Thursday, September 1, 2016

865. My God is Zero…….!

Shunya is a Sanskrit word which denotes “Zero” or “Nullity”. The 743rd nama of Maha Vishnu in Sri Vishnu Sahasranama is “SHUNYA”. I wondered is not extremely odd to call Maha Vishnu a “ZERO”. I have heard and read that He is called “Ekam” the one and only and also He is addressed as “Anantha” the Infinite. But how can one explain hailing Him as “Shunya”, the Nothing?

According to our ancients if Infinity is immeasurable then Zero too is immeasurable. In reality zero is anti-infinity hence if infinity is the extreme of plenty then zero is the extreme of empty. If you were to imagine, say, a circle with its centre at infinity then the curvature drops to zero and circumference become a straight line. So if Shunya and Anantha are considered to be two extremes then in fact they both would be sit side by side on the circumference of an infinite circle, isn’t it??? If we reflect upon it deeply, we can make out “Zero” and “Infinity” to be two extremes of the same unimaginable circle. By the same logic “Anantha” and “Shunya” though seeming to be antonymous, in reality they mean the same thing. So Maha Vishnu is both “Lord Infinity” as well as “Lord Zero”.

Incredible logical but nevertheless we know for a fact however that the “plenty” and “empty” can never be the same. No wonder none of us would like to exchange plenty for empty in this material world. To grasp the concept of “Shunya” requires a very high level of spiritual advancement. Vedic mathematics and astronomy of those ancient times clearly bear evidence to the highly sophisticated conceptual and ideological skills that our Indian forbears possessed. There was no doubt at all that it was ancient Vedic Indians who gave to the whole world the idea of “Zero”.

Bhaskaracharya born in 7th century was a great mathematician and astronomer. He wrote several pioneering treatises on Vedic mathematics. In one of the treatises, it is said, he wrote a small dedication: “To the Absolute, who is Infinity, I offer my salutation”. Bhaskaracharya uses a Sanskrit word “khahara” to denote “Infinity” which he use to address the Lord in the dedication. It is derived from “kha” which means “Zero” and “hara” meaning “Divided”. The word “khahara” was meant to indicate that Absolute who is Infinity is related to Zero. He says, “There is no change in infinite (khahara) figure if something is added to or subtracted from it. It is like how we find no change in infinite Vishnu (Absolute) due to dissolution or creation of abounding living beings.

This great mathematician was the one to expose the intimate relationship between Zero and Infinity. He declared that any quantity divided by Zero is equal to Infinity. Take a value like 100 and divide it with progressively decreasing divisors. Lets see what happens??? Amazingly the quotient progressively increases. For e.g. 100 divided by 4 = 25; and 100 divided by 2 = 50; and eventually when 100 is divided by 0 it equals “Infinity!” Any quantity or value in the world, when divided by Zero, results in the same quotient that is Infinity.

Thus is the mighty power of Zero, it can raise and relate all values on earth to the exalted state of Infinity and it is that very same state in which my Lord, Maha Vishnu of the sacred “Sahasranama”, is said to eternally reside and rule in all of us!......Hence He is “Shunya”.

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