Mr.J.B.S Haldane, the famous English writer chose to remain in India after independence. All his friends who were going back to England asked him why he wanted to stay back in this uncivilized country. Then he answered, “It was only after Charles Darwin (1860) that we all came to know about the concept of evolution in the West. But Indians knew about it since ages as depicted by their mythology. Their God appeared in nine forms on the earth in the following order:
- As fish in ocean (aquatic form) – Matsyavatara
- As Tortoise which is amphibian (more in water but it comes out and lays eggs in the sand) – Kurmavatara
- As Wild boar (which is less in water but it spends more time on land – Varahavatara
- As Man-lion form (combination of animal and man)– Narasimhavatara
- As Dwarf man who evolved into a total human being and also showed his capacity to become the controller of universe – Vamanavatara
- As Nomad or savage who dwells in forests – Parasuramavathara
- As King who established order and ethics in kingdom by HIS sacrifice and set an example for all – Ramavathara
- As Guru/JNANI who has authority above all rules, power and money, his main aim was to establish dharma by defeating adharma which donned the role of customs and accepted norms (which tried to dominate dharma in disguise) – Krishnavathara.
- As Enlightened one, who showed that liberation or self-realization can be obtained from temptations and one can transcend the physical plane into higher levels. This is what is called Moksha (liberation) – Buddha
So, India is more civilized than western world. There is spiritual touch here, in this land and culture and J.B.S Haldane remained here till his death. This scientific approach to the Indian mythology is the motivating factor for this paper. As this is the year 2013, it reminds us an important and significant event in the era of modern science.
Exactly 100 years back, in 1913, Neils Bohr proposed his model of “Atomic Structure” which could answer many questions and which led to an entirely different approach to understanding the sub-atomic world.
By the end of the 19th century, scientists thought that they have discovered all the natural laws, and could explain all the phenomena of the physical world by using the Newton’s laws and the classical theory of electromagnetism.
But the discovery of electron by J.J Thomson in 1897, and radioactivity by Henry Bequerel in 1903 took the scientists by surprise and challenged their understanding because until that time the atom was thought to be the fundamental, smallest, indivisible particle which is the building block of matter and the world.
Gradually newer generations of scientists put forward different explanations for the arrangements of electrons (negatively charged) and protons (positively charged) and neutrons (no charge but contains mass) in the atom.
First one given by J.J Thomson, postulated a water melon model (plum pudding model),that the positive charges are spread over in the atom like the pulp of a water melon and the electrons are embedded as seeds (plums) inside it. This was only a hypothesis. To test the correctness of this model, Rutherford designed and conducted alpha- ray scattering experiment. Its observations led to the following conclusions:
- Most of the atom is hollow
- The positive and massive part of atom is concentrated in the center of atom and it is 1 part out of 10,000 parts of atom. He called it nucleus.
- Negatively charged particles, i.e. electrons must be moving around the nucleus just as planets move around the sun. This secondary model is called planetary model.
But Rutherford himself knew that this model was not correct, because electrons and protons are charged bodies, while planets and sun are not. So, the laws which explain planetary motion cannot be suitably applied to the motion of electrons around the nucleus. A revolutionary approach was needed to explain the phenomena and Niels Bohr provided that in 1903. He used quantum theory of Max Planck and spectra of hydrogen atom to arrive at the correct model and succeeded in explaining the stability of revolving electrons and the origin of particular lines in different regions of the Hydrogen spectrum. He also calculated the radius of the orbits and energy of the electrons around the nucleus. Now, universally it is accepted as a simple, neat and correct model of atom to understand the stability and behavior of electrons in an atom.
Here, in the development of Bohr’s model, we have seen that ordinary explanations are not sufficient but a different approach was necessary to explain the things at sub- atomic level. The same argument can be applied in understanding our mythological concepts.
We have different Gods and Goddesses, powerful in their particular areas, like we worship hills, trees, animals, birds, snakes etc. i.e. all forms of nature and elements like earth, water, fire and air. So, in all we have 33 billions of devathas. All of them turn to Thrimurthies (the three forms of Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara) whenever they face danger from asuras.
Who are these forms?
These three forms are above the physical level of natural forms, which are formed in the creation by atoms, in the way atoms are responsible for the formation of molecules.
Just like N. Bohr used the H atom as representing the whole of the matter, in this paper, we will use the H atoms as representing the whole of the creation.
These Thrimurthies (three forms) are responsible for the creation of the atoms.
The sharing or transfering of electron between different atoms result in formation of molecules,resulting in the formation of the world.So, scientifically, activity of eiectron is responsible for the creation—It is srustikartha!Therefore
The electron of a hydrogen atom can be taken to symbolize Brahma,–srustikartha according to our scriptures.Then the electrostatic attraction force that connects electron to proton can be equated to the stem tube of lotus ie Brahma’s seat and because it is originated from naval of Vishnu, proton symbolizes Vishnu.!
