About The Author:
Sadhu Atmaswarupdas is an ordained monk (senior Sadhu) of BAPS sanstha. He is also the head of Delhi Akshardham mandir. After growing up in United Kingdom, Atmaswarup Swami completed his mechanical engineering from IIT Bombay and joined the sadhufold to serve the society & his guru Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
Currently he is on Vicharan (satsang tour) with P.P. Mahant Swami Maharaj (present head of BAPS).
Here is an article written by him which published on Swaminarayan Bliss magazine and Enlightening Essays in the year 2000.
A rational and spiritual approach to the existence of God. In this three part serial the reasons for the disbelief in God and its solutions are presented
Part – 1
Does God Exist?
It is a million dollar question raised since ages. Of course, the question has been answered time and time again. However, there are always doubts raised about the existence of God. Perhaps it would be appropriate to examine the reasons for such doubts so that the problem can be tackled at the very roots.
Causes for Doubts about God’s Existence
The first and foremost cause for such doubts is man’s ego. It prevents a person from accepting an authority above oneself, because it would tantamount to playing second fiddle to God, surrendering to God, etc. The inflated ego simply does not permit one to accept God as a divine, superior power.
Abraham Lincoln had echoed the same feeling when he declared: “We have been recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven… but we have forgotten God… we have vainly imagined that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. We have become too proud to pray to God that made us… I set apart 30th April, 1863, as a day of national humiliation, fasting and prayer.”
Secondly, with the advances in science and technology, people have been more skeptical about their fundamental beliefs in God. They tend to pose such questions: “We cannot see God so how can we accept Him? God cannot be proved through experiment in a laboratory, so how can we accept His existence?” People tend to seek rational grounds for God’s existence, forgetting that there are many things in the world, which are beyond reason. It is aptly remarked by someone that a mind all logic is like a knife all blade. It makes the hand bleed that uses it. Hence, such doubts never leave the minds of rational demagogues.
Thirdly, the cause for atheism is the fanatic attitude of some religions. In their fanaticism, they tend to denounce other religions, thus hurting the pious feelings of the followers of such religion. Man looks to religion as the uniting force of humanity but such fanatics, who constantly strike a discordant note, precipitate disbelief in God among the more sensitive people.
Fourthly, association with impostors is also another cause for the loss of faith in God. In the name of religion, they bank on man’s inherent fear of God and try to exploit the credulous people to serve their selfish ends. However, when these innocent people come to know of the impostors’ misdoing, they tend to lose faith in God. They simply cannot reconcile “cheating” under the banner of religion. The adverse effect of such impostor’s misdoing is that the followers then develop disbelief in the words of even true saints and sages, who are the true upholders of religion and belief in God.
Fifthly, atheism develops in one who constantly reads literature that tends to denounce the existence of eternal God.
Sixthly, the base nature of man like carnal passion, anger, greed, egoism, and jealousy also prevents one from accepting the authority of even God realized persons. Hence, doubts about the existence of God always linger on in their minds.
Finally, even great scholars of religious texts fail to understand the true glory of God because they ascribe human failings even to God, just as they themselves have such shortcomings. Having examined the causes for atheism, let us examine the basic qualifications required to develop faith in God.
How Can We Develop Faith in God?
Just as a person seeking for a job as a Manager should have the necessary qualifications and experience, there are certain basic attributes which must be developed in us if we are to develop faith in God. They are as follows:
1. If one can understand the glory of God then faith in God will automatically emerge in an atheist. (Vachanamrut Gadhada II-16).
2. We can be convinced of the existence of God through inference. We can see flames, smoke and clouds rising up in the sky, but we cannot see the wind that causes the rise. But we can certainly infer the existence of wind from the phenomenon. Similarly, God can be inferred from his works.
3. We can be certain of God’s existence provided we tread on the path of God realization. Yogi Krishna Prem, a Vaishnav saint, once explained to his friend: “The Grand Trunk Road leads to Delhi. How do you know? Tread on it and you will know.” Thus mere theorizing does not help us very much in developing faith in God; one has to practice the various disciplines.
Patient perseverance is another requisite to realize God. K. M. Munshi, the founder President of Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, once wrote: “I took 16 years to gain a degree, and yet another 12 years to be a good lawyer. But in matters of religion, I wanted immediate results.” Certainly, you cannot get mangoes tomorrow from a mango seed sown today. It takes time. But once one has that vision, it is, as E. Schroedinger, a Nobel Laureate in Physics, said: “We know when God is experienced that this is an event as real as an immediate sense perception or as one’s own personality.”
