A genuine alternative to modern misconceptions of God

By Jaya Gopal das - 16.10 2018

Who or what is God? In our modern world, when we observe the amount of energy consumed by all of the other topics that fill our lives, this question is given almost no consideration or thought whatsoever. As such, we are burdened with so many frivolous misconceptions of God, the Supreme.

For the most part, this lack of attention to the true nature of God is due to the misconception that we cannot know God. Although there is certainly truth in thinking that total knowledge of the Infinite is not possible for one who is finite, this idea of permanent inconceivability causes people to give up on any further inquiry. They simply IGNORE the whole topic, and, as such, remain covered by ignore-ance (ignorance).

Some religions lock this permanent inconceivability into their dogma and say that it is blasphemy to portray the Supreme with any sort of features. If we read the Holy Koran, we find that Mohammed (like Moses before him) railed against any sort of artificially manufactured forms of God, or idols. This should not be taken to mean, however, that the real and transcendental God does not have His own unique and personal form and qualities.

Although the Judeo-Christian tradition–stemming, in great part, from Moses–does not prohibit depicting the Supreme, it is seldom done. The most well known exception to this is the painting by Michaelangelo in the Sistene Chapel. There God (as a relatively old, but robust, man) gives life to another man by touching him with His index finger. Although this painting is accepted as holy, most adherents to the Christian faith believe that this form of God is simply an artist’s portrayal. They’re rather doubtful and unconcerned whether or not the real God looks exactly that way.

Despite the fact that the Bible offers suprisingly little in the form of a description of its most worshipful object, over the centuries a sort of popular conception has nevertheless evolved . We can understand the present day state of this ” evolution” (and its direction, perhaps) by simply turning on the radio.

Over the centuries, song has almost always stirred the mass of people far more than education or church dogma. However, most songs, especially in modern times, don’t deal with the subject of God. Despite this, songwriters do sometimes touch on deep popular sentiments connected with religion. Those rare singers such as George Harrison, Cat Stevens, Bob Marley and more recently, Peter Murphy and Speech (to name a few) are also somewhat serious about knowing the Supreme. They often use their music to enlighten and motivate their listeners toward pursuing a higher or even transcendent goal. An example in relatively recent times is Led Zepplin’s ” Stairway to Heaven.” These kinds of songs were not rare in the sixties and early seventies.

Times have changed however. We now find that God is not getting the same good press and lyrics from our current group of young songwriters. For many of the songwriters of the sixties Jesus Christ was close to the ultimate hipster. His righteous and rebellious statements in the Bible were often used to add considerable weight to whatever message a song was putting forward, as in Bob Dylan’s ” Masters of War.”

Despite the punk era swing toward atheism and agnosticism among the young, popular conceptions of God still come up–with considerable frequency. Although most young people would like to think that their ideas are totally fresh and unjaded (at least in relation to their conceptions of God) they are derived almost completely from concocted cultural archetypes. And the new and popular conception gets colored by whatever is fashionable.

In the punk era God and Christ became rather much synonymous with oppression, inhibition, and intolerance. This was one of the ways that the punks differentiated themselves from their predecessors, the hippies. Although God is today mentioned without the extreme disdain of most punks, God is not often given a positive slant. Still, the current fashion is really little more than a cosmetic covering of the old ideas.

For example, Ms. Tori Amos sings to God in one song: ” you need a woman to look after You.” In pseudo-Christian terms, this seems like a unique slant on the position of the Supreme. After all, the ” traditional” Christian conception of heaven is that of God, as an old man, sitting on a throne with angels singing and playing harps. This may have been attractive for the beleaguered peasants and immigrants of past eras, but it is rather amusing and almost boring according to modern standards. The basic message of the song by Ms. Amos is that God, in the traditional conception, is hung up sexually. He therefore takes out his lack of sexual fulfillment on people down here by causing them to suffer in various ways. This supposedly amuses Him. According to this songwriter, if he had a woman to take care of Him, He would not be so prone to be hardhearted or sadistic. The song quite clearly has a feminist bent.

