God is believed by many to be omnipresent – existing everywhere at all times and seeing everything, to ultimately judge us for our actions. This belief stems from the idea of God being an all-powerful being who knows everything. His omnipotence and omniscience are extrapolated by the devout to attribute omnipresence to Him.
Does God really exist everywhere? This belief can be put to a simple, logical test. Every person or thing influences its immediate surroundings, even if just subtly. This is why different kinds of atmosphere exist in the homes of different people – created by the quality of thoughts, words and behaviour of those living there. A happy family’s home has a light atmosphere while homes where the inhabitants are stressed, fearful or angry are not very nice places to be in. Even non-living matter has a similar influence. Fire spreads heat and light, water cools its surroundings, and roses announce their presence by their fragrance.
If God, the ocean of peace, love, compassion and purity were omnipresent, His qualities should be abundantly in evidence everywhere. But when we look at the state of the world, what is striking is the absence of any proof of God’s presence. What we see instead is the omnipresence of evil, with anger, greed and selfishness pervading human minds. Vices dictate people’s behaviour in so many subtle and gross ways that it is rare to come across someone who acts selflessly, out of a pure wish to help others.
The harm that mankind is doing to itself and the planet is visible in the form of depressed, unhappy individuals, dysfunctional relationships, breakdown of social bonds, people’s attempts to fill their inner void through consumption, which in turn is fuelling materialism and causing an ecological catastrophe. Humanity appears to be on a downward spiral from which there is no escape. In this gloomy scenario many look to God help to be free from their suffering and sorrow. They resort to prayer, fasting, penance and service of their fellow humans in the belief that these will take them closer to the Divine. Not knowing God, their efforts are like trekking to a place one knows nothing about – neither the name nor the location, direction or distance.
But the mere act of making such effort gives comfort and hope to many. At the same time, the unscrupulous among them make false claims to divinity, drawing credulous individuals with the promise of easily finding peace of mind and happiness. The deception of such ‘godmen’ only serves to drive a lot of people away from the spiritual path and fuel cynicism and despair.
It is at such a time, when moral and spiritual darkness prevails, that God intervenes, as has been mentioned in the Gita. He reminds His children of their true identity, telling them that they are souls – eternal beings who have played various roles in different bodies through successive lives.
He tells them about their relationship with Him, the spiritual bond of love that makes every soul a rightful heir to the Father’s treasures – His virtues, powers and knowledge. He tells them how, by remembering Him, they can claim their purity and peace.
Souls thus empowered by God can help their brethren undergo similar rejuvenation. This triggers larger changes as the enlightened souls relate to other people and nature with compassion and generosity, discarding their old, selfish ways. As a result the elements of nature begin to be revitalised.
This spiritual and subtle process of transformation marks the end of one cycle of time and the start of another. It ushers in an era of peace and happiness, the period that is remembered in many cultures and faith traditions as heaven or paradise.
B.K. Geeta is a Rajyoga teacher at the Brahma Kumaris headquarters in Abu Road, Rajasthan.