Once a guru was approached by a disciple. The disciple asked the guru, “Have you seen God?” The guru replied, “Yes, I have seen God.” The disciple became impatient and said, ” Then show me God.” The guru asked him to stay back and promised that he would show God to him. After a few days, the inmates of the ashram happened to go to a nearby lake for a bath. The guru also accompanied them. The inquisitive disciple was also with them. They all plunged in the lake for a bath. After a while, the guru went near the disciple, caught hold of his head by his hair, and pressed hard on him so that the disciple was fully plunged in water. He held him tight under water. The disciple in desperation struggled hard to surface above the water. But the guru seemed to be bent on pressing him under water. The disciple struggled frantically and, at long last, succeeded in releasing the grip of the guru. He was almost drowned. When he surfaced above water, he began to gasp for air. In a couple of minutes he came round and charged the guru for trying to kill him by drowning him. The guru coolly pretended not to heed the complaint. On the contrary, he asked the disciple, “What were you doing under water.” The disciple in a fit of anger, retorted, “Good heavens! You seem to be least bothered about my life. Didn’t you see how frantically I had to struggle to loosen your grip on my head? How can you be so cruel?” The guru again asked him, “But why did you struggle so frantically to loosen my grip?” The disciple retorted, “Why not? It was a matter of life and death for me. Had I not struggled so hard, I would have died.” The guru then told the disciple, “Just as you struggled so hard to save your life, have you undertaken an equally frantic struggle to see God? If you do so, then God will certainly reveal Himself to you.”
The story underlines the fact that instant results in matters of God are not to be sought. Perseverance in our endeavor to attain God is a pre-requisite.
Also we must realize that there are some things which lie beyond the ken of intellect. Bertrand Russell in his book “What I Believe” confesses that, “In the near future when the volume of evidence will increase quantitatively, we shall have to revise our opinion and come in line with the findings of religion which are so often branded as trash.” Even Pascal has said, “The heart has reasons of its own, which the head can never understand.” Jean – Jacques Rousseau, the 18th century French philosopher, opines, “Above the logic of the head is the feeling of the heart.” The Holy Bible says, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” Bergson has rightly attracted our attention to the possibilities of intuition as a conveyor of direct knowledge. When the heart is thoroughly purified, one develops a sixth sense, viz. intuition of a purified heart, through which comes the experience of super sensuous realities that lie beyond the ken of intellect. The Taittiriya Upanishad has underlined the principle thus: “Yato vaacho nivartante apraapya manasaa saha.” That is, “The mind and speech can not approach God and return to their empiric state.”
In the Bhagvad Gita when Shri Krishna manifested before Arjun in all his resplendence, Arjun just could not bear to look at him. Only when his senses were divinized by God that he could behold the vision of Lord Krishna.
During the 1977 foreign tour of His Divine Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, a press reporter in his interview of Swamishri asked: “Why can’t we see God?” Pat came the reply from Swamishri, “We do see Him but just can’t believe Him to be God.”
Lord Swaminarayan has explained the same in Vachanamrut 51 of Gadhada section I: “It is like a diamond cutting a diamond. God inspires within the knowledge of His own Self. He can therefore be realized only by the knowledge inspired by Him and not through the ‘indriyas’ (senses) and ‘antahkaranas’ (mind, intellect, etc.) which are evolved out of maya.”
Thus God transcends our understanding, but through His grace, we can be divinized to know Him.
The next point which goes a long way to develop our faith in God is faith in the scriptures and the God – communion sadhus.
“The scriptures are the source of prevalence of ‘Dharma’ (religion). One who has not read scriptures, even unknowingly conforms to the rules laid down in the scriptures and acts accordingly with his mother, sister, wife, daughter, etc. These relations and its definitions have been born out of the scriptures and one holds them to be true and behaves with one’s relations according to the code of behavior so laid down. The scriptures are therefore the great and only authority. But one who does not respect these scriptures and acts according to his own conception is a heretic. And one who takes the authority of the scriptures, has a strong foundation for the path of God realization,” says Lord Swaminarayan in Vachanamrut 13 of Sarangpur Section.
In Vachanamrut 68 of Gadhada section-I, the Lord has said that, “Skepticism develops when one reads scriptures which deny God. The company of believers in such scriptures is also sure to turn one into an atheist… However, if one desires to drive out such sceptic influence from one’s mind, one should read Holy Scriptures like the Shrimad Bhagwat, etc.”
He goes on to say further in Vachanamrut 27 of Gadhada Section-III, “The saint in whom the vital redemptive attributes (nishkam, nirlobh, niswad, nisneh, and nirman) are displayed is said to have established rapport with God. Therefore, his words should be taken as the ultimate truth, and the knowledge of God that he infuses in the disciples is the ultimate knowledge and the eternal truth.”
His Divine Holiness Yogiji Maharaj was often found talking to the idol of God. Once an inquisitive aspirant asked, “Swamibapa, we can hear you talking to the idol of God. But, does God ever respond to your talks?” Swamishri said, “Of course, he invariably talks to me.” The aspirant asked further, “Why is it that we can never hear that voice?” Swamishri replied, “Well, it is like connecting a telephone call to someone. At my end you can hear my part of conversation but can you, by standing nearby, hear what the party at the other end of the line is saying?” Thus through the association with such a saint, who is in direct rapport with God, one can realize God.
Finally, one should keep away from the vilifying influence of the nastikas, for they deny the authority of God and the scriptures. One should pray to God to protect one from such influence (Vachanamrut Gadhada Sec. I-48).
Effects Point Towards the Cause
Just as, when one sees a sword weighing two hundred kilos, one can imagine the greatness of the warrior who can fight with such a sword; similarly, one can visualize God’s greatness through His works.
Often we wonder: Who is the sculptor that gave such vivid shapes to the various living creatures? Who is the music maestro who taught the birds their love-song to beckon their mates? Who is that chemist who put juice in the fruits and fragrance in the flowers? Who is the artist who painted the designs of the leaves of the various trees, and put color into the lovely butterflies? Who is the engineer who designed a cow’s stomach such that grass is transformed into milk? Who is the manufacturer who made wood out of carbon dioxide and water? Indeed such miracles must have a Miracle-maker taking care of them.
Besides, there are infinite galaxies in the cosmos. Yet they do not meet with accidents. The sun also never fails to rise regularly every day. No barriers blockade the overflow of water from an ocean, yet, it never transgresses its boundaries! No doubt, there must be a controller to regularize all such activities!
Thus we can infer from such observations that a creator-cum-controller is a must and that is God!
Scientific Arguments and Illustrations for the Existence of God
There are various rational arguments posed to deny the existence of God. Some of them are dealt with and explained as follows:
(1) Some people argue, “How do I believe in God when I cannot see Him?” Sri Ramkrishna Paramhansa explains by giving an example, “Thou seest many stars in the sky but findest them not when the sun rises, can thou say that there are no stars, then, in the heaven of day? So, O man, because thou behold not the Almighty in the days of thy ignorance say not there is no God.” If a mirror is covered by a layer of dust, I cannot see my image in it. But the moment the dust is wiped off, the image is there. The mirror and the face are the same but the dust obstructed visibility. Similarly, the dust of maya (ignorance) obstructs our view of the Lord.”
Since I cannot see your brain, am I to assume you don’t have one? More and more powerful instruments are needed to unravel the mysteries of physical sciences. That being so, is it not scientific to accept that mysteries of the Divine can be understood only by sharper and sharper spiritual perceptions?
To cite another example, none of us has seen electricity, however, when the switch is turned on and the lights blaze forth we say there is an electric current in the line. Thus, though we do not see electricity, we infer its existence through its working. The same is the case with God whose working bespeaks His existence.
(2) Yet some people argue, “Can you prove the existence of God with certainty as done in laboratory experiments by science?”
But the skeptics forget that there are many things in science which have no proof yet they are accepted as true. For example, nobody has ever obtained the square root of minus one (i.e., ( \/ -1). But, science has decided to call it ‘i’ (\/-1= i) and proceeds on to apply it. Without the said proof, there are so many applications of ‘i’ in the theory of Analytical Functions which lead to fruitful results. Hence, absence of any experimental proof cannot be a criterion for the non-existence of anything.
Again, Planck gave the 3rd Law of Thermodynamics that, “Entropy of a perfect crystal at absolute zero (temperature) is zero.” There is no proof for it as none has yet been able to reach absolute zero temperature. However, it has many practical applications.
Thus absence of experimental proof is no criterion for the denial of anything, least of all God !
3. A whale of a tale – the dilemma of Dolphins and Duckbills
Scientists are trying to prove the existence of various forms of life through the theory of evolution. However, there are many exceptions to this theory which shake the very foundation of the theory.
Most evolutionists claim that life began in the sea. Since they have generally agreed that life began in the sea, they insist that ALL living forms “gradually” found their way from the sea to the land and to the air.
Let us consider the case of the dolphins. Evolutionists say, “The past of the whales is extremely obscure. All we know is that sometime….some smallish, four-footed land animals began a series of extraordinary rapid evolutionary changes. In the geologically short span of 50 million years they learned to swim instead of walk, and to reproduce offspring which were able to swim from the moment they left the womb.”
But did they really do all this? Can it be proven? Is there any fossil evidence? Are these ideas accurate? How could they “gradually” change in such a drastic manner? What caused these changes? We are told in positive terms that these creatures evolved from land animals. What kind of land animals? No one knows where is the evidence? It is non-existent. No fossil remains of the land ancestors of the whale (dolphin) have been discovered as yet! It is non-existent. Missing.
