Dr. Vijai S Shankar MD.PhD.
Published on www.academy-advaita.com
14th March 2017
Why and How
The mind has an answer to ‘why’ anything happens in life and ‘how’ anything happens in life. The answers are many, because the knowledge of ‘why’ and ‘how’ in every mind of an individual has different answers to different questions. The answers are therefore many, which may be either similar or dissimilar.
All the answers to ‘why’ and ‘how’ in life are logical and reasonable and appear as the truth to every human being. Human beings have specialized knowledge in them, which makes their answers to ‘why’ and ‘how’ in life more authoritative and real than others. However, knowledge is always relative and never real no matter how convincing it may be.
The body and mind in life and the body and mind with thoughts needs to be understood in the mind. For example: The mind has answers to ‘how’ disease happens to the body, but cannot answer ‘why’ disease happens to the body.
The mind has answers to ‘why’ speaking happens, but the mind has no answers to ‘how’ speaking happens, because the body merely makes sounds and does not speak words. The mind has no answers to ‘how’ sound appears as speaking.
The mind has answers to ‘why’ thoughts happen, but the mind has no answers to ‘how’ thoughts happen in the mind. Man merely believes he makes thoughts happen, but does not understand that the first thought of the day happens without his thinking and so too the other thoughts of the day.
Similarly, the mind has answers to ‘why’ walking happens, but has no answers to ‘how’ walking happens, because the body is held to the ground by gravity and mind has no answers to ‘how’ the mind overcomes gravity to make man walk.
So the mind has answers for ‘why’ and ‘how’ to everything in life, but has no answers to how ‘why’ some instance happens, for example, disease, or why ‘how’ some instances happen, for example, speaking, walking and thinking.
The mind has answers to ‘how’ a human body began life as a single cell, but has no answer to ‘how’ a single cell began in life. The mind has answers to ‘why’ for everything that happens in life on the spur of a moment, but has no answer to ‘how’ a single cell or a moment began in life or in the mind. As everything in life happens on the spur of a moment, and a moment too happens spontaneously, uncontrollably and unpredictably, it implies that man cannot really answer ‘why’ or ‘how’ anything happens in life, yet it does happen in life on the spur of a moment.
Therefore, there are no answers to ‘why’ or ‘how’ knowledge and wisdom happen, but they nevertheless do happen. It is wise to accept life as it happens, because ‘why’ and ‘how’ everything happens cannot be answered. The mind, however, believes that it has or is able to find real answers to any 'why' or 'how' and this is the illusion which captures the mind. This implies that life is without cause or effect as the enlightened have declared, whereas 'how' and 'why' indicate cause and effect, albeit illusory.
Life is a mystery to be lived and cannot be answered by ‘Why’ or ‘How’. The enlightened have rightly declared that ‘What is meant to happen will happen and no force on earth can stop it happening’. Furthermore, ‘What is not meant to happen will not happen and no force on earth can make it happen.’
Author: Dr. Vijai S. Shankar
© Copyright V. S. Shankar 2017
To all of us a mystery is a puzzle, a conundrum, an unsolved problem. Man, be he an adult or a child, loves mysteries. We will go to the theatre to be enthralled by a mystery-play. Whatever happens in the theatre of daily life that is not understood fascinates man. So life has gifted him ‘why’ and ‘how’ it happens or happened. With these questions motivating him, he will spare no effort or expense to the find the answer. For him or her the answer is real – for him or her the cause and the effect are established beyond peradventure. The wise, however, reveal that life is a mystery to be lived – understanding
this is freedom from the bondage of cause and effect and from the conviction of being the doer.
Julian Capper, U.K
German Translator’s Note:
Why and How are probably the most frequent questions at school, on the university, in every family and at any business meeting. The conditioning to be a doer is therefore strengthened every day. However the conditioning is not unbreakable. The insight provided by the wise, as in this deep article „Why and How“ by Dr. Shankar, helps to overcome the illusory power of the belief to be a doer. Even with the questions Why and How present in the mind frequently, you would be at ease and stay relaxed if the understanding has deepened. What a gift to humanity.
Marcus Stegmaier, Germany