For most of us I suppose, the question is not whether there is a god or not, but, whether we need one for our own or His sake, for, his pseudo existence is at stake here. Let us give HIM –or rather us, the benefit of doubt. Mind you, He can do no harm unless we ask for it. Before I go any further, let me confess that He reminded me the other day “Don’t play God”.
Many of us do play or are expected to impersonate God in our daily lives, be it to our off springs, subordinates or employees, but that does not empower us to behave like Gods. Such positions behove us to act more responsibly with justice, righteousness and without any element of selfishness. With such predicaments of daily life why not try to understand Godhead in simpler terms and an earthly sense.
When I was playing truant in school enjoying irritating the class teachers, one of them said “For heavens sake, stop fooling around and get to work; the exams are coming, God will punish you”. I thought it was a disguise on his part to play God with the exam markings and retorted “what proof have you got to say that there is a God who is bothered about our exams?”
This gave Him the opportunity to sermon us through him – the class teacher, for a good part of an hour. At the end of it I was dumbfounded and even now I have not reconciled whether there is a god or not. But I remember the class teacher saying “Forget it, if you have so much doubt, start your prayers with if there is a God; anyhow prayers can only soothen your nerves”. Yes, they do. Doctors agree and neurologists profess so. I have tried listening to bhajan cassettes whilst navigating the morning traffic jam. I have felt that the ‘mood elevators’ do help in raising my irritability barrier.
It is said that it all began with ancestor worship. As history tells us, man was not unlike any other animal, going for the other’s throat, like when two unfamiliar cats do, when their paths cross. The benefits of co-operation and unity in strength has evolved us all through various stages of self destructive civilization, such that now we are prepared to shake hands or bow as a gesture of no harm. Mind you, we all still have that lingering nascent instinct of doubt and animosity when strangers are met in unfamiliar surroundings.
Soon after birth, the newborn learns to identify its mother through instincts and cries to get her attention. Thence the environments, its God- the giver of food, affection and wishes, becomes the father, grandparents, ayahs, kin and kith, neighbours, teachers, Gurus, do-gooders, favourite heroes in professions, its choicy sports and pastimes and finally the government (who now-a-days we have entrusted with the authority to sanction a lot of our wishes) and in the end GOD Himself, as defined by whatever is undefinable and unquantifiable.
Thus the role, definition and need for God seem to change from a provider to a motivator and finally to an illusory power that grants justice and solace. In the end, it could be Satan or Yama himself who liberates us from worldly existence. Hence God’s roles are to create, preserve and destroy.
Most religious epics have portrayed God thus; being the ONE capable of granding boons, performing miracles –the ultimate source of life and power whence we all have come from and where we all will return to. For instance, consider Mahabharata or Ramayana both of which have been secularized by our TV GOD DD. They may appear to be typical movie scripts with their fateful twists and turns aplenty. In the end, what they have tried to convey, is the inevitability of destiny –with a very great conditioning BUT, that we are our own makers of destiny. As my well meaning teacher had advised prior to my tryst with exams ‘don’t leave it to God’.
Let the so called spiritualists who pretend to have superior capabilities or supernatural powers, not take you for a ride; or for that matter –the historical internecine massacares where God had to intervene, or the epical intra-God rivalries where in stand-offs had to be settled by mythical God’s own creations, unsettle you. What one should concentrate is the inner self-not the egoistic ‘I and id’, but the subjects that IT is and what IT can do for ITSELF without harming the other ones. In other words ‘AHAM BRAHMASMI’ or simply put ‘TATVAMASI’. Seek yourself.
Science tells us that we use only a minute percentage of our capabilities whether muscular or mental; consider for examples what the athletes achieve by muscular development and what great thinkers and philosophers have achieved by their mental prowess. Thus by honing our inherent skills, it is not beyond us most to achieve what may seem unattainable on lazy mood. For one has not lost, till the will to try harder is surrendered – to God. In times of despair, pause, have courage to persist and persevere; maintain the will to survive and struggle; if you are weak-kneed and can’t do it yourself, lean on something and ask Him to help. Most of all, try not to forget He who had seen you through heavy weather, thank Him for the flood tides.
Yes, science has through centuries tried to disprove that there is a God –even if there was none, and those who had abetted such moves have cruelly been punished, for example Socrates with hemlock, Galileo at the gallows etc… some by setting examples with their own lives and crusades have been misunderstood and elevated to quasi-God status like Buddha or Prophet Muhammad, or pillorified like Christ on the cross, Joan of Arc at the stake etc. Given time, even saints have been promoted to God’s status and it won’t be long before mortals like Sree Narayan Guru, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Sathya sai Baba, Nelson Mandela etc are portrayed and equated with Gods.
In fact, through evolutions and civilizations GOD has been defined as what our mental faculties could not understand or that which the scientists could not conjure an explanation or. Our forefathers have worshipped natural forces like lightning, fire, wind, and earth itself.
Later It seems to have become addictive and ensconced itself out of our Bhakthi, affection, Love, Insecurity and Fear. The latter two are what invariably drives contemporary human beings towards God: why disrespect Him, lest He hinder or scuttle our hopes, desires, plans, ambitions and visions, like what my school teacher advised me with his own element of doubt about Him.
Let science and scientists endeavor for eons, one thing seems certain –that God will be endured and endeared much longer. Science seems to have much doubt about itself in proving, questioning and disproving itself. Wherever, we came from and wherever we are bound to –from big bang –through Asteroid & Kuiper Belts, Oort Cloud- to black hole, (Macrocosm-Microcosm: there are enough galaxies for all the living beings: hence Maya or illusion of life in Time-Space) we do seem to need God for guidance, to determine who and where we are and what to do or what not to do.
