The Big Bang

By Joseph Mattappally on 29-06-2011

Socrates was teaching his students, when an extremely rich and famous man
of Athens entered the hall to meet him. Socrates didn't notice his arrival and
continued his discussions with his students. The man felt affronted but still
decided to wait a while. But with every passing minute, his anger mounted.
After about half an hour of waiting, he suddenly shouted at Socrates, “You
don't know who I am?”
Socrates looked at his visitor and said, “Let us decide that too.”
He called for a world map and asked this man to point out where was Athens in
the map. After careful scrutiny, the man pointed to a little speck. Socrates
then asked him to point out on the map where his estate was, where his palace
was and so on. Realizing those possessions that he was so proud of were specks
within specks in the larger scheme of things, the man came to terms with his
own insignificance. The lesson was completed. Socrates folded the map and
handed it over to him as a reminder of his humble status in the world. Realizing our place and size ratio in this universe certainly
changes our perspective for the better. It is a sad fact that people walk as if
he/she is at the controlling end. Years back, when I was in College, I had a
touching experience. Big festival celebrations were going on in a Hindu temple
nearby our college hostel. I asked my friend, who was a liberal Brahmin (upper
class Hindu), why he is not going to the temple. He was a very learned friend,
who later happened to be my own life guide. Hearing my loud question, he calmly
asked me to sit down and I did so. As soon as I sat down, he looked into my
eyes and softly asked, “Joseph, do you know what the speed of light is?” “186,282
miles per second.” I replied proudly. His next question was, “How old is this
Universe?” That certainly was a puzzling question with no definite answer.
Somehow, it seemed to me that he was not at all waiting for the answer. He
continued, “If we trust the best available measurements, the universe was there
13.7 billion years ago, at the time of the great Big
Bang.” After a small pause, perhaps after making sure that I was eagerly
listening to him, he continued, “Joseph, rays of light from distant stars that
had been travelling at the same speed rate, since the origin of the universe,
are yet to reach this planet earth. This Universe is unimaginably big! The size
of planet earth for God, who is the controlling force, could be nothing more
than a mustard seed to earth. There in the planet earth lives, 6000,000,000
people (at that time).” He looked at me as if he is first explaining a great
invention. Turning his face slightly away, he concluded, “Do you think that God
hasn’t any other business than monitoring what I do?” 
was the first time in my life that I logically understood how irrelevant my
importance in this universe is. This incident I still remember, because it was
my enthusiastic research on this that led me to a realization, according to
which I am in the centre of the Universe and everything in this Universe is
designed just for me. In our enthusiasm to know ourselves, we might understand
that the universe is so beautifully built as if each tiny particle gets the
feeling that it is at the centre of the Universe and everything else is just
made for that only. This is a mystery I never tried to unfold. Unfolding
mysteries are no more my job but understanding my role is. The moment we know
our place and strength, there we surrender to the Great Power.

About The Author

Sri. Joseph Mattappally

Sri. Joseph Mattappally, Founder and Director of Indian Thoughts, is a writer and social worker. He is also a Reiki Master (RIRC Mumbai) and licensed Amateur Radio Operator ( VU2JIM). He has authored 'Success Secrets', a book detailing basic life management principles.