Thought — Systems advanced by religion and by philosophy are not cognizant of truth
By Sanjoo Thangjam
The dogma of one Supreme Being as the source or the creator of the universe defies logic since it does not explain who created the creator – GOD. Their argument, when constructed in the manner of a syllogism, reads as follows:
– WHOEVER PRODUCES CREATIONS IS, IN TURN, A CREATION PRODUCED BY ANOTHER (MAJOR PREMISE);
– GOD PRODUCES CREATIONS (MINOR PREMISE);
– THEREFORE, GOD IS A CREATION PRODUCED BY ANOTHER (CONCLUSION).
If the above argument is granted as true or valid, then God can no longer be considered omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. Conversely, when God is posited as not created by another, then the claim that God has created other existents must also be refuted. The Hetuvidya Sastra formulates the argument as follows:
– GOD CANNOT CREATE THAT WHICH EXISTS (AIM);
– NOR CAN BE CREATED BY IT (CAUSE);
– NO ASPECT OF EXISTENCE CAN BE CREATED BY ANOTHER ASPECT OF EXISTENCE, AND NO EXISTING THING CAN CREATE ANOTHER (EXAMPLE OF SAMENESS).
– SPACE NEITHER CREATES NOR IS CREATED BY THE EXISTENT IT CONTAINS (EXAMPLE OF DIFFERETIATION).
A peach, an existent which has the potential to produce other existents (peaches), must, itself have been the product of other existents. In the light of the above evidence, then, the existence of an omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent God is ruled out both in theory and in reality, of
One important school of Indian philosophy explains the world to be the result, or creation, of the Self (Conscious Principle).
In view of the above premises, self-becoming, or self-manifestation, is a process producing both the cause and the effect.
However, the Self, unlike the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God cannot exist independently of other existents. Every existent is, in some way, predetermined; and therefore the cycle of birth-and-death cannot be ignored or forgotten or avoided.
Philosophy and metaphysical as practised in the western hemisphere have developed numerous systems aimed at answering fundamental questions about human existence. Western schools of thought can be divided into three main groups, according to the way each of them formulates the problem – namely, Idealism, Materialism, and Dualism.
There is an on-going scholarly debate among these groups conducted by experts in the field, but population at large appears to reap only meagre benefit from such argument and discussion in terms of getting answers about or help with the problems of existence.
The science prosper and their concerns are an abundant source of theories that yield the concrete results of research; but the answer to the question, or riddle, of human existence in the universe appears to be outside their range. Neither metaphysics nor science has advanced toward a clear solution to this fundamental puzzle, nor has either of them yet come close to providing a satisfactory answer.
So my question is if god truly exists then –
I want to know him. I have read and have been reading almost all the religious holy books of the world and I still cannot find the exact definition of god. We talk only about god but when asked to explain who exactly this god is, even the most reverend religious teachers that I have met till today could not explain to me properly, precisely and exactly about him/her/them or it (god).
Instead, I rather feel that they were beating around the bush because it became more difficult and more complicated for a normal person like me to understand their way of explanation rather than the scriptures that I read. In fact, the sacred books explained far much better.
I, sometimes, also wonder if they, the preachers, the teachers, or the religious teachers too, understand what they are explaining about. That irritated me a lot.
However, before coming to anything, I honestly want to say that I am not against any religions. The scriptures and teachings are very remarkable, noble and magnanimous. So, if there is anyone who could teach or explain to me in a simple language a propos this god is then I’m ever ready to listen wholeheartedly. So, please kindly do not hesitate to call me. My no. 9774225618 or mail me at [email protected]
But on the other hand, as I could not remain tight-lipped over the matter, I finally thought that the best thing would be to start searching for this so called “GOD” by myself. There was no answer. But in due course of time, I did find something more than god and I would love to share what I have found especially with our grandpas and grandmas and also with my fellow brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, etc…etc…etc.
At the end of the day, my irritation cooled down after I became a self-styled Buddhist. Because I got the answer and that is, it was the Buddha alone whose voice that entertained everybody. The Buddha explained properly.
It was the Buddha who taught that man could gain his own salvation by his own exertion without depending on GOD or meditating priest.
Of all the teachers of the world, the Buddha was the one who taught us to be self-reliant, who freed us not only from the bondage of our views but from the dependence on invisible god and gods.
He invited everyone into the state of freedom, which he called Nirvana. All must attain it one day and the attainment is the complete fulfilment of men
Buddhists do not take refuge in the Buddha seeking salvation directly through him, but to gain guidance and confidence for salvation.
The Buddha said:-
1. My voice is not a voice of the God
The Buddha belongs to the history of the world’s thought, to the general inheritance of all cultivate men; for, judged by the intellectual integrity, moral earnestness, and spiritual insight, he is undoubtedly the greatest human being but not god who ever lived.
This was not the heavenly voice of a divine power, but a very human voice, which called on men to seek final emancipation through mental purification and enlightenment. Even today, this voice echoes in our ears and reminds us that we can understand the truth revealed by him, if only we exercise our will and our concentration.
