Do We Know God (March 2022)
Your friend is coming home for the first time, and you need to tell your parents about him/her beforehand. What will you share? You will likely share that person’s name, address, and physical appearance etc. But if that person is your best friend, you will likely talk about that person’s nature, character, and more subtler qualities? You will talk about those qualities that may not be obvious but make your friend a special person. The more close a person is to you, the more you know about that person’s subtle qualities. It is true for all relationships. But, what about God? If someone asks us to explain God, do we know how to? Do we really know the qualities and attributes of God (An Entity with Whom we have the most intimate relationship)? The second principle of Arya Samaj does exactly that: it tells us about the core attributes of God. In this month’s assignment, kids will speak this complete principle, pick and expand on two or three qualities, and share why those qualities make God alone worthy of worship.
The Second Principle:
ईश्वर सच्चिदानंदस्वरूप, निराकार, सर्वशक्तिमान, न्यायकारी, दयालु, अजन्मा, अनंत, निर्विकार, अनादि, अनुपम, सर्वाधार, सर्वेश्वर, सर्वव्यापक, सर्वांतर्यामी, अजर, अमर, अभय, नित्य, पवित्र और सृष्टिकर्ता है, उसी की उपासना करने योग्य है।
God is Permanence-consciousness-bliss personified, Formless, Omnipotent, Just, Merciful, Unborn, Infinite, Unchangeable, Beginningless, Incomparable, Support of all, Lord of all, Omnipresent, Immanent, Undecaying, Immortal, Fearless, Eternal, Pure, and Creator of the Universe. He alone is worthy of being worshiped.
Let’s go over these nineteen qualities.
- Permanence-Conscious-Bliss Personified. The very first quality talks about God’s nature. You may have heard the word सच्चिदानंद. This word is formed of three independent words: Sat, Chit, and Anand. Sat means truth and permanent; Chit means conscious and living; and, Anand means blissful. That means, God is someone who is permanent, who is living and knowledgeable, and who is full of bliss – and devoid of pain/sorrow.
- Formless. The second quality tells us that God is without any form. He is neither male nor female; he is neither fair nor dark; he is neither a human nor an animal. We cannot see Him because He does not have any form.
- Omnipotent. This means God is the most powerful entity. There is absolutely no person or object that is more powerful than Him.
- Just. He delivers perfect justice. He keeps track of our actions and delivers the judgment based on our actions. He is completely impartial when giving us the results of our actions. We get results that are absolutely in accordance with our actions. It means if we make mistakes, we will be punished; we cannot just skip the repercussions of our actions by simply worshiping Him.
- Merciful. He is merciful. One may wonder that if God is merciful, does that mean that God will allow us to skip the pain/sorrow that results from our poor actions. No, if He does that, He will not be Just. Here, mercy does not mean forgiveness; instead, God being merciful means that when we pray to Him with genuine feelings, He shows us the right path to avoid future mistakes and miseries and to deal with the current situation with patience and hope.
- Unborn. It is a difficult concept to grasp, but that makes God unique. Anyone born, grows, changes and ultimately gets destroyed. God is free from the cycle of birth and death.
- Infinite. This is another unique quality of God. Almost every aspect of God is infinite. His knowledge is infinite. His love is infinite. His mercy is infinite. His life is infinite. His strength is infinite. He is infinite in every aspect.
- Unchangeable. He does not change. Anything that changes comes into being, and it gets destroyed. God is beyond the cycle of change.
- Beginningless and Endless. This quality builds on some of the previous qualities. God is unborn, infinite, and unchangeable. He did not just came into being at some point. He was there before whatever we call the starting or beginning. He is Beginningless – as well as Endless
- Incomparable. Reading on the above qualities, it is quite evident that there is no entity similar to God. He cannot be compared with any person, object, or phenomenon. While we may inadvertently use certain examples to explain Him; but, He is absolutely unique.
- Support/base of all. Let’s understand this quality. Say, there is a book on a table. Now think of the pages in that book. Who is holding those pages? The book. Who is holding the book? The table. Who is holding the table? House. Who is holding the house? The earth. Who is holding the earth? The Sun. Who is holding the sun? Galaxy. As you keep going and reach a state of answerless, the power that holds that object is God. He is the support of all.
- Lord of all. He is the ultimate Ruler. There is no one above Him. He defined the rules for nature and souls. We all live under his rule.
- Omnipresent. He is present everywhere. He is in every particle. He is in the biggest of the biggest objects, and He is in the smallest of the smallest objects. He is also there where there is nothing/void/space. There is no place where He is not.
- Immanent/All-knower. He knows everything. He knows what is inside us. Not only He knows what we do, but He also knows why we do what we do. He is absolutely aware of our actions, thoughts, and intentions behind our thoughts. We cannot hide anything from Him.
- Undecaying. Decay means getting old and frail. Any person who takes birth or any object that is created gets old with time. With the passage of time, they become weaker – and ultimately get destroyed. But, God, who is never born, does not get old. Time has no impact or effect on Him.
- Immortal. Mortal means something or someone who ultimately dies or ceases to exist. God never took birth and He does not decay with time; so, He does not die either. He is immortal.
- Fearless. A person is fearful of others who are more powerful. You will not find anyone on earth who is not afraid of someone else. There is always someone more powerful than you. Even if you are the most rich or the most powerful person on the earth, you are still afraid of death. God on the other hand is the most powerful, does not need anything from anyone, and does not die. He has nothing to be afraid of. He is absolutely fearless.
- Pure. God is the purest entity. Humans suffer from various impurities, which emanate from our flaws like greed, jealousy etc. God is absolutely free of any impurities. He was pure, is pure, and will be pure.
- Creator of all. God created the universe. Look at galaxies, the solar system, planets, gravitational forces, energy, air, water, fire, sky, plants, humans, animals, sea, river, food, birth and death cycle, and laws that govern the functioning of everything in the universe, He created it all – alone.
For the above reasons – and many more – God is the only entity worthy of worship. We must worship only and only God.
I hope the above explanation provides a little better understanding of the most important entity, to whom we go to seek solace in the time of distress and blessing in the time of joy, we call God. I also hope that next time we pray, we will be able to make a better connection with Him as we will know Him more intimately.
Please take some time to discuss these attributes with kids.