Why You Matter in God's Infinite Universe

Ripples in the universe

by Jayaram V

It is important to know the purpose of your life and why you matter in God's infinite universe. I will try to address this in the following discussion to the best of my ability.

Your body has many organs or parts. According to the Vedas, each organ in your body has its own sphere and is presided over by a divinity. They compete for nourishment as gods do in Indra's heaven. According to the Upanishads once they quarreled among themselves to know who was superior. After a long fight, they realized that they could not do without breath (prana) and acknowledged it as their lord and controller. In fact, for a long time, breath (prana) was considered synonymous with the Self since the body remained alive as long as the breath stayed in it.

The organs in your body do not have the will or an ego of their own. Imagine what may happen if each of them acts independently according to their own will and desire. You will not be able to live at will. Your body will be chaotic, and your life will become miserable, as each organ asserts itself and functions by itself. Fortunately, you do not have to go through that.

You are the person in the body. You are its controller and overlord (Isvara). You do not think for a moment that the body is not yours or show undue favors to any part. For you, your body is an indivisible entity. You consider it one system with different parts, and you accept all of them as part of you. It is your world, or microcosm, over which you have great control, and which you acknowledge as part of your identity that you can shape with resolve or according to your desires.

Now, let us take the idea further and expand it on a universal scale to compare it to the material universe, or the macrocosm. The Vedas say that just as you are the person (Purusha) in your body, the manifested and awakened Brahman is the Person (Purusha) in the macrocosm. Just as an organ is part of your body, you are an organ or a unit of function (karma) in the body of Brahman.

As you have control over the parts in the body, the Supreme Lord (Isvara) of all creation has control over you and others who are part of his creation. However, unlike the organs in your body, you are endowed with the will and an ego of your own. What it means is that you can act independently and seriously interfere with the purpose and intent of creation to cause confusion and disorder in the order and regularity of things.

This freedom that has been given to you has far reaching consequences for the whole existence. You can create ripples in the waters of life that can reach the edges of the universe. By now it must be clear to you that you are unlike any other organ in the body of God. You have been given certain freedom to be yourself and act on your own in God's creation. You have the privilege, and the freedom, to push a few buttons that regulate the orderly processes of the universe and make little changes that may have significant consequences.

For example, you may destroy a tree or kill a living being and thereby cut off a whole line of genealogy or cause ripples in the chain of events. Imagine that you are inside a nuclear reactor, and you have the power to push few buttons without knowing what good or harm they may cause. Imagine out of curiosity, desire, or an evil intention you push them. Think of the consequences.

We have a similar power in the universe of God. We can seriously interfere with it and change its very course, or we can dutifully play our role and ensure that the will of God is manifested exactly as he wanted it to happen. We have this great choice, and such a heavy burden, to manifest the will of God without letting our monkey brains interfere with the processes of life. However, how many of us are capable of doing it? How many of us can align ourselves with the intent and will of God and live our lives in harmony with the world? How many of us can choose wisely? We habitually blame God for things that go wrong, but who is responsible for our lives? Whom should we blame, if at all, when things go wrong? Should we blame God for the freedom that he has given to us, or should we blame ourselves for using that freedom for certain ends?

The world cannot function effectively, unless its component parts (beings and objects) sincerely perform their respective duties as parts of a whole and fulfill their obligations towards each other. It is why the Vedas put so much emphasis upon karma yoga (performing obligatory duties and sacrificial actions), and living righteously by practicing detachment and renunciation. They expect you to do your part in keeping the world in good order and remain in harmony with the overall purpose of creation, performing the same duties in your microcosm or field of activity (dharma ksehtra) as God would do in the macrocosm.

You are a cell in the body of God. A particle of light. A photon or a boson. You are connected to the rest of creation through innumerable threads of interrelationships and interdependencies. You may act independently, but your actions will have repercussions for you as well as for others. Hence, you have so much responsibility on your little shoulders to live responsibly and righteously as the very face, eyes, ears, hands, feet, throat, speech, and breath of God. Only then you will be part of God's celestial song (Bhagavadgita).

If you understand the analogy well, you will realize the importance of your life and your role in the natural order of things. You will know that you are an aspect of God, and your life is part of a larger narrative and an epic drama. Nature learns from you as you experience life and learn from it, and uses the knowledge to further its own designs. You have the choice to facilitate the will of God or become an obstructer of it. You can make things possible in the great symphony of life. You have a wonderful opportunity to move the wheels of Dharma and sing the song of God or live for yourself as a small ripple in a little pond.

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