(1) God Is One, Without a Second
God is certainly One. He has no second. He is unfathomable, unknowable
and unknown to the vast majority of mankind. He is everywhere. He sees
without eyes and hears without ears. He is formless and indivisible. He
is uncreate, has no father, mother or child; and yet He allows Himself
to be worshipped as father, mother, wife and child. He allows Himself
even to be worshipped as stock and stone, although He is none of these
things. He is the most elusive. He is the nearest to us, if we would but
know the fact. But He is farthest from us when we do not want to realize
I dispute the description that Hindus believe in many Gods and are
idolaters. They do say that there are many gods, but they also declare
unmistakably that there is one God, the God of gods. It is, not
therefore, proper to suggest that Hindus believe in many gods. They
certainly believe in many worlds. Just as there is a world inhabited by
men and another by beast, so also, is there one inhabited by superior
beings called gods, whom we do not see but who nevertheless exist. The
whole mischief is created by the English rendering of the word
देवता (deva or devata) for which you have not found a better term than "god".
But God is Ishwara, Devadhideva, God of gods. So you see it is
the word "God" used to describe different divine beings that has given
rise to such confusion. I believe that I am a thorough Hindu but I never
believe in many gods. Never even in my childhood did I hold that belief
and no one ever taught me to do so.
(2) He Is Omnipresent, Omniscient and Omnipotent
God is not some person outside ourselves or away from the universe. He
pervades everything and is omniscient as well as omnipotent. He does not
need any praise or petitions. Being immanent in all beings, He hears
everything and reads our innermost thoughts. He abides in our hearts
and is nearer to us than the nails on our fingers.
God is then not a person. He is the all-pervading, all-powerful Spirit.
Any one who hears Him in his heart has accession of a marvellous force
or energy, comparable in its results to physical forces like steam or
electricity but much more subtle.
(3) He Is a Mysterious Power
There is an indefinable Mysterious Power that pervades everything. I
feel it though I don't 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.
I do dimly perceive that whilst everything around me is ever changing and
ever dying, there is underlying all that change a Living Power that is
changeless, that holds all together, that creates, dissolves and
recreates. This informing Power or Spirit is God.
The truth is that God is the Force. He is the essence of life. He is
pure, undefiled consciousness. He is eternal. And yet, strangely enough,
all are not able to derive, either benefit from or shelter in the
all-pervading Living Presence.
Electricity is a powerful force. Not all can benefit from it. It can
only be produced by following certain laws. It is a lifeless force. Man
can utilize it if he can labour hard enough to acquire the knowledge of
its laws. The Living Force which we call God can similarly be followed
if we know and follow His law leading to the discovery of Him in us.
God is an Unseen Power residing within us. There are many powers lying
hidden within us and we discover them by constant struggle. Even so, we
may find this Supreme Power, if we make deligent search with the fixed
determination to find Him.
My God does not reside above. He has to be realized on earth. He is
here, within you, within me. He is omnipotent and omnipresent. You need
not think of the world beyond. If we can do our duty here, the beyond
will take care of itself.
(4) The Supreme Good
Is this Power benevolent or malevolent? I see It as 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
God is wholly good. There is no evil in Him. God made man in His own
image. Unfortunately for us, man has fashioned Him in his own. This
arrogation has landed mankind in a sea of troubles. God is the Supreme
Alchemist. In His presence all iron and dross turn into pure gold.
Similarly does all evil turn into good.
Again God lives, but not as we. His creatures live but to die. But God
is Life. Therefore, goodness and all it connotes is not an attribute.
Goodness is God. Goodness conceived as apart from Him, is a lifeless
thing and exists while it is a paying policy. So are all morals. If they
are to live in us, they must be considered and cultivated in their
relation to God. We try to become good, because we want to reach and
realize God. All the dry ethics of the world turns to dust because apart
from God they are lifeless. Coming from God they come with life in
them. They become part of us and ennoble us.
(5) God Is Truth and Love
The Absolute Truth, the Eternal Principle that is God. There are
innumerable definitions of God, because His manifestations are
innumerable. They overwhelm me with wonder and awe and for a moment stun
me. But I worship God as Truth only.
