BASIC KNOWLEDGE

What is the most important thing for us to know? Are there other things also, knowledge of which is must for us? What are they?

 

In this world, most important thing to know is God.

Besides God, the other things, which are very important for us to know are soul and nature. Here, we will have basic knowledge of God soul and nature.   

God-Everything is known by its characteristics. Likewise, God has certain characteristics like omniscience, bliss, justice, mercy, all-powerfulness etc. God’s works are creation and dissolution of this universe, controlling this universe by His unchanging  laws, lighting His knowledge and giving justified fruits of the actions (Karmas) of Jivatmas. Works of Jivatmas are entirely different from that of God. No Jivatma can do the works of God like creation of universe etc. Likewise, God in no condition can do the works of Jivatmas like producing offsprings etc. God and Jivatma can never become one. As compare to characteristics of infiniteness of God, Jivatma has very less capability to imbibe knowledge, power etc. and on attaining maximum height i.e. moksha (freedom from the cycle of birth and death), its capabilities remain limited. God can be called DOER in respect of His works like creation of universe etc. otherwise for all worldly works, Jivatma and only Jivatma is DOER. God witnesses only the actions of Jivatmas. As in the world, it is necessary for us to know, if a particular object exists or not and if it exists, were it is available and when it is available, how it can be recognized? In the same way, these questions need be asked in the matter of God also.

          As God’s qualities are numerous, His names too are numerous. But God’s personal name is ‘Aum’. It includes all His attributes, works and nature. The matter regarding names of God can be understood by the following example. A person can be known by many names based on his qualities and works like little, fat, corner-man (one who sits in the corner), Pitamber (one who wears yellow clothes) and the like. But in his personal name (Ram, Sham etc.) all these names based on his qualities and works get included.

To call a person by a name other than his personal name, if that name is not based on his qualities or works will be called nothing but foolishness. Same is true in relation to God also.

God is very-very subtle and soul is comparatively less subtler. Like soul lives in a body, God is present/lives in the soul. In the words of Maharishi Dayanand ‘No yogi has, up to this day, been ever able to change the God-made course of laws of nature, nor shall there be. No yogi can ever change the system designed by the eternal God e.g. the eyes are to see with and ears are to hear with’

God and soul can never become one.

Following sentences which speak of the differences in God and souls are worth remembering:-

1.       God is one but souls are many.

2.       He is all pervading or God pervades and souls are pervaded.

3.       God is worshipped and souls worship.

4.       God is omniscient but soul's capacity to have knowledge is very small or very little as compared to God.

5.       God is all-powerful but soul's capacity to have power is limited.

6.       God is everywhere but souls are in their bodies only.

Some important quotes about GOD

-There is a common belief that for realization of God {by realization of God is meant enjoying the aanand (bliss) of God}, the path going through logic & rationality is misleading and should be discarded as God is beyond logic & rationality. It is said that reason is helpful in knowing only and not in realizing. Suppose, there is a person, whom we should meet for our business purpose. Then, first of all we must know the place where we can meet him (This includes the knowledge about his schedule, knowledge about the address of the place where he can be met etc.), then we must know his likings or dislikings so that we can deal with him accordingly towards fulfilling our business purpose. In obtaining such knowledge, we are required to use our logic. Without logic no such informations can be obtained by us. Similarly, if we want to meet God, we must know His address, His likings, His dislikings etc.

 -In world more than 70% people accept the existence of God and worship Him in their own way. But we see around us in our society that no one is happy, children do not care about their elders, people do a lot of wrongful deeds to earn money, we are not faithful to anybody and do everything to get materialistic gains etc. Then why do we not understand the fact that there is a basic flaw in our notion about God and His worshipping? How can it be possible that people know God and do wrongs at the same time? Darkness and light cannot exist at the same place & at the same time. Here, by darkness we mean wrongs and by light we mean virtues.

-All will agree that God is one, who exceeds all the desires, likes, dislikes etc. He hates none. Likewise He loves none. We must understand that He is not affected whether we worship Him or not. We need worshipping Him for our own sake only.

- If we want to move towards God, we must follow Yam (Ahinsa, Satya, Astey, Brahamcharya & Aprigrha) and Niyam (Shoch, Santosh, Tap, Swadhaya & Ishwar-Pranidhan). There is no other way of moving towards God. While Yam addresses our behaviour with other-beings, Niyam  addresses our behaviour with ourselves. Most of the people today, who think they are moving towards God by developing a habit in themselves of not thinking ill of any other-being are actually not following first Yam i.e. Ahinsa. They are unknowingly doing Hinsa to the society in which they live. How? If we fail to know the spiritual laws in theory and practice those laws while behaving with others, then we subtly are doing Hinsa to the others by not knowing and by not doing, what we should know and practice. This belief that ‘most of the people who think that they are moving towards God are not actually moving towards their goal’  can be advocated in a very simple way. The segment of the people who think of moving towards God is not so small. If they are rightly moving towards God, then there should not be so much ill present in our society. The existence of ills in such a large quantity in our society proves that they are not moving towards God.

-What is the binding force, by which we can stick to the good deeds? That binding force is knowledge about God. Knowledge about God gives the reason to behave in a particular way even if by so behaving, we lose some worldly things / relations. Without having knowledge about God, we can lessen the miseries of this world to a certain extent only & for the limited period only.

