Q. 548 – God and germs

A: God is not ‘in the  human body’. The human body is name and form of Brahman. Similarly, bacteria are name and form of Brahman. There is ONLY Brahman in reality.

At the level of appearance (world etc.), God (Īśvara ) provides an interim explanation of the laws that govern the seeming creation.  One of these laws is that bacteria can infect bodies and affect their working, even to the extent of ‘killing’ them. But God, bodies and bacteria do not exist as separate entities in reality. They are all Brahman.

A: You asked for an explanation regarding God. Everything regarding humans, world, gods, action, etc. relates to vyavahāra – the empirical world. From the point of view of absolute reality, all those things are mithyā; their ‘existence’ is Brahman alone. Advaita itself is mithyā but it provides interim explanations for those seekers who are still seeking. In case it is my wording that you don’t understand, when I said that ‘Ishvara provides an interim explanation’, perhaps I should have said ‘The concept of Ishvara is something used by Advaita to provide an interim explanation’. Does that make it clearer?

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