Where all it started-Science and Religion

monks in lotus position meditating

Kaustav Ghosh

Science is nothing but the finding of unity. As soon as science would reach perfect unity, it would stop from further progress, because it would reach the goal.

-Swami Vivekananda

Many pundits opined that last two to three decades are the era of sciences, some of them even believe that it was the era of sciences by beating religion all around. But still the question arises when science or religion asked to go to war against each other? The reality is some ignorant from the both end waged war against each other. The bitter truth is science and religion, both has been tool and instrument for destruction; destroying each other, destroying the environment, destroying the bio diversity, lastly destroying the humanity. The humans are so indulged in the division, in the destruction- they have never asked to themselves or anyone-

Where all it started? People? Science? Religion?

Have you asked it-to yourself or anyone elses?

I can made this article look like thesis, but I will not. People should know it, should talk about it regularly. So, the article should be simple, short, to the point. I will write my experience, my emotion and feelings without adding any complicated word. I will add the quotes of Swami Vivekananda here in this article frequently because as Swami Samarpanandaji, a monk at Ramkrishna Mission said Swami Vivekananda bridged the cartesian divide between science and religion. Swami Vivekananda led us by example that by being pure and unselfish is that whole of religion.

Now head back to the main topic- how all it started? where all it started? why human have religion and other do not?

Do you remember the first page of your science book? Ok, Giving you five minutes. Remember and tell me.

So you have remembered it, not you?

Let’s check then. Giving you hint; This word has two important letter-‘W’ and ‘H’. Yes you have find it- it is the question. It is in the why, how, what, who, where, when and what not.

First to find out how to survive from nature or from wild attack? Human not stop there quench of thirst for knowing? They now give its all to find out how their hunger can be sort out. So, they find out fire, they find out various weapons and its use, they find out the methods of harvesting corps.

Now they felt, they need to travel and move. But how? they invented cart driven by cow, they invented chariot. And when they felt to move faster, they invented car and goes on. When there was a disease who came in the sphere of our life questions our existence, we came up with new scientific and technological advancement. This question-answer play will continue, because only human ask questions, other animals do not(one day may come when will be able to understand what other animals, birds speak). This is why humans are different from other animals and this is why they are superior. If Newton stopped working on the question why that apple fell from the tree, we may not have the knowledge of gravitational force.

Now what is religion? If you let me define religion I will say Religion is a platform or media which brings spirituality within and brings the intent to question and find out the answer from within. This is my view, my observation, my feelings, my experience.

If you translate the word ‘Religion’ into bengali or hindi it will be ধর্ম, धर्म (Dhama or Dharam). Lord Krishna reminds us Dharma is nothing but our holy duty to fight against oppression, injustice and hatred.

If we see Swami Vivekananda’s journey- from Narendranath Dutta, a carefree youth, who believed in western philosophy, logic, scientific temperament to Swami Vivekananda, ‘The cyclonic monk from India’ we will find his spiritual journey started with questioning who is God, if there is any guru who can make him see the God. This led to his meeting with Ramakrishna Paramhansa, his guru who changed the life completely.

Once Swamiji while delivering a lecture in New York in 1896 said- “I shall try to bring before you the Hindu theory that religions do not come from without, but from within. It is my belief that religious thought is in man’s very constitution, so much so that it is impossible for him to give up religion until he can give up his mind and body, until he can give up thought and life. As long as a man thinks, this struggle must go on, and so long man must have some form of religion. Thus we see various forms of religion in the world. It is a bewildering study; but it is not, as many of us think, a vain speculation. Amidst this chaos there is harmony, throughout these discordant sounds there is a note of concord; and he who is prepared to listen to it will catch the tone.”1

Ramkrishna Paramhansa, his guru used to say that A person having hungry belly, will be unable to understand the beauty of understand.
I believe the same. Until or unless, the basic necessities of the people can be ensured, it will be impossible to expect the spirituality to bloom to its maximum capacity.

