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Atheist Ends Up Thinking Of God More Than A Believer

The Hindu Puranas talk about the story of Jaya and Vijaya, who were the gatekeepers of Bhagavan Vishnu and who were cursed by the four Kumaras — Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana, and Sanatkumara, all mind-born sons of the four-faced God Brahma — to take birth in the mortal world.

They were given the choice of being born as devotees of Bhagavan for seven lifetimes or being born as haters or enemies of Bhagavan Vishnu for three lifetimes. They opted for being born as haters of Bhagavan as they could not even think of spending seven lifetimes separate from their beloved Bhagavan.

 As a result, they were born first as Hiranyakashipu and Hiranyaksha. Hiranyaksha was killed by the incarnation of Bhagavan Vishnu as Varaha, a boar. Hiranyakashipu was killed by another incarnation of Bhagavan Vishnu, as Narasimha, a man-lion. In the second birth, Jaya and Vijaya were born as Ravana and Kumbhakarna and were killed by the incarnation of Bhagavan Vishnu as Sri Ramachandra. In their third and last birth, they were born as Shishupala and Dantavakra and were killed by the incarnation of Bhagavan Vishnu as Sri Krishna. Finally, they returned to the abode of Bhagavan Vishnu as the gatekeepers.

It is notable that as the haters of Bhagavan Vishnu in three births, Jaya Vijaya remembered and took the name of the Bhagavan, probably more than most devotees of their time. They hated Bhagavan in their cursed lifetimes and were thus obsessed with the Bhagavan. By saying emphatically and repeatedly that they would not take the name of Bhagavan, they were doing exactly what they said they would not, albeit in a negative and a more intense manner. The moral of this story is that an atheist has to and ends up thinking of God more than a devotee could ever imagine!

An agnostic or atheist, on the other hand, has to constantly defend or justify one’s position as a non-believer and has to constantly think of why God does not exist. In the end, the atheists and agnostics end up doing exactly what Jaya-Vijaya did: constantly thinking of God. This means that the human condition or human existence cannot do without thinking about the Divine and one’s connection with the Divine.

SourcePrabuddha Bharata February 2020 Issue – page 13 – 14.