Sunday, August 12, 2007

COMPETING GODS

What is God? Who is He? All religions and faiths seem to agree that God is Supreme and is the Creator of all there is. Yet, we find intense lobbying, and worse, by followers of various faiths to get others to accept that their God is the only real One.

It seems incomprehensible that God would choose to send His representatives to earth repeatedly after suitable gaps of time, only to reveal yet another name and form to be believed and followed, to the exclusion of all others revealed earlier. This has, and will continue to, set humans against each other, leading to unspeakable cruelty and destruction in His name.

'My heaven is better than yours; my hell worse', each God appears to be yelling. There is a devil too to keep throwing a spanner in God's design. To add another twist, even among followers of one God there are competing branches and sects. This suggests a scenario where, up in the heavens, a few ' warlords' are ruthlessly engaged in gathering more and even more earthly followers in a show of competitive strength. Each seems mortally afraid of losing his flock to the other. Therefore the inducement of heaven to followers and threat of hell to the rest. Out of this fear flows on earth intolerance and fanaticism which, ironically, propels some ' devout' followers straight into the 'devil's' camp, as they indulge in trickery, treachery and ruthless destruction to 'protect' and propagate their version of God.

Can this be God's design? Is He just another sadist who revels in this misery and sorrow in His name? Can God, the creator of all there was, is and will be, have competitors? Aren't all Gods and even the devil His own creation, an inseperable part of Him, like each one of us is? Could He then have created such destructive, competing compartments here on earth?

An Indian mystic had once said ' All are children of the same Spark; which ones are good and which ones bad?'. Where lies the answer? To me, the key seems to be in the understanding that all paths can lead to that one Spark who is above and beyond all competition, and is with and within all. On any path, only love of God will take you to Him or bring Him to you. And love for God cannot exist without love for all His creation, no matter on which path. Conditional love is nothing but masked hatred. That surely cannot be His Word. Once you reach Him, no matter how, the path should simply dissolve. The ignorant, who have not walked their talk, claim loudly, often with venom, that that theirs alone is the true path. How can they know?