One evolutionist admitted. “As the science of oceanography progresses, we may find the whale’s complete skeletal record on the ocean’s bottom. Until then the guesses are further apart than those for man’s evolutionary record.”
Notice it carefully. The ideas about man’s evolution are admittedly guesses. And some of the guesses are pretty wild. But admits evolution – guesses concerning the past “development” of whales is even wilder!
After adapting to life on land, the ancestors of porpoises, for reasons no one knows, went back to the sea. Just what the land animal was like no one can be sure, for the ‘missing link’ in its evolution are lost beneath the sea!
Baby dolphins are born underwater. A mama dolphin nudges them gently to the surface, they must somehow open and breathe through their brand-new little air vent at just the right moment. A second too soon and the baby creature would drown. A second too late, and the same thing would happen.
Remember again, that the very first migration; the very first deep dive; the very first attempt to capture fish for a meal: the very first use of salt water; the VERY FIRST underwater birth; the very first voluntary control of breathing – these and myriad more fantastic firsts all had to occur at the same time! At the very instant the first dolphin swam!
And – from these fantastic abilities, do scientists see great thought and planning? Do they observe great design and intricate creation? Do they stand in awe of the great mind it took to produce and put into action such huge creatures?
Not at all. They see only the creature not the Creator. They are only the material creation – not its producer, designer, sustainer and ruler!
The evolutionists theorize that, given enough time, virtually anything can happen. Do explosions in print shops produce the unabridged dictionary? Do dump trunks, dumping a load of bricks, produce palatial mansions, complete with carpets, appliances, chandeliers, and rare paintings? Do city dumps produce typewriters – which falling together accidentally type out the Encyclopaedia Americana?
Yet these are some of the very arguments used by evolutionists in college classrooms today! But why do evolutionists “take the long way around” in their guesses about the “evolution” of whales and dolphins? Simply to remain loyal to their theory, they must.
Whales and dolphins are certainly mammals. But there is an even more enigmatic mammal found in Australia. And he virtually stuns evolutionists. It is the unbelievable platypus.
The Unbelievable Platypus
“Bizarre.” “Monstrous Misfit!” “Unbelievable.” “An impossible patch-work creature!” say evolutionists of the duckbill platypus. Evolutionists have a tough time describing and explaining the strangest creatures alive today – the duckbill platypus.
Native to Australia, the platypus seems to be a “patchwork” animal because evolution likes to see some sort of comparison or inter-relationship in all living things. In trying to relate the platypus to various other animals, evolutionists have not been able to stop short of at least four or five widely differing creatures – nowhere near each other in the purely fanciful “evolutionary tree.”
Its tail is muscular and flat, shaped like a beaver’s tail. Even though looking like a beaver’s tail, it is covered with fur instead of scales! The “shoulder” is definitely reptilian.
And then there’s the strange looking “bill.” But while the ducks have a fairly hard and bony bill, the bill of the platypus is of a softer texture, like pliable skin, and is filled with highly sensitive nerves.
Since the little animal suckles its young, it is classified as a mammal. But, astounding though it seems it lays eggs! The eggs are reptilian in nature, and covered with a skin-like texture, instead of a hard shell. And the little platypus doesn’t really “suckle” its young, but actually secretes the milk from a mammary opening which then drips from the hair of the underbelly, and the young lap the milk from the hair!
But in spite of the duck-like bill, beaver-like tail, snake-like eggs and venom fang, and with otter forefeet and young-suckling (but not really!) characteristics of mammals, the little creature has only a single ventral opening for elimination, mating and birth – just like reptiles! But the trouble is he is warm-blooded, which reptiles are not! Further, he stores food in cheek pouches, like some mammals, but unlike mammals, has no exterior ear, but only an opening into his hearing apparatus which is located inside!
No wonder evolutionists get “mixed up” when they attempt “scientific” classification – which could either be mammal, bird, or reptile! The platypus simply does not fit the evolutionary scheme of things.
Even more amazing, there is nothing transitional about the platypus. He is highly intelligent and remarkably built to fit his environment.
Unhappily, no fossils have yet been found in any continent which reveal the lineage of the platypus prior to the last few million years in Australia itself.
All fossil platypuses that have been found look exactly like “modern” platypuses.
So there is no proof from the fossil record, either in recent or in ancient times, regardless of the way in which it may be stated in various publications, that the platypus evolved at all!
The platypus is another of those serious obstacles to the evolutionary theory – a living creature that has no living counterparts and no close relatives in the fossil record. Therefore, science calls this little creature “a living fossil.” Evolution is forced to admit they have never changed. That is, that their fossil ancestors, if any, are exactly the same as the living creatures.
