Cosmic Questions



I want to ask you a couple of questions.

1) Could being on the path unveil all the secret workings of this universe? Could we really explain everything in this universe? How did the universe came into existence and where is its going?

2) What is the purpose of life? Quantum mechanics and recent findings in Physics show that everything is mere chance? Where the place of God? What if there are infinite dimensions and our 3 dimensional universe just stuck in them? What place for God?

—Vinay, India


Those are big questions! I’ll share with you condensed versions of some of the answers that Paramhansa Yogananda gave:

  • Just being on the path will not unveil the secret workings of this universe, but following the path all the way to union with God will unveil those workings.
  • It’s not possible to explain everything in the universe via the rational mind. It will be clear to each one of us, however, through our own intuition when we reach the stage of being able to perceive it.
  • God made the universe by vibrating His consciousness. Ultimately, He will withdraw it back into Himself. And then send it forth again, and withdraw it, etc. It’s been going on this way for a l-o-o-o-o-o-n-g time.
  • The purpose of life is to know God, to realize that, as the Upanishads say, “Thou art That.”
  • Physical science is not reality itself; it is just a model used to analyze creation. And it is limited to the rational mind and this material plane, so it cannot hope to plumb the subtleties of higher planes. It is forever looking at reality from the “outside,” so to speak, when the only way to know reality is from the inside. So don’t look for physical science to give definitive answers; it simply cannot do so.

Besides, if you look back over the history of science, you’ll see that the model has changed on a regular basis. So if you don’t like the current one, stick around; maybe you’ll like the next one better. Yet the next one too will be limited to the rational mind and the material plane, so it can’t give any farther-reaching answers than quantum physics can.

(By the way, even within physical science, not all scientists interpret the current model as suggesting that “everything is mere chance,” although to our own current abilities to perceive, it may look that way. There are plenty of books on the topic if you want to sort that out, but rest assured that, building upon only the rational mind and physical science, they will not – cannot – give you ultimate answers.)

So if you’re really aching to know the answers, start meditating! And I assure you, deep meditation will answer some much more interesting, much more personally involving questions than those. Such as, “How can I find the lasting happiness?” That’s the real “secret working of the universe” that we all long to know, not just intellectually, but experientially.

A final point: Someone once asked Paramhansa Yogananda, “How, when I attain realization, will I know it’s ‘real,’ that it’s not just a projection of my own subconscious mind?” The master’s reply was simple: “You will know, and you will know that you know.”

Happy seeking!