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An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri

Panun Kashmir

Milchar

Symbol of Unity

 
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Reality of God

by T.N. Dhar 'Kundan'

God is a reality; there is no doubt about it for had it not been so, we would not be talking about God and arguing about Him existing or not existing. It is an accepted fact that we cannot think of a thing, which does not exist.

In our Puranic literature there was mention of people travelling through air and of umpteen different destructive weapons. All that seemed to be a myth not very long ago, but today all that is a fact. We see dreams wherein things and events get juxtaposed losing all the barriers of time and space, yet all that does exist in one form or the other. We may see a winged cow that seems to be impossibility, yet both the cow and the wings do exist, which proves the supposition that we cannot talk and discuss a thing that does not exist. So there is no question of going into a discussion about the existence of God. Even Buddha preferred to remain silent about this matter because he was not sure about God not existing. Mahavir did deny His existence but he could not put forward any concrete proof in support of his belief. Atheists deny His existence only because God is not visible to thenaked eye, which is hardly acceptable. There are hundreds of things that are not visible and yet we feel them or perceive them. Be that as it may and let us proceed on the firm premise that He does exist.

Now let us consider the reality of God. God is not a reality in physical terms because He does not have a form although many devotees worship him in one form or the other. These forms they give to Him out of their unflinching love for Him and on the basis of how they would like to see Him. This situation and this state of mind are difficult for people of other religions and faiths to fathom or appreciate. They denounce this practice of worshipping God with form by terming it as idol worship. The devotees have different tastes and varied likings because of which God is perceived in different forms and different shapes. This also cannot be appreciated and understood in right perspective by the believers of other faiths and is often branded as polytheism. Coming to think of it, there is no polytheistic religion in the world. In fact people of faith worship various visible powers of the Supreme, give them form and shape of their liking and choosing and thereby attempt to propitiate the one Supreme called by various names.

Recently I heard a Muslim cleric lecturing a gathering of Muslims on a Pakistani T.V. Channel. He was ridiculing those who considered Acharya Rajneesh as god. The speaker propounded four different tests for someone to be considered a god and cited Arabic quotations in support of his statements. Among other things he said that God is neither born nor bears anyone, He does not suffer any troubles and He can go anywhere freely. He further added that since Rajneesh was born to human parents, suffered some ailments and was denied American visa, he cannot be taken to be god. I do not want to say anything either for or against Rajneesh being held as a god because that is not the subject under discussion. Yet I would like to make it clear that the cleric in question had no idea of what these followers of Acharya meant when they said that he was a god. He being a person of a faith quite different from the Sanatana Dharma, it was not expected of him to understand the subtlety of this belief. Let us be candid and make it clear unhesitatingly that all religions and all beliefs are not the same. They differ not only in form but also in substance, not only in rituals but also in basic philosophies. The followers of Rajneesh, a set of well-meaning persons, did not mean to place him parallel to Almighty God but underscored his divinity. Moreover, is it not a fact that God permeates every soul and the entire creation is His manifestation? At least that is what we believe and subscribe to.

God can be a reality in real sense or an imaginary reality. If He is a reality in real sense a good many questions arise in our mind. He is one and only, a beginning-less and without an ending entity. Obviously he was not born in the sense in which we see animate beings taking birth. But that there is an entity called God is a conception as old as the man itself. Man has been confronted with mysteries of sorts. His own being is a mystery to him. The universe around him is a greater mystery. The functioning and the order in every activity of nature are simply baffling to him. Naturally, therefore, he is justified in presuming that there is a supreme power behind all this. He is justified in conceiving an entity that controls all this, manages it and ensures that everything works in an orderly manner. Consequently this entity has been held to be omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient.

The theists present different proofs to establish His existence. The question that arises is as to why did God think of creating the universe? Was it to establish His supremacy? But then if none except Him existed, for whom was His supremacy to be established? Millions and billions of years back a time must have been such that there was neither existence nor non-existence. How did the creation take place; can there be existence out of non-existence? All these question by their nature must remain unanswered. Any plausible explanation has to be a mere conjecture, however convincing it might sound and appear. God can be a reality in imagination as well. Man, world and God are not only co-existent from the very beginning but are interdependent too. After all there could be neither a man nor the world, had there been no God. Similarly there would have been no God, had there been no man or the world. In this sense God exists as a reality in Manís imagination. This accounts for the fact that there are different ways in which God has been conceived. Some have conceived Him with form and some without form. Some have conceived Him with attributes and some without attributes. Some see Him as an integral force behind the various elements that constitute this universe. Some perceive Him as the creator, sustainer and the destroyer. Some see Him in the wonders of nature. It is not surprising, therefore, that Man has worshipped the Sun, the trees, the snakes, the rivers and other facets of nature at different times. If we examine this phenomenon more closely and in depth, we will observe that there is no conflict in these practices.

As and when the secrets of nature got unraveled, as the mysteries became clearer, the man came closer to the reality of God. Mankind as a whole passed through various stages of intellectual competence. Individually also men differ from each other intellectually. Even the same man has different degrees of intellectual perception at different times depending upon his spiritual acumen at these times. This accounts for the varied ways in which the truth about the reality of God is perceived and presented. This also accounts for the existence of different faiths and religions. Some religions propound that the initiative comes from God for the uplift of man and man has only to respond, while others place the responsibility on man to take initiative to seek the Truth.

Let us consider this geographical fact. We say that there is an Equator, which divides the earth into two hemispheres, Northern and Southern. We say that there is the Tropic of Capricorn at about 23 degrees north latitude. Similarly we say that there is the Tropic of Cancer at about 23 degrees south latitude. Yet again we say that there is 0 degree longitude passing through Greenwich in England. Now if someone were to ask us to show these geographically relevant landmarks physically, it would simply be impossible to show these. Yet all these items are a reality and their existence cannot be denied nor can their relevance be doubted. The same is the case with God. We may not be able to show God physically. We may not be able to see Him with our naked eye. His existence, His relevance and His omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence cannot be doubted. He is a reality in imagined sense no doubt. What do we do with geographical presumptions like longitudes, latitudes and other landmarks? We draw a map of the world on a globe or on a flat canvas and then draw these lines vertically and horizontally to bring home their existence and significance to the students of World Geography. Almost exactly we deal with the concept of God. We draw a picture showing God in various conceived forms. Sometimes we show Him in His benign form with a lotus and one hand bestowing grace. Sometimes we show Him in a ferocious form holding different destructive weapons in different hands. His supremacy, grandeur and greatness are shown by depicting Him having multiple heads, hands and faces. His omnipresence and omnipotence are conveyed by perceiving Him in nature's different facets and sometimes by worshipping the rising Sun, the trees, the mountains, running rivers and so on and so forth. This is the rationale behind idol worship and this is the significance and the justification for nature worship, which is often construed, wrongly though, as polytheism.

The reality of God is in fact indescribable. Those sages, prophets and noble men, who have known God, perceived Him and attained Truth are unable to describe Him in any way that would appeal to us. Perception of God is at spiritual level and we cannot apply mundane yardsticks or empirical explanations to this perception. The fact of the matter is that God as Creator is a mystery as the creation is and mystery defies any elucidation and ceases to be a mystery once it is explored, expounded and explained. It is better, therefore, for us to take pleasure and obtain bliss from this mysterious phenomenon all around us. All the same we should not stop exploring the mysteries on the top of which is the mysterious God, for the act of exploring is so fascinating, so absorbing and so satisfying in itself.

Source: Milchar

T. N. Dhar Kundan's Articles

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