Whenever we look at a beautiful painting, listen to music, or marvel at a work of engineering, it’s natural to ask who made it. Similarly, when we look at the wonders and precision of this universe—planets in space, huge mountain ranges garlanded by clouds, rivers that flow thousands of miles for thousands of years, a butterfly’s precision flight across continents, the DNA in each organism—it’s just as natural to ask who created it and why.
Like other theistic traditions, bhakti yoga accepts that there is a divine intelligence behind the universe. But while many people spend their time, as the preacher once had, fighting over “which God is better,” it’s important to remember that the quality of a person’s faith isn’t measured by the apparent shortcomings in another’s. What matters is whether a particular expression of faith inspires and guides us in our evolution toward unconditional love of God. Sadly, the Supreme Being, whom most faiths exalt as the greatest, is often imagined to be petty and partial to one group to the exclusion of all others. This misunderstanding of God’s nature can manifest in every spiritual tradition, including my own.