Being civilized

Being civilized

By George Merlo Pallath

What is the meaning of civilization? Is it just big cities, high rise buildings, glitzy cars and well dressed high flying people? Does it require exploitation of the natural resources and destruction of the environment to create civilisation?  To most people the present day western civilisation is the highest form of civilisation known to humans. The capitalistic world of money, wealth creation and materialistic achievements of the wealthiest countries and cities of the world are the prime examples of civilisation. In this world, humans are considered as the dominant species that has the license to exploit all the natural resources, plunder the forests and oceans, killing all other species for making money and creating wealth. It is the selfish world of the inward focussed humans who does not care about all the environmental degradation being caused all over the planet in his quest for more wealth and money. The prime driving force is the greed for money, power and prestige. We kill, plunder, rape and destroy whole nations in our unceasing quest for power, influence and wealth. The tribal outlook is quite apparent in all humans even after so many years of evolution. If you take individual human beings, they are basically no different from the cave men that existed some 90,000/- years ago on planet Earth. Inside each one of us we are still the same old humans with the tribal instincts, violence, selfishness and greed of those gentlemen of yesteryears. Anthropologists say that the humans were hunter gatherers for more than 6 Million years, and they stumbled into agriculture somewhere around 80,000 BC. After that the humans started their journey of modernisation very quickly. Just 120 years back the fastest means of travel for humans were on horseback. By the turn of the century, steam engine was discovered which quickly graduated into developing trains, cars and then aeroplanes. Along with all the developments taking place, humans used these new found technologies to kill, maim and destroy whole societies and regions of the world. Technology started to dictate the new rulers of the world. But the intrinsic character of humans never changed. Humans became more and more sophisticated in the manner of destroying and killing his opponents. From swords and spears, humans started using guns and rockets. The greed for power spawned two world wars killing millions of humans and destroying whole countries in the process. By the end of the second world war nuclear weapons were created and used for the first time. It destroyed whole cities along with their population. The meaning of the word “savage” obtained a whole new meaning. Now countries have enough nuclear weapons to destroy the whole world 6 times over. Still the basis character of the people is still very much the same. They still want to kill, maim, rape, destroy and exploit. The greed and lust of the humans know no bounds. Is this the civilization that we call modern. Apart from the fact that we have started to wear glitzy clothes and shoes, nothing has changed.

Being civilized is to be broadminded, loving and caring for our fellow beings both humans and animals, protecting the environment. Being civilized means being without anger, hatred, jealousy and being peace loving, tolerant and caring. Being civilized means being aware that we are all ONE. Being civilized means living in harmony with nature. A civilized society means an advanced humane society which cares for the entire world.

Civilization starts in our mind. There must be a transformation in the manner in the manner in which we think. As J Krishnamurthy says, we must unlearn our conditioning, all the layers of conditioning that we have all acquired must be shed and be like a new born baby with a fresh mind and a clear vision. During Vedic period, the people living in India achieved a high degree of awareness and enlightenment. They were civilized in the true meaning of the word. There were peace and harmony all around. Highly enlightened and aware individuals and the highest level of civilization was achieved in India which can be understood from the writings in the Vedas and Upanishads. The Indians were nonviolent,  peace loving people who respected the environment and lived in harmony with nature. Possibly the various invaders found this easy pickings and destroyed the culture and the civilization which existed here during those times.

Countless Hollywood movies have been made showing higher civilizations from outer space visiting our planet and saying that this planet and its inhabitants are still primitive, violent, selfish and exploitative. In these movies the visitors from outer space are always shown as highly developed civilized and technologically advanced species which is capable of unimaginable destructive force but always desisting from using their power on a helpless race and going back dejected hoping to come back after a millennium waiting patiently for us to become civilized.

In the new testament, Jesus is stated to be the son of God who took a human form to save the humans from sins and give the hope and deliverance. Even though Jesus is the son of God, capable of Godly powers, he desists from using those powers and dies meekly on the cross. The message conveyed is that even if he had all the powers of God at his disposal and could have easily destroyed all his detractors, he deliberately took it upon himself and suffered, to atone for all the sins committed by the humans and seek forgiveness form God almighty. It may only be a story. But the point is well taken. Being loving, caring and unselfish and being ready to sacrifice self for others. A civilized person is the one who has conquered all his animal instincts and being in control of his mind and thoughts. He is aware of self and the surroundings.

The basic message of all religious texts are to the effect that we should be loving, caring and being unselfish. But humans regardless of which religion or groupings that he unwittingly belongs to behave with the intrinsic tribal instinct that is deeply ingrained in their minds. They continue to be exploitative, selfish and greedy. Whatever the materialistic achievements that the humans have achieved were at huge loss to the environment and the whole ecology. This society cannot ever be seen as being civilized unless individuals become loving, caring and sharing with our brethren and nature. If the theory of evolution  has any meaning it is time for humans to evolve into a higher being who is self aware, non destructive, living in harmony and balance with nature. The next step in evolution for human beings must happen in our minds and not physically. It is said that we use only 1/10th of the power of our mind. It is time to understand and become aware of its infinite power.

A quote by Sadhguru sums it all ” The best thing that you can do for the world is to be a joyful and blissful human being. Go out there and be responsible to yourself . Bravely seek your joy , your bliss.” It is time for the next step in human evolution which must happen in our minds. It is high time for humans to cross the barriers of “physical being” into mental and spiritual beings.

 

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Tolerance vs Intolerance

Tolerance vs intolerance

By George Merlo Pallath

There is no doubt that India is the most tolerant nation in this world since the advent of human civilization. Likewise the Indians are the most tolerant people that have ever inhabited this world. The Hindu religion is the most broadminded inclusive religion ever followed. The Indian democracy and its constitution guarantees equality to all its citizens and ensures religious freedom like nowhere else in this world.

But the trouble starts when political parties and politicians start playing with and using religion and caste as a shortcut means to garner votes. When politics and religion is mixed it becomes an explosive mixture which can be easily ignited. Once ignited, it will spread like wild fire and consumes everything in its path.

When political parties use and exploit religious sentiments, intolerance starts. Regardless of whether it is Hindu, Muslim or Christian, all religious fundamentalists have ulterior motives ie to divide the people, create chasms within society. They use religious sentiments for their narrow political gains, to garner power and money. The ordinary people are the losers.

These narrow minded political parties and politicians who has no real religious dedication misuse religion for their selfish purposes.

Strictly speaking, as per the Indian constitution, the political parties must not be allowed to use or exploit religious sentiments as vote bank politics. All political parties and politicians who try to misuse religious sentiments must be derecognized and banned. A typical example is the shiv sena who used the “Marathi maan” as their vote bank. Now they are trying to get onto the hindutwa plank.  Likewise the muslim league and the Kerala Congress  ought to be banned for exploiting religious sentiments. All political parties must be strictly secular and must not be allowed to used religion for their narrow political purposes. Any political party which has a religious background or foundation must not be allowed to operate. Sadly our ruling party is controlled by the RSS which is a fundamentalist organization. Their brand of hindutwa has brought a bad name for Hinduism which is the most tolerant religion. Likewise the ISIS has sullied the image of muslims everywhere.

Intolerance is shown by these narrow minded politicians and political parties. Intolerance is practiced by the religious fundamentalists in these religious oriented political parties. Religious fundamentalists are there in every religion. The people must see through these masks and identify the real culprits instead of blaming the government or the country as intolerant. Just because some of these narrow minded, intolerant  religious zealots and politicians with selfish motives use religion as a tool to divide the people and society, we should not fall prey to them and start blaming the country or the government. Instead we must identify and isolate these trouble makers and refuse to give them an audience. They must not be allowed to exploit our religious sentiments. Religion is strictly personal and must not be allowed to be used as a political plank.

The courts must also step in and prohibit all political parties from using religion and caste as a tool for their political one-upmanship. Let us all come together and uphold the good will of this great nation as the most tolerant democracy with the maximum number of religious diversity in the world. Let us all live in peace and harmony. Live and let live.

India- Land of religions

All pervasive Religion

By George Merlo Pallath

In India religion is the biggest holy cow. From the moment we are born, we are labeled as Hindu, Muslim, Christian or whatever. This branding we must carry throughout our life. We are named based on our religion. We dress based on our religion. We eat food based on our religion. When we join a school, college, everything is based on this branding. At no point in our life we can escape from this branding. All are required to carry this branding or label as a cross. We are known and understood on the basis of this branding. It becomes a part of our personality, character and culture.

Religion is all pervasive and plays an important part of all Indians life. His emotions, beliefs, the way he sees other humans, our whole outlook on life are governed by religion. A major part of an average Indian’s life is spent for religious beliefs, rites and rituals. An average Indian relies on their beliefs in  various Gods to realize their dreams. To an average Indian, his beliefs are as real or more real than reality. For many it borders on the schizophrenic world of illusions and make believe. The various religious groups and sects use these techniques of collective hypnosis to increase their number of followers. It is an extension of the deep rooted tribal mentality inside each one of us. We tend to see ourselves as belonging to one tribe or other and this leads to tension, violence and confrontation. It is a case of associating one’s personal ego with the tribe. Ultimately this tribal mentality is the root cause of all intolerance in this world. More people have been killed, maimed, raped and tortured in the name of religion than all the other conflict and strife in this world. Even though religion and spirituality must go hand in hand, the reality is otherwise. All places of worship are now focused on business and materialism. Crores being spent on gold covering of deities, footsteps, flag posts.

These religious peddlers have an easy job. Convince their followers about the life after death, they may call it heaven or something else. This promise of a better life after death is the biggest motivation for the ordinary people to follow one religion or other. The religious peddlers can rest easy that none of these followers are going to come back and sue them for breach of promise or deficiency in service. It is the best business that anyone can do. Promise the heaven and people are willing to make astronomical donations and none will come back to complain about anything.

