From my early childhood, I have grown up in a society where our day starts with ringing bells and worshiping gods. Majority of works we do here is dominated by religion. People here change their entire route simply if a black cat crosses the road in front of them. We get a negative vibe on seeing an empty vessel ahead of us . There are tons of such examples. Our ancestors who developed an entire civilization, developed so many things, were they foolish enough to believe in such superstition without any cause?
Here, I would like to put forward some cohesion point that relate both science and religion.
1. This is a personal experience: A year ago, I visited my village. It is 4 hours drive from the nearest town. It is a remote place which was blessed with electricity just in 2015. There lies an old Peepal tree . As per my grandmother, that tree dates back to time of my great grandmother. It is still strong and stands there like a proud old man. It was dusk and I, along with some friends, were playing with its tusk. Then as the sun went down, villagers kept telling us to go back home . We did so and when I returned home, I asked my grandmother why actually we weren’t allowed to play in Peepal tree at night. She told me it would be occupied by ghost during night and some villagers who spent night in tree actually died. I was really astonished. Then came the morning and then a huge number of girls went to the tree to pour water . It was an irony! A tree which is said to be unfit for sleeping under at night is fit for being worshiped in the morning.
Now, when I look this thing from a scientific point of view, it all makes sense. Peepal tree gives out the highest amount of carbon dioxide at night which is enough to choke you till death. And it gives the highest amount of oxygen at day time , which is good for your health. There isn’t any ghost! its just carbon dioxide.
2. Bhramins community, whom I have eaten with, have a ritual to follow before they eat. What they basically do is; they separate little bit of all types of food they are eating and keep it separately in the name of holy spirit. Why should we leave little amount of food every time we eat when thousands of people starve daily? Even though its for holy spirits, there is a good scientific reason behind this ritual. If you do so, you will know which kind of food reacts with other foods when mixed up. For example, combination of mentos and cocacola produces an acid i.e. cyanide which can kill you. Mixing foods before eating lets you prevent from some really lethal food combinations.
3. “OM” is perhaps the most repeated word in Hinduism and Buddhism. I have heard this word from the first time I prayed along with my mother in a nearby temple. Most of the chants like “Om bhur bhuwashwaha” , “Om mani padme hum”, etc contain the letter “Om”. I was really curious about it’s meaning. I started to ask people what it meant. Some religious figures told me that this word symbolizes eternity , it is where everything originated from. I searched and searched and few months ago, I found it’s true sense. NASA recorded the sound of sun and the results were really exciting. Sun produces low frequency sound that is not audible to normal human ear. When this frequency is pitched up the sound produced is similar to hmmmm which sounds clearly to “OM” . Sun, as we know, is the reason earth is alive today. It is a perpetual resource, thus the word eternity might have been mentioned by religious figures In context of word “Om”. Is there a possibility that our ancestors might have gone to level of universal consciousness and heard the sound of sun and quoted in ancient scripts as the origin? Well, we never know!
Science and religion are not two entirely different concepts. It just matters in the way we perceive it. As per my logic, what I can say is that people of that time period were unaware of scientific reasons that caused death. They unaware of carbon dioxide that choked you till death. Yet, they had to find something that people feared of, in order to prevent them from sleeping under trees at night. Thus, ghost were created. Likewise, they had to find a way to attract people to trees early in morning to get fresh oxygen, so gods were created in the first place.
All in all, what I can conclude is science and religion are two sides of a same coin. Presently, we are able to answer some religious question via science like bhramaastra could have been a nuclear weapon , the bridge between Rawan’s kingdom and India lies submerged presently, the fact that Lord Ganesh had an elephant’s head might have been possible by a very high level of transplantation. Thus, I feel that religion is also science whose components can be explained by science. In order to explain the entire religion, science is not mature enough.
By Sachin Dangi (ASC 2016 Participant)