Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Relativity of Wrong

Two and two makes four. Have we ever contradicted that? Or questioned that? What if two and two makes some thing else, a car? Odd? Rightly so. These are something which we have been told and we follow it with out questioning it in any way,as there is some logic associated with it. Issac Asimov in his book, The Relativity of Wrong questions this logic of ours. Introduced to his writing by my cousin, who researches on renewal energy in the US, I took to his works immediately. A self confessed Physics afficianado, the book was nothing short of a revelation. Physics is some thing which I can very easily relate to. This comes from my belief that everything in life is centered around physics and marketing/sales. Another loose end? Well, let me tie them together.Physics and its principles are present in every single activity we do. Right from brushing our teeth to walking, from lying down to eating, every single action is governed by laws of physics. Now why do we do all this? Brush, groom ourselves etc?? We need to sell ourselves every single day. The planning is what I call marketing. You may argue, biology, chemistry and maths all play their part in our lives. But still, the blood that flows is in a liquid state. The mitochondria in our cells, have a defnitive shape. The number of chapatis we eat is still a shape. The our very soul is encased in an entity called our body, which is again a shape. All these things are fundamentals of physics. So in essence physics rules the world.. or the science behind physics runs the world.

Is physics God then?

Relate to my first question. We have not questioned His presence. And people who do so are shunned from society. I dont say there is no God. To a beLIEver, religion/God is the faith he has in a particular set of rules that guides his path to enlightment. My belief is my strong relation to Physics. Doesn't this branch of science help us in understanding the arrangement of the planets in our solar system? The same Ragu and kethu etc that we follow, is explained by physics in a different name. Temples are supposed to be the residence of the God Almighty. It is believed that the altar is the concentration of the ominous powers. I dont contradict that either. Infact, the design of the tall towers and spires of temples have been constructed in such a way that the energy concentrates through it and is maximized in the sanctum sanctorum. If you take the hymns and mantras that are revered, you can immediately see that even these mantras hold the five forces viz, Water, land, sky, fire and wind to be the most important thing in world. Rudram, Namakam, Chamakam, Sree Suktham and Purusuktham are one of our most important hymns which I was introduced at a very very young age. When I set about finding the meaning of these hymns, I learnt that even these hymns sang praise of these five forces.

Sandhyavandanam is one of the customary rituals that has to be performed by every brahmin who has undergone Upanayanam. This is a ritual that is meant to wash away our daily sins. I love doing the Sandhyavanadanam as they have a logical flow to it. Starting from the Achamanam, where we take 3 sips of water to the way we finish it, there seems to be a reason for doing it. We utter mantras throughout the 20-25 minute ritual while being seated, doing breathing exercise and also standing up. Even the achamanams have been so placed that after a prolonged spell of chanting mantras, these drops of water really help in
quenching the parched throat. Also, the 10 Pranayamas in the ritual help in breathing. The "namaskarams" we do at last also help in stretching our body. Finally, all the mantra that we utter help in exercising our facial muscle and gives a chiseled look to person who religiously practices Sandyavandanam. Its another fact that I have stopped doing it because of sheer laziness.

Now, my family is orthrodox in every sense. And so its no surprise that my family is aghast when I say that I am not a complete believer. They consider that being blasphemous. And when I said that I am stopping my visit to the temples, they almost gave up on me. I tried explaining that I cannot view God in the form that we worship, an idol etc, they strongly believe that I am a gone case. If God is omnipresent, then what is the need of visiting temples? Moreover, I am a strong believer in the five natural forces, which I am able to relate to. I don't see what is wrong in this. If there can be a reason that I am able to relate to, then I will be more than happy to visit temples. Another major factor is the way temples are fucntioning these days. Its more of a commercial center than a place of worship.

If my questioning the age old traditional practices, visiting the temples have rankled seniors and the learned, is it not their duty to explain things to me and set me on the right path? I prefer a logical explanation to each of our practices, which I can follow without an iota of doubt. But unfortunately, people find it wrong and stop short of even having a discussion with me on the topic. All I asked was this: Why should we go to temple to worship? Why should we idolize? What is the meaning or logic behind each of our rituals?

I'd be more than happy to understand this and follow my religion in full earnest. Until such time, I prefer staying agnostic.

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