Justice V R Krishna Iyer the great humanist Judge

Justice. V R Krishna Iyer the great humanist judge

By Adv. George Merlo Pallath, President, The Ernakulam bar Association

 

 

We inherited the judicial system set up by the British for preserving their control over India and to keep us Indians subjugated. It was always meant to favour the ruling elite at the cost of the toiling masses. Then when we finally became independent we gave to our self the Constitution of India which was an amalgam of the constitutions of USA, Britain, Russia, France and Canada. The founding fathers including B R Ambedkar took note of the great disparities existing in our society which was caused by 400 years of British colonization and exploitation and before that the caste system of our forefathers.

The primary focus of the Constitution of India was to wipe away these inequalities and the disparities and make our society more justice oriented and creating equality amongst all. This is well defined in the constitution in Article 14 which states that all citizens are entitled to equal protection of law and equal rights. The single biggest development is that we gave to our self a constitution which gives wide powers to the Indian Judiciary unparalleled anywhere in the world.

It is in these circumstances that Justice V R Krishna Iyer was born and brought up. He has seen all the failings of the system and experienced the travails of the downtrodden right from his childhood days in the small village at Palghat. After becoming a lawyer, he started his practice at Thalassery. Malabar, became a trade union leader, was jailed, then was a sympathizer of the leftists who were sincere and stood up for the masses during the early period of the leftist movement.

Without doubt he was a brilliant lawyer who had a thorough understanding of the plight of the masses and the Indian society. He also had the rich experience as a young minister in the first leftist government of Kerala which took charge in the year 1957. As a young minister of Irrigation and power, he went from village to village to implement innumerable small and medium projects. He was instrumental in the passage of many path breaking bills during his tenure as minister. The most important being the Kerala Education Bill, Agrarian Relations Bill, Agricultural debt relief bill, Kerala Dowry Abolition Act, Land Reforms Act was formulated during the tenure of Smt. Gowri Amma, Justice. V.R Krishna Iyer played an important part in its  formulation. Even though many people refers to him as a leftist, it is safer and more correct to label him as a great humanist who understood the feelings of the masses.

When he was elevated as a judge of the High Court of Kerala, he obtained a real opportunity to do something about all this inequalities which existed and he started a new saga of making his judgments bring about social change in all spheres. He can truly be said to the foremost justice who used his tenure ship for bringing about social change and to dramatic effect.

Till his retirement, we were treated to a sumptuous feast of judgments which were all path breaking and created new inroads in the evolution of law and in the justice rendering system. These are just some of his path breaking judgments which brought about momentous changes in the whole judiciary and administrative set up of this country. In Maneka Gandhi vs Union of India, he wrote a separate judgment upholding the right to freedom of movement of a citizen. In C.B Muthamma vs Union of India AIR 1979 Sc 1868, he ruled against gender discrimination. He struck down a provision in the Indian Foreign Service which mandated that women IFS officers must resign on marriage. He was always against death sentence. He stated that death sentence must be ordered only in the rarest of rare case. It was V R Krishna Iyer who forged the concept of Public Interest Litigation (PIL) which has become the most potent weapon for the benefit of weaker sections of the community. He expanded the concept of state to include corporations and other instrumentalities of the state. As a minister of prisons, the practice of handcuffing of prisoners came to an end . It was followed by a judgment Sunil Batra vs Delhi administration AIR 1978 SC 1675 which brought untold relief to the prisoners all over India. In another decision of far reaching consequences which is  reported in AIR 1980 SC 1622 ( Ratlam Municipal Council vs Vardhichand , he ruled that financial inadequacies of a municipality would not absolve it of carrying out its public duties and abatement of public nuisances. This decision is significant in 4 aspects. (1) it enabled social justice by giving procedural justice. The people must have access to the courts to enforce public duties. (2) that public nuisances occasioned distributive justice. (3) Industries cannot profit at the expense of public health. This is an early precursor to the polluter pays principle now very commonly used by the courts to fine polluting industries. (4) the municipalities and corporations were obliged to comply with their public duties to abate public nuisance regardless of their financial health.

In short no other judge has contributed more to the jurisprudence of compassion than our great Justice Krishna Iyer. In Bangalore Water Supply case, wherein he observed that a worker oriented statute must receive a construction where conceptually, the keynote thought must be the worker and the community.

But the real feather in his cap came soon after his elevation as the Supreme Court Judge in July 1973 when an appeal filed by Indira Gandhi disqualifying her came before him. He did not flinch under the intense political pressure and refused to grant blanket stay to the then prime minister which was reported in AIR 1975 SC 2299. Even his most vehement critic Sr. Adv. H M Seervai who described it as the finest hour of the Supreme Court of India.

Even after 35 years, the judgment Moti Ram vs State of Madhya Pradesh by V.R Krishna Iyer on liberating stringent conditions while granting bail to an accused still reverberates in the courts rooms today.  He wrote more than 500 judgments within 8 years as a supreme court judge which is phenomenal in that all these judgments have had far reaching effect on all the aspects of jurisprudence, rendering justice to the poor and under privileged. Apart from all his judgments, he has written innumerable articles, essays and books which even now we find extraordinary. In 1998 he wrote an article heavily criticizing the VIP syndrome. In his words, the very concept of VIP is anathema to a socialist democracy like India. In 1998 he agreed with the suggestion of Manmohan Singh that the line of control may be turned into a line of peace. He castigated the state of Kerala calling it the most drunken state in India. In 2005 about the commercialization of education he wrote  “commercialization of the right to education may tend towards cadaverisation of the constitutional right to life in dignity. We have to salute his wisdom, vision and above all his love of people.

