In yogic terms, God is not an individual force; it is the ultimate uniting force and origin of the universe. Through social conditioning, we have been referring to God as ‘he’ for centuries, although God is neither male nor female. For me, the use of this pronoun is just a technicality. I feel that every religion has a true, mystical side which recognises the true essence of God, but the overlay of social practices has clouded this essence and created divisions amongst people of different faiths. That is why I prefer not to think of God in terms of any religion at all, but try and see the essential teaching in every faith. Although I value yogic teachings for their logic and health benefits, I do not adhere particularly to the conventional Hindu take on God.
I think God has a place in our lives because it brings about an awareness of our spiritual identity. It reminds us of the inevitability of death and teaches us to live a more meaningful life. Even with abounding physical health, mental prowess and access to life’s pleasures, living is incomplete without the experience of love. And God represents the highest and most universal expression of love.