A Festschrift, Commemorating
the 75th Birth Anniversary of Professor V. K. Gokak, Vice-Chancellor,
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (Deemed University) by Alvin
Drucker, Visiting Lecturer, Prashanti Nilayam, August 25, 1986
A number of times Sai Baba has mentioned in his discourses some of the
eminent scientists of the West, who by their dedication and genius had
significantly affected the course of human progress. Prominent among these
are Copernicus, Newton, Darwin, and Einstein, who represent the central
thrust of Western Science over the past four centuries. It is this very
Science which has led mankind from the Dark Ages to the high technology
of the 21st Century, but it is also this Science which has taken mankind
to the brink of annihilation.
It is a mark of the high drama of these times, that the greatest opportunity
that has come in many millenia for mankind to evolve into the highest
reaches of the Spirit, happens to coincide with a widespread moral degeneration
and a threat of total extinction of the human race. To a great extent,
it is the world outlook spawned by Science that has brought on this crisis.
But quite paradoxically, as we shall see from this article, historical
developments in Science themselves point the way towards a transcendance
of the present human condition, leading man from the dark depths of physical
materialism into the profoundest Realms of Being.
The purpose of this article is to explore how some of the great historical
figures in Science are connected in one long thread which ties together
the great changes in world outlook that have occurred over the past four
centuries. This thread leads right up to the present time of world crisis
and momentous human transformation, heralded by the appearance on the
world-scene of a divine incarnation who will lead the new generation into
the Golden Age of the Spirit.
What we will be speaking of here is really a series of revolutions, revolutions
in human consciousness, that have, and still are transforming men's minds.
God, World and Man
Before the blossoming forth of Science during the
Renaissance in Europe, it was predominantly the ancient Greek philosophical
tradition that prevailed in the West. This world outlook held that Man
was the measure of all things. Although the Divinity, in the form of the
Gods, was very much feared and propitiated, it was Man, not the Divinity,
who held center-stage. It was man's body and mind which were idolized.
Man was considered the zenith of the Creation, the specially chosen one,
around whom the whole Creation revolved.
In its highest aspects this world-view fitted in remarkably well with
the Judeo-Christian doctrines based on the Bible. Although Greek thought
conflicted with the strict monotheistic beliefs of the Jews, yet it had
such strong appeal to reason and to the proof of the senses, that it slowly
infiltrated both Jewish and Christian thinking. By the time of Augustine,
and later Aquinas, it had become well established in Church doctrine,
clothed in the artifacts of the particular religion in which it was embraced.
Nobody doubted that the Sun and Moon, and all the planets and stars in
the heavens, which were seen rotating in their daily passage around the
Earth, were heavenly luminaries that were there to provide the background
for the mighty Drama of Life which was taking place on Earth.
With the rise of the Medieval Church, it was Man glorified in the form
of the Saviour, the Risen Christ, on whom the whole world centered. Jerusalem
was the epicenter of everything that was, and Christ was the epicenter
of everything that was to be.
had purpose, and the whole of Creation with Earth at its center was given
to Man as a vast stage on which to work out his destiny. It was here under
the central Eye of God that he must fight the battle of good and evil
and triumph over his lower nature.
It would have been totally unthinkable that the Earth, on which the titanic
events of the Creation had taken place, and on which the historic saga
had unfolded leading to the advent of Christ....that this Mother Earth
on which all the Biblical prophesies were being enacted...was just a microscopically
insignificant pebble in the backwaters of a vast Universe. Such an outrageous
idea could never have been entertained in the medieval mind. It would
have destroyed the very basis of faith in the primacy of God.
According to the belief of the time, it was God in whose image Man was
created, and in whose name Man ruled over the Creation, and with whose
Grace Man retired to Heaven, after having honorably completed his stewardship
on Earth. This, it was believed, is how it was and always will be.
But then came the first of five mind-transforming revolutions that rocked
Man's view of himself in relation to the Universe and God. Even now the
full implications of these revolutions in consciousness are still revealing