Who or What is God?
This is an interesting question because more than half of the humanity is a believer in God, and every religion has its own definition which is quite different from the definition given by the other religion. This earth is having more than 350 religions, so we can say there are more than 350 kinds of God. And in this whole jamboree of so many plural Gods, one is seemingly so different from the one. It really confuses the mind. Then sometimes one tends to say that there isn’t any God and it’s just the fabrication of the human mind. Some sociologists come out with their own definitions that God is an idea which has been concocted by the priests and by the politicians for selfish interests. For some ulterior motive, God has been created, because God is never going to come up and say ‘I am God’. I’m saying this because God in most of the religions is seen as a person, as a gracious, superman, who sits on his golden thrown. And on whim creates the world and on whim destroys the world. Most of the religions tend to accept this notion of God. So they have their own one kind of idol or an image of God and then they have their own set of rituals, which they believe in with die-hard conviction.
The most important thing which is to be understood is that mind which is already over loaded with information about Gods. It seems so unreal to experience or to know really what God is. And truly speaking, most of the beautiful things in our life and in this world are beyond the category of defining in words like the scent of the best perfume – someone may ask you to describe. You may fill up volumes but in the end you would say please take a whiff from the bottle and that’s the only way to know the smell, the fragrance. These are very small things and yet the things which we have been experiencing since day one in this physical body, we find it difficult to describe because all words have limitations. So have the mind and the things which are beyond the mind that words cannot express.
The moment we say, who is God, so many answers are given, readymade answers, by the scriptures, by the books, by the rabbis, by the priests. And yet the human mind is still hankering for what it really means. I would say this is something which cannot be explained by any enlightened master (living or not living). It is something which one has to delve within and know it what it is. For example, pain is something which you know. What if someone asks you to measure pain, in inches or centimeters? You can’t measure it in inches. We say I have a deep pain, but if someone asks how deep? 100 feet, 500 feet? You say you know what pain is when you experience it.
Similarly, one thing which I can definitely say is that God is not a person, God is not a supreme human being or like a human being sitting somewhere up there on his golden thrown. God is beyond the limitations of the body, of the mind. God is a reality; and reality is something which can be much closer to the phenomenon or the relativity of how we perceive things. What we are seeing in this world is so different from what it really is. Similarly, when I say God is reality, this reality is the essence. And the essence is of the truth and truth over here is not that truth which we use in our day-to-day life. When I say truth, it means existence.
So, if I have to put this in words, then I say God is the existential truth which can be known only by experience. And this experience will only happen to those who have a scientific aptitude and work like an explorer, who explores the depth and the breadth of the mind and explores these layers of mind. One ends up with that oceanic feeling of consciousness. Initially, it is sleeping and slowly it begins to rise and in those moments of gaps which come in between of the waves of the mind, these waves of the consciousness, something peeps up and that gives the first glimpse of what truth is or what God is but that definitely is not a form. It is not imaginative. It is as much real as you or I. We can deny the existence of everything but we can never deny the existence of our own self. So we need to know what this self is. We need to understand not just by mind, not just by words, not just by scriptures but with experience. And this experience comes from meditation.
Why are we in this world and with what purpose?
We are here because we are here! There can’t be any cause and there can’t be any purpose. Because all purposes are very calculative, selfish modes of the mind and when this selfishness creeps in, it is not higher thinking. Just look at the world around you, so beautiful, beauty in abundance; it is so luminous, so colorful, full of rainbows. It is just like a dance of a dancer, not of that dancer who is a professional because a professional dancer wants fee. It is more like a dance of a child who is just jumping around and if you ask a child what’s the purpose of your jumping? What’s the purpose of your dancing? He’ll just give a very awkward look and would like to ask you, can’t you see that I’m dancing because I’m enjoying dancing.
So, this life is here and this world is here because it is the dance of the divine, without any purpose, without any ulterior motive. The scriptures provide us with many fascinating answers that God was alone and was lonely and he said okay let me do something. He got so bored of his loneliness, he created this world. So he created first Adam, and then out of Adam came Eve and so on. Most of the religions say so and they always say there is a purpose of our coming here. For example, they’ll say the purpose is to know who our creator is. I find this strange. Imagine, first the creator creates us, then he separates us from himself and now wants us to go back to him. I say, why start this in the first place? Rather I would say that there isn’t any purpose.
We can say life is because life should be like this. In these very moments of beauty, of grandeur, of purity we are able to experience all this, then we will never ask this question, why? We never ask any one why you are happy. If someone is happy, you just join him. But if someone is sad, then you ask him, why are you unhappy? I believe those who have experienced beauty and truth never ask the purpose of life. They are already enjoying it, celebrating life.
Those who are sad have loads of unfulfilled desires always ask Why I am here. Have you ever met anyone who is happy and who would why I am happy? People always say why they are sad but never why they are happy. This life, this world is a celebration, a celebration of happiness. It is a sheer irony that out of all the animals, only human beings are the most sorrowful. See the birds, they are always chirping and dancing and fluffing around. See the peacocks, the cows, see the whole animal world. They are all happy, they have there innocence and somewhere their ignorance is working in their favor. They are calmer, quieter and peaceful; a human being is not. Human beings are not happy because they ask too many questions. A day when all these questions simply drop and we drop all the facades, we drop all of these blindfolds, then we’ll open up for the first time and see this world. Then we never ask this question. Here I would quote Rabindranath Tagore who said: “Why shouldn’t I be here?”
Excerpted from “God: Mystery or Reality” (VCD) by Anandmurti Gurumaa