How important is God in a civil society?

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Essay Contest for UPSC Exam for IAS

At some or the other point of our lives, we all wonder about the very existence of our
own self. A lot of questions often pop into our mind - How we really came into this
world? What is our real identity (beyond the once that we share in this life)? What was
there when nothing existed and what will be there when nothing will exist?
Undoubtedly, there are many scientific theories that are developed to get the answer to
these questions but after a certain threshold even science fails to explain certain things.
Eventually, spirituality begins at that point.
We, human beings are considered as the top of the creation and the almighty God is our
creator. Since the very beginning of the formation of our societies, it has been a holy
ritual to worship God. Many saints and mystics came and taught us through their own
experiences, the way to thank and realize the presence of God. In different eras, there
were different mediums to do so and from the teachings of the saints it has been
summarized in our holy books i.e., ‘The Bible’, ‘The Quran’, ‘The Guru Granth Sahib’, ‘The
Bhagavad Gita’ or any other religious text, that there is only one Lord and the way to
realize his presence is within all of us. But unfortunately, we have restricted ourselves to
only the literal meanings of those texts and instead of implementing the teachings in our
own lives we started making our own interpretations.
It is very ironical that in today’s world we, who have become so much multi-tasking and
advanced in each and every aspect of our lives, have completely forgotten the
importance of spirituality. We take out time for completing each and every task but to
thank the lord with the blessings of whom, all of this has become possible, becomes our
least priority. Whenever we face a sorrow or go through a miserable situation, it is the
God whom we criticize first and when experiencing joy, not a word of appreciation
comes from us.
In the name of worshipping too, we are far from being honest. Many of us just pray or
worship for the sake of our own false satisfaction as a formality. And many of us just do it
because of the superstitious beliefs that arise out of fear. This is a bitter reality of our
society now-a-days where we have just constrained the presence of God to idols and
shrines. Holy places do have their own significance because they are associated with our
saints and mystics who went there to meditate. But we interpret this as a ritual and
believe that God realization can only be done if we go to these places. Moulding the
importance of God realization according to our own comfort and interpretations has
made us so naïve that we try to find shortcuts even in building this sacred relationship
with the almighty.

In the marathon of fulfilling our desires we have come so far and certainly this is not
going to end because mind is insatiable. Besides fulfilling our responsibilities it is also
necessary for us to understand that the true peace of mind lies in the realization of God
and to live in his will. We should realize that if we are a parent and our children do not
have time for us then we feel very bad. Similarly, we are also the children of God and if
we don’t have time for him how could he be happy. In order, to be truly a good human
being and ultimately the society to prosper, it’s necessary to peek within ourselves.
There are some things which cannot be explained using words and can only be
experienced to realize their true importance. We cannot explain the importance of Love,
Humanity, Kindness, Compassion, Care etc. because these are all feelings that can only
be felt and without which we will cease to exist. The realization of God is also a feeling
that can only be experienced through the practice of meditation. Amidst our busy
schedules, sitting quietly in a corner in the remembrance of the lord is the least that we
can do to thank him for all he has given to us.
Self-realization comes before God realization. Therefore, we need to introspect upon our
actions and should take the first step towards realizing the importance of God in our lives
because while getting human birth, we got his blessing to reach him within ourselves. He
is right there, with all the answers to our questions. We just need to realize!


-Jatin Sethi

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