Feb 11, 2014


My father used to quote a couplet of the famous poet Mohammad Shah Gaud, a court poet during the reign of the famous king, Akbar the great of Mughal dynasty who ruled India during sixteenth century. In Urdu language the couplet reads as “ Kis Kis ko dekhiye, chasme hikarat se aie Gaud, sab hum se hain jiyada, koi hum se kum nahin”. The English translation of this couplet is “why to look down upon anybody, everybody is more than me”. This couplet represents the height of humility and always reminded me that a person’s character and value should not be judged from his money, power, position, profession, education, or the background but from his simplicity, kindness and humbleness. Persons having dearth of these benevolent qualities, cannot understand the essence and depth of the above couplet. Generally money, power and position breeds ego in persons personality resulting in making them arrogant, egoistical, snobbish and conceited.

In modern times the richest person on earth Mr. Warren Buffet of Berkshire Hathaway (net worth about $60 billion) is a living example of this simplicity, kindness and humbleness. He not only donates billions of dollars towards charity but also lives a saintly life without flaunting his wealth and attitude.

As far as the knowledge and understanding of life is concerned, one may find hundreds of enlightened (spiritually) people in the world and in their comparison my spiritual knowledge may be limited and incapable of understanding the intricacies of life. Therefore kindly excuse me if you find misinterpretation or misrepresentation in my thought process. 

Recently my wife sent me an excerpt of the conversation she was having on Facebook and I was amazed with the quality and level of discussion being made between her and her Facebook friends on complex topics like science and religion, acts of God, atma (soul) and paramatma (super consciousness). She sent me an excerpt of the conversation and asked my views. That is how I am inspired to write on this topic.

In the discussion there were references to science, God, religion, acts of God and death of thousands of people due to tsunami, hurricane, earthquakes etc.  They were baffled why so many innocent people die in these calamities without their faults. If theory of Karma or cause and effect theory is considered seriously, then the question arises, what have they done to deserve this unwarranted, painful and sudden death? If it is acts of God then how come God can be so cruel and merciless to punish these people without rhyme or reasons?

During my college days, I was a student of science and also had a keen interest in different branches of science such as astronomy, cosmology, psychology, Para psychology, Meta physics, astrology, numerology etc. I also had a private science laboratory at home and used to explore sky with the help of a large telescope. Therefore instead of following set paths as propagated by pundits, I always reasoned myself logically by analysing the reasons behind the scientific phenomena beyond the understanding of modern science.  In the process, I developed the power of knowing the unknown by connecting mysterious dots.

As per my understanding, there is nothing like ‘acts of god’ in real sense. The term has been derived by the modern society to differentiate devastations caused by natural disasters so that people could be compensated financially for their losses by the government or the insurance companies. As a matter of fact, every one of us on this planet is directly or indirectly responsible for these natural disasters and God has nothing to do with deaths of millions of people around the world.

Spiritually, planet Earth and the universe is a part and parcel of the grand design of the supreme God or the super consciousness. All living beings are manifested forms of this super consciousness and at human level we call this manifestation individual soul (consciousness) who are responsible for their own actions. Then the question arises, if we are manifested forms of the supreme consciousness or God, then why do we go through the phases of sufferings?  

To understand this phenomenon first we will have to understand the theory of migration of soul from one body to another carrying forward the characters of previous births. To prove this theory there are several examples of re-birth on the internet and YouTube, and if watch them with interest then we know how knowledge of one life is passed to another life. This is the reason that some children are born with amazing talents and they inherit knowledge by birth without even going to school. This phenomenon is difficult to comprehend scientifically, logically as well as religiously. Is it the acquired knowledge of past life or miracles? The term miracle is a limiting factor of our knowledge and proves our failure in accepting truth of life. World famous psychotherapist Dr. Brian Weiss has done tremendous work in the field of past regression and has successfully treated thousands of people including celebrities. His research and years of practice as a psychotherapist, proves that there is some kind of energy in our body called a soul (consciousness), which transports its knowledge and characters in coded form, from body to body.

If somebody asks me about the soul (consciousness), then in simple language and in one sentence I will define this intricate knowledge as:  “the soul is the life force and guiding factor of our lives which is indestructible but can be tainted with our good or bad karmas and moves from body to body with past characteristics until its purity is overcome again and becomes capable of merging in to the source (pure consciousness or param-atma) which we call it salvation or moksha”.  Therefore this entirely depends upon individuals when and how he or she is able to make their soul pure enough by their actions (karma yoga), supreme devotion (bhakti Yoga) or eternal knowledge (gyana yoga) so that the soul becomes ready to merge into the super consciousness. In other words, we can say merging of the consciousness into the super consciousness or atma to param-atma.

