THE VEDIC TEACHINGS – GOD and purpose of his Creation

According to Vedas there are three things that are eternal: God, the Soul and Prakriti.

God is the agentive cause for the creation of the universe, prakriti is the material cause of universe, and souls are the consumersfor whose benefit the universe is created. God is the Creator, the Supreme Spirit or Consciousness, and the Eternal Bliss. On the other hand prakriti, while eternal, by itself is inert. Though, the soul is eternal and conscious (aware), it usually lacks bliss.

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The soul has a choice, it can aim towards reaching God-the Eternal Truth, the Supreme Consciousness and the Supreme Bliss and it-self acquire bliss, or it can be lost in the distractions of prakriti (universe) and remain unfulfilled and lacking in joy.

 

The description of God, soul and prakriti may be summarized as follows:

God is Sat-Chit-Änand (Sachidänand) :

Sat = Eternally Exists, Eternal Truth

Chit = Supreme Consciousness

Änand = Supreme Bliss

 

Soul is Sat-Chit :

Sat = Eternally Exists

Chit = Conscious, aware

 

Prakriti is only Sat

Sat = Eternally Exists

 

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GOD

If there is God, how do you prove His Existence?
A. By the evidences of:-
– Direct cognition
– Inference
– Testimony and
– HistoryDirect cognition, which is the Knowledge (must be free from error and doubt), that is of the result of the direct contact of the five senses; optic (seeing), auditory (hearing), olfactory (smelling), gustatory (tasty) and tactile (touch) and of the mind, with light, sound, smell, taste and touch, with feelings of pleasure and pain, truth and untruth. It is clearly a fact that only the Attributes can be known through the senses and the mind, not substances which we are cognizant of, when it gives rise to the sensations of touch, smell, taste, etc., by coming in contact with our four senses, such as the tactile sense, and the senses with the mind, and the latter with the soul.

Similarly we are cognizant of the existence of God by observing such qualities as law, order, design and intelligence in this world. Further when the soul instantly focuses the mind and the latter directs, the senses to the pursuit of a certain object either good ~ the feeling of fearlessness, courage, and satisfaction is experienced or bad ~ the feelings of fear, shame, and distrust arise in the self consciousness, these feelings come about, not by the human soul, but by the Divine Spirit. Again when the human soul is free of all impurities and devotes itself to the contemplation and realization of God, through the practice of Yoga, it becomes conscious of itself and the Divine Spirit.

All the seers and sages (altruistic teachers) of yore have proven His existence this way and through history and their testimony how can we deny the existence of the All-Pervading God? Again if you are admiring a painting, you perceive the artist, if you are reading a book, you perceive the author.Similarly how can you look at this incredible and majestic creation and not perceive the Supreme Artist (Creator)?

Is God in one place or is He All-pervading?
A. God is the subtlest of all conditions only He can pervade everything. If he was at one place at a time, He could never be Omnipresent, Omniscient, Inward Regular of all, Universal Controller, Creator of all and the Cause of resolution of all things into their elements, as it is impossible for the doer to do anything in a place where he is not.Being omnipresent He is here, there and everywhere and this attribute invalidates the necessity of having angels and Holy Ghost or any other characters to do his work.

Is God just and merciful?
A. Concluding from our present judicial system these two attributes may seem to oppose each other since Justice consists in giving a person the equitable amount of pleasure or pain ~ neither more nor less ~ according to the nature of his deeds, while Mercy consists in letting the offender go unpunished or with a light sentence. The two attributes of God, differ in a name only; the object served by justice is the same as accomplished by mercy.Certainly the idea of inflicting punishment, through justice, is to prevent people from committing crimes, that would enable them to be free from pain and misery, later on in life or next birth (reincarnation), which is quite the object of the Merciful. When the punishment does not fit the crime, there can be no Mercy for the innocent, as the criminal is allowed in society again to give pains and suffering to many righteous and law-abiding people.

