|Vedanta Spiritual Library|
Module - F
Unit - F04
Lesson F0432: Nature of GOD according to the scriptures
By Raja Subramaniyan
The Scriptures also states that GOD is the controller of the illusion since he is the perfect reflection of ONE. Based on the capabilities, GOD is described in the Scriptures as Omnipotent, Omniprevalent, Omniscient and Omnipresent.
Statement 62: GOD is Omnipotent
GOD is all-powerful. He has laid out the cosmic law, which governs the functioning of the universe. All the laws discovered by science are instituted by GOD. A sample list of such laws is given below.
Archimedes principles, Newton's three laws of motion, Kepler's three laws of planetary motion, Boyle's Law, Joule's first and second law…the list is endless.
Since GOD alone could institute such laws, he is omnipotent. These laws cannot be changed or violated at all. Such is the power of GOD.
It should be noted that these laws are conceived and instituted by GOD and human beings have just found out the existence of such laws. Gravitational force existed long before Newton could write about it. GOD does not make any mistake in his job. A human being can make mistakes due to insufficient knowledge. When the human beings become more intelligent, the old laws (conceived through their inferior intelligence) may be are modified or replaced by a new law based on the new understanding.
In general, people do not recognize this power of GOD inspite of such strong evidences. Infact they go one-step further in their ignorance and hold only the violation of these laws show the power of GOD or the absence of his power.
For example, normally it is against GOD's law that a man can change water into wine by touching the container. (We should praise GOD's power because he has instituted such a law. Else, when we drink coffee, it might become water after couple of sips. Thank God, the coffee remains as such until the last sip). When a man changes water into wine, there are two kinds of reactions.
Reaction 1: Changing water into wine is a miracle therefore GOD is Omnipotent. People react like this when the performer claims that he has the grace of GOD. (Normally such miracles are done to attract non-believers into god's fold)
Reaction 2: Changing water into wine is a proof that GOD is not omnipotent. People react like this when the performer claims that he does not believe in god.
Both are wrong. God need not be (and cannot be) proved by miracles. It cannot be said that just because a human being has violated a GOD's law, god does not exist. Both such reactions are baseless.
GOD is to be recognized as omnipotent because everything in the universe functions within the established laws. One of the important laws of GOD is that these laws can never be violated. Another law is that there is always an exception to a law. The only exception to this law is GOD. He alone is capable of breaking any the laws instituted by him.
The mere fact that whatever we see functions within these established laws is a sufficient proof of the Omnipotent capability of GOD.
Example: In a dream, a car will suddenly be transformed into a cycle
In the world, nothing like this will happen because everything functions according to the laws instituted by the all-powerful GOD.
Statement 63: GOD is Omniprevalent
GOD is the motive power, which drives all the living beings in the universe. GOD exists even within the inert objects. There is nothing in the universe in which GOD is not present.
Instead of logically seeing how this could be possible for GOD, we will now see how it is impossible for GOD not to be Omniprevalent.
If we assume that there is an evil force, which is devoid of GOD, then we run into many logical problems. It is like saying in a computer network there are certain set of computers, which are not connected to the central server. It means that there is more than one network. Therefore, GOD cannot be omnipotent. Like this, it is possible to list so many factors to show that it is impossible for the GOD not to be Omniprevalent.
In the cause effect cycle, normally we can perceive the cause only upto a level. Beyond certain stage, we can only infer and not perceive the cause.
Example: We can see the shirt (effect) and look for the cause (cloth). We look at the cloth (effect) and look for the cause (thread). The cycle will go on until cotton. At this point, we need to stop. If we start looking for the cause of cotton, we can only infer and not perceive its existence directly.
Just because we are not able to see the cause, we cannot deny its existence. Similarly, if we analyze the effect in the universe and keep looking at the cause, we cannot go beyond three of four steps. The only way to find the root cause of the universe is to depend on our logical ability supported by Scriptures.
Logic: If a chariot is seen running, we should infer that horses are pulling it. (It is impossible for an inert object to keep functioning without the support of a living being)
Similarly, if the earth, sun and everything around are to function then there need to be intelligent cause behind it. It is called GOD.
In addition to the intelligent cause, there has to be a material cause in the creation of the universe. The material cause is also GOD. If the intelligent cause is independent of the material cause then it means that there are god and something that is non-god. It is impossible to have a non-god because it cannot have a cause.
Thus, GOD, which is the ultimate cause, is Omniprevalent.
