This blog post is dedicated to Bhagavan Sri Satya Sai Baba who has defined the word “SAI” : The letter ‘S’ stands for Spirituality, the letter ‘A’ stands for Association, and the letter ‘I’ stands for Individual. Man is an Individual, an Association of trillions of Individual Cells which formulate the Identity of the Individual because of a Cellular function known as Consciousness which establishes God-Connection, or Spiritual Connection between the energy dependent Individual and the Cosmic Source of Energy/Power/Force which supports, sustains, and preserves the Living Functions of the Individual and all that is living on the planet Earth.
THE THREE FUNDAMENTAL DISTINCTIONS:
The Totality of Things have been divided by describing The Three Fundamental Distinctions; 1. the Distinction between the natural and the supernatural, 2. the Distinction between the material and spiritual, and 3. the Distinction between the lifeless and the living(inanimate/animate, non-living/living, inorganic/organic). How do we make these Distinctions? The Difference, is that of Kind or that of Degree? If physical matter is called natural material substance, Is there an immaterial, transcendental substance called supernatural? The material substance is governed by The Laws of Physics and interacts with other material substances as per The Laws of Chemistry. Who or what governs the nature of Spiritual substance? The Laws of Thermodynamics are applicable to both non-living, and living systems. What is the Difference? The Living matter or Living cell is a thermodynamically unstable system. This means that without a continuous input of energy, a Living cell will degrade spontaneously into a non-living collection of molecules. If Deoxyribonucleic Acid or DNA is viewed as a Living Organic Molecule, it lives as long as energy is supplied to manifest its living functions. If the supply of energy is withdrawn, this Organic Molecule degrades into its constituent inorganic elements, and molecules.
THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN LIFE AND DEATH:
Death is defined as the extinction or cessation of Life. Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Professor of Anatomy and Physiology, Dean of the Harvard Medical School(1847-1882), defined Life: “To live is to function, and that is all there is in living.” Life is defined as function at the level of physiology, of molecular biology, biochemistry, and of genetic potential. If Life is defined by function, Who or What is the Subject who lives because of its Function? What is that Function that could establish all other living functions? If living functions are goal-oriented, purposeful, sequential and not random, who provides the guidance or what is the source of Knowledge to perform goal-oriented functions? Life is described as a state of an organism characterized by certain processes, abilities that include metabolism, growth, motion, reproduction, responsiveness to stimuli, and awareness of its own condition of existence in a given environment. Functions depend upon the use of information; the information that is stored at a particular site or location is transferred to a different site or location where its is transformed into action which describes the nature of the function performed. Life could be defined as “Knowledge in Action.” The living functions or actions depend upon the use of energy. If Life is a manifestation of a System that is energy dependent, it requires Knowledge to acquire energy from an external source of energy. Life could be defined as a State of Knowing the Connection between energy- seeker and energy-provider. If a cell or matter to exist as Life, it must exist in a State of Knowing, or Awareness, or Consciousness that gives it the ability to acquire energy from its environment. Man has the Capacity of Consciousness in the presence of the vital functions operated by structures in Brain Stem. Man is certified to be dead when Consciousness departs and the same is evidenced by the absence of his Brain Stem functions. Consciousness is a transcendental term. It establishes a connection between matter or substance and a source of energy that is extraterrestrial or of Cosmic origin.
THE ROLE OF DEATH – IDENTITY, INDIVIDUALITY, AND MULTICELLULARITY:
In a multicellular organism, cells have short lives as individuals. The Whole Organism has a life span of its own. However, the Identity of the Individual who is seen as a living person is defined by a process called Cellular Death. The Identity is formulated by what is known as Programmed Cell Death. To achieve proper numerical balance between functionally related cell groups, the death of many cells is necessary for others. This Programmed Cell Death plays an important role in embryological Growth and Development of human fetus. Waves of genetically driven Cell Deaths are critical to the proper modeling of organs and organ systems. Such Programmed Cell Death events are essential if the organism as a whole is to develop its normal, final form and acquire a recognizable morphological appearance. Lord Gautama Buddha had observed; “Whatever is born, produced, conditioned, contains within itself the nature of its own dissolution.” Life and Death are the two sides or the two faces of the same coin. Without death, the Identity can not be expressed, and death also takes away the Identity that it has established. Identity and Individuality are not the same. Identity is established by the Phenotype which undergoes changes under the influence of Time. The Individuality is supported by Consciousness which operates the Genotype. Man’s Essence( Who you are ) is defined and is preceded by the Physical Reality of Existence. There is no Essence without Existence. There is no Existence without Connection, Association, or Partnership between energy-seeker and energy-provider. There is no Connection, Association, or Partnership without Consciousness. Man begins his life journey as a single cell and during his entire life journey the individual cells that describe his physical body constantly experience Cell Death while the Conscious entity survives the dying process. Consciousness is not affected by the dying process that gives the human a shape, a size, a form, and an Identity. Identity is dependent upon Consciousness and Consciousness is independent of the changing Identity such as infancy, boyhood, adulthood, and old age.
THE INDIVIDUAL AND THE INDIVIDUALITY:
The Individual is a Physical being and is a mortal being. The Individuality survives unchanged during the physical life journey of the Individual who lives with changing identity all his life. What happens to the Individuality? Does it continue without change? It depends upon the Flow of Time. Things in Nature change with Time but certain things like Mass, Energy, Momentum remain constant, unchanged, and they can not be created or destroyed. If Time flows in a cyclical manner, the Past flows into the Present, the Present flows into Future, and the Future soon becomes a Past event. Man’s existence depends upon the cyclical flow of Time, and Man’s existence depends upon his inability to directly experience the events that cause this cyclical flow of Time. Man exists not because of things that change in nature, but because of the constancy or unchanging nature of the change he perceives. Day is followed by Night, and the Winter Season is followed by the Spring Season with unfailing constancy. Very often, the cynical people would ask for verification. If not Sri Sathya Sai Baba, Jesus has provided some experience to His disciples and had verified the fact of His Resurrection. The Book of John, Chapter 20, verse 29 quotes the conversation between Jesus and His disciple Thomas. Today, Sunday, April 24, the Christian community is celebrating the Holiday known as Easter. Man will have no direct experience about the unchanging, eternal nature of his Individuality as his perception abilities, his cognitive abilities operate under the powerful influence of Illusion. As long as man lives on this planet Earth without direct experience of Earth’s Angular Speed, and Linear Speed, he will not know what changes and what may not change under the influence of Time. Man has to be uplifted from his State of Conditioned Existence to know his true nature. In a changing world, that is characterized by changes in function such as Life and Death, man has to seek the Unchanging Reality, the Unchanging Constancy that supports all Life.
Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,
Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India,
M.B.B.S., Class of April, 1970.
Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba passes away on Sunday, April 24, 2011 at 7:40 a.m. at Puttaparthi
The Hindu A child pays floral tribute to a portrait of Sri Sathya Sai Baba at the Satya Sai Nigamagamam in Hyderabad on Sunday after the spiritual leader passed away at Puttaparthi in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh . Photo: P.V. Sivakumar
“Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba is no more with us physically. He left his earthly body on April 24, 2011 at 7:40 a.m. due to cardio-respiratory failure,” Director of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences Dr. A.N. Safaya said in a bulletin »