A reply to Dr. Zakir Naik

Hindus generally don’t criticise other religions in spite of the fact that Christianity and Islam not only criticise, but demean Hinduism badly. Zakir Naik is only one example. Do Hindus know what is preached in the innumerable churches and mosques across India? I know for sure that Hindu gods are called devils by Christian missionaries. Yet Hindus neither defend their gods nor challenge the Abrahamic dogmas in spite of having a solid philosophical basis for their beliefs, which is lacking in Christianity and Islam.

Some years ago, Zakir Naik had ridiculed Ganapati and thrown a challenge to prove that Ganapati is God. I assume he means by God the Supreme Being that Muslims call Allah.

Now what do we know about Allah?

Foremost, Allah is great and merciful, and the faithful as well as the unfaithful are loudly reminded of it five times a day. He also knows what all human beings are doing, but is separate from them. It is claimed that Allah has communicated his final words to Prophet Mohamed. Those words are in the Quran. Allah declared that Islam alone is true. So, all human beings must follow Islam because other paths are wrong. And they must hurry up, because every human being has only one life.

Those, who do not accept Islam during their lifetime, will be thrown into eternal hellfire where “boiling water will be poured over their heads that not only melts their skin but also the inner parts of their bellies…” (Q22.19-22)

Clearly, here is where Allah’s mercy ends. He does not brook any dissent. Al-Fatah, the first Sura of the Quran, which starts compassionately, ends with: “Oh Allah, guide us to the Right Way. The Way of those whom You have favoured, not of those who have earned Your wrath…”

This means, Allah is merciful only to his followers who are called Muslims and he is wrathful to those who are not Muslims.

Dr. Zakir Naik, I am confident that I got the concept of ‘God’ in Islam right because Christianity has a similar concept. And I dare to claim that it is not true. Can you prove (and this challenge goes also to Christian clerics) that Allah/ God is indeed so unfair and divisive? Can you prove there will be this huge cauldron of fire where billions of people will burn for ever after Judgment Day? Do these claims of “eternal hellfire for unbelievers” not rather have the purpose to keep the flock in check? To divide and rule?

There are about 2 billion Christians, who are told they have to remain Christians, otherwise they can’t go to heaven. And then there are about 2 billion Muslims who are told that they have to remain Muslims, otherwise they can’t go to paradise. Both religions had plenty of time to sort out which one is true, but they did not do it. Why? Because they cannot prove it. They can only make claims and counterclaims and fight among themselves, between Muslims and Christians and with heathens or infidels. They do this for the last 2000 years.

Under these circumstances, can anyone claim that Islam or Christianity is beneficial for humanity? Is it not time to have a thorough check of what REALLY is the truth?

In regard to the absolute Truth, Dr. Zakir Naik, your ancestors, the Indian Rishis, made valuable contributions and you can be proud of them. In ancient times, long, long before Christianity or Islam appeared on the scene, the Rishis had a very mature understanding of Brahman which would be ‘Truth’ or ‘Supreme Being’ or ‘God’ in English. Brahman is not personal, not a superhuman entity somewhere in heaven, not male or female, not jealous of other gods, not revengeful if ignored, but it is Sat-Chit-Ananda, the conscious, one essence in all names and forms – like the one ocean is the essence of all the waves.

The Rishis realised that this universe is a wrong perception of Brahman. They called it Maya, not really true, only apparently true.

For anything to qualify as absolute Truth, it has to be always – past, present and future – and it has to be self-evident.

The Rishis came to the conclusion that nothing fulfils these criteria except pure (= thought free) consciousness. This consciousness is here and now, always, everywhere. Yet we miss it because we focus only on things or thoughts, emotions, etc.  – like, when we focus a torchlight in a room only on the furniture and miss the empty space. Infinite space, which throbs with life and love is actually a good metaphor for Sat-Chit-Ananda – the highest truth that underlies names and forms (nama-rupa).

Science has meanwhile discovered the Sat-aspect of the truth. Oneness is there. To discover that this Oneness is also aware (Chit) and blissful (Ananda) scientists would need to turn to their own consciousness to research further instead of looking outside. Let us see whether the scientists will support also the claim of the Rishis that this whole manifestation is alive and full of bliss.

In one point, however, you are right, Dr. Zakir Naik: There is only one Truth, one God, which the wise call by different names. But the nature of it you got wrong. It does not send non-Muslims or non-Christians eternally into hellfire. The Supreme Being is indeed merciful and great.

But you wanted to know whether Ganapati is a deity.

May I explain a bit of your ancestors’ tradition which struck me as most profound when I came to know of it?

Sanatana Dharma is not only about intellectually knowing Sat-Chit-Ananda, but about realising it. Since Brahman is all pervading, it must be also in us (Ayam Atma Brahman). So we can tap and feel it. For this, however, we need to follow certain rules. We need to purify ourselves, lead a moral life, speak the truth, etc. To eat plenty of meat and have plenty of sex is not conducive for this purification. Yet one factor is very conducive: Bhakti – love for God.

