## A Timed Tragedy

So here I am, with my weekly load of clothes to wash at the Infosys Bangalore Laundry. This service, of course, is the pinnacle of comfort for Bachelors like me who can’t wash a cloth to save the world! But, the realisation of the same is that, just like me, there are thousands of other people who feel similarly comforted by knowing that there’s a Laundry available. This, of course, means that time and machines are at a premium here and there’s a virtual fight being fought to get to a washing machine.

So here I am and I am waiting for a machine to empty out so that I can put my clothes in and let the magic begin. The machine for which I am waiting is going to take about 17 minutes to finish the current wash cycle and then only will the owner of those clothes come and save me from dirty laundry. But what is this? There is another machine in the vicinity and that’s going to take 16 minutes to finish the cycle! What’s even more amazing is that no one has noticed this and there is no queue for that machine. Immediately, the calculations in my mind bring me to the conclusion that 1 minute save is 1 minute invested and I quickly rush to claim this gold mine before anyone else does. Now I sit here primly, waiting for this machine to finish in 16 minutes and lead me to salvation.

They say that the Grass is always greener on the other side. They don’t tell you that on the other side they use paint to make the grass look greener. They say a bird in hand in worth two in the bush. They don’t tell you that the one in hand is tastier than the two in the bush. They tell you that the machine will finish the wash in 16 minutes, while it takes 25 minutes to do the task!

As you may have guessed, as the minutes passed by, I realised that the ‘new’ machine I had invested my time in is taking longer to complete the cycle than the one I left. The time now is 9 minutes on my machine and 4 on the other. It seems, almost, that the machine I will soon be using has ‘more seconds per second’, that is, it is spending more than a second to do a second’s task. Impossible isn’t it?? After all, they’re both the same machines and run on the same power! Then how can two machines be in any way different when they simply are not?!

I guess there really is no explanation for this. I guess my machine was indeed taking more ‘seconds per second’ than any other in the Landry. The final truth is that I spent more time doing laundry that day than I usually do. That indeed, was a very strange tragedy of time!

## Spiritual Scientists

I have often wondered about one thing – why does a Yogi/Guru/Pandit/Brahman spend a life of detachment and why does that person, specially in the case of Yogis, not worry at all about how they will feed themselves and how, if they choose to take up a family, will their family be fed and taken care of. After all, the Yogi may not need food or clothing but the family must be taken care of; that is the way of the middle path…

While pondering about this today, I realised something – all the scientists of yore: those who devoted their lives to finding solutions to problems related to humanity such as disease, food shortage, physics and electricity and the wonders of space were also not concerned about their own well-being but were obviously family men, as that was the norm of the previous millenium. Then how were they able to ensure that their family be well taken care of and how were they able to secure a source of income for those dependent on them? The answer seems fairly obvious – they were creating or discovering material means of ease or solutions to widespread problems which provided them a marketable good which became their source of income. Then I began comparing these scientists and the spiritual individuals which I think about. Of course, the thought came almost instantly!

Are these spiritual guides not scientists too? Are they not researching a powerful part of Nature the ramifications of which affect every individual on the planet? Are they not using the powers they gain while they continue their research to provide us with a kind of important service(palmistry/jyotishi/rituals and ceremonies/peace of mind by Yoga, Dhyan, Bhakti, Seva)? Then do not these “Spiritual Scientist” deserve monetary compensation for the lives they lead so that their worldly affairs be in order and they be better able to concentrate on spiritual matter?

I believe that they are worthy of that compensation and as is obvious, I am not alone. Today, spiritual gurus and pandits/Yogis have a larger than life following and grandeur which beats that of erstwhile Kings. Of course, this is all because people belive that the person charged with the responsibility of guiding their troubled lives towards salvation be not in any sort of material discomfort.

But what is the mark of a true scientist?

1. Is it humbleness? Definitely the ranks of western scientists who fought over claims of discoveries and trashed each other’s research as baseless prove that humility is not high on the list of qualities.
2. Then is it applicability of research? Einstein is well-known for his E=MC^2 despite no normal person really understanding what that even implies and even spirituality is not an exact science which defines the results it will derive before beginning the work.
3. Perhaps it is popularity of their research and a keen following by the common man? Galileo will be squirming in his tomb if that is suggested. That true scientist was held in heresy for his views that the Earth might just be revolving around the Sun after all!

Finally, one must believe that there must be some way to distinguish  a true scientist from a fake one and there-in lies the answer, specially in the case of spirituality. A Spiritual Scientist’s biggest proof of being true to the profession is that people have faith in that person and the abilities that the person gains while striving to research into the realms of Metaphysics.

That, perhaps, is the truest test of a Spiritual Scientist!