In Christian theology, God is pretty much seen in the role of father. According to this model, the father is there to provide (give us this day our daily bread), to discipline, and to provide laws. Hence Ms. Amos (as many others under this idea) sees God as some kind of cosmic-stepfather-in-the-sky with a big stick. Assigning other qualities to the Supreme–such as friend, child, enjoyer or lover–occur, either infrequently or, more often, not at all. The conception of God as enjoyer is generally not an integral part of the dogmatic Judeo-Christian archetype.

Logic, however, would dictate that if God can do anything, He would set things up so that He would always be having a better and better time. Neither would He concern Himself personally with those people who got sour and didn’t want to have fun with Him anymore. He would get someone else to deal with such problem types, just as the government appoints a superintendent of jails. Although more intelligent descriptions of God may have been in the original scriptures, it should be quite clear to anyone familiar with the history of modified and ever-changing bibles, why not all such descriptions may have survived.

This idea that God is sadistic or misdirected is actually somewhat common in todays music. Depeche Mode has one song where they say something to the effect that God has ” a sick sense of humor.” Again, God is seen as sitting on high and just playing with all of us down here. According to this view, He personally forces us to undergo a life of extreme misery, ending in death–all this for no purpose other than to see us suffer. Such a portrayal of God is, for the most part, only put forward by atheists–in order to influence others to accept their ignorance.

To say that there is a great deal of atheism being presented in modern music is certainly an understatement. Notwithstanding the extreme faction of the headbangers, there are many so-called intelligent musicians also expressing such philosophies. It is not really possible, however, to experience any kind of genuine elevation while ignoring the existence of the Supreme Cause of all Causes. It is no coincidence therefore, that Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails sings “your God is dead and no one cares” in one song and “help me get away from myself” in another.

Atheists only see the external arrangement of matter–which is doomed to dismantle at any time. Because they are reluctant to accept anyone as superior to themselves, they fail to inquire into any cause beyond what they can experience with their limited senses. In this way, they can live out their meager fifty to one-hundred years in the delusion that they are their own master.

If God wanted to have a good time, He would have created a place where everyone would love not only Him, but everyone else also. Those that didn’t want to remain in that love would be free to leave and go to a place where they could do otherwise. The state of love of God is the eternal condition of everyone. Those who reject that are therefore forced to accept a temporary make-show. According to the Vedas of ancient India, those of us who do not love God completely are here in the temporary material world. We are suffering in this kind of imprisonment because we do not want eternal love more than we want some false sense of independence and separate enjoyment.

Despite our delusion of complete freedom, we are dependent on the whims of material nature at all times. According to the Vedas, this arrangement of God’s is perfect, because everyone is always getting exactly what they created and deserved according to the karma they generated. Everyone is also free to change what they want at any time. In this way, God is completely impartial. According to this vision, God has no reason to single out any person or group for rewards or punishment. If you want to have a loving relationship with God, He will give you that, as long as you are willing to pay the price. If you want to live in such a way that God is not apparent (so that you can exploit others in a guilt-free manner) He will give you that, as long as you are willing to pay the price.

However, his latter choice does not include escaping the reactions of your exploitation–at least in future lives. According to the unavoidable law of karma, what you do to your fellow conditioned souls will be repaid–perhaps even by them–somewhere down the road. God’s ongoing desire, regardless of what one chooses, is that all spirits who have rejected His love return to His association. Suffering or impermanence is only here to give us impetus to pursue the path back to the world of eternal love. Atheists cannot see this, because they don’t want to see it.