Normally after retirement, judges tend to fade into oblivion. But not Justice V R Krishna Iyer. He became the most vocal voice of the downtrodden and always had the knack to stay in the limelight. One may safely say that Justice V R Krishna Iyer became more potent and effective after his retirement and always remained an effective voice everybody listens. In fact future students of law will have to study the law as it existed before V R Krishna Iyer and after his lifetime just like AD & BC.

I can only compare him to a great river of justice and compassion which flowed without interruption till his death on 4th of December 2014. In his death India has lost one of its finest sons. He may be called the most complete judge India has ever seen who lived ahead of his time. I can only lament that we have lost a great humanist judge who gave importance to human life and dignity by adopting compassion and humanly approach in his judgments and all his actions. Justice V R Krishna Iyer was called the living legend. He will remain a legend in eternity. Pranaam.

Dated this the 9th day of December 2014.

Religious foolishness of humans

Religious foolishness of humans

By George Merlo Pallath

 

A man is born into bondage- the birth determines his religion, his nationality, race, caste and ethnicity. He had no choice of his own. He will be conditioned and brain washed into adhering to all these manmade boundaries and divisions. Otherwise, he will be hounded by his own people, branded a traitor, and considered an outcast. As the famous world teacher J Krishnamurthi observed Truth is a path less land. Man cannot reach it through any organization, religion, dogma, ritual, philosophy, or technique.

We are all second hand people. Even our outlook, understanding of the world around us is determined and shaped by the environment in which we live. Our background and relationships and experiences shape our thoughts and the way we react to situations. Our understanding is what we perceive. It need not be true or correct. We are influenced by so many factors. We are all conditioned people, conditioned to believe in a certain God, religion, certain “ism’s”, nationality, caste, ethnicity and so on. A person born in a Hindu family will be conditioned to believe in Hinduism, likewise a person born in Christianity will be conditioned to believe in the teachings of Christ and so on. There are no really free people on Earth. People are burdened by so many prejudices and past experiences that nobody can be said to have a free clear vision.  We know only what we have learnt through the screen of our prejudices, our conditioning as a Hindu, a Christian, or a communist. We carry around the dead weight of all our past experiences, acquired knowledge and conditioning. Because of this dead weight we are unable to perceive the reality as it is. We only get a perverted vision and understanding.

Moreover all these vested interests like established religions, governments, political parties, sects, ism’s  exploit, use individual people and their brainwashed prejudices for their own purposes. Individuals have no freedom. They are all exploited by one group or other. Individuals indulge in violence in the name of religion, God, nationality, political beliefs, ethnicity, caste etc. They use violence because they are all misguided by their beliefs. To live in conformity is gratifying, it assures security to the disciple, and gives power to the disciple as well as the teacher. Through conformity, there is the strengthening of authority, secular or religious, and conformity makes for dullness. Once they are free individuals, without any conditioning, there cannot be any violence. It is so easy to misguide the people. To use their prejudices and conditioning to exploit them and in the process they lose their peace, their lives.  More people have been killed in violence unleashed by strong religious groups in the name of God than all other types of natural disasters. As long as “Man” is psychologically or physically used, whether in the name of “GOD” or of the State, there will be a society based on violence. Using “man” for a purpose is a trick employed by the politician and the priest.  Man does not hesitate to even exploit “God”. That word is to be made use of, to be exploited for their petty material gains. If the means is imitation, the end must be a copy. If the mind is shaped in the beginning, it must also be conditioned at the end. Let us realize that  “LOVE” is the only creative and constant revolution. We are all individual pearls in different shapes, sizes and texture and hues. As individuals we must shine. The world cannot be transformed till the individuals are transformed. Only a happy man can bring about a new social order. A person who is identified with one ideology or belief cannot be happy. Since he believes in an idealism that cannot be attained. Which is not real. Only when the mind is free from its projections, can there be happiness. If we are able to shed the dead weight of our past experiences, acquired knowledge and perceive and understand the reality as it is without any distortions then we will be happy. Let us become first hand people, let us be our own masters instead of following someone else’s teachings or preaching. All the manmade fences of religion, politics etc must be pulled down.

