The Silent Answer to 'Does God Exist', by Swami Veda
- The silent answer to 'Does God Exist'
Swami Veda Bharati
Once I wrote a book titled GOD to which my Gurudeva Swami Rama of the
Himalayas contributed a foreword and gave his blessing. A few months
later, however, he published a book titled Enlightenment without God,
his commentary on the Mandukya Upanishad the topic of which is the
Among the major schools of Indian philosophy there are at least four
that do not accept a creator God; the two Vedic schools, namely the
early Sankhya and Mimamsa (the philosophy of rituals and actions) are
believed by the modern scholars not to accept an omnipotent being.
The Jaina and the Buddhist traditions, likewise, refuse to espouse a
creator God. Yet who could challenge the spiritual achievements of
These are puzzles that need unravelling, as follows:
(1) Quite often those who debate in favour of God's existence,
actually seek to support their notion of God, and not God as S/he/It
is. In the path of the yogis the suggestion is to drop all notions and
go into an interior silence. There, somewhere within oneself is to be
found an answer to the question: Does God exist? In writing the book on
enlightenment without God, this is what my own spiritual master
proposed and interpreted the Upanishad as showing the pathways of
consciousness which one must traverse in order to find that answer.
Since God is stated to be a-nir-vachaniya, not analysable, ineffable,
One about whom no statement can be made, there is no point in
debating the question. The yogis, the Sufis and all other mystics say:
Do not believe what someone else says; find out for yourself. Let the
personal experience answer the question. The ways of the systems taught
by these masters are methodical and one gradually finds the answer
through them within oneself.
(2) This writer teaches meditation in all different societies,
cultures and countries, to believers of all religions, atheists and
agnostics. Often he has found that the atheists turn out to be better
meditators because they have no preconceived notions. The writer
makes it a point to suggest that no belief systems that are not
personally tested through internal experience, be brought into play in
the practice of meditation; one must not begin with a pre-judice
(hyphen here intended).
(3) When the basic meditation practices are taught, for example some
of the more the hundred or so mental exercises undertaken during
shavasana (corpse position), one loses awareness of the body, but
becomes much more aware of one's consciousness, first steps in self-
realisation. After a few weeks or months, depending on the individual,
the practitioners ask: I am not aware of the body and the senses but I
am aware of a heightened consciousness; what is it? I tell them: Do not
name it soul or God because these have become emotionally loaded
words; name it Factor X. God by any other name will do just as well.
The proof of this pudding, rather Honey as it is called in the
Upanishads (idam madhu), is in the eating.
(4) These states of consciousness are not only subjective experiences
but are corroborated by the study of brain waves. It is now well
known that at a certain point in the case of a meditation master a flat
rate wave is produced, as though one were brain dead, yet the meditator
can recount all the happenings taking place around him/her. Many guides
of humanity have chosen to leave this "factor" nameless. "the Tao that
can be named is not Tao", says Tao Teh-Ching. The Buddhist Shunya, the
Void that voids all voids, comes in this category. So does the "na-
iti, na-iti" of the Upanishads, and the Via Negativa of Meister
As you, dear seeker, would actually begin to glimpse this No-God even
from the distance, you will find that God is not at all quite the way
our individually tailored notions have us believe. What is It really
like? In answer to that question the Yogi and the Sufi falls silent,
unable to name any names. So will you when you reach there.
Repreinted from Hindustan Times
November 30, 2002