Now in order to maintain balance in the universe, God or the super consciousness (param-atma) has established the rule of natural laws for reciprocal relationship between the planets and galaxies at a grand scale, and the earth, its environment and living creatures at mini scale. At the minuscule level, to monitor and comprehend our day to day action as human beings and to maintain the purity of his manifestations in us in the form of our soul (atma), he has established the rule of Dharma (righteousness), which is based on the cause and effect theory and also called Karma.

At mega scale planets and galaxies have maintained their Dharma for millions of years but on a mini scale we have misused the environment by creating imbalances and as a result we are bestowed with natural calamities. On the miniscule level we have damned ourselves and tainted our souls (consciousness) frequently by doing adharma (bad karmas), as a result we have created imbalances in our eternal environment with impurities like ego, anger, hatred, greed, jealousy, attachment and cruelty.

Furthermore, under his grand design and in order to nurture and sustain life on planet earth, a conducive environment suitable to all has been created which we call nature. This nature consists of five elements- earth, water, air, fire and sky.  In the quest of our scientific advancements and growing civilization, we have been recklessly misusing these five elements, and in the process overtly polluting the environment. The environmental pollution is causing ozone layer depletion and warming of planet externally and senseless draining of oil, gas and hydrocarbons from beneath the earth is creating undue pressure internally on tectonic plates resulting in shifting of land mass and causing earthquakes and tsunami. Since over exploitation of earth’s resources has reached an alarming level, natural disasters have also become frequent and beyond our control and we term them as ‘acts of God’ and knowingly blame the unknown without actually knowing who God is.

As far as the world religions are concerned, the existence of God is purely based on our belief and experiences of our ancestors over a period of time. If we believe that God exists then he exists, helps and guides us all the time, otherwise not. In case of a parabolic example- if a lie is told a thousand times then it becomes the truth. Similarly any human can become a God literally in thousand years in future, if good stories about them are continuously told or propagated.  In the absence of electronic recording of events or scientifically tested authenticity or documentation of such stories, chances of misconstruing of facts were very high. One cannot ignore the possibility of misrepresentation of sermons or preachings of the incarnated souls by the bunch of unenlightened followers having vested interest and propagating their own versions based on the hearsay. 

Therefore one's religious understanding is purely based on their belief and the religious Gods or figure heads may be emotionally true, but not logically. If there is an iota of truth about the existence of God (supreme consciousness or param-atma) then he must be overseeing Dharma (righteousness) of individuals or the process of cause and effects of collective karmas. Individual sufferings are based on their own karmas whereas group of people suffers due to the collective karmas. Hence to my understanding, God or the supreme consciousness has no role in our happiness, plight, hurricane, tsunami or earthquakes.

Now the most complex answer to the simple question of how can God be so merciless to cause deaths of thousand of innocent people due to natural calamities.  I will like to explain these phenomena through examples on a micro as well as mega scale. For example on a micro level if we undermine the strength of buildings by using substandard quality of materials then certainly they will collapse one day by hurting or killing not only its residents (where all types of good or bad people live) but the passers-by on the street as well.  Deforestation, nuclear disasters, warming of planet, carbon monoxide emission, ozone layer depletion, and reckless stripping of planet earth of its resources, are causing changes in the environment resulting in natural calamities on a mega scale. Therefore, there is no religious logic behind people dying en masse but it is the outcome of our bad collective karmas. Individual Karma affects us individually for our good or bad actions whereas the collective karmas encompasses all within its perimeter without differentiating between the pious and the sinners.

Having limited knowledge, we humans are marred with ignorance and we have become myopic due to ego, jealousy, hatred, greed and selfishness. These inhumanly qualities have reduced our abilities to see far and beyond the kingdom of God which consists of not only this outer world but the inner world and beyond.  The kingdom of God resides within us in the manifested form of super consciousness which has been there all the time but we are unable to experience because of our inhumanly qualities. This fact has been reminded to us time and again by God incarnated people in past. But due to our ignorance we look for outside help in the form of God for instant relief or blame him for our pain and sufferings which in reality is the outcome of our sins. Saint Kabir Das of 15th century has very nicely described this ignorance and the presence of divinity within us through his couplets:

 “Jaise Til Mein Tel Hai, Jyon Chakmak Mein Aag, Tera Sayeen Tujh Mein Hai, Tu Jaag Sake To Jaag”  (Just as seed contains the oil, fire's in flint stone, Your temple seats the Divine, realize if you can).

