So old, yet so new [Archives:2004/739/Culture]

May 20 2004

Ibb University,

I listened to Professor Thakur's talk on the Gita for the third time running on 30 April 2004 at the Indian Embassy auditorium, Sana'a. As Professor A.K.Sharma, who welcomed the audience to the talk on behalf of the India Embassy Club, the organizers of the talk, said, “every time you listen to the talk on Gita, you get a new meaning; it is an ocean, dive deep into it, you will not come out empty-handed”, now I realize a new meaning, a new notion and a new outlook of human life.
Professor Thakur in his inimitable and enviable simplicity of expression, made us realize that the Gita, which was written thousands of years ago, is ultra modern in its scientific perspectives, revealing most of what the 20th century neo-scientists such as quantum physicists, cosmologists and ecologists have found out after years of research and hard work.
The quantum theory which demolished the atomistic, mechanistic and reductionistic theories proposed that reality is nothing but relatedness and interconnectedness, which is what we find in the Gita in these words:”all that is here in the universe is on me like pearls on a thread; Understand me in everything, everything in me, everything in everything”. The concept of reality, as the Gita presents, is a web of interconnections, and that is why the famous scientist, Oppenheimer, with his sound knowledge of Indian writings in Sanskrit, said “what the quantum theory has to say has already been said by the mystics of the East”. In addition to the oneness of reality, the quantum theory revealed that 'the event and the observer are not separable and they are one'; This concept that the subject and the object, the seer and the seen are not different has been stated in the Gita clearly in Sri Krishna's words to Arjuna: “You think you are the object and I am the subject. No. You and I are one”. I am Dhananjaya among Pandavas
The Cosmologists of the 20th century are struggling to prove that the universe began from nothing; it keeps on expanding up to a point and then keeps contracting and this phenomenon will continue forever. The Gita, which was nothing but 'revealed intuition' gave us this message long ago.
The Ecologists who say ” don't spoil the earth; if you treat the earth with respect, you are treating yourself with respect; learn from the earth, etc” are not saying anything newer than what Sri Krishna said in the Gita thousands of years ago: “I am Garuda among the birds, I'm the moon among the stars; I'm Himalayas among the immovable things; I'm lion among the beasts” advising us to respect the animate and inanimate things on the earth so that we respect ourselves.
It is also not surprising to hear the super medicos of this century proclaiming that anger is destructive to human health, because the Gita proclaimed it long ago in these words: “anger leads to delusion, which leads to bewilderment and to loss of intelligence and finally to destruction”. In fact, the holy scripture went a step further to suggest a solution, which the super medicos are not able to; it suggested that one should get attached to 'a Krishna', namely, his or her God.
Professor Thakur concluded his talk with his oft-repeated message from the Gita that the secret of the success of life is in harmony not in division, in unicity not in plurality, in oneness not in multiplicity. What most of us in the audience, along with Mr. Karuppaiah, the honourable Indian Ambassador to Yemen, who expressed his admiration and gratitude to Professor Thakur for the excellent talk, felt that we need a Thakur to take us through the Gita again and again to unravel its mysteries hitherto untold, and make us realize the new meaning, as he sees it, everytime. This was also reiterated by Professor Abraham, who thanked the audience on behalf of the Club.