Yes, Together We Can
by (Capt) Ravi K Mahajan
Without Him, I cannot SUCCEED.
With Him, I cannot FAIL.
Stephen Hawking is, perhaps, the greatest Physicist and has written another of his many books named ‘The Grand Design’, in which he says that ‘a God has no role in creating or running the universe’. This led me to think a lot about God. Where is he or she? How is he? Where he lives? What does God look like? If He or She has any shape at all? But our scriptures say God is omnipresent, which means, God is present everywhere.
This universe has existed for millions of years in many forms. In these millions of years, Humans have lived only for, perhaps, thousands of years. Exactly how many, is not the bone of contention here. I feel when the universe was evolving, and humans came into being with the power to think, human Gods also came into being. Imagine those days, humans living all over the world in groups, in all sort of terrains and environments, along with large number of animals, both big and small, docile and ferocious. There must have been natural calamities and diseases, against which those people must have felt helpless. Because of natural calamities, disasters, diseases and so many other catastrophes, people must be feeling desperate, unsafe, frustrated and helpless. Fear must have been their constant companion.
And mind you only humans, after millions of years of evolution, can think. And because we can think, we are also aware that, we have no control against certain happenings and are totally helpless and powerless, to avert them in spite of our best efforts. A child is born. He automatically starts growing, develops into an adult with time, starts growing old too and then one day, same child dies as an old man. It happens to everyone. It is the law of impermanence that governs this world, that nothing in this world is of permanent nature. As we are growing up, so many unexplained things happen all around and to us. We do not understand many of these things or happenings, but only see their effect. We do not see but feel an overruling power, which we call by various names, be it God, Providence, Destiny, Luck or Fate.
That’s how, God might have been conceived in human mind. May be out of fright, feeling of helplessness or desperation, our ancestors would definitely have been wanting an ally to help them, a supernatural power to take on the mightier beings. Since humans were living in different parts of the world in various circumstances and terrains, each group might have thought of his own God, the way they wanted Him to be. That’s why, perhaps, we have so many different Faiths and Gods all over the world. Different kind of prayers, customs and beliefs in different Gods, came from different places and people.
Belief in God is too personal a matter to be generalized, because all of us have our own beliefs, and giving an opinion about others’ beliefs, is like intruding upon someone’s personal affairs, without seeking his permission. It is human nature to ask for help, when you feel things are beyond you, ask for forgiveness when, you genuinely feel sorry about something bad you have done, and also to convey your gratitude, when good things happen to you. This help, forgiveness and gratitude has to be conveyed to someone, who we feel, has given us all that, even if we can’t see him, does not matter. It is our way or faith. It is only human. Why must we question or encroach upon some one’s personal faith without being invited to do so. It is tantamount to intruding upon some one’s privacy. Why there has been so much conflict in the world from times immemorial? It is when we question others’ beliefs. It is when we try and impose the so called superiority of our beliefs over others, that conflict arises. It’s not done and should never be allowed. Only then much needed peace, prosperity and tranquility can prevail in this world.
As humans, we would not like anyone to challenge our beliefs, as long as they are not hurting others. Whether I am Hindu, Muslim, Christian or a Sikh, I have my own way of connecting with MY GOD. I would like to ask His help, when I need it, I want His forgiveness when I have done something wrong and want to beg His pardon for my acts, which I myself do not approve after committing them and I want to Thank Him, when He helps me, when none could have helped me.
‘Look back, THANK God. Look ahead, PRAY God. Look around, FEEL God. Look within, FIND God’. Thus we can Thank, Pray, Feel and Find God within us. We do not have to run around looking for Him. He is the creator of this universe. We see His creations all around us. The Creator is in the Creation, and the Creation is in the Creator. He is everywhere. This beautiful world, enchanting nature, life giving Sun, Sweet water and fresh air, Star studded night and million other bounties, which God has provided us. Most of all, He has given us this most precious gift of life. We must always express our Thanks and Gratitude to Him, adopt an Attitude of Gratitude towards Him, His mercies, and through Him, live a life of total bliss, joy and happiness.
