The Law of Conservation of Divinity
May 2,  2019  |   By B Mahadevan

Introduction

In an era of scientific fervor, rational thinking and modern educational systems one must have had an introduction to the law of conservation of energy. This is an idea introduced in the elementary science text book and in simple terms means energy can neither be created nor be destroyed. The energy merely changes from one form to the other. Science goes on to explain how this happens. For example the water stored in a dam manifests as potential energy and when it passes through the penstock it gets transformed into kinetic energy. This in turn runs a turbine and generates electricity, which is transmitted and used in various applications to convert it into heat energy (electric oven), kinetic energy (electric fans) etc.

What we are going to discuss here is the law of conservation of divinity. Much as the law of conservation of energy, this law also suggests that divinity can neither be created nor be destroyed. It merely gets manifested in several forms and undergoes some transformations. If we step out of science and peep into meta‐science, explaining the law of conservation of divinity is a one liner. It is just a statement that all forms of energy are nothing but manifestations of divinity. However, this explanation is hardly sufficient and less purposeful. Moreover, it does not provide any meaningful direction to our life. The purpose of this write‐up is to establish this concept, provide explanation as to what exactly it means and to illustrate how it impacts our life.

Understanding Law of Conservation of Divinity

The young boy Narendra, who later became Swami Vivekānanda asked several people if they have seen the God. Finally when he posed the question to Sri Rāmakrishna Paramahamsa, “… Have you seen God Sir?, promptly came the reply from the master. “Yes, I see Him as I see you here, only in a much more intense sense; God can be realized, one can see and talk to Him as I am seeing and talking to you …2”. When later in his life Swami Vivekananda was asked the same question, he replied, “…I have seen nothing but God…”. Swami Vivekananda articulated this idea in many ways. “… That supreme Bliss fully exists in all, from Brahma to the blade of grass, you are also that undivided Brahman…”3, “… I see clear as daylight that there is the one Brahman in all, in them, in me – one Shakti dwells in all. The only difference is of manifestation …”4.

1B Mahadevan is a Professor at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore. He can be contacted at [email protected]

2Swami Vivekananda on Himself, pp12, Advaita Ashrama, Kolkatta, (2006).

3 Swami Vivekananda on Himself, pp16, Advaita Ashrama, Kolkatta, (2006).

4 Swami Vivekananda on Himself, pp290, Advaita Ashrama, Kolkatta, (2006).

All great seers, sages and thinkers from time to time have expressed the same idea in several ways. Some saints like Bhakta Meera, Thyagraja, Purandara Dasa or Jnaneshwar have expressed it through songs and bhajans. Some others like Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa have expressed it through selfless service to mankind. What is this universality of this divine manifestation? How do we develop this understanding?

The entire ancient literature spanning ŚrutiSmṛti and Purāṇas extol this idea in multiple ways. In Śvetāsvatara Upaniṣad, this idea is conveyed as follows:

त्वं तर्ी त्वंपुमा अिस त्वंकुमार उतवा कुमारी ।

त्वंजीणो दण्डेन व सी त्वंजातो भविस िव तो मुख: ॥ 4.3

tvaṃ strī tvaṃ pumān asi tvaṃ kumāra uta vā kumārī

tvaṃ jīrṇo daṇḍena vañcasi tvaṃ jāto bhavasi viśvatomukhaḥ 4.3

The Upaniṣad says that the Lord manifests in several ways. It appears as feminine, masculine, a bachelor and a spinster too. The Lord also appears in the form of an old man tottering along with the help of a stick. Finally, the Upaniṣad says, “you alone appear in the cosmic form and have faces in all directions”.

On the other hand, the famous Puruṣa Sūktam starts with the description of the Lord as Puruṣa with 1000 heads, 1000 eyes and 1000 feet. Here, the number 1000 is a poetic usage which signifies innumerable and points to the omnipresence of the Universal Being. To further emphasize this point, the hymn follows this description by saying that the Lord envelops the world from all sides (i.e. He pervades each part of the Creation), and extends beyond in the ten directions (represented by ten fingers).

