Thursday, April 2, 2009

Essay on GOD

This is not my work but I'm sure you'd enjoy it...strongly recommended...( even if you don't feel like going further after reading first few lines please force yourself to read first paragraph religiously, I'm sure you'll end up reading the full story.)

Part 1
Origin of the Idea and Necessity:

Man, as he was endowed with intelligence, unlike the animals, began to think. He got curious about his surroundings and himself. He was bewildered by the things that were out of his reach, like the sun, the moon, the stars etc., and was amazed by the power of the wind which he couldn't see. Whenever he came across things like gigantic mountains, he was in awe of their size. Whenever strange phenomenon occurred in the atmosphere, such as the thunderstorms etc, he used to be scared of the immense power they exhibited. Slowly, an idea originated in him that there is a power whose magnitude is beyond his comprehension and that everyone and everything is negligible in comparison to it. In addition to his interest in his surroundings, he slowly began to think about himself and ask questions like, why he was born, the purpose of life, what death is, etc. But it was beyond his understanding. So, whatever was beyond his reach and understanding, he attributed it to a supreme force. But, at this point, this force or more correctly, his belief in the force didn't in any way affect him. He just acknowledged its presence and feared its power. He christened this force as god.

As man grew intelligent, he realized that dominance of other animals will improve his standard for which, strength is needed and strength was in numbers. When the numbers increased, in order to maintain unity among a large number of people, he needed a force, and here, the force god began affecting his life.

In ancient times, when men used to live in small groups, each group was led by the strongest man in the group. By the means of his physical strength, he used to command the group. Like in all pack animals, the others in the group acknowledge his strength and fear him. They abide by his orders and take shelter in his strength against their enemies. They respect his ability to protect them.

But, as the numbers grew, the same rule that the strongest man will dominate did not work. For, in large number of people, it is difficult for one man to take control, as his physical prowess is limited. It was impossible for him to control every individual. Also, in relation to the number of people, the number of strong people also grew. These started having following of their own, which created fractions and the group inevitably split into smaller groups.

As there was strong need for unity, men have to stick to some standards. But, these have to be implemented by a superior force. Here, the force of a one man or a group of men will not be sufficient, as it is limited. To make the people stick to some standards, fear and respect should be induced in them. This can be done only by a supreme force whose magnitude can never be understood fully. People will allow the rules set forth by this force, and some like the kings and priests will see that they are doing it correctly.

The creation of priests and such people was inevitable as it will be difficult for the rulers alone to maintain faith among the people. A ruler, as he has to attend to many aspects, inevitably mixes with the people and in times of need, he himself has to bend or break the laws. This results in a loss of faith among people. So, there was a need for separate department to look after this problem, and here the priests and such people came into the picture. In the way he dresses, behaves and speaks, he creates an aura of mystery around him. Here, it is not said that it is the plan of an individual or a group of individuals to implement this. It is all a process developed in steps as per the necessity of the prevailing circumstances.

When certain individuals question the existence of god, the enforcers counter them with questions beyond anyone’s comprehension, like, what runs the world ….? ..etc. Also, in order to stunt such thoughts, fear is induced in them. They proceed to describe in detail, the power of god. They frighten the people by saying things like; they would be struck down by lightning if they persisted in entertaining such thoughts or if they break any laws set by the religion.

But, as intelligence in people grew, this was not able to satisfy people that god will punish them if they committed any wrongs. This was disproved by their observation that even when certain individuals committed any wrongs, they were going unpunished. So they began to doubt the enforcers of god, and this started them thinking again. So, in order to stop such thought, a master stroke of brain created heaven and hell. Heaven was described as divine place where you went if you did everything good in your lifetime, believed in god, and strictly adhered to the principles of concerned religion. In the Hindu mythology, the bait offered was beautiful women like Rambha, Urvashi, etc; and in addition, good liquor. As these are the greatest pleasures in our knowledge, it was beyond their imagination to offer greater pleasures.

Similarly, as they were incapable of imagining greater pain than that is caused by burning, lashing, etc, they frightened the people that they will be eternally tortured in hell if they did not trust in god. But here, there was a problem that if an individual did anything wrong, he will think that as he had already been condemned to hell, he will continue doing things as per his liking. So, quickly, provisions were made that the duration in hell and heaven depends on the number of good things that you have done in your life. By this, the individual was given a chance to reform himself and again walk in the religious path and thus make use of the chance that has been given to him.

As hell and heaven were beyond people’s reach, their existence can neither be confirmed not denied. As people were already curious about what lies after death, they took this theory, as there was no alternative easy to understand explanation.

