SPIRITUALITY SCIENCE – THE THREE FORMS OF GOD:
Firstly, I want to express my thanks to Dr. K. Srinivasa Rao for sharing his view about the three forms of God in response to the views shared by Professor Jonardon Ganeri. In India, I grew up in a traditional family and a tradition that I still respect is that of not talking back to my elders. When elders speak, I just listen and I refrain and restrain myself from expressing any urge to respond to the view openly stated. Indian tradition is based upon respect and obedience. A person is considered to be stiff-necked, arrogant, or disobedient if he speaks to contradict the statement of an elder. However, the tradition has not stated that I may not refute an argument if the argument is submitted in writing. A view which is presented in writing can be rejected by using a written statement. To that extent, I respectfully seek the permission of Dr. K. Srinivasa Rao to reject his argument about the existence of God for it is based on information that cannot be verified. A thing is said to be true if it has correspondence with an external reality. Science uses a verification principle to make valid claims and if a thing is said to be true, Science asks as to why it could be true. However, there are problems in any discussion if the terms used in the conversation have no defined meanings. If the reality of the universe has to be discussed on the basis of three orders such as 1. God, 2. Man, and 3. Matter, disagreements surface immediately as there is no agreed definition of any of these terms. We should not be surprised to note that three Indian scholars such as Shankara, Ramanuja, and Madhva have shared three different opinions after reading the same books such as the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, and other related texts. Firstly, I must remind all of you that there is no general agreement among scientists in defining the commonly used terms like man, life, and existence.
If the term human species is correctly defined, we will be able to identify man correctly. In my view, man has arrived on planet Earth about 10,000 years ago while Earth has a long, proven history of its natural existence. To that extent, all human languages are of recent origin and no language could be older than 6,000 years. In the practice of Medicine, we recognize three aspects of Human Speech function; 1.Written Speech, 2. Vocalized Speech, and 3. Reading. The function called Speech may also be helped by the sensory perception called hearing. To establish the identity of the Human Species(Homo sapiens sapiens), I depend upon identifying the ability to perform the Speech function in all its aspects. It could be true to claim that some members of the Human Species may not be able to read, write, or communicate using a human language. But, by simple physical, and medical examination of any human individual, I can easily establish that the individual has the potential ability to speak, read, and write. The origin or the Beginning of Human Speech is a creative event. All of us use the same anatomical structures, use the same neuro-physiological mechanisms, and yet we developed a variety of human languages and it makes communication a big challenge if not impossible. The Biblical story of The Tower of Babel tells as to how this confusion of languages was caused by the Creator. What I can easily verify and prove is the fact of the creative use of a mechanism to generate variety that could be aesthetically gratifying. If not proving the existence of a Creator, we have to still explain the creative process and the creative mechanism that is involved in the origin of Human Language and Speech.
THE CREATOR GOD – LORD BRAHMA – THE UNCERTAIN “GOD”:
Each living thing, including man exists in this world as an original, one of its own kind, distinctive, unique object that can be known as a specific individual using the current scientific identification technology. A colony of cloned bacteria with the same genome can be proved to be a mob of Individuals. No living thing has a choice about its nature of existence as an Individual with Individuality. Man cannot create two identical living things using the current reproductive technologies such as cloning. There could be a barrier between man and the Creator but there are no barriers to the creative process called The Law of Generation and Propagation. We cannot generate and propagate any living species without causing the creation of their Individuality. There is no uncertainty about a Creative Process, or Creative Principle that could be causing a Creative Beginning. Science has no power to overcome the Creative Principle that is operating the creation of living things. Man can create objects using mechanical principles and the process cannot be called ‘Natural Creation.’ If Science is concerned with Nature, Natural Science explains that all objects exist as created objects. In this vast universe to the extent man has explored and verified, planet Earth exists as an original object, one of its own kind. We have not yet discovered a second celestial object that can be known as Earth.
THE MAINTAINER GOD – LORD VISHNU – “THE UNAVAILABLE GOD”:
It must be properly understood that man cannot account for his own existence. In Nature, man does not exist on account of his physical, or mental work. In Nature, all living things depend upon an external source of matter and energy to establish the fact of their physical existence. The term ‘Life’ is the description of the living functions performed by things that possess Life. In Science, the term ‘Metabolism’ is used to describe as to how living things maintain their life by constantly making, repairing, and breaking a variety of molecules. There is no ‘LIFE’ if the function called ‘Maintenance or Metabolism’ is observed. The Knowledge to perform this living function called ‘Metabolism’ is not acquired from learning or experience. It is the most creative mechanism to transfer matter and energy from the nonliving to the living. This constant, cyclical movement of matter and energy in Nature can be easily observed and verified. The entire mechanism of Photosynthesis is scientifically verified and we can see the flow of Carbon molecules through both living and nonliving things. What we consume as food to maintain our daily existence is created on a daily basis. Plants do not buy sugars from the grocery stores. Each and every time, plants create new biomolecules that animals and man consume. We cannot refute the existence of this creative Maintenance Mechanism while we are uncertain about the Maintainer God. In the practice of Medicine which involves dealing with human pain, suffering, and misery, it can be observed that people have different levels of pain tolerance, pain resistance, stress tolerance, and stress resistance. Patients who tend to believe in a Maintainer God tend to tolerate pain better and cope with stress better and derive a sense of peace, harmony, and tranquility while facing challenges to their mortal existence. The concept of VISHNU as a Maintainer is about this living condition called Peace, Harmony, and Tranquility. For I observe the process of aging, maturity, and natural death, I can easily know that some people make the transition from Life to Death with a sense of Peace, Calm and Dignity. The Savior saves the human sense of Self-Respect, and Dignity even if the fact of death cannot be avoided.
