If there is no God, why were you being called Bhagwan?
There is no God, but that does not mean that I’m an atheist. Certainly I am not a theist – I am saying there is no God – but that does not mean that you jump to the opposite, the atheist.
The atheist also says there is no God, but when I say there is no God…. The atheists like Charvaka, Karl Marx, Lenin, Epicurus, when these people say there is no God, there is a tremendous difference between my statement and their statement. The statements are absolutely dissimilar, because I say at the same moment that there is godliness.
Charvaka would not agree on that point; Epicurus, Marx, other atheists would not agree on that point. To them, denying God means denying consciousness. To them, denying God means the world is simply matter and nothing more, and whatever you see as consciousness is only a by-product of certain matter put together, just a by-product. Take those things apart and the by-product disappears.
It is just like a bullock cart: you take the wheels away, you take other parts away, and each time you can ask, “Is this the bullock cart?” When you take the wheels away, certainly the answer will be, “It is not.” No part is the whole. You can take, by and by, each part and remove the whole, and no single part is the bullock cart. And in the end you can be asked, “Now where is the bullock cart? – because we have not removed it; you have never said at any point that the bullock cart has been removed.”
“Bullock cart” was only a combination. It had no existence of its own, it was a by-product. That’s what Marx means when he says consciousness is an epiphenomenon: remove the body, remove the brain, remove all that constitutes a man’s being – you will not find anything like consciousness. And when you have removed everything, it is not that consciousness will be left behind; it was only a combination. You have taken the combination apart.
So when I say there is no God, I am not agreeing with Marx or Epicurus. I am certainly not agreeing with Jesus, Krishna, Moses, Mohammed, when they say there is God, because they use “God” as a person. Now, to think of God as a person is just your imagination. The God of the Chinese has a Chinese face, and the God of the Negroes has a Negro face, and certainly the God of the Jews must have a Jewish nose; it can’t be otherwise. And if horses think about God, their God will be a horse. So this is just projection; giving personality to God is your projection.
When I say there is no God, I am denying personality to God. I am saying God is not, but there is tremendous godliness. That is an impersonal energy, pure energy. To impose any form on it is ugly. You are imposing yourself on it.