Question: Sir, I have seen one of your videos on YouTube about ‘What is God?’. I understand that God, for me, is whenever I have a desire and I want something from the future, then God comes for me, so should I stop worshiping God?
Acharya Prashant: Obviously, if God is the one who grants you your desires, then you are not worshiping God, you are worshiping your desires. Stop worshiping your desires, obviously.
Who is God for you?
L1: Does God really exist?
AP: For you, it does. Who is God for you? The one who grants you your wish.
L2: My faith?
AP: Faith in what?
“When do you go to God?” Let me put it this way.
L3: When we are afraid.
AP: When you are afraid, or when you are greedy.
L3: To say ‘thank You’ to God.
AP: That’s a payment that you must make. “You granted my wish, thank you. Otherwise, you know, things might be in doubt for the next time.” He might feel bad, “I granted her wish and she didn’t even say ‘Thank you’.” He gets hurt.
L4: Sir, but if someone is worshiping God without any expectation, without any desire…
AP: Does that happen? Why should we assume? Have you ever seen somebody who goes to a temple without being programmed or conditioned? If he is not programmed or conditioned, why will he go to a temple? How do I know that God lives in a temple?
L5: No, not a temple, Sir.
AP: If I am not programmed, why will I go to a ‘temple’?
L5: Just because of atmosphere.
AP: So you are programmed, right?
L6: For example, Sir, when you go to the Vrindavan, that Banke Bihari temple, I just like it there, I don’t know why.
AP: You also like watching movies, you also like watching girls, you like so many things. And in fact, many temples ensure that they give you what you like. There are temples where so many foreigners come, and those temples are real crowd pullers. They give you what you like – cute, young, white ladies, dancing to Krishna. What a scene! Even non-devotees, faithless people become devoted. “Today, I have come to believe in Krishna. Can I have a little more of her? Hare Rama, Hare Krishna, what a sight!”
L7: Sir, my question is, “Does God really exist? What is God?” Because I don’t believe in God.
AP: How does it matter? He believes in God, and he does not know what he believes in. You don’t believe in God, and you do not know what you don’t believe in.
I say something to you in Japanese, do you know Japanese?
AP: I say something to you in Japanese and you start dancing, thinking that I have complemented you, and he (pointing towards another listener) gets enraged, thinking that I have abused him, how does it matter? Neither you know, what I have said, nor does he know. Neither he knows what God is; does a worshiper know God? Does a non-worshiper know God? Does a believer know God? Does a non-believer know God? So, what is the point in believing or non-believing? Go ahead, do what you want to do. It’s anyway your own fantasy, your own imagination. When you say, “I don’t believe in God” what do you not believe in? What is God?
L7: That’s what I am asking, “What is God?”.
AP: How can you not believe in something without even knowing it? You are not getting my question? I write “A” in front of you and I ask you whether it is positive or negative? Or, let me just say, real or imaginary? I write something and I ask you whether it is real or imaginary? I just write √A, tell me whether it is real or imaginary. Can you answer this question?
AP: How can you answer this question? Do you know what “A” is?
L7: I can imagine what “A” is.
AP: You can imagine what “A” is and keep answering the question. You don’t even know what “A” is, but you are telling me what ‘√A’ is – real or imaginary!
L8: Sir, but is it possible to find the value?
AP: That’s a different question.
L8: Is it really possible?
AP: For whom? The same mind that keeps on believing in all the rubbish, the same mind that believes in career, and marriage, and kids, and social networking, will the same mind ever come to know God? The same mind that believes in all the falsehoods that are thrown at you, will the same mind ever also realize God? So, that’s what I am asking – Who will realize God?
L9: The one who doesn’t have any fear, who has given his content.
L10: The one who has realized the self.
AP: So, is the question of knowing what God is, or is it first a question of purifying your own mind?
L11: Purifying our own mind.