When a few individuals still insisted in pursuing truth, they were condemned by the society, which was led to believe that only because of such people there is misery in this world. These people, whenever discovered, were punished ruthlessly and examples were set with them. The people who inflicted punishments claimed that god himself was punishing those people through them. These people could not retaliate as they were less in number. So finally the majority of people surrendered their thoughts and the remaining few surrendered to the coercive powers of the majority.

As it was stated earlier, in order to improve standard of living, there was a need for a large number of people to be united. It is because when men lived in small groups they used to hunt for their food. Here, there was the necessity of everyone hunting as one could not sit idly or he will be left without food.

But if the people were more in number, there was a scope for learning other things, instead of hunting alone. Because, here, as there are a large number of people some of them can experiment on new things such as agriculture etc, while they are fed by other people. With this, knowledge in various fields will be advanced. And with the invention of writing, this knowledge was stored in the form of books. The greatest advantage of writing is that the generation can start developing from where the previous generation left off. They need no go to the trouble of learning everything again by themselves. With the help of a book, one was able to learn in a few days, which many people took their lifetime to find.

Religion helped a lot in maintaining unity in the society. Certain principles were set, which would benefit the social progress. It was stated that men should help each other and such other things. This helps in a stronger binding in the society between the individuals. Also, the animal in the man with its instinct to get whatever it needs by means of its physical strength will turn violent at times. To curb this, it was induced in to him that hurting or killing another man is a sin. But here, there was a danger of the fighting ability of the man being dulled, as he begins to detest it. But the society needs it at times, such as a foreign invasion. So they exploited the fighting instinct in man, only as long as it benefits society by inducing in to him patriotism, and urging him to fight the evil in the society, evil in the sense of whatever is antisocial

Regarding the sexual relations, there were no restrictions during the pre-historic times, just like there were no restrictions in the animals. But it was realized that restrictions were necessary for maintaining a strong bond between the individuals. For example, if sexual relations were restricted between a man and a woman by means of marriage, the attachment between them grows by means of their love or by the force of the virtue. The couple will care for their offspring more, and strive to make them good citizens, which ultimately benefits the society. The society incorporates in to the conscience of the people, how they should train the children, so that they are maximum useful to the society.

Also, a society needed strong and healthy people. Weak and unhealthy people burden the society and hinder its progress. So, whenever there was a chance of such procreation, it was stopped. As a result, incest and such things were banned and termed as sin. But, here too, the rules were flexible depending on the religion and the personal whims of the people who set them forth.

So, everything that benefited the society and promoted its progress was termed as virtue or moral and virtuous people were said to be the chosen favorites of god and a place was reserved for them in heaven. And, whatever was anti-social and worked towards the deterioration of the society was termed as sin. The sinners were supposed to face the wrath of the god and condemned to hell.

And so, the people lived under the shadow of god, some of them believing, some of them fearing and some others fearing the some who believed. Whatever the reason is, this ultimately resulted in a society where everyone lived for one another and accelerated social progress and giving themselves a better standard of living.

Part 2
Interpretation and Consequently Disintegration :

With the rapid increase in knowledge by means of books and advancement of sciences, there rose a breed of people intelligent enough to turn the people’s faith in god to their own advantage. They interpreted the virtues in a way that suited them. As virtues and morals have no definite standards, keeping the essence constant, their forms were changed. As different men interpreted them in different ways there were different followings.

In the pre-historic times, private property did not exist, except may be a few things like odd shaped rocks etc. These, a person guarded by means of his physical strength. Gradually, with the discovery of agriculture, some people started setting barriers around pieces of land and claim ownership. Here too, they guarded the land with their strength. As society got more and more complex and organized, materials were being put at a definite value. Kings sometimes used to give land and other valuables as gifts to some of their subjects.

As private property came into existence, in order to protect the owners, some systems were developed by the rulers of which, one was the police. A man using his property as a capital, with his intelligence, increased it, resulting in a further accumulation of property. This brought about a class difference.

Frustration increased in the lower class people when they saw the upper class people living in a better standard. To stop this frustration from turning violent, in addition to the police, god was brought in to the picture. Hastily, some new virtues were added like, “You must be loyal to your master”, for example. Also, the feeling the lower class people entertained, was termed as jealousy. This feeling was condemned as a sinful thing and was emphasized with convenient examples.

But, as wisdom grew, people realized that what they were previously led to believe as divine is not so divine. For instance, the way Galileo shattered the myth of earth being flat and proposed his theory of it revolving round the sun. A little more thinking on other such things furthered their wisdom and they found holes in many other beliefs, and a slow disintegration of their beliefs started.