Why, having once begun to enjoy the advantages of large brains and maternal care, were the monotremes (the platypus comes under them) not pushed on through the ages by the same forces of selection and survival that shaped the other animals? This is one of the recurrent riddles of evolution and as yet there is no answer to it!
The platypus proves evolution cannot be true. He waves his bill at evolutionists in sad pity. It almost appears as though God made the platypus just to confuse the evolutionists!
But those of us, who have the wit to see, ought to be able to understand from the creation around us, that God does exist.
Thus the dolphins and duckbills (platypuses) drive evolutionists in a dubious dilemma, that rips up evolution. Both the dolphins and duckbills are classified as mammals. The one thing both share in common is their extremely unusual characteristics. Both of these mammals defy evolutionists and shatter the evolutionary family tree.
4. Some Scientists Claim that Life is a Result of a Number of Chemical Combinations
If it is so, then we should be able to raise corpses to life by injecting various chemicals into their bodies! But it is not the case because it is God who has created life.
5. Faith is the Key to Knowledge
We need to realise that many things have to be accepted on good faith. They do not call for proof. For example, we are told that taking poison can be fatal. But we never try it for ourselves, for in that case we would very possibly not live to see the results of such an experiment. Most of us may not have seen anyone die due to poison taking. Yet, if given the chance to swallow poison, we would simply abstain from the act. This is due to an inner conviction that ‘poison proves fatal!’ Have we ever thought over the reason or proof for such a fact? Certainly not. Still we do hold the statement to be true.
Besides, if we are asked: “How do you know that such and such a person is your father? Have you any proof of it?” Our simple reply would be, “It was my mum who disclosed the identity of my father.” One would be dubbed foolish if he sought proof for the fatherhood of one’s father. The fact is a matter of faith in the words of one’s mother.
So, we do accept some things of faith. But, however, in matters of God, our ego bars us from accepting His existence!
Some Examples of God’s Creation
(1) The Human Faculty of Reasoning
The evolution theory fails to explain the highly developed intellectual faculty of human beings for reasoning. Hence, it must be God who has endowed human beings with great intelligence.
(2) The Instincts of Living Entities
(i) The Eel
It is noted that when the eel is ready to lay eggs, it proceeds all the way from European waters to the Bermuda Islands. As soon as the eggs are laid, the mother dies. However, it is a great surprise indeed that the newborn eels reach the very European waters from where their mothers had migrated. The distance covered by the newborn eels is two thousands miles and yet, it does not get lost.
Similar is the case with American eels. They also come to the Bermuda Islands for egg laying, then the mothers die. However the newborn fish head straight for American waters from where their mothers had migrated.
Though the European eels and the American eels gather together, there is never any mixing up so as to result in newborn American eels heading for Europe, or for the newborn European eels heading for America.
This is due to instinct in the eels endowed by God’s grace. It is He who has been the unmistakable guide to the eels.
(ii) The Weaver-bird
An experiment was performed on some weaverbirds. They were confined to the four walls of a room where no material for building their nests was available. The offsprings were removed to other confined rooms where they could not build nests. This experiment was extended till the fifth generation of the weaverbirds. Then the weaverbird of the fifth generation was let loose in the open atmosphere. And to everyone’s surprise these weaverbirds built the nest exactly of the same peculiar type characteristic of the weaverbirds! How was this knowledge of nest building passed onto the fifth generation? They call it instinct which in other words, implies that God revealed the same to the weaverbirds. Hence, the presence of instinctive nest building indicates the existence of God who inspires them to do the same in their unique style.
(iii) The Calf
A newly born calf, immediately and unmistakably, after getting up, heads for the udder of the mother for suckling. Who has given it the knowledge that its food lies in the mother’s udder in the form of milk? Certainly it is God’s grace that has revealed to a newborn calf the udder of its mother as a source of milk. Hence God exists.
Science fails to explain all these three phenomena mechanically. God’s existence is the only proof for these extra-ordinary events.
(4) Theory of Creation of Earth as a Chance Phenomenon
Let us examine this chance theory in the light of the facts which clearly refute any such basis. Cressy Morrison, former president of the New York Academy of Science, says:
(i) The earth rotates on its axis at an approximate speed of 1,000 miles per hour. If by chance, its rotational speed were 100 miles per hour, what would have been the result? Well, the duration of day as well as of the night would have been 10 times longer. In that case, exposure during the day to the intense heat of the sun would have destroyed vegetation. Vegetation that could have survived the sunlight during the long day would have to stand equally long nights. The chill of the nights would have caused this vegetation to wither away. Thus we arrive at a world bereft of all vegetation! This disastrous effect, thanks be to the grace of God, has been avoided because the rotational speed of the earth has been set at the appropriate speed for vegetation to flourish. The Chance Theory would simply not allow a world flourishing with vegetation. There is, for sure, design and meticulous planning behind every phenomenon that occurs.
(ii) The temperature on the surface of the sun is about 12,000 degrees Fahrenheit. If its temperature was to be, by chance half of it, then no human being could survive the resulting cold on the earth. If its temperature was one-and-half times its present temperature, then we would all have been baked to a soot due to the resulting heat. But the fact that the temperature of the sun is appropriate and conducive to human survival on the earth, clearly indicates that creation is designed to definite patterns and not haphazard as the Chance Theory would permit.
(iii) Imagine the moon being 50,000 miles nearer us than at present. In that case, the consequence would be that there would be high tides in the oceans of the earth twice a day. The high tides would be so enormous that the landmass of the earth would be drowned under those tides twice daily! The fact that it simply does not happen, vouches for the intelligent creation of the earth and the moon. No wonder then that the Chance Theory has no chance of succeeding in explaining creation.
Besides, if the oceans were a little deeper than they are at present, then all the supply of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the world would have been exhausted! Thanks be to God who has not left to “chance” such a graveyard of the world!
(iv) If our atmosphere were a little less dense than it is, then the falling meteors would still be ablaze when reaching the earth. They would set fire to the world! But the fact is otherwise, thanks to the creation of God that has allowed no chance to the ‘Chance Theory’.
Hence life has not developed as a result of chance. There certainly is a Supreme Controller – God.
(5) There is a Tendency Among some Atheists to Explain the Workings of the Universe as Occurring “Automatically”
But they fail to realize that even the most automatic creations of man – the computer – requires a maker, an operator, and a maintainer! Then how can the whole vast universe carry on automatically as suggested by some of our atheist friends? Undoubtedly, we have to accept the fact that there is certainly a great creator and controller of the same. Hence logic leads us to accept the existence of God as that Supreme Creator and Controller.
(6) There is a Balance Maintained in the World between the Animal and Plant Worlds
Often we wonder how this balance is effected. We are indeed amazed to find how those animals and plants which give rapid new birth have not filled the world!
Also there is some power fixing limitation on the size of rapidly reproducing and growing insects, for example, of the bees. Providence has so endowed them that the air passages for respiration among them are restricted in size. This checks an undue size. If there was no such limitation on size, then we would have had bees the size of a lion roaming about! In that case, man would have simply not survived.
Thanks to a supreme power that has its say in maintaining the balance in numbers and sizes of plants and animals. God is indeed gracious!
(7) The Genes
So unspeakably tiny are they that, if all of them responsible for all living people in the world could be collected together, there would be less than a thimbleful. Yet these ultra microscopic genes and their companions, the chromosomes are the absolute keys to all human, animal and vegetable characteristics. Thus the fantastic genes indicate that they can be the creation of God.
A. H. Compton, Nobel Laureate, in his book “The Cosmos of Arthur Holly Compton” writes: “When we pray to our fatherly God, it is common experience that we receive courage and strength to do deeds of friendliness towards his children. It is hard to think of receiving strength, without imagining a being that gives us strength.” Thus God exists.
Even Alexis Carrel, Nobel Prize winner in Medicine says in his book ‘Reflections on Life,’ “The existence of God explains, better than any hypothesis, the results of prayer, the phenomenon of mysticism and the sense of the holy.”
There are innumerable instances in which prayers to God have worked miracles. We shall cite a few of them below:
(i) George Mueller, a British citizen, had no means of support. However, he felt an ardent urge to serve the cause of the orphans. He started praying to the Lord and he received seven million dollars sent to him through prayers. From that he founded five great orphanages and other institutions in Bristol, England.
(ii) The story of Apollo-13 is also ample proof that ‘someone’ answers our prayers. When the rocket headed for the moon, some mechanical fault developed on it. The scientists and technologists got worried about its re-entry. Immediately they sent out an appeal on the air to 200 million Americans to pray to God for its safety. Obviously, they realized that science had no power, then, to bring it back from the moon to the earth. But the prayers were answered by God and the rocket landed safely on earth.
(iii) The Russians are credited with being atheists. However, during World War II, all the churches in Russia used to be full with the Russians praying for the safe return of their near and dear ones from the war fronts.
(iv) Dr. Smiley of England has innovated a novel way of curing his patients. He has employed priests who regularly pray to God for the quick recovery of the suffering lot. They have been working for the last four decades to reinstate faith in God among the patients. And, it has worked wonders. There have been rapid recoveries among patients. No wonder, God responds to our inner pleadings by way of prayers.
