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Definition of God Part 2

Are You a Theist or an Atheist?

 

Ninety nine percent People are not atheists but at the same time they can not swear to be theists. An instructive story illustrates this condition of uncertainty of the people in general with respect  to their belief in God.

 

Once upon a time, a saintly person visited a village. The vil­lagers invited him to give a discourse. Just before beginning his discourse he asked them, "How many of you believe in God?" No one  raised his hand. The saint said, "If none of you believe in God, what is the use of my giving a discourse?" He then got down from his seat and started walking away. Some villagers ran after him  and persuaded him to come back. Again he asked the same question, "How many of you believe in God?" This time, all of them raised their hands. On seeing this, he said. "If all of you believe in  God. what is the need for me discourse?" And he got down from his seat and started walking away. He was again brought back. When he repeated his question again, this time, by previous  agreement, half of the people raised their hands and half of them did not. When the saint saw this, he said, "Those who have faith teaeh those who don't have faith" and walked away.

 

In this way we can see that most people don't have proper knowledge about God and so they neither disbelieve in Him, nor have complete faith in Him. Even those who profess to be theists  maintain some faith only due to fear of the unknown or due to considerations of mundane piety or social pressure. For example, We find some people engaged in the so-called worship of Kali or  Ganesh due to social pressure. They celebrate pompous festivals in which raucous rock music is played and where people of simi­lar social status come together to share food and drinks with  no discussion whatsoever about God or the purpose of life. How unfortunate it is - blatant gross enjoyment in the guise of reli­gion! And even in the student community, most of the students to­day who visit temples do so as a ritual due to family tradition or habit from childhood. Though they are certainly better than the downright atheists who deny the existence of God, their  igno­rance in the matter of a scientific understanding of God is cer­tainly a sorry state of affairs.Thus we can see that a superficial understanding about God is not of much use. In this course, we want to get an in-depth un­derstanding about God.

                                                                           Proof of God's Existence

Whenever we see something that is designed intelligently and is functioning properly, we at once presume that some­one has created it. For example, • If we were to find a wristwatch on a seashore, we would at once presume that it has an intelligent designer and that some­body must have lost it. Only a fool would assume that the watch was created by chance from the random action of the waves crashing into the sand.

If several trains are moving in a well-coordinated way on the tracks, we understand that there must be a controlling signal designed by an engineer.Similarly we see so many orderlv things happening in nature. For example,

The seasons change in a regular, cyclic manner. Gigantic trees develop from tiny seeds (The giant sequoia tree grows over 300 feet high with a diameter of upto 36 feet. Its bark alone is 2 feet thick and its roots cover an area of 2,00,000 sq. ft. It lives for over 3,000 years. Yet the seeds that a sequoia tree rains down by the millions are not much bigger than a pin-head)

Are all these things happening by chance or is there a divine intelligence behind them? On seeing a complicated printed cir­cuit board, no sane person will say that it has come by chance from nowhere or that it has no designer and no purpose. Why and how then can we assume that the entire universe with all its har­mony, order and structured organization came about by itself, by chance? Obviously all these things are happening as per the laws of nature, but can there be any law without a lawmaker? We have no such experience; the very presence of a law implies the presence of a lawmaker who imposes the law. Even a simple road sign that regulates traffic has an originator and a controller. What then of the great comprehensive laws that govern this entire universe? Such brilliantly conceived laws surely bear witness to a brilliant lawmaker. Thus any human being with a little common sense can understand the presence of a super-intelligent being - God - from the marvels of His creation. (For a detailed analysis of this subject, please refer to the first level course book 'Discover Yourself in this 'Spirituality for the Modern Youth' series) There are also books published by reputed scientists like 'Evidence of God in an Ex­panding Universe' G. P. Putnam & sons, New York, wherein lead­ing authorities from a variety of fields like mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology and zoology prove scientifically and rationally the presence of a supreme creator, without whose sanction not a blade of grass can move.

Various Misconceptions About God

 

Many so-called philosophers have concocted speculative theories about God. which were born from the fertile imagi­nation of the few grams of their brain substance. Some of them are: "God is  Light". "God is the imagination of man".   "God created this complicated universe, but when He was unable to control it, He ran away out of frustration." etc.Once the philosopher Neitsche made a  statement "God is dead" and soon it became a famous philosophy. One atheist even wrote on the wall of a church: "God is dead - Neitsche". After some years, a Christian interchanged the  words 'God" and 'Neitsche'. The statement therefore became "Neitsche is dead- God", which is certainly true; Neitsche died long ago. Thus many philosophers come, speculate and go; their only  contribution is to leave behind bogus theories, which increase the confusion of the masses and take them further away from God.

