Should a God feel insecure?

Should a God feel insecure?

I met a Swedish national in Berlin while I was taking rest in the Press Centre during IFA 2007 trade show. He said he is a part-time technology journalist and part-time pastor. He did his higher studies in UK.

“So…you are from India…are you a Hindi?”  he asked, while having coffee with me.
“Hindi is a language. You mean to ask am I a Hindu?”

“Yes – I mean religion…”
“Yes. I am a Hindu by birth”

“Do you have Christianity there?”
“Yes, of course. Christianity came to India, centuries before it reached you in Europe” I said.

“Oh, really? Still you are a Hindu?” he asked again.
“Yes – why?” I was curious.

“Don’t tell me you worship monkeys and rats…”  he said with a smile.
“As a matter of fact, yes, we do”

“You can’t be serious. You look like an educated person…”
“I am very serious and I worship monkey-god and an elephant-god…what’s that to do with education?” I said.

“You must be joking….People were worshiping animals and trees during pre-historic times…but todays educated people, no way!”
“In fact, we have a pantheon of many gods and we can worship god in any forms…”

“Hey, come on….there is only one GOD” he said.
“Really? I am not sure about it…”

“There is only one GOD…a singular GOD…”
“Better say, you have the concept of a single god…that’s your belief…”

“Concept? Belief…I am telling you the truth…”
“Who said so…?”

“All religious scriptures and sacred books say so… Christianity and Judaism say there is only one God. Islam also says so…”
“Those are great religions…what they say must be true. I don’t know about it… I am not a scholar in Semitic religions or in Hinduism. So let’s don’t talk about the Holy books and religions…I am not capable to discuss it….But about GOD, I have a question.”

“Yes – of course…”
“Ok… you shouldn’t feel angry…I didn’t feel angry when you ridiculed my gods…My question is based on your opinion of single god concept…” I reminded him.

“You say that there is only one god – single god, right?

“That’s right”
“Your single God claims that he is the only God, who demands you to should worship him failing which he would roast you in hell fire…”

“It is not fully correct…but continue…I am listening…”
“That means. You are following Monotheism – that is the belief in a single god. Monotheism insists that only a single God exists. Other gods are “false” or even demonic…”

“Yes- you can say that…”
“For me, it is difficult to accept…”

“If a God says: “You will worship none but me, that you will associate none with me, and that none of you shall set up mortals as deities besides me. If you commit the foulest sin by worshiping any other Gods (other than me) or associating partner with me, I shall throw you in hell fire as a punishment for this sin.” – That’s what, in a nutshell, your GOD says right?”

“What’s wrong in saying that? You need to have faith in Him”
“Friend, isn’t this self-contradictory and dangerous?”

“How come?”
“First, explain to me about the contradictions…Had there been really only one God, it would not have been possible for man to find another God to worship, right?”

“Had the God been confident that there is no other God except him, he should not have been jealous of another God, right?”

“Yes – but who is jealous here?”
“Think…If the GOD knew that there is no other God, he would have been confident that people will not find any another God to worship, right?”

“These are all mis-interpretations….that’s not just right…” his voice became bit feeble.

“Think without biased, without conditionings…think with clarity….”

  • The behavioral pattern of any single GOD in such concepts suggests that he is not confident that he is the only God. He seems always to be suspicious that there may be other Gods and people may worship those Gods instead of him.
  • So the insecure GOD warns man not to worship another God. It, of course, is not a real god’s message. Can’t you clearly see the insecurity and whims and fancy of a narrow-minded human being behind this message?
  • Can any GOD be always feel threatened that a member of his followers’ gang may slip out of his grip and start to worship another God (probably the real creator of the universe)? So he had to enforce strict law that if any one of his gang tries to desert Him, he should immediately be put to death for apostasy.
  • How can any GOD be so insecure? The single insecure god theory converts the basic instinct to insecurity right from the childhood. The follower’s behavior may be fostered by GOD’s violent teachings for establishing Himself as the sole proprietary God of the world.
  • And one more thing – you say, your singular god does everything. If there is only one powerful god who controls everything, doesn’t that also mean he creates bad things and causes bad things to happen?

“Do these reflections make any sense? Should I believe such a story or such a GOD?”

“You are talking non-sense, ridiculous…” his face turned red.
“Sir, I told you – why do you feel angry and insecure when I talk about your concept of god? We are having a dialogue here…”

“Shouldn’t I defend my beliefs?” he asked angrily.
“Now you are saying those are just your beliefs…”

“You may. But why should a human try to protect GOD? Why should you feel so insecure if somebody criticizes your concept of God? Isn’t it insecurity?”