It will be an act of Mercy to keep an ominous offender in prison or put him to death and at the same time Justice would have abounded. By the same method of reasoning it will be unjust of God to forgive sins no matter how puny or capacious it might be.To condemn me with Hitler (Germany) and Pol Pot (Cambodia) who have committed mass atrocities, to hell for all eternity, for which my only malfeasance is not accepting Christianity or Islam, as my faith is gravely an injustice. Such injustices can never be from a just God.

Does God posess desire?
A. No, you only desire to obtain a thing which you do not already possess, which is of a superior quality and is productive of pleasure. Now there is nothing that God does not possess or is superior to Him, and being All-Bliss He can also have no desire for further happiness.
Has God a form?
A. If He possesses a form, He could never be Omnipresent, nor, Omniscient, since a finite substance can possess only finite attributes, actions and nature. He will never be free from hunger and thirst, heat and cold, disease, imperfections and injuries.This proves that God is formless.
Being without a body, He is able to make the visible universe out of invisible causes. Taking a form would also make him partial to a specific group of people, showing favor to one over the other, as He would have to come as a particular person in one racial group. It will be against one of his attributes of being impartial. Furthermore He is the Most High and Mightier than the Might, His laws are supreme and taking a form he will be subjected to the laws of man, as He will be in need of a passport and other travel documents to travel about. He is Wisdom and Purity and being embodied He will be exposed to ignorance and impurities.

Take a counter-way of thinking:-

If God is ever-perfect what would force God to take form every now and then?

What is it that God cannot achieve without taking form?

If there is indeed such a situation where God cannot do without taking form, that makes God imperfect before that. God is all-powerful and all-capable – means that He does not require any external support or modifications to fulfill his tasks. He is ever perfect at all situations and performs the most optimized management of world at all times. That is why Vedas very clearly define God as changeless, formless, ever-perfect and all capable at all times without requiring any further changes on temporary or permanent basis.

Is God all-powerful or not?
A. Further, concluding from all the catastrophic phenomena facing modern civilization like floods, hurricanes and tornado, wars, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, environmental pollution, discrimination, etc., one might want to think that He is powerless to stop all these afflictions to mankind and we are totally nauseated and fill with compunction that by the occurrences of these appalling circumstances many innocent people are affected especially when children are the victims. But this is not the case, all of the above and more are considered to be the administration of His Divine Justice. We (souls) are only gleaning the fruits of our actions (good or bad) not only in this birth but previous ones too.Also being All-powerful, God does not require the least assistance, Holy Ghost, Son or prophets, etc., in all His works such as Creation, Sustenance and Dissolution of the Universe.

In other words:
He does His works with His own infinite power. Many will say that because He is All-powerful, He can do anything or whatever He likes. This is not so, can He kill Himself? Can He make other Gods like Himself, become ignorant, commit sins? Or can He be unhappy? Or can He create the Universe from nothing? All these things will oppose His nature and attributes.
His laws are immutable and cannot be changed even by Him.

Why should we worship God?
A. There are three reasons of worshiping the Supreme:-
Glorification gives rise to love of the Supreme Being, reformation of one’s nature, character and attributes in accordance with the nature, attributes and character of God. For instance as God is Just so must we.It is of two kinds:-
Positive and
Negative.

Positive glorification 
consists in praising God as positive attributes in the following manner:- ”That Supreme Being overspreads all.He is entirely spirit, All-energy, all-powerful, Pure, Perfect, Omniscient, Inward Controller of all, Ruler of all, Eternal and self-existent. He has from all eternity been teaching uncreated immortal human souls, the true knowledge of things through the revelation of the Veda, His eternal knowledge.”
Yajur Veda, XXXX:8)


Negative glorification 
consists in praising God as devoid of such ungodly qualities as passion and malice in the following way:- “He is never embodied, is never born, is never liable to division and is fee from nervous or arterial systems, never commits a sin, is never subject to pain, grief and ignorance and the like.”
Yajur Veda, XXXX:8)

Prayer creates humility, courage, and obtains divine help after strenuous effort has been made. Prayer can also be positive or negative according as the Deity is looked upon as possessed of good attributes or as free from bad qualities, faults and imperfections. One should act in accordance with what one prays for. For instance if one prays for the attainment of highest wisdom, let one do one’s utmost to attain it. strenuous effort should be made by the individual always to attain whatever he or she is praying for. One should never pray to destroy one’s enemies, or any such negativity. He is the Great Judge and only His Justice will prevail.

