DOES GOD EXIST?
So, which of the two answers is correct?
Does he? Or, Doesn't he?
We can read and hear all of them.
And we can come to a conclusion - which usually is supportive of what we already believed in.
Yes. That is what happens in any argument.
You believe or suspect that God does exist. Or that he doesn't.Your belief or suspicion is usually stronger on one side. So, all arguments you read or hear strengthen your already held belief or suspicion further. All the opposing arguments sound unconvincing.
We don't want truth, usually. We want our present belief to be confirmed.We don't want to be terribly unsettled in our belief systems.
People have read the Bhagavad Gita or the Bible or Koran or some other religious scripture - or heard it from some one they respect. So, Beliefs are formed in us, from the earliest age.
Your Beliefs were put there, inside the mind - by your mother, your father, your priest, your teacher and every one you met from day one. You had no choice except to believe them. You went to school. Your teacher told you about Darwin and all of his scientific discoveries, supported by a lot of PROOF. You love your teacher and believe him too. In any case, that is what you have to write in your exams - that your ancient ancestors were actually monkeys or apes!
These are difficult to erase.
It is almost at the same time that all people read Darwin and hear the priest . People read science and scripture both. The Priest is a respected person. The teacher is a respected person too. The scientist is an even more respected person. We believe the scientist a little more - because he supports whatever he says - with some proof. But, the scripture and the priest want you to believe what they say. No further proof. But the priest had an advantage. He was born in your head much earlier than the teacher - almost on the same day you were born. And he goes on hammering his book into you every time you go to the temple or Mosque or Church - almost unquestioned.
And so, Darwin and the Priest are both sitting firmly in our heads. and are at constant war within our minds. That is unfortunate. Just one of them would have been too much. Two are unbearable.
One says, we evolved from the monkeys. The other says - God made Adam and Eve and we all descended from them. Another priest (the Hindu) believes, our ancestors were made by Brahma.There wasn't any Adam or eve.All priests believe, their books came straight from God.None of them believe that the others' book could at all have come from God ! Each book tells a different truth! Assuming that only God gave all religious scriptures, He should have given the same truth to all of his children. There was no point in misleading some or all.
There is some order even in this disorder. Each person is given one book only. He is forbidden to read the other books.
This doesn't eliminate the problem altogether but minimizes it.
Read one book in your temple or Church - And, read Darwin at School.So, the conflict is minimized but not eliminated.
Did we evolve from the monkeys or did we descend from Adam and Eve who were made by God - so imperfectly? Or, were we all made by the Brahma? It is a great DILEMMA.
To find the answer, we need to find, if GOD DOES EXIST! There is just no other way. We need to find the creator of all problems. He is the authentic source from whom we can get our proof.
But then, if God comes and stands before us - and says, lo, I have come, what do you want from me. Which one of us can even recognize him? We don't really know him. He has to give us proof that he is God.
There are many stories in the east and the west in which the God comes to a devotee in many forms but the devotee refuses to recognize him. Then God comes again in his dreams and chides him for not seeing him in the various forms he takes on earth. Is that how God comes in front of us?
How do we recognize him? Is he a form that eyes can see? Is he a smell that nose can smell? Is he a sound that the ear can hear? is he a taste that the tongue can recognize? or is he like the air that the skin can feel? Or he is more like the radio waves which need to be recognized through some modern machines only.
For any perception, we are blessed with only our five senses. Nothing beyond the capability of these five senses ever reaches us. For synthesizing and understanding the sensory inputs, we are blessed with a mind.
We know damn well - how imperfect are our five senses and mind, even to perceive the physical things around us. Many birds,reptiles and insects have far better sensory capabilities - but not a better mind to synthesize their inputs.
Our mind is a huge computer - but not with infinite capabilities.A swot analysis on these five senses and the mind will figure in one of the blog Posts - which will reveal that these are imperfect media to perceive some thing VERY HUGE, some thing which is probably OMNIPOTENT, OMNIPRESENT and OMNISCIENT - or,WHICH IS THE REAL INFINITE.
We have called him Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Omniscient. He never told us that. We presume so.
Does he have a form?Did God make man in his own Image?Why so? Why not in the image of the woman? God can't be having as imperfect sensory inputs as we have. All of our organs have specific functions and he doesn't have those functions at all! Why does he need them? God does have an IMAGE problem, if he has an Image.Lot of new questions come up before us. May be, all forms are his. All images are his.When he is pleased with you, he can come in any form before you. It is your total responsibility, your absolute headache, to recognize him in your Guest, or, even in your enemy.
In all religions, there is a belief that it is the sound that is important. In the beginning was the word, the word was with God, and the word was God, says the christian.