Perhaps, it is justifiable to quantify God as what our wisdom and knowledge knows or knows not. God or the concept of God has been questioned throughout civilizations. Don’t we call events and occurrences that seem to happen beyond our control and foresight as ‘act of God’? In that sense God can be said to have been evolved out of our ignorance and inability to grasp wider implications of events.
It is said that ‘God helps only those who help themselves”; hence let us not pass the buck to God Himself, do whatever one can, but first of all, be good and ‘do unto others as thou would want to have done unto’. Don’t avoid admitting ignorance by saying “God only knows”. Take pains to widen your knowledge and make efforts to find out, for God’s sake, don’t whiter away precious time, for idle mind is devil’s workshop; and time and tide waits for no man. Let nothing be left ungained due to one’s inaction.
Don’t blame Him by resorting to “My God, what have I done”?
Instead, consider the alternative course of actions, which is within your powers to execute. Don’t invite His wrath by reverse delegation, thus: “Jho kuch mein ne kiya, thu ne hei karvaya”. Don’t ever jettison God by sending Him off with “To hell with God”. Such people, before long, are bound to request for His descend from heavenly abode for earthly chores.
Don’t our eye-lashes get moistened in times of great joy as if for thanking the almighty, though the deed indeed would have been our own? Can we relate the events and achievements to our own just efforts and capabilities. Perhaps, may be; but would you say that it was made easier with the Lord’s own blessings or that unseen hand had lifted your spirits to outperform your own expectations. What if God had intentionally or unintentionally placed hurdles on your path: like when you missed the deadlines and seemingly certain success had evaded you, by sheer quirk of fate.
Let us not equate fate and God. Fate is of your own making by deeds; God too, if there isn’t one, is of your own making –not by deeds and actions, but by thought. It originates out of necessity, for something to be blamed or leaned on to, when one cannot control the happenings around him that he would very much like to control for his own benefits. God in such cases may be acceptable as a catalyst to assist one’s own doings by providing the moral or spiritual strength.
Call it whatever name you want to christen it with, but the three-letter word, I presume, suffices to portray to us all that is incomprehensible. If you haven’t comprehended yet, leave those who have chosen to abide by God, alone. Believe me, they have no right to impose God on others. So, let it be.
Guess by now I would have stirred the atheists’ minds. God promise, I haven’t been trying to convince that there is a God. For God’s sake, all that I have been venturing to vent is that like most of you, I have my own doubts whether there is a God or not. But, in the main, the final prognosis is whether we need one or have room to accommodate one, or many –plethora of Gods as in the pantheons.
There is nothing wrong in using idols to personify God in one’s own favourite forms, be it of human appearance or heavenly descendence; but it will be idiotic to expect such creations to grant one’s wishes or make one’s life easier. The efforts for that must come from one’s own will and actions; it cannot be expected to emanate from Godly sources. Hence we humans seem to create more Gods, when the current ones do not seem to suffice to grant us favours. Divine Grace, yes, but, one must kick start, then God assists.
One simple and universal method for understanding or achieving God realisation is by avoiding sins. In this respect, the avoidance of sins in actions is not enough; even sins by thought -not just sinister thoughts alone, must be eradicated; and sinning by utterances too. Most of us do commit sins unintentionally or intentionally, abet such acts or are coerced to commit sins. The pressure of poverty, profession and prestige has made us all immune to thinking otherwise. It may well nigh be humanly impossible to achieve such a state of bliss, but that should not restrain humane efforts on our parts to endeavour for the same or inculcate such ideas in fellow beings.
Be assured that atonement or confessions does not set right one’s wrong doings. Such ideologies in a stricter sense can be termed as diluted versions of godology. Since ‘to err is human’, what is required is concerted efforts to avoid such omissions, backed up by committed reaction to set right unintentional mischief. Thus forgiveness or pardoning are also godly acts.
Such a placid state of mind can be said to have been achieved, when one attains the courage to face himself and Him through a mirror and seek justice when he has been wronged, without the thought of rewards for the good deeds done. We need not go after our enemies to settle their unfriendly acts; by our recurrent efforts of good deeds, such opposition can be won over.
If few of us can set such exemplary standards, the rest of us can emulate them to create a state of peaceful co-existence to the benefit of one and all. Not that such lofty ideals have not been preached before, but the need of the hour seems to be such realisation; for, history is replete with destruction in the name of God and his avatars. So, why not we all settle for just One God, whatever form or description he is conceived as?
We have not limited our Gods to Gods alone, and have enlarged the field to cover demi-Gods which often include ‘the powers that be’ and the power brokers too. When Gods and demigods haven’t been enough to grant our wishes, some of us have not hesitated to requisition Satans too. Thus in his own way, he too seems to have been recognized as a God. There seems to be no shortage of Gods or Godly ideas, but what is amply lacking amongst us is godliness and god-fearing actions or restraints. This makes it all the more paramount to understand and realize God and Its omnipresence.
I haven no pretenses to be a charlatan, neither am I trying to imprint pagan thoughts, nor instill god-fearing ethos. I am asking one and all to keep your eyes and ears open, and mind too – if you have the room for Him. For, He can be the best friend in adversity and can prop up your feelings, when let down by your own fellow beings.
Lest I am misunderstood, I haven’t suggested that you make one -by defining Him as “all that is undefinable and imperceivable”. Nonetheless, with your permission, may I say in closing ‘take ONE –if you need One, for your own solace’, for, only He can prop you up, when all else let you down.