Is tomorrow better than today

Religious leaders exhort people to follow their path so that they will be assured of a better existence after death. Politicians exhort people to follow their ideologies for a better tomorrow. Revolutionaries say they are ready to kill or be killed for a better tomorrow. From the beginning of humans, we all know that we have been led or misled by different breeds of these so-called leaders. It seems we are all more interested about tomorrow than today. For the promise of a better tomorrow, we are ready to sacrifice our today. Nobody wants to live their present. We are ready to waste our today, this moment in the hope of getting a better tomorrow. We use up a good chunk of our lifetime in conducting so many religious rites, customs, penance’s for a better tomorrow. We sacrifice our today in the fond hope for an ever-elusive state of happiness tomorrow. Many people work their heart out to make money, then when they have money their search for happiness does not end, but only begins. They find that money by itself does not give happiness. Then they get into spirituality or what ever else, which catches their fancy. But I doubt whether anybody has really found happiness. Happiness remains an elusive mirage for the vast majority.

Religious foolishness of mankind:-

Man is inherently insecure. He is afraid of loneliness, death, of not being loved, of not becoming famous, not being physically secure, of the future, of not making enough money, losing at exams, losing our positions, becoming old or sickly etc. There is a lot he is frightened of. Moreover the so called religious leaders frighten him further about life after death, heaven and hell, karma and its results and so on. The list is endless. To overcome his fears, Man has created many ism’s, religions, Gods, Nations, groups etc. Nations have spent billions in the name of security for providing defenses of all kinds of weapons of mass destruction. But still the feeling of insecurity has only increased. Not decreased. All these man made groups and religions and ism’s have created divisions amongst mankind and it has created further insecurity. Acquiring money has become all-important nowadays only because people feel that more money will make them secure, it will give them more power and they will be able to gratify their desires. But more money will inevitably make them feel more insecure. They will then start feeling frightened of losing it. They will feel that without money what will they do? How will they live? Man is not afraid of the unknown. He is afraid of losing the known. It is the fear of losing the known, your pleasures, your attachments, possessions, that makes you most frightened. But man requires security. Security is all-important to humans. To get this feeling of security, man has run round in circles for so many centuries. Primitive man used to be terrified of thunder and lightening, of wild animals. History is replete of primitives feeding humans to dragons so that the rest of them may live in peace. They created a God out of their feeling of insecurity. With more intellectual awakening, the concept of God also became refined. Man created different Gods as suited to their requirements in different civilizations. The ancient Egyptians had their “Ra”, the Hindus have their ‘Rama”, the Greeks had so many Gods. With the advent of persons like Buddha and Christ, the concept became very well refined. But the basic principle has not changed much. Even now we go to places of worship for getting a feeling of security. We are conditioned into believing in one God or another. We are also conditioned into doing certain rituals. We are conditioned into believing in God and evil. Heaven and hell. Whether you want to be on the side of God or devil. We have no choice.  So when we do it as we are taught, we have a feeling of well being. If we do not do it we have a  guilty conscience. Christians have been taught to go to Church on Sundays or else they are sure to go to hell after their death. A child is taught to pray before sleeping so that the Gods will protect the child from evil spirits. It is a conditioning. To conform is gratifying, it assures security and power to disciple. Through conformity, there is the strengthening of authority, secular or religious, and conformity makes for dullness, which they call peace. In fact the human mind is very vulnerable. It requires such props and mental games for it to be healthy. So religions fulfill something psychological in Man. The concept of “GOD” is a requirement for man. So man invented or created different “Gods” as per his requirements. The Different “Gods” are mere mirror images of man’s own mind. Once a God is created, religion forms around it automatically. Once religion is formed we have the priestly class. Then it becomes the vested interest of the priestly class to preserve, protect and propagate the religion. Once mankind gets divided along so many different Gods, religions, belief’s the vested groups encourage conflict between them so that they can survive. All the conditioned second hand people are used to promote this useless and wasteful conflict.. Each person is identified by his religious belief’s, the individual loses his individuality. Individuals forget that all are individual humans just like themselves. One is a Muslim, the other is a Christian, another is a Hindu and so on. There is really no Muslim human being or Hindu human being. There is only one human being. The rest are all man made.

Followers of Christ’s message are called Christians. But in reality how many Christians really follows the message of Christ. The real followers of Christ do not differ from the real followers of Krishna or Buddha. They must be good righteous people who serve mankind and promotes love and peace. All religions preach that we are all part of the whole. We should love everyone. We should not hate even our enemies’ etc. But now we find that we are being conditioned into hating other religions, other communities, other people. A policy of intolerance has been promoted deliberately by vested interests with ulterior motives. We relish in cultivating inequality.

There are no founders for any religion. Each religion follow the message of some divine persons {enlightened persons} They were all men of peace, Messengers of love. These messengers of peace, love and understanding never founded any religion. They never wanted to convert any body into any particular religion. They never promoted any religion. Buddha never promoted Buddhism. Christ never promoted Christianity. Even Sree Narayana Guru never wanted his followers to be known as a separate caste. They only wanted the people to do good, to love each other and live in peace. But it is always the followers with materialistic aims and ambitions who start to propagate their Guru’s message and create a new religion. Religion becomes propaganda, Religion is essentially based on acceptance of a theory. The followers instead of absorbing the teachings and message create a new God, out of their Guru. They become a new cult with its own rites and customs. We are being used both psychologically and physically by the priests, politicians for their narrow gains.

All the religions that we know came into being with the intention of refining Man. Taking out the animal instincts out of Man and make him evolve into something Godly. But it is a sad fact that more humans have been killed in the name of religion than all the natural calamities put together. People have exploited religion to attain power, prove superiority, promote hatred. The world will be a much better place without any of these religions. It is a debatable question whether religions have achieved their stated objectives, whether they have succeeded in refining Man. After some time, religions lose their focus and instead of serving mankind it grows into some gargantuan monster which starts to exploit man for its own objectives.

It is high time that people of all religions open their eyes and understand that the inherent message of all religions are one and the same. Whatever the religion, it is the individual man who should be refined of his greed, desire, hatred, jealousy etc. But we see people indulging in all sorts of mischief in the name of religion. A true seeker of God has no religious boundaries. Religions exist for the goodness of mankind. Mankind does not exist to propagate one religion or another. There is no good religion or bad religion. All religions are good. It is when it is misinterpreted by some for their selfish interests, it becomes misplaced. Once the individuals become realized, the whole world will become haven of peace, friendship and harmony. The moment I realize that I am the world and the world is me, them I am not a Christian, nor a Hindu, or a Buddhist. I am a human being like everyone else.

There is no necessity for us to be bounded by any particular religion, race or caste. Rise above these narrows confines and free yourselves. All are created equal. All are reflections of God. It is the acquired dirt that will determine the brilliance of the reflection. Remove the dirt, break the shackles, be free, realize yourselves and become part of GOD. Realize that LOVE is the only creative and constant revolution.

 

Our cosmos and the Vedic Philosophy

Our Cosmos and the Vedic philosophy

By Adv. George Merlo Pallath.

 

What is the meaning of life? Why do we exist as humans? Where are we in relation to the cosmos? What is the difference between the rest of matter and life? These are questions that any intelligent person must have asked at some point in his life. But to get meaningful, foolproof and acceptable answers to these questions are very difficult. In a way it is like the ants seeking answers about the human civilization. It is beyond the comprehension of mere humans.

But we humans are so egoistic that we cannot accept the fact that we are close to nothing when compared to the cosmos. Just imagine the fact that our galaxy is just one among the billions of galaxies existing in this vast and unfathomable universe.  In the universe, our galaxy is a mere dot. In this single galaxy there are billions of stars equal to our sun. Our sun is a mere dot among the billions of stars in our galaxy called the “Milky Way”. Light is considered to be the fastest to reach one point from another point in space. For light to reach our nearest star, it takes light years. Our planet is as small as a pinhead next to a football compared to the sun. As far as we know life in its barest form exist on this planet alone in our planetary system. Whether there is life on other similar planets in other planetary systems is a debatable point. Not answered till date. Since with our primitive science, what we can see of the universe is a mere speck of the entire system. Whatever happens to the human race or to earth for that matter will not make any body sit up and take notice in the universe. In the universe, stars are born and destroyed every second. Whole galaxies are being devoured into black holes and born again.

Against this backdrop we must analyze our position in relation to the universe. Are we important? Are we of any consequence? Is there any difference between the humans and the lowly bacteria.  Does anybody care about what happens to us humans? Nobody cared about the extinction of the dinosaurs. Our maximum imagination is inconsequential in the vast expanse of the Universe. We are made of the elements and we will return to the elements. For a short time some elements are combined together in a special manner to give rise to a specific existence separate and distinct from the surroundings for a specified time. Likewise the bacteria or any other life form also exists. Apart from the special form of bonding amongst the individual atoms and molecules, there will be no existence in this highly individualized style.

What makes us tick? What holds these atoms together? What form of energy is it?

Is it not the same energy that is holding us together, that is holding the planetary system together? The galaxies together? This energy is known by various names. Some call it magnetism, Others call it gravitation. Yet others call it cosmic energy. Only the names are different. Whatever it may be it is the single common factor in molecules, living beings, elements, stars and the cosmos. You visualize a situation where this energy is withdrawn, every thing will come apart, separates, collapses. Universes collapse, our body collapses, molecules collapse. Is it this energy that we call life. Or is life energy another form of energy that has not yet been identified.

Every one knows that energy cannot be created nor destroyed. It can only be converted from one form to another or from matter to energy or viceversa.  As far as the universe is concerned, there is no time. Time exists only for us mortals. We are born in one form and that form dies after the prescribed time. But for the universe there is no time. There is no beginning or end. It goes on and on. Stars die and new stars are born every second. Galaxies are created and destroyed every second. Black holes consume whole galaxies. Constant recycling is taking place. Recycling of energy, matter, space and time.

Our Sun is a middle-aged star. Some more millions of years, it will die. Then our earth will also cease to exist. Millions of years is a small period in the history of this timeless universe.  According to the latest theory this particular universe started some 12 billion years back. Before that there was nothing. Then suddenly out of nowhere, a small atomic sized universe of unimaginable density was formed within a fraction of a second after the creation and then it exploded into a cataclysmic cloud of heat and dust. Matter and anti matter was formed. It continued to expand and cool to form the present universe. This universe is continuously expanding as found by Hubble, a space scientist. Now we have evidence that the universe is expanding at a much faster pace than previously believed. In fact it is expanding at about a billion miles all around every second. Galaxies are moving apart at great speed. In the distant future, the universe will expand into nothingness. Maybe after another billion years there will be another big bang and a repeat of every thing.

