How can God be a person?
A spiritual seeker posed this question to Devi Ji.
Perhaps, the question implied here is, ‘How can God appear as a human?’. In these increasingly godless times, of those who still believe in a Creator’s existence, many find it difficult to accept that God can have a form. Some religions expressly prohibit the idea that God can manifest with a form. Even in the Hindu faith, those of the non-dualistic, Advaita school of philosophy insist God can only be formless. Among them, some of them grudgingly accept that it may be necessary to meditate on any form of God in the beginning. Still, they maintain that as soon as the seeker makes progress, it is best to discard these ‘props’ and stick to the central business - meditating on
the formless God.
There are three basic approaches to denying that God can manifest in any form, especially a human form. The first is dogmatic - these religions prohibit the very idea that God can manifest in any form. The second is from the more rigid non-dualistic schools - God with form is a lie, true God is formless. The third is those non-dualists who have a more practical approach - the human mind is weak, use any form of God, in the beginning, to make progress, discard this for the real thing, formless God.
Okay. Here is a little poser - who decides whether God is with a form or formless? To be more exact, what is the instrument you use to ponder over these weighty issues? It is the mind, isn’t it?
Your mind thinks over these issues, finds some points acceptable, and rejects the others. Ask your mind to think about something formless, anything. For instance, ask your mind to think about love. Love is an emotion, and feelings and emotions are intangible. So, what is the best you can do when you think about love? Mind you; your thoughts have to be completely formless. You discover that it is entirely impossible to think about a ‘formless’ love. When you think about love, some idea, some picture, e.g., a mother and her baby, will flash across your mind.
This is not surprising because the Creator, whoever he or she may be, made our senses, and the mind focus in the outward direction. Their ‘radars’ are pointed at the outside, not the inside. Thus, it is quite easy for the mind and the senses to latch on to the outer world, and it is why most people find meditating difficult, at least initially. Now, let us place ourselves in the spiritual seeker’s shoes, who do not want to believe in God’s existence with form. These folks are people like us; they have not been dropped from some other planet with superior capabilities. What will they meditate on? A blank space, a dot, an Om, or a flame? All these are with form and space; these are not formless.
The human mind cannot visualize the intangible; call it a design flaw, but that is how we are made. So, you need something tangible to meditate and, if that is the case, why not meditate on the lovable and adorable forms of God, of which the Hindu faith has in profusion? Undoubtedly, the picture of a sweet baby Krishna is a greater joy to behold than a dot on the wall!
So far, we have been talking about us - our senses, minds, mental projects, and ideas, whether right or wrong. The other aspect is what God is capable of. Seriously, if God can create this unimaginably immense and complex universe, is it beyond him to manifest himself in the human form or in any other way?
Note: If you have any spiritual queries, feel free to ask. Devi Ji may answer your query as a blog post here. Send your query to,
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