Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Catch Him if you can!

Apropos of my earlier post 'Thank God,I am an atheist', a friend of mine posed this question to me.'Can your God make so heavy a ball that no one can lift it?.There was a bit of taunt and also a lot of curiosity in his voice. He perhaps thought that if the ball made conforms correctly to his specification,then even God should not be able to lift it and in such a case, God can no more be called omnipotent.But if God is able to lift it, then it means that God could not just make a ball conforming to a given specification.Thus God fails to be omnipotent either way!
My reply to his question was that God can do it.
He being the creator of the universe and all the life therein, it's sustainer and also the one who can withdraw it, is called God by all, a term that makes him omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient.
I further told my friend(for the sake of technical substantiation)that a 'heavy' ball need not be made to prove the point. If the force of attraction of earth's gravity is increased for a while, then one will not be able to lift even his empty hand not to talk of lifting a ball! During the time that the gravitational force of earth is kept increased, the pulls on the other planets will of course have to be kept suitably altered to prevent interplanetary collisions. Can the God or the Shakti(force) that created and is sustaining the universe not do it?
By simple inference, the answer is 'He can'.
However, I advised him on the best course of action to clear his doubt; ie. to approach this Shakti whom we all refer to as God and take a test of it's omnipotence himself!
I sincerely wish him success in his search for God!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

...ma'ma' dehi karavalambam (give me a helping hand)

For an ordinary person like me who has still not graduated to the higher realms of worshiping the 'nirguna Brahman'; the atributeless and shapeless, 'saguna' worship is the other course available for experiencing peace. Visits to temples form part of such worship.
After all, if I start pouring out my tales of woe and suffering to another person, he or she will listen only for sometime and thereafter start narrating his or her own woes making me feel more woeful.
Visiting temples is the safe prescription for people like me.
Over many years, come the 1st. of January, I was visiting the famous temple on Simhachalam along with my family. Simhachalam is contiguous with the city of Visakhapatnam which is my native place. Varaha Narasimha is the presiding deity in the temple. For us the people of the north coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh and also the people of south coastal Orissa, this temple is the fountainhead of spiritual solace. There are many legends associated with this temple.
As for me, there are many pleasant memories and experiences that attach me emotionally to this sacred place. The gardens there are resplendent with the seasonal glory. The fruits and flowers seem to be greeting each piligrim by name! The chirping birds provide the music and it always appeared to me like a grand opera conducted by the Lord himself!
The waters of 'Akash Ganga' cool the body and calm the senses!
A darshan of the Lord in the sanctum sanctorum is sheer ecstasy!
The Moola Virat (main deity) appears like a 'shivalinga' because of the shroud of sandal paste applied yearlong over the idol of Narasimha - a manifestation of Vishnu. This form always reminded me of the truth that 'Shivasya hridayam Vishnur Vishnoscha hridayam shivah'.
The Lord appears to be hinting to the devotee 'Hey, look for me within'; within yourself!
This year, I could not visit Simhachalam on the 1st of Jan, as I am in USA along with my wife. The Lord perhaps ordained that I should sometimes practice 'nirguna' worship in which I indulged involuntarily chanting the verse 'Lakshmi Nrisimha mama dehi karavalambam'.