two of his students who had finished their studies under him, “Please take these two pigeons, one to each. Go and kill them secretly where no one sees your killing the birds. After some time, both students returned. One had killed his pigeon, the other returned with the bird alive. One student reported, “I went into a very lonely place and killed the pigeon without any body seeing.” The other student reported, “I searched for a secret lonely place; I could not find one. I found that God was there to see. I returned with the bird alive.” The Teacher appreciated that the latter student had learnt his lesson properly. “God is Omni-Present.”
2. When I came to secondary school, at the age of 14-15 years, our Teacher of Physics taught us on the following lines: “As we see it, sunlight has no color of its own, it is colorless. I pass the sunlight through a prism, see what happens”. He passed the sun-light through a prism, and what did we see? A multiplicity of colors, the well-known spectrum of VIBGYOR colors: Violet, Indigo, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange and Red, as we see in a rainbow. The Teacher explained, “We think that sunlight is colorless, but it is a mixture of seven colors, so well-mixed that the combination looks colorless. We do not see the Truth completely with our naked eye; we see the Truth better when the same “colorless” light is passed through a prism; raindrops also act as prisms separating the colors seen in a rainbow.”
3. Nowadays, I frequently see the satellite pictures of cloud and earth taken separately but simultaneously in what are called “Visible” and “Infra-red” wavelengths. There are more clouds in infra-red photographs than in visible photographs, taken in these respective wave-lengths. Some clouds cannot be seen in visible range of wave-lengths (0.4 – 0.7 microns), that can be seen in infra-red wavelengths (10-12 microns). My human eye which operates in the range of visible wavelengths does not tell me all that exists. We cannot say that what we do not see with our human eye does not exist. This is a fact of science.
4. When I studied Relativity Theory of Albert Einstein and came to the concepts of Relativity of space and time, and above all to the now well-known Equation E=mc2 , I became more astonished; mass is condensed energy ! Energy appears in various forms of mass, about a hundred elements and thousands of compounds: solids, liquids, gases of various forms, colors and properties. All these visible solids, liquids, and gases are just different forms of one and the same energy ! And how much energy is so condensed in a gramme of mass? We witnessed the enormousness of this condensed energy in Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs used towards the end of the World War II. One gramme of matter contains 8.988 x 1020 ergs of energy, slightly more than the energy released by Hiroshima atomic bomb of 6th August 1945 ! A thunderstorm releases energy of about 30 Hiroshima bombs. At a time, there are about 1000 thunderstorms in the earth’s atmosphere; energy amounts are mind-boggling. What an amount of energy is under the control of God ! God is really Omni-Potent. This is what science shows.
5. I have heard and read a lot against idol-worship, picture-worship, image worship, Nature-worship, etc. which is condemned as idolatry. I read the story of Sri Ramakrishna, the almost illiterate Teacher of the well-known Swami Vivekanada, who became famous for his lectures in 1893 Chicago World of Parliament of Religions held in USA. Incidentally, that Parliament of Religions started on 11th September of which year ? Not 2001, but 1893. The audience was thrilled to hear from Swami Vivekananda the Gospel of Hinduism: “Unity in Diversity”.
When Sri Ramakrishna had felt his failure to have Darshan (vision) of life in his idol of assiduous and sincere worship of the idol of Mother Kali, he directly addressed her, “If I do not get your Darshan, right now, I shall kill myself with the sword which is in my hand.” He was serious. And what happened? All forms melted and he was immersed in the sea of light and delight; Mother Kali appeared before him in a form which he could see, feel breathing, and alive, could talk to Her.
6. There are numerous stories of God/Goddess appearing alive in Idols before sincere worshippers, devotees, all pointing to one and the same thing: God is present in the idol but only a sincere devotee can see Him.
7. All the life experiences mentioned above point straight to the following points: God is Omni-Present, Omni-Scient, Omni-Potent. He is present all around. A sincere devotee can see Him, feel His presence, communicate with Him; the devotee literally lives in God. God is one, present in numerous forms, numerous colors, in-numerable shapes. We need a discerning eye or equipment of mind to see His presence everywhere. That experience is repeatable, reproducible to any person who has disciplined his mind, thought and action. Genuine Religion teaches the discipline to attain that state of mind, thought and action.
8. We worship this Omni-Present, Omni-Scient, Omni-Potent God through Symbols, one or the other symbol: Temples, Synagogues, Churches, Mosques, etc. and Books, Pictures, Idols, Crosses, etc. which are honored and worshipped in those places are symbols to convey our prayers to the ordinarily invisible, but all-pervading Almighty Master of the Universe. We should not ridicule or disrespect these Symbols. Ridicule or disrespect for these Symbols is manifestation of one’s ignorance, pure and simple.
9. National Flag of a country is not just a piece of cloth; it is a Symbol through which a Nation shows honor to its country. All of us, without an exception use symbols for worship, honor, love, etc. We should not treat the Flag of a Nation as just a piece of cloth, which can be used for any purpose including cleaning of different parts of the body. That would be tantamount to disrespecting the other Nation. That would be an unwise thing, calling for trouble.
10. Every religion on the surface of this earth has three aspects:
a) Relationship between man and God who is accepted by all Religions to be Omni-Present, Omni-Scient, and Omni-Potent .
b) Relationship between man and his co-religionists, involving love and sympathy.
c) Relationship between man and persons of other religions. In respect of aspects (a) and (b), there is practically no difference between different religions of this earth. However, in respect of aspect (c), some exclusivist religions teach and practice hatred and war against other religions; this is a mistake. Such religions show lack of logic. If God is Omni-present, Omni-Scient, and Omni-Potent, as all religions believe, then there is no logic in insisting on only one form or one Symbol of worship. He is present in a variety of forms, in all places; why deny His presence at any place or in any form? There is no logic in such denial. When we walk in a garden, we are happy to see variety of plants, variety of colorful flowers, variety of fruits; we enjoy that variety; we don’t like monotony.
Look around, we see and enjoy variety, not boring uniformity. God also likes variety. He is present in a variety of forms; let us enjoy this variety and appreciate and worship Him as present everywhere, in every form, and worship Him in various f orms. Let us give up illogical position of proclaiming and enforcing that only one form of worship is right and all other forms of worship are wrong and contemptible; such an assertion is illogical, untruthful. Let us realize the Truth and enjoy the Truth, give up illogical dogmatism; let us all join together in honoring all forms and symbols of worship. Then, there will be no place, no reason for inter-religious wars; we can and should live in harmonious co-operation and mutual help, consistent with our common principle that God is Omni-Present, Omni-Scient, and Omni-Potent. This is taught to us not only by any blind Faith but also by Science as shown above.