Sunday, 14 March 2010


The entire ‘Srishti’ (Creation) - any Swami (man of God) would tell you - is ‘Maya’ (mirage); the only Reality is God. I heard this in my childhood and I heard it many times later. I heard it again recently and it is only now that I am beginning to realize that there is a great deal of truth in it. Reality is what one believes to be real. That’s why a person’s Reality is different from another person’s Reality, or as the English say, “One man’s meat is another man’s poison.” For heavens’ sake, it is the same object that we are talking about. How can it appear to be so diagonally opposite to different people?

Let us look at the concept of Reality; anything is real only if it exists in two variables known to us, that is, in Time and in Space. Let us tackle the Space factor first since it is easier to understand. How do we know a thing exists in Space? Simple, by feeling it with any of our five senses. Out of these five senses, for the sake of reasoning, we shall take the sense of Seeing. It is often said that seeing is believing. It is because there is no doubt about the existence of a thing after we have seen it with our own eyes. But now imagine that we enter a room in which this thing exists. It is pitch dark and we don’t know whether this thing exists unless we can make it out with other senses, that is touching, hearing, tasting and smelling. What if the thing is odourless, noiseless, tasteless and occupies no form? Difficult to imagine? Alright, let us just say that it has odour, noise, taste and form well below or well above the range of our senses; does it still exist? The answer is that we do not know. Hence, when we say that we don’t know, it does not mean that a thing does not exist. It is simply that it is beyond the range of our senses, which are our only way to establish if a thing exists. Therefore, as far as we are concerned, the existence of anything in Space is dependent upon our ability to see, touch, smell, hear or taste it.

All these are dependent upon the Rules that we ourselves make or discover. For example, many a times, we think of a person as extremely bright and intelligent when we see her and later find the same person extremely stupid when we hear her. Why? Simple – because Light travels much faster than Sound!

Let us pause to think of how do we see this person or any other person or thing? It is because of the Light emitted or reflected by that person or thing reaching us. And, Light travels at the, well, Speed of Light, which is very very fast indeed. Hence, we see the person or thing instantaneously. But, what if the person or thing is very far away, say, Light Years away? Well, in that case, by the time Light from that thing reaches us and supposing that thing is moving, we only imagine to see it where we see it, whereas in those Light Years, the thing may have actually moved elsewhere.

Let me explain this with an example. Let us say that a new star is born in the sky (it actually happens often), emitting, for the sake of hypothesis, distinctive light, say, green. Let us say, for the sake of argument, that you could travel faster than the Speed of Light and take a Space Odyssey towards this new emerging star and see it and return to earth. Now, let’s say, in the intervening time you have grand children and it is then, one day, when your grand children are playing in the courtyard that they see this new star in the sky (because of the light from that star having reached them after those many Light Years) and they run excitedly to you and shriek, “Grandma, come out and see there is a new Green Star in the sky.” And you, without stopping cutting the vegetables in the kitchen reply, “Oh, now you see, is it? I saw it fifty years back!”

So, you saw an event ahead in time in comparison to others, simply because you could travel faster than the speed of light! The distinction between what you always thought as Real World and Virtual World gets blurred! We refuse to believe it when the sages of yore used to call our world as Maya (the Myth). These worthy persons could travel (in body or estrella) at whatever speed they chose and actually (in our Reality) appeared sometimes at what appeared to be two or three different places at the same time!

So far, in our physical world, nothing can travel faster than the speed of Light and hence we tend to imagine that there is no other world. But think again; is it really true? Actually, something can travel faster than Light! Think about it; yes, our Dreams can actually travel much faster than any physical phenomenon known to us. If we do not get scared to, we can go Beyond the Rainbow and see another world and return to tell the story to others who would eventually see it many years later:

“Aa chal ke tujhe main le ke chaloon,
Ik aise gagan ke tale,
Jahan gham bhi na ho, aansoo bhi na ho,
Bus pyaar hi pyaar pale.

Jahan dur nazar daudayen, aazaad gagan laharaye,
Jahan rang birange panchhi, aasha ka sandesha layen.
Sapno mein pali, hansti ho kali,
Jahan sham suhani dhale,
Jahan gham bhi na ho, aansoo bhi na ho…”

This is an old Hindi song from the movie ‘Door Gagan Ki Chhayon Mein’ (Under the Far Skies), which is translated thus:
“Come let me lead you into that world,
Where there’d be no sorrow, no tears, but only Love.
Where as far as eyes can see,
You’d experience the unhindered sky,
Where birds of all colours,
Would bring the message of Hope.
In this dream world, Joy would blossom with sunrise,
And evenings’d lead to a sanguine sunset”.

Possible? I am sure we can make it possible. All we have to do is exactly what the Man from La Mancha, Don Quixote, did:

“To dream, the Impossible Dream
To touch the untouchable glory,
To reach the unreachable star…”

But, the doubts arise; don’t they always? “What if we all live in the virtual world? If we are always looking for ‘Tare Zameen Par’, who is to take care of Life’s real problems? What about electricity and water complaints, for example? The leaking faucet won’t be repaired simply by dreaming; the monthly bills have actually to be paid; children actually have to be dressed to go to school and the maid has to be actually trained over and over again”.

My answer is that there is time and place for everything! You dream when you can and you live when you have to. And if you can live and dream at the same time? Well, then, ladies and gentlemen, you are blessed indeed.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for inviting me to read this. I enjoyed it. Reminds me of my days studying Patanjali, Ramanuja, and other great Indian philosophers. I like the idea that our dreams defy the basic laws of physics...that such violations can be conceived seems like a fruitful line of inquiry...


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