Welcome. And congratulations. I am delighted that you
could make it. Getting here wasn’t easy, I know. In fact, I suspect it was a
little tougher than you realize.
To begin with, for you to be here now trillions of
drifting atoms had somehow to assemble in an intricate and curiously obliging
manner to create you. It’s an arrangement so specialized and particular that it
has never been tried before and will exist only this once. For the next many
years ( we hope) these tiny particles will uncomplainingly engage in all the
billions of deft, co-operative efforts necessary to keep you intact and let
you experience the supremely agreeable but generally under appreciated state
known as existence.
Why atoms take this trouble is a bit of a puzzle. Being
you is not a gratifying experience at the atomic level. For all their devoted
attention, your atoms don’t actually care about you – indeed, don’t even know
that you are there. They are mindless particles, after all,
and not even themselves alive. (It is a slightly arresting notion that if you
were to pick yourself apart with tweezers, one atom at a time, you would
produce a mound of fine atomic dust, none of which had ever been alive but all
of which had been you.) yet somehow for the period of your existence they will
answer to a single rigid impulse: to keep you you.
The bad news is that atoms are fickle and their time
of devotion is fleeting – fleeting indeed.
Even a long
human life adds up to only about 650,000 hours. And when that modest milestone
flashes into view, or at some other point thereabouts, for reason unknown your
atoms will close you down, then silently disassemble and go off to be other
things. And that’s it for you.
Still, you may rejoice that it happens at all.
Generally speaking in the universe it doesn’t, so far as we can tell. This is
decidedly odd because the atoms that so liberally and congenially flock
together, to form living things on Earth are exactly the same atoms that
decline to do it elsewhere. Whatever else it may be, at the level of chemistry
life is fantastically mundane: carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen, a little
of calcium, a dash of sulphur, a light dusting of other very ordinary elements
– nothing you wouldn’t find in any ordinary pharmacy – and that’s all you need.
The only thing special about the atoms that make you is that they make YOU.
That is, of course, the MIRACLE OF LIFE.
This is from the book
" A short history of Nearly everything" by Bill Bryson - ' a
travelogue of science, with a witty, engaging, and well-informed guide who
loves his patch and is desperate to share its delight with us'
The temple towers, majestic, towering, colourful, depicting vivid images of Gods and godesses, of Devas, Asuras, of mythology, of people, of yali, of designs and patterns are beautiful and depict our culture. Temple towers like that of Meenakshi Amman temple in Madurai, the Brahadheeswara temple in Tanjavur, the Srirangam temple can be seen from many miles away. They evoke a deep sense of the Grandeur, of timelessness, of immanence, of infinity. They make one wonder about the deep sense of devotion of the people and Rajas of yore, of the nature and purpose of life, of God and Godliness and of the mystery of creation itself. They bring about a sense of humility, of quietness, of serenity. They also hold a deeply significant vedantic meaning : Imagine if the images were to come alive and think that they were supporting the tower, how foolish would that be? Colourful and panoramic as they may be, even if they depict the Gods and Godesses, they are supported by the tower. So too the infinite universe is played upon the consciousness which is SAT-CHIT-ANANDAM, the Being-Consciousness-Bliss. While watching the ever unfolding drama called Life focus should be on the SELF or Consciousness or I or GOD. In Yoga Vashista, Vashistar tells Rama to ever be aware of the SELF and go out and play like a Hero in the world.