Entire universes are imploding and exploding every moment — am I to cry over them? One thing is quite clear to me: all that is, lives and moves and has its being in consciousness and I am in and beyond that consciousness. I am in it as the witness. I am beyond it as Being
– Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj in I am That
COLLIDING GALAXIES : Billions of years from now, only one of these two galaxies will remain. Until then, spiral galaxies NGC 2207 and IC 2163 will slowly pull each other apart, creating tides of matter, sheets of shocked gas, lanes of dark dust, bursts of star formation, and streams of cast-away stars. Astronomers predict that NGC 2207, the larger galaxy on the left, will eventually incorporate IC 2163, the smaller galaxy on the right. In the most recent encounter that peaked 40 million years ago, the smaller galaxy is swinging around counter-clockwise, and is now slightly behind the larger galaxy. The space between stars is so vast that when galaxies collide, the stars in them usually do not collide.
Photo courtesy NASA. Please visit http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/aptree.html for more spectacular pictures.
Just look at this picture and read the caption. Is your paltry mundane problem anything compared to the immensity of this cosmic spectacle happening right now in front of our very eyes. You may say, “So what if these galaxies are colliding – this does not make my problem any lesser”. Relax, my friend. Let me assure you that in this very picture lies your salvation from your mundane problems. Our very existence is at the mercy of the unimaginable forces that dominate our own galaxy. One event of astronomical magnitude can make all life just get pulverized into gas in a split second. Then where is your problem gone? Did it become gas also? No of course not, because the ‘problem’ never existed in the first place. It was all just a thought in your head. Just imagine, for a moment, all that you know has vaporized – your family, car, bike, house, clothes and lastly yourself. Nisargadatta Maharaj, in the quote above, is saying that you are already the ‘vaporized’ object and not the body you think you are. You are already what remains when your body gets vaporized so why not realize it now in your living life and therefore end your suffering. So look at this picture everyday for 1 minute and visualize the unimaginable, unprecendented, ultra powerful and immense nature of this spectacle in deep space. Then look at your tiny body and tell yourself, “My problems are nothing”. One day this exercise will result in raising your consciousness out of its reverie and will enable you to experience a deep inner peace. May you be as happy and peaceful as a puff of steam.