II. The wonders of cyclic change on earth
The second thing which has appealed to me most in science is the endless cycle between life and death and the equilibrium exists between them. When a candle burns it is soon consumed, but my science master told me that the candle is not lost, it has merely changed its form and has become gaseous, carbonic acid gas, as we call it. I could not believe, but the teacher soon convinced me by carrying the resultant gas into colourless lime-water which became milky showing that something has come in, and I realised how things may change their form and yet exist. The cyclic change that begins here is continued; for the plants devour that gas that we exhale producing flower and fruit and when they die, they leave for us wood and coal which we burn to warm ourselves and thus the cycle is completed from day to day, to the endless time. Thus as a school boy, I learnt that nothing is lost, it may change form but the sum-total of matter in creation remains the same, unaltered.
This is the law of conservation of matter which may be called the very backbone of science. Today science has gone a little further and it has demolished the boundary between matter and energy, for matter is now found to be pent-up energy. Not that this conclusion is very strange, for many years it was known that when radium disintegrates it emits enormous energy. But this process was spontaneous and could not be influenced one way or the other. But now in the Cavendish laboratory matter has been matter has been artificially blasted and transmuted by the application of high voltage electricity and the dreams of old chemists, the alchemists, as we call them are well high within the domain of practical politics. Interesting as are such transmutations, the most wonderful of such observations is the conclusion that matter is nothing but energy (electricity) neutralized, positive protons overridden by negative electrons, and that each grain of matter represents a definite, corresponding amount of inner atomic energy. To put it into simple language matter has been discovered and re-discovered; it is pent-up energy, and once more we find that the sum total of energy in the universe remains the same whatever the changes it undergoes. The old conception of conservation of matter comes back to us in a new garb i.e., conservation of energy, which is the latest conclusion of Science and may be called its high water-mark. Now, this unaltered sum-total of energy is a very significant proposition and if only we had the eyes to see we will find that it means and can mean only one thing viz; that behind the flux of matter, there is one Invisible Power or Energy; the Nirankar, as we call It, which ever remains the same undisturbed, unaltered, undiminished! You may call this Being as Energy, for that is one of His aspects, but as we go further I will tell you why we should not call Him merely as Energy. We can no more call Him merely as Energy then we can call sun as sphere, for the sun is a sphere plus light, heat and energy. Whatever, the avenue we approach our Father, The Nirnakar, the fact remains that He is there. Science cannot deny Him, for as shown above its laws and conclusions rather point to the unerring existence of the supreme Being who guarantees the validity of the laws. This Law of Conservation of Energy is, to my mind one of the strongest arguments of the existence of God. I will you, youngmen, to take my advice to heart and when you wash the test-tube, or handle the induction coil in the laboratory remember that He is there with you, your hidden Instructor. Were He not there, your X-rays, and your cosmic rays would die of mere inanity, your broad-casting programme will go amiss, your Messages in the telephone and telegraph wires would die out of sheer chaos, and your Mazda Lamps would not twinkle, the dynamo in the Rolls-Royce car could cool down despite all the money spent on it and that prime-Dynamo, the sun would heat you no longer for there would be no ether to transmit its rays, and the nebular mist which makes star would dissolve; no more stars would be born, there would be no earth, no moon, no sun, — nothing! Believe, me youngmen, all this is true, terribly true. And conversely, I tell you, with all the strength at my command that all that is on this earth and on the millions of stars and earths in the out-spread space, is here because of Him, because of that Formless One, who though formless, yet is. He playeth the hide-and-seek with us so that we may discover Him and relish the play!