TODAY we are reading more and more about the search going on to find extra terrestrial life. The prospect is a bit scary. After ET and Aliens series, while all are eagerly waiting to reach out to new forms of life, in or outside the Universe, nobody wants them, aliens, shown in those films to come alive around us, and we, having to fight for our lives and existence. We do not know what new viruses they are bringing along even if they are so friendly!
Spirit and Opportunity, great Rovers, successfully landing on either side of Mars and giving feedbacks till date, renewed our profound interest in the space programmes and we are all anxiously waiting for more news about water in some form to be found on the planet. To this date the prospect appears to be grim, though scientists come out with conflicting suggestions. For example, the shades formed by water flowing on Mars could also be from molten lava from the volcanoes rather than pure water, as suggested by them.
Phoenix, another Rover, though found ice like crystals which evaporated in days, is yet to start any major experiment due to the faulty instruments. Whether successful or not, it doesn't matter as we have more in the pipeline.
They are all exploring a space thought to be most suitable for life 49 million miles away. Exploring life at -81 degrees F, where gravity is 0.375 times less than that of earth and supposedly atmosphere full of carbon dioxide!
Indians are also thinking of connecting to the Moon by next year with own Chandrayan Mission. There is a prospect that countries could co-operate and take us to Mars in the very near future. The search goes on with Cassiny and Horizon and many more to come. Equally interesting is the prospect of finding and mining for minerals across planets, building colonies in safe places and dumping radio active waste in locations far away. This may not happen in my time or your time, but of late the acceleration of innovation and change is so fast that we should not be surprised, if we find ourselves on a pleasure flight through Valles Marineris.
It will be interesting to think why we can't find any life out there so far. I am not asking you to speculate. I am also watching for news and I hope we will be able to connect to them in the near future so we can learn more about who we are and where we came from. (Just imagine the pleasure of pinging Mr. Alien P Mars on Gather!)
All the religions in the world tried to explain the same in one form or another and found solace in the concept of the Supernatural Being with variations including models made on creatures similar to what we found on earth during the time the theories developed.
The Hindu religion, while just proposing 330 million Gods, also suggested the three nature's viz., Gods, Demons and Men with varying characteristics. It, while suggesting trinity of Brahma the creator, Vishnu the protector and Maheswar, the destiny, also proposed that there is only one Cosmic Body (Narayana) to which everything reaches out in the end depending upon how the form perceives this Body. For example, all demons hate Vishnu and thus reach him fighting and loosing. Satvikas or good men worship him and reach him attaining salvation. All depends on your perception. This religion appreciates objective rationalism as well as pure simple worship. I mean if you believe that there is no God, or only one God or worship the simplest form of a stone as God, it is all the same. The fact is that our rationalists lack objectivity and end up as mere criticisers. The criticising rationalists or other hate preachers unfortunately fall into the same perception of the demons when they fume and fret against simple worshippers!
Let us think about why life is still eluding the researchers outside the earth. To understand this we should know how life is formed. According to Hindu philosophy, Life is formed through the intense wish of the spirit to join the body. It needs yes, an opportunity. Ramayana [It is just the Story of Rama, the warrior, through which reader is taught the basics of good living. By reading Ramayana, all are enlightened. Its suggestions of good spiritual living and innate goodness in every being (how frail we all are) make us free from the arrogance and prejudices of the maddening world. Equivalent of the Bible or the Koran are the Vedas or Upanishads, which requires expertise to learn and interpret] says the spirit always love to join the body. Do we know of any spirit outside the earth and opportunity for it to join the body? That things are happening in the universe is proof that there is a spirit of action. But what may be lacking is a circumstance for the body to exist out there and then forming of an opportunity for the union.
May be it is our (mankind) mission to make the spaces in the universe susceptible to existence of the body and then creating opportunities for the spirit to join the body. First we can do, second is difficult as even today our knowledge about the spirit is limited. Man's never ending ‘aspiration' and his supreme zest is all that is necessary for achieving and uniting the two.
Sampathi and Jatayu were brothers, two great birds. They took pride in their abilities. One day they went out testing how far up they can fly. Going up and up so fast, Sampathi and Jatayu got their wings burned. Sampathi was the eldest. He tried to help his brother taking him on the backside. Both dropped to earth and lost each other. Jatayu was saved, but Sampathi lost his wings. Sampathi fell unconscious in the Vindhya Hills. After three days, when came back to normal, he saw that he had lost his wings. In an unknown place, afraid of enemies, exhausted, hungry and almost lost his mind, he wandered through the forest. Luckily, he reached a cottage where the great hermit ‘Nisakara' was living.
‘Nisakara' the great Sage protects Sampathi upon knowing his sad story and counsels him on how life is formed. He proposes that body is the cause of all misery and body happens as a result of action. Pride or arrogance is acting because it identifies itself with the body rather than the spirit and forgets that the body is perishable or is momentary. According to him, the spirit purged of its worth returns to the earth along with snow and end up absorbed by the plants and trees and thus finally gets the form of the sperm and joins in the blood and eggs in the womb to create the offspring. (Spermatozoa swarms around the egg and one of them enters the egg cell, called the union)
In five nights, it could form the shape of bubble and in another five days to form the core and muscles. In about half a month, blood is formed and in three months time, joints are formed. Four months, it takes for fingers and toes. Five months it takes for nose, nails, eyes, ears, teeth and internals. In about six month's time, a body is complete. Genitals etc are developed in seven months and hair on the head is formed in eight months. By ninth month, it starts moving and is growing by the feeding through the umbilical cord. Life which always wants to express union with the cosmic body comes out at the right moment and misery starts.
Well, if so why all the misery? It again brings us back to the intense wish of the spirit to join the body. It is also the wish to achieve union to the Cosmic Body. Flesh on the earth is the way for the spirit to join the Cosmic Body. It does so by worshiping the cosmic body or rejecting the body and loosing. Until the spirit achieves this purpose it cannot rest. Just note that it does not matter who you worship. You are on your own way helping the spirit to join the Body. So beware of the hate speakers, they just want to take you to the Body through another route, ‘destruction'. While many take pride in the body and are delving in illusions, good men worship (positive) and is disillusioned and thus attains salvation. Rama asks Thara, who is grief stricken for the death of her husband- Bali, "Is your husband the body or the spirit?"
Hindus worship cows. Scientists however say that they cause global warming through their burps which releases methane. Surely cows are not doing this intentionally! But something rings here. Cows in the world are certainly not enough in population to affect global warming. However science cannot be wrong either. So they have such an influence over life that even they can destroy the world. Cows give not only milk, but dung which is used for manure, gas and even medicine. Rot is not with the cows but in the balance of nature which was destroyed by us to quench our greed. Oil reserves and natural gas will be depleted. A crumbling land mass could create tsunamis and it will be years when the land is retrieved. By then nature would have created more oil reserves and natural gas beneath! For life to sustain and develop, it has to have the circumstances whether on earth or elsewhere.
In Ramayana, everything good and bad has a purpose. What is necessary to bring life back, when all else is lost? It says, the medicines found on Himalayas are (Kailas Hills) Visalya karani, Sandhana karani, Suvarna karani and Mritha Sanjeevani. We do not know what they are though we know where Kailas Hills are. May be they are there. May be they are lost through the ages. They might be of help to future astronauts surviving on other planets in the Universe.
TODAY everybody speaks about sustainable development. Will we achieve finding and sustaining good forms of life elsewhere as we are fast eliminating it down here?