 

Communion results in union with the Great Being and in direct cognition of Him which results in acquiring true knowledge by reasoning. All that is required in order to come close to God by the practice of Yoga (physical and mental discipline) and directly see the Omnipresent, Omniscient God should be accomplished. Communion requires a solitary, clean place to get comfortably seated and practice control of breath to restrain the senses from the pursuit of materialism, in fixing the mind to one of the following organs; the navel, the heart, the throat, eyes, the top of the head or the spine.

 

To discriminate between the human soul and the Divine Spirit one must get absorbed in contemplation of the latter and commune with God. When such practices are followed with regularity, the soul becomes pure and imbued with righteousness. His knowledge and wisdom advance day by day till he obtains salvation or emancipation. Even if such practice is conducted even for one hour a day, the soul will always continue to advance spiritually.

 

Communion is positive when God is contemplated as possessed of such attributes as Omniscience, and it is said to be negative when the human soul is deeply absorbed in the Supreme Spirit, who even pervades such a subtle entity as the human soul. Its result is that the soul, by coming close to God, is rid of all its impurities, sorrows, and grieves, its nature, attributes and character become pure like those of God Himself. Leaving out other results that accrue from Divine Worship the gain in spiritual strength is such that even the approach of pain or sorrow of the greatest magnitude cannot disturb the mental tranquility of the devotee.

 

On the other hand, it is most ungrateful and foolish for not showing gratitude for the kindness of that Supreme Spirit who has freely given away all things of this world to his creatures to cease to believe in His very existence.

“All parties must be acquainted with the teachings of each other’s religion in order to have a mutual discussion and be freed. If not, they are apt fall into an abyss of superstition and inaccuracies. Divergences arise over doctrines that are false, but should all discuss a subject with the sole aspiration of finding out the truth they can succeed.”
Has God created this Universe, Sun, Earth, Living and Non Living Beings?
A. The question is very similar to a question that “Has the potter made the pot?”; to which the answer would be —- Yes to The pot but No to the clay.
Similarily, it needs to be understood that this universe consists of three things, viz:-
a) God (Eeshvar)
b) Atma (soul) and
c) Prakriti (matter and energy in its sublimest form)These three things are eternal. No body has made them. So God has not made soul and prakriti. Infact, they are part of HIM.

But yes, God has made Nature, Earth, Sun, Non Living things and bodies of all the living things.

What is the role of the God in this Universe?

A. The role of the God is that of manager. He is not a dictator. He just ensures that as you sow, so shall you reap. Even this reaping is for benefit of the soul. But just as a mother scolds a child when it puts finger in electrical switch, similarly paramatma ensures we get the best reaction/result to our actions. When we act rightly, we get pleasant results. When we act wrongly, we get pain. This pain is also for our own benefit in same manner as the pain inflicted on child to get injected with vaccinations.Also look at life from perspective of eternity and not few years on planet alone. Someone may eat sugar in excess and enjoy life. One may conclude sugar is good for enjoyment. But only when results are known over a long period of time, that we conclude that sugar causes diabetes.

 

Similarly, over a long time horizon, there is absolutely no mess. There is observable mess in short term, but that is not created by God, but ourselves. The only way he could have avoided mess was by being a dictator and robbing us of our will-power. But then we would have been just puppets or non-living things and hence purpose of creation would have been lost.