Has He ever asked for anything in return? Never. But, should it not be our duty to acknowledge and Thank Him for all His divine blessings, bounties and bliss? Being His creation, can we be so Thankless? When creation exists, Creator also exists. Whatever we see in this world, it was created by God or God’s most important creation, the human being. God manifests Himself through His creations. And thus, it is our duty to be kind, merciful, helpful, compassionate and full of empathy towards all His Creations. We are the children to the same God. Our lives are gifts from the same God, who is father to us all. We must value our life as His gift as well as everyone’s life. Whenever & where ever the opportunity is there, we must help others, be kind and compassionate and enrich our lives by doing so.
He is so benevolent to even atheists, those who do not believe in Him. Can’t they see His creations all around. He treats them the same as He treats believers. He has never discriminated or differentiated. After life, the most precious gift He has given us is our intelligence studded mind, to think, to evaluate, to remember, to visualize, which He has not given to anyone else. Unfortunately, some of us take undue advantage of His benevolence, His kindness, when we enjoy every gift and bliss He has provided us, but question His very existence.
An atheist once asked a believer, ‘what proof you have that God exists’. Believer asked him to get a new suite tailored, which atheist did. Though he could not understand odd relationship between the suite, tailor or God, when he went to the believer with the suite, believer asked the atheist ‘who has made this suite’. ‘Of course, the tailor’, was atheist’s reply. Then the believer told him ‘Look, the suite is here which proves that tailor exists otherwise, suite would not have been there. So is the case with this world. The world is there. So must be it’s tailor. It’s creator whom we call God’.
After all, what is human mind? Has anyone seen it? All our thoughts, we believe, originate from our mind and when we have neither seen our mind nor our thoughts, why we keep talking about them? Can we deny their existence? Do we see the wind blowing and sometimes, playing havoc, without being seen? There are umpteen examples of our beliefs in things, we do not see, but feel their presence. Same way, we may not be able to see Him, but cannot deny His existence. He is Omnipresent. We can only see and feel Him through His creations, through their acts of benevolence, compassion, generosity & kindness. When we give and share His bounties with his creations, He lives within us, because it is a Godly act, we do on His behalf.
Sometimes it is very strange to find, otherwise mature people, trying to prove the superiority of their God over others’. It is like saying my Burger is tastier than your Idli Sambher or Alu Parota. Ridiculous, is it not? Or my mother is better than yours. A person is brought up taking a particular type of food right from his birth cooked by his mother first and then his wife and naturally would have more liking for that food. Telling him that my food is better than yours, can only be an exercise in absurdity. It is a matter of faith which is not open to doubt or questioning by others. It is very personal.
We must be rational, modest and logical in our thinking and never try to put down others on matters of faith or belief. If anything, we should prove to be better human beings by helping others, understanding others, co-operating with others and try and make others happy by our actions, gestures and understanding, which is much noble and pious act, than trying to prove the superiority of our faith over others’. Human faith and belief is too personal a matter to be challenged by anyone.
On this earth, every human being has his own God and everyone loves Him, because he thinks He is the provider. As mentioned above, He is the one on whom we can fall back upon for anything in times of need or adversity. He protects us. He does not need our protection. We need not be God fearing or afraid of Him, if we are doing things right and if we are doing things right, we need not even pray. Doing things right, is a prayer in itself. We only need to be God-aware. It is very natural that when we do nothing wrong, why should we be afraid or fearful of Him. It’s like, when we have done nothing wrong in the eyes of the law of the land, why would we be afraid of Police or law enforcement courts. We are afraid of them only, when we get on the wrong side of law by doing something unlawful.
So the God is our protector against things beyond our control. Like Police and Law enforcing agencies, He also wants us to do things which are good, as per the rules and tenets established by Him like helping, giving & sharing with the needy, brotherhood, compassion, empathy, honesty and so many other virtues, which we can even call Godly. When we do all this, we are praying through our good deeds then. Foremost among our good deeds is our willingness to give-share-help. When we share His bounties with others and we give for the sake of giving, we should always be Thankful to Him, that He has made us the conduit between Him and the receiver. Whatever we have, truly belong to Him and it is His benevolence we are distributing.
