63/9: Where Is God?

Summary: Seeing God like one sees a gooseberry on the palm of our hand is not very difficult. However, one must be sure about what God means to us. Moreover, we should have realistic expectations of the phrase “being constantly in the presence of God” and also our capacity of beholding the presence of the Lord.

Verse 63: Erhavi Me Tari Kaisa? Mukhaaprati Bhaanu Kaa Jaisa. Kahi Dise Naa Dise Aisa, Vaanicha Nohe.

Translation: Otherwise, (for those who really want to see Me) how do I exist? I exists right in front of you like the midday sun. You do not have to know that I exist by inference, for such knowledge is confusing and non-permanent.

There is one subtle reason why we do not do sadhana. Somehow, we all feel that the ultimate aim of ‘permanent liberation’ (the so called Moksha) is a very difficult thing to attain. So we feel that: what is the point in doing sadhana if we are not going to realize its ultimate aim in this life? This feeling will gnaw at your mind and hence, your efforts will not be 100%. Apart from preventing you from giving your best shot at sadhana, this perceived difficulty in attaining Moksha has one more bad effect on our mind. It makes us easy to accept that we cannot do sadhana. Psychologically, we are not perturbed if we cannot do a very difficult thing. Hence, I have no problems in accepting the fact that I can never climb Everest in this life, or that I can never play cricket like Sachin Tendulkar or Rahul Dravid. I can live these shortcomings of mine peacefully. However, if I think that I have a problem in walking to the bathroom every morning, or that I am unable to play cricket with my 8-year-old son, then I find it difficult to live with these facts. I will be very unhappy that I am unable to do such a simple thing and this unhappiness will force me to take necessary steps to correct these facts. Hence, our feeling that Moksha is a far off distant object from our daily life allows us to live happily even without doing sadhana. If all of us know that it is a very easy thing, a thing within our reach, we will be uncomfortable in not trying to get it.

This verse is trying to remove this (false) sense of difficulty about sadhana’s aim from our life. It emphasizes that the goal of realizing the presence of God in everything is as easy as seeing the midday sun in a clear sky. If one understands and accepts this verse to be true, we will be naturally very unhappy about not doing sadhana. This unhappiness is not acceptable to our mind and thus, on its own accord, it will force us to do sadhana.

There are some things in our life that are mechanical in nature and some which are creative. Examples of mechanical things are: Memorizing traffic rules, remembering the date of birth of your brother etc. When we apply these mechanical things in our own life, they become creative. Hence, allowing a pedestrian to cross while you are driving a car will be creative application of rules (in India! In some countries, this is also a rule!!), or sending a bouquet of flowers on your brother’s birthday is a creative thing in your life. Of course, creative things are more difficult to do than the mechanical things. They become even more difficult if the mechanical things themselves become difficult. For example, it is a difficult mechanical thing to know different types of brush strokes and different types of colours with their textures. Hence it is far more difficult to actually paint something nice using all that knowledge. Even Picasso would have painted handful of paintings in his lifetime that he would thought are worthwhile. The rate might be one painting a month or even less. But he is still called a painter. No one, including Picasso himself, would question that description of his. Even though he would have brushed his teeth to perfection far more times than he had done a good painting in his life, he (or I, for that matter!!) would not even consider himself to be a ‘teeth-brusher’ of this world!!! We all think that describing Picasso as a painter is a better picture of his true self because we believe that amongst all people, this aspect of his ‘defines’ him the best.

Now, knowing that God exists in everything is a mechanical thing. Applying it in your life to see its truth is its creative aspect. Therefore, just like a painter doesn’t keep painting continuously or a comedian doesn’t tell jokes all the time, we should first see that seeing God in everything couldn’t be a continuous phenomenon. Even the great Ramakrishna Paramhans used to come down to ‘normal level’ of existence often. Otherwise, he would say, he would not have been able to guide others by telling about his experiences. Hence, the occasions when we see God in everything like a midday sun will only come sporadically in our life.

Further, even if a person sees God in everything only once a year, or even once a lifetime, such a person would be known as Dnyani. Because it is this aspect of that person that distinguishes or defines him or her.

