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Deeper Into the Same Old Question

It’s been a while since I posted the article  The Same Old Question that I’m tempted to put down another set of those mystical confusions I have always been infested with.

I had been to my friend’s place in Andhra Pradesh the last weekend. We went to a number of exotic places nearby like Belum Caves and we happened to visit a pretty big Sai Baba Temple in Pattikonda. I liked the place alright, but as it was finally the time to bow to the Sai Baba statue, it left me surprised with myself that the usual reverence or the Bhakti wasn’t quite there! A tentative bow and a namaste was all I could manage. It was more like bowing to an adorable elderly man. I’m a very strong believer of God and when I visit any temple or shrine, I am never out of sorts or superficial to show reverence. But this time it was different and I kept wondering why until I made myself an answer.

I understand and I do believe that God is within oneself and not elsewhere. That’s exactly what is advocated by Aadi Shankaracharya’s Advaita Philosophy and it’s the same philosophy my entire family and the Havyaks believe in. But somehow, I am not comfortable worshiping the human forms of God, especially the non-mythological ones. In that case, some part of me protests the very Advaita frame of things and I sometimes even think that God (Paramatma) is entirely different from that of man (Jeevatma). So that reveals my quintessential support to the Dvaita Philosophy of the Madhvacharya.

Having said all this, I find myself in conflicting ideas like most times. Or perhaps, I don’t belong to either of these two beliefs. I can consider (may not fully digest though) the idea that a man can somehow represent God in His fullest form: like Lord Ram or Lord Krishna according to Hindu Mythology, and in Christianity we have some believing Jesus to be just a messenger and some the God himself. Likewise it could be Sai Baba, should we consider him that way (I somehow can’t). So is the case with Shri Guru Raghavendra of Mantralaya (I visited there too this time).

Because Lord Krishna himself states in Bhagavad Gita:

"Yada yada hi dharmasya glanirbhavati Bharata,
Abhyutthanam adharmasya tadatmanam srjamyaham."
(Whenever and wherever there is a decline in Dharma, I descend Myself.)

As we see, Krishna himself hints God’s human manifestations whenever the world requires them. But I have a different belief of worshiping the source rather than its manifestation. That’s what prompts me not to adhere absolutely on to either Dvaita or our own Advaita philosophy. Because my definition of God is “the sum of remainders of an unbalanced equation of life” : as the Architect describes in The Matrix Reloaded (I love the movie more for my philosophical interests).
God is the name we give to the spirit that brings balance. Which brings order from chaos as Dan Brown outlines in The Lost Symbol (Impressed me with the way of looking at theology from scientific perspective). Human manifestations had their purposes, completed them and terminated just like every other human being.

So, when I want balance and order to be bestowed on to me, I go to the source. Not because the human manifestations can’t reach the source, but because I find it more meaningful and logical to be doing things that way.

After all, I’m also a man of Science!

Believe!

Categories: iBelieve

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Chinmay Hegde

2 replies

  1. Good to read this post Chinmay.

    There is something I can suggest you do. You may start by understanding what mythology is and how it came about. When science still did not figure in the human enquiry was when people explained things as mythical (mystical) and that whole field became mythology. Honestly, how you treat mythology now remains a question of belief. So, if you say you are a man of science, perhaps you will be neutral to your belief system and rely on the method of enquiry to give you an answer–which again, I must say, you have to be convinced whether you believe it or not.

    I have understood, over my long discussions with friends in different parts of the world with different belief systems, that all this discussion would yield only when you know your standpoint clearly–atheist or not, and why; Science or belief, and why. Let me conclude with this line that might help you: Science answers the question ‘how’ and contributes to laws of physics, for it is a method of enquiry, Philosophy answers a question ‘why’ and contributes to ‘metaphysics’, which in turn remains a rich source for hypotheses for science.

    Hope I added some value!

    1. Sure you did. Understanding our beliefs and opinions as to ‘why’ is a journey and I know I have a long way to go. All I’m writing is the story of that journey as to where I stand now. Thanks for guiding me forward. 🙂

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