“You won’t feel hurt when somebody criticizes your beliefs? You people worship cows…even dogs…are you not ashamed of it…”
“Do I look hurt? But fanatic followers – even in Hinduism – will get angry and violent. I am not fanatic or fundamentalist…I am a humanist…”

“Ok…ok…so you say defending the GOD shows insecurity?”
“One may feel insecure when somebody questions his beliefs. If somebody questions truth, why should you feel insecure? Its truth after all…Should you defend the existence of sun? Your defending won’t change anything with sun…Don’t you think that fanatic god theory is the very root is insecurity – that is why we see a lot of followers have aggression and blind faith. We can find the seed of the real insecurity when a GOD is not confident that he is the only God in the world (and not in the universe)….”

“Your god doesn’t ask you to fear Him”
“No…Never…There are two things. One -The concept or notion of a personal God, hiding behind the clouds of secrecy, telling us irrational stories through few men whom he sends as divine messengers’ time-to-time, demanding us to worship him or punish us, does not make any sense to me.”

“What’s the second thing?”
“Is God as silly autocratic emperor who wants others to respect him or fear him? Can God stoop to such a low level of narrow-minded like a jealous human being? Or is it those human beings created such God?”

“So you don’t fear GOD…”

“I am afraid, I don’t…”

  • The Monotheistic God is jealous and wrathful. There is one God, and one correct method of worship. Those who deviate are heretics and may be punished, tortured or killed. In its exclusive devotion to the worship of one God, monotheism has inspired much ferocity and fanaticism….that’s how fear comes in.
  • At the heart of monotheism is the sure conviction that only a single god exists, a tendency to regard one’s own rituals and practices as the only proper way to worship the one true god.
  • When one starts with the presumption that one is absolutely and utterly “right” and anyone thinking otherwise is just as completely “wrong”, it does not promote the flexible thinking required to keep pace with the rapidly fluctuating pace of modern civilized society.
  • Monotheism “demands” a right/wrong, heaven/hell, black/white worldview.
  • On the contrary, Polytheism is an open-ended and easy going approach to religious beliefs and practices, a willingness to entertain the idea that there are many gods and many ways to worship them. Many roads lead to the mountain top. A person may choose any path.
  • Polytheism accepts that there can be more than “one true way”. This allows for more rational thinking when discussing things like belief system.

Hence, polytheism is more compatible with a naturalistic view of the universe than monotheism.

“Ok…I understand your view points, though I don’t agree with you… But you didn’t answer my question. What does your gods say about worshipping them and fearing them?”
“Very simple. An Indian saint, Adi Sankara said: “Aakashat patitam toyam, Yadha gachhati saagaram, Sarva deva namaskara: Keshavam prati gachhati!!”

“What- what’s that? Come again?”
“It is in Sanskrit. It means: Just as every rain drop that falls from the sky flows into the Ocean, in the same way every prayer offered to any Deity flows to the divine cosmic power (Kesava).”

“In short, you may worship or believe in any God. No problem…Even if you don’t worship or don’t believe, still it is no problem….This message from the GOD is so confident, so secure, secular and broad-minded. Because it can only come from the true creator of the universe, if at all there is a creator. And you are not asked to protect this GOD and resort to violence.”

“Ah..That’s why you don’t get angry?”
“Yes – You don’t have to spread the message of this God. You don’t have to defend the God. If somebody says badly about this God, I don’t have to get angry or fight for this God. A true Hindu believes that God protects us; we don’t have to protect God. So a true Hindu cannot get hurt in the name of God or religion….”

“So your religion is against single and personal god”
“Not like that… You can worship personal god or impersonal god…everything is manifestation of the same cosmic divinity…so no problem…you have freedom there too…You don’t have to market this God and convert others into his fold and increase market share. That’s why I remain as Hindu. How can you believe in concepts of any other insecure Gods?”

“OK, you made your point clear. But why do you worship monkeys, cows and elephants?”
“An ancient scripture says: “Isavasyam idam sarvam” (Isopanisad) …Everything animate or inanimate that is within the universe is Divine. This entire manifest Universe is enveloped by the Divine, the cosmic power….Hence you can see God in everything – the monkey, donkey, rat, and elephant or even in protozoa….”

“That means you can worship anything in this universe?”
“Yes – Be it Sun or Moon, Be it Hanuman or Ganapathi – whoever you worship, you are worshipping the cosmic power. My favorite God is Hanuman (Monkey-God). My traditional village God is Narasimha (Lion-God)….”

