A scientifically inclined brain is normally not aligned with mythology. However, as one thinks deeper, many things makes sense.. lot of sense. I recently read a book entitled “7 secrets of Shiva” written beautifully by Devdutt Pattanaik. As I went through the chapters, I was quite mesmerized with many parts of this wonderful book, of which I was completely unaware. So I read it again.. and again.. maybe atleast 3 times. I felt a strong correlation of many things written therein with deep rooted scientific concepts. But it was difficult to seep-in, because the brain has been trained to do “conventional” science for a very long time. With an urge to help me focus and to see if whatever I was thinking has any true relevance in nature, I looked through Google. And I found out that Nataraja , which is Shiva’s form, is installed in CERN, which is located in Geneva!! CERN lies on the French / Swiss border in European Organization for Nuclear Research.
The function of CERN facility is to keep a watch on large Hadron Collidor, which is a huge facility to study particle-particle interaction. This will help us understand the origin of Universe. This is one of the biggest and greatest scientific research centers in the world. And interestingly, it has a huge statue of Lord Shiva, as Nataraja, in its main corridor of scientific study laboratories. I was thrilled to know this!! Now, one may say that it must be gifted by India and that is how it happens to be there. However, I intend to think otherwise. I think that there must be a reason of this specific form of Lord Shiva to be getting installed at one of the largest research centers in the world. Let us try to understand it a bit more.
So again, like every other blog, we will see two concepts and connect them at the end.
Lord Shiva is worshipped as the destroyer and transformer of this world. There are many other attributes towards his profound presence, which include the explanation of Rattle drum, infinite pillar of Wisdom, his body smeared with Ash, Serpent in his neck, Tiger skin as his apparel and Ganga flowing from his head. Each has a significance attributed in Hindu mythology, which, ofcourse, we cannot cover in this small blog. However, Nataraja is a pose, which is unique. The pose of Nataraja is that from the TANDAV Dance, which he performs to demonstrate his might or power. It is an exhibition of creation, preservation and destruction, which depicts the deep understanding of our universe. It symbolizes many things, and the most important part of it is that: it symbolizes Change. It symbolizes flow of energy (the dance form) and a balance in this flow. It demonstrates that the universe is continuously changing, yet is stable. It is a phenomenon which is taking place deep within us, at the atomic level. It is also a picture of such similar things happening in each organic and inorganic matter in the universe. The birth of this world, its maintenance, its destruction and its re-creation are the acts of his dance. The Chakras behind him depicts the births and rebirths of living things, which is a belief in Hinduism. Everything gets symbolized in his final pose, which is Nataraja.
From modern physics and also from quantum physics we know that matter comprises of atoms and molecules. We know that electrons continuously move around the nucleus and this depicts energy flow. As these electrons are shared and bonds are formed, there is a shift in the flow of energy and it forms a new molecule. Such molecules are also stable, if they have followed the laws of physics and the rules in thermodynamics. Take example of Sodium and Chlorine atom. Both have electrons moving and both are independently stable. They exhibit a flow of energy and hence “life”. As they form a bond due to electron movement from Sodium to Chlorine, they form a salt. We know that such salts are used to create new materials, when they reduce complex materials to new materials (for example, synthesis of nanomaterials). In some sense, these new materials “gain existence” and basic sodium or chorine atom are “destroyed”. This is happening at subatomic level. In human body, systematically and rhythmically, cells are performing their duties, and are constantly created and destructed. The flow of energy in humans, at a microscopic level is a fine balance of creation and destruction. The same is true for animals and every other living being. As these changes occur, it is a kind of dance, and one can only witness it. One cannot control it. It is medically said that after every 7 years, each cell in our human body is replaced by a new cell..!! Just as the body eventually dies, so is the energy transferred into a new being. Very similar to Chakras. The fixed right leg of Nataraja depicts the soul, which is immortal. The left leg represents nature, which is constantly changing and due to which energy is flowing. The balance of this universe, amidst this dynamic energy flow, is the stability and tranquility as is seen in Nataraja’s posture and facial expressions.
It is said that Lord Shiva danced the Universe into existence. In this particular sense, it cannot be a coincidence that he has installed himself at this CERN Centre, which is dedicated to study the evolution of this universe..!!
There are many other questions like meaninglessness in the life, concept of Fear, Heroes and Villains in our life which is answered scientifically in the literature. Unification of Arts, Culture and Science can be found in such literature, which I shall continue to unfold, as I understand better.
These are solely my thoughts, which are inspired from whatever I read. I am sure that there would be many dimensions to the same phenomenon or scientific discoveries, which would be very interesting to know. Therefore, if there are such similar or even contradicting thoughts, please do put them in the comments box.
The more I read, the more I realize that scientific studies and their understandings are far far behind the knowledge this universe can offer..!! We continue to progress, though..!!