(v) Even Mahatma Gandhi the Father of the Indian nation, used to say that India had been able to gain freedom from British domination by the power of prayers to God.
VI. Atheists Turned into Theists
The most convincing arguments can be had from the outstanding transformations of the confirmed atheists into theists! The examples follow:
(i) During World War I, a German officer, Count Charles, was a confirmed atheist. He rejected all talk about God and His existence. He lay dying in a French Hospital. The nurse in the hospital who looked after him was also a German. She asked the officer again and again if she might call a priest, but the officer always refused. Finally, the nurse said, “I will pray very hard for you.” The officer laughed and told her it was useless to pray for him.
The nurse replied, “No, I will continue praying for you. I am praying for a certain person for the past sixteen years and I shall still keep praying for him.” The officer then enquired, “Is it your brother or your father you are praying for?” “No,” said the nurse, “I am doing it as a special favor to the mother of this person. She is a German Countess and her young son, the man I am praying for, left home and joined the army. He had been a pious, young boy, but when he left home, he forgot all about God and religion. I am praying to keep my promise made to this mother. Poor woman! She does not even know where her son is now. It would be wonderful for her to see him changed again for the better.”
The man stared at her and his face lighted up. His eyes shone brightly, and tears rolled down his cheeks. He got up on his sick bed and asked, “Are you talking of Countess Beata, my mother?” The nurse was surprised to hear this and she could only murmur. “Then you are Count Charles, that same young man I have been praying for! Do you want a priest?” “Yes,” said the young man, “Today, God’s mercy and your prayer have saved me.” From an ardent atheist he turned into a theist.
(ii) An Arab and the Englishman
While travelling together through desert land, the Arab prepared to offer his prayers to Allah in the evening. The Englishman did not believe in the existence of God. So, he asked the Arab not to waste his time in such a futile act. He said, “There is no sign of God. Have you seen or talked to God?” The Arab did not utter a single word.
At night they camped together in a desert. Early in the morning, the Englishman woke up first. When he came out of the camp, he saw some footsteps of a camel in the sand. Soon then, the Arab woke up and came out. The Englishman told the Arab, “A caravan seems to have passed by at night.” The Arab asked, “How do you know that? Did you see the caravan or talk to the men thereof?” The Englishman said, “I see the footsteps of a camel hence it is the sign of a caravan.” Immediately, the Arab said, “I also see the sign of God in the golden rays of the sun and in the cool moonlight. Hence, I conclude that there must be God.” The Englishman realized his folly and henceforth started to believe in God and offer his regular prayers to him.
(iii) A German Doctor was also one such atheist. He was an expert surgeon. Once his son had severe abdominal pains. On investigation it was found that he had to be operated upon for appendicitis. The father, who was himself an expert surgeon, undertook to operate his son. Though he had performed delicate cardiac and other operations, the simple appendicitis operation proved fatal to the boy. That time, the German surgeon realized that though he was a surgeon there was someone else who was the savior. His failure in the operation marked a turning point in his life. He began to believe in the existence of God and the savior.
(iv) Story of an Old Traveler
The train was bound for Paris. Among many travelers in the compartment there was an old man, and a young scientist was seated opposite him. The young man was bubbling with enthusiasm, for he was selected to do his doctoral work in one of the most renowned research institute in France, the Louis Pasteur Institute of Research. It was indeed an honor vouchsafed only to few chosen scholars.
As the train was travelling, the young man saw the old man, sitting opposite him, telling the beads of his rosary. The young man was an atheist. He thought science had all the answers to various problems of the world and there was no creator – God. When he saw the old man telling his beads, he said, “Look here, old man, you seem to be really ignorant. You still believe in God when science has made such great strides in its field. Even the great scientists of our times have denied any existence of God. Inspite of that, you still seem to stick to the outdated beliefs.”
The old man said, “Well, is it so ? Are even the great scientists of our times denying the existence of God? I am afraid, I did not know it. Please explain to me their view-points in detail so that I can be properly guided and enlightened by their intelligent arguments.”
The young man said, “Look here, gentleman, I can quote and narrate a thousand incidents to prove the non-existence of God. However, Paris is drawing nearer and I have to reach the Research Institute in time. Nevertheless, if you care to give me your address, I shall personally drop in and convince you of the non-existence of God. The old man readily agreed with him to meet at some later time on. Then he gave his own address card to the young man. The man read the address and he was just dazed. For, the address read: “LOUIS PASTEUR, Director, Louis Pasteur Institute of Research.”
The young man felt highly embarrassed. He was ashamed to have talked so blatantly with Louis Pasteur, one of the great scientists of his times. It was indeed a great paradox that he had been claiming an atheistic viewpoint on the authority of the great scientists when one of the great scientists, Louis Pasteur, held such firm faith in God.
