Hinduism is not afraid of evolution

Stabroek News
July 4, 2001

Dear Editor,

One can very well understand Mr. Alfred Bhulai's eagerness to disprove scientific evidence of the formation of the earth approximately 5 billion years ago. {Guyana Chronicle 20/06/01}. According to the Holy Bible printed in 1868, {Genesis 1:1}, God created the world on the 23rd of October, 4004 B. C. This will make the world just over 6000 years old ! As a scientist and, I hope, a rational being, Mr. Bhulai must be aware of the fact that this world is much, much older. Egypt, Mesopotamia, Syria, India and China, to name a few, were highly civilized nations at that time. This alone is sufficient reason to reject the "creation" story of the Bible. The said verse was deleted from subsequent editions in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. I know that Christians still believe in a "recent creation."

Mr. Bhulai, in introducing "The amazing story of Creation" by Dr. Gish, wrote in his final paragraph: "It is also of interest to note that the creationist premises would be the same if the source were the Muslim scripture, the Holy Qur'an {i.e., from the same God as the Christians}." Mr. Bhulai leaves no room for doubt as to which creation theory he supports. I cannot understand, however, the reason for the University of Guyana supporting such a theory, since there are other people with different religious persuasions. How about the Hindu view of creation? Was this ever considered by Mr. Bhulai and the University of Guyana? {See also Lutchman Gossai's letter, S. N. 30/06/01}. Again, was it ethical {or lawful} of him to do any write-up in the inside cover of the said book?

Hinduism does not support the Genesis story of creation, viz., the making of something from nothing. To the Hindu mind, "no thing can come from nothing."

Hinduism, in its search for the Mysterious Cause behind this phenomenal universe discovered that there is nothing Constant, Abiding, Fixed and Imperishable in the phenomenal aspect of Nature and the Universe. This world is but a series of changing, shifting forms. As such, it has concluded that the phenomenal universe is not "Real" in the philosophical sense of the word.

However, underneath all the changing and shifting manifestations, there must be Something that is Real and Substantial, upon the face or surface of which occurs the constant play of matter, force and life; as the ripples and waves play upon the surface of the ocean, or as the clouds pass before the blue of the sky, or as the picture moves across the screen. Hinduism holds, therefore, that there must exist a Background of Reality or a Foundation behind the phenomenal universe, else the latter could not even exist even in appearance. Consequently, this Universal Substance must be Real and the only Reality. Also, it is held that this Substantiality must be One, otherwise there cannot exist that continuity and orderly trend of manifestation observable in the universe.

This Ultimate Reality must be above all attributes and qualities. Consequently, its Inner Nature or Essential Being is beyond the cognition, knowledge or even the imagination of man, and therefore, beyond definition or name. The Hindu Sages have styled this Ultimate Reality by the Sanskrit word "TAT", from which the English word "THAT" is derived, a pronoun referring to something supposed to be understood. The more popular equivalent is "Brahman", or "The Absolute". {Read God}.

Applying the fundamental Hindu axiom: "Something can never be caused by, or proceed from Nothing," and as there was nothing other than God in Real Existence, it follows that God must have always existed and must, therefore be Eternal and Infinite.

"Something cannot be created from Nothing," when applied, demonstrates that even God could not have "created" the phenomenal universe or the individual souls from nothing. There was no "thing" outside of Itself which God could have used to "create" anything.

When the Hindu speaks of creation, he does not mean that God has brought the world out of nothing, but that He projected out of His own Being the powers existing there potentially and made them active. God in Hinduism is both the material as well as the efficient cause of the phenomenal universe. He does not create matter, which is only a certain state or mode of motion of the Universal Divine Energy. God does not, like the carpenter or a potter, create or fashion the phenomena out of materials existing outside of Himself, but that He projects everything out of His own being wherein dwell all Forces and Energy.

Science tells us that that Energy exploded and became the universe. There was a primordial explosion, and the universe expanded. After some millions of years there will be an implosion for a return to the original stage. From the One the many came, and the many goes back to the One in the end. In Nuclear Physics we learn: from quantum field energy came quantum particles, the molecular structures in the universe. These particles are nothing but the field energy itself. The field alone is true. The other things are only temporary manifestations of that field.

"Religion without science is lame; and science without religion is blind." {Einstein}. In many respects, Science is explaining the concept of the One becoming the Many.

While religions of the West are afraid of evolution, which they consider to be their death-knell, Hinduism looks upon it as an attempt to explain the manifestations of the Primordial Energy as life-forms. Nature has given us this beautiful body-complex. Hinduism understands religion as that profound science and technique of mass evolution from creatureliness to blessedness.

According to Hinduism, from God we come, in God we rest and to God we return. It is just like a wave rising from the sea, which must return to the sea. It was water; it is water; it becomes water. Or, take the seed as another example. No tree or leaf or flower or fruit is evident. But, it contains all the possibilities of the future tree. Similarly, God contains all the possibilities of the future developments.

The whole phenomenal universe can be traced back to the state of that Eternal Divine Energy.

Yours faithfully,
Pt. R. Balbadar