Reading a few verses from the Bhagavad Gita had me wondering.
What if those who heatedly debate whether God exists or not read these few verses?
I mean if they read them with an open mind sincerely trying to understand their depth?
Whichever side you are on, I think you’d find some satisfaction in the Gita’s Twelfth Chapter.
There seemed a key to agreement between both believers and non-believers in the following passage from verse 3-4:
“. . . those who seek the transcendental Reality,
without name, without form,
contemplating the Unmanifest,
beyond the reach of thought and feeling,
with their senses subdued
and mind serene and striving
for the good of all beings,
they too will verily come to Me.”
There is nothing mystical, supernatural or miraculous in the verses.
It’s just straightforward philosophy. No frills.
It calls IT what it is — the Unmanifest Reality beyond what we think or feel it is.
Couldn’t we all agree there is only one reality that underlies everything in the universe?
And that this is out there beyond the limits of our puny human sense perception?
Even beyond the strongest instruments yet devised?
Something we can’t see or hear or touch? Or even imagine what it is like?
The Scientific Perspective
Science reduces Reality to something beyond the quantum quandary at the micro-level, of whether the smallest stuff of Unmanifest Imperceptible Reality is particles or waves?
Then too, astro-physicists scratch their heads about the macro-level.
They’re pondering the mystery of dark energy and dark matter. They know they exist, but cannot be perceived.
Barely four percent of dark energy and matter is even “indicated” by the most sophisticated instruments.
Actually, it is indicated only by a number – the difference between the pull of gravity and the push of the expansion of the universe.
Nothing that can be seen or heard.
On the Religious Side
Christian believers can still be comforted by the Apostle Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians, telling them how to reach that mysterious realm hidden beyond our sight and our thoughts:
“I will show you the most excellent way . . . Love never fails. But . . . where there is knowledge, it will pass away.”
I presume those who do not believe that God exists would probably believe that Love does.
I presume too though, that they would also consider Love just as irrational a state of mind as is a belief in an earthly Incarnation of God.
The Bhagavad Gita Side
East Indian philosophers say that Shri Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita can be taken in either of two ways.
Either Krishna is literally the charioteer giving advice to the warrior, Arjuna.
This would mean Krishna is The Deity.
And his call to worship is a call to worship a mental image of himself in his bodily form.
Or, is Krishna simply an allegorical personification of the Formlesss, Unmanifest Reality.
If so, Krishna is calling readers to worship an allegorical concept, sort of an amorphous principle.
The former is the easiest point of view because human nature finds mimicry of a person more available than trying to worship a fuzzy concept.
Each view gives a different perspective of the meaning of the Gita.
But then, if you add to your perspective the practice of coming to stillness, you are more liked to find the truth in things.
Stillness will open wider the door to potential agreement.
This is true for people of all faiths and even those of no faith in having Faith.
The Gita gives its simple value:
“Still your mind in me.
Still your intellect in Me.
And without doubt you will be united
with Me forever.
If you cannot still your mind in Me,
learn to do so through the regular practice of meditation.
If you lack the will for such self-discipline,
engage yourself in my work.
For selfless service can lead you at last
to complete fulfillment.
If you are unable to do even this,
surrender yourself to Me,
and renouncing the results of all your actions.”
The Psalmist too gives believers similar instruction.
“Be still and know that I am God.”
Not-God believers might find a difference if they changed the word “God” to “Reality.”
And thus read, “Be still and know that I am Reality.”
It is just a small word change, but it makes a lot of difference.
Notice too the Psalmist does not say, “Be still and believe that I am God.” It specifically uses the word “know.”
It too is a small word change, but with a large difference.
We know that stillness enables us to best come to the clearest comprehension of the truth of anything –
“. . . still your mind . . . still your intellect . . .”