Tuesday, 24 May 2011

The Existence of God

Swami Tejomayananda
The Asian Age

The existence of God is a very popular and fascinating question and has been asked from time immemorial. Various people over the ages have conclusively tried to answer this timeless question but it still keeps coming up. To answer this question conclusively, we will have to examine this question from various angles.

In the present day and age of the Internet, with the advancement of science and technology and an information explosion, it may interest one to know that there is even more information on one topic--God. Even God would be surprised and amused at this!! God reigns supreme, whether or not we believe in His existence. The atheists endorse it by not believing and the believers by surrendering to God. The former do it by disproving His existence and the latter by trying to establish it.

The question that therefore arises is, "Does God really exist?" Believers take the knowledge in the Vedas or the scriptures of other religions, as their support, whereas the non-believers are sustained by their own logic. But logic is a peculiar thing--it can be used for both to support and nullify and is, in the end, inconclusive. Even in a court of law, mere arguments are never entertained without supporting evidence. People generally have an idea or a concept of God, which may or may not be commonly accepted. It is this notion that they refute and hence their arguments cannot be accepted. A systematic approach would be to refer to the scriptures or books that refer to the word "God" and check its use and then find out how it has been defined.

The Upanishads refer to the word "God" as Ishwara, Bhagavan, Brahman and so on. They explain the concept and if after studying these works, we conclude that we do not believe in God, it is acceptable. Both the believers and non-believers need to have clarity of the concept.

The Taittirya Upanishad says, "That from which all beings are born, That by which all beings are sustained and That unto which they merge back is Brahman." This beautiful statement means if there is a creation, a product or effect, the effect must have a cause. Everyone has to accept this at some point of the discussion. There may be a dispute about the nature of the cause. Something cannot come out of nothing. So, if the whole creation is the effect, there has to be something in the origin, the cause. Something exists and That self-evident being has to accepted. It is this existence or pure being which is perceived as God--the fountainhead.

Let us examine this point without taking recourse to the Upanishads. Take the example of government officers, ministers or secretaries. Each officer has the power to do so many things. They are all part of the collective government power. The government is not seen but its decision are implemented through these functionaries who function because of the total power of the government. Even a peon in the office wielding the powers allocated to him, proves the existence of the government.

These days, we have several workshops and seminars taking place with very interesting and catchy titles. One such title which is drawing much interest is "P to P" (Performance to Potential). Most of us will agree that we have infinite potential. Despite this, we find that some of us fail while some succeed. The reason is that they do not work to their maximum potential. What is this potential? Do we know the potential of the earth, the water, the sun or other energies? Their potential cannot be described in sentences and hence we can conclude that their power is infinite. That infinite potential is called God.

Now that we know He exists, the next logical question is--can I realize God? A better way to ask this question would be by rephrasing it and asking: is it possible to realize or manifest my infinite potential? We are continuously manifesting some of our potential and therefore we are able to achieve what we want. So the answer is--Yes, it is possible to realize God! If one is able to, the true end of all human ambitions and aspirations is gained.

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