 

The only way purpose of creation can be served is by creating the universe with its various laws, managing the same perfectly and yet giving us freedom of choice to execute our will and sense the correctness of will through introspection, analysis, pleasure and pain. If we ignore these, it is our problem and not His.If your father gave you money to buy books and you spend it on narcotics despite his continuous warning, it is his fault and not his. And yes, when things go out of control, your father may put you in prison, and God puts souls in non-human life forms where the freedom of will is severely restricted as per the level of ‘out-of-control’.

Souls thus spend time in such species till they get rid of their obsessively negative behavior and again take birth as humans.

Only humans have complete freedom of executing free wlll. How much to exercise is also left to us. If we execute it correctly, we move ahead in path of Yog and get liberated. Else the life-cycle continues. Each human has potential to fight soul-created mess and raise his level. How much they execute is again left to them. Some create mess, some crib about mess and others rise up to fight mess to extent possible. Those who rise up move ahead in path of yog through right knowledge, right devotion and right actions. Others continue their stalemate.

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Brahma
Brahma is one of the names of the almighty God. It is also a common name given to the men. It also used to be a title which was given to highly qualified Rishis.

The Omnipotent Being of Brahma through his manifested will, revealed the Vedic Knowledge to the four Rishis for the welfare of the mankind. Metaphysically, this is described as Brahma chanting the Vedas through his four mouths.

“After the revelation, the great soul called ‘Paramesthi Brahma’ learnt the Vedas from the four original teachers in order to extend its knowledge of the Universe and fulfill that objectives of creation.”
– Manu Smriti

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Soul

Can souls remember their actions in previous births?

Souls are finite in knowledge and power and cannot therefore be the seer of the three periods of time, the past, the present and the future. We cannot remember anything from birth to the age of five, how can we remember the previous birth. God’s mercy and compassion comes into action, for if we were to remember our previous births there would be no happiness.

We would always be in pain and constantly suffer mental anguish brooding over the terrible sufferings and sorrows of the past lives especially if we were rats. No one can ever know what happened in his past lives even if he were to try to do so; because the power and the knowledge of the soul are limited.

 

How can the punishment, inflicted on the soul, reform it when it cannot remember the past? Different people were born and brought up under different conditions in this world such as affluence and poverty, happiness and misery, talent and idiocy.

 

These conditions are the reason to infer the previous existence of the life of a soul. If there was no pre-existence of the souls then how could it be consistent with God’s divine justice to bless some with riches, power and talent, while others are afflicted with poverty, suffering and idiocy. If as adults we suffer because of sin, then a child, too young to sin, should never suffer.

A doctor can find the cause of a disease because he studied medical science. But even the patient knows this much, that he must have violated some laws of nature to bring on the disease. God always desires justice and acts justly. He would not be God to act unjustly. We do not necessarily have to come into direct contact with pain to apply preventive method the next time around. The pain and miseries of other souls can bring us such deterrence.Are souls in the bodies of humans and animals of the same nature or are they different?

They are all of the same nature, but are pure or impure accordingly, as they are virtuous or sinful. Virtue and sin are finite as each is acquired and thus happiness (heaven) and suffering (hell) are also finite.
Do souls of humans go into that of animals, male to female and vice versa?
Certainly! When sin predominates over virtue in a human, his soul goes into the bodies of animals and suffer the consequences of its sin, till they are equalized and then invested as humans again.When virtue predominates over sin in soul , it is born as a good and learned person. The soul is born as an ordinary man when sin and virtue are equal. The three different grades of sin and virtue, superior, medium and inferior, create three different classes of individuals also as in bodies, strength, mental capacities, talents, etc.

Are sins forgiven?
A. No;
His injunctions of justice would be obliterated, and all mankind would become most iniquitous. This way, they will be encouraged to commit sins for there will be no fear of punishment, knowing that their sins will be forgiven by only confessing. For example, if governments should often pardon criminals, it would be seen as an encouragement to commit greater crimes and even those who are not criminals will begin to commit crimes since there is no deterrence by fear of punishment.Therefore, to comply with His Laws of Nature, God has to award souls the just fruits (happiness or suffering) of their actions (good or bad). When sin predominates over virtue in a man, his soul goes into the bodies of animals, birds, insects and trees but when virtue predominates over sin in a soul, it is born as a good and learned person. When sin and virtue are equal, the soul is born as an ordinary man.