Now that it is clear that only once in a while we could be creative enough to see God in everything, the following question arises. How can we identify such a moment? How did Picasso know that now is the time to paint? The answer is the same as for both these questions. We never know the right time until the event actually happens. Only after the whole painting is done would Picasso know about its worth. Even if the urge to paint is genuine, a good painting may not result. Even if the urge to write a story is genuine, a good article may not result and it may happen over a long period of time (the so called ‘writer’s block’). Still a writer or a painter never gives up trying. Ultimately, the time comes when his effort yields results that are worthwhile. Exactly, like that a Dnyani is always feeling the genuine urge to see God in everything, his attempts (based on his previous successes) are also genuine. But only occasionally he is satisfied at the result of his sadhana. When will he be satisfied? When is Picasso or Salman Rushdie is satisfied with their efforts? When they are convinced of the worth of their output, they are satisfied. They are not bothered if their conviction has the approval of the society. A large number of people did not appreciate the cubism of Picasso and Satanic Verses of Rushdie. But they remained firm in their belief of its worth. Exactly like that, we all may not appreciate a Dnyani’s interpretation of God. But he believes in it. He has no doubt about it. Therefore, we should first try and see how can we be so convinced about our own experience of God. This question is of great importance because, just like a good painting or a great book, there is no uniform definition of God. Some people see Him as one with four hands and lots of weapons, while some other may see Him as a toddler or an infant. Some people may hold Him responsible for all the things that happen around us and some others may think that He is in his name. What is more confusing is that each of them is right! Therefore, at first we must try and define God for our self. How do you want your God to be? I mean, how you really, really want your God to be? God will take the form you want and show Him in that way. He is capable of taking any form you want. Have you spent time in fixing up your mind about the way you want to see your God? Is it going to be a flash of light? Or is it going to be a benedictory version of Vishnu? Or is it the clarity of thought that signifies presence of God to you? Or may be the form of your Guru? The possibilities and choices are infinite. Whatever version of God you want to see, you must be absolutely sure about it.

Next, we must make ourselves capable of receiving such a sight. I mean, if you want to write a great novel about a very complex topic, you must first understand how to write an essay don’t you? Afterwards, you can try your hand at a story, then a novel and then attempt to write about some complicated issues with great clarity. Similar thing can be said about all creative things. Bergman couldn’t have made his great movie Seven Seals without understanding the effects of camera angle, lighting etc. in great detail. If writing a novel, making a movie requires so much preparations, is it fair for us to expect the vision of God in our individualized form right here and now? Even Swami Swarupanand had to spend two years in stressful anticipation after he developed a keen liking to see the form God as described in Geeta, one with four hands and wearing yellow cloth around his waist (Pitambar). But at the end of those two years of anticipation, he got what he wanted. So we all need to prepare ourselves for such a ‘darshan‘. What is that preparation? That preparation is what is called sadhana in my previous comments on verses from Dnyaneshwari. You do that sadhana in right earnest with the sole intent of seeing God as you want Him to be, and surely you will see him as clear as the midday sun in a clear sky. That is all there is to it. The more honest you are in your attempts, the more closer you are at getting what you want. Go for it now!

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2 Responses to “63/9: Where Is God?”

  1. swarup kumar mohalik Says:

    How do I want my God to be? I don’t know. I just vaguely know that
    my God is not This and not That but the elimination process does not
    precisely define my God. So if I want to go ahead by fixing some
    approximate definition, I myself am not convinced in my heart about
    what I want. If I have to start with faith, then how do I develop the
    depth I must have to begin my Sadhana?

  2. Shreedhar Says:

    Dear Swarup,
    Each verse of Dnyaneshwari is a path towards the ultimate goal of finding a certain unity in our diversified existence. It is not expected that a sadhak should walk on all those paths at once. Therefore, if you do not have a clear idea of what God means to you, then do not try to find God in everything. Moreover, as you know your limitations, you will not be inclined to argue with a person claiming to see God everywhere. This way, you have at least learnt what NOT to do! This is not a small achievement…
    Secondly, you can rest assured that most of us belong to your class. You are not alone.
    Finally, a person can only aim at things he/she can imagine/want. Hence, we should all be realistic and start with simple aims like ‘a calmer mind’ or ‘a better understanding of people dear to us’ or ‘accepting our own faults without regrets’ etc. Once we have come close to achieving these well defined targets, our next goal will be clear to us. This process will go on and on… Have patience!
    Shreedhar

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