God Is Present in the Midst of the Human Condition


Sri Swami Chidananda

This article is a chapter from the book Seek The Beyond.

Worshipful homage to that supreme, universal Spirit Divine that is here and now mingling with the spiritual presence of Gurudev in this sacred Samadhisthan. Gurudev’s spiritual presence is here because the mortal vehicle in which he dwelt and used for bringing about a spiritual renaissance in the modern world has been interred here with due honour. The supreme universal Spirit is here because although It is transcendental, It is at the same time intensely relative and personal. The great mystery of Its transcendence, immanence and indwelling presence is the experience and declaration of sages of towering spiritual illumination and experience.

Thus it is that we are in a dual presence, at once spiritual, at once divine. It is in this context that we have to see that both a method of spiritual evolution and attainment as well as a certain solution to our human predicament is contained in this truth. A method has been given: Keep yourself aware of this truth, then no matter where you are your experience will always be God-experience. No matter where you are, in what state, what surroundings, what condition, you will know that simultaneously you are in the presence of God.

Therefore, the practice of this presence becomes to you a method of growing in God-awareness which will ultimately culminate in God-experience. Simultaneously, this truth also offers a solution to the human predicament. The human problem is that the place where He has reserved as the most suitable place for you to be constantly in communion with Him–the inner spiritual heart–usually is invaded by multifarious, miscellaneous considerations about the passing world. The great ones, who had established themselves in that transcendental experience, have come forward and told us, “Do not distress yourselves. In the midst of all this so-called invasion by outer factors and distractions, there is this centre of ever-present, undiminished, unshaken Divinity. In the midst of all vikshepa, all turmoil and all miscellaneous thought, This abides at the very centre, unassailable.”

To cling firmly to this unassailable truth, this reality within, to abide ever in that reality of His presence, is to be practised with every breath. Then, even dwelling in the world, you will be dwelling in God. Even in the midst of ever-changing situations and experiences that are part of your unavoidable and inevitable earth life, there is this never-changing, unaffected truth about the reality within.

To contemplate it daily–to consciously contemplate it–is the heart of spiritual sadhana and spiritual life. And this awareness is greatly helped by satsanga, by svadhyaya, by smarana, remembrance: “I abide in You. You abide in me.” This is the truth. All other things may be changing. They do keep changing. This is the Unchanging in the midst of countless ever-changing movements in this outer world.

Contemplate this truth! Cultivate the practice of this truth, and thus find your own solution to your human predicament. Success is sure because God made you in His own image to succeed in life and not to fail. He did not send us here to fail but to succeed. And this privilege, this birthright is the common heritage of all human beings of all times, for all are made in the image of God.

It is the uniqueness of man, but it is a common human heritage. If you have inherited it, it is not because you are something special. It is because of your uniqueness which you share with all other human beings. You are unique in the eyes of God, but you need not think that you are special in the eyes of God. If you are special, then everyone is special.

Therefore, we should be humble and simple and not be unduly self-important, because we are not very important. We are important, as all other human beings are important, but not in any special way. So the fine distinction between being unique and being special should be grasped. Special brings with it the danger of being ego-oriented regarding ourselves, whereas uniqueness makes us humble. Uniqueness does not carry this inherent danger of ego.

Thus, the truth to be practised is that even in the midst of our human predicament, God is very much there. So this fact, this truth, should be made our focus. We should emphasise more on it than upon the human predicament. It should be given greater importance, more value, more emphasis in our being. Then all will be well. When you make God central, other things naturally have to occupy the circumference–because there is only one centre.

So there is the key to being established always in the feeling of God’s presence. Make Him central in your life. Then other things will fall into their place. May the grace of God and the loving blessings of Gurudev enable us to achieve this truth-oriented state of inwardness, this state of mind!

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