Friday, 16 July 2010

Does God exist ?

Does God really exist? This is one of the most dissected questions in the history of mankind and still no one can claim he has the ultimate answer. The aim of my blogpost is not to win converts to a particular religion or claim that scripture X is 90% science compatible, scripture Y is 97% science compatible, not even to put forward pseudo-scientific half-cooked arguments to support my claim. What I am going to exactly do is put forward all I know about the topic and leave the rest to my blog-readers.
I was very young in age ,nearly an infant when I had my initial lessons into religion.Fortunately, being born into the most tolerant society of India, the Sikhs, had left me with ample room to dwelve into the space of other world religions and to know what they have on the offering. The Sri Guru Granth Sahib, The Holy Bible, The Tanakh, The Quran, Dhammmapada, Anngpanti, Upnishads etc. have been at some point of time or the other been on my study-table. The single considerable thing that I lernt from the study of comparative religions was that all religions, in totality were not the same! They had different theories and explanations of God, his expressions and manifestations and it was futile to say that they all support the same case. Let's not deviate from our main topic.

The fact that I wanted to drive home was that the 'GOD' of different religions (or as described by their scriptures) is different. In this blog post I would mainly talk of the Sikh 'GOD', the WAHEGURU as is popularly remembered within the Sikhs. The Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the single largest, and perhaps, thje only authentic source of Sikh philosophy, mentions on the very beginning,:




"ONE UNIVERSAL CREATOR GOD.
THE NAME IS TRUTH.
CREATOR BEING PERSONIFIED. NO FEAR. NO HATRED.
IMAGE OF THE UNDYING, BEYOND BIRTH, SELF-EXISTENT.
(obtained) BY GURU'S GRACE ~
CHANT AND MEDITATE:
TRUE IN THE PRIMAL BEGINNING. TRUE THROUGHOUT THE AGES.
TRUE HERE AND NOW. O NANAK, FOREVER AND EVER TRUE. 1 "
(Guru Granth Sahib, Page 1)

The incarnation and the physical theory of God is very much out of question in the Sikh philosophy. Although the names and specific natures of God, as used by other religions (Christianity, Hinduism, Islam etc.) are frequently used but they are, as Max arthur Macaullife rightly observes, 'for the sake of illustration only.' The incarnation theory has even been negated, and by that parameter, with great force,:



Today, Naam Dayv saw the Lord,
and so I will instruct the ignorant. Pause
O Pandit, O religious scholar, your Gayatri was grazing in the fields.
Taking a stick, the farmer broke its leg, and now it walks with a limp. 1
O Pandit, I saw your great god Shiva,
riding along on a white bull
In the merchant's house, a banquet was prepared for him- he killed the merchant's son. 2
O Pandit, I saw your Raam
Chandra coming too; he lost his wife, fighting a war against Raawan. 3
The Hindu is sightless; the Muslim has only one eye.
The spiritual teacher is wiser than both of them.
The Hindu worships at the temple, the Muslim at the mosque.
Naam Dayv serves that Lord, who is not limited to either the temple or the mosque. 4 3 7 "
(Guru Granth Sahib, Page 874-875)

The objectivity and concentration upon the topic as shown in the Guru Granth Sahib, is perhaps, not shared by any religious scripture.But one has to do a serious but not-very time consuming contemplation about the same if one has to arrive on the conclusion, even in this case.



"
Some sing that He seems so very far away.
Some sing that He watches over us, face to face, ever-present.
There is no shortage of those who preach and teach.
Millions upon millions offer millions of sermons and stories."
(Guru Granth Sahib, Page 2)

The question still remains, has one any evidnce of the God, as evidence is the sole scripture of the scientific-minded. For the same one has to decide what is the nature of God. If he is physical, complete with a body, as Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, and many other religions hold, then a physical evidence is needed. But the 'GOD' of Sikhism, is not physical (not percetible by the senses- touch, sight, smell, speech, hearing), and I would like to have a quote from one of my favourite prayers,


"
Thousands are Your eyes,
and yet You have no eyes.
Thousands are Your forms,
and yet You have not even one form.
Thousands are Your lotus feet,
and yet You have no feet.
Without a nose, thousands are Your noses.
I am enchanted with Your play! 2 "
(Guru Granth Sahib, Page 663)

The serious assertion of a 'GOD' having created the Universe or more better the creation, demand for a physical platform for the perception of God is demanded by the mind of the researcher. That is, my friends, where the research goes astray. This matures into a viewpoint and finally to the acceptance of the physicality of God. To prune out this possibility, the prayer continues thus,


"
The Divine Light is within everyone;
You are that Light. Yours is that Light which shines within everyone.
By the Guru's Teachings, this Divine Light is revealed."
(Guru Granth Sahib, Page 663)

The Sikh-God does not merely created the Universe. He "is" the Universe.


"
Fareed, the Creator is in the Creation, and the Creation abides in God"
(Guru Granth Sahib, Page 1382)

Well, in the physical sense it is impossible, and so, the 'GOD' is not a physical being. Certainly, I dont want to support the vital force theory and not in any case the theory of eternity of life. But the very force that controls the operations of the Universe and which has been responsible for the creation of the Universe itself is 'GOD'. Since matter (and anti-matter) constitutes the Universe, there has to be valid source from which the very matter was made or created. This puts serious limitations on reflective thought; What if the scientists in the coming years find even that source? Well, not talking about other religions, Sikh philosophy would not in any case be harmed by the discovery. The attaining of wisdom through one's personal and collective efforts is encouraged and said to be the true path of religion in the Sikh scriptures, read the following assertion,


"
Through wisdom, honor is obtained.
Wisdom does not come by merely reading textbooks;
wisdom inspires us to do the common good.
Says Nanak, this is the Path;
other things lead to profanity. 1 "
(Guru Granth Sahib, Page 1245)

Moving towards the conclusion of the article, I would like to draw the fact that 'GOD' as described in the Sikh scriptures is unthinkable in the physical dimensions perceptible to the human senses. "GOD' may be regarded as the creator of the creation, present in every place, every smallest particale and who wills the creation to be operated in the way it is operating and whose name can illuminate the mind and increase ones spiritual and mental capabilities.


"
Without Your Name, there is no place at all"
(Guru Granth Sahib, Page 4)


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