An organized campaign orchestrated by the organized religions to establish the irresistible delusion regarding an external God that is far removed from all of us is growing day by day. There are powerful forces at play with vested interests to prevent ordinary mortals from realizing the simple fact that there is no such entity as God who is working full time to monitor our activities. There is no God who can give us rewards and punishments. Those who are constantly driving this point into the mind of the poor and vulnerable are doing a great disservice to their own selves. Evolution of man to superman has been stunted by this sort of selfish deeds of a few thousands among the six odd billion humans. Efforts of those few who have realized and are convinced about the non-existence of any God that is external to anyone or anything need to be doubled to get rid of the current delusion. The single hand effort of Prof. Richard Dawkins is admirable and his book “God Delusion” is a must read for all those who are in serious pursuit of the ultimate truth (which we consider as God).
Dawkins has clearly exposed all the existing popular religious theories about God and the organized religions stand completely exposed as a result of his campaign. But he has clearly erred on one point ie. regarding the concept of God in Hindu Sanatana Dharma (HSD). He has mistakenly identified the core of HSD with a few facets of it visible to him in the West. Hindu mythology and Hindu festivals that overflow with the joy of multitude of Gods are only some of its umpteen lower versions that are meant for the ordinary mortals. Variety is the spice in everyone’s life and a religious philosophy that can elevate those who can understand it to an entirely different plane is only providing versions of it for accommodating one and all. But those who really want to go deep into it must not have missed the wood for the trees. Advaita philosophy lies at the core of HSD and if only Prof. Richard Dawkins understood what is Advaita, could he have avoided the few mistakes in his work. Nevertheless he has almost done the impossible by completely demolishing God delusion in his own society and its neighbourhood.
The concept of Advaita which establishes the presence of God in everything and anything that exists (and that we can think of) has been a thread that runs through HSD at all times. There are many even in India who still believes that it is something that was newly propounded by Adi Sankara (considered to be the most intelligent human being ever lived by those who have (bothered) to read and understand his works). Acrimonious and violent debates between strong schools of thought like Dvaita, Advaita and Vishitadvaita within HSD was commonplace in ancient India. Each of them had outstanding supporters and their arguments substantiating their own respective positions are plenty in the so-called Vedic literature. Among the three, Dvaita and Vishitadvaita are nothing but the original wine of what has been presented in new bottles in modern times as organized religions. Theological debates that are contemporary in the Middle East and West had taken place in India thousands of years back.
Adi Sankara immortalized himself by becoming one of the last scholars in ancient India who put the final seal on Advaita. His literary works which elucidates his arguments leaves no doubt in our mind about the authenticity of Advaita. He is the one who settled the longest debate on God by stating the obvious that God is nothing but the spirit or energy or righteousness that is present in everything. Now every religion talks about an omnipresent and omnipotent God, but when it comes to details the same God is external to us and is detailed as someone who is more bothered about our affairs than we are. This is nothing but cent percent contradiction. How can an omnipresent God be NOT PRESENT within you also? So if at all there is an omnipresent and omnipotent God, only Advaita can be true. Who wants a God which is not omnipresent and omnipotent? The defeated isms have made a successful comeback in other parts of the world in the form of organized religions preaching a God which is clearly external to us. And that is what modern Sankaras like Dawkins are now stripping apart. As for mankind as a whole, we have wasted and are wasting our time. If we had continued from where Adi Sankara had left off, the whole mankind would have attained self-realisation. And we would have had a paradise here itself!!
Though Advaita is the last word as a religious theory, its strongest proponent Adi Sankara cannot be considered successful because of his failure in building it up as a formidable ideological argument. Almost all the popular religious texts in HSD espouse Advaita, yet when it comes to the level of understanding of a common man, the force of argument and understanding weakens. The ultimate religious text viz. Bhagavd Gita is full of descriptions and symbols about the ‘advaitic’ nature of God. All the characters (and even animals and the inanimate ones) in Mahabharata & Ramayana stand out with the presence of God in varying degrees. While in Lord Rama and Krishna the divine content is almost full, it is the lack of it in Ravan and Duryodhan that makes them unique. Presence and absence of God is almost binary is nature with an infinite number of interim stages of its presence.
A complete emancipation of any human being will only come with his full comprehension about the analogously binary nature of God as espoused by Advaita. All his (or her) doubts will vanish only after a complete realization sets in about the nature of God. Name and form becomes unimportant then. And this exactly is the very reason for weakening of HSD society. All the realized souls and emancipated personalities in our midst take a backseat and tend to vanish from the vanguard of our society after they have realized the worthlessness of names and forms. The isms that have been squarely defeated earlier have surfaced again fully utilizing this opportunity. And the vulnerable, as all of us are at times, always get attracted to the easy ideas and quick-fix solutions like prayers and rituals instead of full application of their innate rationality and reasoning powers to understand God.
We still require all the efforts of all the thinking people in this world to ‘popularise’ Advaita to the entire humanity. The efforts of people like Prof. Richard Dawkins (www.richarddawkins.net) assume great importance in this regard. By effectively pulling down the concept of an external God, he is knowingly or unknowingly espousing the cause of Advaita. All his remarkably convincing arguments exposing the propaganda games of organized religions about a God that makes, monitors, punishes and rewards Man provide good framework for the ultimate success of Advaita concept. An ardent advocate of Advaita and a firebrand atheist are separated only by a veil of ignorance. This systematically arranged universe of ours needs the existence of an all pervading glue of logic, which we call as God. It is present in everything including humans in varying degrees and I have no doubt about its increased presence in people like Prof. Richard Dawkins. Best wishes for his noble endeavour of exposing the two organized religious ideologies.