Does God help atheists and oppose godmen, as OMG depicts?
God helps everyone, but he doesn’t force his help on anyone. He respects our free will. So he helps us to the extent that we seek and accept his help. The Bhagavad-gita (4.11) states that as we approach God, so he reciprocates.
To understand how God reciprocates, let’s look at the three broad categories of people in their relationship with God, as depicted in OMG. These three categories are:
1. Sentimental believers:
In OMG they are represented by Kanjibhai’s wife Susheela, his neighbor Mahadeva and the general people. Majority religious believers fall in this category. They have some faith in God, but they don’t use their intelligence to seriously enquire about him. God provides scriptures to enlighten all human beings. The relationship of sentimental believers with scriptures is limited to respect. Their reverence for scripture is often accompanied by ignorance of its import. As they don’t study scripture seriously, they don’t know the proper process for worshiping God. So they take up whatever religious practice they learn from their upbringing or culture or by word-of-mouth – anything that feels good and seems to suit their needs. As they base their religious practices on feelings and not on intelligence or scripture, they are especially susceptible to exploitation by godmen.
2. Exploitative godmen
In OMG they are represented by Leeladhar Swamy, Siddheshwar Maharaj and Gopi Maiyya. They are materialistic opportunists who mint money and gain prestige by exploiting the gullibility of sentimental believers. They talk about God, but they are not actually interested in him. For them God is just a tool to fulfill their own materialistic agendas. As they don’t want God’s help, he doesn’t interfere in their lives. But because they often misrepresent him and his teachings and because they mislead those who have faith in him, God ensures that they get the just consequences of their misdeeds.
3. Intelligent nonbelievers
In OMG they are represented by Kanjibhai. God appreciates those who use their intelligence – even if they are presently nonbelievers. After all, he has given them their intelligence and he doesn’t want it to be kept in a showcase; he wants it to be used. So with their intelligence if they get questions about life, they have a right to ask for answers. And if they don’t get answers, they may conclude that the only intelligent thing to do is to become skeptical or even atheistic. However, if they assume that just because they haven’t found the answers, the answers are nowhere to be found, then they err and become close-minded atheists.
To answer the questions of everyone, God has provided scriptures. And he appreciates inquisitiveness, as he demonstrates through his own example in the Bhagavad-gita – therein, he answers all of Arjuna’s questions. Moreover, many question-answer sessions between sincere seekers and intelligent teachers stand out in the pages of the Vedic scriptures. And most importantly, the Vedanta sutra (1.1.1: athatobrahmajijnasa) specifically urges all human beings to become inquisitive spiritually.
If those with intelligent questions remain open-minded and continue enquiring sincerely, God will help them. He will guide them to his genuine representatives who will answer their questions. Then their skepticism will become just one passing phase in their intellectual evolution – they will graduate through it and become intelligent believers.
In OMG, Kanjibhai undergoes this evolution as he progresses from being an intelligent nonbeliever towards becoming an intelligent believer. But his progress requires something extraordinary: the personal intervention of Krishna who miraculously protects and heals him.
OMG portrays that Krishna guides Kanjibhai alone. Were there no intelligent people before Kanjibhai? Certainly there were. Would Krishna not have guided them towards becoming intelligent believers? Surely he would have; his love is for everyone – not just for Kanjibhai. Then could Krishna not have used these intelligent people to guide other intelligent seekers? He certainly could. Moreover, wouldn’t these intelligent people themselves have wanted to help others along the journey that they have taken? Naturally they would have. This is evident from the example of Kanjibhai, who at the movie’s climax forcefully admonished people about how not to worship.
In OMG Krishna disappears at the end, implying that he doesn’t want to give to everyone the special favor that he gave to Kanjibhai. Then how does Krishna want others to become wise like Kanjibhai? Presumably through Kanjibhai’s guidance? If so, then couldn’t there have been predecessors to Kanjibhai who could have guided him? Naturally there could have been. These people comprise a fourth category of people, a category not depicted in OMG: intelligent believers. These are sincere seekers who have asked questions, found answers and have become genuine seers.
OMG requires Krishna’s miraculous intervention to guide Kanjibhai because it doesn’t depict intelligent believers who could have guided him. Do such people exist? They do indeed, declare the Vedic scriptures. There exists a succession of such seers. This succession extends back into antiquity and originates in Krishna’s personal instruction to the first seer. And there exists not just one but several such successions which are called paramparas. The Padma Purana explains that there are four such paramparas: Sri, Brahma, Rudra and Kumara. These paramparas have living seers even today and all of us can gain God’s help through them.