An extension of this sadistic theme there is another song by a group called Dogs Eye View. It puts forth the cosmology that God ” let it go to hell” just so He can have something to do later. This also gets back to the boredom conception that all of God’s eternity is spent sitting in one place simply listening to harps, singing and overseeing the subjects He is torturing on earth. This theme is also brought out in a song by Joan Osborne, where she wonders: ” what if God were one of us–just a slob on the bus–trying to make his way home, like a holy rolling stone.” She further sings that God has ” nobody calling on the phone–‘cept for the Pope, maybe in Rome.” It is probable that she was raised in the Roman Catholic tradition. Saints are also mentioned in another verse. The view that God becomes like one of us is a common idea among many Protestants, also. This is why many Christians believe that Jesus is the supreme lord, despite statements contrary to this by Jesus himself in the Bible.

The homocentric idea that God suffers is one of the most glaring contradictions in pseudo-Christian circles. Most of them accept (as ” fundamental” to their religion) that God appeared as His son, as Christ, in order to suffer the sinful reactions, of not only His disciples of that time, but of all those who would accept Him in the future, also. According to this tradition, God suffers in hell for three days as an act of extreme mercy in order to deliver those who accept Him as savior. ” God came down on the cross–and He died!” God agreed to go to hell so that sinful humans could later go to heaven. If this were the case, God would be not only a rolling stone, but a great suffering rolling stone as well.

We can start to make sense of this morass only if we understand that God–as the Supreme Being–is completely above any type of misery. His life is, of necessity, completely blissful. If He becomes controlled by the arrangements of the material world, then He is no longer Supreme. Being omnipotent, if He likes, He can deliver everyone, everywhere, from their sinful reactions. He has no need to go to hell. And He does not suffer even if He goes there. This earthly planet is an insignificant speck in this universe, much less in the entire kingdom of God. Seen from this perspective, the pseudo-Christian idea that God suffers is simultaneously small-minded and self-centered. We will return to these homocentric delusions later.

The misconception that God is controlled by maya and performs foolish acts like an ordinary man drags the Supreme Being down to the level of a conditioned human being. Hence the line in the song about God being, ” just a slob on the bus.” Man may be made in the image of God, but that does not mean that God is a man. God is the infinite person in whom all contradictions are resolved. He can be present everywhere and know what everyone is thinking and yet simultaneously enjoy eternal pastimes of love with His individual associates in His personal abode. We are finite, with limited awareness. Our lives are temporary and filled with ignorance and misery. The gulf of difference between our present selves and the Supreme Lord is so great that it is practically inexplicable.

If we have any genuine hope of getting free from the temporary ignorance and misery of this world, we must accept and eventually realize the infinite nature and qualities of the Supreme. Finding out about the real nature of the Supreme is how we can be attracted by Him–not by feeling sorry for His (supposedly) going to hell. If God is taken down to some level of concocted dogma, it becomes impossible to realize His true nature.

Hence, the foolish followers go on thinking that God is not all that different from themselves. They look a crucified diety and consider that it may not have had a life all that pleasant. This appears especially true when we consider the affluence of modern life. At the present time, people enjoy carefree sex life, live in well-maintained dwellings, and have access to so many amenities and luxuries, such as automobiles, television, computers, etc.. When we contrast these excesses with the outward life of Christ, it does not compare too well.

As such, the average person at the current time does not have a great deal of impetus to endeavor for that kind of life. Who really wants to live with angels in a boring existence? Here in the twenty-first century, we have sex practically whenever we want and that’s alot more fun. To be religious in the dogmatic or traditional sense is, more or less, considered both unintelligent and uninteresting. This is why popular contemporary songs mock the person and even idea of God to one extent or another.

We do not mean to single out the Christians in this article. It should be noted that practically all of the current choices of non-Vaishnava religions are coming from a time where life was alot more difficult. Even one-hundred and fifty years ago, it was difficult for many of the world’s people to just get food or shelter. To some extent, this is still true for a significant portion of peoples, countries, and cultures in the world. Years ago, just to obtain work (where one was not demeaned or denigrated) was a rare luxury. Traditional religions of all varieties generally offered an escape from such tedium and tribulation. But nowadays, especially in the opulent West, it simply seems more fun for the average person to remain in modern material life than to follow any of these traditional religions.

