It will be better and more scientific if we understand it thus: that which is self-originated is the atman. This is more scientific than saying that the atman is self-originated. It is more scientific if we say, “We call him the supreme atman – God – who is uncreated, who is not created by anyone,” than to say, “Nobody has created God.”
Science also experiences this. In their investigations, scientists reach certain limits and then they feel that there is something beyond the limits, which is beyond creation. As it happened, science was always making investigations about elements, and the ancient scientists declared that there were five elements. This was not said by the ancient spiritualists – the religious people – because they had no concern with such elements. They were concerned with only one, the self-originated element.
The old scientific thinking of nearly four to five thousand years ago maintained that everything is created from five elements. Now the mistake happened because there did not exist separate books of science; every subject was included in religious books. The religious books were the collections of all the knowledge of those days, and so the belief that everything was created from five elements was available in religious books. But this matter relates to science and not to religion. Religion seeks only one element – the self-originated element.
Science continued its investigations, and it found that the principle of five elements was incorrect. When this was found out the foolish so-called religious people were very worried. They thought everything was now in confusion, because they had come to believe in five elements. But science went on steadily with its research. Now scientists have discovered one hundred and eight elements. But I want to make it clear that the new researches of science disprove only the old science.
No discovery of science can disprove religion, because the directions of religion and science are quite separate. Someone may compose a very fine poem, but that cannot disprove a principle of mathematics. There is no relation between poetry and mathematics. Similarly someone may develop a deep and difficult mathematical theory, but that will not disqualify a good poem, because their directions are separate; they don’t cancel each other. They don’t even touch each other. These directions run parallel like railway lines. If they seem to meet each other somewhere, it is our illusion. If you go to the meeting point you will find that they run parallel. Only an illusion of their meeting each other can arise, as it does in the case of railway lines.