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The Importance of Infinity
The mathematics teacher asked his students what would be the result of 7 divided by 7. The class shouted ‘one’. He went on asking them, ‘what is 1000/1000, 100,000/100,000?’ The class answered, ‘one’. Next, his question was, “What is zero divided by zero?” Now the teacher would not accept ‘one’ as the answer. Srinivasa Ramanujam was in that class. He rose and answered “Infinity”. To mathematics teachers, 0/0 is a non-problem.To Ramanujam, zero is God and Infinity is Manifestation, the world.Bhaskaracharya proved that 0/0 is infinity. The concept of Infinity takes the subject mathematics to spirituality. It is its forte. One should not shy away from it. Of course, we cannot discuss mathematics in this column.
In my view, if Indian mathematicians who have inherited a hoary tradition continue the spirit of it, India can excel in mathematics. To Sri Aurobindo, Infinity is a practical concept. We know of Kamadhenu, karpaga viritcham, and akshayapatram, which issued out of themselves an infinite number of articles. Out of a basket of fish, Jesus went on distributing fish to everyone, as if the basket was an infinite source of fish. The truth is a spiritual reality. Anyone who can constantly invoke the Spirit can see this truth as a reality in practical life. Infinity in daily life is overwhelming abundance. My explanations and experiments can come up to that for one who is willing to undertake a token experiment on its own conditions. Devotees of Mother have seen endless instances of such an expression, but they miss the significance of it, though they accept the material result.
Two examples from history can be cited to prove this idea. At best they wear the appearance of an analogy, and will not serve as a true exact example. From 1929 to 1932, the USA was brought to a zero position by the Depression. Man too felt himself a zero. It was at that point the USA turned around and rose to become the richest nation. In 1940, Britain was militarily reduced to zero and the Englishman found himself a zero. At that point, UK, under the leadership of Churchill, turned around to play the role of a giant and WIN the Second World War for the world, an achievement on an infinite scale.
When Man, who becomes a bankrupt does not lose his Spirit, he rises to become a rich man, richer than others. Man is the Infinite with the appearance of the Finite. The Force helps him discover his own infinity. In life, it is material abundance. We can call it “Spiritual Opulence”.