They realized that sometimes, a man who does not value the virtues has more to gain. They saw that a man who cheats the society by manipulating the law has more to gain than a person who strictly abides by his morals. This is nothing but the animal law being re-enacted, only with lesser competition as majority anyway were following the rules.

People discovered that even though they are strictly abiding by values and morals, they are still living a life of misery, whereas those who do not, are living in luxury. This, they could not understand. So, in order to console such people, the karma theory was brought in to the picture. The karma theory declares that how you live here in this life time depends on your behavior in the previous life. If you are in misery now, it is because you sinned in previous life. If you behave in a good way now, you will have a good life in your next birth.

To understand the karma theory better, let us take the example of a child doing something wrong. The wrongful act was ignored at that time. After 20 years, he was suddenly punished for that act. By this time, the child will have forgotten what he had done such a long time ago. Also, the child will have no sense of right and wrong. Like the child, we don’t have a definite idea of what a sin is. It is because there is no absolute standard, and it changes according to the times and prevailing conditions. The logical thing is, the child’s act should be condemned there and then, so that he will know what is wrong. But unfortunately, god is not as logical as us.

Here, in the society, a man commits something wrong and he is left alone. Moreover, he is allowed to enjoy the fruits of his wrongful act, under the pretext that he will be punished in his next birth. But here, the discussion is not about the validity of the karma theory, but how it is used to exploit people, and how it helps as a peace maintaining force.

When an individual sees another person living in a better style than him, even though he is not abiding by the rules, he consoles himself with the karma theory, that he will have a better life in his next birth, whereas the others will have one of misery. With this, his frustration subsides and he takes shelter in another virtue which is “You must be satisfied with what you have and you should not be jealous of other’s fortunes”.

Thus, karma theory is one of the many other devices which are employed for deviating people’s minds from realizing the truth. Here, the point to be stressed is the manipulators are not a separate breed of people who exploit the people by means of the above theories. But, as the instinct for power demands a better standard of living, with their courage, they look at life in a realistic sense and take whatever they can from it by any means.

But as they grow old and near death, they start thinking again, as they have no knowledge of what lies beyond death. Now, at this time, they start tending towards god and try to be virtuous as they have nothing to lose now. This is the reason why generally most people turn to god as they approach old age.

This again, is used to reinforce faith among the people. It is said that even though all his life he was a bad man and an atheist, the fact that he turned towards god at the last moment, signifies the greatness of god.

But, as science advanced, people began to realize more and more the nature of things. Gradually, they began to see through god and along with him the virtues and morals. In countries where much freedom of thought was given, a rapid disintegration of the morals began. As a result, there will be a rampant increase in crime rate. Also, the sexual restrictions are slackened, the sentimental ties will weaken, which will result in a weak family bond, which in turn gives rise to uncared for children. This ultimately results in giving rise to selfishness as a necessity. As men turn more and more selfish, they again come back to the point where they have started from, that is the survival of the fittest mode, only this time in a refined and sophisticated way. And to these people who have broken the chains of virtues and morals, the others, like the people in countries like Iran where the people still abide by strict religious principles, for instance, will seem like uncivilized people and become an object of pity for them and those people will envy the ones in the country where there is freedom, as every individual instinctively craves for freedom.

Part 3
The Character of God :

When we examine certain activities that supposedly please god, and view them metaphysically, their true nature can be realised. For instance, take the example of a man who is wishing for a large amount of money. If God grants him this gain it will be on account of another’s loss as money has to come from somewhere. Then, why should god favor this man? Is it because he is good? But, good is a relative term and the theory that god favors good people disproves itself again and again in our daily observance. On the other hand, if god favors only those who pray to him, then he is no different from a man in power who helps those who constantly flatter him.

When god helps a man, god is praised as great, but when a man in power helps a person, he is accused of favoritism. Everywhere and every day we see people getting carried away when they are flattered and do favors to promote the living of flatterers. Then, is god too like them? From this should we conclude that the purpose of our life is nothing but to flatter god.

We believe that god is responsible for every activity that happens and yet we tend to blame individuals when a certain action happens which is not desired by us. If the person responsible is within our power, we punish him and if he is beyond it, we console ourselves that god will punish him.

Very few people have a proper understanding of why they are praying to god. Do they fear his power? Are they afraid that harm will be done to them, if they do not pray to him? For instance, a powerful man like Hitler was looked up to for what he did to Germany’s economy during the pre-war period, and later hated for his role in Second World War because he brought so much misery. But, in case of god, even in misery, we continue respecting him. Is it out of fear? We are again at the starting point of discussion and the conclusion can only be that we respect god because we have been programmed and conditioned to do that.

