Harish Mamgain is passionate about writing. He loves poetry.
The Quest of God: A Continuous Enterprise
Every religion on earth speaks about God in it’s unique way and exhorts it’s followers to abide by it’s teachings to feel God. So the adherents of every religion ponder so much over assimilation and grasping of the real essence of the entity that is called God. To claim that one can know God is a sheer exaggeration because if we assume that we have known God, it means that God is finite which He is not as per the scriptures.
God is also not one and many because concept of counting is a human one, and we cannot restrict God to that level. Calling God as merciful, kind, affectionate and so on, and also as jealous, killer, giver of punishment etc. is also something bizarre as God must be above these human attributes so as to qualify Him to be accorded such an exalted status.
God cannot be equated with an absolutely lifeless thing or living being as human or animal. Also God is beyond life and death which we living beings go through and face so many sufferings and pleasures during our stay on earth.
If God cannot be equipped with human attributes, how can we presume that God will be desirous of any kind of recognition in the forms of rituals, worships, prayers, fasts and so many things attached to Him by us humans?
Truth or falsehood is a human concept, and one man’s truth can be other man’s falsehood or vice versa. If God is such an exalted entity, we cannot reduce Him to some human concepts. God is above all kinds of religions, and nobody can claim any monopoly over God.
The concept of God needs a continuous evolution to arrive at the more concrete and acceptable idea about such a great entity. Sometimes I wonder why we are so obsessed with this idea of God when we are not able to know even a human so close to us ? Can any human claim that he or she knows other co human 100 per cent?
Just think over it, you will be baffled no end. Every human being is so complex of so many emotions that in spite of his explaining everything to us in an honest way will not in any way enable us to know him cent per cent. In a way, we can say that we know ourselves individually, but even then can we claim that we know us cent per cent ? If we are so helpless to know us clearly, how can we grasp such a grand entity which is shrouded by a great veil ?
Man is perhaps under a mistake in making a direct plunge into the great Ocean that is called God before making the least effort to know himself first. We are desirous of reaching directly to our destination without even making a journey, and this is somewhat a very awkward and hilarious situation.
It is an irony that on the one hand man is grappling with to know the limited and visible, while on the other he claims to know the unlimited and the most mysterious that is called God. To me, a person who honestly speaks of not knowing God is more akin to have a glimpse of God than a hypocrite well versed in lacs of scriptures, adept at countless rituals and hard worshiper of God.
A person who sincerely commences his journey to delve into the nuances to know God is more likely to know God than a man adhering the religious texts blindly without any application of mind. An ignorant and atheist may be near the God but not that who harbors even a single thought of violence in his mind in the name of any of the religion.
To ask blessing not only for oneself but for every creature on earth is to pray God in the real sense and only such a person is entitled to kingdom of God. If we have such human beings amongst us be they Christians, Hindus, Muslims, Jews or others, their God is a true God and to define such a God is a very simple task than defining a God of Religion. Still, man does not relent and want to grasp the whole thing; man is really a terrible creature and want to fathom and catch the space and vacuum and that too with tremendous confidence !
The God Phenomenon: The Search of Truth
The God Phenomenon is something that everyone struggles with in his/her lifetime. We inherit it from our religious environment. Whilst some of us willingly accede to this unique invisible entity, others are apprehensive and do not agree to this facet of our life easily.Such are the persons who want to see for themselves the truthfulness of it .
A guy named Narendra was also seized of this question, and he wandered here and there and asked so many spiritual and religious authorities. No one could satisfy his curiosity about this baffling phenomenon called God. At last, he came face to face with Sri Ramkrishna Paramhans, a highly enlightened soul and asked him whether he saw God. The saint replied," I see God as I see you".
It is a history that the saint answered all curious questions arising in the mind of inquisitive, intellectual and somewhat sceptic young man. This guy,full of doubt, was none other than Swami Vivekananda, the man who is well known in the whole world and was a great exponent of Hindu Religion. All this and more one can find in the biography of the saint- Gospel of Sri Ramkrishna Paramhans.
The Saint has dwelt on this subject in depth in his various discourses to his disciples and followers. Though the saint had succeeded in seeing God and talking to Him in various forms as he wished, even he admitted that such kind of feat is possible if the mind searches God in right earnest ,and then only mind creates an impossible miracle that is vision of God in the very forms as a devotee wishes them.
