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Spiritual Meditations (11 Jun 2012 NewAgeIslam.Com)
A Rationalist View of God

 

By Atul Sehgal

Jun 9, 2012

Rigvedic hymns offer a succinct account of the nature of God in true, scientific terms. They describe God as a spiritual substance pervading the entire, infinite universe. As a spiritual entity, God is omnipresent and every material object of the universe is contained in this spiritual substance or medium. The terms that denote this are `sarvavyapak` and `vyapta'.

Imagine a small piece of chalk dropped in a glassful of water. Within seconds, water will percolate the chalk piece. Once water has been fully absorbed by the chalk, it can be said that water pervades all space within the glass tumbler including the chalk piece and also that the chalk piece is contained in water. Water represents the spiritual substance called God and the chalk piece, a material object of the universe.

Rig Veda and Atharva Veda describe God as the most subtle substance existing throughout the universe. They talk of three cardinal entities in the infinite universe. These are: i) inanimate and eternal material nature (matter) composed of five elements — earth, water, fire, air and ether; ii) countless souls existing as animate eternal spiritual finite entities; and iii) one eternal, animate infinite spiritual entity called God.

The soul is subtler than matter and God is subtler than soul. Matter is made of particles — electrons, protons, neutrons and positrons. The soul being subtler than matter can reshape, relocate and work upon finite portions of matter, but God as the most subtle spiritual substance holds complete control over matter and souls. This control comes through centrifugal action which is directed from within outwards. God regulates the existence of soul by providing it physical body and enabling it to refine itself and evolve through enlightenment. The process of enlightenment culminates in salvation of soul. The process of refinement and evolution involves association of soul with a physical body through a process of birth, growth, ageing and death which repeats itself.

If God is understood as supreme, infinitesimal, all-pervading spiritual substance, his power over matter and soul becomes clear. Then, we would not need to regard God as an object of obeisance through blind faith; rather we would understand God scientifically. Superstition would yield place to scientific enquiry and curiosity, which would be satisfied rationally. This would make way for true communion with God.

The soul, Vedas say, is endowed with limited knowledge, understanding and intellectual prowess. God, on the other hand, is omniscient. Because the soul is limited by understanding, souls residing in human bodies perceive God in multifarious ways. Out of their ignorance about the real nature of God, they begin to view the formless God through totems, images and forms. This ignorance further creates multiple schools of religion and faith, many of which differ sharply on basic precepts and premises. This is precisely the reason why there is so much strife and discord in the world in the name of religion.

If only we human beings began to understand the simple, matter-of-fact metaphysical truths expounded in Vedas, they would easily converge to a common, shared understanding of God and God`s relationship with matter and living beings. That would enhance peace, harmony and empathy among human beings and would surely make this earth a much better to place to live in, thus facilitating the physical, mental, intellectual and spiritual evolution of us human beings towards the goal of salvation.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/opinion/edit-page/A-rationalist-view-of-God/articleshow/13935571.cms

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/spiritual-meditations/atul-sehgal/a-rationalist-view-of-god/d/7590

 



TOTAL COMMENTS:-   8
  • It is impossible to describe the Universe in simple language. Even with the latest mathematical concepts, we are far from getting a complete picture of the Universe. How much more difficult is it to describe the Creator of the Universe in simple language?Any attempt by us to describe God usually involves imagining some sort of a 'Super Human'.

    We are unable to go beyond that so we end up committing 'shirk'We should ponder over one of the ten commandments very strictly observed by the Jews - " Thou shall not take the name of the Lord Thy God in vain."Instead, Muslims keep repeating Allah this and Allah that all the time thinking that it makes them holy.It would be much better if we seriously got down to the quest for Justice in all our dealings. Work it out, and then if you like, confirm with the Quran.


    By Asif Merchant - 6/16/2012 1:35:01 AM
  • Quran mentions that Allah is a spirit instead of energy. The following are the extracts:
    1)Al-Hijr, Chapter #15, Verse #29, "When I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of My spirit, fall ye down in obeisance unto him." (Yusuf Ali’s translation)
    The phrase, breathed into him of My spirit, as mentioned above implies that Allah is a spirit.
    An-Nisa, Chapter #4, Verse #171, “eople of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) a messenger of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and A SPIRIT PROCEEDING FROM HIM: so believe in Allah and His messengers. Say not "Trinity": desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is one Allah: Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is Allah as a Disposer of affairs.”
    The phrase, a spirit proceeding from him, as mentioned here implies also that Allah is a spirit.

    By zuma - 6/12/2012 9:46:43 PM
  • Quran mentions that Allah’s throne is in heavens as well as on earth and it implies that he is everywhere and even in heavens.
    Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #255, “Allah! There is no God but He,-the Living, the Self-subsisting, ETERNAL No slumber can seize Him nor sleep. His are all things in the heavens and on earth. Who is there can intercede in His presence except as He permitteth? He knoweth what (appeareth to His creatures as) before or after or behind them. Nor shall they compass aught of His knowledge except as He willeth. HIS THRONE DOTH EXTEND OVER THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH, and He feeleth no fatigue in guarding and preserving them for He is the Most High, the Supreme (in glory).” (Yusuf Ali’s translation)
    The word, eternal, as mentioned above implies that Allah lives eternally and could never perish.
    The phrase, His throne doth extend over the heavens and the earth, as mentioned above implies that Allah reigns on earth as well as in heavens. As his throne could extend even up to heavens, it implies that he is everywhere and even in the heavens.
    Quran mentions that Allah is the Maker of the heavens. The following is the extract:
    Al-Anaam, Chapter #6, Verse #14, “Say: "Shall I take for my protector any other than ALLAHh, THE MAKER OF THE HEAVENS and the earth? And He it is that feedeth but is not fed." Say: "Nay! but I am commanded to be the first of those who bow to Allah (in Islam), and be not thou of the company of those who join gods with Allah."

