Back in my formative years – as if I am fully formed now (:P) – when I took my first few steps into the world of atheism, I thought there were a lot of advantages for me. To begin with, I could easily pass-off as a well-informed atheist thanks to my familial background. I hail from a typical orthodox not-so-authentic South Indian (with a Maharashtrian-mix) Brahmin family. I had the benefit of having gone through the rigors of the sacred-thread ceremony and the rituals thereof, ranging from the “tri-kala sandhyavandanam” (yeah, amazingly enough, for my status, I used to do it three times, indeed, albeit reduced to two-times during school days) to the Aupaasana before taking food.
Yet, none of it actually presented me with a sleight of hand. In fact, all turned quite compulsorily disadvantageous. The moment I began to question the multifaceted concept of God (in Hinduism), and the illogical subscription to a “superior being” and His marvels (usually His and not Hers, aint’t it?) I was seen as an arrogant, adamant, egotistic and self-asserting person. All atheists, I believe, are immediately tagged with such adjectives – much like interesting Facebook photos that are tagged instantaneously.
There was a problem though. My atheism came not through a calamity where my prayers went unanswered. It was an evolutionary move, as far as I can trace it. It was not sudden. It was eventual. But of all the things that one would not expect, it did not come just because I read the Communist Manifesto (there’s no discussion on God there, by the way), but it came out of the Bhagavad Gita, the Bible (King James Version, :P) the Principal Upanishads and the very source where one is supposed to find God – the Vedas. Of course, add to this, a commentary on the Qu’ran called In the Shade of the Qu’ran.
Why do I list the books? Well, just in case someone says I am not well-informed, yeah I do agree but I believe I am, to a certain extent, informed and definitely not ill-informed.
The problem with atheism today is this default tagging which, many times, does cause sadness. I cannot claim myself to be humble and ego-less, but I certainly strive to be at every point of time. As with most things, I do face failure, but that has, thankfully, not stopped my attempts to be so.
I respect, admire and thank those who have not taken me at the face value of atheism when they come to know about my belief – or the lack of it. Many of my friends & buddies and many others are on this list.
But most of the times, the first reaction or the first impression that the knowledge of my atheism leaves is like a permanent mark.
It would be a cliché to say that my atheism is a bit different. But it is, and it is different because I believe in God.
Yeah, you are supposed to scream, “what the ****?” or something less dramatic, at this point of time. 🙂 Nevertheless, I guess it did not come out, but here’s the fact again – I am an atheist, who believes in God. And although it would be most ridiculous, here’s even more – I am an atheist who has realized the truth of God.
God (not according to me but according to a general consensus that can be arrived at by seeing the world’s religions, from reading the scriptures, from listening to many of the speakers on this subject from the bygone eras) can be defined as something indefinable – and in the same breath, it can be said to be everything.
One can’t claim otherwise, right? Whether it is a Reverend Father clothed in cloak, or a dhoti-clad Purohit or an Islamic Prophet or any other technical representative of any religion – everyone accepts (and has to accept, incidentally going by the values of their religion) that God is everything.
My existence today is because of my parents. It does not end there, though. Biologically, it’s the food I eat that helps me live. That food was produced by a farmer who toiled in the sun and rain; it was carried over to the city shops by some truck-driver; and it was being sold by a shopkeeper whose net monthly income never crossed Rs. 15K.
No, it does not end here either. The organisms of the soil helped the food grains to grow. The wind, water, heat and much more were the reason for the growth. Not just this, but I would need to list about one lac, seventy thousand crore and odd things (no, I am not making fun of the 2G-scam here) that helped just one part for sustenance of my life. At this rate, if you go on adding things to this list, it would probably equal the number of sub-atomic particles found in the universe.
My point? I am thankful to everyone of these, but is it really possible to say which is supremely important for my existence? No. That is why Everything is God.
Yeah, I havent seen everything – I havent even seen an electron in my day – but I do realize this fact of life – even though I control my life and deny ascribing that control to some superior being, with arms reaching out of the cloud-ridden sky as depicted in comic strips, I know, realize and completely believe that I exist because of so many things, beings, people and more.
If at all I wish to be humbled in my present state of atheism, it’s because life has taught me I am nothing but a microcosmic part of a huge cosmos which is highly interdependent. I do not believe in God as in a Supreme Being. I believe in God that is pure love, pure reality of existence and pure knowledge of consciousness and the reason behind it. And that’s how I wish to be seen as an atheist.
An atheist, who has at least tried – and is trying – to realize God, if not realized.