So,electron is Brahma, proton is Vishnu and the electrostatic force of attraction is stem tube of lotus or umbelical cord of Vishnu which connects both.!!
Where is the third particle that is Shiva? Here I would like to refer to the story of Lingodbhavam. (Shiva rathri festival)
When Brahma and Vishnu started quarrelling as to who is supreme among them, (electron and proton in this context), there appeared a formless linga between them and said “both of you have come from me, for the creation both are required.”Therefore, neutron can be equated to Shiva.!
Whenever, God wants to create, he will release both. This can be equated to the neutron giving rise to proton and electron.
Neutron—————- proton /?/plus// electron
And when God wants to dissolve the creation, he makes the proton and the electron to unite producing a neutral neutron.
proton(Vishnu) plus electron(Brahma)————Neutron(Shiva)
It is Shiva who causes dissolution. This is clearly demonstrated in the nuclear fission and fusion reactions of radioactive elements.
Nuclear reactions take place in the center of sun where atoms do not exist but all three particles are in suspended plasma state in the core, due to the very high temperatures. But, towards the periphery (corona) of the sun, where temperatures are lesser, the hydrogen atoms are present and get converted into hydrogen atom by nuclear reactions. These are responsible for the liberation of more energy.
As the quarrel continued, Shiva in the form of linga (neutron) told them, that whoever finds the beginning or the end of his Jyothirlinga is greater. Brahma went up and Vishnu went down to find the starting or end points, but neither could succeed. Thereupon Brahma lied that he was able to find the starting point, whereas Vishnu admitted the truth His incapability. Then Lord Shiva made Vishnu responsible for sustenance of creation, and also punished Brahma saying that although he is creator, Vishnu is more powerful as the sustainer.
Once there was a question among devathas, of all Thrimurthis who is greater? Already Brahma (electron) is out of the race.
Who is present in the nucleus? Both proton and neutron. So, among Vishnu and Shiva who is greater? Then Vishnu said that such question should not arise.
“Shivaya Vishnu Rupaya, Shiva Rupaya Vishnave
Shivasya Hrudayam Vishnuhu, Vishnscha Hridayam Shivah”
Neutron becomes proton and proton becomes neutron, both are equal. He also said that, all three are required for the reaction.
- Creation (Brahma = electron)
- Sustenance (Vishnu = proton)
- Dissolution (Shiva = neutron)
But Vishnu being the protector of creation, is positively inclined towards Brahma and his creation (electron) – protecting devathas.
Whereas Shiva being neutron, he is neutral towards devathas and asuras. He is above the dualities of creation.
In this way we can understand that Thrimurthies do exist in every atom of the world, inside our body and also outside. There is no place where they are not. We may think they are in their worlds like Satyalokha, Vaikunta and Kailasa. But those worlds are inside every atom. We may think that no one knows what we think or do in secret. But without the three forms of god, we do not exist so, without their knowledge we cannot do anything! All our papas (negative thoughts and actions) and punyas (positive deeds) are recorded without our knowledge. So, the subatomic particles are referred to as Parama and guhyam (mysterious) in Sanskrit, which means that they cannot be explained by ordinary ways. Hence the extraordinary approach of quantum theory was needed. Similarly based on the positions and properties of electrons, protons and neutrons, one may interpret that the Electron stands for the Brahma principle (Parameshti), Proton for the Vishnu principle (Paramdhama) and Neutron for the Shiva principle (Parameshwara).
And these three principles three forms of same God expressed for different assignments ie creation sustenance and dissolution!
Now, let us try to interpret our trinity in terms of this atomic model.
It is the electron that participates in chemical reactions to form different types of molecules which in turn gives rise to matter ,thereby whole world. So it can be equated to Brahma who is the creator (Srushtikartha). Now, Lord Vishnu can be equated to proton because he is positively inclined to maintain the creation. The lotus stem that connects Brahma to Vishnu as depicted in our scriptures may be taken to represent the force of electrostatic attraction that holds the electron to the proton. Next neutron can be equated to Lord Shiva because he is neither positive nor negative, he is neutral!
In nuclear reactions it is observed that when a proton and electron combine, a neutron will result. And when a neutron gives out an electron,in the form of a beta ray ,it is converted into a proton. This means vedic description
“Shivaya Vishnu rupaya Shiva rupaya Vishnave” exactly matches this transformation!!!
Therefore Thrimurthis or trinity is present in every atom of our body and also everywhere in the world.
Now we can apply this to Bhakta Maha kavi Pothana’s poem, from Gajendra moksham-
“Evvaniche janinchu jagamevvani lopala nundu leenamy…..”meaning—
“By whom, this Universe has come into being , by whom it is maintained, in whom it will be dissolved…Who is the Lord of this whole creation ..Who is the spectator of the beginning, being and ending of these worlds and who encompasses everything, who is self sustaining and sustainer of all… to that Lord I salute!!!
If we read the above translation by substituting the words “who and whom” by the word “atom” then both descriptions are similar.
This is the celebration of the atom in the form of Trinity!!!