One of the most amusing tenets of modern modern ” religious” dogma is that, by simply accepting a certain sect’s line of thought, one is guaranteed deliverance to the Kingdom of God. This is the hook in the ” God goes to hell” idea. Supposedly, because Christ spent three days suffering at the hands of Satan, everyone for time immemorial who agrees to be ” saved” by him becomes completely washed of the effects of every bad thing he or she has ever done. Not only that, but these ” delivered” persons do not have to give up their bad habits or even follow all the tenets of their own faith. Belief–and adherence to some hierarchy–these alone can turn the trick. Followers can go on committing genocide to native peoples in the Amazon, Africa, etc., can go on exploiting everyone else for their own personal wealth, ad. nauseum–and yet are still guaranteed by Christ to return to heaven when they die.

The idea is that Christ has suffered for the sins of the faithful. Even to our limited sense of justice, if a grown up son commits a crime, his father is not the one who has to suffer. The son must suffer! It is ludicrous to think that one can be grossly insensitive to his or her actions and yet, due to faith alone, not suffer the effects of those activities.

” Free ticket” theologies are great for filling the pews and the collection baskets. Having grown up in middle class America, I noticed that one of the least-quoted verses from the teachings of Christ was: ” It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.” When belief and adherence to the sect are the only prices to pay, then there’s no use in imitating God and suffering like Him. Let Him suffer for our sins–He already has done so–and we’ll believe in Him, adhere to His church, get rich, and enjoy.

If one is going to go to live in another place, transcendental to this one, it would behoove one to begin acting in a transcendent manner. The Kingdom of God is completely pure and free from any kind exploitation or self-indulgence. This is only logical. How can a person who depends on the gross slaughter of innocent gentle creatures simply for the satisfaction of his or her tongue have any hope of entering such a domain? One of God’s commandments is ” Thou shalt not kill.” The early Christians were vegetarian. The idea that one should manifest his love for God by acting in a godly way has been almost completely lost. The rationalization to this is: ” it is not by works that one attains the kingdom of God–but by grace.” Grace begot from faith alone–at least that was the original Protestant line. But why should God extend His grace to someone who blatantly acts in an ungodly way?

Although faith must be there in the beginning , scientific knowledge of the Absolute Truth must accompany that faith. And that knowledge must eventually become realized wisdom. Real religion and the means of deliverance cannot be based on sentiment and wishful thinking. Both the goal and the means to attain it are vague and simplistic amongst the free-ticket theologies. Dogma makes little attempt to be scientific or to quiet the doubts of those who sincerely inquire for real knowledge. If God is the Supreme Absolute Truth, then the way to understanding Him must be filled with knowledge, truth, and realization. As a corollary to this, all untruth, illusion, and confusion would be destroyed by coming in contact with that Supreme Truth. Why should one have to wait until death to be transformed to the godly status? If we are truly spirit, why is it not possible to come to self-realization and God-realization in the current lifetime–or right now? All of this is contingent upon being obedient to God and living in a godly way.

Suppose we are visiting a foreign country and ask a person on the street who the president or prime minister of that country is. If the person we ask is not sure (or says that the name or activities of the president cannot be known or gives the name of someone who says that he is not the president) then we know that this person we questioned is not a very good representative of that country. If we really want to know who is the president, we will continue asking until we find someone who is not only confident, but who can demonstrate what he says is correct. He should also be able to quiet any doubts that may arise in us. Similarly, if someone is claiming to be a religious person, then he or she should be able to tell us who God is. It does not speak well of dogmatic religions to be unable to give convincing explanations of who God is.

With the notable exception of the Vaishnava scriptures, the identity and characteristics of God are so vague elsewhere that practically everyone feels that their particular idea of the Supreme is as good as anyone else’s. This results in the creation of so many organized misconceptions of God, and ineffective means to attain the alleged goal. Some people–who are resolutely determined to find a false sense of unity in all of this concocted chaos–take the madness one step further. They say that each worshipper will attain the identical supreme destination as long as he or she sticks to the chosen concoction. Logic would dictate that, since Supreme means topmost, there must be only one God. All conceptions that differ from that which worships the one true God are partial, incorrect, or misleading.