It is said of the saint that he used to see Goddess Mother Kali ( or vision of Mother ? ) when he worshipped Her in the temple. Sri Ramkrishna Paramhans also meditated upon formless God or Parbrahman. He justified both, God in form and God as formless,pure Brahman. He was the only person who practiced Hinduism, Christianity and Islam and succeeded in having a vision of God through all these religions.
He concluded that all religions lead to the same path, and they all are equally capable of taking us to the lap of God or Kingdom of God. Adi Shankaracharya had a vision of Brahman or formless God, and he emphasized on it and proved the world as illusion.
Raman Maharshi, another great saint of India stressed on identification of Self or Atman as different from body. Jesus Christ said ,"Kingdom of God is within us". We see that the quest of God is never satiated once and for all; taking into account the experience of only one enlightened being or a saint. It seems that this search will continue till the eternity.
Ways to Understand the God Phenomenon
Shiv Sutra says ,' Verily . there is nothing in the three worlds save God,Soul and Mind. When the mind has been stilled, Soul and God alone remains.' It also tells a way to know God ,'' Follow what you understand and leave the deepest mysteries to those amongst you who are wise.
As a child at first drinks only milk but gradually takes solid food, just so ever the dullest mind shall understand the Highest Truth in the course of time ''.In Shiv Sutra, God says,''The world from the universe itself down to the smallest atom is held together by my Power of Unity'' . The above wise words clearly tell us that we have to control our senses and usher in serenity in order to know what God is and the process to know God is arduous and painstaking.
There is no scope for any haste in this divine pursuit, perseverance is the key.Shiv Sutra also speaks of the eligible person to know God,'' It is only when the soul is impelled by the Lord's will, that he desires to accomplish great things''. A Zen master,Rinzai says,'' If one is one's own master everywhere,then wherever one stands, all is truth''.
Sri Ramkrishna Paramhans says,'' Let each man follow his own path. If he sincerely and ardently wishes to know God, peace be unto him! He will realize Him ''. Also see these words of Rinzai,'' If a man has no faith, in vain will he labor for a hundred years ''. Here Rinzai is not talking about seeking God but about the Zen, a unique way of attaining enlightenment; nonetheless, his words are equally true for a seeker to fathom the God Phenomenon.
Seng Tsan, a chinese philosopher says it beautifully," Be at peace in the oneness of things, and all errors will disappear by themselves". He further says," There is no here, no there,infinity is right before your eyes". This much stuff is enough in the beginning to ponder ; and then we can proceed with our quest of God in a much better way.
Unless we do not comprehend ourselves the real import of these sayings, we will not be able to gain wisdom to know God ,Truth,Reality whatever name we may assign to it. Much literature may we savor about God, it is our own wisdom only we have to cultivate in our own way that we will come to the realization of truth or God !
Guys Turning to God : Who are They ?
Who is interested in God ? Are you ? In Bhagwatgeeta, Sri Krishna says that four kinds of guys worship God. One- seeker of wealth, two- in trouble due to calamity,poverty or any other reason,third- who is curious about God or in other words,is a seeker of knowledge and the fourth- who has perfected his wisdom. The third kind that is a seeker of knowledge can ,after a great contemplation and gaining the requisite insight,can turn into a man of wisdom.
Sri Krishna further says that among these four, God loves the man of wisdom most. While the former three do not have any idea of God from birth till death, the last one is one with God and rejoices with his wisdom and is ever peaceful,tranquil and ushering in equanimity.
A man of wisdom is the only qualified person in the eyes of God, and only such a man is capable of speaking on behalf of God. He may be a saint, an enlightened being or a prophet.All through our life, we remain immersed in rituals,prayers and chanting name of God but to get nearness of God is altogether a different thing.
Only a highly accomplished person not necessarily a highly educated person, can perceive God, the rest remain under the great illusion, as always.People are unnecessarily labelled as believers or atheists. In the realm of God, there is no segregation; all are equal. Only a man of wisdom is prone to tilt towards God and no one else,ever.
Self Experience: Unique and Personal
Also, nobody can convince a person verbally, it is a self experience that one must strive to attain himself if one is so dead serious to know God Phenomenon first hand. In the past too, so many saints,enlightened beings and prophets have searched about it themselves after a great elaboration on God, thinking constantly for years on.
On this journey, they faced the hostile behaviour of the people and adverse circumstances prevailing at that time. Some of them even faced death at the hands of the people. These perfectly evolved persons were so persistent to spread the real essence of God that ultimately people had to accept them as highly accomplished souls and numberless persons became their devout followers and spread their divine teachings all over the surface of the world.
