The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.
Question: Whatever we are doing in this life, whatever is happening in the universe, is this already defined by God, and we being mere players? Or is God nowhere in the picture?
Acharya Prashant (AP): These are the two options that your mind has come up with. One- all is predestined, with we being the enactors of God’s pre-scripted will. Two- there is nothing pre-scripted, there is no God. Whatever is happening is happening out of the forces of the universe.
In both these options, the underlying assumption is the same. The underlying assumption is that there is time, there is space and there is ‘happening’. Pay attention to this. Whether you say that God has pre-determined the course of destiny, individual destiny as well as the destiny of the universe, or whether you say that whatever is happening is happening because of the interplay of physical forces and that there is man’s free will and that a ruler God need not be there, whichever of these two options you put forth, the underlying assumption is still the same. What is that assumption?
The assumption is that there is a stream of time. The assumption is that ’cause and effect’ is reality. Before asking whether or not there is a God that is causing all this, is it not prudent to first ask whether anything is happening at all? Is it not important to first ask whether this stream of time that you are seeing is really there, or is it merely a mental construct? Is that not a more important question?
See, who is your God? Your God is an agency that you require to explain the universe. You see this universe around you, you see all this diversity around you, you see human beings and planets and the entire universe, and you see the flow of time, and you see cause and effect, you see creator and creation, so you wonder that there must be something in time, in past that has created all this. That is how you come to God. Right? God, the principal creator, is how man comes to God.
So in coming to God first of all you are assuming that there is this creation. Now, what is this creation? Let us pay more attention to this first, this is of primary concern. Is this (creation) there? This has to be there, so that your God may…