Tuesday, 25 October 2011

God, fate and destiny - A proof?

Swami Gulagulaananda said:
"One cannot prove nor disprove fate and destiny - They are, thus, equivalent to God, or a parallel maybe. Everything can be God, everything can be fate or destiny..."

Fate and destiny are very interesting concepts. When someone asks - Do you believe in the existence of God, the answers are one of the three. Absolutely yes, absolutely no, or maybe maybe not, I am not sure (Believers, Atheist or Agnostic). The reason for this is the lack of any absolute proof. One can give a long list of things that can't be explained, and one can give explanations with a thousand loopholes that are easy to find.

A simple example was a brilliant show that I watched the other day which had Stephen Hawking explaining about the universe and how it all began. The show was very interesting, and Professor Hawking himself begins by saying that he doesn't want to offend anyone in the process - quite a way to begin, considering there are many who feel only their opinions are right. Proceeding, Hawking goes on to explain about the Black Hole, how it is infinitely dense and that even light cannot pass. But that's not the interesting part. The interesting part is one where he says that time stops in the black hole. If a clock was put in, assuming it could withstand the great pressure, the clock would slow as it approached the black hole and eventually stop. And thus, similarly, according to the big bang theory, everything was in one very dense mass - and there was no time before that. And at an instant, there was a huge explosion at which point, both time began as well as the universe. Since there is no time before that, there can't be a God to create it, he says.

While the explanation is very interesting and though it takes care of a lot of points, I failed to understand some things, which I think Hawking would probably know and can answer, but well, I couldn't figure it out with my basic understanding - Take for example that ultimate mass which was there at the beginning of time. Where was it? When we say a pen on the table, we understand there is a table, on which there is a pen. Similarly table is in the room, room in a house and so on where you ultimately stop at space. Space, we know is constantly growing. The galaxies are known to move farther from one another. Ok, to move somewhere, there should be something. If space is expanding, what is it expanding into? What is beyond it? Or is it expanding into itself? If so, what exactly does that mean? Where was the first ultimate condensed mass? I understand there was no space nor time before it, but then, where was it? I find it exceedingly hard to comprehend these things - I have done no research, of course, but just for a random thought process, I cannot logically come up with anything worthwhile as of now. It is, however, very simple to attribute this to God. God created it - done! :)

Then, what's God? Where does God stay? Actually, in the Hindu philosophy, there are some very interesting points on these, I think studying this would be quite interesting. What I read the other day goes to say that in the beginning, there was the universe and there was Vishnu in the centre resting in the coils of his serpent, the serpent Shesha, known as Adi Shesha. The coils of the snake are known to be infinite, and in the book, it says that the snake always represents time in the Hindu philosophy, because the snake is very motile, just like time. The eternal snake is therefore infinite time. This says that time and space were always there. Vishnu is apparently the consciousness. Before he did get conscious, he is asleep and in the Ananta Shayana (eternal sleep) state when he is known as Narayana. And then there are various explanations beyond which I don't remember clearly. These, I say from my memory which is fairly ok. If you know some mistakes made by me, do let me know.

The beauty of the above paragraphs is that one cannot solidly prove or disprove God. Similarly, what is fate? Whatever has to happen, will happen. This is fate. Can we control fate and destiny? Some people say - All these things about fate and destiny is sheer nonsense. Our future is in our hands. We cannot sit and mope about fate. For, when you put in effort, things will take course. However, assume there was a brilliant boy who worked really hard to become a great doctor. And one day while walking he was mowed down by a drunken lorry driver. Who is to blame? Rational people say lorry driver, some may say bad luck. Some will say - Fate. It was his fate that he was in that place at the inauspicious moment. And if he had survived, people will say Fate - If only he was on the left by a few more inches, he would have died! It was all thanks to his stars. He was destined to serve a lot of people, etc. Either case, it is fate. And no matter what he did, it is fate. For, if he failed, he was destined to fail, and if he succeeded, he was destined to succeed and hard work did it. There are many times that you work exceedingly hard and yet, you don't succeed. And some, by luck (or fathers' contacts) succeed. Did hard work help in succeeding? So, is the solution father's contacts? Therefore, fate, luck and destiny. They are like skeleton keys, just like God. Use it on anything, it will fit and you can't disprove it.

Some may even say fruits of the previous birth determine your destiny and fate here and now. Some may feel fruits of this birth are received in this birth. Some may not believe in fruits at all, but may believe in what goes around comes around (a special case of Karma restricted to the current birth) and so on. However, the bottom line being that one can never prove or disprove the existence of God, or fate, destiny and providence. It is up to you to have faith in God, or to go on a quest to understand God in an intelligent manner, to understand what makes the world tick. But with fate and destiny, my suggestion would be to work hard, and leave the rest to fate. As I always say "Prepare for the worst, hope for the best"

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