Mathematics of God
Understanding a Hindu God within scientific arena
Science has opened up the secrets of materialistic world. But humans are yet ignorant about whatever is not-material. No religion dares to describe God with materialistic features, except Hinduism. And this is what brings Hindus under the cloud of ignorance as viewed by other believers. But there are a much deeper facts than what the world sees about a Hindu from their limited vision. I will describe here about the logical conclusion of a Hindu to envision God in the form of Idol or Image and what does a Hindu actually feel about God. I, being a so called Hindu, would describe my understanding of God, which I inherited as all other Hindus, from our religious books. My understanding, which remains same as a Hindu understanding, is based on the concepts provided in Vedas and Bhagwad Geeta. Wherever necessary, I would quote sentences from these books for references.
Concept of a Hindu Idol is like a mirage for all religions outside Hinduism. The illusion fades away and the image of idol evaporates away when one comes forward trying to reach the Hindu mirage. God in idol form as viewed by other religions is an object in vicinity to be sensed by a Hindu. We require an object to be in vicinity to sense it. We cannot see GOD directly unless we are so close to him as the concept of vicinity itself. God being a non-object for most religions has non-object vicinity to be realized. A basic question – How can a human being attain the state of non-object to perceive God? A Hindu has an answer to this and to understand the answer, we require talking some mathematical metaphors. What forced me to jump into mathematics is the very concept of God being ‘One’. By saying so, we have mathematicized God: we have surely given a number, may be unique, to God? When we say ‘One’, we always relate to some object and objects have boundaries. Boundary-less object cannot be ‘One’ as ‘One’ is finite. And a non-object God can surely not have ‘One’ attached to him. The very concept of God being ‘One’ reflects the lacking maturity about understanding of God. Since, all the religion has a say on this, I am inspired to share a Hindu view of God as ‘One’ and ‘Many’.
Philosophy has the capacity to prove and disprove theories of all streams including science, mathematic, biology, geography, astronomy. Truly speaking, there is no stream that exists without philosophy. In the world of religion, a man of philosophy stands on the two legs of materialistic and non-materialistic theories, manifested and un-manifested realities. A Hindu is not ready to paralyze one of his legs of materialism while treading towards God and this allows him to compose the world of mathematics with manifested and un-manifested entities, with finites and infinites, with material and non-material, with life and God. I can clearly and undisputedly say that anything that is neither zero nor infinity is material and manifested. The world of materialistic science lives within the boundary of zero and infinity – the finites. And the world of non-material science is governed by the two extremities of math – zero and infinity. It is this un-manifested form of God that is believed by all religions – the infinite. Thus, I can dare to say that we cannot see God because he is absolute infinite. I would also dare to say that we cannot see him because he is absolute zero. I use the word absolute, because zero or infinity is something which is used in mathematics tangibly though they are intangible. There is no difference between zero and absolute zero, both are zero. But absolute word is used to give our discussion a shape of philosophical mathematics thereby emphasizing on the zero and infinite entity.
An Islamic believer told me God can be infinite but not zero: How, someone who is absolute zero can also be absolute infinite. Hinduism is a religion which never asks its followers to close his thinking. What makes other religions to close their perception about God having said that he is of infinite capacity and of unexplained reason of being One (the two contradicting concept coexisting within them), Hinduism has a broader and clearer concept of realizing that God has nothing and everything to do with One or Infinite. As humans we are free to feel God and there is no quantification to limit feelings. There is no quantification to limit God and there is huge quantification that visions God. For example, the words of Quran about God can be easily quantified to number of words about him. But the meaning of God even in Quran cannot be quantified with finite numbers. Thus, Islamic brother, though believing in infinite form of God, takes shelter of finite means to vision that infinite.
Zero and Infinity are at opposite ends of extremities and these extremities are always beyond human imagination; they are non-material, they remain un-manifested. Any number of zeroes added to zero cannot increase zero even to a smallest measure. Any number of infinite taken out of infinite cannot reduce the size of infinite. Hence both are complete in themselves. All others are incomplete. Anything is complete if it disproves all additions or subtractions and executes its identity in all formulating circumstances. God is also complete in himself. Hence, if some religion tries to define God, I would say he fits at both the figures. He is nowhere, yet he is everywhere. He does nothing, yet he does everything. He is omnipresent and omnipotent, i.e. he is present in everything that is within the imagination of human and even beyond and he is capable of doing anything that is within the imagination of human and even beyond – he is the almighty. I, as a Hindu, know that if I try to bind anything with zero or infinite, I tend to outreach either of these situations. For me, any formulation done to realize God helps me to outreach him. As, the material and the manifested numbers which are non-zero and finite tends to convert to zero or infinite upon unlimited singular operation, so I standing before the idol tend to outreach the same zero and the same infinite God, with the repetition of my approach in terms of rendering prayer, concentration and love.