THE DESTROYER GOD – LORD SHIVA – “THE UNNECESSARY GOD”:
Most people who know the Science about Human Growth and Development or Embryology understand the role of programmed cellular death events for the embryo and fetus to develop into a baby. The baby gets its existence from a Single, Fertilized Egg Cell called Zygote. This Cell divides, multiplies, differentiates to develop into a baby that we can easily recognize. This creative process demands the death of some of the newly born cells as per a predetermined program. Apart from external features like nose, ears, and lips, every organ has to grow to attain a specific size, shape, and defined features and this is accomplished by dissolution of life. Death and dissolution are not unnecessary and the reality is, there is no Life if the intervention called Death is not operating in Nature. Every living thing lives because of the fact of dying and death. We cannot establish the Physical Reality called Life without using the Principle of Dissolution and Death. In the cyclical flow of molecules like Carbon, Phosphorus and others in Nature, the creative mechanism of Death and Dissolution provides the driving force.
To account for human existence we need, 1. A Father Principle, the Originating Principle, the Sperm Cell, 2. A Mother Principle, the Provider Principle, the Egg Cell, the source of maternal cytoplasm, the provider of energy or mitochondria that the Cell uses to create Chemical Energy using Oxidative-Reduction Chemical Reactions, 3. The Creative Principle to get birth as an Individual with Individuality, 4. The Maintainer Principle to sustain Life using creative mechanisms to acquire matter and energy, and 5. The Destroyer Principle to get Life using the organic process of death, decay, and dissolution.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162, USA
On Wednesday, August 13, 2014 5:13 PM, Srinivasa Rao Kankipati wrote:
Religion is an effort to explain Nature, not to explain God. In their attempt to explain Nature, with the help of the abilities possessed by them and the means at their disposal, early men posited God as the Originator, Maintainer and Destroyer of the universe.
They postulated that a God sitting outside the universe must have created the universe. To be fair to them, we cannot refute their postulate.
Man is a recent product in the universe. The date of birth is the universe goes back to billions of years. But the date of birth of modern man or even his primate ancestors is only some millions of years ago at most.
By the time man appeared on the scene, the universe was quite a developed affair. So man, in his early stage of his existence on this planet, had nothing but awe at the wonder of the universe and it was quite natural for him to attribute everything in the universe as the handiwork of an all-powerful Almighty. In fact, any other approach would have been preposterous and out of the intellectual grasp of contemporary men in general.
The great characteristic feature of the universe is that man, though part of nature, is endowed by the very same nature with some remarkable abilities. These abilities came in the form of a thinking mind, with its fantastic attributes of unusual memory power, unending inquisitiveness and urge to explore, and unbounded imagination. Not only so, man’s evolution through the millions of years of his existence has been vastly superior and faster than that of the surrounding nature itself.
So while in the early stages man with his limited abilities was looking at nature which was in an advanced and an almost completed stage, at his later stages a highly evolved man started looking at nature which was not much different from what it was at the beginning of his exploration.
But at the same time we cannot support his primitive hypotheses either. A little reflection would suggest that we are like an insect in an inflated opaque balloon: just as the insect cannot know anything existing outside the balloon, so also we do not know anything existing outside the universe.
Another view entertained by man in his early analysis of nature was that God is immanent in the universe and that He is manifesting himself as the universe, underlying every part of His creation, that He, the real One, has apparently become the Many. Let us call this the “OM” principle.
This explanation can be a more plausible one. It tries to unify all creation and to remove the feeling of difference and separateness between being and being. It even seeks to remove any difference between a being and a nonliving thing. This makes for harmony among all religions and peace among people. In fact, it is one of the grandest ideas of man. It compels our admiration for its simplicity and reach.
If only practiced by all men, the OM principle would have eliminated all ill-feeling and friction caused by religions which came into existence by and by. Religions, though advocating one God, also advocated that their own God is different from the God of other religions. This lead the blind followers of the prophets concerned to reject the generality of human beings and practice the killing of the followers of other prophets. They have the worst fanaticism and believe that their own God would be pleased if people not converted to their belief were eliminated. Never mind that reason tells that they are also children of the same God. They had to be labelled as the children of some other God if not of some Devil and had to be exterminated.
Philosophers are not sure whether the universe was created by any God at all or whether it has come into existence by the operation of some law without the intervention of an outside agency. However they give the benefit of doubt to the proponents of the existence of a Creator God, or Brahma in Hindu terminology. Many thinking men have stated that this issue can never be settled and have been candid enough neither to assert God’s existence nor to deny it. They have adopted agnosticism as their belief. They keep the question of the presence of God in abeyance or a state of suspense. But they have not adopted atheism as such as this means denial of God without proof. Until solid evidence of God as the creator of the universe is available, we cannot also assert such a God’s existence. Thus at the present stage we are left with only a neutral stand.
