Is Believing in a Personal God Childish?

Last updated on 21st November 2012

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_God states, ‘A personal god is a deity who can be related to as a person instead of as an “impersonal force”, such as the Absolute, “the All”, or the “Ground of Being”.’

So Jesus, Rama, Krishna etc. when looked upon as human beings infused with divine force/supernatural power would be personal Gods. Many intellectuals look down upon people who believe in such deities, as childish people. Einstein seemed to hold this view as per a letter of his, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2213513/Albert-Einstein-letter-uses-say-religion-childish-goes-auction-1-85MILLION.html. Some scientists today are strongly influenced by Einstein’s views and tend to have the same attitude.

Advaita Vedanta has the view that one’s inner self itself is God. But the view that I am God (an all powerful, all knowing being) is so counter to the experience of almost all of humanity that it is not acceptable to most of humanity, even if it were to be the ultimate truth which gets experienced only by the very, very, very rare fully enlightened beings.

In marked contrast, viewing God via an image, or as a divine force enveloping and controlling all of existence, of which we are a small part, to which we can pray to and get strength, and even have some of our wishes fulfilled is what appeals to most of humanity. Of course, the Abrahamic religions reject image worship but they consider God to be a divine power far greater than themselves (I am of God but not I am God – I think that is their view).

The history of humanity has these very, very powerful divine figures like Krishna, Jesus etc. who exhibited extraordinary powers. People could pray to them/God through them and get their wishes fulfilled! And they pray to them even to this day with some getting the divine response. Further, even in this day and age, some people are hugely fortunate/blessed to have experienced the mind-blowing divine power of living spiritual masters and mystics.

I am of the opinion that it is not childish to view the all encompassing divine power through a personal God like Jesus, Krishna etc. Even for an intellectual it may be far easier to pray to a personal God at times as against praying to a nameless and formless divine power. Some persons may, at different times depending on their state of mind, pray to a personal God like Jesus or Krishna, or to a nameless and formless divine power considered to be either within their own being or outside of their being. In other words they may pray to either the outer God or the inner God depending on their state of mind.

Enlightened spiritual masters tell us that intense prayer has its effect whether the prayer is directed to a personal God or to an impersonal God/divine force. They encourage belief in a personal God for suitably inclined people and forcefully reject notions that such belief is childish or wrong.

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