This theory of equating zero and infinity is beyond the imagination of mathematical science as both these entities are beyond object perception. And hence, science and God have separate realization. This is where philosophy of mathematics helps us to do synthesize the two – the impossible starts seeming possible with the removal of boundaries between mathematics and philosophy. And this is exactly what a Hindu does. We try to start from zero, traverse the whole number system to outreach the very infinity. We don’t see zero and infinity as a separate entity than the other numbers. Mathematics is the base of science and zero is the base mathematics. Thus a zero was a gift to this world by a Hindu (though I have enough evidence that the whole number system was formulated by Hindus, long before the word ‘Hindu’ existed). A Hindu has started this world, Vedas being the oldest known and yet the most matured creation of Philosophy and God. A Hindu has started the logics of mathematics. Yet, the world views Hindu as ignorant worshipper of God.
There is another big problem in vision God as simply infinity and considering him separate from all finites. Our mind but cannot accept to visualize zero and infinity either or together. We immediately tend to think of something like vacuum as zero and the whole space as infinity. We not only fail to recognize that the whole infinite space is composed by the sum of same zero vacuum, but it is impossible for us to even imagine this. This is impossible and that is why we call him God who fits this formula. Because, once this fits to human mind and becomes possible, God would be nothing more then science. If modern science denies this fact and enforces the law that everything is science, then they would not hesitate to accept that science is still child in contrast to what is yet to be realized. Can science say – ‘yes, we have come to the end of all discoveries’. Every scientist is sure to answer a big ‘NO’. And if it is so, a child cannot deny the fact that this universe exists beyond the universal law as defined by them. The infancy of science can be easily understood by the fact that they have yet not been able to realize what life is, forget about the infinite universe.
I would be bold to say here that, if science wants to reach out the infinite, they have to first realize what this zero is. Science has to accept the fact that life is still a mystery. And instead of ignoring and disproving the Hindu concept of this life and God, science has to come forward to mathematicize this Hindu philosophy.
Realization of God is an attempt to realize zero or infinity. Both exists together, both are within and outside us and we are part of both, but how to understand this. Zero for me is nothing but the self inside me, the soul inside me, the life inside me which is the vacuum composing the infinite space, forming the God. Hence, we need to uncover ourselves first. We need to realize ourselves first. We have to know the fact that there is something that is driving each one of us, the something that seems to be zero and nothing, is also a part of that infinite which is everything. Zero for me is the same driving force which is constructing me towards realizing the infinite world of knowledge. If I don’t bring in me the capacity to understand this constituent ‘zero’, how can I realize the whole ‘infinite’? Realization of this zero will give me power to realize the infinity – and this is what a Hindu does – realize the Self.
But is realization of this zero possible? If yes, how do we do this? Simple, say if I have a (one) coin with me and I give that coin to someone for no reason, what is left with us in terms of coin is ‘zero’ (coin). If to visualize zero even in pure mathematics, we require support of non-zero numbers, then how can our material mind envision the unmanifested without correlating it to the manifestations. The very concept of zero and infinite make us realize that our imagination is always composed of all things that can be represented by all other numbers but these two. Our mind is material, pure material, capable only to imagine the manifestations. But all religions accept that God is beyond these manifestations. And it is at this juncture, while all other religions ceases to move ahead in the step of realizing God, a Hindu moves forward boldly breaking the boundary of ignorance to unfold the impossible. A Hindu very well understands that creator is not separate from creations; for if he is separate from creations, than creations don’t require the creator, which means no religion should exist in this world. If creator is unmanifested and infinite, creations are manifested and finite. Infinite is relative to finite, unmanifested is relative to manifestations, creator is relative to creations, God is relative to us (materials). And this is where idol comes to generate a formula. We know very well that to realize God, we need to realize correctly what is there within our vicinity to us and then formulate them to outreach the unreachable. Idol worship is nothing but one such formula. Our internal representation of God is zero, and external vision is infinity – none of which can be visualized. If mathematics has to exist with zero and infinity, it has to create symbol of these two figures as well, and we have those figures. If God has to exist among his creations (the finite numbers) as a creator (the infinite), he has to be symbolized as images, idols and words. We find that in many Hindu festival idols are created and then drawn back in river; bringing the unmanifested into manifestations, realizing it with enjoyment, and then sacrificing the material back to the unmanifested.
