Discovering God in the Gaps
(Vinod Anand)

Consider three common scenarios:

(1) A lady is sick for a longtime with a chronic disease. Despite unsparing efforts by her family and best medical expertise, there is no improvement in her condition,

(2) a man toils very bard at his work. But his income is meager and not enough to support his family. Despite his best efforts at finding additional source of income or another job, his financial situation does not improve

(3) Scientists have been struggling to figure out how matter came into existence. Two scientists propose a theoretical particle that gives mass to matter which is named as Higgs boson particle after the theorists who proposed it.

Now the scientists are carrying out experiments at Cern laboratory in Geneva to actually verify the existence of such a particle. The common thread in the above three scenarios is the existence of a certain gap in each of them that is not being breached despite best efforts by the concerned people.

In scene 1, there is a gap between the efforts of the patient’s family and doctors on the one hand and the desired well-being of the lady on the other.

In scene 2, there is a gap between the man’s financial needs and his efforts.

In scene 3, scientists are stumped by the gap between matter and its origin. We are commonly faced with various kinds of gaps.

When we find that we cannot breach the gap despite our best efforts, we tend to take recourse to a concept of God that covers that particular gap. For example, in scene 1, the sick Jady and her family members pray to God in the belief that He is the only one now who can save her. In scene 2, the man starts thinking that it is probably God’s wish that his financial situation be what it is. Yet, he may pray to God whom he regards as Almighty. In scene 3, scientists end up naming that mysterious particle, of all things, “God particle”, though their rational and scientific minds may not accept the concept of God!

People taking recourse to the concept of God are classified into four categories as per the Bhagwad Gita. The lady in scene 1 is an ‘aart’, a sufferer who is desirous of relief from her suffering. The man in scene 2 is an ‘artharthi’ who desires some worldly benefit. Most believers may fall into these two categories: They believe God to be someone who is omnipotent and kind enough to respond to prayers.

There are two other categories of God-believing people described in the Gita. “Jidnyasu” are those who have quest for knowledge. They believe there is something more than the perceptible world. They are curious to know about it. So, they say God is the Creator.

Cern scientists in Geneva say “God particle” gives matter its mass. Thus, for most people who fall in one of the three categories described above, the realm of the unknown and unattained belongs to God of the gaps. But there is the fourth category of people. It is called ‘jnani’, the Self-realized.

They are those who have understood the real nature of existence and have ceased to see any duality. Hence they perceive no gap any longer. They are in the state of ‘Aham Brahmasmi’. There is no God apart from them. In other words, they themselves have become God!

Author's Bio: 

VINOD K.ANAND: A BRIEF PROFILE

Born in 1939, and holding Master’s Degree both in Mathematics (1959) and Economics (1961), and Doctorate Degree in Economics (1970), Dr. Vinod K.Anand has about forty five years of teaching, research, and project work experience in Economic Theory (both micro and macro), Quantitative Economics, Public Economics, New Political Economy, and Development Economics with a special focus on economic and social provisions revolving around poverty, inequality, and unemployment issues, and also on informal sector studies. His last assignment was at the National University of Lesotho (Southern Africa) from 2006 to 2008. Prior to that he was placed as Professor and Head of the Department of Economics at the University of North-West in the Republic of South Africa, and University of Allahabad in India, Professor at the National University of Lesotho, Associate Professor at the University of Botswana, Gaborone in Botswana, and at Gezira University in Wad Medani, Sudan, Head, Department of Arts and Social Sciences, Yola in Nigeria, Principal Lecturer in Economics at Maiduguri University in Nigeria, and as Lecturer at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in Nigeria. Professor Anand has by now published more than 80 research papers in standard academic journals, authored 11 books, supervised a number of doctoral theses, was examiner for more than twenty Ph.D. theses, and has wide consultancy experience both in India and abroad, essentially in the African continent. This includes holding the position of Primary Researcher, Principal Consultant etc. in a number of Research Projects sponsored and funded by Universities, Governments, and International Bodies like, USAID, IDRC, and AERC. His publications include a variety of themes revolving around Economic Theory, New Political Economy, Quantitative Economics, Development Economics, and Informal Sector Studies. His consultancy assignments in India, Nigeria, Sudan, Botswana, and the Republic of South Africa include Non-Directory Enterprises in Allahabad, India, Small Scale Enterprises in the Northern States of Nigeria, The Absolute Poverty Line in Sudan, The Small Scale Enterprises in Wad Medani, Sudan, Micro and Small Scale Enterprises in Botswana, The Place of Non-Formal Micro-Enterprises in Botswana, Resettlement of a Squatter Community in the Vryburg District of North West Province in the Republic of South Africa, Trade and Investment Development Programme for Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises: Support for NTSIKA in the Republic of South Africa, and Development of the Manufacturing Sector in the Republic of South Africa’s North West Province: An Approach Based on Firm Level Surveys. Professor Anand has also extensively participated in a number of conferences, offered many seminars, participated in a number of workshops, and delivered a variety of Refresher Lectures at different venues both in India and abroad. Dr. Anand was placed at the prestigious Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS), Shimla in the State Himachal Pradesh, India as a Fellow from 2001 to 2003, and had completed a theoretical and qualitative research project/monograph on the Employment Profile of Micro Enterprises in the State of Himachal Pradseh, India.