O symbol of Light,
We tend to instill within ourselves the qualities of objects that we concentrate upon. Five branches of mind and brain science have found this to be the case. That is why I concentrate on your image and you.
O Light, I have ambitions. While fulfilling them, working for the welfare of others will bring prominence to me as well. Only you, O Light, embody a unique confluence of the qualities of equality and providing energy. Hence I seek to become one with you and ask for strength.
The Sun, our source of light, burns his internal energy and provides light to the entire world. O Light, as a symbol of the Sun, you bring this wisdom to me. [In Sanskrit – Gayatri Mantra: Aum tat-saviturvarenyam bhargo devasya dheemahi, dheeyo yo nah prachodayaat].
- Manashakti Prayer of Light, initial portion.
Belief. An opinion or conviction: a belief that the earth is flat. (On logic, reasons)
Faith. Belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact. (Belief based on perception of … person, doctrine etc.)
Devotion. Profound dedication, Religious observance or worship; a form of prayer or worship for special use. (A belief on Guru, Deity, perceived highest value with attitude of surrendering)
If seen carefully the three synonymous words as above, it is felt the word ‘devotion’ is more apt to express the feelings of the theists towards their deity or their idol of belief. I am not aware how the word ‘devotion’ is explained in the scriptures of the western religions. But I know that the concepts such as ‘God’, ‘Devotion, i.e. Bhakti’ and ‘Devotee’ are vividly explained based on highest logic and intellectual consideration in Holy Gita, Holy Bhagwata and several other texts and books of Hindu saints and thinkers. We shall briefly review the concept ‘God’.
In a book Manache Sloak (Marathi), author Swami Vijnananand, published by Manashakti, following verses give us useful information.
What is the Origin of Universe? जगाचा जन्म कोठून ? (१८९)
मही निर्मिली देव तो वोळखावा I
जया पाहतां मोक्ष तत्काळ जीवा I
तया निर्गुणालागी गूणी पहावे I
परी संग सोडूनि सुखें रहावे I I १८९ I I
If we happen to see, a nice piece of art we would like to know, who created it. We are always eager to be in acquaintance with the major leader of the region we reside. But are we eager to be in touch with the God? To know the God is always a vital issue. Did we ever struggle to grasp the glimpse of the God, who is believed to be the creator of this universe? It would be always advisable to have curiosity of the creator of the universe, spread over in the endless area, containing several stars, planets and galaxies. When we search Him on a proper path, we shall meet Him and then we probably would get rid of all our problems and calamities.
The God is described as form-free, shape-free, infinite, all encompassing, all pervasive, omnipotent, beginning-less and endless. But it won't be possible for a layman to see or even think of a God in such a way. To overcome this limitation, we should imagine the God in a concept to which we are well versed in our day-to-day world. For self-convenience and to an extent required, we should convert the formless in some form. In spite all such efforts, one should endeavor to be content within, by own efforts.
What is the theory of science on the origin of the universe?
There are many theories and search is still on. The book from Manashakti ‘Science and Philosophy’, appendix point, 18A mentions of Professor Hyman Levy (Hyman Levy, 1889 – 1975. Was a Jewish-Scottish philosopher, professor, mathematician, political activist and fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh), who has put forward a theory which says that the world is produced from quantum of smallest wave length a smallest fraction of an atom.
Does He exist? Yes. Yes. No. No. आहे आहे , नाही नाही ! (१९०)
नव्हे कार्यकर्ता नव्हे सृष्टिभर्ता I
परेहुन पर्ता न लिंपे विवर्ता I
तया निर्विकल्पासि कल्पीत जावे I
परी संग सोडूनि सुखे रहावे I I १९० I I
Now the next logical query is 'Who produced the initial quantum of smallest wave length which was a small fraction of the atom?' Science does not provide answer to this question. Philosophy makes effort to go through the detailed analysis to find the answer.
The originator of the whole process can't be termed as 'an activist'. That originator has neither created nor does it nourish the universe. That originator is greater than the greatest imaginable. It does not get entangled in the illusion i.e. Maya. However one should never give-up the search and try to be contended with fully detached mind.
