Q: Guruji, what has God got to do with spirituality? Can I not believe and still be spiritual?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes! Do you know, in the six Darshanas (schools of India Philosophy), the first three Darshanas do not even talk about God –Nyaaya, Vaisheshika, Sankhya. Nyaaya Darshana by Gautama Maharishi deals with knowledge – whether your knowledge is correct or not. Knowing the means of knowledge whether it is correct or not, this is Nyaaya Darshana. For example, from your senses you see the Sun setting and the Sun rising. But Nyaaya Darshana says, ‘No, you cannot just believe what you see, you have to go beyond and find out, does the Sun really set or is the Earth moving?’. We think that Copernicus found out that the earth is going around the sun, but that is absolute false. He definitely found out, but before that, in India, people already knew a long time ago that the Earth is going around the Sun. Nyaaya Darshana talks about all that. It talks about perception and the correction of perception! And then Vaisheshika Darshana – this is a count of all the things in the universe – Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Ether, and then all the objects and subjects, and all that analysis. This is Vaisheshika Darshana. In this, they talk about the mind, consciousness, intellect, memory and all that. Then is Sankhya Darshana. So, these three Darshanas do not talk about God, but they talk about Consciousness. Only in the Yoga Sutras, which is the fourth Darshanas they talk about God as one topic. So you do not have to feel compelled to believe in God, but you have to believe in something. You have to at least believe in the Consciousness. Usually when we think of God, we think of somebody who is sitting out there in heaven, who created the creation, and then went away from the creation and started trying to find fault in everyone. Whatever you are doing, he is trying to take a stick and punish you. This is not the type of God that we have ever spoken of. God is the existence! The entire universe is made up of a stuff called Love, and that is what God is! You are inseparable from God. Nothing ever exists outside God; everything has to exist inside God only. So it is beyond good, bad, right, wrong, and all that. Pleasant and unpleasant is all immaterial. The One thing that exists, that One whole if you need to call it something, you can call it God. Or you do not have to worry, just know yourself.
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