The best way to know existence is by turning inward. Whatever has happened in existence, all of it is in some way recorded in a mini-universe, the human being. It is because of this recording and reflection of existence that we say human beings are created in the image of God. This expression that was uttered thousands of years ago in the yogic realm has found reflection in every religion.
Scientists at CERN have announced that they have found the God Particle – the Higgs Boson which gives particles their mass. But yoga has explained the source of creation for thousands of years. This is a dialectical culture. Because it speaks about a dimension which is not in our logical perception, it is best to speak in dialectical ways. In the yogic lore, there is a cosmic man lying across the cosmos. This man is in “jada” state–he is absolutely still. It is almost like he does not exist. We call him a man because we relate to everything as human beings, but he is non-physical in nature – empty, no-thing. The yogic term for this, is Shiva – “that which is not.” That which is, is physicality. That which is not, is Shiva.
That which is not, was lying absolutely still and a certain energy came, which we call Shakti – she is given a feminine form. As Shiva sleeps, Shakti comes looking for him. She wants him to come awake because she wants to dance with him; she wants to play with him; she wants to woo him. Initially, he does not wake up. But, after some time, he does. Anybody who is in deep slumber, if you wake him up, he will get a little angry. If you were in deep sleep and somebody came and nudged you, it would not matter how beautiful that person was, you would get angry. So, he gets angry, roars and rises. That is why his first form and his first name is Rudra. The word “Rudra” means “one who roars”.
Scientists have created computer simulated images of the first form that came up when the Big Bang happened. It is like a tower coming up, with a small mushroom spread out on the top. This is exactly the form the yogic culture has always described. We say, “Shiva woke up and became ready for creation.” We described him as the phallus. Because we are human beings, we think that creation of life means sexuality, and the body is involved in that process.
When Shiva awoke, he spat galaxies out. Because he spat them out in anger and he was hot, they were empty galaxies. That means they were “no-mass” galaxies. Then Shakti said, “This is not it,” and she touched him. When she touched him, he cooled down. He was a Rudra for some time. When his anger cooled, he became an ellipsoid, or what we call the “linga.” Today, scientists are saying that as the temperatures cooled down, slowly the universe became an ellipsoid.
Because he cooled down when Shakti touched him, she gathered inertia. She was just energy till then. Now she gathered inertia. If something has inertia, even according to modern scientists, it means there is mass. She touched him and she gathered mass. Right now, physicists are saying that particles touch the Higgs field and that is how they gather mass. In yoga, the same thing was said in a different language, fifteen thousand years ago. When Shiva cooled down, everything that came in contact with him gathered mass. Shiva became “Hara.” Because everything gathered mass and inertia, he started maintaining it. The universe went on expanding and it is still an ever-expanding universe.
In yoga, existence is divided into four parts: sthoola, sukshma, shoonya, Shiva. Sthoola means the gross existence. Physicality is sthoola. Everything that you can sense through five sense organs, everything that you can see, smell, taste, hear and touch is considered sthoola. It can be analysed with your intellect and understood and grasped. The building block of existence is an atom, and if it is made of an atom, once enough atoms are there, we can touch, smell, taste, and see it. But if it goes beyond the perception of the five senses and it is still physical in nature, we call it sukshma.
When you enter into sukshma, it is still physical, but do what you want, you cannot grasp that dimension through the five senses, nor can you analyse it through your intellect. If you are able to perceive that dimension, we call it visheshagnan. That means an extra-ordinary knowledge. Gnana means knowledge; visheshagnan is extra-ordinary or significant knowledge. So visheshgnan is referred to as vigyan.
The word vigyan means that you are able to perceive those dimensions which cannot be perceived through five senses. Today, science is entering those spaces because nobody is ever going to see a Higgs Boson. They are only going to see its footprint. Even now they only saw the footprint, which means they are entering visheshgnan.
If you go even further, it will become shoonya. That means absolute emptiness. There is no physicality. Where there is no physicality, your sense organs and intellect will become absolutely useless. If you go beyond shoonya, there is that which we refer to as Shiva. As I mentioned before, Shiva means that which is not. If you touch “that which is not,” we have always seen, it is non-physical in nature. Non-physical in nature means it does not exist, but it is opaque. How can that be? It is not in the realm of our logical mind.
Today, modern science believes that whole existence has to oblige to human logic, which is a very limited way of approaching life. We think we can fit the whole existence into our head. No, existence will never fit into our head. Our logic can analyse the physicality of existence. But once we cross the physical dimension, our logic is completely out of its realm.
Science has its value in terms of utility, but science cannot open up the existence for human experience. It will not, it can never do it because they are going with intellect. Intellect as an instrument works only to dissect. The only way intellect can approach anything is to break it up and see. If you ask a scientist to find out something about a flower for example, the first thing is he will break it up into pieces. If you break up the flower, you may know many parts of it, you may know the structure and chemistry of it, but you will not know the beauty of it; you will not know the completeness of it because the flower is an expression of a plant finding its fulfillment. It is the highest thing for the plant, the flowering of that life. You will not see the hand of the creator in this if you break it. But as a whole, if you are willing to pay absolute attention, if in your approach, you make this flower more important than yourself and keep your focus on it, you will see the whole universe in this.
If we try to understand the universe by going into the cosmos, knowing full well it is immeasurable, then it is going to be untenable. In this culture, we took another route. That is, this little piece of life – the human being – is made the same way as the cosmos, from the same principles of existence, the same principles of creation. If you observe this closely enough, if you internalise your observation rather than observing the outer, you will know how a human being happened. Once you know how this happened, by inference you know how everything happened.
Whether you call it physics or spirituality, both of them are seeking the same thing. One is trying to explore the outside and know it. Another is exploring the inward, because it is more at hand. That scientists are willing to spend billions of dollars just to know something is a lot like spirituality. Right now there is no technological use, but they are willing to spend billions of dollars and decades just to know something. That sounds spiritual to me, but it usually does not cost that much!
If you know the full depths and dimension of what it means to be human, then you know everything that is happening out there. If you want to know what created this cosmos, do you have means to travel to whatever you think is the center of this cosmos and find out? You do not even know where it begins, where it ends, where the centre is. It is an endless pursuit. But this human being is just a reflection of the whole creation. We cannot separate the creation and the Creator. In the same image as the creation, is the Creator.
The writer is a world-renowned spiritual leader