header pic header text

Religious Gathekas

(To be read at the Service of Universal Worship)

Religious Gatheka Number 52

The God-Ideal (7)

In the terms of the Sufis the Self of God is called Zat, and His qualities, His merits, are named Sifat. The Hindus call the former aspect of God Purusha and the latter Prakriti, which can be rendered in English by the words spirit and nature. Zat, the Spirit of God, is incomprehensible. The reason is that that which comprehends itself is Intelligence, God's real Being; so comprehension has nothing to comprehend in its own Being. No doubt, in our usual terms it is the comprehending faculty in us which we call comprehension; but in this it is not meant so, for intelligence is not necessarily intellect.

Merit is something which is comprehensible; it is something which is clear and distinct, so it can be made intelligible. But intelligence is not intelligible except to its own self. Intelligence knows: I am; but it does not know: what I am. Such is the nature of God. Intelligence would not have known its own power and existence if it had not known something besides itself. So God knows Himself by the manifestation. The manifestation is the self of God, but a self which is limited, a self that makes Him know that He is perfect when He compares His own Being with this limited self which we call nature. Therefore the purpose of the whole Creation is the realization that God Himself gains by discovering His own perfection through this manifestation.

Then the idea that has existed in Christianity is also a riddle to solve in order to find out the truth of life. It is the idea of the Trinity. What keeps the soul in perplexity is the three fold aspect of manifestation. As long as the soul remains in this puzzle it cannot arrive at the knowledge of the One. These three aspects are: the Seer, Sight, and the Seen; the Knower, Knowledge, and the Known. Plainly explained, I would say: these are three aspects of Life. One aspect is the person who sees; the other aspect is the sight, or the eyes, by the help of which he sees; and the third aspect is that which he sees. One, therefore, cannot readily accept the idea that; what I see is the same as myself; nor can he believe for a moment that; the medium by which I see is myself; for the three above said aspects seem to be standing separate and looking at one another's face, as the first person, second person, and third person of Brahma.

When this riddle is solved by knowing that the three are one, then the purpose of the God-Ideal is fulfilled. For the three veils which cover the One are lifted up. Then they remain no longer three, then there is One, the Only Being. As Hegel says; 'If you believe in one God, you are right; if you believe in two Gods, that is true; but if you believe in three Gods, that is right also, for the nature of unity is realized by variety.