Here Hindu Dharma brings in Ishwara.

The concept of Ishwara is close to the Abrahamic notion of a personal God but more benevolent. There is of course no eternal hell for unbelievers. Everyone gets chance after chance in life after life till he realises that he is not a separate wave, but one with the ocean.

Ishwara is God with attributes and has innumerable aspects, as this universe has innumerable aspects or human nature has innumerable aspects. These aspects are personified in different deities and the devotee can choose the one who is dearest to him. It helps to develop love for the invisible Truth – for example through Ganapati.

Those Devas are mistakenly much maligned by Christianity and Islam. They are not separate entities but kind of access points to the one Brahman, which is otherwise unimaginable. It is possible to feel familiar with them, to love them, to talk with them. And the scriptures leave no doubt that devas are ultimately Brahman.

And here, Dr. Naik, you may get an answer to your question whether Ganapati is ultimately the Supreme Being.

The Ganapati Atharvashirsa Upanishad, which is part of the Atharva Veda, states: “Tvameva kevalam karta si, tvameva kevalam dharta si, tvameva kevalam harta si.

Tvameva sarvam khalvidam brahmasi, tvam saksadatma si nityam.”

It means: You alone are the creator, you alone are the sustainer, you alone are the annihilator. All this is Brahman and you are that Brahman. You are indeed the Atman eternally.

This declaration, however, is not unique for Ganapati. It is said for other deities, too.

Yet the fact that this is written in a sacred text, is not proof enough. There are plenty of sacred texts in this world and if everything in them is blindly accepted as true, we end up with all kind of proclaimed truths which are not true. We need to verify what is declared as truth on the touchstone of reason, intuition and experience. If it contradicts all of these, it is not worth believing it and certainly not dying for it.

The proof that all deities are Brahman is because only Brahman really exists. Brahman is like the ocean. The waves are not separate from it. The name with which one worships the Divine, does not matter. What matters is how much devotion one feels. The greater the devotion, the more miracles can happen. Ganapati is loved by millions of Hindus worldwide. He is the door through which they try to access Sat-Chit-Ananda.

Sanatana Dharma is very ancient. And yet the Rishis had such deep insights, for example that the world is a wrong perception of what is really true, like seeing a snake at dusk when in fact there is only a rope. Westerners who ridiculed Hindus because they believe that the world is an illusion keep now quiet as science supports the Hindu view.

Meanwhile NASA scientists have detected the building blocks of DNA in meteorites. The Max Planck Institute in Germany published the first picture of the whole universe. It had an oval shape. Could it be possible that those who ridicule Hindus for worshipping a Shiva lingam might soon rethink their attitude, as well, lest they embarrass themselves?

Great men have come and gone in India’s ancient civilisation. Some have been made into gods. There is nothing wrong with it. The Divine is in all.

It should make you reflect, Dr. Naik that science keeps validating the insights of the Rishis, for example the mindboggling age of the universe, or the ultimate Oneness of all.

Attempts to vilify Indian tradition by you and others are successful because the British weaned Indians away from their tradition and most people know little about it. Yet if you are sincere, you will realise that the wisdom of your ancestors scores high over the worldview and the mind set of Abrahamic religions. The attitude of “We alone are right and you go to hell if you don’t accept our religion” is doing great harm to humanity. It may be helpful for world dominion, but do you want to live in a world where everyone has to wear a straight-jacket?

If I were you, Dr. Naik, I would be worried especially about one thing: what if you wake up after death and there is NO paradise waiting for you? What if all those Jihadis, who were inspired by you, cursed you after realising there was no paradise for them? What if you are taking birth again in another form and reap the fruits of your actions of this life where you consciously or unconsciously distorted the truth? Rebirth is not only mentioned in the Indian texts. There is also plenty of evidence for it – over 3000 cases are documented in the archive of Virginia University.

Dr. Naik, I don’t know how deeply you believe what you preach. I know from personal experience how effective brainwashing in childhood can be. But I also know that it is possible to get out of it, and it seems the older one is, the easier.

For me, it was a great relief to come out of the Christian religious straight jacket and I would encourage you to also genuinely enquire into the truth. Your concept of God is not Truth. You quote a book as support. Truth does not fit into a book. Truth is THAT WHAT TRULY IS.

Your ancestors, the Indian Rishis, spoke from experience, not from book knowledge.

Yours Sincerely

Maria Wirth

325 comments

  1. Suchita Singh · · Reply

    I hope people read this and understand it for themselves! I dont wish to talk ill about any religion ! But I do feel very privileged and proud to be born in this great land. I am a proud hindu and Bharatiya 🙏🏻

  2. Why **ALLAHA Choose Uneducated Muhammed** to reveal QURAN, ALLHA should have better choosen some body who could write. Or could have asked MUHAMMED to learn writting before he revels him such a secret code…….
    Muhammed narrated Quran, the written version we have now is corrupted by the scribers who wrote QURAN much latter after the death of Md – piece by piece as much they recalled from memory as a result the whole messages got corrupted, that is why the muslim umma is confused.