सह शीषार् परुषः । सह ाक्षः सह पा ।

स भूिंम िव तो वृत्वा। अत्यित शा ुल ॥ १

Sahasra‐śīrṣā Puruṣaḥ; Sahasrākṣa Sahasra‐Pāt;

Sa Bhūmiṃ Viśvato Vṛtvā; Atya‐tiṣṭhad‐Daśāngulam

Similar descriptions of the Lord are aplenty in Śruti. Another example is from the Mahā Nārayaṇa Upaniṣad which conveys the same idea as in Puruṣa Sūktam. Here the description is that the Lord has eyes, face, hands and feet everywhere in the universe:

िव त क्षरुत िव तो मुखो िव तो ह त उत िव त पा ।

viśvataścakṣuruta viśvato mukho viśwato hasta uta viśwataspāt

These are a few examples to illustrate that our entire ancient Indian wisdom proclaims time and again and in many innovative ways that the Lord’s creation has nothing but Himself. There is nothing other than the Lord that you can see. In fact, this idea was put forward in a straightforward and direct manner by Lord Krishna in chapter 7 of the Gita:

मः परतरंनान्य त्किचदि त धनंजय । मिय सवर्िमदं ोतंसूतर्ेमिणगणा इव ॥ 7.7.

mattaḥ parataraṃ nānyat kiṅcid asti dhananjaya mayi sarvaṃ idaṃ protaṃ sūtre maṇi‐gaṇā iva

Lord Krishna says there is not even a speck of dust other than Me that one can see in this Universe. The entire Universe of multiplicity that we see is like beads woven in a thread (the thread being the Lord Himself). We enjoy a movie forgetting for a moment that but for the white screen which serves as the background for the light to create various forms and colour that make up the movie, the movie is a meaningless idea. In the same manner, the Lord supporting and manifesting through the world of multiplicity is in the background. We might have forgotten this momentarily. However, once we appreciate the law of conservation of divinity this will become more apparent to us.

Guiding principles to understand divinity

In order to understand the law of conservation of divinity, we need some guiding principles. We will see them in some detail here.

(a) Divinity manifests in various forms but is simply an expression of infinity

There is a simple way to understand the notion of divinity. Anything that is divine will manifest itself as an expression of infinity. Infinity here means beginningless (अनािदः),

endless (अनन्तः), everlasting (िनत्यः), not destroyable (अिवनािश ), not being subjected to birth (अजः) and death (अमत्यर्ः) routines etc. A very good description of this could be found

in Chapter 2 of the Gītā in ślokas 2.16 to 2.27, where Lord Krishna introduces these ideas to Arjuna. This would imply that all natural systems (rocks, mountain, rivers, earth, planetary systems, lightning, thunder etc.), all endowments provided to the living beings in this cosmos and the living beings themselves (from the one celled amoeba to the most refined human being) are all forms of divinity. It becomes a vast subject matter of discussion to show how all these in fact neatly fit into the above attributes of divinity. Therefore we will not get into it here. There are a number of our philosophical texts that deal with this in detail. As a simple example, even when the soul departs (by a process called death), the

mortal remains are returned back to the natural systems (pancha bhūtas) from where the body came. Therefore, it is not destruction as we understand in a common parlance, but transformation of one form of divinity into another. In the extreme case, during pralaya all these natural forms also transform from this state to a state of unmanifestation.

The notion of divinity and its basic character of being an infinite source are best expressed by the mathematical proposition of “infinity” laid out in the famous śānti mantra preceding the Brihadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad:

ॐपूणर्मदः पूणर्िमदंपूणार्त्पूणर्मुदच्यते। पूणर्य पूणर्मादाय पूणर्मेवाविश यते॥

Om poornamadah poornamidam poornat poornam udacyate

Poornasya poornam aadaaya poornameva avashishyate

According to this mantra, Divinity is nothing but perfection (or infinity). Out of infinity the Lord manifested as infinity. This is so because by drawing infinity out of infinity what remains is indeed infinity. Thus the Lord, who is the infinite source is the material cause for the creation of the entire universe and permeating into it.

