God is the Summun Bonum of creation, don’t make him as an object of knowing. God is love, can you see love? You can see love only through the manifested expressions. You can see love in a child's eyes, in a friend’s eyes, or in the eyes of an elderly person. You can see love in animals. A dog can express love, but show me love without a dog or a person. Can you ever see love? Has anyone seen love or compassion? No, it only gets partially expressed through the manifest forms of the universe, as it is inexpressible. Love cannot be expressed but somewhere you get the glimpse of it, and that is what 'Linga' is. 'Lingam' means 'a sign'.
Even the genital is called lingam because that is how you identify whether a baby is a boy or a girl. When a baby is born, there is one organ of the baby which helps you identify whether the baby is a boy or a girl. Other than that, every baby looks the same. You can’t make a distinction between a boy or girl. That is why the genital also came to be called as lingam because that is a sign which indicates whether the baby is male or female. So lingam is identification.
In Kannada literature, and also all over India, wisdom, love, knowledge are all recognized through the saints, so the term 'Linga Jangama', where linga means a sign and jangama means a saint or Sadhguru (here meaning: the saint gives you a sign of the existence of a higher consciousness; of God). Once you recognize this (consciousness) in the Sadhguru, then it doesn’t stop there, then you recognize it in everything; in every child, every tree, every animal. The entire universe is nothing but a manifestation of consciousness, and if consciousness is God, it is everywhere. So don’t make God an object of knowing because the knower himself is the divinity, and the knower is inside of you; it is inside of everyone.
No atheist can say, "I don’t believe in myself". If he says, "I know I am present" then what is this I know? That which is the I of the 'I' is what God is. I is atman or self, and God is beyond the self. Anything beyond the self is God.
If your 'I' is a limited identity of thoughts, emotions and trends, then there is something which is beyond your thoughts, emotions and trends, and that core of your existence or consciousness is what you call God. In this case, there cannot be any atheist at all on the planet. But if you think of God as an old man sitting above the clouds, trying to give you a finger, and when you go close, he runs away; if that is your concept of God, then definitely atheism is better. And they are correct as no such thing exists. But if an atheist says, "Nothing exists because I don’t know of it", then they are neither scientific nor honest. And if they say, "I don’t believe in anything till I know it", then also they are not scientific because there are millions of universes. Just because you cannot see all of them, you can’t say they don’t exist at all. All that you can say is, "I don’t know". This shift from 'I know it all' to a 'I don’t know. Maybe, perhaps' is important.
God is called Ageya, which means unknowable, but still it is there. It (God) gives you the sign that it is there. It is an intelligence based on which everything exists in this universe. That sign is good enough. No one can deny the existence of intelligence, or of law and order in this creation.