    1. You need to learn more about how Quran was complied at the time of Prophet Muhammad SAW and later in the eras of Caliphs. You seems ignorant about this thatswhy I left it to you to go and read that first coz if you dont know that then you have no right to raise a question over it.
      2nd thing is, it’s the choice of Allah-The creator, to whom and why He revealed his message. Allah says in the Quran, Had he revealed his message to a literate Muhammad SAW, they(non believers) would have call it Muhammad’s own fabrication and not word from The Almighty. Nobody at that time raise question over Prophet Muhammad in this regard because Prophet Muhammad SAW was known to every body around that he couldn’t read or write. Also he was famous among his people for his honesty, trustworthiness and truthfulness(صادق آمین)

      1. Quran was revealed by an angel. Prophet Muhammad was so frightened by the sight of this angel that he was in bed with fever. Only after the encouragement from his wife who said that he would be a prophet, Muhammad could face the angel. So do you accept the revelations of an angel as the word of God? In the old testament it is said that the angels corrupted men and misguided them. In the Bible and Quran too there is the story how an angel became Satan. Only the revelations from the Supreme Light should be accepted as the word of God. Such revelations are received by great sages who have transcended heaven, the abode of angels. Heaven is not the final destination of man. It is a field of pleasure controlled by the spiritual overlords in heaven. Quran and Bible talk about heaven where God will deliver the final judgement. So the god of Quran and Bible could be an angel sitting in heaven.

  3. Maynemes Hawwar Sharad aym and Itoophiya and afirka and oromiya alive you Dr Zakir Naik

  4. Maria,

    You have so beautifully explained the concept of Self/Brahman, personal God, deities, etc. If you are still a seeker, please try below meditation technique:

    Technique to feel peace and joy all the time in life: “Praise and Watch (PW)” technique (developed on 21st April 2022 by Gopal Krishna, an IIT Kanpur alumnus, after 24 years of research and experimentation with all kinds of existing and self-developed meditation techniques from 1998 onward) is completely soothing and effective in calming any thought as compared to other meditation techniques and can be done anytime in lying, sitting, standing, walking, running, etc. positions with even open eyes.

    In Praise and Watch (PW) technique, whenever any unwanted thought comes in the mind, just praise the unwanted thought by saying once, twice or thrice (twice or thrice needed when the same unwanted thought keeps coming again and again to the mind) “very good thought”/”awesome thought”/”excellent thought”/”great thought”/etc. and then watch it as if you are watching a video or an object. The unwanted thought then gets removed from the mind after doing so and one experiences the peace of silence/thoughtless awareness thereupon one can continue being in this state of silence/thoughtless awareness as long as it remains (in case one is doing it as thoughtless awareness meditation or wants to just relax) or focus on doing the work one is doing. To keep it interesting, one should use different one out of 2-3 praise phrases like “very good thought”/”awesome thought”/”excellent thought”/”great thought”/etc. at different times rather than using the same praise phrase all the time.

    Praise and Watch (PW) technique uses fundamental psychological insight that praising any unwanted thought (ultimate positivity towards it) makes it lose its power over our mind while condemning any unwanted thought (negativity towards it) makes it even more powerful or trying to be neutral/non-judgmental towards it (as taught in Vipassana or Witnessing technique) does not work either in stressful situations (when unfortunately the technique is the most needed) for most people because human mind is extremely habituated by birth to feel positive or negative rather than neutral/non-judgmental towards thoughts and experiences represented by them.

    Do Praise and Watch (PW) technique whenever you need to remove any unwanted thought from the mind whether you are lying, sitting, standing, walking, running, etc. with even open eyes. Also do it for 15+ min daily (more like 30 min or 1-2 hours daily if you are stressed or just enjoy it as thoughtless awareness meditation or are pursuing spiritual enlightenment) in sitting position with closed eyes as thoughtless awareness meditation and while lying on the bed for sleep to get sound sleep. One should do Praise and Watch (PW) technique as a sitting meditation on a chair or in sitting posture with spine erect and vertical and eyes closed to have maximum benefits – the spine should be erect and vertical so that spiritual energy (Kundalini) rises up the spine towards brain and other higher centres in the spine without any obstruction.

    Please share Praise and Watch (PW) technique with at least 10 people personally and on all your social media profiles, pages and groups so that together we completely eliminate all negativities like murder, rape, bullying, suicide, stress, etc. from the world at the earliest. You may like my facebook page: facebook.com/gopalonsarvodayamission to stay updated on this Mission of creating a blissful world for everyone for ever on our beautiful planet Earth.

  5. Thank you so much 🙏

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