WHERE IS GOD?
A VEDANTA YOGA PERSPECTIVE
A QUESTIONNAIRE MADE BY RASA POSTED ON YAHOO:
ANSWERED BY YOGI ASHANKAH
Dear Rasa Yogi,
Thanks for your beautiful questions. I will try to answer to all your questions one by one in different emails, as it wouldn’t be feasible for me to put everything together.
However, to begin with, I would like to share my understanding of ‘God’ and may be that would by itself answer a portion of most of your questions.
THAT which always existed (even before time and space) and which will always exist is ‘God’. Call it God, Soul, Brahman, Atman, Christ-Consciousness or Krishna-Consciousness or by any other name. For simplicity, let’s call it God. Thus God existed before even the concept of ‘attribute’ was born. Obviously, God couldn’t have any attribute. So God is neither good nor bad, it’s beyond good and bad. God genderless, colorless and so on. We cannot attach any attributes or properties to God. Nobody can say what God is. We can only say what God is not. When we say God is not this and God is not that; God is neither good nor bad; God is neither colorful nor colorless and so on; when we have said all that God is not, what’s left is God.
God is the ESSENCE of everything. Like the essence of a wooden chair is ‘wood’, the essence of wood is ‘tree’, the essence of tree is ‘seed’, take it as far as possible and when you come to the end complete it by saying that the essence of that last thing is God, because everything started with that essence.
Thus, the essence of human, animal, plants, air, water, fire and every living and non-living being is that one Consciousness, which was ever there and that essence is called ‘God’.
That essence has taken millions of names and forms (nama-rupa); we and everything in the universe are just a ‘name and form’ of that essence. Even after millions of times of creation and destruction of these ‘nama-rupa’, we would still exist as part of that ‘essence’.
It’s like the flame of a candle. Take 10 candles. Light one candle and look at the flame for couple of minutes. Then with that candle ignite another candle. Will the size of the flame of the first candle become half since it gave flame to another candle? No, the flame will remain same in size and power as before. Now kindle the remaining eight candles with the flame of the first candle. Even after giving flame to 9 more candles the flame of the first candle would be as much and as bright as it was in the beginning. Similarly, for the sake of understanding, imagine that when there was nothing (i.e. in the beginning before time and space) there was just an energy like a candle flame. That was the essence. That essence produced universe or universes with everything inside that but still that essence remained exactly as it was.
Hence many people meditate on candle flame, trying to see the essence of one’s own existence.
God is the essence of everything. If we can sit on meditation for a few minutes and in that meditation if we can forget our five senses – sight, sound, smell, touch and taste then what will be left is the experience of ‘Consciousness’. That consciousness is essence of all other senses that makes the ‘unreal’ experience as ‘real’. The same essence is known as ‘God’ in short.
“If God is within each person (as well as all creation)
why is God so difficult to find? Shouldn't this be easy?”
Let’s not take God as a person or an object that we can find it. God is a ‘concept’ that we need to understand. That means we don’t have to find God. We need to understand God.
talk of God in terms of its size. Is God so small that it can be inside us?
Or is God so big that
the entire universe is inside it? Neither is important. Neither God has to be inside us nor we have to be inside God because everything is manifestation of God. It’s like asking whether wood is involved in wooden chair or whether wooden chair is evolved out of wood. Actually both ‘wood’ and ‘wooden
chair’ are same substance in different name and form (nama-rupa). Similarly, God and everything else are same with just different names and forms. Everything is just manifestation of God and hence God need not be searched for, the concept called ‘God’ needs to be understood.
However, in layman’s language we can use the term ‘finding God’. Finding God has three steps – (a) Understanding God (b) Feeling presence of God and (c) Getting vision of God.
(a) Understanding God Understand of God requires studying scriptures and practicing spirituality. The test of this understanding is in DEF theory of spirituality i.e. Desire, Ego and Fear. Anybody who has got ridden of Desire, Ego and Fear has really understood God.
(b) Feeling presence of God. Having understood God a person has constant feeling of presence of God. His/ her every thought and action is guided by that presence.
(c) Getting vision of God Eyes cannot see God. Mind sees it. When two people see an object with their eyes they would describe it similarly. But when two people see something in their minds the description would be totally different. Anything that mind very deeply thinks about mind starts seeing it. Be it an object, person, ghost, God or anything. In medical science this could be called as hallucination, in spirituality it could be called as getting vision and in general it could be considered as daydreaming, etc.
That’s all about, so called, finding God. If one understands the concept of God then one would never try to find it because we can find something that we are not. One can travel from point A to point B. Where’s the question of traveling from point A to point A?
With the help of scriptures and meditation get freed from desire, ego and fear. That would lead to feeling the presence of God at all times. That would result in getting vision of the form (God in a specific form) that the mind wishes.
Ashankah Yogis' Self-Realization Satsang