A friend of mine asked me who is a better person, a believer or an atheist.
This question evoked some thoughts in me.
These two phenomena are dependent on our beliefs. But being good is not so. It is a matter of your heart rather than your belief.
There are many cheaters and wicked people among those who pose themselves as great believers. Similarly, there are believers, who are good people too. In the same way, there are good and bad people among the atheists. These are two totally different things that are incomparable.
When a person is in pain, good people empathize with them and try to reduce their pain. This requires a responsive heart. There is no question of believing or not believing involved in this. The question is simply whether we are human or not.
If a person is filled with compassion, he will get close to God in spite of being an atheist. A selfish person can never reach God even with his countless prayers. So the point here is whether a person is selfish or unselfish. His belief or disbelief in God is immaterial.
Can a person live without selfishness? No. A person has to be a little selfish to live, but that should be in limits. It is bad to loot others even after our belly is full.
Nowadays, man is living in such a pitiable state that he simply does not know when his hunger is satiated and how much he needs to eat to appease his hunger. That is why, filled with utter selfishness and illusion that everything should belong to him, man is lost in the wilderness not knowing which way to go .
People will achieve nothing by believing or not believing in God. All our politicians are believers. But what is the use? Every conman is a believer in our society. God does not like this type of devotion. Being humane is better than our devotion in God and our beliefs.
God will come searching for the one whose heart is full of empathy and who can rise to the level of feeling others’ pain as his own. Belief in God without humanity is useless and so is devotion without values.
Swami Vivekananda once said, “Even if a single dog is hungry in this world, I will take a birth to feed it.”
Because of this compassion, he was able to win the heart of Lord Sri Ramakrishna. He became one of the close followers of God.
Unfortunately, in the present society, compassion and belief in God exist as two opposite poles. Those who are not able to see God in fellow human beings can never become true devotees.
The real question is not whether you are an atheist or believer, it is whether you are humane or not.
I said the same thing to my friend. What do you say?
All rights reserved. This article has been translated by Lakshmi Sowjanya, which was originally posted in teluguyogi.net on October 1, 2009. The content or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express permission of the publisher.