The Character of God
When we examine certain activities that supposedly please god, and view them metaphysically, their true nature can be realised. For instance, take the example of a man who is wishing for a large amount of money. If God grants him this gain it will be on account of another’s loss as money has to come from somewhere. Then, why should god favor this man? Is it because he is good? But, good is a relative term and the theory that god favors good people disproves itself again and again in our daily observance. On the other hand, if god favors only those who pray to him, then he is no different from a man in power who helps those who constantly flatter him.
When god helps a man, god is praised as great, but when a man in power helps a person, he is accused of favoritism. Everywhere and every day we see people getting carried away when they are flattered and do favors to promote the living of flatterers. Then, is god too like them? From this should we conclude that the purpose of our life is nothing but to flatter god.
We believe that god is responsible for every activity that happens and yet we tend to blame individuals when a certain action happens which is not desired by us. If the person responsible is within our power, we punish him and if he is beyond it, we console ourselves that god will punish him.
Very few people have a proper understanding of why they are praying to god. Do they fear his power? Are they afraid that harm will be done to them, if they do not pray to him? For instance, a powerful man like Hitler was looked up to for what he did to Germany’s economy during the pre-war period, and later hated for his role in Second World War because he brought so much misery. But, in case of god, even in misery, we continue respecting him. Is it out of fear? We are again at the starting point of discussion and the conclusion can only be that we respect god because we have been programmed and conditioned to do that.
We sometimes see that Yogis and Babas are respected and feared, like Satya Saibaba for instance. It is not because people are in awe of his magical abilities like creating objects apparently out of nothing that he is looked up to. The same trick performed by a street corner magician goes unheeded. What sets apart these babas is the way they behave, the way they dress, their talking ability etc. In the way they live, they create a mysterious aura around them and the sleight of the hand combined with all this, earns them the fear and respect of the people. Just talking about god will never help. For example, if Satya Saibaba comes on a Honda motor bike wearing Jeans and a T-Shirt with a walkman cassette player at his waist to preach about god, will anyone listen to him?
When we respect a professor, scientist, etc, what we respect is their knowledge, dedication etc. Even here, most of the time, we do not respect the man, but only his reputation and fame. For example, we hear many people praising Shakespeare. But the truth is, majority would not read any of his works. Here, it is not being said that Shakespeare is not great. It is only to point out that most of us respect and admire without knowing what we are admiring and respecting.
When we hear from reliable source that our respected politician is in fact, dishonest, we immediately despise him, as fundamentally we respected him only because we thought that he was working for our good. But, in case of god, if we ask him for something and he does not give it, and on top of it, he furthers our misery, we still continue respecting. It is because, we feel that if we go on praying him, our prayers will be answered some day, like if we keep on buttering a senior officer even though he is rude to us and blacklisting us for no apparent reason, he might someday recommend for us promotion. But in this case, we are called as people without self respect. We are looked down upon by the very people in the society who upheld a person as a great devotee who does the same thing with god.
Sometimes, people say that why they came to believe god is because they were saved miraculously from death or because they were suddenly elevated from their misery to happiness. We take the case of a man who has fallen over-board from a ship in mid sea and thought that he was going to be eaten by sharks. At the last minute, he was saved by another mate. He starts believing it to be the grace of god that he is saved. If this is true, then are the sharks are justified in despising god for depriving them of their food, and turning in to atheists?