One God: Supreme, Eternal, Transcendent, Universal, Immanent

Sri Aurobindo translates Shwetashwatara Upanishad, Chapter Six, Verses 12-13:  “One God and alone He controlleth the many who have themselves no separate work nor purpose; and He developeth one seed into many kinds of creatures; the strong-hearted behold God in their own Self, therefore for them is everlasting bliss and not for others. (Or, One God alone is hidden in all creatures; for He pervadeth all things and is the inner self of all beings, master of their works and home of all that liveth, the great Witness, the Well of conscious life, Absolute, without qualities.)  One Eternal of all these that pass and are not, One conscious in all consciousnesses; He being One ordereth the desires of many; He alone is the great Source to which Sankhya and Yoga bring us.  If thou know God thou shalt break free from every sort of bondage.”

We find that our mental logic cannot possibly suffice to encompass the nature of God.  Western religious traditions acknowledge One God, the Lord and Creator.  They claim omniscience, omnipotence, eternity and infinity for God, yet at the same time, make room for an externally fashioned universe and beings, who are somehow separate from God.  They even seem to recognise other gods in competition with or subservient to the One God.  The One God appears to sit outside the creation.

The Upanishad makes it clear that there is One God, but follows the logic out in a comprehensive manner.  It recognises that if there is indeed one God who has the characteristics of omniscience, omnipotence, eternity and infinity, then there can be no other form, being or creation that is separate or different from the One God, as that would limit God and set a boundary to infinity and eternity.  Thus, a recognition arises that the One God creates the many diverse forms and beings, through the processes of Nature, the active manifestation of God through Time, Space and Circumstance, and that these forms and beings are of the substance of God, are contained within God, and act under the impulsion of God.  This includes the multitude of gods, who are recognised as specific powers of Nature in the manifestation.  An individual may choose to worship one aspect or power of Nature primarily, but this does not negate the One God.  Whichever form one chooses to worship, the worship goes to the One, without a second.

This implies that when we seek the deeper truth of our being, we can, through a process of knowledge by identity, recognise God within ourselves.  This leads to the teachings of Sankhya and Yoga, which guide the seeker to this ultimate realisation of Oneness.

Sri Aurobindo, The Upanishads, Shwetashwatara Upanishad, pp.369-384

1 thought on “One God: Supreme, Eternal, Transcendent, Universal, Immanent

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.