It Is Possible To Be in the World Yet Dwell in God!


Sri Swami Chidananda

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

Worshipful homage to the supreme, almighty, universal Spirit Divine that shines as an eternal light beyond all darkness, beginningless and endless, boundless and limitless, immeasurable, infinite, and, at once both far beyond human ken–far beyond the reach of the thought of the mind, far beyond the reasoning and logic of our finite, limited intellect–as well as being nearer to us than ourselves, nearer than the nearest.

This is what our great ones, the ancient ancestors of our human family on planet Earth, directly experienced in the deepest depth of their illumined spiritual consciousness, what they directly experienced as the supreme personal experience in the highest heights of their glorious ascent along the upward path of Yogic meditation, Vedantic meditation.

And scaling the highest pinnacles of human aspiration and human realisation, they knew with absolute certitude the great truth of the existence of an eternal Being that was all-in-all, that encompassed everything, pervaded everything, indwelt everything, and, in fact, was the awareness and consciousness of all conscious beings on earth. They at once realised Its immediate proximity and Its supreme, transcendental remoteness, and gave utterance to this experience as taddure tadvantike (It (the Aman) is distant and It is near) in the first articulate declaration of these great transcendental experiences.

In that Presence we are. And the ability to cognise that Being also springs out of His presence in all of us as consciousness: “I am, and I am aware. I am thus able to express myself.” It is because of the existence of that Being within us as consciousness that we are able to say these things. May the grace of that Being be upon us all!

We are not only in that presence, we are also in the spiritual presence of Holy Master in the sacred Samadhi Shrine. Therefore, we offer our loving adorations to revered and beloved Holy Master Gurudev Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj who conveyed to us in and through his being, in and through his words and teachings, this great truth-experience of our ancients. May his blessings enable us, as we live and move and go about our daily duties, to go on progressively becoming more and more centred in this awareness that whatever is, whatever is happening, whatever is seen, heard, tasted, touched or smelt, whatever exists, whatever is within me, whatever is surrounding me–all this is nothing but That.

That alone is. All other things are shadows that appear to be. They appear and they pass. The enduring and unchanging amidst the passing show is the Reality behind all these ever-changing experiences, appearances. It is the one among the many, the imperishable among the perishable, the eternal in the midst of the non-eternal. Thus may we be rooted in that Reality-awareness not only daily, but always.

May we be rooted in that Reality-awareness every minute and every moment at all times. With each breath we take, with each step as we move about, in all conditions of the body and states of the mind, let us be centred in that awareness, Reality-awareness. This is dynamic spirituality. This is praying unceasingly. This is unbroken sadhana. This is the yoga that the great world teacher, Lord Krishna, wanted us to be engaged in.

He knew that no one can avoid a certain minimal activity, but “In the process of fulfilling your obligations and doing your duties, be in a state of yoga continuously, yogasthah kurukarmani (Perform action, being steadfast in yoga). Be in a state of inner awareness of your oneness with the Supreme Being. And with this inner state of continuous awareness of your oneness with the Supreme Being, perform action, do your duties. But let not the performance of action be allowed to interfere with this continuous, unbroken flow of God-awareness within.”

This then is the sadhana to be cultivated, the sadhana to be engaged in–to be in this world, yet at the same time to dwell in God, dwell in the great Divine Reality. That such a thing is possible is the declaration of all our scriptures and the central spiritual direction of all illumined sages and seers, and it is also the teaching of Holy Master. That such a thing is possible is our heritage from our sublime spiritual past.

Let us claim this heritage, for we are heir to it, and it is our birthright–seemingly live in this world, but really abide in that great Being. In this task, may the Supreme grace us, and may the Holy Master bless us!

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