We sometimes see that Yogis and Babas are respected and feared, like Satya Saibaba for instance. It is not because people are in awe of his magical abilities like creating objects apparently out of nothing that he is looked up to. The same trick performed by a street corner magician goes unheeded. What sets apart these babas is the way they behave, the way they dress, their talking ability etc. In the way they live, they create a mysterious aura around them and the sleight of the hand combined with all this, earns them the fear and respect of the people. Just talking about god will never help. For example, if Satya Saibaba comes on a Honda motor bike wearing Jeans and a T-Shirt with a walkman cassette player at his waist to preach about god, will anyone listen to him?

When we respect a professor, scientist, etc, what we respect is their knowledge, dedication etc. Even here, most of the time, we do not respect the man, but only his reputation and fame. For example, we hear many people praising Shakespeare. But the truth is, majority would not read any of his works. Here, it is not being said that Shakespeare is not great. It is only to point out that most of us respect and admire without knowing what we are admiring and respecting.

When we hear from reliable source that our respected politician is in fact, dishonest, we immediately despise him, as fundamentally we respected him only because we thought that he was working for our good. But, in case of god, if we ask him for something and he does not give it, and on top of it, he furthers our misery, we still continue respecting. It is because, we feel that if we go on praying him, our prayers will be answered some day, like if we keep on buttering a senior officer even though he is rude to us and blacklisting us for no apparent reason, he might someday recommend for us promotion. But in this case, we are called as people without self respect. We are looked down upon by the very people in the society who upheld a person as a great devotee who does the same thing with god.

Sometimes, people say that why they came to believe god is because they were saved miraculously from death or because they were suddenly elevated from their misery to happiness. We take the case of a man who has fallen over-board from a ship in mid sea and thought that he was going to be eaten by sharks. At the last minute, he was saved by another mate. He starts believing it to be the grace of god that he is saved. If this is true, then are the sharks are justified in despising god for depriving them of their food, and turning in to atheists?

Part 4
Pleasure and Misery :

Everyone desires to reach a stage of absolute happiness where he is all the time happy. This is defined as a state of NIRVANA which supposedly brings you to an ultimate state of pleasure.

But the terms pleasure and misery cannot be absolutely defined. It is because they are relative terms. To explain this through an example, let us take an example of a man who is accustomed to have stale bread as his daily meal. If his diet is suddenly changed to something like biryani which is better in taste, he will feel a pleasure. His degree of pleasure is in direct proportion to the degree of improvement in the taste of the food. If he is offered still better food, his pleasure increases further and if one day, it is suddenly continued to supply him with stale bread, he will feel misery. This is because, he has obtained a knowledge of something which enhances his pleasure.

On the other hand, if stale bread is the only available food on earth, the terms pleasure and misery will be meaningless as there is no scope for relative comparison. Even if the supply of a wonderful meal is continued over a long period, without any variation in tastes, a man will be bored, as the feeling of pleasure can be derived only through comparison.

Considering another example, if a man feels he is good looking, it is only in comparison with people who are not as good looking as he. If he is sad in this aspect, it is because of people who are better looking than him.

So, a world of absolute happiness is a world where all people are identical in appearance, have equal intelligence as difference in intelligence will again give rise to certain complexes, and in proportion to the difference, degrees of pleasure and misery will begin to surface. Also everyone should have equal power and artistic abilities. To sum up, each and every individual's tastes, behavior, appearance, intelligence and capacity of doing work must be same as each and every other individual.

As everyone will be having the same thoughts, there will be no need for speaking with each other, and as every one will have the same abilities, there will be no question of anyone getting interested in anyone. It is a world devoid of competition and initiative. In short, this world will be of the LIVING DEAD.

Part 5
Satan :

When the promoters of god were questioned about why there was so much misery in the world, they were in a fix, as they themselves proclaimed that god was responsible for every activity that happened. So, they quickly made provisions and declared that god is a force which is responsible for all the good things that happen and an evil force Satan is responsible for the misery in the world. Good is something which gives pleasure and bad is that which causes pain.

If we examine an act of rape, we see that the victim suffers and the rapist enjoys. Here, the act is sexual. In this act, god has taken the side of the rapist as the pleasure is in the rapist and Satan the side of the woman in the form of pain. What more, God and Satan have joined hands in this venture. When it is said that god is responsible for whatever gives us pleasure and satan for misery, this can be the only conclusion we can arrive at.

