A Speck of Dust!

The earth is a tiny speck of dust in the vast universe

The earth is a tiny speck of dust in the vast universe!

A recent visit to the City Planetarium brings back a lot of memories. My favorite childhood destination, I have some of my best memories under the virtual cold and dark star-studded sky. I always felt I have so much to learn from the universe. While not much has changed over the years, in the way the narrator speaks or the dome looks … what changed was my realizations, my perspective on the universe, which in all its glory, has still given me a message… This time, a much stronger one!

I sit there mesmerized, looking at the vastness of the man-made heaven, while parading my eyes across the sky in all its magnificence! Mankind has been fascinated with the heavens since the earliest times. I wonder if there’s truly a place beyond time and space in which the past, present, and future exist wholly as one… and hit with the realization that everything is infinitely possible!

As the narrator takes us to that part we call the “Solar system”, and shows us where we stand in the universe, it did take a few seconds to fix my eye on that dot with great astonishment. That’s there. That’s home…. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives.

As Carl Sagan said, “The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every ‘superstar,’ every ‘supreme leader,’ every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there — on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.” – They are all there!

The earth is just a tiny speck of dust in the vast universe. Man is a tiny speck of dust on earth, almost nothing, maybe a millionth tinier dust in the universe. Despite being just a tiny speck of atom, man never stops boasting! I wondered why we behave, act and think as though we are the center of the universe?

It may be humbling a thought to consider that man is actually nothing but a dust with a life of breath in it. But with just a tiny achievement, with just little riches and possessions, with only a car or a mansion, or a business, man thinks he is already God, acts and behaves with an overweening pride! Forgetting the stark reality and fact, that with just one snap of time, one accident or one illness or disease, everything will be nothing and he returns to dust where he once came from, I think for a while!

I doubt how many of us (including me) will think  – to live and breath fresh air every day is a cause of gratitude by itself. For life is very fragile and totally unpredictable. I am here today, I am gone tomorrow. And all that I have done will just be a mere book at the most, a tiny little book piled under the billions of books in the archive of books throughout time. And soon will be forgotten by the next generation. This tiny little fact is a reminder to bow down before the Creator in deep humility, acknowledging the truth that we live because of that Creator.

My thoughts are shaken by my six year old son, my companion to the planetarium this time. “Look there mummy, that’s Jupiter, the biggest planet in the solar system.” he points at the big round planet. I come back to the stark world of reality, which in itself is a mere illusion, albeit a very persistent one! The thought makes me smile – Is it some sort of awakening, I wonder!


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by H S Eswara on June 15, 2014 at 5:56 am

    My dear Sohini,

    Your thought process is hugely impressive for me. ‘Man is just a speck of dust on earth, almost nothing, may be a millionth tinier dust in the universe’–How True? ‘We behave, act and think as though we are the center of the universe’–Equally True. But perhaps that is the essence of life, and that keeps all of us kicking and alive. The kind of realization that you champion here is a sane one, healthy and desirable, and closer to the ultimate truth. But such realization is not everybody’s cup of tea!

    HS Eswara


    • Posted by Sohini Bagchi on June 19, 2014 at 5:29 pm

      Thank you so much for finding the writeup impressive. I completely agree with you that despite knowing we are just a speck of dust on earth, what keeps us kicking and alive is our very own existence! Thank you once again 🙂


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