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Do We Need God to Lead a Joyous Life?

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January 2008
Do We Need God to Lead a Joyous Life?

Is belief in God a precondition for leading a meaningful and joyous life or can you lead such a life minus God?

Let us open our eyes and look around. All the believers in the world, are they living ecstatic lives? No. There have been some devotees who were ecstatic, but we don’t see them all over the place even though almost 90% of the world’s population believes in some kind of god. If 90% were really joyful, I would retire. I would like to see a day like that. But they are not.

This so intrigued me when I was a child; when I was just 8 or 9 years of age, I wanted to see people going into the temple to meet God, at least that is what they told me?. I wanted to see what happens to them after they met God. So I just went and planted myself in front of a major temple, watching everybody closely. All I found is when they were coming out, generally they are gossiping about somebody or something that they saw inside the temple, what they were wearing, what they were doing?. Somebody else, not God, okay? And in Indian temples sometimes your footwear walks away with somebody else. Maybe it was God himself who wore your footwear and went, who knows?. But when they see the footwear is gone, they will curse the creation and the Creator.

I always found people who were coming out of restaurants seemed to come out with more happiness on their faces than people who were coming out of temples and churches. Somebody goes and meets the Divine and comes out without any joy on their faces. I felt this is really horrible.

This is because there is no experience, there is only belief; and what you believe is just social and cultural. But, ‘Can I live better minus God?’ I don’t think there is such a possibility. How can you live minus? Because what is it that you call as God? Whatever is the source of creation, that is what is God. Can you live without the source of creation? What brand you attach to it is your nonsense—but the source of creation is not your nonsense. Because there is a source of creation and there is creation. Where it is, how it is, what form it is may be debatable; but whether it is there or not is not debatable.

So can I live well ‘minus source of creation’? There is no such possibility. Can I live without the awareness of the source of creation? You can, but not too well. But if you are aware and conscious and in direct contact with the source of creation, then you would live absolutely well.

By Sadhguru


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