So, the Creator God, or Brahma, is an Uncertain God.
As regards the God who is supposed to be maintaining the universe answering the prayers of people who are in trouble or generally doing good to all, a moment’s analysis will lead us to doubt the existence of such a Maintainer God. The Creator God made laws for the behavior of the universe, or the universe itself by some strange mechanism is subject to specific laws of behavior on its own, without intervention from any superior force. While the laws may be only a few, the reacting agents subject to those laws are far too many and that is why we are not able to predict the exact course of events. Sometimes the consequences are favourable to us and sometimes not. Religionists have classified the former as the result of God as answering our prayers. They have stated that unfavourable occurrences as the result of our own bad actions, or our “prarabda.” When there is no clear reason as to why certain bad things happen to us despite our not doing anything deserving the bad things, the theory of previous birth is propounded and we are told that we are reaping the consequences of bad “karma” performed by us in a previous birth, though it is not possible to pinpoint exactly in which one of the many previous births. But if we sincerely accept the fact of the existence of so much evil in the world created by a merciful God, we can come to the conclusion that the evil is not the result of anything bad done by anyone, but just the result of interaction of various agents obeying the underlying laws. The result appears to be good or bad according to our own thinking. Good is not created by a merciful God or evil by a sinful man. Nor is the so-called evil the creation of any unkind God. In other words, there is no Maintainer God, or Vishnu in Hindu terminology, and there is no God at all to interfere with the workings of the Law of Causation at the behest of men or on His own.
Many others pray to God for fear that in case they do not pray, God may take some disciplinary action against them. It is fear of reprisal by God which motivates their prayers.
The vast majority of men and women pray to God for favours. They want this and that. They think that only God can easily furnish them what they want. They believe that prayer is the best means available, along with propitiating Him with offer of acts and substances which He is supposed to like. Since God has never furnished anyone with a list of His most-liked items, the earnest devotees think that what pleases them also pleases God. Alas, they also offer animals and other men at the sacrificial altar to win His conferments. As someone said though, our unanswered prayers are our best blessings.
Most people also pray to God for removal of their troubles, even though objective analysis of facts suggests that God does not interfere in the operation of the laws underlying the behavior of the universe, even though it is supposed by some that those laws were set in motion by Him.
But the vast majority of people pray with an eye on publicity. Each such devotee would like to see some persons watching him praying and then telling others how pious he has been. If nobody noticed his prayers, he would feel bitter that his prayer has gone waste. This is the reason for most people to pray in congregations, in churches, mosques and temples, instead of in their own prayer room at home, in solitude and managing not to be found out.
So, a Maintainer God, or Vishnu, is an Unavailable God, if He exists at all, being unable to come to the rescue of any being in the universe.
Let us now come to the Destroyer God, or Shiva in Hindu terminology, who is supposed to destroy the universe at the end.
But is it necessary for any God to undertake this work? Do not things in the universe which come into existence also automatically go out of existence as a matter of natural phenomenon? The adage “Jaatasya Maranam Dhruvam” applies to all beings without an exception and to non-living things, , does it not? The Laws in force in the universe only apply to the interaction of things in the universe, but not to ensure the permanence of those things.
The universe itself may not last forever, because it had a birth, a beginning. “Jatasya Maranam Dhruvam” ensures its end in due course. Everything will collapse eventually, and no God is necessary to undertake or supervise the destruction. Impermanence is the permanent characteristic of everything under the Sun and above the Sun.
So, the Destroyer God, or Shiva, is an Unnecessary God, if He exists at all, with no work to do.
We have thus a troika of three major Gods, the Uncertain One, the Unavailable One and the Unnecessary One.
What then is the fate of the thousands of minor Gods, said to be in charge of various portfolios in the universe? I don’t know about the innate immortality of these Gods, but their zealous and jealous “party workers” wont allow them to die.
Mankind can certainly afford to forget God for some centuries, let Him rest in His heaven during that period, and look for practical solutions for the problems afflicting mankind. Men will be none-the-worse for it, except self-appointed divine brokers such as priests and pastorabbimams who will suffer a lack of business. If this fails, we can always go to sleep ourselves after waking up the sleeping God to solve all the problems inherent in nature and those deliberately created by men to torment each other.
Srinivasa Rao, camp Fremont, California, Aug 08, 2014.
On 10 August 2014 19:48, Xavier William wrote:
Occam’s razor (also written as Ockham’s razor and in Latin lex parsimoniae) is a principle of parsimony, economy, or succinctness used in problem-solving devised by William of Ockham (c. 1287–1347). It states that among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected. Other, more complicated solutions may ultimately prove correct, but—in the absence of certainty—the fewer assumptions that are made, the better. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam%27s_razor for more)
On 10 August 2014 10:36, Ramesam Vemuri wrote:
A well written comprehensive bird’s-eye view of Hinduism without distortions and accurate in presentation: