This is a question that has plagued even the most faithful and asking this question does not make us an atheist. Mother Teresa refers to this in her writings where she questions the existence of a God as she is unable to see the suffering around her anymore. I speculate that this question also pops up when we are down rather than riding high. A common question is — Does He exist at all anywhere or are we accepting this blindly? Some feel guilty when this thought arises.
This is a question raised by people across faiths. My only submission is that, it’s a good question as long as it is an inquiry.
Most of us worship God, pray to Him/her at some point in life. The Hindu system does not insist that we pray a certain number of times per day or month, or visit a temple. Infact, it does recognise that we are involved in the world and praying is one of the activities in it.
Prayer across faiths can be in 3 forms — physical, oral or mental. The Bhagavata Purana lists down 9 steps of prayer which finally lead to a total surrender. All faiths finally seek the same, which is a form of intimacy between you and your God and thereby surrender in totality. My observation has always been that a significant majority of us approach it exactly the other way around, with fear, awkwardness, with deals and trade-offs.
So does God exist? Before trying to answer, one has to ask “what is the definition of God”. How can you prove something before a clear definition since each one of us have our own concept. The Vedas are very clear on the definition of God.
God is consciousness (the principle with which we are aware of everything around us, the living soul). So the question could also be, does consciousness exist? The next question that might arise is — what is the nature of this consciousness? Science does not have an answer to this as it is experiential and the journey is a solitary one.
The inquiry of God for a certain distance (not in time and space) is outside us in the shapes and forms that we now know. But those are just to bring in a certain discipline and stillness to the mind. The end to that inquiry is within us, where we explore our own Atman (Soul).