Few days back, an old friend of mine, who had brought the book God Delusion by Richard Dawkins went gung ho over the book and started to employ all the intellectual gyan he gained from the book to belittle me and my spiritual notions. As expected, I lost the battle of the brains while trying to prove against his arguments over whether God really exists. It was obvious. I am nothing when compared to the geniuses of the British Biologist Dawkins. After he left my place, I didn’t become curious to read the book, I was left wondering what the fuss all about was!!What does he try to prove? And above all what is the need for such proof? Is it a paean on the superiority of human intellect and all its sophistry? Does it signify the beginning of a dangerous trend that God is no longer beyond the realms of human understanding, but a mere illusion created to fool the gullible masses??
Ask me, it seems very funny. No, I am not trying to deride his theories. I am aware that I am nothing in front of those great geniuses. What really puzzles me is how can one use intellect to understand something which is way beyond human intellect. The intellect may find seemingly plausible arguments to prove that God doesn’t exist. But the very fact that the argument stemmed from the intellect makes the argument sound foolish.
Which now brings me to the question, what is God? Vedanta Treatise, a book which I will recommend seriously for everyone in India, gives a brilliant analogy to understand this seemingly mythical concept. Lets rewind the time by several years and think of the childhood days when we learnt Algebra. Most of us, would have solved sums like this:
Solve:2x + 3 = 6. Most of us, at the advice of our punctilious teachers, write the first line of the solution as:
Let the solution be x. 2x=3 =>x=3/2. We know the fact that the answer is not x, but simply assumed to be x, helping us to find the true value of x. Think about God in the same plane. Our great ancestors, whenever they were confronted with so many mysterious phenomena in the world, found a simple answer by assuming the solution to be a fictitious super-powered entity called GOD. They realized the fallibility of the human race, whenever they were struck by natural disasters like Typhoon, Earthquake and floods and assumed God to be omnipotent. They realized the vastness of this planet and it seemed obvious that God should be omnipresent. They realized that there were many incomprehensible phenomena present in the world and assumed God to be omniscient. Bingo!! God; The Omnipresent, Omnipotent & Omniscient.
Our country, INDIA, since ages, has been a country obsessed with millions of Gods. If we were to give a holiday in our country for every God’s birthday, we would probably have vacation through out the year. (Sounds so delicious, isn’t it??) Jokes apart, I feel proud to hail from a country which has been the pioneer in bringing spiritual transformation to humanity. Our folklore is full of bountiful Avatars, traditions, festivals etc. We have Gods in every imaginable form. The great ancestors made patriarchal, powerful male Gods, mirroring the society in whole. When humans evolved and began to accept the weaker sex in the mainstream society, they also made female Gods, reflecting on the changes. Gradually, they made Gods out of every human creature in this Earth.
All these, however were mere assumptions, en-route to find out the real solution within. This is exactly where things get hazy and confusions began to seep in and that’s primarily one of the reasons why we find books like these in book stalls, along with oodles and oodles of books about God, religion & spirituality. These assumptions were made with a purpose: To find the actual meaning of God.However, most of us are so caught up and lost in these multifaceted images and traditions that we forgot to find out what we set out for.
Infact, to make this arduous journey to find out the truth easier, the concept of religions came. The word religion comes from the term re+ ligare, meaning, that which binds oneself again. I know this meaning would seem like a joke, considering the innumerable divisions religions have created among mankind. Bitter it might be, this is the truth. Religions were(are) mere signposts which helped us to find out the true path. However, we got so much obsessed with our signposts that we began to fight over which sign post is better, rather than moving forward in our journey.
Infact, one interesting thing about our ancestors is that they have been environmentalists too. They must have been prescient enough to realize that Oliver Ridley Turtles would be in danger in the 21st century and so they made Vishnu metamorphosing as Turtle Avatar. The significance behind making Gods out of fishes (Matsya Avatar), turtles (Koormah Avatar), pigs (Varaaha Avatar) should be understood in the present context where scant regard and utter apathy is given towards other living beings of the ecosystem. Its indeed saddening to note that despite all these traditional reverences in our country, it stands among the top in annihilating these members of our ecosystem.
We have been, instead, obsessed with questions over whether Gods (or Avatars) existed? I don’t know whether Gods lived in the Earth like humans. I am not going to discuss that further. Reams of literature have been written already. The main point is, are we understanding the significances behind these Avatars? Politicians ruling us, who talk about Ram are happily ignorant of the stories that he was a noble ruler who listened to the voices of the masses. Rather than debate over the plausibility of these epic stories, why don’t we treat these as parables, which inculcate values which are resonant with the contemporary society we are living in.
These Avatar’s lives are full of profound knowledge. Take Lord Krishna, for example. Many of us have seen his picture, wearing a peacock feather in his crown, playing flute among cows. These seemingly innocuous symbols contain world of knowledge. When, we see a peacock feather in his crown, it is a subtle remainder to all the politicians to carry their positions of power as light as a feather. Rather, we flex our moral muscles and ask questions over his seemingly philandrous nature!!
I know, I haven’t answered the question Is God, A Myth?? Had I written an answer, it would simply mean I am an idiot. And if you have come so far, reading this, wondering what my conclusion is, you are an idiot!!