— - Dr.G.Venkateswaran

Without a rocket, a missile cannot be launched. By the very name a missile is aimed at destruction of the target without the agency which launches the missile undergoing any damage. This is unlike a conventional warfare with rifles and bullets where the attacking party and the party being attacked have a definite probability of undergoing destruction. Be it a surface to air missile or ballistic missile, it is only a question of distance for aiming the missile to cause the destruction. The rocket and missile may look alike but the purpose served by the missile is opposite to that of a rocket. The same rocket which launches a missile can also be used to launch a satellite, be the latter for remote sensing of natural resources or weather prediction or reconnaissance etc which form a host of constructive applications.

The point to be appreciated is that science and technology is like a double edged sword. Just like a knife can be used to cut vegetables and other edibles for preparing a meal which is definitely a constructive activity, the same knife can be put to use for a destructive activity like killing a human being/animal/bird etc., a rocket can be used for launching a satellite for developmental activities or a missile for destructive activities.

Today we are living in a world where selfishness, mistrust, greed and fear have gripped almost all people. The animate species with less than six senses namely animals, birds, even trees and plants are seen to follow their own living “dharma” (coded living) without interfering much with nature. But this is not so with human beings. The wider human values like love and service for fellow human beings and other life forms are slowly disappearing under the onslaught of intolerance. People are mostly not aware that everything around us is an exhibition of divinity and as such needs to be treated respectfully. We seem to attach a lot of importance to rituals rather than caring for His Creation. It is conjectured that if ever a third world war breaks out, the reason could be this loss in human values among us. Why this has come about? The root cause appears to be overpopulation and never ending desires. Everybody wants his/her share of the pie come what may. Limited resources but excess demand leads to protectionism and survival of the fittest. The near seven billion population of the earth as of now, so unevenly spread between nations creates problems associated with migration, settlements and a general unwillingness to share. People want to protect their own interest somehow not minding what happens to others. But this behaviour is natural and one cannot totally find fault with this tendency since survival of the fittest (knowledge wise or muscle-power wise) and survival at any cost is a natural consequence of resource limiting situations.

It does not matter whether a country is poor or rich – if it has to survive honourably then it has to have economic strength. If the country is blessed with abundant critical natural resources then it can attain economic strength. In the absence of such a blessing, then it has to be active in knowledge creation, development and gain economic strength through such a route. Since power respects power as the noted scientist Dr.Abdul Kalam used to say, this knowledge generation route ensures mutual deterrence for respectful living. Sharing of knowledge also takes place between equals or near equals. When some aspects of knowledge that have originated from a country are made use of by the world at large, then knowledge-sharing through interaction with other knowledge providing countries gets easily facilitated. This arises from our well known scriptural dictate “one has to give first to take next”

In order to survive in today’s world one should have the knowledge of launching rockets as well as missiles. Rockets for peaceful purposes will have peoples’ appreciation while use of the same for launching missiles will be abhorred. But the long term interests of the country have to be looked at. From a spiritual view point, it is the human mind which designs a rocket, a missile or a satellite. Depending on a situation at hand, this thought process needs to be moderated to fit in a requirement.

What the look alikeness of rocket and missile conveys us in the practical world is that one has to be careful of people posing as good Samaritans but in their heart of hearts have all bad thoughts of how to inflict harm on others.

One can have a “thrikarana shuddhi” of good thoughts, sweet words and noble deeds. One can be very transparent in behaviour. But all this will prove of no avail if you can’t discriminate and understand other’s character and behaviour who interact with you. May be in an ideal world love and faith will easily carry one through because every other person also has similar outlook. To have love for others and faith in Almighty define one’s good character However, it is important today in this practical world not to be misled by people who pose as persons with good souls but intent on harming others. One should never allow his or her innocence or transparency to be misused by others. The ABC of life is Always Be Careful to differentiate the lookalikes. Otherwise great harm can be done to the believer. Scriptures also declare that one creates one’s own destiny. It is not that the Super Conscious Principle is inflicting pains or pleasures on anybody. Just like for every action there is an opposite reaction according to Newton’s laws of mechanics, one’s deeds in this or any previous births show their reaction at some point of time and this cannot be escaped. So it is important for everyone to exercise the bestowed faculty of reasoning using one’s mind, analyze a situation thoroughly before plunging into words and action. The latter two are equivalent to arrows shot from a bow which will never come back and one has to meet the consequences of shooting the arrow. The former, that is the thinking process can be subjected to analysis and modification and hence not a once-through situation.

In this connection one can recount what Saint Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar in his Thirukkural has said some two thousand years ago that whatever one hears from others’ mouths is to be analyzed threadbare and understood and that only constitutes the real knowledge. Otherwise we will be called people having ‘andha viswas’ (blind faith). Hence it is very important to differentiate between lookalikes and draw one’s own conclusion to have a happy ending.

So to understand situations or words for their true worth and at the same time not causing any mental or physical harm to the presenter of such situations / words but still driving a silent message to the presenter that one is aware of all consequences is a very desired quality today to intimidate and hence prevent that presenter taking advantage of one’s innocence. That essentially will differentiate the missile from rocket.

About the Author
Dr.G.Venkateswaran is a M.Sc. (Madras University) & Ph.D. (Mumbai University) in Chemistry. Graduated through the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) Training School. Did post-doctoral work in the University of New Brunswick, Canada.

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