The voice of the Buddha is a message of hope, confidence and courage. It tells us that hatred never ceases through hatred but only by loving-kindness. This vibrant voice emanated from a great person, who was once a warrior, a yogi, a mendicant and finally a Buddha – Prof Max Muller
2. Oh! The Buddha then who are you if you are not a god?
One day, a Brahman happened to meet the Buddha and he could not believe that the Buddha was a human being. He asked, “Are you a God?”
The Buddha said, “NO”
He then asked, “Are you a supernatural being”
The Buddha said, “I AM VERY NATURAL!”
In the end he asked, “Are you an ordinary human being?”
The Buddha said, “NO.”
The confused Brahmin asked, “Then who are you?”
The Buddha answered, “I am the Buddha” (The Awakened one).”
3. Self-introduction of the Buddha
Known are the things to be known,
Cultivated are the things to be cultivated.
Destroyed are the things to be destroyed.
Therefore, I’m the Buddha.
4. Why the Buddha kept silence
When metaphysical questions were asked, he often did not reply, not because the Buddha had nothing to say but because he had far too much to say, which would only confuse the questioner.
The riddle-mongers of his day posed questions which were both too narrow and too shallow to answer for gaining wisdom or spiritual development.
5. The Buddha emphasised reason, morals, principles & experience
The Buddha had the courage to point out the satisfactoriness of POPULAR RELIGION, SUPERSITION, CEREMONY, and PRIEST CRAFT. He was not interested in the METAPHYSICAL and THEOLOGICAL OUTLOOK, MIRACLES, REVELATIONS, and dealings with the SUPERNATURAL.
His appeal was
– to reason, logic, and experience
His emphasis was
– on ethic
His method was
– one of the psychological analysis, a psychological without a soul.
His whole approach comes
– like the breath of the fresh wind from the mountain after the stale air of the metaphysical speculation. — Pandit Nehru
6. One who knows the true nature of the world
Among the founders of all the religions, I respect only one man – the Buddha. The main reason was that the Buddha did not make statements regarding the origin of the world though he was the only teacher who realised the true nature of the world.
But, while many others made unjustifiable claims based on rather simplistic logic on how the world originated, the Buddha did not commit himself to any statement about the beginning.
This was because he knew his listeners did not have the proper intellectual training and understanding of the physical world to comprehend what he himself had discovered. — Bertrand Russell
7. Thanks to the Buddha’s voice because ordinary people are able
– To develop their faith and confidence.
– Educated people have food for thought and intellectuals have enriched their vision.
– Those misguided had their views corrected.
– Those who have not relied on blind faith have received a clear vision of the Truth.
– Sceptics were persuaded and won over by the voice of reason.
– Devotees gained confidence, understanding and liberation from suffering.
8. The Buddha is not a God
– The Buddha had a natural birth: he lived in a normal way. But he was an extraordinary man as far as his enlightenment was concerned.
– The Buddha’s supreme enlightenment is more than enough for us to understand his greatness. There is no need to show his greatness by introducing any miraculous power. Every supernatural power becomes natural when people come to know how it takes.
9. A teacher who never had human frailty
– The Buddha was the embodiment of all the virtues he preached. His moral code is the most perfect the world has ever known.
– During his successful and eventful forty-five years as a supreme enlightened teacher, he translated all his work into essence and no place did he give vent to any human frailty or any base passion. — Prof Max Muller
10. Everlasting value and advanced ethics
– The Buddha gave expression to truths of everlasting value and the ethics of not of India but of humanity.
– The Buddha was one of the greatest ethical men of genius ever bestowed upon the world. —Albert Schweitzer
11. The Buddha supported human dignity
The voice of the Buddha is the most powerful voice that man has ever heard in support of the dignity of man and of the principle that man is the maker of his own principle of his own destiny, and that man is not for religion but that religion must serve man. That means: Without becoming a slave to any religion, man must try to make use of religion for his betterment and liberation.
12. THE BUDDHA IS FOR EVERY BODY
– To great philosophers and unbiased thinkers, he is a teacher who understood worldly conditions in their proper perspective.
– To moralists, he has the highest code of discipline and he symbolises perfection.
– To rationalists, he is the most liberal minded religious teacher who understood vexing human problems.
– To free thinkers, he is religious teacher who encouraged people to think freely without depending on religious dogmas.
– To agnostics, he is a very intelligent, kind understanding and peace-loving man.
– To Hindus, he is an incarnation of their god.
– To socialists, he is a social reformer.
– To religious devotees, he is a holy man
13. THE BUDDHA HAD NO GOD FOR GAINING ENLIGHTIGHTMENT
All have i overcomed, I know,
From all am i detached! All i have renounced.
Wholly absorbed am i
Having comprehend all by myself.
Whom shall i call my god.
(The writer is a Social Activist for Who Use Drugs (PUDs)