“Don’t you feel awkward? Shameful?”
“Why should I? I am not ashamed or apologetic to admit it….Nobody forced me to worship or believe in them. I had a choice there. I am in a democratic country. Nobody told me that this God would roast me in the hell, if I don’t worship it. I just love the stories of Hanuman and Narasimha. And I am free to criticize or make fun of those stories….”

“But, the animal gods are not scientific… So ancient tribes considered everything as GOD…There is no science in it…”
“On the contrary, there was scientific advancement among our ancestors…While my ancestors were learning and teaching the secrets of life and universe, the homo sapience of the West were still crawling in all fours and living in the caves….”

While my ancestors were calculating the exact distance to the minutest details, between the earth and sun or teaching Vedic mathematics and astronomy, the West was believing the earth is flat till a couple of hundreds of years ago.

– Should I challenge my ancestors and convert my belief to the extent that Coco Cola is better than natural honey?

No – I don’t need a certificate or empirical scientific proof approved by any international scientific body to understand the presence of God in monkeys and lions. At least monkeys are our ancestors and lions are the kings in the forest. It is anyways better than worshiping an insecure GOD. And I don’t expect monkey or lion to show any magic and miracle to prove that they represent divine energy…

Every God – everything in the universe – is manifestation of the divine power.

And the Hindu scripture neither demands you to worship the GOD nor will a Hindu be roasted in hell. Even if you don’t worship GOD, nothing can change – because your karma decides your destiny- the God has little or no role in it – The Gita too assures this.

“I hope this answer to your question – why do I continue to be a Hindu? I follow “THIS” Hinduism; hence I cannot be a fundamentalist or fanatic….”

“Hmm…Somewhat…but don’t say that you are right and I am wrong…”
“I don’t. What’s more, let me admit – the entry level Hinduism has some mal-practices and superstitions without any scientific base. (Read up-to-date science. tomorrow this can change). Most of the people blindly follow lot of tradition without understanding its true meanings or relevance. Some of those practices are either unessential or irrelevant in today’s life….”

“That’s true in all religions…”
“In all other religions you can see the follower has learned everything about his/her religion and can beautifully explain all aspects his/her religion. An ordinary Hindu doesn’t know or learn about his religion. The Gita is read by less than one percent of Hindu population. That’s the problem with a Hindu….”

“You told me about worshipping trees…And why do Hindus worship trees?”
“Hinduism has always been an environmentally sensitive philosophy. It is a totally green religion. Our ancestors were not very much interested in automobiles, petroleum products and plastics. What pollutes the earth? What causes cancer? A cow or an automobile?”

– God exists in everything. The trees are held in a special esteem in Hinduism as they provide food, oxygen, shelter, etc. By associating religion with plant kingdom, our ancient Indians tried to instill in us a reverence for them, so that we may protect, preserve and cultivate these beneficial plants in the future.

– Plant kingdom gives me everything I that I need – so what’s wrong in worshiping it? Worshiping a tree is better than worshiping an imaginary God, isn’t it?

“OK – but I have a genuine question now…If you don’t have a personal God, how will you pray? What will you pray? What will you ask for?”

“Should we pray? What should I pray?” When we know that isavasyam idam sarvam, what’s there to pray? I am part of GOD and the GOD is part of me. I cannot exist without GOD and GOD cannot exist without me.

* Aham Brahmasmi (Brhadaranyaka Upanishad)
“I am Brahman” I am integral part of cosmic energy.

* Tat Tvam Asi (Chandogya Upanishad)
“Thou art That” The identity of individual self as a part of the whole which is ‘tat’, Brahman.

* Ayam Atma Brahma (Mandukya Upanishad)
“This Self (Atman) is Brahman”

* prajñānam brahma
“Consciousness is Brahman” (Aitareya Upanishad 3.3 of the Rig Veda).

“As everything in the universe belong to me, what else I need? What would anybody gain by a prayer? God has provided me everything I need (not what I WANT)”

“That means you don’t need anything?”
“If I answer philosophically, I need something, only if it is lacking in me. Nothing lacks in me. I don’t feel I am imperfect or anyways inferior to anybody. Because, I am created by a perfect divinity. It just can’t go wrong.”

There is a divine assurance for this:

”Om Poorna Madah Poorna Midam Poornaat Poorna Mudachayate Poornasya Poorna Maadaaya Poorna Mevaa Vashishyate”
(That is perfect; this is perfect. What comes from such Perfection truly is perfect. What remains after Perfection from Perfection is yet again perfect)

The cosmic created me just as it created you. So nobody can be imperfect. At least accept this truth: “I am perfect with all my imperfections”

I don’t have to pray for anything as the force behind creation has seen to it so perfectly that everything is perfectly managed for me. For instance, before I was born, the cosmic has in-stored my food as my mother’s milk – who can take care of better than this? Everything is being taken care, so meticulously – so what should I pray.

