Secretary, Ramakrishna Mission Institute of
Culture, Golpark, Kolkata
I am going to give you some of my thoughts while going through some of the writings of Sister Nivedita whose 150th birth anniversary is being celebrated all over the world. We are speaking of oneness of existence – we are in all, all is in me. This is simply a belief. All our greats have experienced it through their meditation, but we as laymen just accept it. Sister Nivedita has recounted from the life of Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose. She has recounted while J. C. Bose was experimenting in London, Swamiji was present in London and there was another great Indian Sir Ranjit Singh – the great cricketer who was also present in London.
Swamiji had told Sister Nivedita that you know that there is life in plant. This is going to be proved by Sir J. C. Bose, but I know he is a genius and can prove that even the tub or the pot is conscious and he can prove it. So Nivedita wrote, “The Vedanta declares those who see but one in all changing manifoldness of this universe - unto them belongs eternal truth before the galaxy of scientists in London.”
Sir J.C. Bose invented an apparatus to prove that plants have life and he invented the very apparatus to prove the inanimate objects, even the rocks, the gross matter, they have also life. What did he do?Sir Jagadish took a book, a human hair and a piece of wood and produced electric waves with the help of his apparatus and showed that the rays passed through the masses and also measured the angle at which the unseen became bent in its transmission. He discovered life in metal also. He also proved this with the help of a different experiment. What is that? He defined an animal as living as long as it is capable of dying. We are living because we are capable of dying. That is the proof of our living. Then it is true that death will be hastened by poison. If some poison is injected into our body, our living body would become dead. Can the metals be poisoned? He did it by poisoning a piece of metal. It was made to pass through an electric passim and at once its activities grew weak till it became very rigid. And what did he do after administering poison? He wanted to cure it by giving some antidotes. And accordingly, some antidotes were applied. The substance began to slowly revive and after a while, it recorded normal responses.
We have seen the phenomenon of depression together with the possibility of recovery and exaltation. So Nivedita stated that, “Reviewing this, Sir J. C. Bose then commented, in fact he issued a warning to the students of science by saying - science can only grow where the minds of the student is prepared to recognise an underlying unity among apparently diverse phenomenon. He established existence of consciousness by way of presenting his deep faith in the Creator which he called God.”
Mind that, he was never a believer in God, he was never a believer in existence of consciousness in all but since the Vedic seers and sages had professed unity in diversity, he wanted to prove it and he proved it beyond doubt.
So it is not a matter of belief now that we see all in us and we in everything. If that be so, then obviously we have to look upon others sufferings and happiness. We have to serve everybody. Even the plants, the animals, the metals, rocks, woods everything which we call matter must be looked upon as nothing but the extension of our existence. We have no way to exploit anybody. There is no competition in this world but we feel that the fittest, the strongest only will live and the weak will perish. This is what Swami Vivekananda gave us - not competition but cooperation and help. This is a message. Never ask who is who, never ask their gender, their religion, etc. We are all one. Scientists have proved the same. Unfortunately, this work of Sir Jagadish Bose has never been highlighted later.