Who is God? – It will perhaps come as a surprise to many, that the goal of both science and spirituality is to reveal the answer to this very question!
For to ask the question “Who is God” is to seek the answers to our very origins: “How did the Universe come into existence? How did life originate? What makes us conscious?” The aim being to discover the one unifying force from which everything that we see – be it plants or animals, planets or galaxies – in fact our entire Universe, has manifested.
“The Universe is founded in Consciousness and guided by it.
Just as the Soul is the reality underlying the conscious powers of an individual, so is the Supreme Soul (God), the eternal quiet underneath the drive and activity of the Universe.”
– Aitareya Upanishad
Both science and spirituality have focused on this quest, albeit at different times in human history. Modern physics has been on the hunt for this elusive unifying force, from which arises everything else, for the last 350 years.
But many thousands of years before physics began its search, in the early dawn of recorded history, the ancient Vedic sages living in the forests of India, pursued the very same goal. The only difference being that while modern physics searches for this unifying force by analyzing our outer world of inanimate matter, these ancient spiritual scientists searched for the very same truths by analyzing our inner world of consciousness.
In the higher planes of intuition and super-consciousness they witnessed profound truths, which are not only congruent with modern day scientific understanding of the Universe, but which bravely shine a light in the dark regions where science has not yet tread, in order to reveal the presence of a final absolute reality – God.
Who is God?
“As the web issues from the spider,
As plants sprout from the earth,
As hair grows from the body,
Even so, this Universe springs from,
The Deathless Self (God), the source of all life.”
– Mundaka Upanishad
To understand who God is, we must begin by examining the origins of the Universe. Physics tells us that the Universe arose in a big bang, but it stops there. It cannot yet penetrate the veil and discover what came before this stage. Although science cannot reveal the answer just yet, it does tell us that something cannot come out of nothing.
The ancient sages of India however, were able to see beyond this frontier where science comes to a standstill. In their elevated states of consciousness they witnessed that before the big bang, from which sprang our Universe of matter, was the Ultimate Reality, the Absolute Force. We call this Ultimate Reality, God – the Universal Consciousness – the Supreme Soul.
This Absolute Force (God) is the source of all Creation. From this primary Force originate not only inanimate matter but also consciousness. Everything that we see in the Universe is a manifestation of this Absolute Force, whether it be the sun or the moon, rocks or stars, air or water, plants or animals.
And this is in agreement with science, which tells us that all processes of the Universe are simply energy converting from one form into another – everything is a manifestation of energy, even matter.
God is One and the Same to All
“God is One; the paths to reach him (religions) are many.
Just as different rivers, originating in different mountains, traverse different paths, flowing straight or crooked, and at last join the ocean.
He is the one Lord of all, the one Soul of all souls.”
– Swami Vivekananda
Thus everything emanates from God and is made from God. God is immanent in the Universe. He is both the Creator and at the same time within all Creation. In every atom, in every living being He alone is present. Gross and subtle, pure and mixed, simple and complex, in the end that there is no place where God is not. From the lowly worm to the infinite Universe He spreads. All is but one existence – One principle manifesting itself as this tremendous variety of Creation.
God is the Eternal and Omnipresent Reality
Not only this but since space and time itself arose with the big bang, God, who came before, is not bound by them. In the subtle realms where the Absolute Force (God) exists, there is neither space nor time. God therefore, is Eternal – He was never born, and He will never die, because His very existence precedes time itself. What’s more, God is Omnipresent – He is present everywhere, because His existence is not limited by the laws of space.
What is God Like? Is He a Person Just Like Us?
God thus cannot be conceived in human terms, he cannot be thought of as a greatly magnified person. He is the formless, infinite and subtle force that pervades everything. Moreover He is not an inert entity, but he is the Absolute Consciousness. He is infinitely aware. And because our souls are a part of this immense and infinite ocean of Consciousness, God lives, feels and suffers in every one of us.
In this Universe full of change, decay and death, God alone is the permanent unchanging reality. Through all times, past, present and future, God remains the same. The origin and dissolution of the Universe is all within him. He alone is the source of all knowledge, all power, all love and all grace – the ever blissful, the ever pure – One Infinite, Eternal, Omnipresent and Omniscient Existence. Nothing exists without Him, for He is everything.
Note: The above description of God is remarkably consistent across the major religions of the world including Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Hinduism. The great prophets of the world, despite living in different times and across different geographies, nevertheless witnessed the same cosmic reality and preached it to their people. Thus the major religions of the world are not antagonistic, but merely different paths to arriving at the same truth – that we are all children under one God who loves us all equally.
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