 

Some impersonalists speculate, "I am God" or "Everyone is God"; but when they suffer from toothaches, they can do nothing about it except moan in pain. And when they get the urge to re­spond  to the calls of nature, they cannot control themselves even for a moment; they have to run helplessly to respond. God is the supreme controller. How then can He come under the control of a  toothache or the call of nature? We living entities, who are tiny souls, are not God, nor can we ever become God; we are eter­nally servants of God. God is not a subject matter of speculation. He  has to be un­derstood through hearing from a bona fide spiritual authority. As long as we maintain our preconceived notions about God and do not approach a bona fide guru, we will remain in  darkness with­out any correct understanding of God.

God - The one Supreme among many subordinates

 

God: The Source of Everything

 

in this world, everything and everyone has some source. For example, you were born from a father: he had a father; and he also had a father. In this way, if one goes to the root of all exist­ence,  one will come to God. Thus, one can understand that God is the Supreme Father of every living entity. Somebody may ask, "Who created God?" But God was never created. Because we are  inside the time domain, our bodies are created and destroyed again and again. God exists outside the time domain; He has been existing eternally and will continue to exist eternally. In the search  for the source of one object after another. God is like the fullstop - the source of everything. In fact, the definition of God is janmady asya yatah "God is the one from whom everything emanates."  anadir adir govinda sarva karana  karanam... "Govinda, Lord Krishna, is the cause of all causes, hut He Himself has no other piukp " {Brahma Samhita 5.1) Now, if we can know God and see  Him, we can ask, "O God, why did You create this universe? How can I get out of all suffer" God is watching our movements exactly like a rich man is watching the movements of fishes in his  mini-aquarium; the fishes may not be aware of him, but he is aware of their movements.

 

God: The Supreme Controller

 

God is the controller of all controllers He is not controlled by anybody, tarn isvaranam paramam mahesvaram "The Supreme Lord is the controller of all other controllers" isvara parama krishna  sac aid ananda vigraha "Krishna is the supreme con­troller and He has a transcendental form of eternity, bliss and knowledge."

 

Isvara means controller. Even an ant may be the controller of a long queue of ants. A person may be the controller of a family, state or country. But our range of control is very limited like the  range of movement of a cow tied to a pole. We cannot even con­trol our own body and mind. The position of the householder, who is supposedly the lord of his house, is graphically described by  the statement: "I am the master of the house and I have my wife's permission to say so". All of us are controlled by some­body above us, but God is the controller of all controllers; He is not  under anybody.

 

Once a man, who had a desire to serve the greatest personal­ity in the world, went to the sarpanch, the head of the panchayat of his village and begged for service. He was appointed as the sarpanch's servant. But one day he observed the panchayat head going to the tahsildar, the head of the taluka, to submit reports of his activities. This man thought, "Why not serve a greater  per­sonality- the tahsildar?" He got appointed as the tahsildar's ser­vant. But again he observed that the tahsildar was subordinate to the collector, the head of the district. He therefore became  the collector's servant. But then he found that the collector had to report to the king of the country. This man then became the king's servant. But, to his great surprise, one day he found the king .  going to the temple of Radha and Krishna and bowing down before Their Lordships. The man exclaimed to the king, "I thought that you are the greatest personality and that there is no one above  you!" The king humbly admitted, "There is nobody ex­cept God who is not controlled by others. If you want to serve the greatest personality, you should serve God". The man went on to become  a great devotee of God. Thus his desire to serve the greatest person was fulfilled when he engaged in the devo­tional service of the Supreme Lord. Through this story, we can clearly understand  that God is the supreme controller of all controllers.

