Incredible Scientific Insights In Gurbani - Part 2
Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
This is a question that may never have an answer. This question however seems to relate to Gurbani's view that we are a microcosm of the macrocosm.
We are a small part of the larger whole and yet we are no different from the larger whole. Together we all contribute to the understanding of the larger whole - just like a minute drop in the ocean is equally important in understanding the entity called 'ocean'.
In our earlier missive, we covered five incredible scientific references made in Gurbani. In this part, we will explore another set of scientific and astronomical references that the Gurus made to furnish us with more knowledge about the description of who the Creator and creation are.
The Gurus, by employing scientific and astronomical references, make a point for the oneness of the Creator and the unity, diversity, and vastness of creation.
The Creator Manifests through Creation
qUM pyfu swK qyrI PUlI]
O Creator! You are like a Tree, and creation is like your branches, which have blossomed from you, the Tree. - GGS: 102
What a beautiful illustration of the Creator and creation! Are they one or two different entities? What relationship do they have with one another?
Gurbani enlightens us through the example of a tree. In this verse, the tree and its branches metaphorically express the Creator and the creation and reiterate to us that each species and each life cycle has blossomed from the One Root.
Another example is of the ocean and the bubbles on its surface. Are they two different things, or one and the same? Yet another example is of a rosary - the thread, the beads and the knots - are these all different or one? These are all same, only their names are different.
This is how the world was created. Only the Subtle or Unseen reveals itself in the form of the Manifest or Seen. Hence, we, the creatures, are inseparable part of the Creator.
It's only our mind's delusion that makes us think that the Divine and we are two different entities. The same can be said of humanity in general. We are united as one human race, though we have diverse looks, origins, etc.
There is no other than the ONE. Embrace this Oneness and be in spiritual harmony, internally and externally all the time.
The divine reveals itself in the physical world. - Albert Einstein
keI jnm Bey kIt pqMgw] keI jnm gj mIn kurMgw]
O man! For many lifetimes, you were an insect, and for many lifetimes, an elephant, a fish and a deer, etc. - GGS: 176
The verse here makes references to the history of human evolution from apes to modern humans. Since Gurbani is addressing human beings, it reminds us that it took many millions of years for us to evolve into better thinking beings.
It took less than an hour to make the atoms, a few hundred million years to make the stars and planets,
but five billion years to make man! -George Gamow, physicist and cosmologist, 1904-1968
Thus, now is the time to meet the Divine or realize the ultimate aim of life to become good human beings and help transform the world into a garden of peace. We should make full use of this precious opportunity of human life. It's through right guidance, right company and diligent effort that we can make our life fruitful for ourselves and others.
The Universe is Infinite and Beyond Measure
pwqwlw pwqwl lK Awgwsw Awgws]
There are hundreds of thousands of nether worlds and hundreds of thousands of skies. - GGS: 5
In ancient times, some people believed there were three worlds (earth, heaven and a nether region or hell), while others assumed there were fourteen - seven upwards (aakaash) and seven downwards (paataal). Yet others believed a different number.
However, Guru Nanak Sahib, being supremely wise and humble as he was, did not claim to know the exact number of worlds - a task he knew was practically impossible! Instead, he knew for sure that the Creator's glory is endless. Thus he says that the universe is infinite and beyond measure.
There are billions of stars and their revolving planets and moons. Our sun is but one of the billions of stars of our galaxy - the Milky Way. There are countless solar systems just like ours.
Only the Creator of the universe would know the real number. This view of infiniteness is also held true by current available scientific information.
Has the Universe Existed Before?
keI bwr psirE pwswr] sdw sdw ieku eykMkwr]
The Creator has expanded (and contracted) this creation a myriad of times; only He, the One Absolute, exists forever and ever (is beyond change). - GGS: 276
When did creation or the universe start? Was there creation before, or is this the first time that we are here? Or has the universe existed before? These are big questions before the science fraternity today.
With our current understanding we believe we are the only ones who wield power or the only ones who have ever been around in this universe.
However, the verse above indicates that the Creator and the created universe or universes have been around many times before we ever came. Gurbani reveals thus.
Nothing is Born and Nothing Dies
nh ikCu jnmY nh ikCu mrY] Awpn cilqu Awp hI krY]
Nothing is born and nothing dies, the Creator Himself is playing His wondrous play. - GGS: 281
The law of conservation of energy states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed: it can only be transformed from one state to another.
We are all one single force and we contribute to the power and to the growth of this force. Like the Creator, this force has always been there and will always be there infinitely. It is only through our delusion of labelling ourselves as a separate and small 'I' within the ocean of the Creator's Supreme 'I' that we think we are different.
Gurbani explains that there is only One Creator of whom we are all part and parcel of. Nothing exists beyond the Creator and creation. There is no other.
Thus Gurbani believes in the adage:
nw ko bYrI nhI ibgwnw sgl sMig hm kau bin AweI]
No one is my enemy, and no one is a stranger to me; I get along with everyone. - GGS: 1299
Do Science and Religion follow different paths? Can they mix?
Gurbani seems to encompass all branches of knowledge including science and philosophy. This proves that if we steer away from dogma and mere rituals, both religion and science can be complementary tools in our thirst to enhance our understanding of the makings of the universe, and better still, to discover the hand of the Divine behind the vastness, mystery of the universe and its bountiful creations.
According to Gurbani, a spirit of oneness runs through the veins of all humans and other beings alike. In fact, the colorful diversity of the universe and countless solar systems and most particularly, the beautifully crafted planets of our solar system and earth's awe-inspiring creatures that have evolved for millennia - all point to one thing: That there is a Divine Force behind every creature, being or matter, big or small, dull or colorful.
Even in the harshest of environments there are creatures. Even in the deepest of oceans reside living beings that thrive.
Isn't it all a showcase of the infinite, supreme reach of the Creator's power that such creatures, which may never have been seen by us, are also tended, loved and cared for by a Compassionate Presence that looks equally on all?
sglI bxq bxweI Awpy] Awpy kry krwey Qwpy] ieksu qy hoieE Anµqw nwnk eyksu mwih smwey jIau]
Nanak! From the One, it has manifested into countless, and ultimately everything merges into the One. - GGS: 131
The article has been extracted from one of AWAT issues "Scientific and Astronomical References".
Those who wish to receive the gems of Gurbani from AWAT can subscribe here: http://awordathought.com/
Compiled and edited by
Dr Jaswant Singh