Sunday, September 12, 2010

Is God Tangible or Intangible?

What is your say on this question, "Is God Tangible or Intangible?" or "Is God having a Form or Formless?". Below is a Story by Indian saint Sri Ramakrishna which answers to this question.

"In India there are many temples where God is worshipped as Mother. In West Bengal state of India, in one of these temples, She is present there & is represented by a large stone image. The sculptor has carved in stone his idea of the Mother of the Universe, and many pious people, finding it attractive and inspiring, go there to pay their respects or make offerings to the Mother.
One day an aged monk who used a cane came into the temple. Approaching the altar he said, speaking aloud to God, "Mother, you are said to be God; tell me the truth: are you solid like stone -- this image? Or are you formless, indescribable and impossible to touch?"

"Take your cane," the monk heard a soft voice saying, "and strike my body on the left side." Monk did the same, and the cane hit the stone with a clack. "Now strike me from the other side," She said. When the cane reached the sculpture it passed right through it as if it were air. Then the monk understood that God can be both -- tangible and intangible i.e. God can be both, with a Form & Formless too -- at the same time."

In Hindu temples, people worship the God with a form while there are many sects in Hinduism where people do worship the Formless God too. Muslims too in a way worship the Formless God (Allah). In fact Hindu scriptures are full of volumes which describe God as having a Form & also as a Formless God. In other words, Manifest God is God having a Form while the Unmanifest God is the Formless God.

Bhagwat Gita is too full of verses which describe the God having a Form & also as a Formless God. Below are few verses, where God Himself is describing about the Form & Formless God & which is the easy one for worship by individuals.

"arjuna uvacha
evam satata-yukta ye
bhaktas tvam paryupasate
ye chapy aksharam avyaktam
tesham ke yoga-vittamah" (Bhagwat Gita: Chapter Twelve verse 1)

"Arjuna asked: Which are considered to be more perfect, those who are always properly engaged in Your devotional service or those who worship the impersonal Brahman, the unmanifested God?"

"sri-bhagavan uvacha
mayy avesya mano ye mam
nitya-yukta upasate
shraddhaya parayopetas
te me yuktatama matah" (Bhagwat Gita: Chapter Twelve verse 2)

"Sri Krishna said: O Arjuna, Those who fix their minds on My personal form and are always engaged in worshiping Me with great and transcendental faith are considered by Me to be most perfect."

"ye tv aksharam anirdesyam
avyaktam paryupasate
sarvatra-gam acintyam cha
kuta-stham achalam dhruvam"

sarvatra sama-buddhayah
te prapnuvanti mam eva
sarva-bhuta-hite ratah" (Bhagwat Gita: Chapter Twelve verse 3-4)

"Sri Krishna said: O Arjuna, But those who fully worship the unmanifested, that which lies beyond the perception of the senses, the all-pervading, inconceivable, unchanging, fixed and immovable—the impersonal conception of the Absolute Truth—by controlling the various senses and being equally disposed to everyone, such persons, engaged in the welfare of all, at last achieve Me."

"kleso ’dhikataras tesam
avyakta hi gatir duhkham
dehavadbhir avapyate" (Bhagwat Gita: Chapter Twelve verse 5)

"Sri Krishna said: O Arjuna, For those whose minds are attached to the unmanifested, impersonal feature of the Supreme God, advancement is very troublesome. To make progress in that discipline is always difficult for those who are embodied in human form."

"ye tu sarvani karmani
mayi sannyasya mat-parah
ananyenaiva yogena
mam dhyayanta upasate"

"tesam aham samuddharta
bhavami na cirat partha
mayy avesita-cetasam" (Bhagwat Gita: Chapter Twelve verse 6-7)

"Sri Krishna said: O Arjuna, But those who worship Me, giving up all their activities unto Me and being devoted to Me without deviation, engaged in devotional service and always meditating upon Me, having fixed their minds upon Me, O son of Pritha—for them I am the swift deliverer from the ocean of birth and death."

"mayy eva mana adhatsva
mayi buddhim nivesaya
nivasisyasi mayy eva
ata urdhvam na samsayah" (Bhagwat Gita: Chapter Twelve verse 8)

"Sri Krishna said: O Arjuna, Just fix your mind upon Me and engage all your intelligence in Me. Thus you will live in Me always, without a doubt."

So from the above, it is clear that God is both having a Form & is also Formless. In whatever way a person worships the God, He blesses the people equally. So the main thing is that you should have Faith in God, the grace of God shall follow automatically. So if you have Faith in God, whether that God is with a Form or a Formless God, He shall always listen to your prayers, shall always be with you & shall always bless you.

Jai Sri Krishna

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2:47 PM

    Thanks a lot for sharing this lovely thought from the Bhagwat Gita and the short story. I really enjoyed reading it. Many times, we feel as though God doesn't exist and question if he even listen to us? But its so true that with faith and prayers, you can achieve the Almighty :-)