In this world, many beliefs exist about God. As a result, people understand God in their own way and often in their own imagination. But what is required is the understanding God as He is, what He is and how He is. The correct understanding about God has to be given by God Himself!
There are some who don’t believe in the existence of God, often the reason being His existence cannot be proved like that of human beings. But because we cannot see God with the gross eyes, it doesn’t mean that God doesn’t exist. Just like wind, which cannot be seen but can be very much felt, it is possible to experience God’s presence through Godly knowledge and meditation.
Who is God and what is His form and name?
We shall now try to understand who God or the Supreme Soul is. The term ‘Supreme Soul’ means He is supreme among all souls. It implies that, He is also ‘a soul’, though He is the Highest of all. He is above birth and death. God is the Supreme Father-Mother, Supreme teacher and Supreme Preceptor to all the human beings and He himself has no father-mother, teacher and preceptor.
God is a subtle, infinitesimal point of Light. He is not visible to the naked eye but it is very much possible to experience His presence and proximity in meditation. He is incorporeal in the sense that he does not have a body of his own. He is not a human being nor does He have a human form. He is immune to pleasure and pain unlike human beings.
Names are a means of identification of human beings after they are born. They do not speak of qualities and actions of the person; they are simply proper nouns and are not attributive names. But the name of the supreme soul or God is based on His qualities and actions. His self-revealed name is ‘Shiva’. ‘Shiva’ means doer of good or benefactor. God does good to all and therefore He is called Shiva. All souls ask for salvation and beatitude i.e. peace and happiness from Him. People remember Him by many other expressive names.
God is the Supreme Father of all. He is called the creator. He is oceanic in his virtues – the ocean of peace, the ocean of love, the ocean of bliss, the ocean of knowledge, the ocean of happiness, the ocean of mercy, etc. He is the truth. He is the Almighty and Authority. He is reputed to be the preserver or sustainer of virtues and the destroyer of all evils. He is also the liberator, the guide, and the bestower of salvation, therefore the sadguru. He dispels sorrow, bestows joy. God is perfect in all ways and absolutely detached and loving. He is very benevolent and helpful and so souls ask all things of him. When in sorrow and losing all hope, souls turn to him intuitively and inevitably.
Many are the religions and paths that souls take in their quest for reaching God. Many wars have been waged in his name. However, he does not exclusively belong to anyone. He belongs to everyone equally.
The Supreme Father of all Souls
God is the father of all souls in this world. It is observed that all religions have images, idols or memorials bearing one name or another to represent the form of Light that God is. All over India, the images of the form that Shiva has is found installed; these images are without any human form, in the form of linga, which is the symbol of an incorporeal Being. At Mecca, in the holy place of Kaaba, a stone image with oval form is called “Sang-e-Aswad”. The devotees who go for Haj kiss this holy stone. Jesus Christ said, “God is Light”. Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism also sang the praise of Him who is ‘All-Light’ ( ek Omkar) and is incorporeal. In olden days, the Jews held a stone of this shape in their hands while taking a solemn oath and it is believed that Moses had vision of this form of God when he saw a flame behind the bush. The Zoroastrians worship God as fire. The ancient Egyptians worshipped the sun as god. A Buddhist sect in Japan focuses the mind on a small oval shape. They call it Karni, the peace giver.
It seems therefore that human beings, without realizing, have all been worshipping and trying to discover the same God. There is only one God and His form is a point of light. He is called by different names in different religions.
The Divine Abode of God
Where does God live? Is there somewhere one can go to see Him, to be with Him? God is a subtle point of light, and He does not pervade the physical universe. Nor does he live in the heart of any human being or in any matter. Neither is He omnipresent; nor is He having a human form. His home is the incorporeal world, an infinite expanse of golden-red light, which is beyond this physical world we live. It is the original abode of all souls as well. The incorporeal world is known as Paramdham or Brahmlok. Knowing where the Supreme Father is, we can establish connection with Him through thoughts during meditation.
The Divine Descent of God
God descends into this world when it is under the spell of extreme darkness of ignorance, unrighteousness, moral turpitude, spiritual lassitude and religious decrepitude. This is described in scriptures as “Dharma Glani”. Looking at the state of affairs today, it should not be difficult for us to conclude that the time the world is undergoing at present is indeed the Dharma Glani. This is the period of darkness when sins and crimes of all kinds usually take place; when man gropes around for want of clear vision. It is at this time that God intervenes in the affairs of mankind. The divine intervention takes place at the darkest hour of human history when the human soul is groping in the darkness of ignorance about the self, the creator and the creation; when the souls are blinded by the vices of lust, arrogance, anger, greed and attachment.
It is in this time that God descends in the body of an ordinary man to reveal the Godly Knowledge, which paves way to victory over vices and cultivate divine qualities in life. This enables human beings to transform into divine beings again.