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Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Presenting the Case for God!

This posting is about reflecting on the presence of God! The debate about God being there and not being there has taken place since ages. As Mahtama Gandhi says, “...but He is no God who merely satisfies the intellect, if He ever does. God to be God must rule the heart and transform it.”

In the following clips, Swami extensively uses Anumaana (inference based on logic), and Upamaana (knowledge inferred by means of an analogy), among other forms of epistemology based on the ancient Bharatiya school of philosophy, to present the case for God! There are five Discourse excerpts presented in this posting. These have been selected from the Discourses given by Bhagawan Baba in the year 1996.    

Each audio clip has a name that adopts the following code: Serial number, Title appropriate to the key content, Duration of the clip, Year-Month-Date of the Clip. Below the title is the translation in English of the select excerpt of the Discourse, followed by the audio player. At the end of all the excerpts, are some personal reflections. The post ends with a short quiz that would help you evaluate your assimilation of Bhagawan's Message from these extracts.  

1. Establishing Gods Existence - Drushti Dosham-1.24-1996 July 07

The defect is in one's vision (Drushti) and not in creation (Srushti)
Since ancient times, some say God exists. Others deny God’s existence. In this manner, the debate goes on and people waste their precious time. The blind individual cannot see the bright shining sun. An individual who closes his eyes cannot see the world. Just on account of this, can we say that there is no sun or there exists no world? No. No. The sun is there, but there is no vision. The world is there, but the individual has closed his eyes. Thus the truth emerges that the defect lies in one’s vision (Drushti) and not in the creation (Srushti).

2. That which is not seen is the basis of that which is seen-3.06-1996 July 07

That which is unseen is the basis of all the seen
If God truly exists, why is one not able to see Him? Are we able to believe all that we see or are we unable to believe it? Ano Raneeyan Mahato Maheeyan. He is in the smallest of the small and in the biggest of the big. You may not be able to see Him, but you can experience Him. This is a flower. We are able to see the flower. If asked what it is, we say that it is a rose flower. But you cannot see its smell. You can only experience the smell of the rose flower. Smell has no form, but the flower that gives the smell has a form. Love. What is the form of Love? Love has no form. But the mother who loves you has a form! Therefore, whatever it may be, be it love, joy or fragrance; these have no smell, but the one that gives these has a form. The one with the form is able to give that which has no form. Therefore it is foolishness on the part of humanity to be so obsessed with Pratyaksha Pramana – direct evidence or empirical evidence.

There is so much experience that transcends empirical reality. Here is a small example. Are you able to see your eyes? When you cannot see your own eyes, how can say for sure that you have eyes? However, when you stand in front of a mirror, you will be able to see your eyes. You say, my mind, my mind. What form has the mind got? Has the mind got any form? Are you able to see your mind? Then, how do you believe in the existence of the mind? All these are talks of foolishness. All that is not seen is the basis of all that is seen. A huge tree is not seen when it is in the seed. But the same small seed manifests as this huge tree! Therefore, Divinity is present everywhere but yet it cannot be seen. Just as air that is present everywhere is not seen, in the same manner God is everywhere. He is in the form of air. Varunaaya Namah. He is the essence of the air. So too He is the essence of all the five elements. 

3. Faith is a must to perceive the existence of God-3.38-1996 July 07

God is Now Here!
Here is a small example. Now on this stage, is Sai Baba there or not? Yes, he is there. But on what basis do we say so? We say so on the basis of His Form. After the Discourse, Sai Baba retires. Then, is Sai Baba there on the stage or not? No. Thus, we are able to negate that which was present before. If Sai Baba Himself did not exist, then the question of “being there’ or “not being there” would not arise at all. Likewise, because God exists, the debate as to “He is there” or “He is not there” arises. Because there is God, the word “not there” arises, else the word “not there” would not arise at all. Anil Kumar (the translator) says, “There is God”. This means, the Truth comes first. “There is....”. That means “exists”. Who exists? God. “Who exists” is the second part. “There is” is the first part. There is. Who? God. Only then, one can say, “There is no God”. “There is” comes first and “no God” comes second. Therefore, Truth always comes first.

When atheistic tendencies grow further and further, this disbelief manifests in one more way. Here is a statement; God is nowhere. There are four words: “God”, “is”, “no” “where”. “God is” “no where”. It spells as “n o w h e r e”. If we connect the “w” to “no”, it becomes “God is now here”! (Applause). Therefore, we are just playing word building. By joining “w” to “no”, it became “now here”. By removing the “w” from “now”, it becomes “no where”. Between “no where” and “now here”, it is only the “w” that changes its place. Thus when we have faith we say “now here” and when we do not have faith, we say “no where”. For both, it is faith which is the cause. Faith is like the eyes of man.

4. Why are we not able to see God-2.08-1996 July 05

Why are we not able to see God?
Iswara exists in all in the form of conscience. Isavaasyam Idam Jagath. The whole world is the manifestation of God. Iswara Sarva Bhootaanaam. God is present in all. Therefore, if we ask in whom does God exist? The answer is that He exists in all. But why can we not see Him? Students, you know there are different varieties of Japa Mala (prayer beads). We have the Tulasi Japa Mala, Lotus seed Japa Mala, Rudraksha (utrasum beads) Japa Mala, and the Sphatika (crystal) Japa Mala. In all these there is one thread binding them (beads). We cannot see the thread in a Rudraksha Japa Mala, nor can wee the thread in a Lotus seed Japa Mala. We cannot see the thread even in a Tulasi Japa Mala. However, we can see the binding thread only in a Sphatika Japa Mala.

Therefore, all are the forms of humans only, but only in the one whose heart is pure like the Sphatika (crystal), therein we can see the thread called the “Brahma”! Therefore, it is the Brahma Sutra or the thread of Brahma which exists in everyone. The thread of Brahma is there in everyone. In order to perceive Brahma, we have to keep our hearts pure like the Sphatika. When the heart is clear and pure like the Sphatika (crystal), we will be able to perceive the principle of Brahma therein.

5. We see but yet claim that we do not see-1.05-1996 July 05

Pashyannapicha Na Pashyati Moodho Moodho Moodho
God is not somewhere far. He is everywhere. Wherever you see, He is there. Sarvatra Paanipaaadam, Tatsarvatochi Shiromukhma, Sarvatra Shrutimanloke, Sarvamaam Prathisthati. When He is there wherever we see, why should we search for Him? You do not need to search for Him, you do not need to see Him. All that is seen is with the physical eyes. The physical eyes see only the external world. The external world too is the very form of God. Pashyannapicha Na Pashyati Moodho Moodho Moodho. O Fool, all that you are seeing is verily God. All the heads symbolize the Cosmic Form. You go by the transient name and form and consider all as humans, but if you really keep God in your sight, everything will appear as God only.

Personal Reflections

Sages and saints and other spiritual masters, from time immemorial, have all come forth with a varied set of explanations and personal experiences reinforcing and validating the existence of the Supreme Power of God.

In this age of advanced science and technology, Quantum Physics is bringing science closer to spirituality and is reducing the gap between the two. Newer theories like the string theory are being contemplated, eventually attempting to come up with the idealistic “theory of everything (TOE)”. Among the many great scientists and thinkers who offered glimpses into the bridge that connects science and spirituality are David Bohm, Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi and Newton. 

David Bohm – Quantum Physicist D. Bohm, in his book “Wholeness and the Implicate Order” proposes his Theory of “Unbroken Wholeness”. It goes thus: “It is an inference from the quantum theory that events that are separated in space and that are without possibility of connection through interaction, are correlated in a way that it can be shown is incapable of a detailed causal explanation.”

Albert Einstein talks of what he calls “Optical Delusion of Consciousness:. He says, “The optical delusion of our consciousness makes us experience ourselves as something separate from the rest. Our task must be to widen our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

Mahatma Gandhi, in his recording of his spiritual message at the Columbia Gramophone Company in England, on October 20, 1931, declared, “There is an indefinable mysterious power that pervades everything, I feel it though I do not see it. It is this unseen power which makes itself felt and yet defies all proof, because it is so unlike all that I perceive through my senses. It transcends the senses.”

Newton saw God as the master creator whose existence could not be denied in the face of the grandeur of all creation.

According to the ancient Indian school of philosophy, the means by which one obtains accurate and valid knowledge about the world is called Pramaanam (equivalent to epistemology). Swami expresses His displeasure over the obsession of humans with the need for Pratyaksha Pramanam (empirical evidence) in all aspects – reliance on knowledge born only out of direct cognition i.e. the contact between the sense organs and their respective objects. Ancient Bharatiya scriptures talk of various means of Paroksha Pramana (knowledge gained through indirect means), such as: Anumaana (inference based on logic); Upamaana (knowledge inferred by means of an analogy); Sabda (knowledge obtained through either adhyayanam (study), or sravanam (hearing), or smaranam (remembering), or mananam (memorizing) of our ancient scriptures); Arthaapatti (knowledge through postulation; Anupalabdhi (knowledge through unavailability or absence); Itihaasa (knowledge through case studies in epics; Sambhava (knowledge through equivalence); Aitihyam (knowledge through common belief or tradition); Abhaavam (knowledge through incomprehension); Ceshta (knowledge through special movements); and Yukti (knowledge through knack or proper presence of mind, intellect and co-ordination of all our outer and inner senses).

 A Short Quiz

1. How does Bhagawan establish through illustrations, “Drushti Dosham” i.e. defect in vision, as the reason for not being able to see God?

2. How does Bhagawan use the analogies of a rose flower, a mother, the mind and a tree; to demonstrate the limitations of empirical reality?

3. How does Bhagawan, through an unique example, present the logic that the debate for the existence of any entity can arise only if the entity in question exists in the very first place?

4. How does Bhagawan pun on the word “No where” and what conclusion does He draw from the same?

5. What lesson does the Sphatika Japa Mala (Crsytal prayer beads) teach us?

6. What profund truth does the statement “Pashyannapicha Na Pashyati Moodho Moodho Moodho” convey? 
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