The Chicago-Prashnottar: 56-57 Questions & Answers

Published: 10.07.2011
Updated: 10.07.2011

56. Question:

Has God any material body as shown by your argument?


There are no religionists in the world, who believe that God has a material body.

57. Question:

What religions do believe in a personal God?


We, the Jains, believe that one who has attained salvation while living with his material body is a God. It is written in the Tauret that God ate bread at the house of Abraham and that he had a. wrestling with Jacob. It shows that God has a body. Anandgiri—the disciple of Shankar writes in the beginning of the second chapter of Shankar-digvijaya that He is all-knowing. Anand-giri writes that when Nārad found that there had sprung up a variety of imaginary creeds and that the ancient religion had disappeared he went to Brahma and addressed him thus:—"Sire, Thy ancient religion has disappeared and in its place many a fanciful creed has sprung up. Something must be done to remove this state of affairs.'” On hearing this Brahma pondered over the matter a good deal and then accompanied by his sons, friends and devotees left his country and arrived at the abode of Shiva. As they approached they beheld Shiva as a radiance of millions of suns concentrated in one place but perceptible as the coolness of millions of moons. They saw he had five faces, the moon was his crown appearing as lightning above the tuft of hair. Parvati was sitting on his left side. Such was Mahadeo the Lord of all. Brahma made an obeisance to him and said, 0 Mahadeo, thou art omniscient, the Lord of all the world, the witness of all, the pervader of all, the first cause of all. This quotation shows that God has a body. If God had no body, how could there be five faces. This does not show that God is without body. If God has a body and is omnipresent, then his body alone will cover the whole world and another world will be required to contain all other objects. If you say that God pervades the universe by his spirit that has yet to be proved. We too believe our Bhagvan to be omnipresent by reason of his knowledge. But your position should not be incompatible with the writings of your Vedas. In the Vedas, God is said to be omnipresent by his body. "His eyes all over the universe, His faces everywhere, His arms are outstretched all over the world, He is the beginning of the whole world.” This quotation from the Vedas shows that God pervades the universe in his material body. It being so, the fallacy previously pointed out, applies to this statement. God is not therefore omnipresent. Nor is your statement that God is omniscient, established. Why has he created us who do not believe that He is the creator of the world and act in opposition to Him? If you say that we obtain fruits according to the deeds performed by us in previous lives, then the need of God as a mediator is altogether gone. When God cannot give us anything without our previously performed actions, then God has no independence. We shall reap as we sow. If you say that God does what he likes then no one knows what He will do. Perhaps he might send the virtuous to hell and the wicked to heaven. If you say that God is just and dispenses fruits to men according to their deeds then the same fallacy as heretofore pointed out comes in. The statement that God is everlasting is equally untenable for one that is everlasting, remains unchanged in all times. If He is everlasting then may be asked whether nature creates the world or no.

If you say that it is the nature of God to create the world, then it will prove that God will keep on perpetually creating the world i.e. He will never cease creating as He is endowed with the nature that always creates. If you say that it is not His nature to create the world, then God will never be in a position to create it. If God has an eternal nature to create, then there would be no Pralaya or dissolution of the universe because it is not God's nature to destroy. If you say that God's nature is twofold creative as well as destructive, then no world will ever be created or destroyed for two such powers in opposition to each other will never abide simultaneously. If they do, the world would neither be created nor destroyed, for when the creative power is creating the destructive power will be working havoc or vice versa.

This only leads one to consider that what we believe is true i.e. the world has neither been created by any one nor will it ever be destroyed that is eternal, as we hold. If you ask what fallacy there is in the statement that God creates and destroys the world when he is moved by creative or destructive desires then the powers of the God will be considered as non-eternal. If it is so, God is also non-eternal because God is not separated from his powers. If you maintain that His powers are separate from Him, then too the world will never be created or destroyed by reason of these powers being eternal and God will be proved as having done nothing, for, when God is separate from His powers, He is consequently unable to do anything. How will He be able to create the world? And who will be the material cause of the powers? This will only prove the non-existence of God, for, what is God stripped of His powers. He will be as imaginary as a flower in the clouds. Who will in such a case be the creator of the world?


The Chicago-Prashnottar

Translator & Publisher:
Atmanand Jain Pustak Pracharak Mandal, Roshan Mohalla, Agra.

Edition: 1918 (1st Edition - 500 books)

Edited Online Edition: HereNow4U

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  1. Body
  2. Brahma
  3. Omniscient
  4. Vedas
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