Statement 64: GOD is Omniscient
GOD is Omniscient means he knows everything.
We can only know that GOD knows everything but can never know how much he knows.
Example: If someone holds a degree in a particular subject from a reputed university, we know that he has lots of knowledge. We do not need to gain all his knowledge to know that he knows.
Thus, our knowledge on GOD's knowledge is limited to knowing that GOD knows and not attempt to verify GOD's knowledge.
Since it is already proved that, the GOD is the combination of all the minds of all the living beings in the universe. Therefore, it is obvious that the GOD has to be omniscient.
From another angle, it is popularly said 'God knows everything' with reference to the wrong actions.
Example: An accused claims innocence in court. Only the victim knows that he is lying but nothing could be done to prove his guilt. The victim says 'God knows everything'.
Since the accused knows the truth obviously, God will also know the truth (because the mind of the accused is included in God's mind)
Thus if we do a wrong action and forget about it, it still resides in the mind as an irreplaceable memory that will come with us for all the births to come. Such recording of our actions within ourselves (called as 'God Knows everything' since God includes our mind) ensures that we get to suffer for our wrong actions.
GOD does not have a mind of his own that is independent of the mind of all the living beings.
Example: The forest is nothing but a collection of all the trees. An individual tree is not a forest.
Thus, GOD is a combination of all the inert objects and living beings. Therefore, he knows everything.
Our knowledge is stored in our memory. This memory is available to us most of the time. Sometime we may not be able to recollect a particular piece of information and that does not mean that we do not have the knowledge. We either know or do not know. What we do not know we cannot recollect. We may not be able to recollect some information but we still have that knowledge in our memory.
Example: A stand-alone computer has specific data in the hard disk. A computer, which is networked, can access the data in all the computers connected to the network.
Similarly, since GOD is connected to all the memory of all the living beings, obviously, the GOD is omniscient.
We have certain knowledge, which we are not aware of. All the knowledge that we accumulate in a lifetime is stored in our memory that will be taken along with us when we take our next birth. As a corollary, as of now we have all the knowledge gained by us in all our earlier births.
It is not that we can access all the knowledge directly. As observed earlier many times we are not able to recollect the knowledge that is gained few weeks back. So obviously it is not a wonder that the knowledge accumulated in the earlier births are not directly available. Then how do we know that we have the knowledge that is accumulated from the previous births?
Example: We have deep interest and knowledge in a particular subject, say mathematics in our current life. This knowledge is the accumulated results of our learning in our previous life times. This is proved based on our current experience. When the mathematics was taught in the class, we liked it more than our classmates did. We worked out additional sums at home willingly and improved our skills on mathematics because we have already studied it in our previous birth. Therefore, a sum, which is difficult for others, is easy for us.
GOD is aware of all the accumulated knowledge of all the living beings alive or dead. Therefore, he is omniscient.
Statement 65: GOD is Omnipresent
GOD is omnipresent means he is ever-present. There was no time when he did not exist and there will be no time when his existence will end.
GOD is omnipresent also means he is everywhere. There is no place, where he does not exist. Moreover, wherever we look we can perceive only him and nothing else.
GOD is present all the time and everywhere but not in the way that he could be perceived through our senses. The universe is his physical body. All the objects in the creation are part of him. There was a time when the universe was not available for perception. It was in the seed form. When it is time for the living beings to start enjoying the fruits of their action, GOD manifests this universe in the way we can perceive it. It is just like our waking up in the morning. While we are asleep, we are not aware of the existence of the universe. When we get up we perceive the world. Similarly, when GOD wakes up the universe is manifested. GOD sustains the universe and when it is time for the living beings to stop enjoying the world, he withdraws the universe into singularity. In scientific terms, this cycle is called Big Bang followed by Big Crunch.
The process of manifestation, sustenance and resolution happens in a continuous cycle all the time repeatedly.
Example: A picture, which is painted on one side of the cloth, is displayed, held and folded.
Similarly, the universe is manifested, sustained and resolved.
The actions of the human beings determine the results that they are supposed to enjoy. A universe is created that is suitable and appropriate for the fructification of the results of the actions by the living beings done in the previous cycle.
Thus, the universe was never created for the first time. It is always present, but it has two statuses, visible and invisible. What we presently experience is the visible universe. Invisible status means the universe in the seed form.
In the visible universe, GOD is present in all the inert objects and in all the living beings. In the invisible universe, GOD continues to be the inert objects and living beings in the seed form, which is not available for experiencing.
Thus, GOD is omnipresent.