Selections from the Upanishads

He knew that Brahman is bliss. For truly, beings here are born from bliss. When born, they live by bliss. And into bliss when departing, they enter.

-- Taittiriya Upanishad 3.6.1

The face of truth is covered with a golden disc. Unveil it, O Pushan, so that I, who love the truth, may see it.
O Pushan, the sole seer, O Controller, O Sun, off-spring of Prajapati, spread forth your rays & gather up your radiant light that I may behold you of loveliest form. Whosoever is that person (yonder) that also am I.

-- Isha Upanishad 15-16

I have overcome the whole world. I am brilliant like the Sun.
He who knows this, knows the secret wisdom.

-- Taittiriya Upanishad 3.10.5

Monday, August 25, 2008

An attempt to grasp the meaning of GOD

I came across this statement by the great atheist-materialist-anarchist Mikhail Bakunin, a typical argument given by Rationalists: "God being everything, the real world and man are nothing. God being truth, justice, goodness, beauty, power, and life, man is falsehood, iniquity, evil, ugliness, impotence, and death. God being master, man is the slave." While Satan is "the eternal rebel, the first freethinker and the emancipator of worlds."

I wonder: What is it that made Bakunin come to such a conclusion?

I have basically one answer to this string of indictments: AHAM BRAHMASMI.

I also came across a statement made by Friedrich Nietzsche, directed at religion, especially Buddhism: "...they see an invalid, or an old man, or a corpse, and immediately say, life is refuted."

I agree the degree of pessimism is extreme in Buddhsim (to call it "overdone" is to merely denigrate it), and given that Buddha lived in the 6th century BCE, there might've been good reason for considering all life as suffering. But this statement, coming from a man who suffered from severe mental illness for the last 11 years of his life, most probably died - at the comparitively young age of 56 - out of syphilis - and after two paralyzing strokes and a bout of pneumonia - is certainly ironic. One can feel only immense pain on reading about the tragic life of this occasionally powerful thinker, but the irony is for all to see.

I sometimes think that most young people today don't have the rancor against religion which conscientious men had even 30-odd years ago, because they are not aware of how institutionalized religion perverted & crippled human life. It is curious, nevertheless, that men were, & still are, unable to see the difference between Caiaphas & Paul. It is sad, on the other hand, that people are blissfully unaware of the roots of materialism, atheism & the various forms of rationalism.

I must emphasize that I reject atheism on the basis of a very simple idea that God is nothing but that ONE EXISTENT, which is at the Root, which is the Essence, and the SINGLE UNIFYING Existential-Metaphysical Force/Principle of ALL of existence - of EVERY aspect & form & level of it: both matter & "consciousness". It is ONE - and not multiple. Which is why it is FUNDAMENTAL. God is a LOGICAL NECESSITY. The fact that something exists, PRESUPPOSES something BY VIRTUE of which it exists: which makes the existence of ANY ENTITY possible. God is that fundamental 'SOMETHING'. And it underlies EVERYTHING that ever existed, that exists, and that can ever exist. So, in a way, & amongst other perspectives, God may also be called the VERY PRINCIPLE OF EXISTENCE - i.e. of (EVERYTHING & ANYTHING) coming into existence.

Since It is SINGLE, since It is necessary, It transcends time & space, and hence, both are simply not applicable to It.

So when we talk about the 'Infinity' of God, the basic conception is not that God is immortal or unlimited in extension, but that the concepts of time & space LOGICALLY CANNOT apply to It. Therefore it is said of Brahman that It never was born, it never came to be, never came into BEING. It is "the Unborn". In another sense, it TIES TOGETHER all of time & space, thus annuling both. In yet another sense, in terms of time & space, it IS eternal - unlimited in extension.

God has to be FIRST grasped as a METAPHYSICAL PRINCIPLE, which - THUS - is necessarily an EXISTENT.

What atheists do, is to take the EXOTERIC, "VULGAR" (i.e. pertaining to the common masses) conception of a powerful bearded hoary man who sends commandments & threats - who punishes & rewards - capricious & "jealous" - and THEN apply a melee of esoteric, spiritual concepts to it - and thus mess up the whole issue. This won't work, and is merely a futile exercise in self-delusion. Which is why atheism can be quite tiresome to refute, since the atheists are simply not seeing the point! In pure spiritual doctrine, Parambrahma, or Brahman, or Ayin-Soph, or Shunyata - have NO direct or wilful influence on human affairs.

PRAYER is a form of meditation, of contemplation, and of tranquilizing the distraught, chaotic, unfocused mind, NOT a petition for material benefit. The process of prayer itself confers SPIRITUAL, psychological, and moral benefit on a human being, so it is not devoid of value.

God is, because the Universe IS. God is, because Existence IS.

Everything that exists - exists METAPHYSICALLY - whether it be a thought, an emotion, a fleeting physical impulse, the whole of space itself, or time itself, a cosmic or psychological law, or a leptron.

What makes its existence possible? What makes the metaphysical existence of ANY entity possible?

What is THAT ONE ENTITY, which makes the metaphysical existence of ANY entity, ANY event, ANY law, ANY force, ANY possibility in existence - possible?

That ONE entity, so to speak, which is not just "Consciousness" - but the root & essence & cause of consciousness - that from which consciousness comes - & so does every particle of existence - is God.

And, again, by logical defintion, the root-essence has to be UNCHANGING, IMMUTABLE.

BY DEFINITION, IT HAS TO BE THE SAME AT EVERY POINT OF SPACE & TIME. For, if it changes, it is not the one, and cannot be fundamental; what we have identified follows a law of change, and we are not seeing the essence, but a manifestation of the essence (we are witnessing some temporary forms or patterns of something which BY DEFINITION, has to be stable & unchangeable).

It is in that stone, in that electron, in this table, in that cat, in that man, in his eyes, in the nerves connecting his eyes to his brain, in the electrons, neutrons & protons which constitute those nerves as well as the signals transmitted from the eye to the brain and back. It was yesterday, 3 days back, 10 years back, 5 millennia back, 300,000 billlion years back - always. It shall remain so tomorrow, and 5oo,000 trillion millennia hence. BY DEFINTION.

THIS is my concept of God, and this is what I affirm.

I do not see Atheists refuting this - and they cannot - because we have to begin by asking: WHAT IS THAT BY VIRTURE OF WHICH EXISTENCE EXISTS? Existence - in each & every part/aspect - as well as a whole?

It logically follows, that GOD IS THE TOTALITY-OF-EXISTENCE-AS-ONE.

In this sense, GOD IS EXISTENCE.

For some verses from India's most glorious scriptures, which, according to me, confirm my understanding, please go HERE.

The concepts of Spirit, Soul, & Matter come later: and "consciousness" - a vague modern term, variously defined - has almost nothing to do with the term "Spirit". Soul, consciousness, & Matter are UNITED in God, and there is NO fundamental, metaphysic-essential break between them. To understand 'God', we have to begin by rejecting the idea that 'God is Consciousness', or even God is 'Pure Consciousness'. The word 'Spirit' was used for God, and "SPIRIT" IS NOT "CONSCIOUSNESS".

I shall definitely attempt a more systematic, coherent elucidation of the meaning of God; right now, I was prepared only for an extremely rudimentary & elementary statement, but one not false or inconsistent or illogical. What I've written is definitely NOT new or revolutionary or original. This has been stated thousands of years ago, FOR thousands of years, and by thousands of men.

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