Excerpts from Satyarth Prakash (Light of Truth)
Written By: Swami Dayanand Saraswati
Translated By: Chiranjiva Bharadwaja
Qs. Is God in one place or is He All-pervading?
Swami Ji: God is the subtlest of all. Only He can pervade everything. If He was at one place at a time, He could never be Omnipresent, Omniscient, Inward Regulator of all, Universal Controller, Creator of all, and the Cause of resolution of all things into their elements, as it is impossible for the doer to do all these things at a place where he is not present.
Qs. Is God Just as well as Merciful?
Swami Ji: Yes, He is both.
Qs. But, these two attributes are opposed to each other, since justice consists in giving a person the just amount of pleasure or pain - neither more nor less - according to the nature of his deeds, while mercy is letting the offender go unpunished. How could He be then, both merciful and just at the same time?
Swami Ji: Justice and mercy differ only in name. The object served by justice is the same as accomplished by mercy. As the purpose of infliction of punishment through justice is to prevent people from committing crimes and, thereby, enabling them to be freed from pain and misery. Similarly, the object of mercy is nothing but to rid people of misery! It's a different thing that your definitions of justice and mercy are not correct, because the infliction of just punishment in exact accordance with the amount of crime is called justice.
If the offender be not punished, mercy will be destroyed; for, letting one such criminal, a robber go unpunished amounts to giving pain to thousands of righteous and law-abiding people. What mercy can there be in allowing one man to go unpunished and making others suffer? It will be an act of mercy indeed to that robber to keep him in prison and thereby prevent him from further commission of crimes. It will also be an act of mercy to thousands of other people to rid them of that robber or dacoit by putting him in prison.
Qs. Many persons say that God is 'void of all activity and attribute.' Is this true?
Swami Ji: "The Great Eternal Spirit undergoes no modifications, requires no instruments to work with, has no equal nor any superior. He is the Supremely Powerful Being, endowed with innate Omniscience, Omnipresence, and Infinite activity." (Shwetashwetar Upanishad 6, 8)
Had God been destitute of activity, He could never create the world, sustain it, and reduce it to its elementary form. He, therefore, being Omnipresent and Omniscient (having these attributes), also possesses activity.
Qs. Does God possess desire?
Swami Ji: No, not that kind of desire which is another name for a passion excited by the love for an object from which pleasure is expected, because you only desire to obtain a thing which you do not already possess, which is of a superior quality and is productive of pleasure. Now, there is nothing that God does not possess or is superior to Him, and being All-Bliss, He can also have no desire for further happiness. Therefore, there is no possibility of the presence of desire in God.