Sunday, August 30, 2009

God and Man

God is the abode of Truth, consciousness and Bliss (Bhagvad-Gita-VIII, 9). He is born of none, beginingless and the cause of everything (X, 3). According to the Holy Qur'an - "God is one without a second". In the Bible there are references to the threefold nature of God as Father, Son and Holy Ghost - (John 5:22; 1:18; 14:26). God the Father is the Absolute Unmanifested. God the Son is the Christ consciousness existing within vibratory creation. Holy Ghost is the "Word" - the sole causative and activating force that upholds all creation through vibration: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Work was God" - John 1:1 (Bible). The "Word" corresponds to "Aum" of Hindu scripture. Atheists do not believe in God, but the idea of God preoccupies their minds more than that of the common believers. God has never been away from the minds of men and women. Even Chairman Mao had said (though sarcastically) during his last days that he was going to "meet God soon". God cannot be proved; but His existence needs no proof. The existence of God is not mere opinion. It is a matter of faith. More than that, it is a matter of personal experience and actual perception (Anubhav). Lalleshwari, Sai Baba of Shirdi, Parmahansa Rama Krishna, Maharishi Raman, to name only a few, are no pre-historic personages or characters from mythology. The lives of these saints of recent past leave no doubt in our minds about their attainment of God Realization. Religions which are silent about God speak of the Self (soul). The realization of the Self is the realization of God. However, it is one thing to talk of God or even to believe in God and quite another thing to be aware of the presence of God within oneself. Men and women use the idea of God in innumerable ways. Some use Him as a shield against many fears, real or imaginary, like the fear of the unknown. They invoke the protection of God against unforeseen misfortunes, enemies, ghosts and even death. The symbols of God's attributes are extensively used by people to sell their goods. Many "Gurus" use His name to earn easy money and material comforts. Dacoits and criminals worship the images of different "gods" and "goddesses" before going out to commit heinous crimes. Terrorist kill innocent men, women and children with God's name on their (terrorist's) lips. As far as we know, man is the best of God's creation: "Ashraf-ul-Makhlukat". Tennyson calls him the "crown and glory of things". According to Tulsidas, "Man is very fortunate in being born with a human body". Why is man superior to all other living beings? Man is "superior" because he is not only aware of the material reality in him but also capable of realizing the non-material reality of his existence. All other creatures possess only the awareness - "I am". Man with his mind and intellect (both material stuff) probes the mysteries of the material reality within and outside him. He has unraveled innumerable secrets of Nature. His knowledge about his own body and the universe around him is immense. He has succeeded in harnessing the forces of Nature to his advantage, and for his own comfort. But still he is more miserable than happy: "Nanak Dukhiya Sab Sansar". Why is man unhappy? He is unhappy because his life is not in tune with his spontaneous self. The spontaneous self (soul) has precedence over material self. Man ignores the promptings of his soul or fails to interpret them. The mechanical-material mind remains his only guide and the habits of mind direct the course of his life. He may find pleasure or satisfaction now and then. The pleasures or satisfactions, however, are transitory. But at some stage of spiritual development, some men and women ask themselves the question: "Who am I?" Gradually they become aware of their inner self. Meditation on the inner self silences the noise of the mind. The mind is relieved of the role of the director of life, and it confines itself to its real role as the instrument of adjustment to the outer world. Thus, these spiritually awakened people do only that which their inner self wants done. They do not stop working, but work more efficiently than before without getting elated by success or depressed by failure. Work becomes worship for them, and ultimately they reach the state of Bliss (Ananda), where sorrow cannot touch them.

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