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Does God Exist and Why?

God is Love - Infinite Unconditional Pure Love. This Love exists in each one of us although the degree may differ. That is why it is said that God resides in all living beings. But to project this God we need to remove the conditions that we add on to this Love. Unconditional Love is, one which is without any expectations of rewards or returns. It is like the Love we receive from Mother Nature, who, for thousands of years, has been giving bountifully without differentiating amongst living beings - irrespective of their nature, status, colour, etc.

The perception of Supernatural Powers has created the concept of God. People try to understand this concept of God according to their faiths, beliefs or paths they follow. Their image of God may have a specific form or it may have not form at all. Some people worship God's images or photos of saints; some study scriptures or read books written by different saints and sages; some delve deep into meditation. But merely reading books or scriptures without practising the teachings in them does not lead one anywhere. God is beyond the perception of our five senses and in order to know what He really is, one has to Experience Him. One cannot limit the Infinite God in any images or objects. One needs to go beyond all these and meditate on God. Ultimately all paths have to come to meditation to proceed further.

In our childhood we are told many mythological stories. If one thinks carefully, one can see a lot of symbolism in these mythological characters. I was born in a big orthodox family where rituals were a way of life. As a child, I had many questions about different deities that were being worshipped. This was considered disobedience on my part and nobody was ever interested in explaining anything to me. I rebelled. Now, over the years, I have understood how different deities symbolize different qualities and also the meanings of rituals and the scientific reasons behind them. I strongly feel that people should not follow rituals blindly nor should these rituals be condemned without understanding their true basis.

Everybody constantly wants Happiness. One can be happy when one is content and peaceful. In our interactions with second living beings, they may not always respond according to our expectations. This can create negative emotions of fear, anger and sadness in us, making us unhappy. Our pursuit of happiness gives rise to various desires, one after the other and the struggle to get them satiated begins. If one does not succeed in getting the desired object, one becomes miserable.

It is only when one realizes the futility of running after materialistic objects in search of happiness that one starts thinking about permanent happiness. In this search, one comes to know about the Theory of Karmas, according to which, whatever situations - good or bad - one faces in this birth, are the results of one's past deeds i.e. karmas and one has to take rebirths to complete the incomplete relationships of past births. One can complete these relationships if he does not react to the actions of second living being. By reacting, one only ends up adding on to his karmas which create basis for his next birth. Taking revenge is also not a solution. Till one takes revenge, one is bound to recall the painful incident and in doing so one keeps re-living that situation causing more hurt. Even when he does succeed in taking revenge, it does not entirely wipe out his misery. The best solution here is to forgive unconditionally and forget.

There are many who do not believe in rebirth but I have seen my own past births during my spiritual practice. I am, therefore, aware that there are rebirths and that in the present birth we have to complete our incomplete relationships of previous births. There are millions and millions of people on this earth but one does not meet all of them; we meet only those with whom we have to complete the relationship.

Unconditional Love and Forgiveness is not as easy to practice as it appears. It is not a mere mechanical process. One needs to feel the Love and Forgiveness from the bottom of one's heart and for that one needs to change one's own attitude. One needs to learn to accept everything and everybody including himself as they are, without keeping any expectations from them. When one starts interacting with others with this base of Love, automatically the attitude of the people around him changes.

I have lived all my life peacefully with this concept of God - Unconditional Love. All religions, without exception, preach humanity, forgiveness and love towards other living beings. To enjoy and experience Real Love, remove all the conditions because conditional love gives disappointment where Unconditional Love definitely gives the real Joy of Love. It is something unique which has to be experienced to understand!

- written by His Holiness Sadguru Yogiraj Sri Sri Mangeshda

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