Self-Purification to reach up to God. कार्य शुध्दीच्या उपायाचे स्वरूप. (१९३)
नव्हे जाणता नेणता देवराणा I
न ये वर्णिता वेदशास्त्रा पुराणा I
नव्हे दृश्य अदृश्य साक्षी तयाचा I
श्रुती नेणती नेणती अंत त्याचा I I १९३ I I
The end-less greed of the mind result in unfair karmas and the resulting consequence we term as grief and calamities. To pacify the inherent restless urge if one desires to follow an ideal then Ramdas Swami suggest the worship of Ram.
To describe the deity Ram, Saint Ramdas says that he can be sensed or can be beyond sense. The scriptures (Vedas, Puranas) are also not capable to precisely describe the great God. God is neither visible nor invisible but fully knows both visible and invisible. Scriptures not know God’s beginning or end as He himself is the creator of the scriptures.
One more note is worth at this stage. We consider Ram to be the ideal for peace, but the biography of Ram reveals that he himself is often seen to be disturbed, sad, and unstable. This point is discussed in the next verse.
Body. Mind. Soul. - Three Puzzles. तीन कोडी - देह, मन, आत्मा, (१९४)
वसे हृदयी देव तो कोण कैसा I
पुसे आदरे साधकु प्रेष्ण ऐसा I
देह टाकता देव कोठे रहातो I
परी मागुता ठाव कोठे पहातो I I १९४ I I
The query in the last point is answered.
Even the God when in embodied form, has to undergo the grief and calamities, the unavoidable reality of the life. The uniqueness with the Ram is his integrated commitment to courage, peace and benevolence even in the testing time of grief and calamities. That is why he is an Ideal, worth following for a common man.
This verse in the first two lines asks “Tell me more about the God which rules the heart i.e. life. After the death where does He go? Where does he stay?”
The answer to these queries is provided in the verse to follow. But to appreciate the answer, one should be aware of the three basic constituents which form the human being. They are body, mind and soul. These three terms are aptly discussed in chapter three of another book by Manashakti viz. “Geeta in terms of Latest in Science”. The book is authored by Swami Vijnananand, published in year 1965.
The next verse gives this discussion and its conclusion in nutshell.
Body, Mind, Soul. - Definitions. “जड. मन. आत्मा " यांच्या व्याख्या. (१९५)
वसे हृदयी देव तो जाण ऐसा I
नभाचे परी व्यापकु जाण तैसा I
सदा संचला येत ना जात कांही I
तयावीण कोठें रिता ठाव नाही I I १९५ I I
God, while He stays in the human heart also occupies whole space in the sky. He exists everywhere. He neither comes nor does He go. There is no space, where He does not stay. In this context, as mentioned in the last verse let us review the definitions of body, mind and soul.
Matter has relative inertia. It does not move by own wish. (The brain or the man-made robot will never have its own intelligence – mentions ‘Cybernetics within Us’). The mind, which has the attraction of the matter, always has a relative motion. This attraction restricts its otherwise limitless motion. Since Soul does not have any wish, it has no attachment to the matter. One way it possesses limitless energy to move while in other way it can also be at perfectly peace and a motion-free state.
An Illustration – A poor staying in the slums desires to own a palace. Riding on the horse of desire his mind jumps to the palace. His soul stays with mind both in slums also in palace. The soul has neither attraction for the palace nor aversion for the slums. Mind and Soul are no distinct entities. Once the mind shades away its morbid impulsive state then it turns into soul.
How the pure soul does stays with an impure mind?
Simile – The glass filled with muddy water when kept steady for some time, the dust settles down and the clear, pure water separates on the top.