But on the other hand, when we do something wrong against His established tenets, then He shall definitely punish us. It is not necessary that such punishment is immediate. It can be late, but will be there all the same. Here also ‘God’s delays are not God’s denials’. Whether it is dishonesty, cheating, greed, corruption, one must remember, just and adequate punishment in some form, will always be there. It is impossible to escape that. In Hindi it is said ‘ Bhagwan ke Ghar der hai, Andher Nahin Hai’. It means, in God’s home, things may delay, but finally, justice will be done. It is said for both good or bad, one does. You can fool anyone but not your God. He sees everything. Do not think, if you go to temple regularly to pray but keep doing bad things, punishment can be averted. No, it cannot be. God may give you long rope and because he has given you the thinking power, He expects you to do good, be good and then only your prayers would be accepted.
Thus, we should always keep ready connectivity with our God through our good deeds as prayers and faith in him. Remembering Him only when we are in trouble, is of no use. Often, it is painful to watch people doing all sort of expensive rituals wasting money, hoping to attract His attention or benevolence, to please their God or ask for His mercy. If they had been praying or remembering Him in truthful manner, they might not have been in these problems. So the wise men advise us to keep our connectivity with God, always open through good deeds, prayers & faith and by helping those God’s creatures who need help.
Mother Teresa has immortalized herself by her selfless service to poorest of the poor, whom no one would serve. Those are the totally helpless and pitiable people, who need our help most. By personal example in rendering service towards such people, faith in God and help from so many people and organizations, she was able to create ‘Missionary of Charity’. She equaled the service towards fellow human beings as God’s work. She, often, would say ‘If we cannot love the person whom we see. How can we love God whom we cannot see’
How many times, we miss God’s blessings, because they are not packaged as per our expectations and wishes. We keep asking for more and more from God, not even caring to look, what He has already blessed us with. A beggar was sitting on a box and begging. A passerby asked him, as to what is there inside the box. Beggar replied ‘what do I know. Never cared to look’. Passerby asked him to have a look into that. Lo and behold. The box was full of gold coins.
When we were borne, God gave this entire world and life to live in this beautiful world, as our first birthday gift. Unfortunately, consumed by the pre-occupation of begging, most people leave this planet without even opening this providential gift called LIFE. Look at those pitiable mindless Rich and Famous Scamsters. God had already blessed them with plenty. But out of sheer greed & begging habit, they wanted more and more, not caring to look at what God had already provided them. What unfortunate ignorance, greed and waste, worst of all for themselves & their families.
Never approach God as a beggar. ‘God, give me this, God give me that’. Have faith and just pray. God knows what you need. He shall fulfill your needs through His benevolence. If you dictate or beg or sometime, even put conditions that if He grants certain wish of yours, you, in return, do some pooja. Such an attitude not only looks cheap but abhorrent. Get out of such mindset to have business deals with God, who has created you, who gave you this world and beautiful life as a free gift. Our prayers should be for the general good and blessings in general, for God knows best, what is good for us.
‘Bin mange moti mile, mange mile na bhikh’, goes one saying in Hindi. It means ‘without asking, you get pearls, while when you beg, you may not get even alms’. Just look around what all, plenty and abundance, He has given you already. Before asking from God for a ‘Happy New Year’, Thank Him for the Blessings He showered you during the year just passed. In God’s kingdom, there is no dearth or scarcity, only abundance. Once a father and son had gone to a rich person’s house, where boy’s favorite sweet was being served. While everyone picked up from the plate as much as they wanted, boy requested their host to give it to him. When they were returning, father asked the boy why he did not himself pick up the sweet but asked the host to give it to him. The boy, very intelligently, told his father ‘Papa. My hands are so small. If I had picked up with my hands, I would have got very little. See, how much I got from the host’. With God also, it’s the same. When He gives, He shall give us in abundance by His standards, but when we ask it, we get very little.
