SRI SWAMI SIVANANDA
This article is a chapter from the book “Bliss Divine”.
Who Is God?
What Is God?
Is There a God?
Where Is God?
How to Realise God?
Who is God? What is God? Is there a God? Where is God? How to realise God? Man wants an answer to these eternal questions. Certainly there is God. God exists. He is the only reality. God is your creator, saviour, and redeemer. He is all-pervading. He dwells in your heart. He is always near you. He is nearer to you than your jugular vein or nose. He loves you. He can talk to you. You cannot find God by the intellect. But, you can find Him by feeling, meditation, experience, and realisation.
The Petromax does not talk, but it shines and sheds light all around. The jessamine does not speak, but it wafts its fragrance everywhere. The lighthouse sounds no drum, but sends its friendly light to the mariner. The Unseen beats no gong, but Its omnipresence is felt by the dispassionate and discriminating sage.
Behind all names and forms is the one nameless, formless Essence. Behind all governors is the one Supreme Governor of governors. Behind all lights is the one Light Of lights. Behind all sounds, there is the soundless Supreme Silence. Behind all teachers is the one Supreme Guru of Gurus.
Behind all these perishable objects is the one imperishable Absolute. Behind all these motions is the one motionless Infinite. Behind time, minutes, and days is the one timeless Eternity. Behind hatred, riots, and wars is the one hidden Love.
God is the totality of all that exists, both animate and inanimate, sentient and insentient. He is free from ills and limitations. He is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. He has no beginning, middle, or end. He is the indweller in all beings. He controls from within.
God is all in all. God is the only reality in this universe. The existence of things is by the light of God.
God is ever living. All depend on Him. He is not depending on any. He is the Truth.
God is the end or goal of all Yoga Sadhanas. He is the Centre towards which all things strive. He is the highest purpose or highest good of the world. You have the urge of hunger. There is food to appease the hunger. You have the urge of thirst. There is water to quench the thirst. There is the urge to be always happy. There must be something to satisfy this urge. This something is God, an embodiment of happiness. God, Immortality, Freedom, Perfection, Peace, Bliss, Love are synonymous terms.
What is God? It is hard to tell. But, when I look at the Ganga, I know it is God. When I see the jessamine, I know it is God. When I behold the blue sky, I know it is God. When I hear the chirping of birds, I know it is God. When I taste honey, I know it is God.
The Supreme is indefinable, though scholars give intellectual accounts of It which are not absolutely true.
Every man has his own conception of God. The God of a military man wears a helmet. The God of a China-man has a flat nose and a pipe for smoking opium. The God of a Hindu has marks on his forehead, and wears a rosary and a garland of flowers. The God of a Christian wears a Cross. For some, God has wings. A buffalo will think that God is a very big buffalo.
Such an anthropomorphic conception of God is obviously puerile. The greatest and most important thing in all the world is to get a right concept of God, because your belief about God governs your entire life.
God is beyond human imagination, but he is a living reality. Brahman is no metaphysical abstraction. It is the fullest and the most real being.
The existence of God cannot be proved by scientific experimentation. The Absolute baffles the mind of even the greatest scholar. It eludes the grasp of even the mightiest intellect. It is experienced as pure consciousness, where intellect dies, scholarship perishes, and the entire being itself is completely lost in It. All is lost, and all is found.
You want laboratory proofs? Very fine, indeed! You wish to limit the illimitable, all-pervading God in your test-tube, blow-pipe, and chemicals. God is the source for your chemicals. He is the substratum for your atoms, electrons, and molecules. Without Him, no atom or electron will move, He is the inner ruler.
It is God who lends power to our senses, perception to our mind, discernment to our intellect, strength to our limbs. It is through His will that we live and die. But man vainly imagines that he is the actor and the enjoyer. Man is a mere nothing before the almighty, governing Power that directs the movement in the universe.
God’s will expresses itself everywhere as law. The law of gravitation, cohesion, relativity, cause and effect, the laws of electricity, chemistry, physics, all the psychic laws, are expressions of God’s will.
As we explain everything within nature by the law of cause and effect, so also, nature as a whole must be explained. It must have some cause. This cause must be different from the effect. It must be some supernatural entity, i.e., God.