(b) Multiple manifestations can come out of a common source

Let us take the example of gold. With gold one can make a number of ornaments such as necklace, ring, bangles, ear stud and bracelet. If we look at these ornaments, they all exist only because of gold. Assume that we can take out all the gold from a gold ear stud. In such a situation the ear stud ceases to exist. Put in another fashion, there is no way we will be able to recognize the golden ear stud without gold in it. The gold becomes the kāraṇam (कारण ), the cause and various manifestations of gold are referred to as kāryam (कायर्),

the effect. One can extend this logic to many things in this universe. There is a universe of items that one can make using wood and similarly a number of items with clay. With a string of thread one can weave a variety of clothes.

Using this principle and extending this logic further we can now derive one important generalization. The world of multiplicity that we see belongs to the set of kāryam and there could potentially be a kāraṇam behind this. The grand rule is that the world of multiplicity is the kāryam and the Lord is the kāraṇam.

(c) All manifestations can come out of a single source

All wooden items must come out of wood, plastic items out of plastic and so on. What about the source for wood, plastic and gold? Is there a common source or they all come from different sources? In order to understand this let us look at another example. Phenol, also known as carbolic acid is an aromatic organic compound with the molecular formula C6H5OH. It is a white crystalline solid that is volatile. Benzene is a colorless, flammable liquid with a sweet odour with the structural formula C6H6. Methane with the chemical formula CH4 is the simplest alkane and the main component of natural gas. At a gross level, these are three different things belonging to solid, liquid and gas respectively. They have different composition, colour, properties, odour etc. Therefore, for a layman these are separate, have no connection whatsoever and nothing in common. However, for a person who has some knowledge of chemistry, the common thread begins to appear. Such a person will appreciate that although these substances appear very different, they belong to the hydro‐ carbon family.

If we go one step further, a serious researcher in the field of chemistry may even find that the organic and inorganic chemistry differ in their composition of the elements that make up these substances but at a conceptual level they are all basic elements in various combinations. If we go even further a person studying the atomic and sub‐atomic properties of the basic chemical elements may conclude that all the elements known to mankind are indeed made of protons; electrons and neutrons in some combination. At another level, one can even conclude that these are nothing but manifestations of fields and energy. If we dig further to ask where the energy source is, we may eventually end up with the cosmos, whose origin is nothing but the Lord. The higher the level of abstraction, the different is the contour of reality we will see.

Figure 1

Higher levels of abstraction of reality

From this principle we get one more generalization. Our search for the Divinity and the Law of conservation of Divinity will be fruitful only when we are able to drill deep and look for

subtle things (सूम तत्वः). Mere superficial observations and gross understanding of the reality will never allow us appreciate the law of conservation of divinity.

(d) The cause can exist independent of the effect but not the vice versa

In the above example of gold ornaments, one can melt all the ornaments and return the gold to its natural state. The identity and the property of gold cannot be altered but that of the ornaments can be. Viewed in this manner, the gold does not exist in the ornaments, rather the ornaments exist in the gold. What is implied by this statement is that gold is the super‐set and the ornaments are the sub‐set. A sub‐set exists in the super‐set but not vice versa. This is exactly the idea that Lord Krishna mentions in the Gita:

म एवेित तािन्वि न त्वहंतेषुतेमिय ॥ 7.12.

matta eveti tān viddhi na tu aham teṣu te mayi

Lord Krishna says that the world of manifestations has come out of Him, they are in them but He is not in these manifestations (thereby signaling He is the super‐set).

If we extend this logic, we can begin to appreciate that the Lord can unfold into many forms, shapes etc. and also choose to fold all of them back unto Himself. Further, the conception of reality is one of alternating between manifestation and unmanifestation. When the Lord absorbs everything into Himself, it is in the unmanifested form and when He chooses to spread it out it becomes manifested. Our ancestors have modelled this very elaborately. The origin of the universe, pralaya, and the cycle of yugas are all explained on this basis.