Almost everyone believes that the universe is the creation of God Almighty. He is benevolent, omnipresent, all-loving Supreme being, who is always just and kind to us. This beautiful world has been created by Him and Him alone. Has He asked for anything in return ever? The Universe He has created is self sufficient. As Gandhi ji used to say ‘There is enough in this world for everyone’s Needs but not for Greed’. There are hungry in the world, because many greedy ones, have unfairly grabbed thousand times more than their just share or needs. One of His creation with all the power and glory at his command, builds a multi storey palace with all the luxuries money can buy for himself and family, while another of His creation, nearby lives in a thatched broken hut, his children going hungry and have no protection against the rain. Are we not misusing His benevolence? Are we not making a mockery of His just laws?
This kind of inhuman disparity should never be accepted or tolerated. This is where one has to be fearful of Him, afraid of His anger and wrath. God has made this world to be just, humane, kind, compassionate, blissful and those who try to lord over others taking away their share, by their power and influence, shall always be punished. And at that time, no one can save them, their power, affluence, connections, nothing. Perhaps, God waits and gives them ample opportunity to stop all that and be good, in which case, they would be amply rewarded, but if they don’t, they cannot evade the punishment, which will be meted out justly, sooner than later in His own ways.
It is said ‘God could not be everywhere, so he made mothers’. I have modified it this way. The God, whom we have never seen but only felt, brought us to this world through our Mother God. Imagine how much pain and discomfort she had gone through, to give birth to you. Then, in bringing you up. Imagine getting up middle of every night to feed you. She, herself, would have slept on the wet side of the bed, to make you comfortable and dry. The story of your bringing up is endless, and it would be in your interest not to forget her sacrifices and discomfiture, which she went through happily and readily.
Our Father God became our provider and supporter through his labors and then, our Teacher God took us over, to impart the wealth of knowledge to us to make us worthy, what we are, so that we can support ourselves, our family and also do something for those who are not born so lucky. We, thus, have FOUR GODS, one of which is Ever present and Omnipresent but cannot be seen, while other Three are LIVING GODS.
Richness of your life or how much rewarding it has been for yourself, is the main context. How you feel about your life when memories take over? When the countdown has already started, is the point of contention. A life can only be lived once. There is no second chance. So, make it full, up to the brim by always expressing your Gratitude to all the Four Gods, from the innermost core of your heart. If we show ingratitude, punishment is waiting for us at His terms. But also remember, that when we do good and live a life of benevolence and compassion, God would always be just and kind to us.
World is full of people, claiming to be devotees of various Gods. I can safely categorize these devotees into two kinds. First kind consists of those devotees who love God. They consider God to be their benefactor and are very God-fearing. They pray regularly and also visit temples regularly begging for His benevolence. They are very particular about the rituals, to please their benefactor and are always in the forefront of any temple construction or placing gold idols in temples or gold coverings on God’s idols or any such related activities. Human dignity is far-fetched thing for these devotees, who would go to any level, trying to please their God. They have no hesitation in approaching God as a beggar, begging various things, mostly wealth related, for themselves or their immediate family members. They would, often, visit temples or would place conditions for His darshan, that if He gives them this or that, they would visit the temple or come for darshan or do some puja or would gift the temple something. These devotees love God because He is their benefactor.
The second kind of devotees also love God dearly, but never place any condition or price on their devotion. Formal Prayers or visit to temple, is not a must for them. They are hardly ever bothered about rituals to please God. Main difference between the first and second kind, is that the second kind are not God-fearing but are God-aware. They feel God’s presence everywhere, including within themselves. They are very helpful to fellow human beings, are kind and compassionate to any God’s creation. They are the embodiment of love, affection, integrity and warmth, all of which denotes their devotion. They are always very humble, sweet speaking and treat everyone with dignity, humility and respect. They always accept with great gratitude, whatever God provides them, never complaining or asking anything for themselves. They know that their God knows better and would provide them everything they need. They are always honest and truthful in their day to day dealings. They are so helpful and kind that saying, ‘The hands that help, are holier than the lips that pray,’ seems to have been made for people like them. These are the DEVOTEES WHOM GOD LOVES. Since God does not own any specific place of residence for his own stay, HE RESIDES IN THEIR HEARTS. In such purified hearts only God resides These are the God’s favourites. Be like these devotees and God will share his address with you also.