Nature is not a mere chance collection of events, a mere jumble of accidents, but an orderly affair. The planets move regularly in their orbits; seeds grow into trees regularly; the seasons succeed each other in order. Now, nature is Jada, insentient. It cannot order itself. It requires the existence of an intelligent being-God-who is responsible for it. Even Einstein, the scientist, was strongly convinced of the creation of the universe by a Supreme Intelligence.
Though you do not see the stars in the daytime, yet they do exist. Though you cannot see the sun during a cloudy day, yet it does exist. Even so, though you cannot see God with these physical eyes, yet He does exist. If you get the divine eye or the eye of intuition by the practice of meditation, you will behold Him.
God is self-proved. He does not want any proof, because He is the basis for the act or process of proving.
Where is God? There is nowhere where He is not. Just as one thread penetrates all the flowers in a garland, so also, one Self penetrates all these living beings. He is hidden in all beings and forms, like oil in seed, butter in milk, mind in brain, Prana in the body, foetus in the womb, sun behind the clouds, fire in wood, vapour in the atmosphere, salt in water, scent in flowers, sound in the gramophone records, gold in quartz, microbes in blood.
God dwells in all beings as life and consciousness. God is in the roar of a lion, the song of a bird, and the cry of a babe. Feel His presence everywhere.
See God in the wings, of a butterfly, in the letters Alpha and Omega, in the cough of a patient, in the murmur of a brook, in the sound of a bell. Behold the wonder of the Lord’s face in every object of this world.
Every breath that flows in the nose, every beat that throbs in the heart, every artery that pulsates in the body, every thought that arises in the mind, speaks to you that God is near.
Every flower that wafts fragrance, every fruit that attracts you, every gentle breeze that blows, every river that smoothly flows, speaks of God and His mercy.
The vast ocean with its powerful waves, the mighty Himalayas with its glaciers, the bright sun and stars in the wide sky, the lofty tree with its branches, the cool springs in the hills and dales, tell you of His omnipotence.
The music of the sweet singers, the lectures of the Powerful orators, the poems of the reputed poets, the inventions of the able scientists, the operations of the dexterous surgeons, the utterances of the holy saints, the thoughts of the Bhagavad Gita, the revelations of the Upanishads, speak of God and His wisdom.
Everything is God. Good is God. Misfortune is God. Greet Him in everything and rest peacefully in bliss.
God pervades the entire universe. He walks in the garb of a beggar. He moans in pain in the guise of the sick. He wanders in the forest clad in rags. Open your eyes. See Him in all. Serve all. Love all.
Feel the Divine Presence everywhere-in every form, in every thought, in every feeling and in every sentiment, in every movement, in every emotion.
God, seen through the senses, is matter. God, seen through the intellect, is mind. God, seen through the spirit, is Atman or the Self.
Thou art indwelt by the Lord. He is the inner ruler, Antaryamin, guarding and controlling your life. He is in you and you are in Him. He is quite close to you. He is not very far, but is nearer to you than you are to yourself. You were thinking in the beginning that He could be found only in Mount Kailas, Ramesvaram, Mecca, Jerusalem, sky or heaven. You had very vague ideas. This body is His moving temple. The sanctum sanctorum is the chamber of your own heart. Close your eyes. Withdraw your Indriyas from the sensual objects. Search Him in thy heart with one-pointed mind, devotion, and pure love. You will surely find Him. He is waiting there with outstretched arms to embrace you. If you cannot find Him there, you cannot find Him anywhere else.
God is a question of supply and demand. If you really yearn for His Darshan, He will reveal Himself to you in an instant.
You need neither art nor science, neither study nor erudition for God-realisation, but faith, purity, and devotion.
Combine all the love you cherish towards all worldly objects-wife, son, wealth, property, relatives, friends-and then apply this combined love towards God. You will realise in this very second.
To serve God and Mammon at the same time is impossible. You cannot enjoy the bliss of the Self and the sensual pleasure in one and the same cup. You cannot have light and darkness at the same time.
The Lord demands your whole heart.
Reduce yourself into zero before God. Only then will God completely take care of and guide you. Only then surrender becomes complete.
Forget your own interests, your own longings, your own desires. You will attain the bliss of the Supreme Self.
Crucify, sacrifice the lower self, if you wish to have union with God.
Empty your egoism. You will be filled with God. Lose your personality. You will find the Divine Life. You will realise God.