K; Sister! You have been telling me to pray daily. I am asking you to whom we should pray? And where is that God?
V: God is everywhere. There is no place which is free from God.
K: You have told the wonderful. If god were to be everywhere then where are other things? All space are occupied by God and if there is no place free from God then there is no place for other things. Were the other things remaining without a space ?
V: It is not that way sister! When it is said that there is no place free from God, it means that God is everywhere. This is my opinion and that is how it is told in a common language. God being there is not dependent on space. It is the physical elements that occupy the space.
Earth, water, air, fire and their atoms, are those things that occupy space. But God pervades them all. Hence it is said that God is everywhere.
K: O.K. If God were to everywhere why He is not seen? When not seen, where is the proof of his presence?
V: Are there are no objects present which are not seen? There are so many things in the world which are not seen. cold, hot, happiness, sorrow, time, direction, hunger, thirst, itching, pain, etc are there which are not seen. There may be many reasons for a thing not to be seen. Like far off places say, like Europe, America etc, many things are not seen. Are we able to see the kite or a bird flying at a far off distance? Because of closeness of proximity also, eye is not able to see a thing. There are hundred of subtle things like atoms. Some like bacteria or virus could be seen only thru microscope. Water being covered with algae is not seen because of algae and like wise there are so many unseen because separated by cover. Because of dirt, a mirror is not seen and because of presence of a wall the man sitting across the wall is also not seen. Milk and water are both liquids and because of this water in milk is not seen. If there were to be trouble in the eye many things are not seen. A man affected with jaundice cannot see white objects. Hence it is not correct to say that things are not present just because they are un seen.
K: For me, I don’t believe in anything without seeing.
V: This shows your obduracy. I have already said that there are many things which are not seen and yet we have to believe them. Good! Now, are you listening to what I am telling?
K: Yes listening.
V: By which?
K: By ears of course
V: Are you sure that what I am telling?
K: Yes. Why not?
V:Are you seeing my words thru your eyes? Okay. Look here, I am having a flower in my hands. Which is that flower?
K: It is Rose.
V: Does the flower has a fragrance or not?
K: Yes. It has a fragrance.
V: How did you come to know about this?
K: Through my nose.
V: Tell me one thing. Did sugar was there in the milk that you drank overnight?
K: Yes. It was there.
V: How did you come to know about it?
K: Thru My tongue.
V: Now I point out, that the sound was perceived thru ears, fragrance thru nose, and sugar thru tongue. Why this way? Why not did eyes perceive sound, ears the fragrance and nose the sugar? Even though the smell and fragrance was present why not the same was seen by eyes?
K; The senses perceive its subjects only and grasp knowledge. God is not perceivable by any sense organs. How could we believe that He is present at all?
V: God is not seen and therefore he is not present was your initial argument. Now you have turned over. You have agreed that there could be things not seen. It is separate issue that the knowledge of such unseen things could be had by other sense organs. Now, you are asking how the presence of God could be accepted when he is not perceivable by any sense organ. If you believe that God could not exist as He is not understood by senses, then how you understand these senses? If you believe that sense organs are understood by sense organs only then it constitutes what is known as Atmashrya Dosha. This is because thru what is seen is not seen by itself. When their subjects are different by themselves how sense organs could understand the sense organs? The subject matter of eye is sight; ears sound; nose smell; tongue taste; skin touch. Nose cannot understand the eyes nor the tongue can understand the ears.
K: How it cannot be understood? When I hold mirror before me, the eyes, ears, nose , tongue etc are forthcoming. The eyes are more forthcoming about knowledge of other organs.
V: Sister! This is your wrong understanding. What you see from your eyes is only a form or sight not the subjects. Will you see the subjects of other sense organs in the mirror? The eyeballs can see places of sense organs which have a form. The strength of these senses are present in that places. Can eyes disclose the entire knowledge about other sense organs? Eyes cannot see by itself. You are of the opinion that eyes are seen in a mirror. Now, I put a question. Tell me what is in my hand?
V: How did you see that there is a mirror in my hand?
K; Thru eyes of course.
V: When you said that you saw mirror thru eyes , it means before seeing a mirror eyes had a knowledge. In other words it means to say that without eyes mirror would not have seen. Now tell me, whether thru eyes mirror is understood or vice versa? If eyes are understood thru mirror, even when eyes are dried up, the mirror should have caused the knowledge of the dried up eyes. When eyes are dried up , let alone causing the knowledge of eyes, mirror cannot cause the knowledge of itself. If you think deeply, even eyes see the others with the help of other aids and not independently. It is however true that sight cannot be seen without eyes but the knowledge of sight cannot be made by eyes themselves.
K; What other aids are required for eyes? Eyes sees the Forms independently. The subject matter of eyes are sight. How do you say that eyes don’t see independently?
V: Yes. Now I am seeing all objects. But if there is a thick darkness surrounding can I see things?
K: No, It cannot be seen.
V: Hence it is clear that eyes are not just enough to see. It requires light. If there were to be no light eyes are helpless. And even if both light and eyes were to remain present and the object is not stationary then also we cannot see. If you place the book too close to your eyes you cannot read. Similarly also we cannot read letters in a book held at a distance. Therefore to read letters book is to be held at a definite distance and place. Further, even the object at a place and light were to be there and if eyes were removed from the mind, in that event also we cannot see. There are many occasions where mind is involved in some work, the objects are not seen by the eyes even though they may pass thru our front. In such circumstances, if you were to ask a person whether he observed certain things he would say “ no, I did not watch”. Now you would have understood what are the aids that are required to see a particular object.
K: What do you mean by all this?
V: Have you not understood as yet? If you cannot perceive God thru sense organs, you cannot understand sense organs thru sense organs. But even then we have to accept the sense organs. Then why doubt about the acceptance of existence of God.
K: How we can understand the senses?
V: Sense organs are understood by the Soul thru experience. When he perceives sound, smell, Form,etc he understands “ That there are aids within me and I am getting the benefit thru them”
K: And how we could understand the God?
V: God could be understood by experience.
K: How the experience is got?
V: God is felt thru Soul.
K: When this feeling is felt?
V: When mind is got rid of three faults.
K: What are these faults?
V: Mala, Vikshepa, and Avarana
K: What are its characteristics?
V: The thinking of doing bad to others and the effects of Sins fallen on Soul [sanskars] is called Mala. Constantly thinking over the worldly objects[materialism] and lack of firmness in mind is referred to as Vikshepa. The impact formed on mind about the pride of temporary worldly things is referred to as Avarana.
K: How can we overcome the above three faults?
V: There are three ways thru which we can overcome these three hurdles.
K: What are they?
V: Knowledge, [Jnana] Action[Karma] and Communion [ Upaasana]
K: What you mean by Knowledge, Action and worship?
V: Understanding the matter as it is, i.e. to treat inert matter as inert[Jada] Conscious entities [ Chetan] as Conscious[Chetan] and transitory things as transitory things marks the Knowledge. To work for the welfare of Soul, Body and Society and to try for the acquisition of ennobling things is referred to as Action. To approach a material and overcoming his shortcomings based on the strength of that material is referred to as Communion. Consider for a while, that a person is down with cold. If he approaches water for the removal of cold it betrays his ignorance, not knowledge. If he is aware of fire and tries to obtain fire thru Action and approaches fire for the removal of cold then only he gets rid of cold. From Knowledge, the Mala is overcome, from Action, Vikshepa, is got rid of and finally thru Communion the effect of Avarana is kept away. Then only God is felt.
K: Make this point more clear. How the faults of Mala, Vikshepa, and Avarana are removed respectively by Knowledge, Action, andCommunion respectively?
V: With the help of Knowledge, it should be understood that all worldly things, all living beings are not permanent. For this reason, not entertaining the feeling of snatching away the rights of others is a step in the direction of removal of evil of Mala. By thinking that worldly things are the end all and be all and appropriating them with that spirit would cause infirmity of mind or Vikshepa. It is true that materials in the world are means to an end. But they are not end by themselves nor they could be life ideals. According to this principle, the action of man should be dispassionate, like a lotus in a water pond. This is type of Karma which drives away Vikshepa. Looking upon the God gifted things as something his own is the thing that makes a deep imprint on the mind of man and this prompts him to treat money, women, land as his own which causes self-pride and this cast spell over his mind. Further with the strength of these material possessions he starts tormenting the others. He thinks there are no superior to him. But instead, when he does Action with full Knowledge then he withdraws all forces inside and with concentration thinks that “ God is with me and I am with God” in his heart then he gets away from the evil ofAvarana. Hence by constant efforts and resorting to Knowledge, Action and Communion he is able to drive away the three evils Mala, Vikshepa and Avarana. Then only he can the feel the presence of God.
K; Sister, you are very clever and good at logic. Now tell me why God is necessary to this world at all?
V: Why God is necessary to the world? Very good question. If God were not to be there then how is the world is created?. Who can create Sun, Moon, mountains, rivers, Air, water, ether, stars, forests, Trees, fruits, Milk, honey animals, birds, water creatures, snakes, etc. Who else can create these things and species?
K: Why God is necessary for the creation of these things? They are self-formed and has been there always.
V: If things in the world could form themselves without the help of creator, then food should have there without a cook, pot without a potter, ornaments without a goldsmith, sweet without sweet maker, dress without a tailor etc. Secondly any thing in the world does not remain permanently. Every thing in the world has a origin, growth, decay, and ultimately destruction. All big to very big things have been created and gets destroyed in the end..
K: I don’t see that God creates things. It does not appear as such. All things are formed by themselves and this order is there from time immemorial. Earth, water, Air, Fire, and their atoms are in existence in the world. These elements keep on joining themselves in the creation of new and newer things and getting destroyed separately. Where is the work of God involved here?
V: Your opinion does not stand to facts. The Earth and the other elements and their atoms are inert matters. They don’t join themselves without joining them and do not disintegrate without getting disintegrated. Joining and Unjoining are mutually hostile qualities. These qualities do not stay together. There may any number of qualities in a matter but not mutually hostile qualities. If the nature of a thing is to associate they keep on associating. and on the other hand disintegrating is their quality they keep on disintegrating. They do not join with mutually hostile qualities. If you were to say that joining and disintegrating are the nature of a matter, those qualities which are predominant will have a say over the other. For ex, if joining is the predominant quality, it never allows the world to disintegrate. If disintegrating is the nature of a matter and remains predominant it never allows the world to stay together. If both qualities are held to be equal then no object can be formed in the world. But we are seeing where an object is formed, remains for a while and gets destroyed. You may imagine any number of qualities in physical matters, but without God, Creation, sustenance, and dissolution is not possible in the matter called Prakrithi. There is difference in Conscious[ Chetan] and Non-Conscious[ Jada}forces. The Non-Conscious cannot do anything on their own. It keeps working with the help of Conscious forces only. The Conscious being is capable of doing, not doing or undoing anything. This is the natural qualities of Conscious beings.
K: The person who creates a thing in the world is directly visible. The goldsmith, potter, the sweet maker, the bird which builds the nests are all seen. If God were to be creator of this world he would have been visible.
V: Believe me. The maker in the world is not at all visible. It is totally false to say that the goldsmith, Sweet maker, potter are visible. You may ask how? Listen. People like Potter, Goldsmith etc are creators who are made of twin elements, Body and Soul, The body to a soul is an instrument to do a function. Only when soul uses the instrument called body a material is formed. Without the instrument called body a material cannot come off. The goldsmith, potter etc are physical bodies which are visible and are made of five elements called earth, water, fire, air and sky. But the soul who makes use of this body is not at all visible. The body without the soul cannot create things. Likewise without body, a soul cannot do anything either. His strength is of limited character. Hence God grants him a body which is visible. But God is of limitless potentialities, omnipresent and omniscient. He does things without a body. The soul is also a creator like God, albeit with a limited strength and abilities . God is a creator of all. Both God and Soul are not visible.
K: If God is without Body then how is that He can create the world. No function is ever possible without an instrument called body.
V: Now the time is over. Tomorrow morning answer to this question will be given.
K: Okay. Let it be on tomorrow.
Note : This is the the translated version of the original ” Do bahinonke bathe” written by late Siddagopal “kaviratna”.
Translated by Vasudev Rao.