Until a certain age and getting certain maturity one doesn’t get interested in the distinction between man and God. A child is not interested in this question of whether God created man or man created God. What makes a man think of God? What makes a man question the existence of God?
When one questions, he is inquisitive. How does a question arise? Does the same question arise to everyone? Or are the questions just repeated by those who didn’t generate the question but heard it from someone and are also interested in getting the answer out of curiosity?
Many theories are put by many thinkers. Those who don’t understand a concept would put forth more questions, all supporting the basic question. A further criticism about God is whether there is only One God or there are many Gods. Does a person who gets to know the answers for all these questions leads to a comfortable and happy life?
It is not very easy to form a question unless one is deeply concerned about it. Such a deep concern is the cause for man’s progress - physically, mentally and spiritually. When the progress is at stake, one would think of the reasons and possible solutions to get out of the obstacles to progress. Such an analysis would pave way towards the happiness of one and all.
It is this attitude and outlook of a person that gives him eternal happiness. When his happiness is curtailed then only he would think of how happiness is generated and made available to him. He would continue to seek happiness through different means and set an example for others to follow. Such personalities in the past, present and future guide the generations to come on to this planet, enjoy their stay and leave it after their tenure is completed. They would be made to understand their eternal travel and their temporary stay on this planet. Let everyone make a humble attempt in this direction of understanding the un-understood.
In the sequence of man, superman and God, it is the first step to understand the man, first. We see different men and women day in and day out. We first see ourselves before we see others.
What should intrigue a man is
Who am I?
What am I?
Why I am here?
What are my strengths and weaknesses?
How am I getting these strengths and weaknesses? … etc
are the questions that arise about what we see as a man when he looks at other human beings.
Ramana Maharshi asked this question, “Who am I?”, and with this question he attained total detachment and achieved continuous bliss amidst physical ailments and bodily pains. He went to the extent of getting operated on his cancer, without taking anesthesia, whether he reached a painless state or enjoyed the pain with a smile, he proved his concept of “man is not this body” by accepting every pain with pleasure. In such a state of mind, does anyone have questions about God or any other part of nature?
Ramakrishna Paramahansa felt nature as embodiment of the Supreme Power and he enjoyed as if he took to different forms of nature and had the experiences. He took the form in his mind and felt physically what is felt by that form. He took the form of grass in the garden and felt that a man was walking over him, when he saw someone walking on that grass. He thus proved that man is not limited to the body though he is temporarily residing in it and that man is not this body.
Then how can you define man? Being a man, if you are not able to define a man when someone else proves that man is ‘not this body’ then who else should define a man?
Our communication is limited. Fluency in a language does not help define an experience! Can we explain how a certain sweet dish tastes? Language fails. Our communication fails. Even if you wish to transfer your experience to another person with similar capabilities as you have, you would fail to get him the same experience of sweet, if for example, his tongue tastes bitter as he has high fever and bitterness in the mouth. Thus one’s experience cannot be shared by another. Everyone judges by his own experience which may be totally contrary to others’ experience. How can such a judgement be unbiased and truthful?
Man understands most common things in nature through his senses. But the senses are defective input devices biased by the ‘eye of the beholder’. Thus a man sees what he intends to see, hears what he likes to hear, learns what he likes to learn, and enjoys in his own way unconcerned with others and the environment.
Thus there is a bigger, more powerful force under whose influence these senses are functioning to meet the requirements / orders of that force. Man is thus a slave to such an internal force. The internal force is different for different beings and thus the actions taken by different people at different times differ. There is no guarantee that everyone decides the same way always. Thus it is non-scientific. In science we should get the same result for a given experiment whoever does it irrespective of time and space limitations. Thus man’s actions are unscientific – illogical for some and logical for some others. Thus a uniform theory cannot be established. When we can’t individualize, we generalize the principle and make it applicable to one and all. This doesn’t prove to be fruitful always.
This is how many theories come up with differing views of different personalities as they view differently. The example of different blind men describing an elephant differ in their concept as each one feels only a part of the elephant and thus cannot have the concept of a complete elephant. Even in the case of the visually unchallenged persons, we don’t see anyone having a comprehensive view of the nature or the events that occur in the nature.
Each criticism will have a different counter from a different person depending upon his abilities. No analysis or criticism should end up in a deadlock or stalemate or in begging the question. When we don’t have answers, we form some common base to agree upon. If later we find the base itself is wrong, we prove the correct one by induction or by redexio-ad-absurdum. Even if this fails, we keep thinking. Most of our observations make us follow induction. The logic applied in mathematical induction is that if a principle has worked in two cases and is applicable to any two cases consecutively then the principle is universally applicable.
In nature we only observe but fail to define. Life is observed but not defined. We observe growth but don’t know why it stops after some time. We observe death but can’t explain why, when how and where it occurs. We see many creatures in nature but we cannot define them properly and completely. We are left with two alternatives – observe, experience and understand. No other method works better than this.
Science has its own limitation. Not everything can be proved scientifically through repeated experiments. Even though a medicine works well for a disease, it may not cure everyone without exception – nor would it cure the same person at all times. If it can, then there cannot be death. Everyone would live eternally. This didn’t happen to superman – the avataras – like Lord Sri Krishna, Sri Rama and many more!
Man’s dream of living eternally with the same body is a myth. The body changes with time. An embryo at one point of time grows into a baby, an adult, an old person and annihilates. Thus there is no single body for any one. It is a temporary form and keeps changing constantly.
Having been accustomed to certain pleasures with this changing body and the environment around us, we would like continuity though the body itself is continuously discontinuous. The experiences are remembered for ever or for some time, though the body changes. This shows continuity in the ‘memory’ with all the modifications occurring in the body. That continuity and the remembering of the ensemble of experiences is probably what we refer to as the ‘life’ or ‘soul’ or by any other name!
Thus ‘life’ continues even after the body changes its shape or other dimensions. After some time, the body stops functioning in its normal way and is declared dead. Thus death is a point of apparent discontinuity in the ever changing body. When we see so many bodies taken by this life itself, why get surprised if the body annihilates itself in a natural manner. By induction, one can conclude the concept of life after death is acceptable. Since there is no definitely known form that a living body takes after a few years, it is obvious that there is a multitude of forms of which this body may take one form after the apparent discontinuity – the death. Bhagavad Gita affirms continuity of life after death.
The whole life is spent in continuing uncertainty, why should then one be concerned with what would be shape after death? Does it help in discharging our duties through this body?
Man has certain capabilities – some are common and others are uncommon. Those which are beyond the common abilities are called as superhuman abilities. But if after sometime, these rare abilities become common abilities, then the super humanness is gone if no other extra feature is see with awe!
Lord Anjanya flying over a large sea is a surprise even today though we have a technology where a number of people can be transported by air. Lord Sri Krishna, when he was a body of about five years of age, lifted a mountain on his little finger for a few days under whose shelter many elders and their families with cattle saved themselves against a sever downpour of rain – as history tells us.
These are superhuman acts. Such personalities are ‘Super Man’. Upanishads say about different stages of lives with varying levels of happiness. This tells us of the career growth even after death.
After seeing these mysterious things and events in life one should be surprised of how these are occurring? What is the driving force delivering these effects? For convenience such a force or power is called as God or Atman or by any other equivalent name. Man or any being in nature is driven by such a force. He is not independent.