"Unflinching devotion to the Teacher is paramount in the life of a true seeker. To begin with, an external God can be the object of faith. But once the devotee grows to be a seeker, only a Wise Teacher can fulfil his quest.  It is then for the seeker to get purified and enlightened by the words of wisdom from his Guru.  Their bond and attunement put the Teacher on the pedestal of God.  Such an impeccable Guru-sishya bond alone bestows wisdom, strength and fulfillment to the seeker."

The Guiding force of Narayanashrama Tapovanam & Center for Inner Resources Development

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

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Poojya Swamiji,

I am always confused with the concept of gods existence in this world. I have seen people who don't believe in god but are very successful & happy in life, people who worship god regularly are still going thru the same problems, issues n are unsuccessful for years. What exactly is this? How to believe gods existence in this world?

Please guide me.

With pranams

U

Answer

19th October 2012

Dear and blessed U:

Harih Om Tat Sat.

God is generally a matter of faith. Many people live and even die with their faith in God. Besides faith, normally nobody tries to examine on what is this faith based, what is the concept of God, how to understand it more clearly and precisely. Such questions are never taken up.

But sooner or later, one should take up this inquiry. Then only his devotional faith will be progressing and growing to the desired dimension.

God is a religious word and concept. We have parallel concepts in spirituality. We call it the Self. In philosophy, we call it the Supreme or Ultimate Reality. All the three are one.

What is the Self? The Self is what the term 'I' denotes. Everybody says and feels 'I'. So something should be present within the body, to give rise to this feeling of 'I'. The 'I' in the nominative does not change at all, but the possessive forms of 'I' always are numerous. My body, my intelligence, my ego, my family, my house, my car, my property, my x, my y. It goes on.

By “my”, we always refer to something different from the “I”. That is why the possessive case is used. For all these things, which we refer to as “my” or “mine”, there is only one “I”, and that “I” is not the body, the mind, the intelligence or the ego. What is that “I”?

Whatever is denoted by the term “I” is called the “Self”. God of religion is a synonym of the Self. The Reality of philosophy is also the same. So, why do you still hold on to the faith alone? It may be faith to begin with, but recognition or knowledge later. That is why we say, we grow with the achaaras, and from achaaras, we have to rise to 'vichaara'. The sooner this is done, the better. The word 'vichaara' means truthful enquiry or introspection. The time has come for you to enter into truthful introspection.

The prosperity of the world depends upon worldly efforts and their success. They do not have anything to do with God and religion. A rich couple will have their son, who naturally will become rich. The poor couple will have their son, born poor. This is more a biological reality, than religious at all. I would like you to understand this distinction.

The successfulness or otherwise of the world is not determined by the religious character of a person. The world is a practical something before us and in the practical world you have to make practical efforts and they have to succeed. If anything is lacking in the efforts, success may not be.

If you fail in an examination, how can you get a clearance of a pass certificate? 10 children go to a class in a school, 8 of them write the examination and pass, two are detained. Because they did not study, they have to be detained. Simply because they go to the temple and worship God, should they pass? Then we don't have to study at all.  It is enough if you worship God. All students should be given a clearance certificate. Will it ever happen? So the events of the world, the worldly episodes in one's life, should not related to any religious cause.

We have a number of roads made by us, and a number of vehicles ply on them. The traffic rules are made by us, implemented by us. In such a man-made situation – man-made roads, man-made rules, man-made vehicles – if accidents take place and people die, why suddenly turn to religion for explanation?

Every time an accident takes place, we are supposed to examine the scene, find why it has happened and how. Is it because of negligence of the driver? Or in the topography of the place, there is some improvement to be made? This is a process constantly going on. Previously we had man-operated signal system in the railways. Now it is replaced by electronic signals without so much human intervention at every point. And if the system works well, there will be no accident at all. Many accidents are avoided now.

The ideal situation will be one, where we have no accidents at all. In fact, the proverb says, there is nothing called accident. Everything is an incident, an incidental outcome. Thus the responsibility for the outcome rests with us, who have instituted the incident and allied procedures.

I think this is an area where the so called faithful people and devotees require a lot of truthful exposure, a correction and amendment. Once they have it, the whole problem will be resolved. I wish you all the peace, strength, wisdom and clarity.

Love and ashirvaad. Ma and Nutan Swamiji send you loving good wishes.

Antaraatma,

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

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