There is an mysterious Power that pervades everything. I feel though do see it. It is this unseen Power which makes itself felt and yet defies all proof, because it is so unlike all that I perceive through my senses.
It transcends the senses. But it is possible to reason out the existence of God to a limited extent. Even in ordinary affairs we know that people do not know who rules or why, and how he rules. And yet they know that there is a power that certainly rules. In my tour last year in Mysore I met many poor villagers and I found upon inquiry that they did not know who ruled Mysore. They simply said some god ruled it. If the knowledge of these poor people was so limited about their ruler I, who am infinitely lesser than God, than they than their ruler, need not be surprised if I did not realize the presence of God, the King of kings. Nevertheless I do feel as the poor villagers felt about Mysore that there is orderliness in the universe, there is an unalterable Law governing every thing and every being that exists or lives. It is not a blind law; for no blind law can govern the conduct of living beings, and thanks to the marvellous researches of Sir J. C. Bose, it can now be proved that even matter is life. That Law then which governs all life is God. Law and the Lawgiver are one. I may not deny the Law or the Law giver, because I know so little about It or Him. Even as my denial or ignorance of the existence of an earthly power will avail me nothing, so will not my denial of God and His Law liberate me from its operation; whereas humble and mute acceptance of divine authority makes life's journey easier even as the acceptance of earthly rule makes life under it easier.
I do dimly perceive that whilst everything around me is ever changing, ever dying, there is underlying all that change a living power that is changeless, that holds all together, that creates, dissolves and re-creates. That informing power or spirit is God. And since nothing else I see merely through the senses can or will persist, He alone is.
And is this
power benevolent or malevolent? I see it is purely benevolent.
For I can see that in the midst of death life persists, in the midst
of untruth truth persists, in the midst of darkness light
persists. Hence I gather that God is Life, Truth, Light.
He is Love. He is the Supreme Good.
But He is no God
who merely satisfies the intellect, if He ever does. God to
be God must rule the heart and transform it. He must express
Himself in every smallest act of His votary. This can only be
done through a definite realization more real than the five
senses can ever produce.
perceptions can be, often are, false and deceptive, however real
they may appear to us. Where there is realization outside the senses
it is infallible. It is proved not by extraneous evidence but in the
transformed conduct and character of those who have felt the
real presence of God within.
is to be found in the experiences of an unbroken line of
prophets and sages in all countries and climes. To reject this
evidence is to deny oneself.
is preceded by an immovable faith. He who would in his
own person test the fact of God's presence can do so by a living
faith. And since faith itself cannot be proved by extraneous
evidence, the safest course is to believe in the moral
government of the world and therefore in the supremacy of the moral
law, the law of Truth and Love. Exercise of faith will be
the safest where there is a clear determination summarily to reject
all that is contrary to Truth and Love.
I cannot account
for the existence of evil by any rational method. To want to do so
is to be coequal with God. I am therefore humble enough
to recognize evil as such. And I call God long
suffering and patient precisely because He permits evil in the
world. I know that he has no evil in him, and yet if there
is evil, He is the author of it and yet untouched by it.
I know too that
I shall never know God if I do not wrestle with and
against evil even at the cost of life itself. I am fortified in the
belief by my own humble and limited experience. The purer I try to
become, the nearer I feel to be to God. How much more should I be, when
my faith is not a mere apology as it is today but has become as
immovable as the Himalayas and as white and bright as the snows
on their peaks? Meanwhile I invite the correspondent to pray with
Newman who sang from experience: