Is there a God ?

An atheist professor of philosophy speaks to his class on the problem science has with God, The Almighty.He asks one of his new students to stand and …..

Prof: So you believe in God?

Student: Absolutely, sir.

 Prof: Is God good?

Student: Sure. 

Prof: Is God all-powerful?

 Student: Yes. 

Prof: My brother died of cancer even though he prayed to God to heal him. 

Most of us would attempt to help others who are ill. But God didn’t. How is this God good then? Hmm?

 (Student is silent.)

 Prof: You can’t answer, can you? Let’s start again, young fellow. Is God good?

 Student: Yes.

 Prof: Is Satan good?

 Student: No.

 Prof: Where does Satan come from?

 Student: From…God…

 Prof: That’s right. Tell me son, is there evil in this world?

 Student: Yes.

 Prof: Evil is everywhere, isn’t it? And God did make everything.Correct?

 Student: Yes.

 Prof: So who created evil?

 Student does not answer.

 Prof: Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things exist in the world, don’t they?

Student: Yes, sir.

 Prof: So, who created them?

 Student has no answer.

 Prof: Science says you have 5 senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Tell me, son…Have you ever seen God?

 Student: No, sir.

 Prof: Tell us if you have ever heard your God?

 Student: No, sir.

 Prof: Have you ever felt your God, tasted your God, smelt your God? Have you ever had any sensory perception of God for that matter?

 Student: No, sir. I’m afraid I haven’t.

 Prof: Yet you still believe in Him?

 Student: Yes.

 Prof: According to empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your GOD doesn’t exist. What do you say to that, son?

 Student: Nothing. I only have my faith.

 Prof: Yes. Faith. And that is the problem science has.

 Student: Professor, is there such a thing as heat?

 Prof: Yes.

 Student: And is there such a thing as cold?

 Prof: Yes.

 Student: No sir. There isn’t.

 (The lecture theatre becomes very quiet with this turn of events.)

 Student: Sir, you can have lots of heat, even more heat, superheat, mega heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat. But we don’t have anything called cold. We can hit 458 degrees below zero which is no heat, but we can’t go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold. Cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.

 (There is pin-drop silence in the lecture theatre.)

 Student: What about darkness, Professor? Is there such a thing as darkness?

 Prof: Yes. What is night if there isn’t darkness?

 Student: You’re wrong again, sir. Darkness is the absence of something.

You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light….But if you have no light constantly, you have nothing and it’s called darkness, isn’t it? In reality, darkness isn’t. If it were you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn’t you?

 Prof: So what is the point you are making, young man?

 Student: Sir, my point is your philosophical premise is flawed.

 Prof: Flawed? Can you explain how?

 Student: Sir, you are working on the premise of duality. You argue there is life and then there is death, a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can’t even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life: just the absence of it. Now tell me, Professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?

 Prof: If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, yes, of course, I do.

 Student: Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?

 (The Professor shakes his head with a smile, beginning to realize where the argument is going.)

 Student: Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you not a scientist but a preacher?

(The class is in uproar.)

 Student: Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the Professor’s brain? (The class breaks out into laughter.)

 Student: Is there anyone here who has ever heard the Professor’s brain, felt it, touched or smelt it? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, sir. With all due respect,

Sir, how do we then trust your lectures, sir?

 (The room is silent. The professor stares at the student, his face unfathomable.)

 Prof: I guess you’ll have to take them on faith, son.

 Student: That is it sir… The link between man & god is FAITH. That is all that keeps things moving & alive.

 WANT TO KNOW WHO THAT STUDENT WAS ?

 This is a true story, and the student was none other than………

 Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, the Ex president of India

Going far means returning

I had always heard the words Yin and Yang knowing that they had something do with the Chinese philosophy and they represented the opposites.But today while reading the Tao of Physics I understood the meaning in depth and was overwhelmed by the profoundness of thought and its representation in our everyday life.The principle characterstic of the Tao is the cyclic nature of its ceaseless motion and change.”returning is the motion of Tao”says LaoTzu,and “Going far means returning”.

The idea is that all developments in nature,those in physical world as well as those of human situations,show cyclic patterns of coming and going,of expansion and contraction.It is deduced from the movement of sun and moon,change in seasons to be ultimately taken as a rule of life.Whenever a situation develops to its extreme ,it is bound to turn around and become its opposite.Thus it is better to have too little than to have too much,and better to leave things undone than to overdo them.Just as the man who travels farther in the east will end up in the west,those who accumulate more and more money will end up being poor – not necessarily in the same dimension.Modern industrial society which has continously aimed at improving the standard of life for all its members has finally ended up in leaving us all at the brink of an environmental disaster.

