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Existence of God From the beginning of the creation of this world, man was searching for God. Some people were satisfied by realizing the existence of God, which was experienced by them through some items of creation and through some important incidents in the life. They never claimed that they have detected God [known Him completely]. They had only analyzed the entire creation and found that no item of the creation is God. They declared that nobody could detect God [know His real nature]. Therefore, they concluded that God is unimaginable. But they said that God exists because they have experienced the existence of God through some items of creation, which are imaginable and through some incidents, which can be analyzed. The medium through which they experienced God can never be God. Therefore, God was unimaginable for them. This is the correct approach to God. But some egoistic people, who were very confident of their intelligence, analyzed and declared that they detected the real nature of God. They said that the real nature of God is awareness. They mean that awareness is God Himself. In saying so, they have claimed to have imagined God and for them, who are highly intellectual, God is imaginable [even though most people may not be able to imagine Him as awareness]. But in reality, they were either egoistic in claiming to have detected the real form of God or they were impatient to accept the unimaginable God. The so-called awareness discovered by these people can never be God because awareness is not a completely unimaginable item. Of course, one has to take lot of pains in imagining the pure awareness, which is very very near to the unimaginable God. The item, which is imagined by a lot of analysis and lot of difficulty, can only be an item imaginable with great difficulty. It can be treated as almost unimaginable but it cannot be the perfectly unimaginable God. Several statements of the Veda clearly declare that God is completely unimaginable under all circumstances. Silence alone can indicate God. Silence means that no word can be used to indicate God. In the creation every imaginable item has a specific name, which cannot be used for any other imaginable item. For example the word pot means only a particular object. The word cloth means another particular object. You cannot use one word for any other object. But God can enter any item of the creation. Therefore, the name of every item can be used to indicate God, since there is no specific word for God, who is not a specific object at all. Even if God does not enter an item, the name of that item can be used to indicate God, because you are keeping that item as a representative of God. For example God never enters an inert planet like the sun. But the sun can still represent God due to some similarities. God removes ignorance. The sun removes darkness. The lotus buds are opened by sun. The ignorant intelligence is also enlightened by God. Therefore, the sun can represent God to some extent. Therefore, the word ‘sun’ can also represent God. Thus, in one extreme end, no word can indicate God (Yato vachah-Veda). At the other extreme end, the name of any item into which God can enter, or any item which can represent God, can be used to indicate God. All the prayers to God such as the prayer of the thousand names (Sahasra Nama), indicate God. When a word indicates God, it is the name of the medium into which either God has entered or which stands as a representative of God. This means you can experience God through a specific medium when God enters it. Alternatively, you can also imagine the experience of the existence of God through a representative item like the sun. You can experience the existence of God through a human incarnation like Lord Krishna, because God has entered and exists in the human body of Krishna. In case of the sun, you can imagine the existence of God through the properties of the sun. Thus, there is a difference between the worship of the human incarnation and the worship of the representative item like the sun, statue etc. The Veda says that you can worship the sun as God, which means that sun is not directly God (Adityam Brahma iti…Veda). There is a difference between the direct worship of the king and the indirect worship of his photograph. In both cases the king is pleased. But in the direct worship, the king is extremely pleased because every bit of your service is experienced by the king directly. When God enters the human body, God has not become the human body. God is in the human body. Therefore, the human body is not God. You can only experience God through the human body. Therefore, by seeing the human body of the incarnation, you have not seen God, but you have only experienced God through that human body. Therefore, God is invisible. Of course, a devotee can be satisfied by treating the human body as God and can feel satisfied that he has seen God. From this angle the Veda says, “A blessed fellow has seen God” (Kaschit Dhirah…). This is only an assumption. You can assume an electric wire as the electric current because you experience the current by touching the wire anywhere. Therefore, for all practical purposes the electric wire is the current. Thus, there is a very narrow delicate margin between the reality and assumption in this case. To solve this very delicate difference, you can say that the wire is the current from the point of experience of the existence of current and thus this assumption is perfectly correct. But if you say that you have actually seen the electric current, we must say that you have seen only the wire and not the current because the current is invisible. Therefore, the conclusion is that you can experience the existence of the current through the wire but you cannot see the current actually. Thus, God’s existence is experienced through the human incarnation but God is not imagined. The the Gita says that nobody knows God (Mamtu Veda Nakaschana…). This verse establishes the complete unimaginability of God. Again the Gita says that one blessed devotee in millions, can experience the existence God (Kaschit mam…). These two verses will contradict with each other if you say that the first verse means that nobody knows God and the second verse means that one knows God. The first verse means that the real nature or form of God cannot be known. The second verse means that the existence of God can be known. The Veda also presents these two sides. Several Vedic statements reveal that God is completely unimaginable and can never be known. In the Veda, Lord Yama says that they (great sages) have come to know that God cannot be known (yasyamatam tasyamatam). This statement indicates the point that God is completely unimaginable. The Veda again says that only the existence of God can be known (Astiityevopalabdhavyah). This statement does not contradict the first statement. Thus, the Veda and the Gita are exactly synchronized in this context. Awareness is indicated by the words like Atman (soul) or ‘I’. Advaita scholars feel that [by detecting the Atman] they have detected the real nature or form of God, which is the awareness. No doubt, awareness is almost an unimaginable item. But it does not mean that awareness is completely unimaginable. Of course, if you cross the awareness, nothing further is known. Awareness is in the climax position of the entire creation. It is the greatest of all the items of creation and therefore it is called as Brahman. It is the greatest among all the imaginable items. These scholars say that awareness is unimaginable to the majority of people. Therefore, they say that God is unimaginable with respect to the majority, who are ignorant. [They equate God to this Awareness]. Since scholars are in minority, only scholars can know the real form of God. This is their interpretation of the above two statements in the Veda and the Gita. They do not stop here. They go one step further and say that since awareness is in every human being. If anybody knows and identifies himself with the pure awareness present in his body, he becomes God because God is pure awareness. To support this idea, they quote the Veda which says that the knower of Brahman becomes Brahman (Brahma vit Brahmaiva bhavati). They also quote the Gita that the knower is God (Jnani Tvatmaiva…). The actual meaning of this Vedic statement is that God alone is the knower of God. The scholars reverse this and say that the knower of God becomes God. Their reverse meaning contradicts the Gita, which says that nobody can know God. The the Gita says that the knower is Atman, but it does not mean that the knower is God. This is because Atman is not God. This statement of the Gita only means that by self-realization one can become the Self or Atman. www.universal-spirituality.org Universal Spirituality for World Peace