Jyon naino mein putli, tyon maalik ghat mahi, Murakh log na janahi, bahir dudhan jahin” (The way pupil is inside the eyes, the same way divine is inside, Foolish people do not know this fact and keep looking outside).

Kasturi Kundal Base Mrug Dhoondhe Ban Maahi, Jyo Ghat Ghat Ram Hai Duniya Dekhe Nahi
(A deer has the fragrance in its naval and runs throughout the forest looking for it. Similarly divine is inside and everywhere but the world does not see).

In other words, God is present in every living being but we cannot see or experience him due to our ignorance and mental illiteracy. We keep looking for God in temples, mosques, churches, gurudwaras and other holy places; the way a deer keeps looking for the source of smell of kasturi (a type of fragrance lies in the naval of deer) in the forest.

God incarnated people like Gautam Buddha, Mahavir Jain, Jesus Christ, Prophet Mohammad, Guru Nanak, and other saints, have been telling the same thing time and again but it was misconstrued by people to gain advantages over the period of time. In some cases, their followers, who were ordinary people like us without having the presence of spiritualism, exploited the ignorance of common mass by twisting meanings of their preaching and existence of God with their own explanations. They made the religion more militant and fearful than the benevolent. As a result people became more God fearing than God loving. The misconstrued religion has been so deeply engrained in peoples mind that in some sects they firmly believe that their holy books are written by God as a result they have literally become products of their religion more than the natural human being without having free and unbiased mind. They have also lost their independent thinking and true identity and waste their time in excessive religious practices. 

Therefore, instead of looking for God outside in places of worship, we can experience divinity within us by making our sole pure and by looking deep into our consciousness. Unfortunately, the way mist makes the mirror hazy and we cannot see our face, the same way our consciousness (atma) has become hazy and we are unable to see the divinity or the path leading to the super consciousness (param-atma). Swami Vivekananda has also said ‘that the entire world’s knowledge lies in our consciousnesses’. But our inhumanly qualities has created a veil on it.

To prove the above theory of Swami Vivekananda, if we look at all scientific developments made by mankind, like the making of a society, townships, engineering projects, invention of electricity, telecommunications, internet, space station or other scientific achievements in the field of health and medicine etc; no book of knowledge was dug out of the ground or imported from other planets. These achievements were made by humans like us by way of researching and digging deep into our consciousness to get the answer or results. That’s what Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Newton, Archimedes and other modern scientists has been doing. This also shows that all the explored or unexplored knowledge of the world is hidden under the sheath of our consciousness and it is a matter of removing the veil of ignorance and reaching deep into the ocean of consciousness to satisfy our quest or gain knowledge. This ocean of consciousness hidden in our body is in fact the manifestation of God which sometime provides us the direction or gives us the strength to fight with the eventualities in our lives.

Now I will like to discuss in short how karma or cause and effect theory works in our lives. If we draw a parallel on the scale then God is time who is able to see our actions of not this life only but also lives we have lived and we are going to live. Therefore in spite of being pious and virtuous in this life, we may suffer due to the acquired or inherited bad karmas of past lives. Not knowing the truth, we sentimentalize the cause by pointing fingers to the unknown (God) and ask his help or blame him for our plights.

I hope with my limited knowledge and understanding, I have been able to explain the intricacies of life in simple words. If you have any questions or doubts about my thought process then do get back to me please and I will be more than happy to talk on the subject and satisfy your query. Here I will also like to reiterate that I have no intention of insulting any religion or religious belief but to have a qualitative, thoughtful, unbiased and logical discussion on the topic. Your valuable comments will certainly delight the readers of this article.

I will also like to ask my professional friends worldwide; does spiritual understanding make us a successful human being in our personal as well as social life? Does it have a role in providing humane touch to our profession? Is God really responsible for success and failure in our lives or in our sufferings? How do we differentiate between our belief and becoming over religious?

Suman Saran Sinha, CMC
A pursuer of logical quest


John Meetz, Kansas, USA said...

