GOD & gods
(Interactive session on 14.11.2013)
Keynote address by Mr. Gautam Kanjilal
(Other participant speakers: Mr. Ashok Kumar Sengupta, Mr R. K. Gupta, Mr. N. N. Sarkar, Ms. Anindita N. Balslev, Mr. Asim K. Banerjee, Mr. Paritosh Bandopadhyay, Mr. P.C. Jha, Dr. Suhas Majumdar)
[Devotional song by Ms. Jayanti Das Gupta]
Anchor, Introduction & Conclusive Remarks: Asish K.Raha
The concept of God is perhaps as old as human history. And no concept has been subjected to more questions, challenges, research, and debate than the concept of God. Our purview today is not whether God exists or otherwise. Our limited focus is on the concept of God vis-a-vis gods, according to various organized religions, philosophy and researches.
In the process it will be necessary to dwell upon some pertinent question relating to both the concepts of God and gods. Those questions are as follows:
- Whether God is one, all-inclusive or many.Whether God has a gender, form and attributes or God is neutral, formless and without attributes.
- Whether God has created universes and all creatures including humans, and, therefore, is distinct from all ITS creations or whether entire creation has emanated from God and will eventually subsume in God.
- Whether gods are distinctive from God.
- Whether gods are human, super-human, aliens from space or spiritual entities.
As to the varying concepts of God according to well-known traditions such as the Vedantic and the Abrahamic ones, we have dwelt upon the same at great length while discussing in a previous session on ‘God & anti-God’ on 24.8.2013. The Vedantic concept of Brahman can be explained briefly with reference to an anecdote from Chhandogya Upanishad relating to sage Uddalak and his son Shvetaketu (Cha. VIII. iii. 1-2) to bring out that Brahman is both the efficient and the material cause of this mortal universe. This was explained by way of a practical illustration. The father Uddalak asked his son Shvetaketu to mix a lump of salt in water in a container and bring that container to him. Instruction thus complied, the son was asked to drink the water from the top, the middle and the bottom portion and to report how it tasted. When Shvetaketu informed his father that the water tasted salty uniformly, Uddalak asked his son to produce the lump of salt. The son replied that it was impossible to produce the lump of salt as it had melted in water. Uddalak thereupon explained that the salt which was no longer visible in the water was the material as also the efficient cause of the salty water. Brahman which is super-consciousness is like the salt that pervades all individual consciousnesses like the water in this phenomenal world. “Shvetaketu, thou art That” (Tat Tvam Asi) is the cardinal message of the Vedanta that is applicable to the whole of the mankind irrespective of their faith or background. The Abrahamic tradition as represented by Old Testament, New Testament and also Quran describe God as the One who is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient. The Buddhist tradition as also the Samkhya philosophy of early Indian tradition is silent about the existence of God.
Before we address above five questions in depth, it will be worthwhile delving into various studies and researches on the above subject with particular emphasis on gods.
VARYING CONCEPTS OF GOD
Let us begin by saying that the ideas, beliefs or opinions pertaining to God as also gods that we are going to dwell upon or examine here have been expressed for last few centuries by several learned scholars, scientists and archaeologists. Some of these findings have substance and, therefore, the same merit serious consideration. We will dwell upon the concept of God first, and the gods later.
One may wonder how to define and describe God. And also at times one may also wonder how does an individual and God relate to each other. To be more precise, the question is whether the relationship between God and an individual is like one-way traffic, one being the creator and controller and the other being ever subservient and a servant. Is it the case that the human individual should be thinking of God, or is it that God, whosoever it may be, is also thinking of each individual at the same time? We grow up with ideas filled with reverence for God or the gods described in our respective religions, without actually experiencing the intimate touch, except for the spiritually advanced prophets like Jesus or saints like Sri Ramakrishna, who claimed deeper contact or interface with God the Almighty. Most religions also claim that their prophets or spiritual Masters were able to establish a direct and deep relationship with the Almighty or their personal God. Others are simply followers of such Masters or faith. While on the topic of GOD, we must accept that most of the dogmas and beliefs are mostly blind and primarily based on faith alone and not upon any concrete evidence or personal experience of the believers.
As with most of us, our perception/definition of God has been fully influenced `a priori by fellow believers, that GOD being a SUPERNATURAL ENTITY NOT HAVING A FORM (may be because we have not seen Him in physical form), is all-pervading, omnipresent, and most powerful entity and the most benevolent representing ALL GOOD. Some of us regrettably feel at times that God apparently uses the power to the advantage and disadvantage of selected human and other lives on Earth. The human mind is such that anything powerful though being very much revered is simultaneously also greatly feared and that is perhaps why we also fear God in some ways. It may be the fear of the unknown or the fear of punishment for wrong-doing.
It will be of interest to see what some of the organized religions which can be broadly classified as monotheists, polytheists and inclusivists say about God.
No uniform concept of GOD in Hinduism
Unlike in Abrahamic tradition, the concept of God is not uniform in Hindu tradition. As has been briefly mentioned in the Introduction, the philosophical content of Hinduism is represented by the non-theist Samkhya, and theist and inclusivist Vedanta which includes Upanishads, Brahma Sutra, the Gita etc., (known in short as Uttar Mimansha), while its ritualistic content is represented by the early Vedas (known as the Purva Mimansha) and the Puranas, which are apparently polytheist.
Gods or Devas named in Rig Veda
One of the earliest statements in the history of mankind on the subject of our discussion today, ‘God and gods’, come from the Rig Veda (I.164.46):
Indram Mitram Varunam Agnim ahuratho Divyah sa suparna Garutman |
Ekam sad vipra bahudha vadanti Agnim Yamam Matarishyanmahuh ||
The mantra mentions the names of several Vedic gods – Indra, Mitra, Varuna, Agni, Garutmat, Yama, Matarishvan – but states that (God or true existence) is One (Ekam Sad) but the sages perceive many attributes in That (vipra bahudha vadanti). This mantra is the Vedic version of the Upanishadic mahavakya ‘Ekamevadvitiam’ i.e., (God or true existence is) One and without a second. Thus it can be seen that the Vedas have made a distinction between God or Brahman and multiple gods called Devas as also their adversaries called Asuras who were born of the same father viz. sage Kashyapa, but different mothers, viz. Aditi and Diti. Since, sage Kashyapa was human, it would stand to reason to infer that both the Devas and the Asuras were also human. However, it is possible that the Devas and the Asuras were more advanced, scientifically as also spiritually than the contemporary humans.
The Vedas state that there are 33 main Gods in its pantheon. The Puranic conception, which is also the prevalent idea among Hindus till now, that there are 330 million Gods, might have come from the double meaning of the Sanskrit word koti. According to the nineteenth century Sanskrit-English dictionary by Mueller & Mueller, which is perhaps still regarded as most authentic, koti has a quantitative (10 million) as well as a qualitative (pitch, climax, excellence) meaning. Perhaps the word koti was used initially to focus on the glory or excellence (mahima) of Gods, but later used in the quantitative sense to accommodate increasing number of Puranic Gods, which could be justified under the Vedic expression tritringshati koti (33 koti) gods.
In any case, the 33 godheads in the Vedic pantheon are 8 Vasus (ashta vasu), 11 Rudras (ekadasha Rudra), 12 Adityas (dvadasha Aditya), Prajapati (Brahma of Puranas) and Vishnu. Some scholars would, however, replace Vishnu by Indra, as Vishnu is called Upendra in Veda and has a subordinate position to Indra. As stated above, those 33 godheads were born of human parents and, therefore, human beings. However, according to the traditional belief, they all drank nectar and became immortal while the Asuras, their step-brothers, were deprived of the same and continued to be mortals like all other beings.
Vedantic concept of non-dual God vis-a-vis Puranic gods
In view of the Vedantic non-dual (advaita) concept of God, men at all ages seem to be caught in a conflict on which of the multiple godheads to worship. The Vedic people often had this question – kashmai devaya habisha (To which god shall we offer our oblation)? In the process, the concept of Trinity comprising Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar came into being, thus reducing godheads from 33 to 3. And all the attributes of Brahman were super-imposed on each of the Trinity by their respective devotees. Each group claimed that their god was superior to the other two. The Puranas on each of the Trinity compiled stories to establish superiority of one over the others. Later-age religious texts like Mangalkavyas of Bengal are also full of stories of rivalry or quarrel among the gods and goddesses. The traditions of other countries like the Greek mythology are no exception to this phenomenon. Many scholars feel that men have created the gods in their own image and thus our gods, despite their superhuman power and knowledge, have assumed human characters.
Abodes of gods
What are the abodes of these gods? Epics like the Mahabharata as well as the spiritual experience of many saints and sages talk about a structured universe (brahmanda) in which there are many worlds (lokas), which are inhabited by divine beings, devatas. Even the Upanishads, which are often regarded as a focused search for the realization of atman (atmanam viddhi is its main aspiration), also talks of a structured universe. In the well-known debate between the sage Yajnavalkya and Gargi, daughter of Vacaknu, in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (3.6.1), in which Gargi is threatened loss of her head if she persists with further questions, Yajnavalkya identifies as many as twelve hierarchical worlds, one pervading the other, going upto brahma-loka, which seems to be the highest point of manifestation, beyond which the great sage was not prepared to entertain any mental query. We also find in Sri Aurobindo’s epic poem Savitri, the journey of King Ashvapaty in search of the Divine Mother, whose abode he found in the Unmanifest, beyond many divine worlds, each inhabited by Godheads having consciousness of that loka..
To us, humans, all these great beings are gods as we are no match to their powers, knowledge and consciousness. Even those beings who are often regarded in a negative sense, the raksha, pishacha or pramatha – the nether-gods or apa-devatas – get God-like obedience or worship from us as the dimensions of their perceived powers are immensely bigger than ours.
Sri Aurobindo’s concept of Supramental and the gods
There is one aspect of human existence which gives men the potential to transcend the gods eventually. Sri Aurobindo wrote in a letter to a disciple that Gods are typal beings and do not evolve per se. If they want to evolve and progress further, they have to take birth in a human body and acquire a psychic being like a man. This is also the conception behind many of the Puranic stories of gods taking a human birth to do sadhana for further spiritual progress.
Sri Aurobindo has forseen an evolutionary future for mankind, when Supramental beings with a body of light, having infinite knowledge and power and bliss, would appear on earth, just like men evolved out of animals. Even at this stage, a great yogi like Sri Ramakrishna or Tailanga Swami could rise to the level of Satchidananda in their meditation, which may be a level higher than many of the Gods, as we perceive them.
This supreme mystery of human life, ignorant weaklings crawling on earth, yet having potential of scaling great heights of consciousness, have been magnificently portrayed by an unlikely novelist, Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyaya in his only novel on life after death, Devyan. There we find a god takes the hero of the novel Jatin, now a dead person, to the Himalayas (in the Kailash-Mansarovar area) and points to the caves of the rishis who, still in their earthly bodies, have been engrossed in meditation. The god told him that although physically these rishis were ordinary earthlings, when they attained the state (sthiti) of Nirvikalpa Samadhi, they would rise much above the gods.
The ancient Hindu scriptures describe the creation/evolution of time, the cosmos, the universes, and all that is contained therein from the cosmic egg called Brahman and takes us through aeons, describing celestial worlds of spirit and phenomenal worlds of matter as parts of Brahman. Basically, Hindu philosophical texts such as Vedanta speak of the Brahman as the all-inclusive whole or Purna Which evolves and involves in continuous cycles. The state of evolution is called creation and the state of involution is called dissolution.
God in Abrahamic Tradition
In the Genesis of the Old Testament it is written as follows:
“1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”
“2:2 And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made.”
“2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”
“ 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou latest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
“2:21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 2:22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.”
“2:23 And Adam said this is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”
The above extracts from the Genesis prima facie reveal that God, according to the Abrahamic tradition has a form, and that the first man Abraham and the first woman Eve were not created by God’s words like in the case of natural phenomena like light, the firmament, the earth and the water, as also all the creatures. Instead, He undertook an exercise/action to produce man from the dust and to produce breath of life to make him live. As regards Eve, God apparently did some genetic engineering/surgery with a rib of Adam to produce her. Besides, God has been described in Genesis as ‘He’.
The concept of Satan, though absent in Old Testament, surfaced in New Testament. Judaism, Christianity and Islam have on the whole dwelt upon the Devil, also called Satan, and/or Lucifer, as a rebellious fallen angel or demon that targeted humans with the sole intent to lead them astray. It is credited with bringing death into the world. Enoch describes the Devil as the Prince of Grigori who was driven out of Heaven for rebelling against God. The Devil or the Satan has also been identified in the Book of Revelation as the serpent which lured Eve to eat the forbidden fruit.
God in other religions
SIKHISM speaks of IK ON KAR, the ONE AND ONLY ONE, the ONE AND ONLY SUPREME ONE, their symbol or icon meaning ONE WITH EVERYTHING, one creator manifest everywhere. (Here, I may add that Nanak did not accept the Hindu scriptures because he felt that only the creator knows when creation took place and how; so descriptions in the Sanskrit texts did not find acceptance in Sikhism.)
ZOROASTRIANISM, though later they too had their prophet, Zoroaster, also refers to ONE GOD i.e. AHURA MAZDA, though the contra is manifest in the almost equally powerful evil spirit Angra Mainyu. .
OTHER RELIGIONS SUCH AS THE
ANCIENT GREEK and the MAYAN RELIGIONS for instance had multiple Gods: The common factor was that these religions did not subscribe to the concept of UNITY or the ONE SUPREME BEING-CREATOR-GOD as we see in the earlier described religions, but they conceived of a Leader of the gods in their pantheons. The Greeks had their Olympic pantheon lorded over by ZEUS, mixed with eastern deities like Isis and Cybele, while further north, Thor ruled the Norse arena with his thunderbolt.
The MAYANS revered many gods including Itzamna, Kukulcan, Bolon, Tzacab and Chac.
The Sumerians and the Egyptians too had multiple gods and so did some smaller sects.
Gods – a distinctive entity?
Let us now turn to the concept of gods as opposed to God. It is this part which interests many of us and in many ways leading to our interest in astronomy, UFOs and related topics, and gradually expanding our interest to encompass thoughts and posers such as:
- Is God a creation of the human mind or real? If real, why did God create the universe and life and when ?
- Did super mortals or super beings once walk the Earth? And whether they were visitors from outer space, possessing enormous power, capabilities and advanced scientific knowledge?
- More specifically, were such alien visitors the ones referred to as gods in our religious texts ? If so, what are the proofs available? How do we explain to ourselves under what circumstances mankind has gone to the extent of not only describing gods in written graphics and texts but also drawing images of near human forms while attributing more than human-like features and superman-like qualities and went further by leaving behind legends and stories describing extra-ordinary feats of such divine beings? Great epics and legends have been attributed to ancient narrators and authors across all parts of the globe. This is a world-wide phenomenon, not restricted to any specific country, continent or religion.
The above questions have been the subject matter of extensive research and discussions world-wide, over a very long time. We may have reasons to subscribe to some of the hypotheses and opinions expressed.
Many scholars have felt that there is a certain gap in history which is unaccounted for. Not only that, history as we know, is not complete, or is even wrongly recorded in the minds of humans, sometimes wrongly interpreted. The very thought of such a gap existing is very unnerving when we consider a range of issues about humankind, their origin, how they originated and evolved over time.
Take the Vedas and the Puranic texts for instance. The creation of the universe, the matter of creation as such, the divine influences and evolution of good vs. evil forms, the dimensions of time, celestial and material space and consequent creations, the history of the myriad lesser gods, etc. are described in a highly intelligent and intellectual way, mostly in the manner and way far beyond the comprehension of ordinary mortals perhaps. Where did this high standard of jnan and original perception come from? To say that humans as we know ourselves, with our known characteristics, were capable of coming out with such highly intellectual writings in ancient time is debatable. What happened to the natural rate of progress ? Scientific concepts are embedded in the scriptures. It is perhaps inconceivable that ordinary humans or Indians of some prehistoric era would have practised what they were preached to through these great vaults of knowledge and yet did precious little to cling on to these morals over large periods of time. Surely, the concepts embodied in these ancient texts would not have emanated from the brain of ordinary mortals, then populating the earth. What is mystifying is perhaps some of the following references found in the Puranic and other associated texts:
The Puranic concept of time, age & space
Even Brahma’s age and the age of the solar system have been given a calculation. The sage VedaVyas explains in the Bhagavatam that 155.52 trillion years have passed since Brahma originally created this planetary system, and this is the present age of Brahma.
(The Bhagavatam says, “Brahma’s one day equals to 1,000 cycles of the four yugas (one cycle of four yugas is 4.32 million years). It is called one kalp. There are fourteen Manus in one kalp. For the same length of time there is the night of Brahma. This is called pralaya or kalp pralaya. At that time the earth planet and the sun along with three celestial abodes (bhu, bhuv and swah) enter into the transition period (and become uninhabited). During that period Brahma holds within Himself all the beings of the material and the celestial worlds in a suspended state and sleeps. (The next day he again produces them and re-forms them as they were before.) In this way Brahma lives for two parardh (twice of 50 years). After that, there is a complete dissolution of the brahmand (the planetary system and its celestial abodes). This is called prakrit pralaya of the brahmand.” (Bhag. 12/4/2 to 6). According to the above information, Brahma’s age which is also the absolute age of our sun and the earth planet is: 50 years of Brahma x 720 days and nights x (1,000 x 4.32 million years of the four yugas, which is one day of Brahma) + 1,972 million years* (the existing age of the earth planet) = 155.521972 trillion years.)
Therefore, many of the events described in the ancient text can theoretically be said to have occurred millions of years ago ??????
Many Divine acts and happenings are beyond material logic. The scriptures say that the gods, resident in celestial world, also walked the Earth. The concept of material space is described as being the solar systems while the celestial space comprises Brahm Lok and Vaikunth within the brahmand.
(Brahmand literally means the egg of Brahman or the cosmic egg in the parlance of science. The Virata Purusha as also Prakriti are stated to have originated from Brahmand. The Virata Purusha is often identified with Brahma, the creator, by his devotees, and alternately as the Vishnu and the Shiva by their respective devotees. Material creation consists of an earth planet with a sun, moon and planetary system in the material space and similar creation in the celestial space.
It is believed by the devotees that the topmost celestial abode belongs to their respective gods viz. Brahma (called Brahmlok), Vishnu (called Vishnulok or Vaikunth) and Shiva (called Shivalok). What we see here is that the Earth has been separated from the celestial space from where the Gods came. So, the bottom line is that GODS CAME FROM SPACE. THAT IS THE REFRAIN.
Battles between good & evil
There are references to battles between the Devas and the Asuras or the Divine & the Devil in almost all ancient texts.
References to Giants exist in ancient literature and tales. Even the Greeks and Norse legends mention the existence of Giants on planet Earth. Interestingly, even before the advent of Christ, Giants find a mention in the GENESIS which is believed to have been written by Moses :
To quote :
“6:1 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, 6:2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
6:3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
6:4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown”.
Indian scriptures describe incidents or happenings in the celestial abode, such as the stories of frequent conflicts between the Asuras (demons) and the Devas (gods).
Acquisition of wisdom & weapons from the gods
The story of Nachiketa of Kathopanishad illustrates how a small boy called Nachiketa landed on the celestial plane of the Yama (the god of death & piety) of his free will and acquired the ultimate knowledge of the soul (atman) from Yama as one of the three boons offered by Yama. Consequently, Nachiketa crossed the mayic realm of death and birth. (b) According to the epic Ramayana, King Dasharath sometimes visited god Indra and accepted his hospitality. (c) The epic Mahabharata describes how Arjuna, during his exile period, travelled to the celestial abode of Devaraj (The king of the gods) Indra and obtained celestial weapons from Indra and other gods.
Mysterious & inexplicable earthly phenomena
Some of the earthly phenomena recorded by venerable sages known for their pursuit of Truth, are beyond phenomenal logic. For example: (a) Shukdev, son of VedaVyas remained for twelve years in the womb of his mother without giving her any discomfort. On the request of his father, VedaVyas, when he came out, he was of the age and the height of a twelve year old boy. Not only that, he was fully absorbed in the Bliss of nirakar brahm (formless God). He didn’t even look to anyone around him. He just walked straight into the forest. (b) As for another example, when the sage VedaVyas was beseeched by his mother Satyavati, the widow-queen of the Kuru dynasty to help the two widow princesses to beget sons to continue the dynastic succession, VedaVyas simply possessed the two queens from a distance without physical contact and they conceived. They gave birth to Pandu (the father of the Pandavas) and Dhritrashtra (the father of the Kauravas). (c) It is also stated in Mahabharata how from the fire of King Drupada’s Yagna emerged Draupadi as an adult princess and Dhristadumnya as an adult prince. Such happenings are beyond any logical explanation, but at the same time cannot be discarded as figment of imagination if one follows the style & manner of the narration, and that too by a sage like VedaVyas who was a stickler for truth. Besides, faith and belief also play a major role here.
Advanced knowledge of medical & other sciences in ancient time
There is ample proof of advanced knowledge in medicine, being prevalent in ancient India. Where and from whom did Sushruta (6th century B.C.) acquire his knowledge? Assuming that medical science was so advanced as to be able to include diagnosis of diabetes and cancer as also other forms of diseases, apart from undertaking complicated surgical procedures, how is it that advancement progressively did not happen and stopped suddenly? Even 4 to 5 centuries ago, medical science in most parts of the world was way behind medical achievements reflected during the period of Sushruta . It is interesting to note that the Hindu pantheon comprises a huge number of Divine entities and lesser gods, with vivid descriptions of almost all gods being akin to human beings. Moreover, each god was associated with some good or power, capability, or characteristic including death, wealth and sex.
Are gods distinctive species from outer space?
It is the view of many that while the existence of God as the SUPREME BEING is not being debated, it being a question of faith and because many mysteries have no logical answer, all our descriptions of the very large number of Gods have evolved following humanity’s interactions with super-beings who had long ago visited our world. It is natural to expect that early humans would have painted/drawn/sculpted and described verbally whatever they had actually seen. Some could be the result of human imagination. It must be accepted that if aliens did actually visit the earth in the past, they naturally would have been really a very advanced race, replete with such advanced scientific knowledge that our human ancestors would not have been able to digest or absorb easily and fully. Many scholars believe that humans had drawn godly forms on the cave walls according to the various specific qualities possessed by each such god.
Dhanwantari, the physician of the Gods, finds a mention in the Vedas and the Puranas, in relation to the samudra manthan, and is credited with imparting medical knowledge which permeated to Sushruta. He is aptly described as holding in one hand the pot of Amrita and medicinal herbs in the other arm.
Vishwakarma is depicted as the architect for physical creation of the universe and earth.
While all deities have been placed in heaven, it is interesting to note that mixing amongst Gods and humans was a very common phenomenon, particularly in the ancient periods. Union of Gods and humans was described at many places in the Vedic literature. So, it is not unlikely that such unions did take place.
References to Vimanas and astras of highly devastating capabilities only tend to project a basis in support of this proposition too.
Now, who were these Gods if they were not aliens? What is mystifying is the disappearance of such God-like creatures from the planet Earth.
Evidence in support of alien theory
While some of our logical conclusions can be derived from our scriptures, we may mention some highly probable evidence of gods’ landing on & residence in earth which would appear to suggest that ALIENS DID VISIT OUR EARTH .
First of all, it is natural to expect that any alien race visiting our planet would be scientifically very advanced in every way. Also, as we mentioned earlier, humans who witnessed such alien invasion were in awe and recorded their observations as they saw them. Events that impacted humans on Earth have been depicted in great detail within the limits of capabilities of the authors and artists.
The following works of scholars in recent times, providing reasonable proofs of visits of alien to Earth are briefly mentioned below:
1. In a series of books called the Earth Chronicles (1st book titled The 12th Planet), Zecharia Sitchin, a renowned archaeologist, refers to excavations in Sumeria (somewhere around Iraq) which threw up tablets of great informative value. The antiquity of the tablets is estimated at 6000 years. The Sumerian Tablets reveal the way Earth was formed through a collision between two celestial planets; and also that a planet called Nibiru in an elliptical orbit years comes into contact with our planet every 3600 years and that how its inhabitants, the Annunaki, who had advanced knowledge and technology, created the human race on Earth by splicing their genes with beings that already existed here. In fact, several religions, legends and myths tell tales of extra-terrestrial beings that somehow intervened in the evolution of life on Earth. According to the mythology, the Annunaki were advanced beings responsible for several monuments on Earth, the moon and Mars. Humans on Earth were genetically altered in order to be turned into slaves for the gods/Annunaki who would then have us mining for gold amongst many other precious minerals. This controversial theory is based on Sitchin’s interpretation of ancient Sumerian texts, with its origin in the Bible, in the book of Genesis. Many other religions and myths describe how atomic explosions and nuclear war had happened thousands of years ago and according to the vimana documents there were even advanced anti-gravitational flying machines in existence as far back as 20,000 years ago.
2. The Great Pyramid of Egypt consists of 2.5 million blocks of stone, some weighing more than 40 tons. Scientists till today have not been able to determine what tools and methods were used to move these huge blocks, with so much precision. It is an engineering enigma, all dimensions being mathematically accurate.
3. Gigantic sarcophagi found in huge vaults. Were they meant for giants?
4. The pyramid top and alignments of some group of pyramids point towards Orion.
5. Sumerian seals describe myriad mysterious figures. Were these a result of experiments?
6. Egyptian gods were half human half animal/birds. Horus had a falcon’s face.
7. Electric battery found in the Sumerian area.
8. Walls made of large blocks of stone fitted perfectly, neatly joined, found in Peru. No technology available today would be able to create that.
9. The Piri Reis Map on ice-free Antarctica strongly suggests that the map was drawn on the basis of aerial survey undertaken several millenniums, if not several lakhs of years ago when Antartica was free of ice and its rivers and grounds were clearly visible.
10. In Peru, spider like and mysterious lines are seen as drawn which are visible only from the sky.
1.As to our first poser in the Introduction whether God is gender neutral, one, many or All-inclusive Whole, formless or with form, with or without attributes, our conclusion is that God as IT has been conceptualized in different religious and philosophical texts, is beyond our perception through the existing five senses. The sages, spiritual Masters, prophets and the Avatars who are believed to have perceived God within or outside of them have invariably awakened their higher senses, often described as the Third Eye.
Having said that, it would be necessary to understand the difference between the concept of monotheism and the concept of all-inclusive integral whole, verily described as ekamevadvitiyam (one without a second). In the former case, God is numerically described as one to the exclusion of all others, meaning thereby that you and me or others can never become God. To monotheists attribution of Godhood to any individual would amount to blasphemy. Since God is described as one which after all is a number, a form is automatically assigned to God, though it is not perceivable by our existing senses. Once God is assigned a number and a form, IT cannot be without attributes. Monotheists of Abrahamic tradition are also inclined to assign masculine gender to God (refer Genesis in Old Testament).
As has been stated above, the concept of Ekamevadvitiyam (one without a second) is clearly distinctive from monotheism in that in the former case, no other entity except God (Brahman) is believed to exist. In other words, the postulate for the subscribers of the all-inclusive God concept is that God alone exists. The rest is illusory. Vedantic concept of God (Brahman) falls in this category. To Vedantists, Brahman has no form, therefore, no gender, no attribute (Brahman is Nirguna), no beginning, no end and is all-inclusive or Purna. It is not One But Whole as entity or matter is outside Brahman.
Polytheism falls clearly outside the purview of God we are dwelling upon either as the Nirguna or as the Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Omniscient.
2. The question whether God is the creator or has been self-evolving and involving cyclically is a matter of perception. When we believe in personal God, we tend to subscribe to the theory of creation of this and other universes together with all living beings by God. When we subscribe to the holistic integral theory of Vedanta, we believe that God self-evolves into myriad forms which we call creation and all those external forms get involved in God what we call dissolution. Swami Vivekananda was of the view that a person’s understanding was directly relatable to his/her spiritual level.
3. As to the question whether gods are distinctive from God, our answer is – yes. On the basis of recent researches, there are reasons to infer, if not to conclude, that gods, so called, were both scientifically and spiritually far more advanced than our primitive ancestors.
4. As to the question whether gods were human, super-human, aliens from space or spiritual entities, a definite answer still eludes us. While the possibility of the gods being alien from outer space cannot be ruled out in view of the ongoing researches some of which have been mentioned above, we cannot also over-rule the likelihood of the gods being human, based on the ancient texts suggesting that they had human parentage, born of the sage Kashyapa and Aditi. It is, however, possible that they were scientifically and spiritually so much more advanced than their contemporary humans that godhood was assigned to them.