“Neither the demigods nor any exalted personalities were there helping Rama, for He acted alone. You should not entertain any doubt on this matter. Indeed, Rama shot feathered arrows, plated with gold, which turned into five-headed serpents that devoured all the Rakshasas. The Rakshasas were oppressed with fear, and wherever they went and wherever they turned, they saw Rama in front of them. In this way, O spotless one, have your Rakshasas been destroyed in the forest of Janasthana by Rama.” (Akampana speaking to Ravana, Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya Kand, 31.18-19)Download this episode (right click and save)
Ravana did not believe in God. He knew of the existence of devas, who are god-like entities. He knew that the devas could empower him beyond belief. Ravana never stopped to think about from where they received their position. Who was the benefactor’s benefactor?
Ravana saw almost firsthand what God can do. The king of Lanka sent fourteen thousand men to fight against Rama in the forest of Dandaka. Usually two against one is enough to ensure victory. Even a fighter who could combat enemies coming from the ten directions simultaneously would stand little chance against thousands of members of the opposition.
Rama is no ordinary person. He is the Supreme Lord, non-different from God, descending to earth in an incarnation form whose appearance day anniversary is known as Rama Navami. Rama used just His bow and the arrows released from it. Those arrows were amazing, chasing after the enemy like heat-seeking missiles. No matter which direction they turned, Ravana’s men saw Rama. They saw God in a ghastly form, one of a death-dealing serpent.
Ravana heard accounts of this amazing incident directly from one of the eyewitnesses. Still, belief in the Divine was lacking. Others don’t have such a blessing, and so it is easier for them to discount the existence of the Almighty. From the Bhagavad-gita, which is spoken by the same Rama in His form of Shri Krishna, we learn that there are some basic questions we can ask the person who claims to have not seen evidence of God.
1. Have you tasted water?
Okay, so you are having trouble believing in an intelligent, original being, who is without birth, who is responsible for everything around. But have you ever drank water? Have you never appreciated its taste?
“O son of Kunti [Arjuna], I am the taste of water, the light of the sun and the moon, the syllable om in the Vedic mantras; I am the sound in ether and ability in man.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 7.8)
Even the drunkard, whose preferred beverage is beer or wine, can understand God through the taste. The essence of that special thing - it is equivalent with God.
2. Have you seen the light of the sun?
In some traditions of spirituality there is heavy emphasis on the sun. Even in Vedic culture there is the all-important sun-god, who is also known as Surya. In the Ramayana, to set an example for the need to show proper respect Shri Rama supplicates the sun-god just prior to the final encounter with Ravana, who had gone one step too far in taking the Lord’s wife Sita in secret.
Though there is a deity in charge of the amazing object that provides seemingly endless heat and light, there is still an original source. The light of the sun is equivalent to God Himself. No one would deny they have experienced the light of the sun, and in this way they cannot deny that God exists.
3. Have you seen a living thing?
God is the essence of everything that lives. We are samples of God in that way. We define the existence at the local level. When we see a person, what is actually in front of the eyes is a spirit soul animating an otherwise dull and lifeless body.
“I am the original fragrance of the earth, and I am the heat in fire. I am the life of all that lives, and I am the penances of all ascetics.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 7.9)
The spirit soul gives life to the individual body, but without the Supreme Soul there would not be any type of living thing, anywhere. Existence itself is evidence of God.
In this way God can be appreciated and experienced indirectly; something like appreciating from afar. The closer one comes to Him, the more they get from the relationship. In the higher understanding the Almighty is not to be feared. He is all-attractive, ever fresh and new, and so the experience with Him brings the highest bliss, a joy never before thought imaginable.
If deny that God ever seeing,
Questions for ignorance freeing.
Never felt the light of the sun,
Or sipped beverage favorite one?
A living thing having seen about?
Know that none God without.
Life of everything living,
Proof everywhere giving.