(e) There must be a method to obtain many from the one

If everything is coming from a single source, then there must be a mechanism to “manufacture” this infinite variety. This is not a new idea for us and there are many examples of this. Let us take a well‐known simple example to understand this. Let us say we are preparing a presentation for a meeting using Powerpoint. In our PPT we may include a box with bulleted list of items and may want to fill the box with a colour. If you open a colour pallet, it allows you to select any colour available already. If you are not happy with the choices already available it also allows you to construct your own colour. You can create your own colour using a combination of RGB (see below for the screen that allows you to do this). By changing the RGB numbers you can end up creating a very large number of shades of colour.

The Lord uses the same mechanism to create the world of multiplicity (in fact we have learnt it from the Lord!). The RGB that the Lord uses is the trigunas (satva – raja – tamas). In

fact the Lord uses not just this RGB of gunas but also certain other basic building blocks to create the world of multiplicity. Once a new variant is formed, it should be given a name (नाम) and shape (रूप ) in addition to its properties (गुणः). This will complete the process. In

our ornament example, the moment we say we have a golden ring, we have included all the above in the definition and created a unique variant.

Figure 2

Method of creating infinite colours using a colour palette

What we are able to infer is that if we have a subtle level of observation and understanding, then all the names and forms that constitute this world of multiplicity is nothing but a manifestation of divinity in a myriad combination of certain basic materials. Ancient Indian wisdom has inquired into these aspects and articulated the mechanism by which the world of multiplicity has evolved. The Lord which is the cause for all these generates the world of multiplicity by using two of its fundamental aspects. One is designated as Puruṣa (परुषः) and

the other is called Prakriti ( कृितः). The Prakṛti provides the basic building blocks, attributes (गुणा:), name (नाम) and the form (रूप ) to create the world of multiplicity (the effect). On the other hand, the Puruṣa provides the स (sat ‐ existence), िच (cit ‐ consciousness) and

आनन्दः (ānanda ‐ bliss), (the cause). Therefore, the world of multiplicity can be represented in the form of an equation below:

{Sat + Cit + Ānanda} + {Guna + Nāma + Rūpa} = World of multiplicity

Appreciating & Experiencing the Law of Conservation of Divinity

The Law of Conservation of Divinity as a concept may be appealing. But our ancestors’ interests were not merely in concepts but also in translating them into practice so that there is more meaning to this. Everything we do on a day to day basis must remind us of this principle and allow us to think of this grand idea and its implications to us. Otherwise this concept will remain in paper and also will not yield much meaning. The master stroke of Indian cultural practices lies in this. Many of our assumptions about worship, rituals and cultural practices revolved around this. Let us look at some of them in this context.

The Indian system is very unique in the sense that we have a large pantheon of Gods. In fact we have 33 million Gods in our pantheon compared to one God in several other religious practices. This gives us a head start in understanding the Law of Conservation of Divinity. We have a direct and immediate understanding of the law of conservation of divinity if we reflect on what are the forms of creation we accept as God. We will also appreciate the idea better if we understand the logic of our festivals, religious practices and methods of worship which are direct fallout of the law of conservation of divinity. Some of them are listed below:

∙Veda, the supreme knowledge is a manifestation of divinity for us

∙Devas, Cosmic entities, Celestial Gods are divine forms. We offer pūja to the Sun God during Makara Sankrānti day, Kāmadhenu; Karpaga Vṛkṣa are divine entities for us; we do Yajña for Prajāpti, Soma, Varuṇa, Rudra, Vāyu etc. These are elements of nature which we worship in a divine format using Yajna.

∙Rishis, Seers, Sants are also divinity for us. That is why we celebrate vyasa pūrṇimavālmīki jayanti etc. with the same sense of devotion

∙Extraordinary human beings and Avatāra Puruṣas are also forms of divinity for us. This explains why we need to celebrate Rāma NavamiHanumat JayantiKṛṣna Janmāṣṭami etc.