-If an unknown person gives us sweets daily then naturally we will like to know about him. Likewise, to feel love for God, we must constantly think of great manufacturing design, automatic operations, intricacies of manufacturing etc. of different parts of our body. By doing this (i)     we will start loving God, who is creator of this wonderful body (ii) our mind will become stable in thinking of His greatness (iii) we won’t feel like complaining to God even if we happen not to obtain one or two desired things.

-One of major reasons for deterioration of our society is that for all practical purposes we believe existence of God on a particular place instead of believing the presence of God at every place of the universe (now people say this that God is present every where only through their tongue & not through their actions).  If we believe that God is present every where, it will benefit our society in two ways (i) We will shirk from doing bad deeds as we know that God is looking at those bad deeds of ours and will punish us accordingly. (ii)            we will try to do good deeds inspite of resistance of some mortals with a belief that God, who is a witness to everything will definitely reward us at the appropriate time.       

-Every religion except a few (Budhism, Jainim etc.) accept God but they are not in agreement regarding qualities of God. Rather, they all differ on this issue. It is true that qualities refer to quality-holder but we in no way are concerned with quality-holder. Instead we are concerned with the qualities. For that reason, if we accept the entity of God without any agreement regarding qualities of God, there can not be any unity amongst mankind. And without this unity amongst mankind, we can not develop / progress in the real sense of the term.

-Everone says that God is one & He is everywhere. Now, think over it-Is it possible for a thing, which is one and everywhere to have shape of some kind?

-When it is said that God moves faster than our ‘Man’, then it is meant that wherever ‘Man’ reaches, God is already present there.

-God cannot be felt through our senses- All our sense organs have specific subjects regarding which they obtain knowledge e.g eyes have a subject of ‘roop’ i.e. objects having some shape, ears have a subject of ‘sound’, nose has a subject of ‘smell’, tongue has a subject of ‘taste’, skin has a subject of ‘touch’. Our body possesses no sense organ which could fell the existence of God. This task can be accomplished by owner of this body i.e.’atma or self’ only.

After God, the other things, the knowledge of which is must for our developement are Jivatma (Soul) and Prakriti (Nature).

Jivatma (Soul)- Souls are many. There is a different soul in each and everybody of man, animal or bird. There is no difference in the souls present in human bodies and those present in the bodies of birds and animals. A soul exists forever. One soul travels in the bodies of men, birds and animals in accordance with his Karmas (actions). Union of a soul and a body is called birth and separation of the soul from the body is called death. Every soul is free to act but once it has done something, it becomes dependent on the rules of God to bear the fruits of such acts. There exists only one soul in one body irrespective of the size of the body except pregnancy time. During pregnancy, offspring has a separate soul. Soul never enters into a dead body.

          Dependence of soul to accept an ill body or a body which has a deformity and that too against his will proves that there is another more powerful entity. Had there been not such dependence, soul would not come in a body having deformity or illness of any kind.

          On death, soul moves out of the body and after that, the body (without soul) fails to feel happiness, pain, duties etc. In other words, only soul feels pain etc. through the body. For this reason, only soul is the DOER and receiver of the fruits of his actions. Like, if a man kills a person through a weapon, then the man (who was independent to do the act.) and not the weapon (which was dependent) is penalised. Similarly, a dependent soul does not deserve to be penalised or rewarded. As such, every soul is independent of doing the actions according to his budhi (intellect) but once the soul has acted, it no more remains independent of receiving the fruits of his actions. On the subject, following words of Maharishi Dayanand are very relevant-

‘As long as, the soul remains in the body, the attributes are discernible in the body, but when the soul leaves the body, they are not found in the body. A quality which exists so long as a thing exists and disappears with the disappearance of that thing, is said to belong to that particular thing, e.g. the light, which appears on the appearance of the lamp or the Sun and disappears with its disappearance, is believed to be the light of the Sun or the lamp. In the same way, we have the knowledge of the soul and God’.

 Soul is not created by God but it (soul) is an independent and endless separate entity. To consider soul as parts of God is in a way to refuse to accept Him as ‘partless’ (Akhand).

          There is misconception that God only is the DOER or whatever happens in this world is because of His will and soul is not independent to act. The fact is – for all worldly acts only soul is the DOER. God acts as a silent viewer of acts of souls. Every soul depicts the characteristics different from that of God. As such, however great a person may be, he can never be God.

Prakriti (Nature) – In terms of modern science, it can be called matter also. Our body, house, air, water, fire, earth etc. are all made of nature. Nature too like God and souls is a separate endless entity with the only difference that it continues to change its shape. Today, what is wood, gets converted/transformed into carbon, water vapours and gases on being burnt. It changes shape only and remains same in quantitative terms. The fact of the modern science which says that ‘matter can neither be created nor be destroyed’ supports our view that matter is endless.

          Because of quality of nature to go on changing continuously, we can easily differentiate between nature and soul.

          The benefit of knowing the basic qualities of God, soul and nature is- we will not misunderstand anything which is not God for God, anything which is not soul for soul and anything which is not nature for nature. Because of this knowledge, we will be able to understand the things as they are. 

Related Topic

-What is God and what are its qualities? What is the harm of worshipping non-living things as God? Can God do everything? Can He do injustice also?