“The common man also knows that the creation is made by some creator and is not created automatically. We have no experience in the practical world that a thing is created automatically. Foolish people say that the creative energy is independent and acts automatically, as electrical energy works. But the intelligent man knows that even the electrical energy is generated by an expert engineer in the localized powerhouse, and thus the energy is distributed everywhere under the resident engineer's supervision.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 2.4.6 Purport)Download this episode (right click and save)
A religious man enters the room. Their outfit is interesting, that’s for sure. Saffron robes. Beads around their neck. A shaved head with a symbol mark painted right above the nose. They are holding a small bag, with most of the hand placed inside of it. When not talking to others they are muttering to themselves. If you listen carefully, you can hear what they are saying: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
The curious person approaches with their most burning question. It’s something every intelligent human being has asked at one time or another. “Dear sir, can you show me God?” The religious person obviously believes in a higher power. If they are dedicated to the point of wearing an identifiable uniform, surely they won’t object to being asked this question.
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, one of the more famous people to wear such a dress indicating participation in an ancient tradition that traces back to the Almighty Himself, would often answer with questions of his own.
“Do you have the eyes to see God? What is your qualification? Is God such a cheap thing that He must show Himself at your command?”
Indeed, one of the defects in man is imperfect senses. We need eyeglasses to see properly as we age, but even so-called perfect vision is limited. We can’t see through walls. We can’t see what is going on across the world. How, then, can we see someone whose transcendental body consists of the entire creation and more?
Applying some rational thought and asking some intelligent questions, we can be more sure of the existence of the Divine. Reviewing some of these questions helps to increase our qualification so that one day we will be able to notice the Divine in everything, being conscious of Him at every moment.
1. The death sentence given by judges
One of many dividing lines between political conservatives and liberals is the issue of the death penalty. One side is in favor and the other is completely against. Regardless the opinion, it is acknowledged that there have been many death sentences handed out in the course of human history.
A question may be asked. Of all the judges who have handed out such a sentence, how many were actually an eyewitness to the crime? If any were, that involvement in the case likely disqualified them from acting as the principal adjudicator. Despite not actually seeing with their own eyes what happened, they gave the harshest punishment to the guilty.
The idea is that we don’t have to necessarily see something directly in order to believe in it. Taking the word of authority is sufficient. Shrila Prabhupada and others claim to have seen God. They say they have the secret to allow any person to see Him all the time. Others have followed their teachings and been transformed. That is a good start in believing that there is a higher power.
2. Everything we want exists
I want to fly. I want to eat pizza. I want three hands. I want to sleep for hours. I want to go to the moon. We may not get what we want, but those things do exist. There is such a thing as a hand. There is something called pizza. We may never see the desire manifest, but the concept is there; otherwise we wouldn’t desire it.
If everything that we want exists, why would the lone exception be God? Why can’t He be all-attractive, with a blue complexion, wearing a flower garland around His neck, with beautiful and soft soles, carrying a flute in His hand, and sporting a peacock feather in His hair? Why is the Divine the one thing that can never exist that we want the most?
3. Intelligence embedded in nature
The sun has certain properties. It is so powerful that from a great distance it can provide heat and light to billions of people. It never runs out of energy. It doesn’t need to be refueled. There is no maintenance plan for the sun. Do we know of any other object in nature that is similar? We try to dissipate the darkness of night through artificial lighting, but no amount of light bulbs could ever do what the sun does every single day.
The sun is but one amazing aspect of nature, which is full of intelligence. That intelligence is so great that we can rely on it. We can spend many lifetimes studying it. In no other area of life do we see intelligence result from randomness. Particles don’t just accidentally collide to create the smartphone, the script for the blockbuster movie, or the speech delivered on foreign policy. There is intelligence everywhere, and no one can trace out the source. Indeed, that source must be the most intelligent being.
4. Proving the deathless person
Revisiting the original question, what if the guru were able to show me God? Let’s say that he called upon the all-attractive one, Shri Krishna, to appear before me. What a wonderful benediction. I feel so blessed. Graced with the Lord’s presence, one of the first questions I will ask Him is to prove His deathlessness. Since I demanded the guru show me God, it is not a stretch to think I will be just as challenging in the presence of the Divine Himself.
How exactly is Krishna going to prove this to me? How can He give me evidence that He will continue to live forever? I myself have to die. If we stay together for one hundred years, is that proof? What about a thousand years? If I have to quit my body at some time, how will I get evidence that God continues to stay where He is?
5. The availability and price of the things we need in life
This argument comes from the esteemed Goswami Tulsidas. Another famed spiritual personality in the line of devoted followers of the personal God, Tulsidas remarks that he knows that Rama is God, the one of full transcendental pleasure, because He has made the necessary things in life relatively inexpensive and high in quantity.
Think about it. Gold, jewels, fancy cars, large homes - we can live without these things. They are luxuries. Therefore they are expensive. Fruits, grains, water, milk - these are relatively inexpensive. Water is the most inexpensive thing to consume, as it falls without cost from the sky. Non-vegetarian food is naturally more expensive; further proof that it is not required for the stability and longevity of the body.
This particular argument can be extended to the different ways to understand God. The long and difficult processes are not necessary. They are more expensive in the sense that more is required from the individual. You can know that God is a person and the most kind benefactor from the fact that the way to connect with Him has been made easy to find and inexpensive. Just chant the holy names. Repeat the transcendental sound vibration and get acoustic proof of the Divine.
From this simple process enlightenment will gradually come, and soon your conviction in the existence of God will be so strong that no one will be able to convince you otherwise.
If now believe in God you can’t,
Just regularly holy names chant.
Arguments there also for understanding,
Like non-witness judge punishment handing.
Everything desired existing to see,
So why not also Supreme Lord to be?
Relatively abundant and cheap what we need,
Like bhakti also, of Divine paths at the lead.