We all are aware that there is a strong push and commitment from the scientific societies of the world to find an alternate living space. Scientist all around the world are directly or indirectly contributing to the research. The search is to find WATER on other planets, without which there’s no life. The quest is ON as NASA probes have been analysing our moon and have found an evidence which defines a possibility that the moon is harboring water somewhere, which shape or form, don’t know. Does it have lakes and oceans beneath, not sure.
This blog is not a lecture on astrophysics nor my contribution to the ongoing research, but a curtain raiser to something that we all have in mind…what if we find a planet habitable enough? There are so many WHATS and HOWS that need to be answered. Let’s dwell on few and I request my readers to add to the list. Before you start reading, I would like to clear that the heading ‘Earth 2.0‘ has nothing to do with Kepler-452b (an exoplanet quoted to be as Earth 2.0) but a mere versioning. If our current Earth is version 1.0 then another would be a 2.0.
- We know one day the Earth will vanish (vaporise is the right word, I suppose) because the SUN will die, but that one day is somewhere 7 to 8 billion years from now. So WHY are we hunting for a new planet so early?
- Finding water on the moon solves what? Are we really going to stay on the moon? If we stay on the moon, there will be no other moon in the vicinity. The phrase “Over the Moon” will be moot too.
- If we are not staying on the moon, are we bringing that water down to earth?
- One good thing living on the moon would be that no one would need a vehicle to travel. We all float and go places.
- What happens when we find a planet that has enough WATER?
- Would it be equal to or more than the size of our current Earth?
- Is it necessary for the planet to have Oxygen in it’s atmosphere, or are we sending bottles/tanks up?
- Who will decide who will go first?
- If we are moving there way way before the sun dies, who get’s to move first?
- Who will be responsible to build colonies and How will we build it. Will they be built off of similar materials (aluminium, steel, bricks, cement, wood etc.) we find here on earth or we need to find out an alternative on planet Earth 2.0?
- Will the planet Earth 2.0 be demarcated into continents, countries, cities etc. like we have now or will all be ONE, irrespective of cast, creed, religion?
- Assuming there will not be any trees, we will have to plant them (again assuming there is soil) – god knows now many to begin with – and wait for them to grow?
- Will it rain there? Is it possible? There won’t be an unlimited supply of water, I am sure. Once we start draining it we also will have to add it back so to sustain.
- If rain is not possible how long will the water last?
- Even if we think of seeding, there must be an atmosphere to hold it? Where are the clouds?
- Can we do farming? Will Earth 2.0 have soil to plant?
- Can we take cattle from earth to the new planet? Will they survive the ordeal? Even if they do, can they reproduce? Where would they graze? They will have to wait until the grass and trees grow, if at all.
- Will we experience and enter another stone or ice age? Start from scratch?
There could be a pretty long list if we start jotting down everything that we do today and correlate to how will that be on the new planet. I would like to invite our young readers to share their thoughts and opinions on this cosmic matter.
I think we are trying to find a new HOME not because the SUN will die eventually and so the EARTH, but to reduce the current burden on earth, due to the limited natural resources and due to the ever changing climatic (hurricanes, tsunamis, global warming) and geographical conditions (earthquakes, volcanic eruptions). We fear there might be a day when every volcano on the earth would erupt.
In my previous blog, I introduced ‘Hinduism’. Conclusively, it is a mosaic of different sampradayas or faiths, each being outgrowths of the original. This is the only culture where a person may follow the paths of knowledge, action or devotion in accordance with his or her aptitude and interest. This democratic approach in matters of faith and practice is truly a distinctive feature of Hinduism.
Now let’s see what defines a Hindu. A geographical definition would be ‘One who is born in Bharat (India)’. Another familial statement would be ‘One who is born to Hindu parents’. A genetic inheritance definition would be ‘One who is born into the fourfold caste system’. It has been factored that what whatever definition there could be, but the one who had faith and belief in one Supreme Divine Reality (Paramátmá) is principally a Hindu.
Core Beliefs and Principles:
- One Supreme Divine Reality: The Rig Vedas says “Truth is one, but the wise describes it in many ways”. There is only one Supreme Paramátmá or Bhagwan (God)
- The Authority of the Vedas: These are the ancient shastras revealed by Paramátmá or Bhagwan to the enlightened rishis of India. Vedas are used as a reference point for creation, maintenance, and transformation of traditions.
- Avatáraváda: The principle that Bhagwan or God himself takes birth on earth in human and other forms.
- Atman (Soul): It is unborn, eternal and indestructible inner self. The Atman is sat (eternal), chitta (consciousness) and ánanda (bliss).
- Karma: The universal law of Cause and Effect according to which a person is responsible for his or her actions and their effects.
- Punarjanma: Linked to Karma, Punarjanma is the principle of reincarnation or rebirth in which the Atman (soul) passes through many births to attain spiritual enlightenment or moksha.
- Murti-pujá: A belief that God manifests in a murti (image) through which he can be worshipped and adored through acts of devotion.
- Guru-shishya Parampará: Through the God-realised living guru the disciple realises the highest spiritual wisdom and attains moksha.
- Four Purushárthas: Endeavours or goals of life, namely, dharma (staying faithful to one’s moral duties), artha (acquiring wealth), káma (fulfilling one’s desires) and moksha (acquiring final liberation).
- Ahimsa: Hindus love and respect all life forms as they believe God pervades all living (human, animals, plants) and non-living (mountains) things and hence they generally practice ahimsa or nonviolence.
- Varnáshrama Dharma: An organised social structure for the harmonious progress and development of individuals and society defines duties and responsibilities of Hindus in relation to their four varnas (classes) and four ashramas (stages of life). Varna included the Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, and Shudras, whereas the Ashramas meant, Brahmacharya (student wedded to celibacy), Gruhastha (householder), Vánaprastha (retired life) and Sannyás (ascetic life).
In conclusion, what qualifies a Hindu is his or her belief in One Supreme Paramátmá – who manifests in many forms – and the Authority of the Vedas.
(Credit: Excerpts from the book, ‘Hinduism An Introduction’ by Sadhu Vivekjivandas)