95) What Life Is
It has never failed to make me laugh at life’s little vanities. What are we humans really - just absurd little creatures stuttering about as though we own the earth and everything upon it. An ill wind comes along and we are finished. The graveyards are full of people who once thought they were indispensable.
Bangalore: 10 May 2005 Ruskin Bond in the foreword to his “Collection of Fiction”
96) An Equation with God
It was Goddess Namagiri, he would tell his friends, to whom he owed his gifts. Namagiri would write on his tongue, Namagiri would bestow ….. insights in his dreams. There’s something not quite right about the mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan ascribing his genius to a personal goddess.
Science and Religion may be different ways of seeking the truth. Ever since the trial of Galileo, they have been separated by a chasm that seemed impossible to cross. And yet Ramanujan said, “An equation for me has no meaning unless it expresses the thought of God.” There is no reason why mathematicians should not believe in God. There may be some reason why scientists should not find it quite as easy to believe doctrines, religion and God, but again there’s no reason why they should not do so. ……… He must take a blind leap of faith and believe that the universe is real, knowable and causal.
Astronomer V.S.Venkatavaradhan, director of the Nehru Planetarium, Bombay, finds it difficult to believe that there can be any dichotomy between science and religion. “I go to the temple because I have been brought up to do so. I see nothing wrong in that. Worship brings me peace and stability. Why this is so, I do not know…. but I do not know if I believe in Him.”
Rashida Ghadiali, a Bohra Muslim psychoanalyst says, “Science and religion are two different things because they are two different ways of looking at the world. Science demands replicability, emperical evidence, methodology of induction and deduction. Religious experience is deeply intuitive, subjective and does not depend for its validity on being replicable.” She says, “Although they are ideologically irreconcilable, neither offers any answers. It is only at the superficial level that science seems to have an answer, because we are taught by science fundamentalists. And religious fundamentalists can say that religion has the answer. In both you are on your own.”
When Galileo displaced the world from the centre of the universe, man was shocked. When Heisenberg concluded that a particular electron could never be located with certainty, he appalled the scientists. Time broke free of clocks and turned into a Mobius strip. The very mass underfoot became energy and melted away at the speed of light. Perhaps it has never been so easy for scientists to believe in God.
Bangalore: 12 May 2005 Extracts from : “n Equation with God” an article from Times of India
97) Persecution of Christian Churches in Nazi Germany
On July 20, 1933 the Nazi government concluded a concordat with the Vatican in which it guaranteed freedom of the Catholic religion. Ten days later, on 30th July 1933, the German government promulgated a sterilization law and first steps were taken to dissolve the Catholic Youth League. During the following years thousands of catholic priests, nuns and lay leaders were arrested, many of them on trumped up charges of “immorality”, or of “smuggling foreign currency”. …….. Some 807 other pastors and leading laymen of the protestant churches were arrested in 1937 and hundreds more in the next couple of years. …….. In the spring of 1938 Bishop Marahrens took the final step of ordering all pastors in his diocese to swear a personal oath of allegiance to the Fuehrer. In a short time the vast majority of protestant clergymen took the oath, thus binding themselves legally and morally to obey the command of the dictator.