My contribution to this post will be minimal because I plan to share original content from another source. If you’re interested, you can look into the Complete Works of Ram Chandra, Volume One. Else, please continue reading below for excerpts I’ve pulled from a chapter titled, “Reality – Its Static and Dynamic Aspects” which deals with how God is defined.
There has been a great deal of controversy over the question of the existence of God, the Ultimate Reality. The real problem of my mind, is not that of proving or disproving the existence of an Eternal Absolute but that of defining it in an adequate and satisfactory way. The factor of blind and enthusiastic faith, created and strengthened by individual miseries and cravings in different cultural contexts, has added more and more confusions. Consequently, the man of reason and thought rightly feels disgusted at the very mention of the word “God.”
There are various conceptions of the Ultimate Reality. People look upon Him differently according to their capacity and understanding… But philosophic view includes the idea of Nirguna Brahman (Indeterminate Absolute) which is above all multiplicity and distinction. This Nirguna Brahman is regarded to be the ultimate cause and substratum of existence, the superactive center of the entire manifestation. It is also known as Para Brahman.
Next comes the idea of God as Supreme Existence. We see the universe with all its diversities and differentiations and we are led to believe in its creator and controller. We call him Ishwara, or Saguna Brahman (Determinate Absolute). We think of him as an Eternal Existence which is omipotent and omniscient, posessing all the finest attributes. He is the efficient cause of the world and also its preserver and destroyer.
It is only when viewed from the lower standpoint that God becomes an object of worship, which is the final approach of almost all the religions. This Saguna Brahman is also known as Apara Brahman. Much is said in religious books about the above-mentioned two conceptions. Some think that the concept of indeterminate or attributeless God is better than that of determinate God. Others hold just the opposite view. In fact, both of them are erring… There are no doubt the two ways, but the goal is one… Both the conceptions, as generally understood, are greatly misleading. Truly God is neither Nirguna nor Saguna, but is beyond both… It is we who conceive Him to be Nirguna; and it is we who make him Saguna. What we must do to avoid these quarrels is that we must fix our view on the original element (Adi Tattva) – be it Nirguna or Saguna. Whatever it is we must love it.
Religion is only a preliminary stage for preparing a man for his march on the path for freedom. The end of religion is the beginning of spirituality; the end of spirituality is the beginning of Reality; and the end of Reality is the real Bliss. When that too is gone, we have reached the destination. This is the highest mark which is almost inexpressible in words.
Thus God is not to be found within the folds of a particular religion or sect. He is neither to be confined within certain forms or rituals nor is He to be traced out within the scriptures. Him we have to seek in the innermost core of our heart.
After this post, I’ll add another to pick up where this left off. The next will begin by starting at the place of understanding held by an Atheist and will employ some basic mathematical concepts to illustrate.
Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti