This is the transcript of a talk delivered, a few days ago, in the morning prayer
session of the Prasanthi Nilayam college by Mr. Hari Krishna, a student in the first
year of MBA (Finance).
We believe many things in this world. For example, the earth is round. Then what is
the catch? If I were to say that the light has a wave and particle nature, the
physicists would agree with me. If I were to say that man evolved from monkeys, the
biologists would agree with me. If I were to say that benzene has a cyclic aromatic
structure, the chemists would agree with me. All are standing good, what is the
The problem is that we agree with each other. The whole problem with human race is
conformity. There was a time just like now when the greatest of the scientists
believed that the earth was flat. There was a time when scientists including
Einstein believed that the light has got only a wave nature (later it was Einstein
himself who proved the wave and particle nature of light, thus explaining the
photoelectric effect and thereby winning the Nobel prize in physics). There was a
time when biologists thought that life generated from marshes. There was a time when
the chemists broke their heads to explain the structure of benzene and believed that
they never would. If all of them had agreed with themselves, then we would still
believe in those so called out dated knowledge.
It was then that somebody dared to think, to think beyond. People who did not accept
things for what they are. And they made a difference. The problem is that we do not
think. We accept anything told to us. Even though we use jargons like ?out of the
box thinking? and ?innovativeness?, the fact remains that we do not think. The
difference between daring to think and being innovative is simple. We know that
1+1=2. To dare to think is to say that 1+1=3 and then to prove it. To be innovative
is to say that 1+0.5+0.5=2. The same wine in a different bottle. As somebody said ?
?The true danger is not that computers will start thinking like men, but that men
will start thinking like computers?. In fact that?s exactly what we are doing.
When the whole world was clothed in darkness and men never knew the concept of
artificial light, somebody dared to think so. Today he has illuminated the whole
world with the invention called bulb. If Edison had not invented the bulb, it would
have made no difference to us because we were happy when it was dark and we are
happy when it is bright. When men never even thought that they could fly like birds,
two brothers dared to think about it. They invented the plane. If the concept of air
transport had not been invented, it would make no difference to us because we are
ready to confirm. It is only because they dared to think, they managed to make a
difference in the world.
Let me give you an example of the fact that we believe everything for granted. We
call ourselves students of science. Moreover, the majority of the scientists
ridicule the traditional practices such as poojas and yagnas (worship and
sacrifices) as superstition. The meaning of superstition is to believe in something
with blind faith; while meaning of scientific learning is to accept only if proved
by logic or if it can be measured quantitatively or qualitatively.
The scientists teach that an atom has protons, neutrons and electrons. Let me ask
you if anyone has actually seen an atom. The given theories are only the best
possible explanation to the existing observations. Since nobody on the face of the
earth has seen an atom, the very fact that we accept its structure is blind faith.
Is there a greater superstition? Even though we have disowned practices of yagnas,
the Germans were smart enough to take it up and study their effects. Unbelievably
they proved that yagnas are scientific - the results of which can be quantitatively
and qualitatively measured. Who is superstitious and who is scientific? Even though
we say that man evolved from monkeys, nobody has seen it and nobody therefore can
actually never prove it, therefore isn?t it a superstition? When we learn E=mc2 in
class it is a superstition since nobody has seen it. However, when Bhagavan creates
matter out of thin air in Mandir, it is science because we can see E=mc2. So we see
that whatever knowledge we have is based on blind faith, even then we call ourselves
scientific, why? It is only because we are told so. Since we are ready to accept
what ever is told to us, the matter is very simple.
There is an example about this blind faith that I found here at Prashanthi Nilayam.
Whenever I interacted with a new devotee around here, one of the more common
questions would be how you know that Sai Baba is God. And the most common answer
would be that their parents, grand parents and great grand parents were devotees of
Swami and from them they learnt that Sai Baba is God. Listening to this I used to be
stupefied. How can you accept the fact that somebody is God from the words of
another human being? That is, if one can accept that Swami is God because somebody
says, he will also accept the Swami is not God if somebody better trusted says. So
should we not accept Swami as God? The answer is, we should, but it should be as a
result of our conviction and not somebody else?s. Swami says that He is ready to be
tested. Test Him, Observe Him and then believe in Him. Then even if He comes and
tells you that He is not God, you will not accept.
Then how do we dare to think? To start with we should unlearn everything that we
learnt till now and start afresh. Think like the primary school boy who has not yet
joined the portals of an educational institution, because once he does, the fate is
sealed forever. If a child is taught that 1+1=2, he will never to think of an
alternative possibility that what if 1+1 not equals two. Ask simple questions like
why is the sky blue, why do we call the color of this shirt as white, why do all
things fall down. It may seem silly but as the story goes, it was when an apple fell
on Newton?s head that he asked why should an apple fall down and not up? From which
the Theory of Gravitation and later the whole of Newtonian Mechanics were derived.
Newton was not the first person who had anything falling on his head. Nevertheless,
he was first person who asked why? While all the others accepted the fact that an
apple always falls down.
The solutions to the complex things are so simple and the solutions to the simple
things in life are so complex. That is why all our proofs are very complex.
Therefore, we can never prove anything simple because we cannot think of complex
problems. Let me give you an example, till the 19th century all the scientists in
unison believed that the light has got only a wave nature. Then came the
photoelectric effect with a bang, shattering the foundations of scientific
knowledge. The photoelectric effect showed the particle nature of light also. So the
question was that how can a wave exhibit a particle nature. It was then that
Einstein explained it. In layman?s terms it is this. He said that if light exhibits
particle nature it is also a particle! That is it, the riddle was solved. It is not
in the complexity of the equations but the simplicity of thoughts that has to be
seen here. He said that it is not a wave exhibiting particle nature but a particle
itself. The scientists were so much caught up with the fact that light was a wave
that they couldn?t even think of a possibility that it could be anything else. This
is daring to think! There is a caution, though.
Do you think that if you go around disproving people?s faith, they will accept it?
The resistance to change is the natural brakes that nature has geared up with to
maintain the process of evolution at equilibrium. When Copernicus said that the
world was round, he was stoned to death. And there are many other examples to
follow. However, let me give you a contemporary example. This is about a boy called
Manjunath. He passed out from Indian Institute of Management (Lucknow) a few years
ago. After the course, though he got offers from abroad with fat salaries, he chose
to stay back and serve his motherland. He ended up working for the Indian Oil
Once there, he was shocked to find out the heights of corruption behind the screen.
There was a big mafia behind to sustain the corruption. And then he took a decision
that many of us who talk of ethics and morality would not have taken. He decided to
fight against corruption and the mafia. All the people cautioned him on the power of
the lobby behind the corruption. They threatened him. Yet he chose not to withdraw.
And what happened? He was shot dead by the mafia. The question is was it worth it?
He could not complete his mission. Was it worth loosing his life that way? The very
fact that in a far away remote corner of Andhra Pradesh in a place called
Puttaparthi, a person chose to speak about him during their foyer session itself
proves that fact that it was worth it.
You may not succeed, but you can at least try. It is better to live your own life,
even if no one accepts, rather than living somebody else?s, just because others
accept it. With this, I would like to conclude. If you accept what I have said, I
feel that I have made my point. If you do not accept what I have said, I feel that I
have made my point better. Jai Sai Ram.
Online Source: Sai Inspires (Sunday Special) - 17th
February 2008 from Prashanti Nilayam - Heart2Heart team