If God is present everywhere, is he present in stool?
Some people state that how god can be all pervasive & be in each atom. They say that how can god be in some filthy substance like stool & with this argument try to prove shastra wrong.
Question- Some people state that how God can be all-pervasive and be in each atom? They argue how God can be in some filthy substance like stool and with this argument they try to prove shastra to be wrong. How can we respond to such people?
Answer-Yes, this is a standard misconception in one prominent world religion which strangely denies God of one of his fundamental attributes of omnipresence. All the great theistic religions of the world, except this particular religion, understand that God is omniscient (all knowing), omnipotent (all powerful), and omnipresent (present everywhere). Unfortunately, some people are so deeply bound to their materialistic conceptions that they just cannot break free from those conceptions even when they are thinking of a supra-material, trans-material, and non-material being like God. Due to their excessive materialism and materialistic vision they see even God materially and that is why they come up with these sort of objections that God will have to be present in stool if God is to be present everywhere.
We should first of all understand that God, wherever he is present, he is transcendental. He is not material and he is not affected by anything material. He is completely pure spirit.
paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma
pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān
puruṣaṁ śāśvataṁ divyam
ādi-devam ajaṁ vibhum
He is divine, transcendental (divyam), and supremely pure (pavitram). His purity is not because of lack of contact with anything impure but because he is so great nothing is capable of purify him.
The idea that contact with stool will make God impure is based on a very superficial understanding of God’s purity as if God’s purity will get contaminated by contact with something impure. No. God is so supremely pure that nothing can contaminate him.
So is God present in filthy substance like stool?
aṇḍāntara-stha-paramāṇu-cayāntara-stham- (Brahma Samhita 5.35) – he is present in every atom (aṇu) of creation. All substances including filthy substances ultimately comprise of atoms. Hence he is present even in these atoms also.
Now the question may arise, is stool considered filthy, doesn’t that affect God?
As I said earlier it doesn’t affect God because God is so supremely pure that no material impurity can affect him. However, at the same time when we are approaching God or anything sacred connected with God, it is for us to be pure and it is for us to keep those things pure so that we can show proper respect to God. Therefore, when we have a sacred book, or sacred paraphernalia, or a sacred image we will ensure that it doesn’t become dirty or contaminated.
We sometimes hear people saying that the temple or temple hall has become contaminated. Actually, its not the temple hall that is contaminated – it is our ability to access the spiritual presence that is there in the temple that has become vitiated or minimized because of that particular impurity being present there. Therefore when it is said that a temple has become impure and it is thoroughly cleansed, actually the cleansing is not to purify God, the cleansing is to purify us.
All the efforts that we do in cleaning the temple is to show Krishna (or God), that actually I sincerely regret the laxity in service because of which this impurity took place and to repent and to reform ourselves, we go for a thorough cleaning process.
To summarize, no unclean substance can contaminate God. He is so transcendental that nothing material can contaminate him. Also, when we want to show proper respect to God we don’t let certain things come in contact with God. We discriminate what is pure and impure while making offering to God, so that our respectful attitude towards God is preserved and expressed in a proper way.