Whatever I need will be given to me by the divine. Am I a fool to think that even a grass can move without the cosmic knowledge? No, I don’t have to remind the cosmic what I need. It knows better what I need. Any situation in life appears with cosmic wisdom – who am I to question it or challenge it or pray against such a situation?

“You mean to say you don’t have prayers?”
“We do have…. my ancestors taught me three most important and non-personalized prayers”

* “Asatoma Ma Sadgamaya tamaso ma jyotirgamaya mrtyorma amrtam gamaya Om santhi, santhi santhihi” (Brhadaranyaka Upanishad).
Take us from darkness to light’; from ignorance to awareness; from incompleteness to totality. Let there be peace everywhere. This is not a personal prayer.

* ”Loka samastha sukhino bhavanthu.”
May happiness be unto the entire world.
Not just me. I should not pray for any selfish gain, my ancestors taught me. If your neighbor is starving and I am binging, where is the happiness? The entire world should be happy.

* “Om Bhur Buvaha Suvaha
Thath Savithur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi
Dhiyo Yonaha Prachodayath”
We contemplate the glory of Light illuminating the three worlds: gross, subtle, and causal.
I am that vivifying power, love, radiant illumination, and divine grace of universal intelligence.
We pray for the divine light to illumine our minds.

~ By Uday Lal Pai


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30 Responses to "Should a God feel insecure?"

  1. Aj  May 7, 2014 at 3:42 am

    Hinduism explains at it’s best!! Sometimes we Hindus tend to forget that it’s a way of life than just a religion. Loved reading this.

  2. Aswin  May 7, 2014 at 4:37 am

    Perfect answers by Udai Lal 🙂

  3. rajan  May 7, 2014 at 6:43 am

    Gr8 article!!! Keep up the good work!!!

  4. Shivakumar Balachander  May 7, 2014 at 6:46 am

    Well articulated and explained. Cherished reading this.

  5. Abhi  May 7, 2014 at 8:21 am

    Very good article….
    It answers hidden questions in me……..

  6. Narayanan Komalavalli  May 7, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    The author of this article is certainly well-intentioned but he also comes across as having a superiority complex, his tolerance and free-mindedness is not genuine but is just calculated superiority through the backdoor. As much as he claims the westerner is ignorant about Hinduism, he is woefully educated about western religion. This article is not about west vs hinduism. It is about an intolerant westerner vs. a cunningly tolerant Hindu. It can massage the ego without teaching anything that is finally true.

    • Muktanand  May 8, 2014 at 6:39 am

      Mr Narayanan Komalavalili, I sincerely agree wihh you. I am an European, born into Christianity, but I have embraced Hinduism, so one can say that I have got some experiences in similar discussions :o)
      The author clearly misses few points here: The main problem for Christianity is the dualistic nature of Yahwe himself, and that is the very thing that confuses Christians for centuries. But t the same time, the author proudly quotes Sri Adi Shanharacharya and confuses the fellow with Sanskrit, but forgets to explain that Hinduism is not really polytheistic, forgets to explain the concepts of one Brahman, unmanifested, all-encopasing which is really not far from the Christian notion of God-Father. Perhaps that explanation would clarify the things for the westerner, instead of citing Sanskrit. And as for animls and trees confusio, he could easily mention angels, the divine beings that Christians love to evoke in their prayers, and nobody in their right mind would accuse a Christian for polytheism for praying to his personal guardian anger. Perhaps his ego took the better of him this time, acting passive-agressively :o)

      • Durga  June 20, 2015 at 9:14 am

        Mr, Muktanand. I am, like you, an European born into Christianity who has embraced Hinduism. I agree with you that the author forgets to explain what is behind that apparent polytheism, that is in fact more similar to what in the West came to be known in the 19th century as panentheism. But I disagree that Brahman has anything to do with the God-father notion for a very, the most important reason, among others: for a Christian, God will always remain as a separate entity and saying I am God for a Christian would be blasphemy. While for a Hindu, identifiying him/herself with that ultimate Brahman that pervades everything is the final aim.
        In any interfaith dialogue, in my view, more than highlighting the similarities, one should highlight the differences, with respect. Because if everything is the same, what is the point for us to having become Hindu? I, like I am sure that you too and all people that have left Christianity and embraced Sanatana Dharma have done it because it is different, very different: a matter of verifying by experience the Truth instead of having to swallow unproven dogmatic beliefs.

