Vanity thought #676. Ode to atheism

The other day I saw another atheist have a go at God on TV and suddenly I felt that his arguments were very compelling. Thinking about it some more I came to conclusion that I’m an atheist myself and atheism is the best theory in this world.

Let me clarify what I mean, though.

Atheists do not believe that God exists and they cite several arguments to support their position. We usually try to prove otherwise but from their point of view they are totally correct. Once you understand their position it’s not particularly difficult to agree with everything they say.

I also do not believe in God that gives people cancer or kills innocent babies, or sends tsunamis that wipe out hundreds of thousands of people, or created mosquitoes.

I do not believe that Jesus Christ was God. I, like many atheists, suspect that he was not a real historic personality and even if he was, he wasn’t Son of God, and his miracles are very suspicious, too.

I do not believe in God of the Old Testament either – the way he was sending plagues and wiping out entire generations of people to suffer in hell of eternity for even minor transgressions.

I do not believe in God that resides in the sky and, like all atheists, I do not believe that he would ever be discovered through scientific research and by expanding our knowledge of the universe.

I do not believe in God The Creator who made this universe and keeps managing it.

I do not believe that God is real, too.

The last one needs a clarification – God is not real in a sense that atheists put in “real”, ie accessible with our sense organs or their extensions.

The creator role is not Krishna’s, too, not even Vishnu’s. Lord Brahma created all we can find in the universe, he is the founder of our sampradaya but he is not God.

Krishna also doesn’t run the universe, especially not for our pleasure, He’s busy with His own life and can’t care less about “tragic” happenings in this illusion that do not affect our spiritual nature in the least anyway.

Atheists assert that the world runs perfectly following the unbreakable laws of nature and I totally agree. They say that to live here comfortably you don’t need to worship any kind of God, just work hard or work smart or whatever is their current recipe for success.

In the Vedic tradition we have at least two schools of thought that claim the same – karma mimamsa philosophy of Jaimini which teaches that demigods are compelled to give us results of our sacrifices regardless of our faith. Modern “karmis” figured another way to get results, without performing Vedic sacrifices, but the principle is the same – demigods are compelled to give us fruits of our labor regardless of whether we believe in them or not. Demigods can’t break the laws of nature either.

Another class of such materialists is asuras. I don’t know how they achieve their standard of living that is claimed to be superior to demigods but one thing is sure – they don’t do it by worshiping Vishnu.

Fundamentally – God does not exist in this world and this world does not require presence of God to continue operating.

Atheists analyzed this world through and through and they came to the same conclusion – there’s no God here. Well done! Not quite up to the standards of Vedic rishis but for Kali Yuga it’s as good as it gets.

Atheists, of course, refuse to accept the existence of transcendental reality but what can we say about that? It can’t be experienced here, that’s why it’s called transcendental. We can’t explain it, we can’t make people feel it (well, most of us anyway). Practically it’s as good as non-existent.

We know of it only from coming in contact with transcendental persons and we ourselves can’t comprehend it in the slightest. We can’t explain what compels us to chant Hare Krishna, we just feel the need and so to someone who hasn’t been blessed by a devotee it looks like blind faith.

For us Krishna’s existence slowly and steadily becomes a reality that drop by drop replaces the “reality” we experience with out material senses. If we withdraw back into our bodily shell, however, there’s no God again and Krishna is not real. Atheists have never left that shell and so from their point of view they are totally correct – God doesn’t exist.

Being an atheist is not a rebellion against God per se, it’s just a statement of fact based on available evidence.

If we slide into a bodily consciousness we won’t be able to know Krishna, too, no matter what we say to ourselves. Krishna does not exist for those who enjoy their senses or for those who desire to control the world around them.

Or let me put it another way – if we speak the language of the atheists we have to agree that God doesn’t exist indeed.

Oftentimes we wish to have Krishna and eat our cake, too, but that is self-delusion. Krishna won’t become a reality for us unless we completely give up all our material aspirations – sarva dharman parityajya. Only then Krishna will become “real”, until then He would remain an abstract that atheists can smash in no time as a product of our imagination.

Atheism and existence of God, however, is not the biggest problem, the biggest problem is our lack of rasa. Without rasa, without love for Krishna, without bhakti, His existence is “transcendental” to our lives. He might or He might not exist/reveal Himself, without pure devotion we won’t care either way.

So, to convince an atheist of existence of God is only the first step. However important it is, life’s too short to go trough such steps. Giving people taste for the Holy Name is what makes all the difference. That taste will work even if person’s external consciousness remains firmly atheistic.

That is why sometimes I just love the atheists – they can’t shut up about God, they need to keep talking about Him, discussing His features, retelling His pastimes and so on. They don’t realize Him on the spiritual level yet and so their outward atheism is a sign of honesty, not delusion like our occasional sahajiism.

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