A sense of enquiry is inherent in all of us and is not the prerogative of Nachiketas alone. Finding answers to philosophical questions is sometimes beyond even a mystic like Bhule Shah who responded with a disarming reply, “Bulle ki jaana main kon” when he was asked who are you?
Whenever egg-heads get into a thoughtful or pensive mood, the question about the divine presence always crops up. Even the laymen ponderously assert that there must be a power that controls the universe.
Confronted with the metaphysical question whether God exists or not, the respondents generally tend to fall into four groups: The rationalists take the lead and confidently assert that there was no creation. This universe began with a big bang and it has always been there “If we say that God has always been, why not save a step and conclude that the universe has always been”-Carl Sagan.
The pantheistic spiritualists, on the other hand, proclaim the world is unreal and the only reality is the Alm-ighty (Brahm satyam jagan mithya ,Brahm jivo naparah-Shankarachrya) I am God and God is everywhere (aham brahmasmi). Matter or the universe could not have existed or evolved without a co-ordinator or God. They also advance the theory of Karmic fate and rebirth.
Then there are those who follow the dictates of their heart and feel the need or presence of a father figure to guide and protect them in this struggle for existence.
And the modern man is not sure whether God exists or not. He is also overwhelmed by the prevalence of evil, disease and death which sometimes shake his faith in God. He is quite inclined to agree with an agnostic rationalist like the Buddha who simply said ,”I don’t know”.
But a hapless individual is baffled by these conflicting opinions and seems to think that it will be better to hedge one’s bets. Won’t it be better to follow the sane advice of Voltaire. “even if there was no God , let us invent one.”