Not unlike others early exposure to community around me shaped my perception of life. There is God. He is omnipotent. There is heaven, There is hell and there is this earth. Our real home is heaven. A person is born on this earth as a fallen soul, and his endeavour should be to reclaim his stay in the real home i.e. heaven by his karma. Otherwise we would be destined to suffer in hell. The world is not real, it is MAYA, illusion. One has to refrain from submitting to his instincts. Living is to be directed to reclaiming one's rightful ‘place in heaven.i.e. attain Moksha. One has to overcome six enemies, viz Anger, Greed, Jealousy, Attachment, Disease and Boastfulness. One has to remain vigilant with regard to four basic instincts which tend to stray you on degenerative susceptibilities &ndash hunger, sex, sleep, fear. We must not be slaves of our instincts. Brahmacharya is ideal for a good man. A man marries for the sake of procreation and not for pleasure. Woman is gateway to hell), sort of aphorisms reverberated in the surroundings. Not conforming to these tenets is a sure prescription to place in hell.
Later on I learnt that life has a material basis. It is defined by certain characteristic vital functions. A particular state of organization and configuration of matter results in the wonderful and mystical phenomenon that is life. Protoplasm is the physical basis of life. It is a very delicate organization and is maintained by an uninterrupted supply of energy from surroundings together with exchange of matter between the living body and its surroundings.
Flow of energy from the surroundings into and within the living system is a continuous phenomenon. It has a rhythm, frequency and a communication network.
Man arose as a result of natural selection from lower forms of life. Man is not a special divine creation. He owes his living to his ecosystem.
This acquisition regarding the concept of life revolutionised my idea of life and spirit. Spiritual viewpoint holds that life as the manifestation of spirit (and soul), which often overlap. Spirit may exist independent of a physical body, And it validates the existence of life after death.
I would like to view spiritual independent of spirit. You may be spiritual without being religious. Being spiritual endows you with an ecological conscience. It enables you to respect and love nature and the biosphere. Being spiritual makes you aware of the cosmic energy pervading in and around you. You feel connected with all around you and with time extending from distant past to future. Spiritual may not be concerned with life after death; religion is concerned with life hereafter.
A lyric from Tagore’s Geetibitan declares that a person does not cease to exist after death. He/ she keeps on reappearing with a new name, new face, new identity, oblivious to the attention of persons around. This is an expression of our aspiration of universal existence (immortality). The same lyric identifies person in the surroundings.
I have been exposed to diverse influences at various stages during the course of my living. These influences have shaped me. One cannot say as to which influence started when and ceased at what stage. I wonder if any of them has ceased or each of them, acquired at different times, is still operative subtly.
I learnt that life has a material basis It is sustained by constant input and transformation of energy. Protoplasm is the physical basis of life. Life cannot exist independent of it. I learnt that life originated on the earth from inanimate particles and energy by a process known as abiogenesis. during the gradual chemical evolution, of particles that contain carbon in the primordial soup. When matter attained a unique organised state, configuration and orientation, it acquired the characteristics which are identified as living features. That signalled the birth of Life.
I learnt that a living cell is a miniscule structure which is in reality a complex and intricate network of a number of organelles.. It has a structured membrane which separates and connects it at the same time from its surroundings. Each of the organelles are also bound by a similar membrane.
A visit to the inside of a living cell reminds one of the mythical battlefield of Kurukshetra. In the battlefield Arjun was blessed with the darshan of the universe in the oral cavity of Shree Krishna. He was dumbfounded. It was described by the sage Vyas as the darshan of Virat in Sukshma. (Cosmos in miniscule).
A living cell functions as a complex and autonomous network of self driven organelles. Living state is such a delicate organization that it is maintained by a constant and uninterrupted intake of energy combined with exchange of matter from its environment. There are several chains of chemical transformations in specific cell organelles which are coordinated in a way so that the intermediate and end products of an organelle serves as raw materials of another organelle Simultaneously it has to be in sync with its environment. The living body modifies its environment and is modified by its environment. The two have a mutual relationship. I have come to believe in the doctrine of evolution of species. Man has appeared on the planet in the latest stage of this phenomenon. Diverse animals and plants, as manifested in the Biological kingdom, have appeared by the process of evolution over a long period.
The interaction between organism and its environment may cause competition or cooperation between organisms leading to evolution of species. Widely accepted Charles Darwin’s theory of “Natural Selection” emphasizes competition whereas Lamarckism stresses the importance of cooperation among the various components of the ecosystem. His theory is understood in the backdrop of the harmonious relationship prevailing in the ecosystem. Recent advances in the field of quantum physics corroborate the role of environmental inputs on the functioning of genes. Our genes are constantly being remodelled in response to life experiences. This implies that our perception of life shape our biology.
Organisms interact with their inorganic surroundings on earth to form a synergistic self-regulating, complex system that helps to maintain and perpetuate the conditions for life on the planet.The whole planet is considered to be one living, breathing organism, which needs to be protected from human greed, ignorance and poor planning.
I learnt that organisms can not be considered without their environment. From a formal point of view the two may be regarded as equivalent phases between which dynamic contact is maintained by the membranes that separate and link them.There is a continuum between living and nonliving and it is pointless to draw a line across it.
The Continuum has been a mystery. Remaining aware of it together with being respectful to it is sprituality. Spirituality is a broad concept with room for many perspectives. It is our awareness of our environment that controls cellular reactions and our vital functions In general, it includes a sense of connection to something bigger than ourselves, and it typically involves a search for meaning in life. As such, it is a universal human experience — something that touches us all. It has a omnipotent presence. It is a song with rhythm that connects you with eternity. Mystics, Scientists and others have been trying to interpret and understand the music since the dawn of civilization.