    By zuma - 6/12/2012 9:32:16 PM
  • 1)Quran mentions that Allah is omnipotent and he knows what is in the mind of the people and nobody could hide what is in their heart from him. The following is the extract:
    Aal-e-Imran, Chapter #3, Verse #29, “Say: "Whether ye hide what is in your hearts or reveal it, Allah knows it all: He knows what is in the heavens, and what is on earth. And Allah has power over all things.” (Yusuf Ali’s translation)
    As the phrase, Whether ye hide what in your hearts or reveal it, is mentioned here with the phrase, Allah knows it all, it implies that Allah is aware of what in the mind of the people even if they would keep it secretly. Even if those people would recite Quran in their heart, Allah is also aware of it.
    The phrase, Allah has power over all things, as mentioned above implies that Allah is omnipotent.
    2)Quran mentions that Allah is powerful so much so that he could have influence upon their mind. The following is the extract:
    Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #7, “Allah hath set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing, and on their eyes is a veil; great is the penalty they (incur).”
    The phrase, Allah hath set a seal on their hearts and on their hear, as mentioned above, implies that Allah could control the mind of the people by setting a seal in their heart and even to have influence upon even their hearing.
    3)Quran mentions Allah is powerful so much so that the earth and heavens are his creation.
    Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #22, “Who has made the earth your couch, and the heavens your canopy; and sent down rain from the heavens; and brought forth therewith Fruits for your sustenance; then set not up rivals unto Allah when ye know (the truth).”
    The phrase, Who has made the earth…and the heavens, as mentioned above implies that Allah is almighty and he was the one that has created the heavens and earth.
    The phrase, send down rain from the heavens, as mentioned above implies that Allah has full control over the nature and even the rain.
    4)Quran mentions that Allah was the one that gave you life so that you have been born to this earth. The following is the extract:
    Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #28, “How can ye reject the faith in Allah?- seeing that ye were without life, and He gave you life; then will He cause you to die, and will again bring you to life; and again to Him will ye return.”
    The phrase, He gave you life, as mentioned above implies that Allah was the one that enables mankind to be born on this earth.
    5)Quran supports that Allah is omnipresent. The following are the elaborations:
    a)Wherever non-muslims are, whether they are in the mountains or in the cave or hiding in certain region of the earth, Allah is there.
    Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #19, “Or (another similitude) is that of a rain-laden cloud from the sky: In it are zones of darkness, and thunder and lightning: They press their fingers in their ears to keep out the stunning thunder-clap, the while they are in terror of death. But ALLAH IS EVER ROUND THE REJECTERS OF FAITH! “
    The phrase, Allah is ever round the rejecters of faith, as mentioned above implies that non-muslims could not escape from the presence of Allah since he is there wherever they are.
    b)Allah is everywhere. Muslims could locate Allah in the east countries or even in the west.
    Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #115, “to Allah belong the east and the west: Whithersoever ye turn, there is the presence of Allah. For Allah is all-Pervading, all-Knowing.”
    The phrase, to Allah belong the east and the west, as mentioned here implies that all the things that are in the east, i.e., Arab in Middle East, or the west, i.e. U.S.A., belong to Allah since he was the creator of this earth.
    As the phrase, Whithersoever ye turn, is mentioned above with the phrase, there is the presence of Allah, it implies that if muslims would proceed to the west, U.S.A., and by turning their journey there, there is Allah. Even if they would proceed to the east, i.e. Arab and by turning their journey there, he is still there.

    By zuma - 6/12/2012 9:11:47 PM
  • All gentlemen including the writer are trying to tackle the most difficult topic in the world.
    By Manzoorul Haque - 6/12/2012 1:27:29 PM
  • “If God is understood as supreme, infinitesimal”? This is problematic, ‘infinitesimal’ is supposed to mean extremely small; whereas for God to be ‘infinite’ in godhood He must be ‘omniscient’, ‘omnipotent’ and ‘omnipresent’ and all-pervading and the rest! The Book I believe in says exactly that—‘if all the seas were turned to ink and all the forest wood were made into pens -and more- it would not be enough to write down all His attributes’. “Superstition would yield place to scientific enquiry and curiosity, which would be satisfied rationally. This would make way for true communion with God”. Spot on, for the Book tells me to “contemplate” universal phenomena and seek refuge in knowledge. In simple language that means science--- for which religion has no use of, in heaven they say, the men there will be too busy with other beings enjoying themselves! Thanks to Atul Shegal for sharing Rigvedic thoughts.
    By Rashid - 6/12/2012 7:59:26 AM
  • @Sharma, I do not agree with you. God and rationalism do go together, the problems with us is that we think that our way of thinking is the best or should I say most "rational"? All the answers may not be given in the "archaic texts" but it is worth giving it a try.
    By Aiman Reyaz - 6/12/2012 4:33:30 AM
  • It is nothing but Tautology. Trying to find answers in archaic texts is an exercise in self-aggrandisement. God and rationalism do not go together.
    By Ashok Sharma - 6/12/2012 1:59:09 AM

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