Understanding GOD beyond the empirical Reality and Religions
It is widely believed that God is a topic related to the subject religion. But some religions don't accept the existence of God, for example Buddhism, Carvakam, etc. Buddhism deals with this world and ethics of the person to have a comfortable evolved life of this world.
The religions which speak of God are also not of a single univocal opinion. Some say that He is all pervading i.e., He is everywhere and in all static and dynamic things, where as some say that He is ruling the whole universe sitting in a separate world other than this earth.
Some say that He is the judge to deal with our acts - good or bad - and gives rewards or punishments. But some say that He is the Creator, and all the creatures do whatever they like and get punishment or reward according to their deeds automatically and this process they call it as 'Karma Siddhanta' and God has no interference in this process. Simply God witnesses whatever is going on. He is neither for nor against to anybody, irrespective of a person who worships Him or not.
Though there are number of concepts regarding God spread all over the world, there is no one who claims that he has seen God. Simply the preachers of God tell so many stories in which we find some characters that have seen God. Some people claim themselves as witnesses of God's grace and go to the extent of making exclusive claims about divinity and the correctness and miraculous nature of their prophets and holy books. But using your natural intelligence and analytical brain with a knowledge of science and rationality in your mind, if you go deep into them and analyze reasonably, you find them as simply emotional and illusory feelings having no clear cut proof to explain.
By this we have to think that the existence of God is still a questionable thing and a subject to debate. But we must be unbiased. We cannot say `No' because we have got no proof before our eyes. There are so many things which we see clearly with our eyes and appear as facts, but they are totally wrong (only apparent facts) when evaluated with absolute references.
Sunrise and Sunset. They appear as facts but really they are false. Here witnessing with our own eyes is false. Sun neither rises nor sets. It is all due to the revolving of the earth. Even we cannot see or feel the rotation of the earth. It appears as static which is really false.
Earth appears flat to the naked eye from the surface of the ground but when viewed from a space shuttle or a rocket from a farther distance, it appears like a sphere. We all know that today due to the established scientific facts and evidences available now.
A person sitting in a jet airplane feels static unless if there is enough turbulent wind outside, but that doesn't deny the fact that the aircraft is moving at 900 km/h speed at an altitude of 10 km! A person in a moving train feels that the surrounding objects outside are moving while he is static, but a minimum common sense will make it clear that it all depends on the relative movement of the objects and the observer.
An ordinary flower like a rose or a tulip appearing yellow for a human eye will appear blue or with a different color while the nectar in it appears with a completely different color under ultraviolet light and insects like honeybees experience that due to their eyes capable of looking at the ultra violet spectrum. That is how the insects identify and spot the flowers which contain the nectar while the humans can't. There is scientific evidence for that.
The school children read about sound in their science lessons that animals like bats, dogs can hear the sounds above the range of 20,000 Hz beyond which the human ear can't identify the audible sound. That is the reason why these animals behave differently at times for instance, during the onset of some natural calamities like earthquakes or tsunamis.
So at the outset we cannot say that God doesn't exist because nobody saw him with what we perceive as vision with our normal eyes.
This is because whatever we observe with our sensory organs, in most of the cases, is an apparent observation instead of the absolute observation. As said above the Sunrise and Sunset, the earth appearing static, outside objects moving when seen from inside a moving train, etc are all apparent observations. Those who don't make an attempt, to come out of the relative observing point or source and try to understand the reality from an absolute point or source, can't ever deny the absolute truth.
Man is a thinking biological animal, not only a thinking animal but also a living being endowed with discriminating faculty. He has got the capacity to derive benefits even from the disadvantageous moments. If such is the case, let us then think for a while and contemplate over this issue. If you say that there is no God, there ends the matter, and thereby you may lose so many benefits if there is a God and after life after death.
Instead if you say yes, the first benefit that you get is, you develop a confidence and a faith that you are under the protection of a savior. Even if you want to say that it is not right and it is merely a self hypnotism. Let it be. A person is being benefited by this so called self hypnotism and gaining will power within himself. See how nice it is? One is being benefited thinking that there is God. If he exists well and good. If he does not exist even then it is good. It is always good to proceed on with positive thinking. One should always start with 'there is' and march to find it with his available ways and means. After all finally you to decide whether it is ` Yes or no'.
Leaving aside the fanatic cults, irrational and weird extremists, generally we find people having real belief in God are good and law abiding. They are afraid of doing sin and also helpful to others. God fearing makes a person kind and less harmless or if not harmless, less harmful. Thereby we can hope for a peace and harmonious world from the believers of God.
And there is this argument that these theists are being blinded by the religious superstitions which contradict with the truths discovered by science and technology, and are increasingly becoming harmful both to themselves and to the others. Even terrorism is also the outcome of this strong gross meaningless religious fanaticism. Yes, why not we agree with it?
But belief in God is not the belief in religious superstitions, it is not becoming stubborn like a rock having no kindness and being aggressive. And it is also not developing hatred towards other religions. To tell the fact, belief in God is becoming mild natured, kind and pious. In other words we can say that belief in God is overcoming religious harsh boundaries, and becoming reasonable, humanely thinking and also developing internal purity devoid of selfish feelings.
As per the great philosophers of India, God is the love that demands nothing in return (unconditional love). God is a thing not to be seen. Just like we know that there is electricity in the air, metals and in other types of matter but we cannot see it in its absolute form, we can by far only see the effects of electricity when it transforms into other forms of energy like visible light, audible sound and heat which can be sensed by our organs. Even when we get electrocuted, it is not the real feeling of electricity, but pain in our body we experience due to the effect of electricity.