∙ All forms of nature and the Pancha Bhūtas (प भूताः)￿are divine manifestations for

us. All rivers and mountains are nothing but divinity for us and we worship them on auspicious days. Typical examples include Kumbha Mela festivals in major rivers, Kritika pūrṇima festival in Tiruvannāmalai, where we worship the mountain as manifestation of Lord Śiva etc.

∙Animals and Plants are also in our list of divine things. That is why Bodhi, Banyan, Neem etc. are holy for us and we offer pūja to them. Similarly that is why we do “go

pūja” and celebrate Nāga pancamī etc. This may also explain why the Gods have animals as their vehicles (वाहन ). Mūṣika is the vāhanam for Ganapati, Peacock for

Subrahmanya, Lion for Durga, Bull for Parameśvara, Garuda for Viṣṇu etc.

∙Divinely attributes wherever it manifests are strong candidates for us to worship. For us Guru, Parents, persons who offer selfless service and a child are God.

This list is not artificially created for the purpose of writing this note. This list is culled directly from Chapter 10 of Gītā (known as Vibhūti Yoga), where Lord Krishna points to nearly 67 items and instructs Arjuna to look them as forms of divinity. If we classify these items into separate groups we will get the above list. Vibhūti (िवभूितः) means the power of

manifestation (of the Lord).

If we read our mythological stories, we find many of the entities mentioned in the above list assume human or Devata form and talk and engage in several human activities. For example Himalayas is the father of PārvatiGangā Mātā’s son is the invincible Bhiṣma. There are conversations between these natural entities and several others in our mythology. These are very important to remind us of the law of conservation of divinity. It has become a common practice among the educated class today to ridicule these and question from a “rational” perspective how rivers and mountains can talk. If the cartoon characters can engage us 24×7 by talking and dealing with several of our life issues, then the rivers and mountains can also talk. There is nothing illogical or foolish about this idea. On the other hand, there is a great purpose and they are meant to put meaning into our lives by reminding us the law of conservation of divinity.

We also have a repository of invoking a chosen divine form using 1008 forms (or names). This is known as Sahasranāmam. We have Vishnu SahasranāmamLalita Sahasranāmam etc. In fact almost every God on whom we can do Upāsana has a Sahasranāmam. If we carefully go through these texts and contemplate on the meaning and purpose of these synonyms, we will notice that the idea is to remind us of the law of conservation of divinity through the God on whose names and forms we choose to contemplate. The table provides some examples to illustrate this point.

At this level of conceptualization, we need to get reminded constantly the principle of law of conservation of divinity. Today’s educated class does not understand the deeper meaning to these rituals and approaches to worship. They dismiss these as irrational and a waste of time. For those who cannot see the larger meaning of these practices it will remain to be so until they shake themselves from this deep sleep and ignorance.

An extract of names fromAn extract of names from
Lalita Sahasranāmam *Vishnu Sahasranāmam **
Dhyāna‐Dhyātru‐Dhyeya‐Rūpa (254)# – One whoBhojanam (142) – Who is the process of
assumes the form of meditation, meditator andconsumption (of experiences)
the object of meditationBhokta (143) – One who is the consumer
 (of experiences)
Prajñātmikā (261) – One who is of the form ofPrāṇada (65) – One who enlivens all
Prajñā souls. Prajñā is Īśvara, who is theliving beings
collective form of all souls in deep sleepPrāṇa (66) – One who is the life force in
condition.all living beings
Sriṣṭi‐Kartri (264) – She whose function is theBhūta‐Krut (5) – One who is the creator
creation of the worldall the entities in the universe;
 Viśva‐Yoni (117) – One who is root cause
 for the creation of the universe
Aa‐Brahma‐kīta‐jananī (285) – She is the birthPrajābhavaḥ (89) – One who created all
giver of all from Brahma to the smallest wormthe living beings
Vahni‐Mandala‐Vāsinī (352) – She who resides inJyotiradityaḥ (564) – One who is the Sun,
the sphere of firethe embodiment of light
Vyaktā‐Vyakta‐Svarūpinī (399) – She is of theVyakta‐Rūpaḥ (305) – One who is in the
form of the manifested and the unmanifestedmanifested form
 Avyaktaḥ (722) – The unmanifested form
Cit‐śakti (416) – The power of consciousness;Śarabha (356) – One who radiates in the
Jadā‐śakti (418) – Who is the power of thebody
inanimate 

*Source: Joshi L.M. (2009), “Lalita Sahasranama – A comprehensive study of one thousand names

of Lalita Maha Tripurasundari”, D K Print World, New Delhi.

