THE PHENOMENON OF EXTINCTION :
Alpha Orionis, or Betelgeuse is the largest and brightest Star visible to the naked eye near the Constellation of Orion. This mammoth star is slowly evaporating. This massive star is shedding weight and is near end of its life. This red Supergiant star is about 640 light years distant. If this star is now placed at the center of our Solar system, its plume would extend past the orbit of planet Jupiter. Sun towards the end of its life would also evaporate and its expanding plume would totally wipeout all living entities on planet Earth. When we speak about human existence, we need to understand man as a biological species. Like all other living creatures of this planet Earth, man is a mortal being. Whosoever had arrived on this planet, must also depart. Extinction is not merely a past geological event. The reign of Dinosaurs upon Earth ended 65 million years ago and it is marked as Cretaceous-Tertiary Extinction Event or K-T Event. Apart from Cosmic Radiation, and Massive Collision events involving asteroids, comets, or other heavenly bodies, there are biological factors involved in the phenomenon of Extinction. Man’s existence depends upon an orderly functioning of the universe. The existence of the Individual(microcosm) is linked to the existence of Cosmos(macrocosm).
IS MAN BORN FREE ?
In Sanskrit literature, the word ‘DAIVAM’ describes ‘FATE’. It conveys the sense of belief in God as the ‘PRIME CAUSE’. If God is in control, man is not free to act as he pleases even in his own defense. We may not be able to conduct experiments and scientifically establish the fact that God is in control. What we clearly understand is that the man cannot govern or rule the cells that constitute his body and define his physical existence. Man is not an independent living entity. Man’s dependence upon external sources of energy, and the biological phenomenon of ‘cellular autonomy’ would not permit man to act as he pleases. Man is not in control of his existence. Man’s capacity to defend his own existence is limited and he continuously faces challenges to his existence from several different directions. If man is truly free, the Universe, the World, and the Society can place no constraints on him. Man is tied down, he is born in shackles without Freedom.
THE FUNDAMENTAL FORCES :
The orderly functioning of the universe demands the synchronization of the Fundamental Forces that operate the Universal Order. If there is no ‘ORDER’, the resulting ‘CHAOS’ , or extreme disorder would destroy all living entities. In Physical Science, the Four Fundamental Forces that operate in Nature are described; 1. The Strong Nuclear Force, 2. The Weak Nuclear Force, 3. The Electromagnetic Force, and 4. The Gravitational Force. While these Forces operate all reactions with matter in Nature, we need a Creative Force or Creative Energy to bring into existence each individual living entity which enables the entity to exist in nature as an ‘INDIVIDUAL’ and to live by exploiting other forms of Energy provided by the material Nature known as PRAKRITI.In Sanskrit language this Creative Force or Energy is named as ‘MAYA’ and hence the phenomenal Universe is a manifestation of ‘MAYA’. However, the living entities and all other created entities have no ability of their own to fully defend their state of existence. In Sanskrit language the word ‘KRUPA’ describes the great and powerful Force of ‘DAYA’, or Compassion, Mercy, Grace, and Kindness that sustains, protects and preserves existence of life. ‘KRUPA’ is a great and magnificent Force which enables man to overcome difficulties, get over obstacles and face huge challenges. The Provider of ‘KRUPA’ exists in a state of complete, and perfect ‘BLISS’ called ‘ANANDA’. The thought of ‘KRUPA’ delights human mind and is associated with a sensation of Sweetness and it visually brings the Joy of Spring Season described as ‘VASANT’ or ‘BASANT’which symbolizes creation and rejuvenation. Krupa being Sweet like ‘NECTAR’ and HONEY; when we seek Mercy and Grace; when we ask for Compassion, and Kindness; it not only provides Peace and a sense of Tranquility, it imparts a sense of Pure Joy.
A HYMN TO SEEK ‘KRUPA’ – A FORCE TO PRESERVE AND PROTECT HUMAN EXISTENCE :
Muukam karoti Vachaalam, panghum langha ya tey girim,
Yat Krupaa ta Maham Vandey Paramaananda Madhavam.
I pay obeisance(Vandey) to Eternally Blissful( Paramaananda ) MADHAVA whose Compassion or KRUPA is boundless ( Maham ) and with His Mercy a mute person ( Muukam ) can be transformed into an eloquent speaker ( Vachaalam ) and a physically challenged person ( Panghum ) can easily cross over ( langha ) the mountains ( girim ). This hymn beautifully connects the problems of human condition, the physical limitations imposed upon our fragile state of existence, with a limitless source of energy known as KRUPA which is the manifestation of MADHAVA who brings the Joy of Spring Season and symbolizes sweetness, sugar, honey, or ‘Madhu’, and is constantly accompanied by this energy or Shakti which assumes the form of RADHA or MADHAVI or LAKSHMI.
SEEK THE EXPERIENCE OF ‘MADHURYA’ :
We need to constantly remind ourselves about the transient, ephemeral, and fleeting nature of human existence. In our life’s journey, we tend to follow an easy course and tend to avoid facing obstacles. Very often, we behave like a physically challenged person and act as if physically incapacitated due to fear, doubt, and a lack of resolve or indecisiveness. Sometimes, difficulties arise without any prior warning and overwhelm our existence. Many of us remain mute or cannot speak up bacause of a sense of fear or because of sheer ignorance. We may not be simply aware of the dangers that may threaten our existence. We should seek the Force of KRUPA that brings a sense of Joy and imparts the taste of Sweetness known as ‘MADHURYA’.
Please view the related blog post titled ‘Pain and Compassion – Philosophy of Medicine’
Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham,
Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India,
M.B.B.S., Class of April, 1970.