Take the life story of any enlightened being or prophet, it is very much clear that they accomplished the capacity to know God on their own and had a vision of their own. They taught the people about God according to their vision, and their followers made their teachings more elaborate and more clear.
In the course of time, there came books not one but many, containing the wisdom and vision of those enlightened beings. Every one of them was unique and so was their teaching. If we read the teachings of various prophets and saints, we find that these were very different in their approach, style and content.
Nonetheless, the basic lesson in them is the same that if man wants to have perfection, he should cultivate a constant craving and love for God, and in a due course of time, he will have union or vision of God, and get a higher abode like heaven.
Invisibility of God: A Great Secret
As regards invisibility of God, I am of the view that all emotions such as love, kindness, affection. hate, envy, anger,greed,revenge and so on can be felt in the mind only and through observation of our bodily expressions only, we can have truthfulness of existence of these, but these cannot be seen visually in their full appearance.
Nonetheless, we can not rule out their existence. We can assume these as abstract things and not as tangible things such as table, car, house,window,body,earth,tree and so on that are too apparent in our sight, and about their existence we are so dead sure that we can not deny their existence.
So, like every abstract thing in the mind, God is also an abstract thing that can be seen and felt in our expression only and the most highly evolved expression is termed as the vision of God.
Irony is that we admit so many abstract things daily as mentioned above and never think these to appear in tangible forms, but the Master of all abstract things,ideas and all tangible things is not acceptable to us in an abstract form, we insist on Him to come into a tangible form. The people can have only visions of God. However,some avatars have been accepted as tangible forms of God in Hindu Religion.
The God Phenomenon has been contemplated upon by so many enlightened beings that if one tries to trace their journeys into it, it will reaveal the wonderful chapters of constant struggles, persistent pursuits and unique insights of those remarkable personalities. A study of that stuff will definitely open a new vista before the earnest seekers.
© Harish Mamgain
Harish Mamgain (author) from New Delhi , India on January 11, 2014:
This is so pleasing to have you again with me to share your feelings. It makes sense when we assume this whole ocean of existence human or non-human as part of that Absolute One that we earnestly long for and assign Him so variant names. Though I am a Hindu and deeply influenced by the great thinkers of India but at the same time I am equally fond of having glimpses of words mentioned in other sects/religions. So, I hold the words of Jesus Christ as true when he told that if someone had impeccable faith that a mountain moved to the ocean, his faith would work. What Christ wanted to convey by these precious words is more profound and subtle than what meets our eyes and to fathom the real meaning of such divine words, we have to go beyond - beyond words, beyond literal meanings, beyond superficial thinking, beyond religion and even beyond Christ, To me, Words of Christ mean more than Christ himself. He hands over a flute to us and to the eyes-the flute looks very ordinary and everybody thinks that this flute is very divine, very precious, very pretty and so on. However, when we really try to play it and hear and experience the melody of music, then we come face to face with the realization that everybody can pick up the flute but the real thing is to play it to the tune of our mind, our heart and our soul. Now this cannot be done by mere belief, mere following, mere worship and mere reading. It takes a lot we know and also that we don' t know. With patience and perseverance, we learn and we learn gradually and no doubt, our efforts and grace of that One Absolute help us having more and more perfection of our concept/ vision of that Absolute One. Paula, you read and reread this hub with such affection and love that I am really grateful and indebted to you. I also hold that you are on a right track and seem to be beyond all prejudices and narrow thinking. Also, your heart is so vibrant with love. I sincerely wish you all happiness and all peace in your life. And sorry, I was carried away beyond maybe what was expected of me. Thank you very much.
Suzie from Carson City on January 11, 2014:
Harish.....I must tell you that I have not been able to put your words at rest, in my mind. I have returned here, to read again, more than twice.
At nearly 66 yrs. old, I have gone down numerous roads and searched many paths....and most importantly, attempted to reach deeply within myself.
For years I believe I searched blindly, listened only with my ears and accepted in an almost child-like manner.....ideas and teachings that came in, but went out, just as quickly. I don't know if this makes sense, but I had this incredibly powerful "knowing" inside, of what may be accurate and what could not possibly be.
Thus, I went in a constant circle. But the mere fact that I kept "going," was proof enough for me.....that my struggle could not be in vain. I continually told myself, "There IS something.....keep searching."
There is a powerful sense of correctness in your words that I am so grateful to have assimilated.
