With all due respect Prof. Hawking, you are plumb wrong!

“Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something,” Prof. Stephen Hawking asserts.

He adds: “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.”

With all due respect Mr. Hawking, you are plumb wrong! And here is why…

Mr. Hawking claims the Universe was created from nothing. From total chaos. And God did not have a hand in this random and totally unplanned creation.

Hmm, I think not. Out of chaos and nothing? Totally random and unplanned? While this could be true of politicians, religious fanatics and rock bands, I sincerely think he is losing it by applying this theory to the creation of the Universe. And if you agree with him, then please tell me how the following were created out of gravity and nothing?

  • Over 10,000 known species of birds
  • Over 30 million insects
  • Over 4 billion people of whom it is said no more than 7 people may look alike
  • Over 100,000 known varieties of trees
  • Over 250,000 known varieties of flowers

And my biggest counter to his claim – newborn babies! How in the world can you create newborn babies, such cute, shriveled, perfect human beings out of chaos and nothing?

 One of my daughter’s favorite books that we must have read over a zillion times (and I am not exaggerating) is “Pa Grape’s Shapes” by Phil Vischer, one of the many in the Veggie Tales series. I still get drawn in by the opening lines –

“This is Pa Grape. He loves the outdoors! He loves what God made – the mountains and the shores!

He’d like to go visit the stuff he admires. But look! His old car doesn’t have any tires”

Now imagine if all of you buy into Prof. Hawking’s theory and starting tomorrow we replace all these books with the “truth”. Read the new version –

“This is Pa Grape. He loves the outdoors! He loves what gravity, nothing and chaos made – the mountains and the shores!

Does not read as well, does it? And even if (yes, a BIG IF) he turns out to be correct in a million years from now, is there any reason why we have to remove the mystery and romance of God from our life and subject it to such dry philosophy? Mankind has always believed in so many lies – that sportsmen always play fair, that politicians dedicate themselves to serve the country, that parents know all, that children will take care of their parents when they are old….

Why can’t we add one more lie to this – that God is somewhere out there watching over us? That He will protect his lazy and atheistic children, no matter what? That no matter what this big, bad world throws our way, He is always on our side? Why not, Prof. Hawking?

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Get your daily dose of health and happiness

  How many of us read our Gita or the Koran or the Bible daily? How many of us place implicit faith in these time-tested books instead of turning outward for solutions? I recently attended the Gita Jayanthi function organized by ISKCON Kochi and was stunned by the simplicity of Bhakthi Vinod Swami Maharaj’s message – read the Gita everyday. If not an entire page, at least a line. If not a line, at least a word. Leave religion, and its myriad confusions and misinterpretations alone. Get into spirituality. Get into yourself.

 I still remember the fiasco over Varun Gandhi and his reference to the Bhagavad Gita. And Priyanka Gandhi’s rejoinder to it – if he has really read the Gita, he would not have spoken like this. For someone like me who is against politics and all politicians, this sentence conveys simply the power of the written word, especially if it is from our God.

 In summary, read your Gita. Or your Koran or Bible or the Granth. It does not matter which, but do read. Then start thinking how you want to apply the highest ideals laid out by your God into your life. Let the swamis and the preachers talk. And pontificate. You read. And think. And live your life the way your God wants you to – with love, patience and simplicity.

Come on – let’s get healthy and happy every day of our life.

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Religion religion everywhere, not a soul who thinks

I am sick and tired of the abuse of religion in our public life. Today religion is touted as the best and most succesful business around the world. And as I write this, another religious TV channel goes live; another Swami is offering the “moksha of life” for just Rs.695 plus tax.

And what do we do? We sing, we listen, we talk, and we discuss. Vehemently and passionately. In our lifelong search for salvation, do we really stop to think if these kriyas and yogas and mantras have the power to transcend our soul? Sure, most of it is faith you say. And blind belief – if this worked for my parents, this will work for me.

Instead let me ask you to think about this. Religion is an outward manifestation, a manual which helps us with our relationship with the outside world, including our God. How do I view my relationships, how do I deal with this situation, who will help me and so on. Spirituality is an inward turning into the divine spark that is within all of us. It teaches us to make that giant leap of faith (yes, faith) into an unknown world where only 2 people exist. You, and your God (or your concept of God).

Logically then, who and what you believe in should necessarily be between you and you! No other person can comment, coerce, convince you on what or who you should pray to. In fact, no one else has the right (or the ability) to tell you or teach you about your God. Everything you need to know is inside you already, awaiting your arrival.

Well then, how do I get there, you ask. Simple – meditation and reading your Holy Book – whether it is the Gita, the Koran, the Bible or the Granth. Read and then think. Reflect. Meditate. Read again. Try it out – it really works. You do not need anything, or anyone.

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