According to the theory of universe in the Vedas, there is no beginning or end. It will be created and destroyed again and again. It will go on continuously forever cyclically. As per the ancient Hindu Vedas, universes are created and destroyed on a daily basis. The force that makes it all happen is called “Ishwara”. The whole universe and the matter and the energy came into existence by the thought of “Ishwara” or the Cosmic Consciousness. Every thing is part of the whole. All the objects in the universe is affected by all other objects whether big or small. Every thing is part of the whole.

This same idea is gaining ground among the greatest astro physicists. We are composed of the same material that is found in stars, meteorites, and cosmos. All this material came from one source, the thought of Iswara. At first there was an atomic sized universe. This atomic sized universe started with the big bang and is continuously expanding at breakneck speed. If it continues to expand at this rate, at some point in the future, the universe will disappear into nothingness. This is the theory that stands now.

When a man falls from the top of a building to the ground, he dies, not because his atoms and molecules collide with the atoms and molecules of the earth, but because his electrically charged force field collides with the electrically charged force shield of the earth. If this force field is withdrawn he will go right through without getting hurt in any manner.

It is well settled that light is the only constant in the universe. In the Bible, God Said “ Let there be light”. Every thing came from light. In all experiences of man who had conversed with God, it is described as a blinding light or flame.

As per the descriptions in the Vedas, a yogi who has merged his consciousness with the cosmic essence perceives this light. He finds no difference between the light rays composing water and the light rays composing land. Free from matter consciousness, free from the three dimensions of space and the fourth dimension of time, a master sees through the delusions concerning matter and its gravitational weight. He sees the universe as an essentially undifferentiated mass of light. Just like when we see the movies, different images fleets across the screen. But essentially it is all light. According to the Vedas, creation, what we perceive as reality around us is only one vast motion picture. It is not the reality. Reality lies beyond it. Our scientists spend a lot of time to understand this perceived reality that is but Maya. However much we perceive it, it is of no avail. The reality is something else and lies beyond it. This whole universe is but a thought projection of the Supreme Reality { Cosmic Consciousness} or God whatever we may choose to call it. Mass is noting but individual atoms clustered together. Held tightly by the gravitational force exerted by the individual atoms. Positive and negative.  Like the law of Newton “ “ To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”. This whole universe is existing on this one principle of equal and opposite forces. If there are no opposite force, it will all fall apart. All the laws of physical science works within this parameter of equal and opposite forces.  The humanity must surmount this law of duality and try to perceive the unity of the creator. Those who cling to the cosmic illusion of duality must accept its essential law of polarity, day and night, pleasure and pain, good and evil, birth and death. To tear this veil of Maya is to pierce the secret of creation.  The yogi who thus denudes the universe is the only true monotheist. All others are worshipping heathen images.  In the end man must learn that there is no material universe. Their warp and woofs are mere illusion. Maya.  One by  one all the reassuring props of physical cosmos {The established laws of physics} shall crash beneath him. No purpose will be served by one spot of light on the cinema screen investigating and thinking about another spot on the screen. The truth lies elsewhere.

Another way we can think about it is to consider all that is known to humanity as the known and whatever is not knowable as the unknown. We can think any thing, we can imagine any thing, we can study anything , but all this will come within the known. About the unknown we cannot think imagine or study. It is the unknown. It will not be known. It is beyond our comprehension, imagination and thought. Matter and antimatter, Known and the unknown, positive and negative. The more we study it the more complex it becomes. Its study will only make us feel more and more frustrated. I hope one day every thing will be revealed to us or atleast to some individuals.

Rebirth, resurrection and recycling

REBIRTH, RESURRECTION AND RECYCLING

By

George Merlo Pallath

 

Humans want to be immortal. Every body wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die. Given a choice, we would all like to live forever. Right from the beginning of human civilization, different civilizations have tried their level best to cheat death. The great pyramids of Egypt and of the Mayan Civilization were all the result of this Herculean effort by these civilizations chasing immortality. All the major religions promise their followers that there is life after death. Christians believe in resurrection, Hindus in rebirth, Muslims believe in Heaven etc. This is the ultimate promise to mankind. To give a hope that there is no death. Almost 99% of the humans want to believe in it. But the age old concept of rebirth and resurrection are getting outdated. It is high time that we find a plausible explanation for our feeling of being always here.  In fact it is proven that there is a strong reason for our feeling of being here always.

Our bodies are a mere combination of all the elements and energy that we have accumulated through our life. When a child grows, it is absorbing nutrients from nature.  In other words, we are continuously borrowing from nature. But like all borrowings, it is to be paid back. Once we die, all these individual constituents get separated and go back to nature. Just like the water that we drain out into the canals reach the rivers and lakes which then become one with the ocean. Then the very same water molecules get evaporated to form rain bearing clouds that come back to the land as monsoon rains. The water remains as such. It takes various forms and becomes part of our bodies, the trees, worms, waste etc. Then the whole cycle is repeated. The water in our body becomes part of the ground water or the water vapor in the atmosphere.