It should be noted that the Metamorphosis League does not reject the integrity of the founders of the world’s major theistic religions. The original knowledge that was given by these great souls has somehow become muddled and vague over the centuries. We do not suggest that anyone reject their faith in those pure teachings and become an atheist or agnostic. Only fools reject that there is a Controller of this cosmic manifestation. The intelligent and truly sincere seeker of God should always endeavor to build upon the knowledge and realization that he or she has already acquired. The best course, quite obviously, is to sincerely inquire as to Who is truly the One Supreme Being. This is encouraged in all of the world’s scriptures: ” Seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you.”

Another strange concept is brought out in a song by the group Tears for Fears entitled ” Love is God’s Mistake.” Undoubtedly love in the material world is fraught with so many difficulties and frustration. On the whole, most romantic relationships at the current time end in disappointment. This does not mean, however, that there is no real love or that God has committed some type of error in creating it. It follows that if God is omniscient and all perfect that He is not going to make a mistake. Being the ultimate source of everything, He is the definer of Truth and correctness. Therefore all seeming contradictions are resolved in Him. Any concept of error is due to our lack of knowledge of God and His ultimate purpose. Just as when we view the moon in a cloudy sky on a windy night, it sometimes seems that the moon is covered by the clouds, or moving in relation to them. In actually, the moon is millions of miles away. It is we who are covered by the clouds, and due to our relative (but mistaken) perspective, we are thinking that it is the moon that is moving or covered. Also, just because many people may be selling pieces of broken glass, and telling others that they are diamonds, does not mean that real diamonds do not exist. Real love is only found in relationship with the Supreme Person. It is only when we realize God and act on the basis of our love for Him that we can truly love others.

In this article we quote almost entirely from songs that are sung by young Caucasians. The privileged position of the white race came about as a result of the gross injustices and genocide of the period of colonialization. As a result, white people generally have control of much of the resources that really are the right of the world’s impoverished. This affluence is the reason that atheism, or other philosophies that somehow mock the idea of God, are generally espoused by white people. Poor people, on the other hand, are more inclined to appeal to the omnipotency of God to alleviate their suffering. This is also true of anyone who desires to come to a higher level of consciousness. Such people, such as Speech of Arrested Development or Karl Wallinger of World Party, generally mention God in terms of praise and appeal.

There is another conception of God which is vague. This is the conclusion that God is ultimately an all-pervading, impersonal form of energy or light. This, ” everything is one,” ” white light,” ” God lives within you as you” belief was integral to the hippie philosophy. This way of thinking came to the West from a certain faction of India and gained a large number of followers during the sixties. At that time, Western young people were looking to unconventional sources for wisdom. The ” all is one” conception was one that encouraged coming together and peace–as opposed to the Vietnam war and the threat of nuclear holocaust which was derived from other philosophies.

Under the impersonal conception, all individual identity is accepted as illusion. A person ultimately disappears when he comes to the final goal. At that point, one supposedly merges with the energy or light for the rest of eternity. Thus, in India, it is common for advocates of this way of thinking to address each other as ” God.” Some people say that since everyone or everything is ultimately God, one can worship anyone they choose. This is often used, both in the West and elsewhere, as a rationalization for the ” equality” of many contradicting conceptions of God. The main propounder of this conception during the last 2000 years was Shankara, who appeared about 1500 years ago.

Although there is truth in the idea that everything is interconnected by virtue of its common origin or source, there are a number of glaring contradictions in the idea that God is ultimately an impersonal energy or light. First, by common sense, we can observe that, in nature, more intelligent beings create structures that order the less intelligent (or any number of inert material objects). A person can also act both personally or impersonally, whereas an impersonal object–such as a computer–can only mimic a person.