The idea of cyclic patterns in the motion of Tao( the energy flow)was given a definite structure by the introduction of polar opposites yin and yang.The original meaning of the words yin and yang was that of the shady and sunny side of a mountain.Thus :

That which lets now the dark,now the light appear is Tao.

In the realm of thought yin is the complex,female,intuitive mind,yang the clear and rational male intellect.Yin is the quite,contemplative stillness of a sage,yang the strong,creative action of the king.

Linking it with my personal experience I found the premise to be true in almost all that one experiences during a lifetime.There is joy and sorrow,success and failure,love and hate,agony and ecstasy,ignorance and knowledge,hope and despair…………Life and death.

And if you examine it carefully it is one that lets us appreciate the other.If there was no sorrow in failure we would not know the joy of success.If we did not go through the agony of hate we would not know the ecstasy of love.If we did not feel the despair of death we would not hope for a life well lived.

Madhushala

Apne yug mein sabko anupam gyaat hui apni haala,

Apne Yug mein sabko adbhut gyaat hua apna pyaala,

Phir bhi vridhon se jab poocha ek yehi uttar paya,

ab na rahe woh peenewale ab na rahi woh Madhushala.

Kitini Jaldi rang badalti hai apna chanchal haala,

Kitni Jaldi Ghisne Lagta haathon mein aakar pyaala,

Kitni Jaldi saki ka aakarshan ghatne lagta hai,

Praat nahin thi vaisi jaisi raat lagi thi madhushala.

Uss pyaale se pyaar mujhe jo dur hatheli se pyaala,

Uss haala ka chaav mujhe jo dur adhar mukh se haala,

Pyaar nahin pa jaane mein hai,Paane ke armanon mein,

Pa jaata tab haay na itni pyaari lagti madhushala.

Beautiful lines from one of my favourite poets Dr Bachchan.What I love about these lines is that they represent the true nature of our mindplay.We exist at multiple levels and the surprise is we ourselves do not know how many.This nature exibits itself very early when you are a child.As soon as you get the cycle it ceases to fire your imagination anymore.In fact you do not even wish to look at it after a couple of months.But sadly fail to recognise this fleeting aspect of our feelings……Kitni jaldi saki ka aakarshan ghatne lagta hai.When you are young you woo a girl and it feels like heaven when you are actually able to be freindly with her.But as the relation ship gets stronger and more intimate you recognize that your desire is diminishing by the minute.Blaming it on your wrong judgement you compromise and start living as if a stranger in your own home and start chasing another rainbow.If only I was the CEO of a MNC ……..If only I was the wealthiest and most influential man …..if only my children would love me…….If only I would die a peaceful death ! And then you ask yourself :

Praapya nahin hai to ho jaati lupt nahin phir kyun haala,

Praapya nahin hain to ho jaata lupt nahin phir kyun pyaala,

Dur na itni himmat haaroon Paas na itni Pa jaoon,

Vyarth mujhe daudati maru main mrig jal bankar madhushala.

To Listen to the recital of Madhushala By Amitabh Bachchan Pls copy and paste below link on your browser.Press enter :

http://www.esnips.com/doc/01a8dac9-0dce-42cd-b5bc-2c72586f4daa/madhushala

http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=cr7kLxTPjG0&feature=related

The White Tiger – bash India get Booker

the-whiteLast week I read the book.While I would give full marks to Mr Adiga for keeping me engaged while it lasted the words could did not have much meaning once the book was over.A measure of good writing  is that it must enrich you and become a part of you whether good or bad. It did neither….

It would have been to his merit if the author had chosen to present a more balanced view of our society and would have avoided to divide it on the basis of caste,religion,haves and have nots and finally the north vs the south(light and darkness as he calls it).Balram halwai fails to be the voice of millions of Indians who still prefer to work hard and lead a life of integrity than break out of the rooster coop by murdering their employers.

We always used to say that the cheap Indian authors who write stuff such as “Saajan ki Saheli” and “Khoon Bhari Maang” play to the gallery.Arvind too has played to the gallery but may be of a  different kind.The Goras would always want us divided and white Tiger provides the recipe .

No harm in reading it but no big gain either.I would say dip your beak at your own risk.

