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कृण्वन्तो विश्वमार्यम्

Harish Chandra's Article: SpiritMag June 2011

Volume III, No. 7, June 2011

IV. The World is Real, Purposeful and Beautiful – Part 3 of 4

Last two months we observed that the universe we live in is real and is governed by definite laws of nature. We also had a brief appreciation that the universe is infinitely large consisting of infinitesimally small particles. Both, the largest bodies and smallest particles follow certain laws and behave in a precise manner. Now we want to briefly discuss purposefulness in every event observed in the universe.

Let us consider the earth’s orbit around the sun. It moves around in an elliptical orbit. Its movement is coupled with its spinning motion that it spins around its own axis in 24 hours causing day and night. Day is for us to work with our body and mind and night is to rest so that we are refresh for the next day. Our body clock and the earth’s movements are closely synchronized. During the period of one year, the earth completes its orbit around the sun. However, it’s very interesting to note that during its movement its axis maintains a slant of about 22 degrees and that causes different seasons. The part in the northern hemisphere has its winter season coinciding with December and summer in the month of June whereas it’s vice versa in the southern hemisphere. Seasonal changes cause precipitation and farming of different types of produce.

Let us briefly look at the water cycle. We obtain clean filtered water through precipitation. We use it up and it goes down the drain in a polluted form eventually ending up in rivers, lakes and oceans. Then the sunlight causes its vaporization. Water vapor so produced forms clouds. Clouds then roam around different parts of the earth and cause rainfall and snowfall, bringing clean filtered water back on the earth’s surface for the living species and vegetation. All this happens in accordance with the laws of the nature and the grand design has a wonderful purpose to sustain life on this planet earth.

There is a similar wonderful pattern with regard to another life support substance of greater importance, namely, air. We breathe air every moment and convert oxygen into carbon dioxide. The latter is then ‘breathed in’ by plants in presence of the sunlight, the process is called photosynthesis. Plants and vegetation, in effect, convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, and thus, maintaining the delicate balance of the most important life support substance.

Certain things may look odd at the first instance but a closer look tells us the grandeur in the nature’s design. Take the case of water freezing to form ice. Unlike other substances, water expands upon freezing. In other words, whereas other substances have higher density (mass per unit volume) in their solid phase as compared to that in the liquid phase, ice is lighter than water. It’s quite unusual. But it must be so otherwise all marine species would die once lakes and oceans get frozen if ice were to sink to the ocean beds. Also, our ships can keep away from icebergs and be saved from mishaps because the latter float above the water surface.

We have seen in the recent months that the universe is real and not an illusion. It follows definite laws of the nature that come from a conscious intelligent cosmic entity, being the lawmaker. The universe is infinitely large and consists of particles that are infinitesimally small, too. Every event in the universe has a grand purpose sometimes understood by us and sometimes not. Next month we will observe that the universe is beautiful, too.

- Harish Chandra

B. Tech. (IIT Kanpur)

Ph. D. (Princeton, USA)