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Is There One God or Many?

Posted on: 13 Dec 2018
O Learned and Devoted Servants of God,

Discourse Podcast

 

Shri P.V.N.M. Sharma asked: Why are there different Gods in Hinduism whereas there is only one God in other religions in this world?

Swami replied: Hinduism, a micro-world that represents this macro-world. This is because, Hinduism itself is made of several sub-religions, which resemble the different religions in the world. This macro-world is one unit created by God. Within it, Hinduism is one sub-unit followed by some people. So, you cannot look at the world and Hinduism as separate units. After all, Hinduism, other religions and the whole world are created by only one single Entity called God.

The original absolute God is unimaginable since He is beyond space and time. He constitutes the unimaginable domain. For the sake of understanding, it can be said that the unimaginable domain includes the unimaginable God and His unimaginable power. But in reality, both the unimaginable God and His unimaginable power are one and the same. This is because, once we say that an item is beyond our imagination, we cannot say whether it is one or two. So, even if we speak of many unimaginable items, they all refer to the single unimaginable item or domain, which is God. When the Veda declares the monism of God. i.e. when it says that there is only one God, and when it rejects the plurality of God, it is referring to this single unimaginable domain. Statements like “Ekamevaadvitiiyam Brahma” and “Neha Naanaasti Kimchana” are examples of the above.

The unimaginable God and His unimaginable power (maayaa) are one and the same, whereas God’s imaginable power is different from Him. It has undergone modification to become creation (prakruti) or it appears to be creation. How the unimaginable God possesses an imaginable power, which is different from Him, is unimaginable. Such a wonder is possible only due to His unimaginable power! Our logical analysis and entire knowledge are limited only to this creation, which is the imaginable domain. Hence, it is a waste of time to think about any aspect of the unimaginable domain.

This world, which is the imaginable domain, has plurality. The plurality supplies different media for the unimaginable God for His expression. It enables Him to enter into various selected human devotees in order to become Human Incarnations of God. The human devotee becomes a medium for the entry of the unimaginable God. Thus, God has incarnated in this world in different regions in different times to establish the different religions in the world. Of course, the unimaginable God does not directly enter any medium.

At the very beginning of creation, the unimaginable God first created subtle energy or space. He created the first form or body out of that subtle energy and entered into it to become the first Energetic Incarnation. This first energetic form became the first medium of God. This first mediated form of God or the first Energetic Incarnation is called as Datta or Eeshvara in Hinduism and Father of heaven in other religions. There is no trace of difference between the unimaginable God and the first Energetic Incarnation, except that the former is unimaginable while the latter is imaginable. The energetic form of Datta is visible to energetic beings in the upper worlds. For humans on earth, Datta is invisible but still imaginable. The first Energetic Incarnation, Datta, is also eternal like the unimaginable God; i.e. both have no end. The only difference is that Datta had a beginning from the point of view of His energetic medium, while the unimaginable God has no beginning. It is this Datta that enters a selected human devotee to become a Human Incarnation. The unimaginable God is permanently present in the energetic medium of Datta. That Datta, containing the unimaginable God, enters into the physical medium of a human devotee. Thus, the unimaginable God is equally present in the Human Incarnation.

God incarnates in human form on earth in every human generation. The human media into which God Datta enters each time is different as a result of the plurality that is inherent in the imaginable domain. In other words, one Incarnation looks different from another Incarnation. One Incarnation may appear in a place where people follow say Hinduism, while another Incarnation may appear in a place where people follow a different religion. The Incarnation’s external dress, language, and manners will naturally be according to the culture of the place where He has appeared. This enables Him to mix freely with the people He has come to preach and uplift. But these differences are only external.

From the point of view of the first Energetic Incarnation, Datta or Father of heaven, present in each of them, all Incarnations are one and same. From the point of view of the unimaginable God present in all the Incarnations too, they are one and the same. Thus, all these different mediated Gods are actually one in essence. If you look at the medium, which is part of the imaginable domain, there is plurality. If you look at the internal God Datta or the unimaginable God present in all of them, then there is only one. This truth applies equally to the sub-religions within Hinduism or the different world religions. This analysis is the fundamental basis for bringing unity among the sub-religions of Hinduism and among the various religions in the world.

 
   

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