Swamiji while conversating with his disciple Sarat Chandra Chakraborty said what religion is-“Now understand what religion means. The first thing required is the worship of the Kurma (tortoise) Incarnation, and the belly-god is this Kurma, as it were. Until you pacify this, no one will welcome your words about religion. India is restless with the thought of how to face this spectre of hunger. The draining of the best resources of the country by the foreigners, the unrestricted exports of merchandise, and, above all, the abominable jealousy natural to slaves are eating into the vitals of India. First of all, you must remove this evil of hunger and starvation, this constant anxiety for bare existence, from those to whom you want to preach religion; otherwise, lectures and such things will be of no benefit.

Chakravarty asked once again “What should we do then to remove that evil ?” and “Is there then no way out for us?”

Swamiji replied-“First, some young men full of the spirit of renunciation are needed —those who will be ready to sacrifice their lives for others, instead of devoting themselves to their own happiness. With this object in view I shall establish a Math to train young Sannyâsins, who will go from door to door and make the people realise their pitiable condition by means of facts and reasoning, and instruct them in the ways and means for their welfare, and at the same time will explain to them as clearly as possible, in very simple and easy language, the higher truths of religion. The masses in our country are like the sleeping Leviathan. The education imparted by the present university system reaches one or two per cent of the masses only. And even those who get that do not succeed in their endeavours of doing any good to their country. But it is not their fault, poor fellows! As soon as they come out of their college, they find themselves fathers of several children! Somehow or other they manage to secure the position of a clerk, or at the most, a deputy magistrate. This is the finale of education! With the burden of a family on their backs, they find no time to do anything great or think anything high. They do not find means enough to fulfil their personal wants and interests; so what can be expected of them in the way of doing anything for others?2

Swamiji in his famous Chicago speech at the occasion of WORLD RELIGIOUS PARLIAMENT in 1893 said the story of two frogs-one belongs to well and other from sea. While telling the story he mentioned-

“I am a Hindu. I am sitting in my own little well and thinking that the whole world is my little well. The Christian sits in his little well and thinks the whole world is his well. The Mohammedan sits in his little well and thinks that is the whole world. I have to thank you of America for the great attempt you are making to break down the barriers of this little world of ours, and hope that, in the future, the Lord will help you to accomplish your purpose.3

Then why people quarrel and fight over religion vs science debate.

Mundaka Upanisad categorises knowledge into two: Intuitive knowledge about God (para vidya), and Practical knowledge of the world (apara vidya).
According to this, anything other than the intuitive knowledge about God (spirituality) belongs to apara vidya, i.e. sciences. Even the knowledge of the scriptures belongs to sciences only, since they talk about going to heavenly places, which are nothing but extensions of this world only. It implies that the true meaning and purpose of religion is to make a person divine, and everything else in religion is secondary.4

For me Religion is not the antonym of Science but co-related. It helps each other to realise the ultimate truth. Science is a special knowledge and religion which instills the spirituality is a science and beyond. Then what religion intends or deals with? It deals with thing which is unspeakable, unexplainable; which is neither can be understood by spoken or unspoken word nor can be the with the mind. It only can be realised deeply from our heart, from our soul, from within. Neither everything is expressable, nor everything needs any explanation. The only thing is the process of self purification on which religion helps you. Cleanliness is next to the Godliness- it is what we taught from our childhood.

To conclude this article let’s go back to the dawn of the civilisation. They say there is no God or religion but only human. Yes and no. It is the human who started the war, who started the dirty game of division over religion, race, caste, creed, color. It is the greed for power, it is the avarice for taking control of the society and state created this mayhem.

It is the impurity of a impure man to see impurity in others religion, belief, color, food, clothes etc. It is the only the impurity which polluted both religion and science, it is only the impurity which ensured the blending of politics and religion. Let’s pray for peace, let there be peace, peace and peace. I conclude this article by chanting this shloka from Ishaponishad-

ॐ पूर्णमदः पूर्णमिदं पूर्णात्पूर्णमुदच्यते ।पूर्णस्य पूर्णमादाय पूर्णमेवावशिष्यते ॥
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥

Completeness is that, completeness is this,
from completeness, completeness comes forth.
Completeness from completeness taken away,
completeness to completeness added,
completeness alone remains.
Om. Peace! Peace! Peace!”5







Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: