Sunday, December 12, 2010

Laws of nature

Do you really need to know law of gravity?

I mean - is it necessary to know details of law of gravity? Whether you know the details of law of gravity, you will soon come to know by trial and error that things fall down to the ground and if you jump from the height, you will go down. Without understanding all the details behind the law of gravity, you will at least become sensible enough  not to jump off from a tall building.

There are still millions of people who live comfortably without knowing law of gravity. They are able to manage their lives just fine. OK, none of them work for NASA and can not even  imagine about rockets and what all science and engineering you need to know about launching rockets, putting satellites in orbit, concept of escape velocity (i.e. velocity needed to escape from the gravity) etc.

Whether anyone knows about the law of gravity or for that matter any law of nature, those laws continue to operate. The key difference between the people who know and people who do not know is -  the people who know can put their knowledge to good use - Similar to scientists and engineers who started off with basics and then proceeded to learn advanced techniques. By learning about the laws of nature, they came to know how to use their knowledge to advance  human race. Same with medicine, science, technology etc. What we discover year after year has existed for millions of years, it is just now that we are beginning to understand and put to good use. For example, cure of cancer is there. We just have not found it.

So, if we become clear about this analogy. Nature, laws of nature, learning them and how to use that knowledge to better ourselves, there arises an interesting question on 'other' laws of nature. I say 'other' because they do not fit into conventional science framework. For example, LAW of KARMA. It's very simple - AS YOU SOW, SO SHALL YOU REAP. What's complex in it? Everyone can understand the concept. But, when you say law, karma and say it's one of the most fundamental laws of nature, people begin to object. They want to know how you prove it. There is no easy way. This is because these laws of nature like law of karma are beyond our mind and intellect to understand. They are understood only by our soul which drives other instruments like mind and intellect. You can use a pair of tongs to grab something lying on the ground. But, can you use the same pair of tongs to grab the hand that is holding it? You can not understand using mind and intellect 'that something' which is in fact the driving force behind mind and intellect.

Anyway, why is it important to understand spiritual laws as we understand scientific laws like law of gravity? For the exact same reason. To harness that knowledge to better ourselves. If we can put our understanding of law of gravity to launch satellites to know more about outer space in the universe, we can use the knowledge of spiritual laws to know more about our inner space. If  understanding the laws of nature helps our external (material) evolution, understanding of spiritual laws of the same nature helps our inner evolution which is equally if not more important than evolution on the material plane.

People who do not know even advanced arithmetic seem to be convinced about law of relativity (both special and general) when someone who does not even understand basics of physics quotes late professor Einstein and describes the greatness of the scientist and his contribution. Same people argue mindlessly with you if you bring up spiritual laws. You can quote all great spiritual figures from Ramakrishna Paramahansa to Swami Vivekanda, it makes no sense to them. Moreover since spiritual laws can only be understood on a different dimension altogether, you just can not explain to them at all. Woody Allen put it best in his inimitable wit- People talk about understanding the universe when they can not even find their way out of China town.

In fact, this need to understand spiritual laws using inadequate tools like mind and intellect went so far that, a great sage called Kapila chose to explain it using what he called 'Sankhya philosppohpy'. In fact, he did a great job. If you really want to try understanding immutable laws of spirituality using your tiny brain, you can try understanding it using 'Sankhya'. If you do succeed understanding 'Sankhya', it will not be because of your intellect but due to divine grace which provided you that knowledge in the background. 'Sankhya' got so complex that joke is - if you need Sankhya, you will not understand it. If you understand it, you did not need it in the first place.

Only way to understand spiritual laws is to observe and go deep inside yourself. As you use teachers, books, notes, study guides, various studying techniques to learn about the physical laws, you learn about spiritual laws in the similar fashion. You first generate interest in them. Then you bring an open mind and insatiable curiosity about spirituality. Then you read extensively from people who have been validated as spiritual masters. Some may appeal to you and some may not. It's like you know you may like books on physics by one author and not by another author. As long as they are able to teach you physics, it does not matter. Same with spiritual  knowledge as well. Just learn. Then you have to get into the lab and put your knowledge into practice. The main experimental technique is - meditation. The main purpose is to slow the mind and make it observe and not merely see. Slow mind is healthy and still mind is divine. Fast mind is SICK. As your mind starts slowing down, it is able to see more clearly and experience some of the complex truths. Then you will start learning about laws of spirituality. There is one great thing about this knowledge. As little nuggets of spiritual wisdom start becoming obvious to you, your personality changes for better. If you were very impatient, you will start becoming patient. If you could not get along with people, you will start getting along better. These changes vary from person to person. But, rest assured they will be for the better. They can not be anything else. By learning spiritual laws, you are filling in the gaps. Gaps are different in different people. So, don't be concerned if your personality changes for better.

Bottom line is -  if you agree or disagree, learn or not learn, spiritual laws of nature are immutable and they are there and will be there. If we choose, we can learn them, put that knowledge to good use and take our own evolution in our hands and expedite it. If we choose not, no problems. There are still cannibalistic tribes in Papua New Guinea who continue to exist for several thousands of years. Let alone law of gravity, they do not even know how to grow their own food. What do you want to be like?


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