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An introduction to God

Saturday, April 7, 2018

The late Mahatma Gandhi, who spent a lifetime in search of truth, freedom and equality of all peoples, was also a committed student of the Hindu religious text, the Bhagwat Gita. Author TK Mukundan in his book titled, A Concept of Hinduism, reproduces one of the recordings of the venerated Mahatma Gandhi:

“There is an indefinable mysterious power that pervades everything. I feel it though I do not see it. It is this unseen power that makes itself felt and yet defies all proof, because it is so unlike all that I perceive through my senses. It transcends the senses. But it is possible to reason out the existence of God to a limited extent.

“Nevertheless I do feel—that there is an orderliness in the universe; there is an unalterable law governing everything and every being that exists or lives. It is not a blind law; for no blind law can govern the conduct of living beings; and thanks to the marvellous researches of Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose, it can be proved that even matter has life.

“That law which governs all life is God. Law and the Law-giver are one. I may not deny the law or the law-giver because I know so little about it or Him. Just as my denial or ignorance of the existence of an earthly power will avail me nothing, even so my denial of God and His Law will not liberate me from its operation; whereas humble and mute acceptance of divine authority makes life’s journey easier.

“I do dimly perceive that whilst everything around me is ever-changing, ever-dying, there is underlying all that change a living power that is changeless; that informing Power or Spirit is God, and since nothing else that I see merely through the senses can or will persist, He alone is.

“And is this power benevolent or malevolent? I see it is purely benevolent. For I can see that in the midst of death, life persists; in the midst of untruth, truth persists; in the midst of darkness, light persists. Hence I gather that God is life, truth and light. He is love. He is the Supreme God.

“But he is no God who merely satisfies the intellect, if he ever does. God, to be God, must rule the heart and transform it. He must express Himself in every smallest act of His votary. This can only be done through a definite realisation more real than the five senses can ever produce.

“Such testimony is to be found in the experience of an unbroken line of prophets and sages in all countries and climes. To refute this evidence is to deny oneself. This realisation is preceded by our immovable faith. He who would in his own person test the fact of God’s presence can do so by a living faith; and since faith itself cannot be proved by extraneous evidence, the safest course is to believe in the moral government of the world, and therefore in the supremacy of the moral law, the law of Truth and Love.

“I confess that I have no arguments to convince through reason. Faith transcends reason. All I can advise is not to attempt the impossible. I cannot account for the existence of evil by any rational method. To want to do so is to be co-equal with God. I am therefore humble enough to recognise evil as such, and I call God long suffering and patient precisely because He permits evil in the world.

“I know too that I shall never know God, if I do not fight with and against evil, even at the cost of life itself. I am fortified in the belief by my own humble and limited experience. The purer I try to become, the nearer to God I feel myself to be. How much more should I be near to Him when my faith is not a mere apology, as it is today, but when it has become as immovable as the Himalayas and as white as the snows on their peak?”


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