Friday, April 20, 2012

Which way to go...mono, poly or atheism?

Theism, in the broadest sense, is the belief that at least one God exists. Most religions believe in existence of God and describe God as a changeless, formless, ever-perfect, all capable entity. It’s good to see that there is some common thread between all these philosophies.  Most religions even believe that God is a creator of our universe, but then they face conflict with the theory of evolution (if it was perfect creation then how come we are evolving and if it was not then how come God can create something imperfect). Our world is continuously evolving, things look perfect only if you look with respect to the era they existed, dinosaurs fit perfectly in the era they lived and then the time came when they became extinct. I think now we understand that it's not God who makes some species go extinct or cause some natural disaster, or cause suffering, so many factors contribute to it. The term ever-perfect doesn’t exist, whatever is perfect today many not be perfect tomorrow as every living creature evolves.

Some religions believe there is only one creator or superpower who controls everything in this universe (monotheism). Hinduism is known for idol worship and for having many Gods (polytheism). We humans have unique gift of imagination and this unique quality differentiates us from other animals. Once people started believing in the concept of God they used their imagination to give it some form, shape and image. It was obvious next step, as we humans like to be creative and like to bring our imaginations in reality. All these images of God are created by various artists, they are not photographs or potraits and people see what they want to see in them. In India (which is one of the oldest civilizations) we have so many Gods, I think once India's population was less than or equal to the number of Gods which they believe in. We like to have choices in our life, I think people thought, why not to have choices when it comes to select our own God. Polytheism is like vending machine from which one can choose whichever God he/she like and worship it, many options are available and choice is yours. If people don't see anything wrong in worshiping God as formless entity, equally it should be OK if anyone wants to worship it in some form. If people want, everyone can have their own God. I don't see any difference in monotheism and polytheism, once you are theist then it doesn't matter whether you believe in one God or many. The problem starts when people want to force their choice of God on others.

The argument about God's real form or existence/nonexistence is useless as it's endless and doesn't lead to any conclusion. Expecting whole world to believe in one religion, one God is as insane as to expect all countries to merge and become one country ruled by one president, it will never happen. So why don’t we concentrate on teachings that help us to realize the inner truth and try to solve our difficulties, that was the whole purpose of God and religion (to unite people and teach kindness and love but many people are doing exactly opposite). 

I know many people who don't believe in any religion or God (atheist). They live very noble, happy and peaceful life. For some reason almost every religion doesn't say very kind words about non believers of that religion and atheists. Atheism (and related philosophies) is very attractive option available for people who don't want to associate themselves with any religion or don't believe in existence of God. Its interesting to see that percentage of non-religious people is growing very fast in developed world.

Once we know our destination (self realization), we can choose whatever path we like to reach there, all these books (scriptures) and philosophies are like flash lights, only to help us, some people need it and some don't. Monotheism, polytheism, atheism or whatever you want to name it, doesn't matter, don’t worry who is using which flash light let them find their way. It's our right to choose our path and find our way, let's respect each others choices (mono, poly or atheism) and continue the journey. Which path we take is not that important, we can change it anytime. It’s the journey of self discovery which is special and everyone’s journey is unique and interesting, so value the journey. God as a external entity is result of our imagination and our imagination doesn't have any limits, we humans will keep on producing new Gods or its avatars as long as human race exists.

Thanks for reading. Your comments are welcome.

(Copyright: Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing) 


  1. It's enough to have faith in one aspect of God. You have faith in God without form. That is very good. But never get into your head that your faith alone is true and every other is false. Know for certain that God without form is real and that God with form is also real. Then hold fast to whichever faith appeals to you.
    As quoted in Ramakrishna and His Disciples (1965) by Christopher Isherwood, p. 263

    1. very true, I like the line..."then hold fast whichever faith appeals to you"...and also "But never get into your head that your faith alone is true and every other is false"....very relevant even today...People are reading these things from decades but I dont know when when they will understand it and follow it...

    2. I agree with Vinay that People have to understand it and follow it for the better future of humanity. But I think each of these three groups speaks their own language (or follow opossite philosophies). i.e. theists speaks god's language, atheist talked in non-god's philosophy. Therefore, I THINK, the fact mentioned my cmvairale (or Ramakrishna) has to be conveyed to each of these group via their own language or philosophy.

    3. Thanks a lot for your comment Nitin, good to see you back on blog. As I said people read it, listen it, even agree to these thoughts but they don't seems people believe in some thoughts and live life by following some totally different social rules...same with corruption...they know that its bad and needs to be eliminated but somehow cant avoid practicing it when it comes to get their own work done by using corrupt methods as they think one person can not change the the movie "A diary of a common man" simple movie, but delivers very nice message...