How God is omnipresent? राम सर्वत्र कसा ?(१९६)
नभी वावरे जो अणुरेणु कांही I
रिता ठाव या राघवेवीण नाही I
तया पाहता पाहतां तेंचि जाले I
तेथे लक्ष आलक्ष सर्वै बुडाले I I १९६ I I
To a question ‘do you worship Lord Ram, the son of king Dasharath?’, Mahatma Gandhi answered ‘energy, which pervades all over the universe, personified in the word ‘Ram’, the name which king Dasharatha selected for his son, is my deity for worship’.
Science says that there is no vacuum in the universe. The ‘Field’ is entirely filled with the cosmic energy contained in several sub atomic particles. Saint Ramdas Swami has described Ram as all-encompassing, all-pervasive. It implies that Ram is a part of the Universe, even filled in all known, unknown sub atomic particles / micro particles. In space, in all direction whatever exists is Ram. If anybody can meditate and resonate with such a vast energy as Ram, he also shall experience the status of ‘being’, ‘non-being’ and ‘beyond’, ‘omnipotent’, ‘omnipresent’.
Form less (Nirguna) and In Form (Saguna), (http://www.chakras.net/yoga-principles/21-nirguna-and-saguna)
God in Nirguna form is in fact everywhere and in everything, but this is not easily comprehensible or “appealing” to our human intellect.
It is difficult or almost impossible for our intellect to grasp and understand the universal, eternal, all-conscious and omnipresent divine energy. It is much easier for us to have a divine incarnation as a figurehead, towards whom we are able to direct our feelings. In the Saguna aspect, God appears in a human form making it easier for us to come closer. There have been divine incarnations in every age to show people the path to Nirguna God. If we want to send a message in a bottle out into the ocean one sure way would be to throw it into a large river; in this way it will certainly reach the ocean sooner or later. In the same way if we follow the river of consciousness of a divine incarnation we will reach the ocean of Nirguna safely. When we trust in his guidance we will definitely reach the goal. In this way Saguna Bhakti, love and devotion to God in a form in which we are able to perceive and worship God, develops quite naturally from Nirguna Bhakti, the realization of the divine Will.
There is one question that constantly concerns people: Why there are a number of divine incarnations on earth?
There is only one God who has neither form nor name. It is the human mind that has created the many different images and forms of God. God is known as: Holy Father, Allah, Ishvara, Divine Will, Cosmic Principle, Universal Consciousness, Love, Supreme Self, etc. There are probably as many images and names for God as there are people on the planet. Each person has impression of God according to own level of spiritual development and forms own mental image of God. Everyone expresses worship for the Divine in very own way.
The situation in which Arjuna landed after the Vishva Rupa Darshana of God is described in Chapter 11 of Holy Gita as follows:-
Arjuna saw that blaze of Krishna which resembled the clustering of a thousand Suns. He could see Krishna who was so scorching that even a number of Suns would appear like dwarfs, and the Suns would turn cool like shadows. He says “it is difficult to view the God from all sides. He is brilliant like the kindled fire. He alone has not only filled up the space between the sky and the earth, but even occupied all the directions. On seeing this miraculous fierce form of the God, all Universes are bewildered with fear. My courage and steadiness is totally exhausted. I have stopped experiencing any pleasure, whatsoever. Kings and warriors are briskly entering His mouth that is on fire. It is only today that I am actually seeing how people enter the mouth of death.’’
Arjuna’s head became extremely hot. The hearing by the ears stopped. The function of seeing by the eyes became scorching. Arjuna says “Oh, Krishna! Please hold back this fierce form of yours. I cannot bear this severe heat. I am unable to endure this extreme heat of Truth”.
It is not an easy job to meet such a mighty God in its true form. But to keep available the path to the average person for Devotion, Saguna Bhakti is recommended. Based on the Deity of choice, one has to decide the virtues to be acquired to match the ideals. On perpetual basis there should be critical self- introspection to review the self-achievement in terms of qualitative improvement in own behavior. To the extent this penance (Sadhana) shall progress, the blessings of the Deity shall be experienced and the Devotion will bear fruits. Whatever maybe the chosen Deity ultimately the path will lead to the greatest almighty.
This can be termed as “Knowledge based devotion”.
Vijay R. Joshi