You see a child dancing, playing, laughing, and your first feeling is of life – energy flowing. If science is asked to analyze this child it will do it thoroughly. The scientists will list the percent of iron, phosphorus, calcium; how much water, how dense is the child’s body; but that life will be no more.
Once a scientist was walking along the road with his friend. A beautiful girl passed by and the friend stood still, mouth agape. “Forget it,” said the scientist. “She is ninety percent water.” Man is ninety percent water and ten percent matter. It is said that the total value of the substance of a human body is not more than five rupees. That is all the minerals within the body are worth. Therefore the human body is burnt on death, for it has no more value.
Science will measure everything and then say that there is no such thing as a soul. How can they find the soul when it is immeasurable? When we cannot locate it through any means of measurement, then we claim that it doesn’t exist. If we were wise we would say that all our ways of measuring take us only up to maya and no further. Therefore we must devise some other means than measurement to know him.
The method of science is measuring, investigating, examining, defining. The method of religion is absolutely different; it is not to measure or examine or define – but to drown in it, be immersed in it. The scientist stands apart from his quest, the religious man becomes one with it; he drowns in the very thing he is seeking.
Nanak once went to Lahore. The town’s richest man came and bowed at his feet. It was the custom in those days that a man who had ten million rupees could fly a flag over his house. Seth Dunichand, that was his name, had many flags flying. He touched his head to Nanak’s feet, then with folded hands he said to him, “I wish to be of service. By his grace God has given me enough. Whatever you wish I will fulfill.”
Nanak took out a sewing needle from his cloak, and giving it to Dunichand he said, “Keep this very carefully, and return it to me after your death.”
Dunichand was so engrossed in the pride of his wealth that he did not realize what Nanak was saying. “As you wish,” he said and left. Arrogance makes a person so blind at times that he does not realize some things are impossible. Finally, on the way home Dunichand thought about what he had been asked and realized he could not return the needle after his death.
So he went back to Nanak and said, “You have entrusted me with a difficult task. I thought nothing of it at the time, but now I feel that you might have been joking with me. What need is there to take care of a needle? Since I presume that the ways of a saint are mysterious, there must be a reason for it. Forgive me, but take back the needle for I shall not be able to clear the debt later. How could I take the needle with me beyond death?”