Behold the night sky! Scattered diamonds of varying brilliance peer down at us, seated in the vast plum brown jewel box of the universe. But unlike our jewel box of the earth, this one is without any velvet cover or defined edges. As we try to grasp the essence of time and space with the puny pupils of our eyes, we come to realise that the sky above is simply endless. No matter how hard we try, we just don’t know the dimensions of our universe. It’s literally above our heads!
Some may perhaps believe that the universe is infinite. Others may believe, it is God himself.
Is it possible that there is a connection between ‘infinity’ and God?
Let us examine the concept of infinity. Infinity is generally understood as “a number greater than any assignable quantity or countable number” (source: google). In very simple words, this means infinity is a very large number beyond human perception.
A crude example could be the number of sand grains on a beach. The number is so huge that we assume there is an infinite number of sand grains. Of course, a very dedicated and detail-oriented person could probably count the number of sand particles in one-millimetre cube of sand and proceed to estimate the number of sand grains at the beach. So technically, the number of sand particles in a beach is certainly a finite number – it is countable. It’s just that there are far more interesting things to do (like reading my blog :-P) than counting sand grains!
Perhaps, the best example of infinity is our universe. The dimensions of the great outdoors are simply larger than current human perception. We are making tremendous progress in astronomy, yet our knowledge of creation beyond our home is infinitesimal.
But, what if I tell you, the infinite exists within the finite as well? Let me illustrate.
Here is a number line. The number line is a very basic concept in maths. It tells us the natural order of the numbers.
Now, if I ask you, how many numbers are there between three and zero, what would be your answer? The correct answer seems to be two. After all, only ‘two’ and ‘one’ appear between ‘three’ and ‘zero.’ This answer would be correct if I had asked you how many natural numbers are there between them (in other the words, the number of marked points on the number line between them.)
If we consider the space between ‘zero’ and ‘one’, there are so many unmarked decimal points. Here is a diagram to illustrate that.
The above diagram clearly indicates that the said finite space (between 0 and 1) can be divided into many more finite spaces. In fact, this indicates that there are so many points between two fixed points. These points are nothing but numbers. Between 0.0000000000001 and 0.00000000000000000001, there are infinite numbers. There is no limit as to the amount of numbers between two given numbers. This means the infinite exists within the finite as well. (I know, it’s hard to wrap our head around it!)
This also means all numbers are contained within infinity as well as made up by infinity.
Now, replace the number line with the atom. Currently, the smallest particles known to man are quarks and leptons. These ultimately make up the atom. However, it doesn’t mean that the quarks and leptons cannot be divided further.
To get a perspective, let us imagine a being that is approximately 1025 times bigger than the earth (this I believe is how small the quark is when compared to the earth). To such a being, the earth appears indivisible. But we smarty-pants on earth know that something much smaller exists!
In other words, particles are divisible infinitely. It’s just like the number line. You can go on dividing! In a bizarre logical conclusion, everything we see, feel and touch is made up of an infinite number of particles. Infinity exists in the smallest (quarks) and the largest (universe).
Now coming to God, the Hindu holy texts have the following to say:
“Eko devaḥ sarvabhūteṣhu gūḍhaḥ sarvavyāpī” (Śhwetāśhvatar Upaniṣhad 6.11)
“There is one God; he is seated in everyone’s heart; he is also everywhere in the world.”
“īśhāvāsyam idam sarvaṁ yat kiñcha jagatyāṁ jagat (Īśhopaniṣhad 1)”
“God is everywhere in the world.”
“puruṣha evedaṁ sarvaṁ yad bhūtaṁ yachcha bhāvyam (Puruṣh Sūktam)”
“God pervades everything that has existed and all that will exist.”
“gatir bharta prabhuh saksi nivasah saranam suhrt
prabhavah pralayah sthanam nidhanam bijam avyayam” (Bhagavad Gita 9.18)
“I am the goal, the sustainer, the master, the witness, the abode, the refuge and the dearest friend. I am the creation and the annihilation, the basis of everything, the resting place and the eternal seed.”
God, as per Sanathana Dharma, is something that exists in everything, but at the same time contains everything. God exists in this sheet, in that book, in the air, in the water, in the fire, in the trees, in the car, in the universe and in you. Yet, all these things ultimately rest in God.
If you think of it, from our confusing conjectures on infinity, it would appear that you contain infinity. But at the same time, you are also contained by infinity. Everything contains ‘infinity.’
Am I saying God is nothing but infinity? No, God is a concept that is probably based on infinity, but of a much higher level. Just like all living organisms are based on the concept of the cell, but are in fact highly, advanced systems of the same concept. Except, in the case of God, we aren’t confident about the base itself (infinity).
As I said earlier, the concepts of ‘God’ and ‘infinity’ are terms for things beyond our meagre perception. We are after all humans. Just like how the understanding of an ant is limited to its routine activities (a la tickling you in your jeans), so is ours. We must acknowledge that there is something beyond our judgement. That something is far more advanced and developed than we can imagine. Such an act, as some may perceive, is not cowardice, but is in fact, humility.
Anyway, now that you know about the abstract mathematics of your existence, make the most of it! Let the God in you shine and bring about universal goodness! And remember, you are divine!