In any act pleasure and pain go hand in hand, for the simple reason that one’s gain is another’s loss. For example, when a man kills a bird and eats it, he gets pleasure whereas the bird gets pain. So, here too, god has taken the side of power and caused misery to the bird. When the man wants to eat it, he can satisfy his biological needs by means of eating vegetables, but because he wanted to get the pleasure of tasting a better food he killed the bird. Thus, in proportion to the amount of pleasure he desires to obtain, he causes misery as gain in pleasure is directly proportional to the gain in pain.

So there are no two forces, one good and one evil. Either there’s only a single force that is responsible for every activity; or in direct contradiction to the proclamation of the promoters of god, god is the force which causes misery and satan is the force which causes pleasure.

The Nirvana Theories:

The terms NIRVANA or MOKSHA are often heard, but when asked of their precise meaning, we will never get a definitive answer. Some proclaim that Nirvana is a stage where your soul reaches god. We are but our thoughts encased in a body. Other than the thoughts, we perceive with our senses certain feelings such as pleasure and pain. Our genetic characteristic determines some other factors such as the way we walk, gesture, etc. In addition to this, we are governed by certain ideas which might have been acquired through others or through our own reasoning powers. So, where does the term soul fit in? If the soul is beyond perceiving then in a realistic sense it should be taken as ideas and feelings minus the body. Then, when it is said that the soul has reached god, it can be interpreted as them traveling until they reached god and I guess they stay in some corner of his house.

Another theory is that work is god, meaning that happiness must be sought in work. When we take the example of a wood-cutter who is happy in his profession, we observe that if he suddenly runs into a lot of money, he will stop cutting wood and he will get into another more interesting work. But when he doesn’t have it, he consoles himself that he should be satisfied with his work. Also, his inferior intelligence is exploited by encouraging his beliefs and in the process eliminating him as a competitor in more profitable ventures. There will be many cases where men genuinely love their work, but the important thing is to truly realize whether that love is induced or inborn.

Scientists and professors for instance, possess immense knowledge. But very often their lives are controlled by people who have nothing but a will to power. The man in power uses people with knowledge to get what he desires, like we use calculators to do calculations for us.

Buddha stated that “Desire is the root cause of sorrow”. By this, he meant that if we are no able to get our cherished object, only then misery will arise in us. As a solution he said that we must not desire anything and through this we can reach a state of Nirvana.

But wanting to reach that state in itself is a desire. Apart from that, if we make a close study of what we desire in life, we can arrive at certain conclusions. We desire to satisfy our hunger. So we kill animals and eat meat. If we eliminate our desires up to a point where we stop killing animals and then a man like J.C.Bose comes forward and claims that even plants have life and feel pain. So when we stop even that, ultimately we reach a point where we just breathe because of the desire to live and in the process, kill germs. So we stop that too, and reach Nirvana or in other words, die.

Part 7
My Nirvana :

If god is the supreme power which creates everything, and has the capacity to destroy anything, and is the sole force responsible for every physical and emotional activity that takes place, then our own effort to reach god should be in direct proportion to the degree of power we wish to procure.

To explain this in a practical case, let us take the case of a man working as a clerk in a big firm. Let’s say the aim of this man is to one day become the general manager. Or, in other words, he wants to have the entire office in his power. So he works hard to win the approval of the seniors and in time, by the age of his retirement, let us suppose he has reached the post of an assistant manager. Originally he cherished to be the general manager of the firm; but he succeeded only in partial.

Now, suppose there is another clerk, who has reached the post of the assistant manager, not by means of hard work, but because of his knowledge of how to bribe or butter the right people. Here, how you get to the top should not be of concern in as the morality and legality of “HOW” is determined by the society for its own social motives. The only caution the clerk should have is of the power that will oppose his efforts.

Some people live for their work or what they believe in, and they will not value even their own life. Examples of these types of people are fanatics of religion, political parties, patriotism, people who love, hate etc. The very fact that they are ready to sacrifice their lives for what they want to achieve, shows that, to live is not their primary objective.

But, if the objective is to live, then the sequence of wanting to experience a better and better quality of life follows, then my power theory of Nirvana applies. This is the real Nirvana because it benefits no external agents and can be realized only by oneself and ones own will.

Also, it is possible that even where a man who controls a great section of the society can himself be easily victimized by a lone man with a gun, or might fall to a viral disease. These, then are the hazards a man must continually try to defeat and overpower and go higher and higher to god.

The man who gains maximum control, and who understands the nature of life and the agendas of the society, and who has got rid of his conscience is a relative god. In order to reach god, you must attain his abilities. In other words, we must try to become God ourselves.


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