The Hindu agrees in total. Brahma exists in the Most ancient sound of all, called the pranava sound, pronounced as "OM", says the Hindu. Just open your mouth widest and close it slowly with a soft sound. You will be pronouncing OM. In fact, any thing opened wide and closed softly gives out only the sound of "OM".
God is supposed to exist in sound form in OM. Many meditations are designed on this sound. This sound is said to fill the whole universe in ways we are not yet aware of. It is called SABDA BRAMHA, the sound god.
How can we communicate with God, if he exists at all?
It is said, the best form of prose is poetry.The best form of poetry is song. The best of songs is prayer. The best of prayer is silence. And, the quintessence of silence is meditation. It is through meditation that you can know if God exists and can communicate with him. Meditation is the means to communicate with God. You can read my blogs on silence and meditation for further exposition on them.
A person who was a firm God believer for sixty-seventy years of his life suddenly got a very, small doubt in his mind, whether God does exist. He had refrained from committing a single sin all his life and had tried to do all those things which can take him straight to heaven. In the process, he could not enjoy his life on earth at all. Now, his predicament was - "if God does exist, no problem;I will go to heaven and enjoy there. But,suppose, God does not exist, then my whole life becomes a waste. I am neither here nor there. If God does not exist, let me enjoy my rest of life at least, on earth. Here is an enlightened master, the Buddha, let me get it confirmed from him."
So, he goes to Buddha and asks him the question. Buddha was then discoursing with his disciples, and it was early morning hours. Buddha slowly smiles and says firmly - "NO".
The whole skies seem to fall apart for the old man - who runs off to see what he can do with the rest of his life.
There was another very,firm NON- BELIEVER, who used to challenge every believer of God for argument and defeat them into submission.Now, he is also old and gets a very, slight suspicion if GOD DOES EXIST. Suppose God does really exist, I am sure to go to Hell and suffer for several thousands of years there. Any way, let me get this confirmed by the enlightened master, the Buddha. So thinking, he goes to the Buddha in the evening when a discourse was going on and asks the Buddha. Buddha looks at him, smiles and says, "YES".
The old man begins to feel as if the earth is ripping apart under his feet and dragging him into the deepest possible hell within, in that very moment. He runs back to home - to do whatever amends he can, with the rest of his life.
Next day morning, a young man comes forth before the Buddha with tears in his eyes, deep questions in his heart and not having words to express them - he sits before the Buddha, looking at his face. Buddha looks at his face for a while, smiling. After some time, the young man gets up, thanks Buddha for his kindness in giving him the answer of his life and goes back.
Buddha's disciples never ever got an answer to this question. And, here is Buddha, saying a firm NO to a Believer, a firm Yes to a Non-believer and a simple smile to a person who did not even pose his question.They question Buddha on these strange answers. Anyway, what was the answer given to the third person - and how?
I have heard this story with some variations from several great masters.
I have read approximately the same line of reasoning in the great Hindu spiritual master, Adi Sankara's expositions on the subject. In his inimitable, simple style, he says in a famous sanskrit sloka -" the disciples are old, the Guru is young, and the questions are unasked. the Guru explains with Maunam (or silence)." And the answers are well received.
Understanding Adi Sankara's conceptual expositions require deep and detailed explanation by a competent Guru. They are otherwise difficult to comprehend.
In both the above stories, the crux is - Are you really and deeply desirous of finding the truth? How deep is the quest in your heart? Are you willing to throw out all of your belief systems at the feet of the Guru?
Or, do you want to continue to believe some thing you do not really know?
It is said, if the quest in you is deep and profound, the answer descends in to you automatically. Many a time, it comes in the form of a competent Guru with the answer. The answer is in fact all around you, waiting for you to ask the question deeply. This ancient knowledge is now a days being talked of as LAW OF ATTRACTION. SEEK- THOU SHALT BE GIVEN. ASK -THOU SHALT BE ANSWERED.
Here comes a clear distinction between BELIEF, and KNOWLEDGE, which we need to understand.
A belief is something which doesn't have total proof and can turn into disbelief or untruth on further impartial inquiry.
Knowledge is something - which is ultimate truth requiring no further proof.
You Know you have a head. It does not require further proof for you. You do not need to believe it. YOU KNOW IT.
But, you believe x is your mother. Y is your father. This may be the absolute truth. Or, some day, it may prove to be untrue.
We do not normally make serious distinction between BELIEF and KNOWLEDGE. That is the problem with us. Most of the time, we believe our beliefs to be our knowledge and our knowledge to be our beliefs.
You may believe that GOD does or does not exist. But, you really do not know.
Your scripture may not be the ultimate truth. or it may be. You really do not know. Your priest does not know. No one ever saw GOD sitting and writing your scripture in a language which is almost extinct now.
As I have said in one of my first blog Posts, I firmly believe that there is one scripture that GOD has definitely written himself. It is YOU. It is ME.