There are hundreds of ways to express gratitude. I've not really found one better, than to say, with my heart....."Thank You." Peace, Paula
Harish Mamgain (author) from New Delhi , India on December 23, 2013:
Thanks, dear fpherj48. It is my great pleasure that you uttered such beautiful words about this stuff. It gives us immense satisfaction and joy when we connect to each other through an affectionate bond of words. Really thankful to you for appreciation and encouragement. Wish you Merry Christmas and a very Happy New year, coming near.
Suzie from Carson City on December 23, 2013:
Harish.......I was thoroughly engrossed and somewhat into an hypnotic focus,as I read this very interesting and educational hub. Thank you for this loving message. Up+++
Harish Mamgain (author) from New Delhi , India on December 22, 2013:
It is an honor for me that the most distinguished person like you has responded to this hub. I am also really grateful that you took so much time and gave such a wonderful elaborate response. It is with great interest and curiosity that I have been reading so much stuff of wisdom sprinkled by you so kindly on this site. In fact, your kind and wise words have given some meaning to this hub. Thank you very much for your kind appreciation and encouragement.
Rod Martin Jr from Cebu, Philippines on December 22, 2013:
Wow, Harish Prasad. This is a most beautiful dissertation -- a delicious work of art. Thank you!
My own quest to understand God and myself began nearly 63 years ago. I am a non-denominational Christian who used to be a Taoist, a Kabbalist, a Buddhist, a Scientologist and a Southern Baptist (Christian).
My quest has led me to find different ways to peer beyond the literal words to the spiritual meaning. Human languages were built on physical things, so are frequently inadequate to the task of describing that other realm. But the path has been long and "interesting."
One evening in 1971, I felt very close to God for a few moments. During that eternity, I could see everything in my surroundings, though my body was several meters away with its eyes closed. Usually, individuals do not experience being outside of their bodies unless they suffer some trauma, drugs or the combination of both called "surgery." My incident involved none of these. I had merely been in a conversation with a spiritual counselor. It took me 41 years to understand what had happened. For the first time in many thousands of years, the veil was lifted from my "eyes." Only recently did I discover the true nature of that veil.
In Buddhism, they call it "ignorance" or "ego." Christ called it being "first." During those few brief moments, I had given up ego so thoroughly that the blindfold was gone. Even now, I can feel the warm arms of the Heavenly Father wrapped around me as I write this.
In 1977, I once again felt God's embrace, but this time a different dimension of Truth was exposed. This time it was creation of agreement and motion, instead of creation of vision. A miracle stretched for 2 miles down Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles -- like Moses parting the sea. The interesting thing about miracles is that they are entirely effortless. We merely need to bring ourselves back into Love, like the love I felt in 1971, that evening. What is also remarkable is that there were 3 miracles that happened on that afternoon in 1977.
1) The miracle of freedom. Thick traffic had invited all manner of frustration and anger. When 6 different drivers had jammed their vehicles in front of mine, all within a 2 minute period, emotion skyrocketed. When the 6th event happened, I went from rage to bliss instantly. The shock was so profound, hairs stood on end so energetically they made the skin itch painfully.
2) After that moment, the 6 drivers were entirely forgotten. Their deeds of selfishness were forgiven so completely that it took me 34 years to realize that I had forgiven them. On that day, I learned that forgiveness can be effortless.
3) With my attention off of creating animosity and frustration, I turned my awareness to creating peace, wide open spaces and smooth sailing all the way to my destination. Suddenly, bumper-to-bumper, rush-hour traffic opened up. Two miles of snarling traffic left and right surrounded an empty corridor that stayed open for the 4 minutes it took to traverse that length.
Thank you, my friend, for helping to spread the word of God's love. I know we cannot compare Him to mortal emotions, but the Buddhist term "paramita" comes as close as language can come. So, instead of mortal love, His is "paramita love" -- the perfection of love without its dichotomous opposite. This is similar to the "paramita confidence" that Christ used to walk on water and the Hindu saints use to perform their miracles. These perfections transcend all of reality.
Harish Mamgain (author) from New Delhi , India on December 17, 2013:
It is very nice that you read this stuff and you are right that we must accord all respect to every religion. Since God is the hub of all religions, these all are equally important. Thank you very much, Devika.
Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on December 17, 2013:
The God Phenomenon: A Tryst Goes On is very interesting and I do believe in God. I am Hindu and married to a Catholic religion is unique to every individual and should respected. You have written an informative and an insightful hub indeed. Thank you.