A Scientific and Spiritual Exploration of Life
I don't know the exact answer. All I can say is that I realize the existence of a power/vibrations/realm beyond the comprehension of our five senses, limited scientific knowledge and understanding.
This realization did not come from the reading of religious scriptures or books. It came from a personal experience which piqued my curiosity and intrigued my intellect. It gave me a lot of solace, stability and hope when faced with a difficult situation of not being able to have children (a decade ago).
Scientifically, a child is born when an egg and a sperm fuse to create the zygote (the first cell). The zygote then undergoes multiple rounds of cell division and differentiation to form the embryo. The embryo at the stage of the blastocyst, implants into the uterus. Once implanted, it's nourishment begins through the mother and the life journey begins. The embryo then grows within the mother slowly and steadily to complete its development, and ultimately take the shape of a baby.
A fascinating, yet complex process, the beginning of which is a simple union of the egg and the sperm.
As a scientist and an academic achiever, I believed that anything in life is possible with planning, determination and hard work. I still believe in it, just that I also understand that we do not have absolute control on the outcome. All we can do is to very sincerely do our best and let go of the attachment to the results. Whether it is a positive or a negative outcome, or whether it is bad or good times, it will have an impact on our lives. In bad times, the choice is in our hands to either go into blame and depression, or accept, rise up, and get going to explore what else is in store!
In retrospect, it was my challenge with infertility that contributed to the biggest positive shift in my life. I realized then that we do not have absolute control over when a life begins or when a life ends. Yes, thanks to the advancement of medical science, we are able to navigate through the various challenges today, and even fuse an egg and sperm in the lab to create embryos. Even then, we are unable to predict with certainty whether that embryo will transform into a human life!
This realisation helped me make an intuitive, yet logical decision. That is to take medical help, and put in my 100% towards my journey towards motherhood, but also to let go of my control over the outcome. I thought, if it worked, it is the desired outcome and if it didn't, at least I will have no regrets that I didn't try my best. I left my wonderful job in science to pursue this goal.
With focus, commitment and faith, I found renewed happiness in this journey. It was as though I found my purpose. A new life began to take shape in me in a way that it changed me, my perspectives, and attitude towards life. I was also giving birth to my new found creativity through a book during this time. Yes, I didn't just give birth to a child, but also to love, passion, creativity and empathy. This is what I would like to celebrate today on Krishna Jayanthi (the birth of Krishna).
This was the beginning of my inward journey in seeking the truth of 'who I am'. In this journey, with the curtain of ignorance lifted, I have come to see that the power exists within each one of us. The ultimate truth is that we are all one, united by one thread. That is the reason why when the world is suffering because of the pandemic we are unable to be happy or celebrate our individual successes. It just doesn't make sense anymore, right?
The pictures below are a testimony to the the existence of grace within. While going through infertility treatments, I used to look at a picture of baby Krishna in my bed room and visualise me holding that baby Krishna in my arms. This vision came to me again while I was standing at the famous Krishna temple in Kerala (Guruvayoor) just before I conceived my older boy Madhav. I realized the power of my visualisation, only when I saw the photograph below taken when my first born Madhav turned a year old.
So Who is God? I shall continue to explore through this journey which is incredibly beautiful, limitless and deep.
With Madhav, my older boy (top) and Shiv, my younger boy (below).
Dr. Lakshmi Ramachandran
20+ years in science
Researcher, Communicator, Administrator
Coach, Keynote Speaker & Author
Advocate for women in science
Mom of two boys