12 December 2009

Infinity to Outfinity

In the animation movie Horton Hears a Who! there is a world of living beings on a dust speck, which Horton carries on a clover and which he tries to frantically protect after having known that such a world exists.

The universe seems like an lot of space if we are alone. While we keep discussing on the possibility of similar beings like us (that means intelligent) elsewhere in the universe, we neglect the probability that the universe as a whole could be
one organism. ... Maybe even a component or cell of another! If could be true, many more such universes could be part of a more complex organism.

Changing from the telescope to the microscope and diving deeper into our own basic units, doesn't the picture of inner space have similar patterns as with the outer space? Electrons around the nucleus; atoms together forming galaxy like cluster; and it is an awful lot of space in there too, proportionately the nuclei is like a peanut in middle of a football stadium of electrons. There could probably be many earths in the many layers of worlds as we go deeper.

If the visualization of the above gives us the creeps it is because of our self-made importance. It is only arrogance that makes us shun this line of thought. We believe that we are the most significant ones, the chosen tribe, the caste that knows God by default, Lord of the Earth. We should be at the centre of the universe. In the Middle Ages,
Galileo was forced to recant and do penance for downgrading the importance of earth by taking it out of the center of the system!

Macrocosmically or microcosmically it is scary but intriguing to think that there may not be any end. There may be world within worlds within worlds within ... you get the picture. The word ‘salvation’ as per Eastern philosophies may mean nothing but allowing oneself to exit living on this earth and having the pass to enter the next ‘higher’ world.

The idea can also make one feel so insignificant, empty and meaningless.

A story from the Puranas (Courtesy
Shiva once intervened to settle a dispute between two of the triads of Hindu Gods: Brahma and Vishnu. He assumed the form of a flaming linga and asked them both to measure this gigantic phallic symbol of Shiva.

Brahma took the form of a swan and went upwards while Vishnu took the form of a boar and went into the earth towards nether land. Both searched for eternity (as per our timings) but neither could find the ends of the linga.

While on his journey upward, Brahma came across a Ketaki flower which was supposed to reside on Lord Shiva's head. Brahma exhausted with his search to find the uppermost limit of fiery column, he made Ketaki assent to lie that he had seen the top of the column. Brahma then asserted that he had indeed discovered the origin of the cosmic linga.

Shiva appeared and then explained to Brahma and Vishnu that He is both the alpha & the omega and that both of them were born out of him and that the three were then separated out into three different aspects of divinity.

But Shiva was angry with Brahma for making a false claim. Shiva cursed Brahma that no one would ever pray to him. (This legend explains why there is hardly any Brahma temple of significance in India.) Shiva also punished the Ketaki flower for testifying falsely and banned the flower from being used as an offering for any pooja (worship).


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