Chanting His name like a robot or mechanically, is of no use. What is required is being God aware. Mechanically saying your prayers such as ‘O God’, ‘O Ram’ or ‘Hey Krishna’ does not make sense and seems superfluous. Genesis of such mechanical tendency is unawareness and does not exhibit our true religious or spiritual feelings. You must deepen the quality of your awareness to be a true and faithful worshipper. You must try to be ‘Chaitanya Atma’ or self full of sincerity towards God and be God Aware.
Faith induces us to pray and prayer purifies the heart, but our relationship with God should not start or end with prayers or going to temple or church. When God resides in our hearts, our actions should reflect that. All those bad things we read about greed resulting into corruption and other crimes for illicit and illegal financial gains, are not only done by those who have no faith in God. On the contrary, it is my experience that so called God fearing and religious people indulge in such crimes more, because at the back of their mind is something that because they have done what needs to be done to placate God, they can be selfish, mean, angry, greedy, jealous or even violent. But when you indulge in such acts, you become lesser human being than what God entails you to be. You might gain temporary victory by such acts but ultimately punishment awaits. Such punishments are not direct or immediate, but God has own ways and methods.
After all, what is corruption? Simple. With the help of your clout, power or influence, you have forcibly snatched away someone’s money and using the same for your selfish ends. Under no circumstances, such blatantly inhuman acts will go unpunished. This point, once again, is taken in detail in the lesson on ‘Greed leads, Corruption follows’.
Every religion in the world, incidentally there are many, have created its own God and each one tries to preach superiority of their God over others. But, in fact, it is not the superiority of the God they want to impose or preach, it is the superiority of one human over the other, one religion over the other or one race over the other. But for peace and prosperity to prevail in the world, we must get over this notion of superiority of one religion or race over others. When we consider God as the creator of this universe, consider Him Omnipresent and our provider and benefactor, how can there be many Gods, each religion presenting his own God before us. This world is not like a democracy where there are many political parties each one providing a leader and expecting us to accept his hegemony. As the leaders and accepting the responsibility which comes with leadership, it is our pious duty, not create conflict over this matter of personal faith. God is matter of faith which each individual has and we must respect that individual and do not try to tread upon those beliefs if we want this world to have peace and prosperity. Man has been created by God, but religions have been created by man to rule over other man. We should let them be matters of personal faith and leave at that.
All of us are destined to live our lives but only few, live to be loved by God. They will be the noble souls, the elevated ones. Anyone can be that, if we live life as per Godly tenets, adopting such qualities connecting with our inner being i.e. giving-sharing-helpful types, treating everyone with humility and respect, adopting an attitude of gratitude, doing our Karma honestly without thinking of rewards, keep striving for whatever we want from life, but be happy and contented with whatever we get and enjoy it as His Gift and finally, when thinking of progress and growth, we think of collective progress and growth, not the individual selfish one. If you do that, I can assure you readers, you will live a life full of bliss, happiness, calm, tranquility, serenity, vibrancy and satisfaction, which you would cherish and relish immensely. It would be the life well-lived, because it has brought you much closer and dearer to your God.
Prayer is the effort of man to commune with his God.
It elevates the mind, fills it with Purity and is Associated with Devotion to Him. It frees a Devotee from all kinds of fears. One should not argue about its Efficacy.
Often when we lose hope and think, this is the end,
God Smiles from above and says “Relax sweetheart,
This is only a bend, not the End”
When GOD solves all your Problems, you have Faith in His abilities; when GOD doesn’t solve your Problems, HE has faith in your Abilities.
When you Pray for others, God listens to you &
Blesses them. But when you are Safe and Happy, remember, someone has Prayed for You.
A blind person
asked St. Anthony “can there be anything worse than losing
eyesight. “Yes” replied St Anthony, “losing your vision”.