**Based on the tamil commentary, Radhakrishna Sastry S.V. (1998), Simizhi Venkatrama Sastry Trust, Srirangam

#Numbers in parenthesis is the serial number in the respective Sahasranāmam

Implications

The law of conservation of divinity is not merely an interesting concept to know and appreciate. In fact, a correct understanding of this will resolve several issues that we face in our daily life. It will also help us prioritize and adjust some of our larger goals in life. There are three important implications that one can see on account of this:

∙This could fundamentally change our understanding of the origin of universe

∙This notion takes us beyond science and helps us see the deeper meaning of life, existence and our approach to life and society

∙It significantly shapes our cultural and life choices

Origin of Universe

Law of conservation of divinity provides a fundamentally different perspective to the question of the origin of the universe. Current scientific inquiry has several hypotheses pertaining to the origin of universe. The big bang theory is all about the mechanism to “start” the universe. The theory of ever expanding nature of the universe and the black holes argument for “ending” the universe is the counterpart to the other theory. Although the General Theory of Relativity predicted that the universe must have come from a period of high curvature in the past, it could not predict how the universe would emerge from the big bang5. In these models one of the issues that the researchers find it difficult to reconcile is the law of conservation of energy. Where did the huge energy required for the creation come from and where will it go after the universe ends?

The Law of conservation of divinity based understanding of the origin of universe approaches the problem from a different perspective. The origin and end of the universe are nothing but manifestation and unmanifestation of the Lord. Law of conservation of divinity suggests that creation is nothing but evolution of structure and manifestation of consciousness at various levels. Further, manifestation, not creation is the link between Living beings – Universe – God (जीव – जग – ई र संबन्धः). Viewed from this perspective

ocean is the truth and wave is a manifestation of the truth for a temporary period. Similarly, electricity expresses itself through the filament in the bulb, and manifests as light. We find description of this idea in all major Upanishads (see for example the Mundaka Upaniṣad and Taittirīya Upaniṣad). In chapter 8 of the Gita, Lord Krishna says that with the coming of the day time of the Brahma (the primordial cause of all creations) all the evolved things emerge from the unmanifested state. When the nigh time comes, they all get dissolved in the Brahma itself, which is called the unmanifested state:

अ य ाद् य यः सवार्ः भवन्त्यहरागमे। रात्र्यागमे लीयन्तेततर्ैवा य संके॥ 8.18.

avyaktad vyaktayah sarvah prabhavanty aharaagame ratry‐aagame praleeyante tatraivaavyakta‐samjnake

This view of origin of universe is echoed in some recent studies. Yi Shu at the National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan has developed a new description of the universe according to

5Based on a talk by Stephen Hawking, see for more details, http://www.hawking.org.uk/the‐origin‐ of‐the‐universe.html. Last accessed on January 22, 2014.

which this universe has no beginning or end, just alternating periods of expansion and contraction6.

Perspectives that augment scientific thinking

The law of conservation of divinity demands that consciousness is the central aspect of life and the universe. This adds one more step in our scientific understanding of many things. For example, it is not possible to understand human behaviour only as a materialistic dimension of brain and other aspects of matter that current science is attempting. If Psychology and Neurology are materialistic issues, then it does not require any non‐ materialistic reality to deal with the human behavior. In such a case, a mental depression needs to be cured by attacking it from a physical plane only. However, our experience is that consciousness (or the mind) also plays a major role in psychological analysis and understanding.