        Moreover, this is not a dialogue in equal terms, this is an attack and a defence.

        Besides of the example of the angels of the Christians, especially Catholics, I would mention the multiple forms in which the Catholics joyfully worship the many local advocations of Virgin Maria in her multiple forms, keeping in mind that it is a form only of Jesus´s Mother. I really don´t understand when they come to talk of hindus disrespectfully as “polytheists” worshipping many gods. Non-catholic christians like this pastor do not worship Virgin Maria.

    • Varadarajan Seshamani  April 12, 2015 at 3:28 pm

      I had the same issues as Shri Muktanand. While the answers were limited by the knowledge of the author’s concepts, there were concepts that he did not explain, as summarized by Shri Muktanand.

    • Parth  June 16, 2015 at 3:56 pm

      You speak as if the westerner was making an innocent, humble inquiry into Hinduism. True, there seems to be an undercurrent of superiority in what the author is professing, but let’s not forget the questions — “you’re still a Hindu?” and, “don’t tell me you worship rats and monkeys” are down right condescending, rude and disrespectful. I’d say the author got back at him just fine.

  7. vipul  May 7, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    Wonderful Article . !!!!

  8. S.Rajaraman  May 8, 2014 at 1:50 am

    Loved the reading…To understand the essence of the concept of GOD one should read it with a complex free mind and with a true intention of UNDERSTANDING…and not with the only intention to give comments to display our so called intelligence…..

  9. Vanan  May 9, 2014 at 5:13 am

    Loved reading this first thing in the morning. Thank you!

  10. Jay Lalla  May 9, 2014 at 11:43 am

    A great article – not perfect, but great. It atleast give one a way to explain the multitiudes of “angels” that Hinduism has.

  11. SOMANATH NAYAK  August 29, 2014 at 11:31 am

    This article was suberb….. I loved it……Feeling proud to be hindu

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  13. Ram Singhania  November 8, 2014 at 10:07 am

    When asked if a Hindu can worship anything in the nature the author gives a very loose answer. He should have said a Hindu can worship a deity (with fruition) only if the latter has Vedic or Puranic sanction behind Him or Her.

    • Amit Choudhury  February 24, 2015 at 6:58 pm

      Vedanta does not promote any deity – vedic or puranic. One section of vedantic teaching is nirakar Bramha.
      For many Hindus, the lofty concepts of vedanta is incomprehensible and rituals rule their lives, hence the worshipping of manifestations.
      I wish the fringe elements of VHP were given discourse on the vedic and vedantic philosophy by someone they would listen to, and stop making a fool of themselves.

      • Ram Singhania  June 16, 2015 at 5:08 pm

        For the bulk of hindu masses the lofty vedantic concept of nirakar is useless. No religion can survive without rituals, temples, festivals. Without tangible forms to worship no human heart can find refuge. Hinduism is singularly fortunate in the sense that we have got many forms or avatars of God (with vedic sanction) to worship.

        The nirakari section of vedantis have made fools of themselves for too long.
        Psychology has proved there can be no emotional attachment to the formless (nirakar) and without this attachment, religion is reduced to mere philosophical speculation which, fortunately, it is not.

  14. Cecilia  November 23, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Thank you. Very well articulated. For those who understand there is no need for explanation and for those that do not understand, there is no point in explaining. We are so caught up in the indoctrination and the blind rituals that we fail to have a simple approach of awe and wonder and fail to keep our minds open to receiving .

  15. Raman Thangappan  January 2, 2015 at 8:16 am

    I am not an expert but sounds very reasonable.

  16. Dilip Purohit  April 13, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    Superb Article !! very well explain, well format, bring more confidence !!!

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  18. Amit  June 16, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    Nicely explained and so clear… Thanks

  19. Yugesh Soni  June 17, 2015 at 4:05 am

    Sir, no doubt your work is excellent and inspirational. But I think that showing this website in Hindi will encourage more people to join in.
    Again keep up your good work and bring us these wonderful and inspirational articles. My best wishes are with you.

  20. Bharat Chandu  June 17, 2015 at 6:27 am

    Concept of Hinduism so beautifully explained.

  21. Sunil Rao  September 27, 2015 at 12:23 am

    This is always said by Christians, Muslims, Jews and even Atheists. It is like a broken record playing over and over again. God is everywhere man ! Governed by karma, sacrifice, attitude and love for LIFE. They use force like yelling and physical violence and ill will is imposed by these violent insecure people. they say I believe in one God and now I will kill you. How religious.

  22. vikas  May 17, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    love it.

  23. Rao  July 21, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    excellent article.. thank you

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