Similar is the case with this world. We see so many 'effects' like welfare, sorrow, rains, droughts, prosperity, destruction, peace, wars, happiness, illnesses, joyful events, terrible accidents, charities and terrorist activities, etc happening in this world, but in a normal condition, we can't really understand and see the 'cause' behind every single event.
But our intellect provides us an opportunity to understand that the 'effect' can't exist without the 'cause' and that kind of reasoning is a proactive approach of trying to understand God.
God can be understood as a thing to be felt and understood. It is a purest condition pervading with in and out. It can be achieved by continuous meditation with selfless, harmonious unbiased thinking. In other words God can be called as a balanced condition, neither less nor more. It is neither liking nor hatred, neither emotional nor passive. It is as it is. It is a condition to be aspired for by one and all and it should become the target of every human being. How nice to think about it in these lines. Is it not worth consideration? Think over it and be benefited.
Have you ever wondered why the most exemplary and oldest texts ever conceived by the human mind, the Vedas also at one point said that if you define God, He is no longer God?
There is a greater sense of wisdom in this declaration. Let us say a person is happy. Whatever be the language used, 'happy' denotes some positive feeling. Then comes the question - How much happy? Which are the units to measure happiness?
To elaborate further, if you give a toffee to a child who wishes for it he will be happy. You can't define it, you can somehow observe it. But if the child wishes for something else, and if you give a toffee he would not be happy now. The action is the same, but the result will be different. Or let us say, there are many children to whom you have given the same kind of toffees. Can you guarantee that all are equally happy?
The same thing holds good for many things which are not tangible objects like tranquility, grief, ecstasy, which can't be universally quantified. And when we can't define to quantify what we know and have already experienced, how can we define something like God which is beyond our rational human mind?
The very basic word 'define' means to 'confine' something with some limits. And so can we limit a limitless God by trying to define with our limited capacity of human knowledge, human mind and human languages?
Now, let us have a look at the wisdom of some great personalities/religions/holy books/organizations:
- God is (Satchidanand) existent, intelligent and blissful. He is Nirakar (formless), all powerful, omniscient, just, merciful, beginning less, endless, unchangeable, unborn, faultless, omnipresent, immanent, immortal, eternal, holy and the maker of all. -- Agniveer.com inspired by Vedas and Satyarth Prakash written by Swami Dayanand Saraswathi)
- The entity (God) which feels pain/pleasure is soul and manager of conscious and unconscious (non living entities) is `God' -- The Vedas
- The Vedas (sacred books) cannot show you Brahman (GOD). You are that only. Think of God all the time and that will purify you. God is explicable, inexpressible essence of love-to be known but never defined, God is present in every jiva, there is no other God besides that. Who serves Jiva serves God indeed. Hindus believe in one Supreme god who created the Universe and who is worshipped as `Light, love and consciousness'. They believe that there is one all-pervasive God which energies the entire Universe. We can see Him in the life shining out of the eyes of humans and all creatures. They also believe in many Devas who perform various kinds of functions, like executives in the large corporation. These should not be confused with God. There is one supreme God only. From whom all beings are projected, in whom all live, and unto whom they all return, that is God. The whole universe is a symbol and God is the essence behind. -- Swami Vivekananda
- Know God as undual, endless, permanent, only one Satchidanand, filled with totality of pure sacred thought. -- Sri Adi Sankaracharya
- From which everything emanates, by which everything is sustained and that into which everything returns is God. He is the source of all existence (Sat) and is characterized by consciousness (Chit) and Bliss (Anand). He is always exists in inseparable relation to individual souls and nature. -- Sri Ramanujacharya
- Abstaining from theft/ sensuality/ falsehood/ slander is God. Suppression of unkindness is God, avoiding gossip is God. Letting go off envy is God, diminishing hatred is God and obedience to truth is God. -- Lord Gautama Buddha
- God is one, but His aspects are many. As the master of house, is father to one, brother to another and husband to a third and is called by different names by different persons, so the one God is described in various ways according to the particular aspect in which He appears to particular worshippers. -- Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa
- God is within you. Otherwise it can be said that He is you yourself. For him you need not search in the outside world. -- Sri Veerabrahmendra Swami
- God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whoever believes on him should not perish, but have eternal life. God is all powerful, able to perform any possible act or cause anything to occur and that He is the creator of heaven and earth. He made everything that exists. -- The Bible
- Allah is the Lord of the worlds. The beneficient, the merciful, owner of the Day of Judgment. Thee we worship. Thee we ask for help to show us the straight path. No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all vision. God is above all comprehension, yet is acquainted with all things. God is the all powerful and all-knowing creator, sustainer, ordainer, and judge of the Universe. -- The Quran
- God is God. He is neither Sakar (with form ) nor Nirakar (without form). He is as it is. There is nothing to explain. God is the personality whom we do not know. He is. But we do not know. Feeling is the language of God. Be active in inactivity. Unconsciousness is the characteristic of soul. It is felt when we get rid of worldly ideas. This unconsciousness goes on increasing till we get ourselves totally merged in God. -- Sri Ramachandraji Maharaj
Contributed by Sri. P. Subbarayudu and Sri. B.E. Sampath Kumar of Sri RamaChandraji Maharaj, Seva Trust, Kadapa.