Young ones often ask where is the necessity of God in life, you just do your work and enjoy the life. Not to talk of young ones even older generation- they won’t go to that extent but they too don’t find much utility here- except going to some temples, observing occasional fasts, some worship rituals and the job of God is over.
But does the concept of God has some wider connotations? Why ancient sages and saints laid so much emphasis on God. Is it for real, does it serve some useful purpose? Is it still relevant? How do we understand the God?
Let us try to analyze all this. ( caveat- wrong the concept “God” cannot be analysed, it is beyond our comprehension ( senses, mind and intellect) and beyond any language too. So it is just my way of understanding.
The concept is there across glob/humanity- we came to know about other regions/ territories much later ( Columbus and Vasco de Gama discovered new territories in 1492-98) but the ancients had discovered Him - the God in every community/ region that later came to be known as different faiths and religions. But the underlying theme is the same- God exists. How come they all came to the same conclusions though they were living in different continents , not much in contact with each other. The qualities/ attributes they associated with God were also the same omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent- eternal, all loving and all kind.
The principles they laid down- the essence, the original thing is the same whichever faith you take- Love, Truthfulness, purity and Peace.
If we analyze from utilitarian concept- for me it looks like-
We humans are inadequate, insufficient, lacking in some respects and all our efforts all through life is to fill that gap whether it is in terms of goodness, knowledge, wealth , health, beauty, love, peace or whatever. We are trying to fill that gap. If we were to ask ourselves what is the level to which we want to raise ourselves. Naturally it is the God who is PERFECT and the WHOLE. And that is the level we want to rise- hence concept of self-realisation.,Though we are struggling to achieve that perfection but it can never be achieved; that gap can never be filled.
Let us understand it by way of some examples.
I want to bridge the gap of inadequacy in terms of wealth. What is my outer, upper most limit. I can go on accumulating wealth but till I reach a point where none other exists then only I can claim to be the wealthiest. Even when one other person exists on the earth ( we are just two) he is sharing the wealth and I am having just 50% of total wealth. Is it feasible. No so we are going to be deficient/ inadequate all through our lives- howsoever hard we may try.
Second example- let us think that I want to be the most knowledgeable person on the earth. Now I start learning say engineering- but in engineering- how many branches and sub branches are there- electricals, electronics, computer science, mechanical, communication, metallurgical, aeronautics, civil and host of others - I myself don’t know even the names and then medical sciences, accounting, architecture, humanities- history, geography, political science, and then arts- literature- painting, music, dance. And then languages. Can anyone think of becoming most knowledgeable person even if he devotes all his life - cannot- just not possible. We will remain inadequate, insufficient. It is the same with all other things.
The same thing has been explained in our scriptures in some other form ( vedas) - they say that there is a thing knowing which all other things will become known to you and that thing is God- if you have known or realized God- you have known whatever is there to be known in this universe. It is like when you buy wheat - you see the sample of few grains and by seeing that sample you come to know about the quality of wheat in other bags.
So God gives you absolute knowledge which is just not possible otherwise.
Second- similarly when you have realized God, you remove all your lacking, your inadequacies and your insufficiencies. You become just like that तत त्वं असि, अहं ब्रह्माष्मि । You become whole, you become complete.
Third- we all feel secure in the protection of someone who is mighty, resourceful. At critical times when all our efforts fail, when all hopes are dashed and when not a ray of hope is visible, our heart prays for some miracle, our heart prays to some unknown power, our hands are raised in prayer- even though we haven’t seen Him, we haven’t had any belief in Him , all life we kept spending our energies denying any such thing and ridiculing the concept itself but now it is happening automatically- our heart believes suddenly in some unknown and unseen power- That unknown and unseen is God.
Fourth- where from we draw inspiration- God like strength; God like innocence; God like beauty; God like solitude; God like pious. We see Him only as possessing of all the virtues and of the highest grade.
Fifth- after a certain period you get bored / disinterested with your choicest food, your good looking dresses, your beautiful homes, your valuable possessions and everything you have even persons you had great admiration/ attraction for . A time comes when you are no longer interested in these things rather they look like traps, noose, loop and snares. If we have Love for God, it is ONE with whom you will never get bored rather your love will blossom more with each passing day. You will have a feeling that there is nothing even the kingdom of this whole universe that can equate with God. It then becomes truly satisfying and meaningful life.
Sixth- when you are in difficulties, misfortune has befallen on you, you are diseased, despite all that you are doing or capable of doing, your hands raise in prayer and yo know that it is His mercy and Grace that is required. And that gives you all the strength to fight the battle. Similarly when you are aspiring something desperately you star doing prayer internally and want His mercy to be showered upon. So in good as well as bad God becomes integral part.
Seventh- he is truest of democrat. He never is partial. His sun doesn’t shine less brightly for someone who has all hate for Him; his air, water, earth never discriminates between one who has faith in Him and one who doesn’t. Gita goes to the extent when Lord Krishna is saying that even the sinner most gets washed off in His presence and becomes virtuous full of wisdom.
God is represented by so many things , names, forms, attributes. In fact these are our vain attempts to describe the indescribable. But Love and Truth are universally accepted as the means to reach Him. There are various paths - knowledge- ज्ञान, Devotion - भक्ति, Action - कर्म , yoga or Dhyan-ध्यान . But Love and truth are prerequisite any path you follow.
So let us go to His lotus feet and surrender unconditionally and seek His Grace.