To me God is Truth and Love. God is ethics and morality; God is
fearlessness. God is the source of Light and Life, and yet He is above
and beyond all these. God is conscience. He is even the atheism of the
atheist. For in His boundless love, God permits the atheist to live. He
is the searcher of the hearts. He knows us and our hearts better than we
do ourselves. ... He is personal God to those who need His personal
presence. He is embodied to those who need His touch. He is the purest
Essence. He is, to those who have faith. He is all things to all men.
(6) God Is Sat-Chit-Ananda
The word Satya (Truth) is derived from Sat which means
"Being". And nothing is or exists in reality except Truth. That is why
Sat or Truth is perhaps the most important name of God. In fact, it
is more correct to say Truth is God than to say God is Truth.
And where there is Truth, there is also Knowledge, which is true. Where
there is no Truth, there can be no true knowledge. That is why the word
Chit or Knowledge is associated with the name of God. And where
there is true Knowledge, there is always Bliss (Ananda). Sorrow
has no place there. And even as Truth is Eternal, so is the Bliss
derived from it. Hence we know God as Sat-Chit-Ananda, one who
combines in Himself, Truth, Knowledge and Bliss.
(7) He Is Law Eternal
God is an Idea, Law Himself. ... He and His Law abide everywhere and
govern everything. Therefore, though I do not think that He answers in
every detail, every request of ours, there is no doubt that He rules our
actions and I literally believe that not a blade of grass grows or moves
without His will.
I do feel that there is orderliness in the universe, there is an
unalterable Law governing everything and every being that lives and
moves. It is not a blind law, for no blind law can govern the conduct of
living beings. . . . The Law and the Law-giver are one. I may not deny
the Law or 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
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 acceptance of earthly rule makes life
under it easier.
(8) His Infinite Mercy
God is, even though the whole world deny Him. God embraces not only this
tiny globe of ours, but millions and billions of such globes. How can
we, little crawling creatures so utterly helpless as He has made us, how
could we possibly measure His greatness, His boundless love, His
infinite compassion? So great is His infinite love and pity that He
allows man insolently to deny Him, wrangle about Him, and cut the
throats of his fellowmen. How can we measure the greatness of God, who
is so forgiving, so divine?
He allows us freedom and yet His compassion commands obedience to His
Will. But if anyone of us disdains to bow to His Will, He says: "So be
it." "My sun will shine no less for thee, My clouds will rain no less
for thee. I need not force thee to accept My sway." Of such a God let
the ignorant dispute the existence. I am one of the millions of wise men
who believe in Him and am never tired of bowing to Him and singing His
God is the hardest task-master, I have known on earth. He tries you
through and through. And when you find your faith is failing, or your
body is failing you, and you are sinking, He comes to your assistance
somehow or other and proves to you that you must not lose your faith and
that He is always at your beck and call, but on His terms. So I have
found. I cannot recall a single instance when at the eleventh hour, He
has forsaken me.
(9) He Has Many Names
There is only one omnipotent and omnipresent God. He is named variously
and we remember Him by the name which is most familiar to us. Each
person can choose the name that appeals most to him. Ishwara, Allah,
Khuda, God mean the same.
God has a thousand names, or rather, He is nameless. We may worship or
pray to Him by whichever name that pleases us. All worship the same
Spirit, but as all foods do not agree with all, all names do not appeal
to all. Each chooses the name according to His associations and He being
the Indweller Ail-Powerful and Omniscient, knows our inmost feelings and
responds to us according to our deserts.
In my opinion, Rama, Rahaman, Ahurmazda, God or Krishna, are all
attempts on the part of man to name that invisible Force. . . . Man can
only conceive God within the limitations of his own mind. What matters,
then, whether one man worships God as a person and another as Force?
Both do right according to their lights. One need only remember that God
is the Force among all the forces. All other forces are material. But
God is the Vital Force or Spirit which is all-pervading, all-embracing
and therefore beyond human ken.
Daridranarayan is one of millions of names by which humanity knows God who is
unnameable and unfathomable by human understanding. And it means God of
the poor, God appearing in the hearts of the poor.
(10) His Incarnations
God is not a person. To affirm that He descends to earth every now and
again, in the form of human being, is a partial truth, which merely
signifies that such a person lives near to God. Inasmuch as God is
omnipresent, He dwells within every human being and all may, therefore,
be said to be incarnations of Him. But this leads us nowhere. Rama,
Krishna, etc. are called incarnations of God because we attribute divine
qualities to them. Whether they actually lived or not does not affect
the picture of them in man's mind.