This is part of God Flux but written in smaller sections for an easier read.
As a child I was taught to worship Hindu gods in temples and during Poojas (auspicious days/festivals) at home. I was told stories from Krishna’s childhood, Ramayana and Mahabharatha. But when I was seven, I had a dream that I rose above the clouds and found the gods in the sky. It looked like a king’s court with one in the middle and several on either side. As I was taught to do, I knelt before them in the Namaskaram position (similar to Shashankasana). When they saw this, they started laughing at me. Feeling insulted, I got up and decided that gods aren’t worth worshiping. This dream got me thinking about god and what I had been told about ‘him’. I started wondering why so many people believed in god(s) even though no one had ever seen one. I took note of the kinds of violence and atrocities that happened in the name of this invisible concept. I began to gather reasons why the whole concept was bad for the world and totally irrational. Then I started arguing with believers, at the age of eleven, trying to convince them that god can’t exist. I read some Richard Bach books like Running from Safety and Illusions. One of the first people who challenged my arguments and got me back into thinking was my dad. Bach had said that since there is so much bad in the world, either god exists but is very mean, or he simply doesn’t exist. My dad explained that the concept that god is only good is flawed. He told me god is part of everything, is indeed everything; no matter how we define good and bad. Even now I bounce my thoughts and ideas off him and thoroughly enjoy our discussions.
Kabir and the Bhakti poets
At the age of thirteen, I started studying Bhakti poetry as part of Hindi lessons at school. I became interested in Kabir’s ideas of god. He said god could be Nirgun (without any qualities, undefinable) or Sargun (given any form that humans can relate to, infinite definitions and identities). He introduced to me the concepts of Maya-jaal (the illusory web of this world), Athma and Paramathma (soul and the ultimate soul/Unity), Samsara (materialistic world) and Moksha or Mukthi (ultimate freedom from the cycles of birth and death, bliss/Nirvana). He and the other Bhakti movement poets (like Meera-bai) that we studied talked of the yearning of the individual soul to merge with the ultimate soul and how the materialistic life and the illusions of this world distract us from working towards that bliss/enlightenment. He also said that though we may look for god in temples and mosques, we have him right within us because he is part of us all. Now these ideas really got my attention. God isn’t external to us? He/She/It is open to definition, yet indefinable? Everything and nothing?