The major contradiction in the ” cosmic consciousness” or impersonal conception, however, comes from the idea that everyone is ” God,” and we all have chosen to take these bodies, environments, and karmic ” pastimes” in order to enjoy them–until we once again realize that we are actually God. If each of us here in the material world is the Supreme Being then we must ask the question: ” Why are we undergoing all of this misery in the shape of disease, old age, and death?” It would seem that ” God,” as Supreme, would be able to avoid putting Himself into such a low state. Impersonalists must ultimately maintain that even the insects, who live under constant threat of being eaten, have chosen that existence as part of their ” divine” pastimes. As such, one supposedly can relish the insect path so much that he will choose it for millions of births. ” God” has chosen to give up his knowledge of being God in order to come under the influence of illusion? A bad move by someone who is supposedly all knowing! Illusion, according to the impersonal school, is any identity separate from the ” all in one” energy.

Now, the contradiction with this way of thinking is that we ” Gods” are under the control of illusion. It is a contradiction of terms to say that ” Supreme Beings” are now being controlled by something else. Since illusion is more powerful than us, illusion must be supreme. Is being controlled by something or someone else the definition of supreme? Advocates of this philosophy would be wise to read the dictionary meaning of supreme before addressing an ordinary person as ” God.”

Another problem with the impersonal vision of reality is that it falls into the same trap that life in eternity is boring. Although it may be convenient (or peaceful) to visualize that everyone and everything is related or connected to each other, the idea of giving up one’s personal identity in order to merge for eternity into some light cannot hold a great deal of attraction for the average Westerner. Guilt-free sex, direct TV, and so on, hold more interest than a form of ego annihilation. In short, at the current time, this impersonal conception of ” ultimate bliss” has trouble competing with superficial enjoyments.

Ethnocentric factors are also prone to create vague conceptions of God. When we see the European conception of God, as painted on the ceiling of the Sistene chapel, we see a white male with European facial structure. When we view paintings of dieties in India, they often have the facial features of that area. White people claim that Christ was a white man. Black people counter that Christ was of African descent. Similarly, almost every culture or religion has some tradition or legend which states that it was somehow the original reposition of God’s grace. This led to the gross abuses of white European dogma brutally exploiting and committing genocide in relation to practically every other group it encountered. Ghengis Khan and his descendants thought a similar way when they enslaved much of Russia, parts of Europe, and practically the entire Muslim world. An intelligent person will always measure how much a particular philosophy is influenced by ethnocentric factors before determining its universality and its Ultimate Reality.

Sometime, around the turn of the twentieth century, Marcus Garvey, an articulate ex-slave in the Americas, made a prophecy that God would appear as a black man. The bible also mentions in the Song of Solomon that the complexion of God is ” swarthy.” From these proclamations it was later determined by a group in Jamaica that the Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selasi, was the person that Marcus Garvey was referring to in his prophecy. This group became known as the Rastafarians. They consider themselves to be one of the lost tribes of Israel, having been forced into bondage by white Europeans or Americans. They are outspoken opponents of the materialism of European and American culture, which they identify as ” Babylon.”

The problem with Rasta theology is that, during a visit to Jamaica in the first half of the century, Haile Selasi denied being the Supreme Lord. Now, it is difficult to come to terms with someone who is supposedly the Supreme Truth saying that he is not Supreme. We can also see that this conception of God is heavily influenced by the ethnic makeup of the practitioners, who, in the face of cultural genocide, needed a figurehead in line with their ethnic identity.

Another type of ethnocentric conception of God–gaining alot of popularity in recent years–is that God is a woman. The women’s suffrage movement of old and the women’s liberation movement of recent years have done much to reverse the exploitation and brutality that women have been conditioned to accept for thousands of years. Although there are examples of cultures in the past that had matriarchal structures (where female dieties where sometimes worshipped), it is easy to see the similarity of this female conception of God to that of the Rastafarians. Both groups were formerly considered underclass, and therefore had come to a point of very low self-esteem. To choose (as an object of worship) a person or identity drawn from the particular group that is the underclass is a great builder of self-esteem. Therefore, it is quite common in areas where the women’s movement is influential to find a proportionate number of advocates of the belief that God is a woman. Because of the prevailing attitude (in most of these same areas) that any conception of God is as good as any other, this idea is readily accepted.