This transformed the young man. He decided to draw a leaf from the pious life of Louis Pasteur, who was also to be his guide and master for his scientific doctoral work. From that day onwards he began to believe in the existence of God.
(v) Dr. Jung, one of the great psychologists of the 20th century has also said, “In my darkness…I could have wished for nothing better than a real live ‘Guru’, someone possessing superior knowledge and ability, who would have disentangled me from the involuntary creations of my imagination.” It is very true that our mundane intellect prevents us from accepting the authority and existence of God.
(vi) The Transformation of Narendra to Swami Vivekanand
Narendranath was a young, educated man who had many doubts about God’s existence. However, when he met Shri Ramkrishna Paramhansa, all his doubts melted away. For, when asked by Narendra if he had seen God, Swami Ramkrishna replied immediately, “I see God as clearly as I see you.” This put an end to Narendra’s doubts and soon he was a transformed man, who is known the world over by the great name, Swami Vivekanand.
(vii) Dr. Thakorbhai, the ex-Mayor of Baroda, was also one such atheist. But he says, “I did not believe in God, I looked upon the idols consecrated in temples as mere stones. However, when I saw His Divine Holiness Yogiji Maharaj, I had the feeling that there certainly must exist God. Otherwise, such divine bliss emanating from Yogiji Maharaj would be inexplicable. On the word of Yogiji Maharaj, I was prepared to accept the existence of God.”
(i) Sir Isaac Newton: His discovery of the Law of Gravitation was indeed one of the great discoveries of our times. However, when he was profusely felicitated by people the world over for his tremendous contribution towards the advancement of science, he humbly said, “I am merely picking pebbles on the sea-shore while the vast ocean of knowledge lies beyond.” The fact that he had made real progress in science did not deter him from accepting God’s great work- Creation!
(ii) Thomas Alva Edison: The invention of the light bulb has been attributed to the genius of Thomas Alva Edison. But he spoke out for God, saying, “I am highly indebted to the Almighty for having inspired my intellect to discover this.”
Indeed great scientists have always hailed the greatest of scientists namely, God!
(iii) Dr. Alexander Fleming: He discovered the antibiotic penicillin. People hailed him as a great scientist. But he was modest enough to say, “It is God who has created penicillin. I have merely found the use for it.
(iv) Dr. Isaac Bashevis Singer, an American Noble Prize Winner for literature in 1978, says, “I am thankful to God for each story, each idea, each word, each day.”
(v) Dr. Von Braun, the Deputy Associate Administrator of NASA, U.S.A., was the person who designed the Saturn-5 rocket to propel the Apollo spacecrafts. But he also felt the need for God when he said, “For only with God re-instated in the heart of the world will He provide us with ethical guidance through the dangers of technological revolution.”
(vi) On the currency of U.S.A., which has made tremendous material progress, we still find written: “In God We Trust.”
(vii) The U.K. Parliament begins its session invariably with the prayer: “Oh God, you are the ruler of this world. Please give us the wisdom to be able to rule with justice.”
(viii) Dr. Jung, one of the great psychologists of this century, also expresses his experience that in his sixty years of practice as a psychologist he had yet to come across a single person who had faith in God and yet needed mental treatment.
(ix) Once, when Swami Vivekanand was due to deliver a discourse in a congregation; an atheist went well before time and wrote on the blackboard, “GOD IS NOWHERE.”
When Swami Vivekanand came to the hall to deliver his speech, he read the sentence. He simply separated the words, “NOW” and “HERE” from the word “NOWHERE” and re-wrote the same sentence “GOD IS NOW HERE.” And he was accorded a thunderous applause from the entire gathering which was thrilled by his wit. Even the atheist who had written the previous sentence joined in the applause. It marked the springing of faith in God in his heart.
Thus we have examined rationally, many aspects which reinforce our faith in God. However, inspite of many rational arguments, we tend to doubt the existence of God. Even many ardent devotees still have traces of skepticism. But the highest faith is vouchsafed by a God-communion saint, so that “the trace of skepticism which remains suppressed within us disappears entirely. He realizes as true, all that is written in the scriptures,” as revealed by Lord Swaminarayan in Vachanamrut No. 1 of Amdavad Section One. That “This state of realization can be attained only in the company or by the grace of a realized saint who has attained rapport with God,” as revealed in Vachanamrut No. 60 of Gadhada Section One. His Divine Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj is such a God-communion saint. So let us fully consolidate our faith in God through his service and association.
Thus, in final analysis, it is essential for all to associate with a God-realized saint to assert unfailingly, and with firm affirmation, that “GOD EXISTS.”
Thanks For Reading
Gaurav S Kaintura