In Hindu culture, the received wisdom since time immemorial has been: Ishwar is ‘Nirgun’ (free from ‘Satv’, ‘Rajas’, ‘Tamas’), Nirakar (formless). However, the Ishwar’s creations are Sagun (embedded with Satv, Rajas and Tamas) and ‘Sakar’ (Having form). Hindus also talk of ‘Bhagwan’. We have had many Bhagwans but only one Ishwar. The ancient characters of Bhagwan Parshuram, Bhagwan Ram, Bhagwan Krishan are well known even to generation Alpha of Hindus. Parashar Muni, father of Ved Vyasa, had said that any human being can be Bhagwan, if he or she has supreme strength, fame, intellect, wealth, beauty and renunciation. By that standard, more Bhagwans may emerge and arise in times to come.

Bhagvad Gita (Chapter 4, Verse 7-8) indicates that

यदा यदा हि धर्मस्य ग्लानिर्भवति भारत । अभ्युत्थानमधर्मस्य तदात्मानं सृजाम्यहम् ॥

Whenever there is a decline in righteousness and an increase in unrighteousness, O Arjun, at that time I manifest Myself on earth.

परित्राणाय साधूनां विनाशाय च दुष्कृताम् । धर्मसंस्थापनार्थाय सम्भवामि युगे युगे ॥

For the protection of the good, for the destruction of the wicked and for the establishment of rightenousness, I am born in every age and era.

In between, we hear Bhagwans of Cricket and Cinema and other fields who excel in a certain field of activity. These Bhagwans signify Excellence. In Islam, we talk of one and only Allah, the supreme. That is equivalent of Ishwar. So, that poet was not wrong when he wrote: Ishwar allah tero naam, sabko sanmati de Bhagwan. Ishwar and Allah are names of the same, supreme; please provide good Sanmati, good sense to everyone.

Indeed, buddhi (Intellect) is the supreme or master lever of a human being. A saying goes, विनाश काले विपरीत बुद्धि (Vinaashakaale Vipareetabudhhi) which means before befalling bad times/ destruction to a person, his/ her buddhi goes bust. In Hindu culture, Gayatri mantra is called the Mahamantra. That is the mantra which prays almighty Ishwar to enlighten our intellect (buddhi). The mantra is as follows:

ॐ भूर्भुवः स्वः तत्सवितुर्वरेण्यं भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि धियो यो नः प्रचोदयात् ॥ (Om Bhuur-Bhuvah Svah Tat-Savitur-Varennyam Bhargo Devasya Dhiimahi, Dhio Yonah Prachodayat!) (Rig Veda (Mandala 3.62. 10)

Incidentally, this mantra also identifies and defines, Almighty, Supreme, the ॐ (AUM). AUM is that entity that Generates, Operates and Destroys everything on this planet and in the universe. AUM is the Ishwar.

All Bhagwans have been animate. How about Ishwar? Is Ishwar animate or inanimate? The entire humanity, irrespective of religious faith, to the best of their knowledge and belief, accept that Ishwar/ Allah/ God is the creator, sustainer and destroyer of everything on this planet and in the universe. He (or she) is the doer.  It sounds very interesting. Bhagvad Gita (Chapter 13, verse 5-6) says that all human beings are made of ‘panch mahabhuts’ (five elements of nature), namely, earth, ether, water, air and fire (turning into in every human being 5 action organs, 5 sensory organs, mind, intellect, ego, and soul; total 14 components).

Atma (Soul) is said to be the mirror image of Ishwar, like image of sun or moon in the water.

That is the real self of a human being. That moves a person. Death is the state when Atma leaves the body.

Does it mean Atma is animate? Does it mean Atma, the mirror image of Ishwar, is animate? And by the same logic, Ishwar is animate. But in daily life Ishwar appears to be emotionless like an inanimate. Why does he snatch your loved one, having no care for your emotions. Why is a child born terminally ill, having no care for parent’s emotions.

When Swami Vivekananda summed up goal of life of every human being as ‘Atmano Mokshnarthay,  jagat hitaye che’ (Liberation through renunciation for oneself and good of others in this world); how could goal of Ishwar, the creator of all, be different?

We have used above the analogy of Sun and Moon to illustrate the mirror image of Ishwar. Now, neither Sun nor moon are animate. It thus appears that Ishwar is also an inanimate.

The term ‘appears’ above signify relative to a human eye. Now, it will depend on the quality of human eye. Is it capable of seeing emotion even in an apparently inanimate object like Sun, Moon or mountain or not.

Is Ishwar like electricity; no shape and color, but moves everything.

That brings us to mass-energy equation, E = mc2.

what does this equation really mean? “Energy equals mass times the speed of light squared.” On the most basic level, the equation says that energy and mass (matter) are interchangeable; they are different forms of the same thing.

Ishwar जड़ (jad;inanimate) hai ya चेतन  (Chetan;animate)? Please share your thoughts, understanding and experiences in this matter.

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