Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Code Name God by Mani Bhaumik: Impressions

The older I get, the lesser I believe in coincidences. The more I still myself, the more I am able to see the plan of the Universe. Everything happens at just the right time for just the right reasons. Some things may seem cruel and unjust, but the grand design is revealed to those who wait with humble hearts. Books, in particular, always come to me as signs. Some books may sit unread on my shelves for months, even years; but I feel compelled to read them at such times that their message resonates with that time of my life completely. I often find that friendly nudge I need to take a step forward in life in the pages of a book. And no friend is as convincing.

Mani Bhaumik's Code Name God is one such book. I don't remember when or where I bought it. A second-hand copy with the most annoying pencil scribbles all over it. If it weren't for the sublime content, my stream of expletives for the vandal owner may have never ceased. Thankfully, they gave up half way and the book found its way into my heart and home with half dirty-half clean pages. I smile as I see myself in no hurry to start the real review. I am taking my moment to appraise the body of this favourite new friend with whom a spent a few illuminating days. Sidney Sheldon testifies on the cover of the book: “This book may change your life.” I think it has mine.

Mani Bhaumik, the author of 'Code Name God' is an acclaimed Indian scientist, who did pioneering work in the field of laser technology. It was his path-breaking work that gave us the technique of corrective laser eye surgery. Associated with IIT in India and the UCLA in the US, Bhaumik is out and out, a man of science. He is also a man of great fame and fortune. But most importantly, he is a man of the spirit and the book weaves these three strands together. In this autobiographical account, Bhaumik traces his meteoric rise from a mud-plastered hut in rural Bengal to a palatial mansion in Bel Air. But it is not just a rags to riches story. It is also a tale of the author's scientific & spiritual quest.

Bhaumik starts the book with a most poignant recollection of his early years in India, beset by the struggle for Independence and the great Bengal famine. Amidst extreme hardships, Bhaumik found solace and strength in his grandmother, personalities like his father and Matangini Hazra and the great Mahatma Gandhi. Combining his gift of intelligence with hard work, he acquired one scholarship after another, until he was working with the best minds in the American scientific community. His scientific innovations brought him fast fame and soon he was hobnobbing with the American elite. Dating divas, driving luxurious wheels, owning bungalows, and throwing lavish parties became a way of life for this poor lad from India.

But soon, Bhaumik's long-ignored spiritual centre called out for nourishment. He sought answers within through meditation and without, through the history of science. Bhaumik's greatest merit is in presenting the most complex scientific theories and findings of science in the simplest manner possible. Thanks to his lucid writing, even a science idiot like me can claim to have understood at least the basics of quantum mechanics and particle physics. Bhaumik explains how the realm of science – especially physics – has paid special attention to space technology in the last century. The idea is to understand the makeup of space, time and ultimately, consciousness. These discoveries are increasingly bridging the divide between physics and metaphysics. Citing the findings of great physicists and mathematicians like Newton, Schrodinger, Penrose, Hawking and many others, he beautifully points us in the direction science is headed.

Bhaumik offers conclusive proofs about the unity of the Universe and those who reside in it. To someone like me, who follows the Indian spiritual tradition, it sounded eerily similar to the concept of Brahman. The resonance was complete and I think that's what Bhaumik had set out to do when he wrote this book. The unity of science and spirituality, matter and mind is achieved in this beautiful book. Bhaumik also adds his own spiritual insights to the findings of science to drive home the point of One Source, which we call by its code name, God.

'Code Name God' has not just changed my world view but encouraged me to follow on the path of meditation I have just embarked upon. For the skeptic, this book will provide hard facts; for the faithful, it will act as an assurance in knowing that there is something greater than ourselves and that we are related to it and to each other. It recommend this book to everyone.

No comments: