Ya, Jah, Ra, YHWH, Jehovah, Brahman, Elohim, El Shaddai, Adonai, Zeus, Theos, Logos, Krishna, Om, Heavenly Father, Divine Mother, Ishvara, Paramatman, Purusha, Allah, Sat and Lord – these are just a few of the more popular names in the attempt to label the original source and substance, creator of all the universe most generically referred to simply as God. With so many to choose from how do we know which one is the right One?
Since the beginning of time man has sought to understand the cause of his own existence and the purpose of his life. We cannot prove that we exist to another and yet we know that we exist. Even if all your senses ceased to function you would still know yourself as “I.” Most rational people will acknowledge that they aren’t self-created. But if we are not responsible for our own sense of existence, who is? That Being, known as God, is man’s attempt to explain how we came to be. The world we live in today is full of all sorts of self-proclaimed “religious” people but how many have actually even taken the time to question where did the name “God” came from.
The English word God comes in many variations such as gud, gudis and gott, which are the Gothic, Scandinavian & German versions. These words are all claimed to derive from the Proto-Germanic word “g(h)udan” of which its meaning and etymology are not quite certain. There is still debate but the general consensus is that this word came from a Proto-Indo-European word known as “ghutom.” This word was gender neutral and the word god didn’t take on “masculine” influence until the later evolution of Christianity. Ghutom is accepted by most historical scholars to come from either the Proto-Indo-Aryan words “gheu” or “ghau” which mean “to pour or libate” or “to call or invoke” respectively. The Indians contest that the natives of India, known as the Aryans, were responsible for theses words as part of their rituals to invoke God’s presence. The word “Aryan” means noble and the word Aryavarta is an ancient name for India, which means, “abode of the noble, holy or excellent ones.” There is also suggestion that these words are an extension of the Sanskrit word “huta,” which has the connotation of “having been sacrificed” or “one who sacrifices are made to.”
All of this is great food for thought but what do we really know about this creator known as God? The vast majority of mankind across the globe from every religion, nation, culture and language has their beliefs about God. Although they all may have different stories, legends and history they all seem to express similar qualities of this Creator as being benevolent, merciful, loving, eternal, omnipresent, omniscient & omnipotent. So how could so many various philosophies all share common descriptions about God and yet adamantly disagree on God’s real name?
Part of the problem is that the majority of religious followers who grudgingly hold on to their religious beliefs do not speak from their own direct and personal experience of the Supreme Being but rather from the holy scriptures of their religion and/ or teachings of their holy figure’s experience. In other words, many “religious” people are willing to defend, argue and even kill for a belief upon which they truly have no ground to stand on. This is the same thinking and mentality that lead to people being burned as witches, scientists being beheaded for their discoveries and the many wars being fought in God’s name.
Ironically, the holy figures that actually claim to have experienced the Divine for themselves all seem to say the same things. Every divine saint may play different roles for mankind in smaller or greater fashion but their message is consistent. Each figure may have poetically, prophetically and metaphorically put his or her own twist on the Creator but in essence it’s the same teaching! That teaching most greatly seems to be that we are all souls made in the image and likeness of the Creator and thus perfect in essence. Our only purpose is to come to realize this for ourselves through spiritual evolution and conscious choice! Look at how similar their teachings were:
• “Peace comes from within do not seek it without.” Buddha (Buddhism)
• “At the center of your being, you have the Answer.” Lao-Tse (Taoism)
• “The best richness is the richness of the soul.” Muhammed (Islam)
• “Behold the kingdom of God is within you.” Jesus (Christianity)
• “Still your mind in me, still yourself in me and without a doubt you shall be united with me, Lord of Love, dwelling in your heart.” Krishna (Hinduism)
• “I salute the light within your eyes where the whole universe dwells. For when you are at that center within you and I am at that place within me, we shall be one!” Chief Crazy Horse (Oglala Sioux Indians)
• “Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a Spirit is manifest in the Laws of the Universe.” Albert Einstein
In spite of whatever historical evidence may be presented, there will be those still unready to release their traditional belief systems. That is fine. Continue to hold on to what you are comfortable with but ask yourself “do I really know God personally”? If you sincerely ask the Source to reveal Himself to you He will set you on the path to find Truth. However, you must be humble and open-minded that the Creator may present Himself in ways that you may not have expected. When it is in your heart that you desire to know God before anything else, you will come to know from direct experience the same Truth that all enlightened souls understand. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter what religion you practice or what name you use to refer to God. Most religions agree that the Creator is indefinable. All names He has been given have come from man. How can the One Source of all things possibly have only one name when He is the Source of all names?
God is the God of all! Not only is He the same God of all religions, He is the One God of all times, of all mankind and even the God of all animals, plants and matter. And while there are still some who think we are the center of universe and may not believe in life on other planets, He is still also the God of all planets, solar systems, galaxies and the universe – the Alpha and the Omega! There is nothing that exists that doesn’t have its life endowed from this Absolute Consciousness. The One has become many through nature and the many must ultimately return to the One!