(Him: I’ve actually gone past the stage where I’m interested in voicing out anything regarding religions. But sometimes, it’s quite interesting to stir things up a little. This post is not meant to be an advice, or argument, or opposition. Rather, it’s meant to provide food for thought. Enjoy.)
Q: Why God has created such a terrible world, full of sufferings and struggle?
A: You should ask God. I cannot answer on his behalf.
Q: How should I ask him?
A: If you have found out that there is God who has created all this, you must also know how to reach him and ask him.
Q: Every religion believes in the existence of God. Are you saying that you don’t believe in his existence?
A: I am saying that the religions who have told you that he exists, must have told you the way to speak to him.
Q: My religion says God speaks to me through my conscience.
A: What is conscience?
Q: An inner call that tells me what is right or wrong. If I am going on a wrong path, it stops me.
A: Stops you as in holds you or just informs you?
Q: It informs me that this is wrong but still leaves the choice with me and allows me to exercise my free will.
A: Since when were you hearing your conscience? Was it there when you were 2 or 3 years old?
Q: I don’t remember.
A: My child is 3 years old. Sometimes when he doesn’t like someone, he asks them to leave and in gross words, asks them to get out (laughs). It becomes quite embarrassing for us, but he doesn’t mind. It is okay for him. There is a child in our colony who pushed another child from the slide and he was seriously injured, receiving some stitches. Can you do such a thing?
Q: Would it be your conscience that tells you not to push a small innocent child, that this is a sin?
Q: So, it seems God doesn’t speak to 2 or 3 year old children, he only speaks to grown ups like you. You know why he has chosen to speak to you and not to that child? Because that child doesn’t know anything about God right now, or his rights and wrongs. But now his family will start that training. They will tell him, this is right and this is wrong. This is God and this is the way to reach God. Then slowly, as he grows up, God will start speaking to him as well through his conscience. When he will choose a path that doesn’t qualify as God’s path, per the training given, his conscience will tell him, don’t do this. This is not right. But is it God or is it the training that is speaking to him? To me, your conscience sounds more like knowledge fed in since childhood by your parents and society, than God’s voice.
If you really want to listen to what existence wants to say to you, then this “you” will have to disappear. Completely disappear. This “you” is incapable of understanding anything. Because this “you” is already full of ideas, beliefs and knowledge fed in by parents, society and an education system. How can something that is already full, receive anything?
Can you take your father’s call while you have in the ear plugs of your iPod? You will not hear the bell ringing because you will be so occupied and possessed by the music playing. The knowledge given to you is like that music and the iPod is your mind. This mind is already full of ideas and beliefs about you, about God, about religion, about right and wrong. There is no way to communicate to you. Even right now, whatever I am saying, you are busy taking notes of it. Half of your attention is on the words spoken and you are trying to recall if you have missed anything. In this process, you are missing what is happening right Now. You are missing where these words are leading.
(Someone suggested the questioner to keep the notebook aside.)
Q: What should I do then?
A: Leave God alone. He is not doing anything to you. The God that you know of is the God that has been taught to you. You have no first hand information about him. The God you know is the proprietary of religions. They fight amongst each other to claim their ownership on him. They each tell you that “this” is the way and put the others down. We are taught religion and its way, we are not taught God. How can anyone “teach” you God? God cannot be taught. Teaching implies words and words themselves are helpless here. How will they help you?
“God”, is a very small word. It cannot even attempt to explain the vastness that it is supposed to point to. If I fill a vessel with ocean water and bring it to you, it will not give you the slightest idea of what an ocean means. To understand it you will have to see the ocean. When you actually see it, only then will you know what an ocean is. Why it is called endless and why it is called vast? Looking at the vessel, you will not know.
All the scriptures, religions, teachings are like vessels. They cannot give a slightest idea of the magic that holds this universe. Every vessel has a different shape and it has molded the ocean in its own shape, thinking this is how the ocean looks and this is what it is. Vessels are claiming that they know the ocean. They are fighting with each other and in the process, they are going to break each other down. Let them do that.
If you want to know this magic that you call God, just open your eyes. Look around. You cannot miss the magic, if your eyes are really open. It is in the sky, it is in the earth, it is in the trees, it is in the moon, it is in the stars… It is everywhere. It is in the coming and going of these breaths. You are looking for the magician so you are missing the magic. Stop looking for the magician and you will see him in the magic itself. He is not separate from the magic. He Is the very magic.
Do not look for him in any particular place and you will find him everywhere and in everything.
(Him: Tarun Sardana has an upcoming new book called “I am Not Brahman”, according to the newsletter from http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights by Editor Jerry Katz. Whenever it comes to things that carry religious connotations, many people tend to get slightly sensitive. I’d suggest however that my dear reader, give the message in the story a try. It may bring you on a roller-coaster ride that will shock you, or amaze you, or disappoint you, or enrich you, or strengthen you depending upon where you are right now in life. For me, the teachings from the Hindhu or Buddhist religions on how to live, to be open, or loving, and unconstrained is what I actually value. Maybe that would appeal to you too.)