Men in the areas where the women’s movement is strong are generally more sympathetic to the struggles of oppressed peoples. In any case, they are dependent on these women for sex. Generally, they also feel no small amount of guilt because of their gender in–and possibly direct participation in–the exploiting class. Therefore, it is not uncommon for men in these areas to also accept the idea of a female diety. In this regard, there is a popular song (by a group called Dishwalla) called ” Counting Blue Cars.” The songwriter writes about a man trying to know God who asks: ” Tell me all your thoughts on God, `cause I’m on my way to see her.”

Whichever of these misconceptions you may choose, whether it’s more traditional or more modern, there isn’t very much evidence to support it. The mind of man or woman is endlessly mutable. Practically anything can be cause to change it–even about a conclusion as to Who or what one accepts as God.

The reason for all of this diversity? We have four major defects. First, we commit mistakes. Secondly, our senses are imperfect. Third we have a tendency to cheat others. The fourth defect is that we are illusioned by the material nature. This means that we identify this material body with ourselves. The body is changing constantly from the time of birth until death. Yet, we think that we are a particular configuration of molecules. In actuality, we are the spirit soul which causes the molecules to take any particular configuration.

Because we are bound to what we can perceive (with these conditioned senses), we are extremely limited. Even if we want to find out such a basic thing as who our father is, we are forced to rely on the word of someone else–namely, our mother. Despite our much vaunted claims of freedom, we are completely dependent on others to progress in practically every field of endeavor.

If we want to become a carpenter, it is easiest if we approach and learn from someone who already processes those skills. To go about reinventing the tools would prove so time-consuming as to render the entire effort impractical. Similarly, we should follow this same principle in our endeavor to learn the identity of the Supreme Lord. According to science, the universe is practically unlimited. Who is to say what is beyond the limits of this universe? Practically speaking it is impossible to determine Who or what is the origin of this infinity based solely on experimental knowledge.

People often demand: ” Can you show me God?” Who is to say that such a person even has the ability to see God? If the sun is not out, we sometimes cannot even clearly see what is across the street–what to speak of across the universe. And even if it is possible for us to see God, why should He want to show Himself to us? What have we done to merit such a benediction? If we want to see the President or Prime Minister of our particular country, we will have to do something that will merit him or her wanting to speak with us. Even then we must go through their secretary or aide.

In other words, knowledge of God is very confidential. In fact, it is the most confidential knowledge. This is because, once knowing God (Who is the source of all knowledge), it is possible to know everything else. Therefore, all of this is revealed knowledge. Without the proper realization, we could be in the same room as God and not know it.

At the present time, due to the four abovementioned defects, we are in a deep state of spiritual ignorance. Just like a person who has cataracts, our real vision is spiritually impaired. If we want to be able to see again, we must go to a person who can surgically remove the source of our material blindness. So it is with our spiritual blindness. If we want to know the identity of God, we must find someone who already knows.

We will ultimately have to rely on a certain amount of faith. Faith is required for any endeavor however. We have to have faith that our mother is telling the truth about our father, and we have to have faith that our teachers in school are not misrepresenting. Most of us have invested great amounts of faith in the theories of so-called science–such as the ” big bang” –yet most of these theories remain completely unproved and untenable.

Ultimately, there is a great deal of evidence–and agreement–as to Who is the Supreme Person. The source of this knowledge is the oldest books known to mankind, namely the Vedas of India. Although Western science (due partially to its connection to ethnocentric dogmatic tradition) tends to minimize this claim, there is substantial evidence that, as recently as five thousand years ago, the entire globe was united in following the Vedic tradition. Please refer to the appendix of this article for a summary of some of these indications.

The ultimate purpose of Vedic culture was spiritual or self-realization–not simply the temporary accumulation of material goods, as we see in the present day. When Vedic culture was paramount every person was guided from the beginning of life to scientifically make progress in knowledge of God.

According to the Vedic wisdom, God has many aspects or qualities beyond that of being the Almighty Father–the provider and creator-controller of material nature. Indeed, the attributes which encourage worshipping God as the Supreme Almighty are not so important to God. One of the Vedic names for God is Rama, or the Supreme Enjoyer. As such, God would rather engage in activities of joyous affection and love with those who love Him the most, rather than spend time sitting on a big seat listening to people sing praises of Him. Because He is all powerful, He expands Himself so that people who want to worship Him in that way can do so. Meanwhile, He Himself is spending eternity doing things which increase His enjoyment unlimitedly. To be in that association is the supreme goal of our (His eternal loving servitor’s) existence. The concept that God can be bored is ludicrous. Neither is God an old man; He is eternally young.

The Vedic definition of God is ” the possessor of all opulence.” Whatever it is that attracts us to another person is found (in fullness) in the Supreme Personality of Godhead. No one can exceed His wealth, His strength, beauty, fame, knowledge or renunciation. Although He has so much, He can instantly give it up without any remorse. He is self-sufficient. Because He possesses all of these opulences to an unlimited degree, He is known as the all-attractive or ” Krishna.” All manners of relating or attraction have their origin in Krishna, and every living being has an eternal loving relationship with Him.

The most thorough elaboration on the activities of God or Krishna are found in the tenth canto of the ” Srimad Bhagavatam.” Periodically, Krishna descends to the material world in order to attract those of us (here in ignorance) away from this temporary misery. He yearns to renew the eternal loving relationship that He had with each of us before we decided to ignore Him and come here. Krishna appeared on this earth about five thousand years ago in India and manifested His pastimes and opulence for over one-hundred years. And He enjoyed Himself every moment of His manifestation here.

If one is interested in reading the Tenth Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam, we recommend the translation of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, which is known as ” Krishna Book.” It is by Prabhupada’s grace that we have received the knowledge present in this article. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. May he help all of us to realize God in love and devotion and become free from the myriad misconceptions of Him. OM TAT SAT.

APPENDIX:

The Vedas describe a by-gone age some five thousand years ago, when most of the earth was living according to Vedic culture. Although this history is seldom accepted by modern schools, positive evidence nevertheless exists to substantiate it. For instance, linguists practically all agree that, with very few exceptions, all languages of the world derive from Sanskrit. The Greek and Roman pantheons of gods and goddesses correspond almost exactly to earlier Vedic counterparts. Customs and names of such diverse groups as the Mayan Indians and Scandinavians are Vedic in origin. Skanda (SCANDinavia)is the Vedic god of war. The social system and mystic order of the Druids–the Celtic cult of medieval Europe–is uncannily similar to that of the Vedic varnashram system of brahmanas in India. Descriptions of Vishnu temples in Europe are found in the writings of Herodotus, a Greek. Plato’s description of the philosopher king coincides almost exactly to that of the Vedic rajarshee or saintly king. The feudal system, where the king or emperor was the representative of God for governing a specific portion of God’s land, is Vedic in origin. A perverted reflection of this was practiced throughout Europe only five hundred years ago. All major astrological signs derive from Vedic origins. The twelve months and also seven days of the calendar correspond to the Vedic teachings, with Vedic names and planetary controllers. The modern mathematician-historian Seidenberg has also proven that the mathematical systems of the ancient Babylonians, Sumerians and Greeks were derived from the Vedic Shulvasutras. These historical facts are positive indicators that the Vedic philosophy and its application is not mythical. All the genuine teachings contained there remain both real and relevant for the sincere and serious seeker of the Absolute Truth, even in modern times.