60 Greatest Indians..

An old april issue of April 2008 of Indians today was lying on  someone’s table in the office so I picked it up.It has stories of 60 greatest sons and daughters of India which have been written by people who are either their biographers or disciples or in some cases children and relatives.The contents are highly inspiring and with each story I felt as if my own life was not reaching its logical conclusion.There is so much to be done if one decides to leave the safety net and decides to test their limits,potential.

One thing which is of significance is the fact as I went through the life stories of each of these extraordinary men and women I realised that they were all conected to each other.Almost all great scientists were mentored or inspired by Sir CV Raman.In more recent times Prof Abdul Kalaam gives and example of true leadership of Prof Satish Dhawan who stood for the failures of his team when the missile dropped into the Bay of Bengal but let Kalaam do the press conference when the mission succeeded.Similiarly Sardar VallabhBhai Patel stepped out thrice to head the congress convention in the favour of Nehru and both of them continued to work together for the making of India despite ideological differences.And the there was Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore who coached every great indian of his time and advised them in troubled times.Mahatma Gandhi perhaps did more work in the form of his disciples like BabaAmte,C Rajgoaplachari,Dr Rajendra Parasad than he did by himself.Where has that mindset gone? Why have we become so emotionally and socially bankrupt? When we fought the British the best came out of us and when we are fighting ourselves the worst in us is coming to life.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee is perhaps the only Indian listed who has proven to be above caste,creed religion and politics.He has proved to be a leader with a vision for modern India which even his adversaries admire.I will leave you with one of my favorite lines from him :

हार नहीं मानूंगा, रार नयी ठानूंगा

क़ाल के कपाल पर लिखता मिटाता हूं ,ग़ीत नया गाता हूं…..

Haar nahin manoonga,Raar ( Zidd) nayee thaanoonga

Kaal ke Kapaal par Likhta Mitata hoon,Geet Naya Gaata Hoon…

What Budhha wanted to know

After seeing the four great ills Young Prince Gautum was perplexed,anxious and frustrated.I will refrain from saying afraid but I know that it is horryfying to realize that you crumble into nothingness after suffering all the while.He asked himself :

If all powerful and lets it so, then he is not good

and if he is not good then he is not God.

Being a deeply spiritual and religous individual it is perhaps the most stressfull Query I am faced with everytime there is a tragedy that leaves hundreds,thousands and sometimes lakhs suffering for no apparent folly.It can be explained by Karma but if  we look at it rationally it is impossible that all the fishermen,women and children who died in the tsunami comitted the same quantum of error to deserve a similiar fate.Such an act when committed by nature instills in us all the same emotions as one would feel when people are shot at or bombed in a terror episode but the subsequent feelings are quite different.While people thank their stars and God for saving them from a Tsunami they would never do the same if a terrorist let them be.An explanation that I have is quite simplistic – if a Human cannot give life he also does not have the right to take it.But then it is not quite simple when you say by the same logic that if God gives us life he can take it at the time and place of his choosing.Is it some sort of a cosmic sport ?

I really do not know what the answer is but each time I look at a new born I am convinced of the existence a loving power that smiles at me as if teasing me to scratch my head a little more and saying “keep looking,you will know”.

I promise myself that I will do exactly that.I will keep looking…..

Getting the right perspective

Yesterday My wife showed me a message from one of her “club” Freinds who happens to be the wife of a Colonel in the Indian Army.It read something like “while the country gave Rs 3 Cr to Abhinav Bindra it gave only 5 Lakhs to the soldiers who died during the Mumbai terror attacks”.

Coming from a Colonel’s wife it was Shocking !!It belittled the sacrifice of the men who had laid down their lives for others.To compare the remuneration and reward of a sporting event to life laid down in the line of duty is trivialising things beyond compare.It is this attitude towards what we are supposed to do and what we earn our livlihoods from that has led to the current state of affairs in our country.We must know that we are remunerated for what we contribute to the society and the value is determined by the fact that what you are doing what no one else could have done for a lesser amount.It applies to Abhinav Bindra,Indian Cricket team,Films Stars,Corporate Executives,Security personnel,Business men and even Maids who clean and cook.It is a simple law of ‘ Demand and Supply’.

I have the deepest regard for those who fight for the country and I believe that they do so because of a higher ideal in life not for the sake of just the money.It may be a myth but at least I would like to continue thinking that way.Else I will be forced to take an account of the productivity of the armed forces during peace time.