He has definitely put all the truth we need, inside us.
The ancient sages have pondered on this question so deeply that it astonishes us - how we can miss what they say at all.
"DOES GOD EXIST" is a question that has been resolved very scientifically - without an iota of doubt.We don't need to re-invent the WHEEL, on this question.
God is beyond the five senses and therefore, let us not waste time in trying to see him, hear him,touch him, smell him or taste him. Even machines catching all sorts of waves for us - have to ultimately give all of them through the five senses. God is beyond all these. But, our search has to be where GOD can possibly be. We don't normally search for the GOD inside our self. But, that is where we can easily find him. Let the search begin inside our self!
There is one faculty within us which is beyond all the five senses., and beyond the mind which is constantly streaming out thought after thought through out our life.
As long as these thought processes continue to take hold of us, there is no way we can get inside of our self. Our thoughts will take us all over the world, except inside our self - where the answer to our eternal question lies hidden. ,All of our five senses are outward-bound. Purposefully so. They never remain totally under our control.
Thoughts, emotions and sensory inputs and outputs must therefore gradually be reduced and stilled - that is the process of meditation. It is not easy. It follows a scientific method. Difficulties and hurdles do arise at every stage of meditation. It does not matter. The meditation must go on despite obstructions and hurdles. When we meditate thus, a new awareness arises in us - which takes us deeper and deeper into a world of supreme consciousness - some thing we can never experience in the outside world. There is a new calm, a new serenity, a new meaning to life arising in us in this meditation process.
Some where through this meditation, we meet our real SELF for the first time in our life. We do not know our REAL SELF till then but we will know our self in this deeper meditation gradually.
Now, the LIFE starts in a different direction and a different dimension altogether. All questions start getting answered - unasked. There is a new clarity.
The new clarity goes on becoming absolute. You don't need to ask the question - DOES GOD EXIST any more.
You know it. You have experienced it. The self is beyond words. Beyond senses. So, is God. Unexplainable. But, experiential.
Some Yogis say there are 3 steps in knowing the self and the truth.
(1) Sravanam - Listening from the Master
(2) Mananam - Recalling frequently and
(3) NIDHI DHYASANAM - Contemplation. The contemplation has to be very deep in true Yogic way. All this has to be done under a competent Guru. Remember what Adi Sankara said earlier.
The Great Patanjali who wrote the YOGA SUTRAS gives us the ASHTANGA MARGA - the eight fold path. The first 2 steps therein are Mental and Physical cleanliness - called as YAMA and NIYAMA!
Without them, there is no way, you can touch the ultimate step of SAMADHI. There will be exclusive Blog Posts on Patanjali's Ashtanga Yoga - and readers may read the same for further details.
The process of Ashtanga Yoga isn't difficult - for the determined aspirant.
In about 3 months - you may or may not see God - but you will know he exists. More important, you know who you really are.
Isn't it obvious that - those who want to know if GOD DOES EXIST - must be physically and mentally clean?
Patanjali and other great realized masters are emphatic - that an unclean mind and body can never progress much in Yoga. You must start with that.
Yet, everybody wants to argue - if God does exist. Stop that argument from you and within you. It is of no use. Now, if you are a real and deep aspirant - and want to know that - searching inside you is the process. It is a sure shot process. It is an unfailing technology. You must follow that.
Just don't raise this as an idle question to who so ever is ready to argue with you.
Don't do a Ph.D on the subject. It is a waste of time. God is beyond intellectual process.
It is meaningless to be doing Graduations, PGs and Ph.D.s on such subjects and greater stupidity to be awarding them to others. Stop such activities.They are of no help.
Become a determined aspirant. Brace your self for the search within. It is a great process.
There are benefits to you all the way - from beginning to end.
Dhyana or Meditation is the key. But, you can't meditate well without practicing Yama and Niyama , the physical and mental cleanliness part. Your mind won't allow you at all. Wherever possible - sit before Great masters. Listen to them. By all means, read Patanjali's ashtanga Yoga and great commentaries there on. You won't fully understand - without a Guru. So, go to a Guru also.
You do want to know the ultimate truth of all - as a determined aspirant.
You want the ultimate richness of all life. You can't get it without sacrificing a few things from your mind.But, assuredly, there are big benefits all the way - in the yoga process.You will never have to regret.
When you become a good meditator, you won't ask any more questions - whether GOD DOES EXIST or not. You know very well, you are on the right journey. Your questions are being answered one after another - unasked.
You will have fewer and fewer questions - until no question remains at all.
Start searching for a GOOD GURU- who can teach all this to you. Stop other idle searches and arguments. You won't regret at all. You won't lose anything at all-except your restlessness, your unhappiness and your ignorance.
You will be happier than ever. You will be more blissful than ever.