We will now try to equate zero and infinity, and correlate them to the finites. And to do this, we require first to disprove the antithesis of the same. We must first conclude that the two extremities cannot be equated, nor can they be correlated with the finites, as is understood by most religions. Supporting the anti-thesis, we can say that everything that we think and do is outside the control of that thing which drives our breath – the infinite. This will enable us to believe the incomplete theories of modern medical science, which describes all concepts of life (particularly the so called non-material parts categorized by religions) under the umbrella of chemical behaviors. Chemistry of life is somehow tried to be viewed as a source of Amino Acids by science and remains unproven. But it is just not life that remains unexplained. How do we build memory? How our thinking does get developed over those memories? How do we feel love, hatred and anger? Are all these properties of just mind? Neurology has its own explanation about these, but none of those theories are effectively able to induce these properties as proof of concept. Hindus have many more explanations and many more queries that can put science under smoky mysterious loops. Nature has created every single creature on this earth with different proportions in nearly all aspect of life. And it is this capacity of nature which Hindus call a property of God that cannot be achieved by man. And it is this amazing variation of life which does not fit the chemical reaction theories of science. Because compounds react in similar fashion and produce same compounds for repeating reactors. But nature doesn’t execute this property and life prefers to exist in variations. Thus the anti-thesis that life is within the finite understanding of humans falsifies within this arena itself.
Hindu philosophy fits perfectly to equate this impossible relation of zero and infinity. Memories according to a Hindu is a property of mind, but realized by the same zero – the soul. Summing up of these memories is same as summing of the zeroes in order to achieve the infinite space of huge memory with increasing time. Thoughts of mind erupt from the infinite space of memories as zero and starts building up towards the same infinite again. Our mind is the bridge between this zero and infinite, overriding the river of finites. The zero and infinite are at two opposite ends of our mind. Thus, every aspect of mind starts from this zero. And as it starts its journey towards the infinite, the length of the bridge itself seems to be infinite. And the mind is lost within the infinitely long finite path of the bridge.
There are two entities in this world which seems to govern even God – Time and Relativity. There was no situation when time was zero and there is no concept that is not relative. Even time is relative to the finite numbers and has its extremities in infinites. Even God takes shelter of these two concepts. There is no event in the history of mankind, when anything occurred in no time. And if religions believe that God has done something, they cannot say that God did it in no time. And understanding of these two entities are first two stepping stone towards realizing God. According to many religions, other than Hinduism, God seems to be creating this Universe. If this has happened, God has existed within the finite boundaries of time. And finite is material. Hence, God is bounded by material, which is not true as per the same religions. Swami Vivekanand has a similar thought behind this:
The Vedas teach us that creation is without beginning or end. Science is said to have proved that the sum total of cosmic energy is always the same. Then, if there was a time when nothing existed, where was all this manifested energy? Some say it was in a potential form in God. In that case God is sometimes potential and sometimes kinetic, which would make Him mutable? Everything mutable is a compound and everything compound must undergo that change which is called destruction. So God would die, which is absurd. Therefore, there never was a time when there was no creation.
It would be interesting to compare Universe with Time, both being infinite and both being realized in finite manner by man. If evolution did occur, it must have occurred on at least these two parameters – time and relativity. If the whole Universe was nothing but singularity (a concept that is boggling the mind of scientists and yet they accept it) that was infinitesimally small (I can say it as our concept of Zero), what was there in the space currently consumed by this Universe? Was it simply a vacuum? Relativity will say then that the Singularity had existed with relative to vacuum; vacuum being the infinite and singularity being the zero. And this was all that was existing, some finite time ago (around 40 billion years ago as per Big Bang theory). The question arises – What was there infinite time ago? And Big Bang says: eruption of Universe from Singularity and collapse of Universe back into the Singularity had been a rotating wheel on the time line. This is what Vedic religion says. Why is there disbelief on Religion by Science? Is science now on same line as religion? This is what I call the development era of ‘Religious Science’ – an era where Science would exist in ignorance, with many perceptions about life, evolution and creation, none of them being a correct, complete and proved conclusion. Anyway, I am not here to prove or disprove any of these scientific conclusions. All I wanted to convey was that such beliefs are not new to this world, nor are they complete and finally correct. These are all scientific discoveries in relation to zero, finite and infinite relatively. I say this has been under the umbrella of relativity because science has not tried to prove the Big Bang or Evolution theory in isolation: science have tried to perceive these beliefs through material properties. In fact, no entity can be realized in isolation – not even God.
And thus, by saying that God is infinite and cannot be manifested would simply mean isolating God; breaking the infinite from its relation with finites. The only source of realizing God has to be through the finites, and idols are one such important finite, one such important manifestation of God which is beyond imagination of humans.