When the energy level ebbs to its lowest level, life cannot be sustained any longer, the individual cannot survive as a separate entity any longer and the individual comes to an end. If at all there is any thing that resembles the concept of soul, it is only a form of energy that becomes part of the universal soul {energy}. All these constituent matter and energy that once existed together in symbiosis as a being becomes loose and separate. They go their own ways and all of them will become parts of  nature till it again gets trapped in the body of another being. The Newton’s theory that Energy cannot be created or destroyed is once again proved. It always exists in one form or other. It keeps on changing form. It can exist as energy or matter. Electricity can become Light energy, sound energy, magnetism etc. gravity becomes converted into electricity in hydro electric plants. The energy in sun light gets trapped by plants. The energy is always there in one form or another. Even the sun has a birth and death.

Matter is constituted of molecules, which are a combination of atoms. These atoms are constituted of electrons, protons, neutrons etc. These electrons, protons and neutrons are made up of positrons, neutrinos, quarks etc. The scientists call the particles forming gravity that is a weak form of energy “Gravitons”. Then there are ultra violet, infra, gamma rays etc. are also bundles of energy { photons} in different forms. There is no end to it. These sub atomic particles are also made up of Energy that is no different from the sub atomic particles that make up matter. The force of gravity, electromagnetism, strong energy, weak energy, dark matter etc are all the same. In fact the sub atomic particles in light energy, sound energy, magnetism, are no different than the subatomic particles in the atoms of iron, gold, potassium, sodium, uranium, water. Even the organic matter which make up our living bodies are constituted of these very same particles. Different combinations and bondings give rise to different properties.

According to one theory, our body is a colony of billions of bacteria living together symbiotically like a beehive. It is the most complex and highly evolved colony that has decided to live together for the better survival and adaptation with the surrounding environment. It took billions of years of evolution for this marvel of symbiosis to come together and live as an individual. It is scientifically accepted that if there are 10 Trillion human cells in our body, there are more than 100 trillions of bacteria in a human body living in harmony with our cells as a single colony.

The living beings are made up of cells, which are nothing but a combination of complex molecules made up of complex atomic groupings and bonding. These atoms and the sub atomic particles, which they are made up of, is no different than the sub atomic particles found in light energy, or matter or a star. In short there is basically no difference between the human beings and the wind or the sun and the soil or the light and the water.  The entire universe is made up of the very same matter or energy. Now the physicists are propagating a new theory called the “String theory” or “M” theory according to which the entire universe is connected through strings of energy. The entire universe is one big web of energy. They also postulate that there are parallel universes existing side by side together. We know of only three dimensions. Now it is widely believed that there are 11 dimensions or parallel universes and may be more.  We cannot see it , touch it or perceive it.  But scientists postulate that these parallel universes and dimensions exist. So all the possibilities exist or coexist in different universes at the same time. That is the only way they have been able to explain the dark matter and dark energy or the weakness of the gravitational force etc.  Now scientists say that 96 % of the universe is composed of Dark energy & dark matter. Since the total energy of the universe is considered to be zero.

We are all part of the whole. The difference is only our perception. Our concept of separateness is just a Maya as the Hindus believe. The idea of being an individual which is separate and distinct from its surrounding is as superficial as a wave that arises from the sea. The wave rises from the sea for a short time exists as a separate entity and then it falls back to become one with the sea. But always it is part and parcel of the sea.

So the GOD concept takes in a whole new meaning. At present our vocabulary is very limited. All the languages of the humans are not good enough to explain this concept. God is not separate and distinct from the rest of the universe or the individuals, as we perceive. GOD is not a separate super being who controls every thing and resides in heaven. This whole universe is part and parcel of GOD or should we refer to it as “Universal Consciousness”. We the perceived individuals are also part and parcel of this consciousness. The concept of GOD  is the whole energy of the whole universe and beyond. It is the whole and we are also part of the whole. Hindus refer to this as ATMA and PARAMATMA. So long as we do not understand it we will perceive ourselves as individuals and continue to fight for our separateness, our sense of “I”. So long as we try to create and built upon the “I” we are just wasting the energy. The individual “I” never gets reborn or resurrected. The individual has no immortality. But its constituent parts at an atomic level is immortal. It gets recycled. We, the bundle of energy and mater gets recycled billions of times. Our constituent parts might have existed as part of sun, light, magnetism, gravity, waste, trees, viruses, bacteria, fish etc. The recycling process goes on and on.

Whether we are buried, or cremated or fed to animals, it does not matter. As an individual we will come to an end. It is inevitable. But we the bundle of different kinds of energy will always exist. This collection of energy referred to temporarily as an individual cannot ever be destroyed. There was no beginning and there is no end. We (energy) will be continuously recycled and we will keep on existing. Energy cannot be created or destroyed. It will only keep on changing form and take on different avatars.