How God is rational and reciprocal — and is more

Understanding God is most difficult because he is the biggest reality in all of existence. By definition, he is supreme and is therefore superior to our intellectual conceptions, including conceptions such as rationality and reciprocity. 

Rationality: Rationality permeates the universe and enables scientists to discover various laws of nature, thereby laying the ground for them to make astonishing technological developments. The rationality in nature reflects the rationality in the one who is the source of nature: God. Rationality is God’s chosen way of having material nature function, but he’s not restricted to that way of functioning. And his trans-rational potency is manifested whenever he performs miracles. Thus, normally the law of gravity exhibits the rationality with which God has permeated the universe. On special occasions, however, he chooses to suspend that law, as when he lifts the Govardhan Hill. Such incidents, which are sometimes called miracles, are not against science; they are above science. 

Reciprocity: God is reciprocal, as stated in the Bhagavad-gita (04.11). Yet his reciprocity is not bound to be mathematically proportional. Consider the saying: if we take one step towards God, he takes a thousand steps towards us. Thus, for some people, he may choose to reciprocate extraordinarily with even one small act of devotion. For example, Ajamila chanted just one name of Narayana and was saved from immense suffering, which would have resulted from his negative karma and given a second chance when he reformed himself. 

Harmonizing God’s manifesting and superseding various attributes is his omni-benevolent grace. In bestowing his grace, he can be both rational and reciprocal — and he can go beyond both too. By understanding this, we can relish his glory both with our head and our heart. 

One-sentence summary:

God is both rational and reciprocal, yet is not limited by rationality or reciprocity.

Think it over:

  • How is God both rational and more?
  • How is God both reciprocal and more?
  • How can we harmonize God’s manifesting and superseding various attributes?


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1 Comment

  1. It is a thought- provoking article. It illuminates a truly promising way for understanding God.

    Rationality points out to reason; Reciprocity points out to Love.

    When the reason is properly guided and served in celebrating the freedom of love, we can then see wonderful colorful blossoming of life.

    Thank you very much for a magnificent article.

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