Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 23 Feb 2021


How can God have a form?

[Śrī Anil asked: In Your divine knowledge, You have made the statement that God comes to this world in human form to preach and uplift us and that He is called the Human Incarnation of God. A Muslim devotee raised the following objections to this concept. Could You please respond to him?

The Muslim devotee said: If God has no image then how can a human be God. Rāma or Kṛṣṇa were not without any form or image. If God is imageless, then He is ‘unimaginable’. By making idols, we try to make Him ‘imaginable’. But the idol is not God. The Veda also says “Do not worship anyone besides Him. Praise Him alone” (Ṛg Veda, Book 8, Hymn 1, Verse 1; Yajur Veda 32:3).]

Swami replied: Every Muslim follows the concept given by Muhammad blindly without understanding its background. Muhammad Himself was a Human Incarnation of God. Owing to the cruel behavior shown by the public towards Jesus, Muhammad rejected the concept of Human Incarnation of God. Jesus was the immediately-preceding Human Incarnation before Muhammad and the public brutally crucified Jesus because He claimed to be an Incarnation of God. By rejecting the very concept of Human Incarnation, Muhammad ensured that nobody would commit that climax of sin towards any Human Incarnation in the future. We always observe and analyze only what was said by the divine preacher and never analyze why it was said so.

The social circumstances make the Human Incarnation attempt the rectification of some defect. Muhammad thought that spiritual knowledge can be preached to the public, even while claiming to be just a messenger of God. He felt that it was not necessary to say that God had merged with Him. So, He preached the spiritual knowledge, claiming to be only a messenger. Prophet Muhammad’s idea was that when the same purpose could be fulfilled in a safer way, there was no need to take an unnecessary risk. Similarly, Śaṅkara said that every soul is God. Everybody has taken this statement literally, without thinking of the reason behind making such a statement. When the background of the statement is analyzed, we can understand the reason why Śaṅkara said so. When Śaṅkara came, He was fully surrounded by atheists. No atheist will even listen to the concept that there is any God other than him. Then there is no way other than what Śaṅkara did to bring atheists to the path of theism. Śaṅkara applied a three-step formula to convert atheists into theists. The first step is convincing the atheist that every soul is God. The second step is convincing him that every soul exists. The third step is to convince him that God exists. By this procedure, Śaṅkara achieved the goal of converting atheists into theists. He certainly knew that He alone was the Incarnation of God (Śivaḥ kevalo’ham). But He proved it only to His close disciples by asking the disciples to drink molten lead as drunk by Him.