AP: Only that kind of a mind can really ask. Only that mind deserves to ask, “What is God?” And you don’t know that it would ask. It might just drop the question. But we are so interested in God, and you know the funny part is – the more dirty your mind is, the more you talk about God.
Have you not seen that? Go to the temples, who do you find there? Chances are you will find some of the most dumb or most evil people there. You go to your temples, you either find dumb people or mischievous people. They are the one who are most interested in God. Dumb people – Why? Because, they do not realize anything, no intelligence, so whatever is told to them is just accept and they form a crowd and they start singing, have you not seen that? Some stupid crowd, 200 people, who don’t even know what they are saying, what that shloka means or what that bhajan means, they don’t even know and yet they are singing. Is that not dumbness? Or evil people, who want to use God for their own nefarious purposes?
There were people in Hitler’s team who are very God loving. We are talking on Gita, one of them loved the Gita. He said, “You know, that’s what Krishna is saying – Kill! Kill, without considering the other fellow is you own family member or brother or grand-father.
L10: Is he a wrong interpretation of Gita?
AP: What do you mean by the right interpretation? Who will interpret? This same mind. The same mind that jealous, possessive, insecure. How can this mind interpret the Gita?
L11: Sir, like there are some paranormal activities that take place around the world.
AP: No activity is paranormal. Activity means it is within the purview of the mind. We started with talking of action in inaction. Don’t you remember, we said, “All action is in the purview of space and time.” So, there is nothing called paranormal activity. There is just activity – normal, paranormal, meta-normal or whatever you call it. And all activity is necessarily in the world, in three dimensions, in time X, Y, Z, T, and that is mind, pure and simple. You may dream up whatever you want to dream. It’s all happening in mind.
L12: The things which are not scientifically explained.
AP: Tomorrow they’ll be explained, it’s alright, or you might be dreaming, it’s alright. How does it matter? There is nothing of interest there.
L13: Sir, this thing, all these Baba’s that are there, who often define God, are these false? Sir, as per my understanding, whatever you say, the context, I feel that it is right. When some other says something different, it also seems alright and I am convinced. Krishna, who has written the Gita, was nothing in the sense that it’s only humans who believe Krishna to be God.
AP: Gita was there before you came, not into this world, into this session (Laughs).
Before you came into this session, we were talking of the Gita. So, the Gita is more ancient than you are, in both ways. Try to understand what I am saying. Had Krishna really been so immaterial, why would we start the session with him? He has said something beautiful and we took that up, and twice or thrice we have referred to him, and he was a supremely intelligent being, so intelligent that what he has said stands the test of time – it is relevant today, and it will be relevant always. It is not only intellectual, it is higher than intellectual, and what your God-men are saying, that is not even intellectual, that is less than intellectual.
So, don’t you have the eyes to see and the ears to hear? Don’t you find any difference between the baba log and Krishna? What the baba log is saying, I mean, forget about spirituality, at least there has to be an intellectual content. Spirituality comes way later. If you check their IQ, you might find that it is no more than 4.8. The fellow cannot even talk sense, how will he talk spirituality? He does not know 2+2=4, how will he know magic?
To go beyond rationality, first of all you must be rational, you must understand rationality. He does not know of maths, he does not know physics, he does not know the world, but he ‘thinks’ that he knows the ultimate Truth. In fact, he does not even think that way, if you’ll ask him, he will say, “No. I don’t anything, these are idiots who come to me.” He’ll be very quick to admit. Even he does not agree to what he says, how can you agree to what he says.
L14: Sir, maybe, because they tell or address so many people at one time.
AP: The biggest lies can be told only in front of crowds. When you are face to face with me, it becomes difficult to lie to you. Because, now, it is human to human, but when it’s a crowd, then one can easily lie.
You go to his residence and you look at him in the eye, it will be difficult for him, but when it is a crowd, you can say anything, you know. Just say it loudly and appear confident, and ensure that you have goons who will bash up anybody who says something which makes you uncomfortable.
~ Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.
Read more articles on this topic:
Article 1: What is Spirituality?