Is the human soul free to do whatever it wants to and is it responsible for the actions of the individual?

A. It has the freedom to act in whatever way it chooses but it is subjected to the laws of God in the matter of reaping the fruits of its actions. It has the physical body, the vital forces, the senses and the mind subordinate to his will. Soldiers acting under orders from their commanding officers are not held guilty of murder in killing many in battle. Like wise if God were to influence the course of human conduct , the human souls will not be held responsible.The soul is free to act according to its capacity, but once it has committed a sinful act, it becomes subjected to the operation of the laws of God. The soul is free in the performance of its deeds, but it has to submit to Divine laws in the matter of suffering pain and misery for its sins.

Was the soul created?

A. The soul was never created. It is beginningless like God, the Efficient cause and matter, the material cause of the Universe. The body and bodily organs were made by God, but they are all under the control of the soul. When an act is perform good or bad the soul and not God reaps the fruits, not only in this birth but future births also. As always it is logical to point out that the “purpose” has to exist before something is made.The sole purpose of creation is for souls to take birth so that they can reap the fruits of their actions. Thus it is the only reason for God to create the Universe. If all souls were created, then they all, within logics, should be innocent and pure and all should have been born in happiness, but it is not so. Then again, since all things created must perish, then the souls will have to die.

What are God and the soul in essence? What are their nature, attributes and actions?

A. In essence they are both conscious entities. By nature both are pure, immortal and virtuous etc., but the creation of the universe, its sustenance and dissolution into elementary form, and its control, the awarding of the fruits of their deeds, good and evil, to souls are the righteous actions of God; whilst the reproduction and rearing of children, the distribution of knowledge and arts, are acts of the soul which may be virtuous or sinful. Eternal knowledge, Eternal Bliss and Omnipotence and truth, are all attributes of God.The attributes of souls are the desire for the acquisition of things. Repulsion, activity, feelings of pleasure, feelings of pain, sorrow, displeasure; consciousness, inspiration, and expiration, necessitation – the opening and closing of the eyes, organic growth, discernment, memory and individuality, movement, regulation of the senses, internal changes and disorders, such as hunger and thirst, joy or sorrow, are the attributes of the soul which distinguish it from God.

 

The existence of the soul is known only by these attributes, as it is not material nor perceptible by the senses. These attributes manifest themselves only so long as the soul is present in the body, but cease to do so as soon as the soul leaves it.

 

Those qualities that manifest themselves in the presence of a substance and cease to do so in its absence belong to that substance alone; as for example, light is the property of the sun and of the lamp, because it is absent in their absence and present in their presence. In the same way God and the soul are known by their attributes. God is one, souls are many. God is infinite, the souls are finite.

 

God is the source of knowledge and bliss.

The souls depend on God for their knowledge and bliss.God is the maker of this universe for the sake of the souls, who come to this bondage on account of their shortcomings or ignorance. God does not assume corporeal bodies; He does not need the aid of physical organs, like eyes and hands for seeing and doing; the souls function with the aid of these organs through the cycle of birth and death. Reincarnation is for the souls and not for God.

Are souls in the bodies of human and animals of the same nature or different?

A. They are all of the same nature, but are pure or impure according as they are virtuous or sinful. There is also no more sinning or virtue gained unless embodied in an beings, and only under certain conditions. The separation of the soul from the body is called death, and its union with the body is called birth. When the soul leaves the body it lives in the atmosphere.Thereafter God, the Great Judge embodies that soul according to the nature of its deeds done in the previous life. Guided by God it enters the body of some living creature with air, water, food, drink or through anyone of the openings of the body. All men naturally desire to obtain happiness and escape from pain and misery. But as long as they do not practice righteousness and renounce sin, they cannot obtain happiness and be freed from pain and suffering; because the effect cannot perish as long as the cause exists.

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