The answer to your question is yes. If most at least practiced the Golden Rule the world and business community would be better off. I do think we have to walk a line but sometimes we forget that real people are actually running the businesses. In 22 years managing trade associations with a new President and Boss every year I only had one Female and she taught me a lot about managing with a heart. Interesting topic and will be curious to see other responses.

John Peter Fyvie, Toronto, Canada said...

Suman, in our Hospitality Industry, one key to success is building a 'kindness' culture among all employees in your organization. Those firms that have been successful instituting a kindness culture have an amazing competitive advantage over their competition. Employees who eat, drink, sleep kindness, know that kindness is the deepest thing inside. You may have to take your employees on a spiritual journey first before they realize that "it is only kindness that makes sense anymore, only kindness that ties your shoes and sends you out in the day to mail letters and purchase bread, only kindness that raises its head from the crowd of the world to say It is I you have been looking for, and then goes with you everywhere like a shadow or a friend." an excerpt from Naomi Shihab Nye, The Words Under The Words: Selected Poems. John Peter Fyvie, Innovation in Hospitality.

Lester Hirst, Colorado, USA said...

If our faith dies not change the way we live and work, we have a secular religion which has little power. Holistic faith always makes a difference at work!

Hylton Barnes, Lincolnshire, UK said...

I've only just skim read your blog post but will definitely give it more time later today -thank you for posting it. (The first thing to come out of that quick scan was your reference to Warren Buffet simply because I am currently in the middle of reading a biography of the late publisher Robert Maxwell ... a depressing tale for a number of reasons)
At the risk of sounding facetious (definitely not my intention), the third of your questions is not a problem for an atheist like me.

Richard Ball, Los Angeles, USA said...

Yes! But only when one continues to look within and improve, is truly considerate of others, and looks for the best in others through acts of kindnest.

Rocio Martinez Barreiro, Spain said...

I liked the topic for discussion.

Samuel Kula, South Africa said...

Yes spiritual understanding helps us not only in becoming nice human beings, but it has a role in all the aspects of our life. And by spiritual understanding I mean, in the first instance, that we acknowledge that the spiritual world rules (or have a heavy influence on) the physical world and therefore there is God in heaven who is also omnipresent. Second, that there is a fallen angel in the spiritual realm called Satan or devil who is the enemy of God and human beings.

Proceeding from this premise: it is wise to heed what God the Almighty requires from us, inter alia, to love Him and our neighbors. Co-workers at work are your neighbors too and you ought to be nice to them, assist them in their career development etc. and above all tell them about this loving God, who did not only create us but when we fell from His glory due to sin in Eden also brought us salvation through Jesus Christ so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

To be over-religious is to assume that one can earn the "rite of passage" to heaven by one's deeds and this is wrong, it is only through the finished work on the cross by Jesus Christ that we may be reconciled to God the Father thereby, ultimately, spend time with the Godhead everlastingly in the New Creation, whilst the devil and his ilks as as well as unbelievers (for the latter have rejected God's gift of salvation) will spend eternity in the lake of fire according to the Scriptures.

Dr. James Burnett, Colorado, USA said...

If one becomes interested in spirituality (as differentiated from western religions beliefs) an excellent way to study is by starting with An Autobiography of a Yogi, by Paramahansa Yogananda. Yogananda is a Christed saint. The book is written for westerners and happily in excellent English.
James Burnett, Ph.D., D.D.

Mrigender Chauhan, New Delhi, India said...

No doubt ! It encourages and inspire us to love one and love all irrespective of religion or region or caste or class !

Manish Verma, India said...

Yes it does help, now and always!
In fact, for becoming a better human being, there's no alternative to Spirituality in this mortal world.


Jacinta Wambua, Kenya said...

I liked the discussion.

Sridhar Ranganathan said...

I liked the start with "humility" and then the part where you say "God (goodness) is within and no reason to look elsewhere" and then the part about "God Loving versus God fearing".. In all of this, my mother used to make it simple for me by saying that "every single thing - living or non-living" is a manifestation or just a form of the "absolute", including me" --- The takeaway is if we start treating every single thing in a way one would treat the woman who gave birth to you -- I guess, we would take care of "Mother Earth" and everything that it has .. Words like atma, paramatma, brahman, karma etc.. are very powerful, yet extremely difficult to understand and thereby loses the simplicity and the effect it has on people... Instead - try and look at everything - living or not - the way you would look and react or act with your mother perhaps helps a bit more.. it certainly does help me.

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