Anybody who has some familiarity with basic physics knows that the sustainability of the earth critically depends on the Sun, which is the centre of the solar system associated with the earth. Balanced climatic conditions, regularity of rainfall, availability of water and natural resources to not only the mankind but also to the entire living creatures and the plant kingdom are possible only because of the Sun. According to Swami Ranganathananda7, all our energy comes from the Sun and therefore we have in India, idealized the concept of the Sun. In an article that appeared in The National Geographic Magazine of USA (Sep. 1948) Henry mentioned that the sun is the great mother. All life on earth may be considered as transient materialization of the exhaustless floods of radiance which she pours on the planet’s surface8.

On account of the law of conservation of divinity the conceptualization of the Sun ought to be different compared to the modern day scientific thinkers. Modern day scientific thinking views the Sun as an inert matter that could be the subject matter for physics and chemistry. To them the Sun is nothing but a mixture of gases organized in a particular fashion. How can the entity which brings the earth (and its millions of living creatures starting from the one celled amoeba to the most refined human beings) to life be modeled or portrayed as a lifeless entity amenable only for science experiments? On the other hand, for our rishis, the Sun is the most direct living expression of divinity for the reasons mentioned above. The Sun is the ultimate representation of consciousness, omnipresent and omnipotent Divine worthy of worship. Extending this logic further, our approach towards all natural resources such as

6See for details, http://www.technologyreview.com/view/419984/big‐bang‐abandoned‐in‐new‐ model‐of‐the‐universe/. Last accessed on January 22, 2014.

7Swami Ranganathananda (2000), “The Universal Message of the Bhagavd Gita: Volume 1”, pp 356 –

357.

8Henry, T.R. (1948), “The Smithsonian Institution”, National Geographic Magazine, Vol. 94 (3), 325 – 348.

rocks and rivers will change. The issues of environmental pollution and mindless exploitation of natural resources and ecological degradation will be out under check.

Cultural and Life Choices

The renewed perspective arising out of the law of conservation of divinity will provide better meaning to life. As already pointed out, there is more meaning to many of the cultural practices that we follow. Festivals and celebrations will no longer be a dry ritual to be followed amidst many other demands of the modern day and out of social compulsions and prevailing norms and practices. Instead, rituals will be occasions for us to contemplate on the notion of oneness, the grandeur of divinity and the relationship between worldly entities and the Lord. Understanding this relationship clarifies many things in life and removes needless tensions from our minds. Claims of superiority of one religious cult over the other will become a less important subject. It will become evident that it is childish to lose sleep and pick arguments and fights over such matters. Cut throat competition, needless animosities among colleagues, family members, neighbours and feelings of jealousy, anger and hatred will all come down significantly if not get eliminated altogether. In a nutshell our life choices will gradually change and evolve to a stage where the nagging world of differences that we see in everything around us ￿भेद भावः) will slowly give way for a

unified view of life and entities around us (ऐक्य भावः). In other words, the multiple black

spots in a mosaic will recede to the background and instead reveal to us the wonderful pattern that these black spots together make up.

Conclusions

The greatest difference that the law of conservation of divinity can make to an individual is the changed perspective of life. Life will be one of deep contemplation rather than dirty competition. There is a greater possibility to live in an overarching framework of universal brotherhood as we can see divinity everywhere. In the words of Swami Vivekananda, “… whoever will be ready to serve Him – no not Him but his children‐ the poor and the downtrodden, the sinful and the afflicted, down to the very worm – who will be ready to serve these, in then He will manifest Himself …”9. The notion of social service will take a different meaning. As Vivekananda proclaimed, “… Go and tell every Indian, Arise, awake and dream no more. Rouse yourself and manifest the Divinity within. There is no want, there is no misery, that you cannot remove by the consciousness of the power of the Spirit within. Believe in these words and you will become omnipotent …”10.

9Letters of Swami Vivekananda, pp 103, Advaita Ashrama, Kolkatta (2006).

10See “The Life of Swami Vivekananda: By his eastern and western disciples”, Vol. 2, pp 232


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