 

God: The Supreme Proprietor

 

The real proprietor of a place is one who owns the place for all time to come and no one else can usurp his proprietorship. We can easily see that everything we possess in this world is  tempo­rary; all our possessions remain with us for a brief period. Then how can we claim to be proprietors? Although an ant may imag­ine that it is the owner of a hole in the floor, its ownership  can be finished simply by throwing a bucket of water on the hole. What about us° Tenants are thrown out after 11 months of contract. Even if we own a house on paper, can we actually claim  propri­etorship of the house? No. A real life example explains this point. A few years ago, the government made an announcement in Belgaum, "We are making a ring road. All the houses lying on  the route of the ring road should be vacated." And these people were given replacement houses in some godforsaken place. Does that mean thMt the unvemmpnt is the proprietor'? No F.ven  crovern-ments keep changing, bor example, in the last tew centuries, the Indian government has changed from the Mughals to the Britishers lo Indians of various parties. Moreover our  proprietorship of anything is only in the mind; it has no actual connection with the thing we claim to possess. For example, two men may fight in the train for the same seat or two brothers may  fight for the same piece of land and kill one another; they come and go, but the seat and the land both remain there unaffected. Thus, it is clear that we are not the proprietor of anything.

 

Everything in this world belongs to the person who has origi­nally created it, viz., God. This is confirmed in the Ishopanishad (Mantra 1) isavasyam idam sarvam "Everything animate or in­animate  that is within the universe is controlled and owned by the Lord." How the Lord is the proprietor of everything can be easily understood through an example. Take, for example, our dwelling, which  is made of earth, wood, stone, iron, cement and so many other material things. We must know that we cannot produce any of these building materials ourselves. We can sim­ply bring them  together and transform them into different shapes by our labor. A laborer cannot claim to be a proprietor of a thing just because he has worked hard to manufacture it. Similarly we cannot claim  proprietorship over anything just because we have used our labor, intelligence etc to make it: the raw materials for everything come from nature, which was cre­ated by God. Hence God alone is  the proprietor of everything that exists for all time - past, present and future.

 

God: The Supreme Enjoyer

 

The enjoyer of an activity is one who gets the ultimate benefit of that activity. The only true enjoyer is God as is confirmed in the Bhagavad gita (9.24): aham hi sarva yajnanam hhokta ca prabhur  eva ca "I am the only enjoyer and master of all sacri­fices." and also in Bhagavad-gita (5.29): hhoktaram yajna lapasam "I am the ultimate beneficiary of all sacrifices and ai terities." For example,  the owner of a hotel is an independent enjoyer and his servants, the waiters, are dependent enjoyers; the profit goes to the owner and the waiters get a fixed salary and food thrice a day. In the  same way God is the supreme enjoyer; we are dependent on Him for our enjoyment.

 

Also a person can be truly considered to be an enjoyer only when he himself does not have to do any work. Even by this definition, God alone is the enjoyer as stated in the Shvetashvatara  Upanishad (6.8) : na tasya karyam karanam ca vidyate. "The Supreme Personality of Godhead has no work to do." Lord Krishna also says in the Bhagavad-gita (3.22): na me parthasti kartavyam  trishu lokeshu kincana. "O son of Pritha, there is no work pre­scribed for Me within all the three planetary systems." For ex­ample, the owner of the Tata steel company can simply relax and enjoy  in Switzerland, but his employees have to work. He, being the owner, may have nothing to do; he is, therefore, an indepen­dent enjoyer. But his employees are all dependent enjoyers. Thus God is the supreme enjoyer. Although we may try to enjoy, we derive only flickering pleasure from our so-called en­joyment. This is because we, living entities, are all parts of God.  Therefore, we are neither creators nor enjoyers, but we are sim-plv cooperators or servants. Our enjoyment comes by serving! our master, God. Thus, God is the independent enjoyer and ww  are dependent enjoyers. Just as the branches, leaves, fruits etc of. a tree get nourishment by watering its root; just as all the parts of the body like the hands, legs etc get nourishment by serving  the stomach, similarly we can achieve true happiness only by  serving God with love, understanding Him to be the ultimate enjoyer.

Conclusion

 

Only if a person possesses the attributes mentioned above -he is the supreme enjoyer, the supreme proprietor and the supreme controller - can he be said to be God.If we meet an ordinary person claiming to be God, how can we refute his claim? We can check whether he meets the defini­tion of God which we have studied in this chapter. We can ask him,  "Are you the supreme enjoyer of everything?" Even if he foolishly claims that he is, we can ask him to prove his claim, How can we know that a person is actually the enjoyer of a thing? First of  all, he has to be the proprietor of that thing. And what is the proof that he is indeed the proprietor of a particular thing? He should be its controller. And since the whole universe is obvi­ously not  moving under his control, his claim is clearly baseless. Therefore we should not accept anyone to be God - the su­preme enjoyer,  proprietor and controller - without gaining proof from authentic sources.

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