Frequently asked questions on God
If you have any further questions, kindly post it in the Ask Agniveer section of the site.
A note: A more appropriate word would be Ishwar. But I use the word God for sake of commonplace understanding.
Question: What is God?
There can be a variety of definitions of God. Being limitless and beyond the realm of physical senses, it is difficult to capture the meaning of God in a few words or sentences.A reasonably decent definition would be as foliows: God is (Sachidanand) existent, intelligent and blissful. He is (Nirakaar) formless, (Sarvashaktimaan) all powerful, (Sarvajya) omniscient, (Nyayakari) just, (Dayalu) merciful, (Ajanma) unborn, (Anant) endless, (Nirvikaar) unchangeable & faultless, (Anadi) beginning-less, (Anupam) unequalled, (Sarvadhar) the support of all, (Sarveshwar) the master of all, (Sarvayapak) omnipresent, (Sarvantaryami) immanent, (Ajar) un-aging, (Amar) immortal, (Abhay) fearless, (Nitya) eternal, and (Pavitra) holy, and (Srishtikarta) the maker of all.But that is next step. To begin with, it is sufficient to understand that God is the manager of world around and within. This can be deciphered through a systematic process of evaluation of life and world.And once we are able to initiate this process of analysis, the rest of the adjectives of God would become clear automatically.
Question: Why should one believe in God?
For same reason that we believe in sun, moon, round earth, atom, molecule, heat, electricity etc. We should believe in everything and anything that exists and reject whatever does not exist. The basic principle of life is that Truth=Bliss or Truth liberates.And truth means understanding what exists. Thus we should believe in God because it exists.One can still live the life without believing in electricity. In fact many a tribals indeed do so. But to gain enhanced happiness, it is better that we believe in electricity so that we are able to use it for our purpose. One may say that one could have still be happy if he did not know about electricity. But let me counter-question, would any sane person be eager to exchange all the comforts of electricity with that of life without electricity? Thus, clearly happiness derived from electricity is much higher compared to that without it. This is a basic law of life – that knowledge leads to power and hence higher happiness. This defines the way forward for any sane life. Now, if knowledge of electricity can give so much happiness, imagine what would be the happiness derived from knowing and being able to use the source of highest power – God?
Question: No one ever has seen God. How can you then say that God exists?
No one has ever seen electricity, heat or even sub-atomic particles. No one has ever seen a photon or quark. No one ever saw light wave or heat radiation. Why do we say then, that they exist?We know photon exists because we can see its effects which cannot be explained otherwise. Same is true for electricity, sub-atomic particles, heat and light waves. Exactly! We believe in things because we can see their effects. Eyes are merely approximate tools to sense the world. What we cannot see with eyes can be seen with microscope. But even the most powerful microscope cannot see particles beyond a size. Same is true for other senses like hearing, feeling etc.The whole of modern science, thus is based not on what we see, hear etc, but what can be observed through its effects. And what it does is to create certain models to explain these phenomenon. Thus, all these photons, electrons, quarks etc are actually components of models which explain the reality.But moving beyond these models, there are certain realities which none of these models of modern science can explain. And to explain those realities, and even the cause behind all these models, one has to admit existence of a God.
Question: But modern science believes on only what can be measured. We cannot measure God, hence how can we admit its existence?
This is another myth. Measurement is the second step. First step is indirect observation. Second step is direct observation. And then measurement comes. The ability to directly observe and measure depends upon the sophistication of tools we have developed. We cannot claim that moons of Jupiter did not exist before Newton invented the telescope! Today we can see so many more moons of Jupiter through more powerful telescope!Now God is a concept that is subtler than particle or wave. The tools that we use, and senses we possess are equipped only to observe and measure physical objects – particles and waves – at best. Just as the attempts to smell a rose in New York through a telephone connection sitting in Delhi would be foolhardy, similarly trying to observe and measure God through physical instruments would be simply wasteful.However if you have to observe the effects of God, they are the most observable phenomenon in life.
Question: If that be so, why does modern science deny existence of God?
No, they do not deny. But this subject is out of scope of modern physical science. Read the lives of all great scientists – Newton, Einstein. No one denied existence of God. In fact they were ardent believers in God. What modern science denies are those attributes of God which are against reason, proven observations and research.Modern science emerged in Europe as a reaction to Biblical concept of Theism. However as new and new research happened, many of the long existing theories of Bible got debunked. Thus there was a severe tussle between faith and science. Modern science had to thus reject the Biblical concept of God so as to continue its journey of objective research. And then this rejection of God became the most talked about feature of Modern Science. The greatest resistance that Modern Science faces is from these cults like conservative Christianity and Islam, and hence rejection of God has become its prominent feature.To put simply, modern science rejects the God which does not exist. But it does not and cannot reject the God whose presence cannot be denied or proven.
Question: What do you mean by God that
does not exist?
1. God which is human-like either in features or habits
2. God which is not omnipresent
3. God which interferes in day-to-day petty matters of people
4. God who does occasional miracles
5. God who forgives his followers’ sins
6. God who sends us to Hell or Heaven
7. God who sends his messengers, prophets or incarnates
8. God who changes even slightly 9. God who resides in 4th or 7th sky
10. God who will punish those who do not believe in a particular book
11. God who is waiting for a Judgment Day after end of the world
12. God who created this world in a matter of few hours or days
13. God who created angels
14. God who fights with any Satan etcA God with these traits simply does not exist. Neither vedas, nor modern science believes in it because it is against reason.
Question: Then what are traits of God?
We have listed them in answer to first question. But to emphasize in other words:
1. God is present everywhere without any gaps whatsoever (That is why it cannot be measured!)
2. God is unchangeable in form or his acts (Which means He acts as per laws which do not change. The physical ones are like those of gravity and electricity)
3. God never takes birth or incarnates 4. God does not interfere in daily lives of people. He simply acts as per his laws in a continuous basis.
Question: How do we understand the traits of God?
The first step is thorough analysis and observation.
Question: Give examples or hints?
1. Just think, what actually is a law? Any phenomenon that exhibits perfect repeatability is termed a law.So question is what makes these laws work? In other words, if gravity, electromagnetism, strong and weak forces are 4 fundamental forces governing the nature, what causes them. Physicists have failed to unify them. But say they are successful tomorrow. Now let us call it Unified Force. My question would be “what is the source of this unified source?” Now, this fundamental force(s) would be attributable to Ishwar or God. So God moves the particles so perfectly that we can measure it and then we term it as law.So Ishwar is the entity that manages this universe. Now this is only one aspect of God.
2. The second aspect comes from riddle of consciousness. Modern science has been unable to find the source of consciousness. It knows that a human/animal body works marvelously, as an almost automatic system. But then how this automation is maintained, and how it came in first place, baffles them all. Further the source of pain and pleasure which is the starting point of most physiological phenomena, is something that modern science has been unable to measure, because its instruments cannot be more subtle than the smallest particle. And this consciousness is beyond that. Consciousness cannot be explained by chemical reactions. Read any modern book on the subject and you would know that this has eluded modern science. Now they say that consciousness lies in the entire system and is not located at any one part of brain. Still, what makes an animal/human feel pain and decide which neurons to fire and when, is beyond modern science. How brain works, and how electrical signals translate into activities, and what makes us feel various emotions and who feels this emotion, are questions that modern science simply cannot answer. In a BBC documentary by a noted neurosurgeon, he admitted that what we call as concsiosuness hints at soul. Please have a look ” BBC Human Body – Mind Power”. As per Vedas, this entity which feels pain/pleasure is soul and manager of conscious and unconscious (non-living entities) is God. Because it manages conscious entities, God is also conscious. Because God and soul are subtler than physical entities, they are indestructible and hence unborn and undying. But that also makes them immeasurable or unobservable
3. Even though modern science has developed several theories and laws, it is not able to unify them in a coherent cause-effect chain. For example, it says there are 4 fundamental forces. But how these interact to create a living body and structure of universe with so much of complexity is a mystery. The laws of micro-particles and macro-spaces –
Quantum and Relativity contradict each other. When the age of universe was measured through red-shift, the value was much lesser compared to age of certain stars when measured through rate of change in reaction rates. The later method is supposed to be more accurate, but it proves that stars are older than universe! Or child is older than parent! Thus modern science has been able to understand small bits and pieces but as in universe, 90% of matter can be explained by dark matter. Modern Science knows existence of certain forces through its observations, but does not how they translate into:
a. Creation of universe
b. Consciousness of each animal/human
c. Social nature of living beings d. Automated systems like emergence of sense of protection among other members of a species for a baby of the species.
e. Development of environment for growth of a child inside mother and consequent changes in mother’s body like milk in breasts, feeling of love for child in adults.
f. A baby inside womb does not even breathe. It gets its food, air everything through umbilical cord. And it develops in such a manner that when it comes out of womb, already system is developed to help its activities like breathing, heart-lung system etc. How does such a future-looking automated system develop, is beyond explanation apart from admission of an all-pervading conscious entity planning it all everything. A thorough analysis of any aspect of life and world would yield that it is not simply a chemical reaction happening randomly and hence prove existence of God
Question: So as per this analysis, both soul and God are proven? But how we prove that they are immortal?
This is a subtle concept. But briefly:
1. What exists is only Present. Past and Future do not exist in reality. When we observe changes happening, we get a sense of time. Past is nothing but memory of these changes. Future is extrapolation of these changes. Its a game of mind, in a way. So what exists in reality is only Present. So if an entity exists now, it must be existing always. This is other way of saying, nothing is created or destroyed.2. Now matter-energy changes because they are physical entities affected by other physical entities. But God and soul not being physical, are not impacted by any physical entity. Just consider, why death or destruction happens? Because of interaction with other entities in environment that corrode or wear away. But if something does not interact with other physical entities and forces, the cause for destruction does not exist.
Hence God and soul never die or get destroyed.3. In realm of timelessness, existence of something in present is sufficient to prove that it always existed. Because all points in time scale are exactly equivalent in a state of timelessness. Hence either its the same state or cyclical activities that can take place. So forms can change, but not the basic entity.
Question: So what are the fundamental entities?
3. Matter/ Energy duo
These three are always existing. They keep interacting with each other, and never get destroyed or created
Question: What about Big-Bang? It says everything started with a big-bang and then universe is expanding
1. Big bang is one of the various theories to explain creation 2. Even if big-bang is assumed to be true, scientists admit that eventually gravity will take over and process of collapse will start happening. And then big-compression will happen. and when compression happens, again big-bang will happen and so on. Thus if big-bang is true, still creation and destruction will happen in cycles and is not a one-time process.
Question: What is purpose of creation then?
This can be also assessed by evaluation. We see that we have this wonderful body, just marvelous eco-system and such great environment to sustain our life. We can do acts which are impossible to replicate in lab. And we did nothing to create it. Thus all this creation has been done for us and is supporting us like anything. More you study sciences – physical, environmental, biological – more you would appreciate this point. This gives a clue – That entire creation is helping us out in some way or other.
And more introspection can give us following conclusion – that as soul we have limited power to do anything. If we need to gain more and more happiness, we need to have ways to achieve them. This is not possible without physical entities like mind and body. So God made this creation to help us gain more and more happiness by providing us ways to put efforts in that direction. Without creation, we would be simply lying as invalids.
Question: This is all so complex? How can we understand so much?
It is not as complex as it sounds. Its only the past traits which make it complex to start with. But admittedly, human mind is limited and colored by perceptions. Analysis is a good starting point, but cannot provide everything. Just as we do not learn everything by analysis, but mostly through training we receive. Analysis helps us make this training more effective. So God also created a Training Manual with his fundamental principles.
Question: Which Training manual?
Here we come to the second step of understanding God and his properties. This is through his training manual.We call it the Vedas. It was provided at beginning of creation to provide toolkit and necessary information to start living sensibly to maximize happiness. It contains unchangeable laws on which life and creation operates. This serves as guiding light for us.
Question: So now you are starting to sell your own cult and religious book! How can you prove it to be divine?
1. It is not a religious book. There is nothing more divine about Vedas than life and creation itself.
2. It is the oldest book of world, as recognized by everyone.
3. Through oral traditions of reciting it in 10 different ways, it is the only book, though oldest, that is available to humankind in exactly the same format as originally without a change of syllable. No other book can parallel this speciality which is termed as greatest wonder even by several atheists.
4. Vedas do not contain religious injunctions. They provide basic guidance, which is intuitive, and applicable at all times. They do not get into specific details like which cloth to wear, which delicacy to cook, which ritual to follow etc.
5. Vedas also contain no historical incidents. 6. Vedas do not demand belief in vedas to be necessary starting point. They only demand pursuit of truth.We will discuss Vedas in more detail in a separate write-up.
Question: OK Fine, But what about Quran, Bible etc? Does God not send revised messages from time to time?
Let me ask, does law of gravity change from time to time? If God is perfect, why should he ever change his fundamental laws?Further all these books suffer from following flaws:
1. No original version is found. Neither is there any tradition that links to origin of these books. Quran was written 20 years after death of Muhammad by his followers who were fighting and killing each other. Original Bible does not exist and various Greek translations exist that contradict each other. Even Geeta, though a great book, does not claim to be replacement of Vedas.
2. All these books contain stories and history and descriptions relevant to specific geographies.
3. All these books are subject to internal and mutual contradictions.
4. They contain descriptions which are clearly against verified observations
5. They all talk of miracles and whimsical nature of God. 6. They force people to believe in these books as starting point and show fear of Hell, if they are not believed. It shows God has an insecurity-complex.None of them can be proven to be completely authenticFurther, if God starts sending messengers, there would be no way to decide which messenger is fraud and which is not.
Question: What about prayers to God? How do they help if God has to act only through his unchangeable laws?
God does not show offer special discounts. His mercy lies in his laws or way of functioning. Thus prayers will not override what should happen as per Theory of Karma. What prayers do is to strengthen your own Will so that next time you execute your Will in right direction and hence, prevent yourself from further mistakes.
Question: What will happen if I keep acting rightly as per Theory of Karma?
Your happiness will keep on increasing till it reaches a point where sorrow vanishes completely and there remains no ignorance. This is state of ultimate bliss also called Moksha. What happens after that is a matter of speculation. There are different theories about it. But this being an experiential science, one can never tell what happens when you smell a blooming rose. You need to experience it yourself.
Question: Could you summarize it all for me?
Yes, here it goes:
a. God exists and is source of all power.
b. God, Soul and Matter/Energy duo are ever existent
c. Purpose of Soul is to maximize happiness through Theory of Karma. You can review it at http://agniveer.com/theory-of-karma-hinduism/
d. God created and manages universe to help soul in above
e. The user manual for this is the Vedas.
f. Belief in Vedas is not necessary to start with, but eventually you would come to it if on path of truth and objectivity
g. There are no miracles that happen, no messengers that come, no revised revelations that come.
h. There is no Heaven or Hell.
i. Creation and Destruction keep happening in never-beginning and never-ending cycles