An Astonishing Secret

Jun 1 2013

Bangalore, India

(Below is a continuation of the post The Space Of Knowledge)

We call something astonishing or wonderful which is not ordinary. But if the same event happens every day, then we do not call it a wonder because we do not find anything really astonishing about it.

When you suddenly see something different to what you usually see, then you say ‘Oh! This is surprising! This is a wonder’.

So a secret is also like that. It is out of the ordinary.

A mango tree will only bear mangoes as fruits. This is no secret. A coconut tree only bears coconuts. Is there anything secret about that? But if one day you see a mango growing from a coconut tree, then it is a wonder. You would say, ‘This is a miracle! It is such an astonishing thing to happen. It is extraordinary’.

If you observe carefully, many astonishing events are happening all the time and everywhere in this creation, and throughout Nature. But you need a special kind of vision to be able to see these astonishing events.

We have to change the way we see things (meaning to shift towards a broad vision). That is called Yoga.

You should have total faith that God is present everywhere. Do not run after God. Do not be feverish to see God (meaning, the desire to see God in a form). 

It is said, when you see this creation from the perspective of Yoga, you find everything so wondrous; so astonishing. And even more astonishing than this is how everything in this creation is a manifestation of that which cannot be seen; a manifestation of the unmanifest consciousness!

Everything in this creation has come out of empty space.

This is why Lord Krishna says, 'Na cha mat-sthani bhutani pashya me yogam aishvaram. Bhuta-bhrnna cha bhuta-stho mamatma bhuta-bhavanah'. (9.5)

Lord Krishna says, ‘O Arjuna! Everything in this creation rests within Me, yet I am not in them (not bound or limited by creation, though it is created by the Lord Himself). The five elements are born from Me and reside in Me, yet I am not in them. Look at this phenomenal magnificence of (My) Yoga’.

For example, your body is composed of the Pancha Bhutas (five elements) and your body is enveloped by your mind. And in your mind, you think about the five elements, about the hot summers and the cold winters, about food and shelter, etc. But is it the mind that eats food?

You often think about a Gulab Jamun or Rasogulla (popular Indian sweets), but can the mind eat these sweets? No, it is the body that eats, but the thought of food comes in the mind (and not in the body).

Can your mind hold a Rasogulla? It is not possible. But thoughts and feelings for a Rasogulla do arise in the mind.

In the same way, God is present in this entire Creation. And how is that so?

Lord Krishna explains this in the next verse, 'Yathakasa-sthito nityam vayuh sarvatra-go mahan. Tatha sarvani bhutani mat-sthanity upadharaya'. (9.6)

He says, ‘Just like how the air element is present throughout space, everywhere, in the same way, this entire Creation resides within Me. Whatever you see around you, everything rests in Me, and there is nothing that is outside of Me’.

A small child, who is eight or ten years old, asks his father, ‘What is God? How does He look like? Where is He?’

The father holds the child’s hand and takes him outside the house.

He asks the child, ‘My dear! Tell me, what was present here before this house was built?’

The child replies, ‘There was nothing. It was all empty space’.

The father asks, ‘So where has this house been built now?’

The child says, ‘It has been built in space’.

The father then asks, ‘So if we break this house down, what will remain?’

The child says, ‘Once again there will be only space’.

So this means that space was there in the past, it is there in the present and will be present in the future as well. It remains unchanged and unaffected from everything. That space is what God is.

In the Upanishads, there is a question, ‘Kim Brahmayeti?’ (Meaning: What is the Brahman? Or, What all does the Brahman encompass?), to which the answer given is, ‘Kham! Kham Brahmayeti!’ (Meaning: Space! Space and all that it encompasses is the Brahman!).

So just like the space element is present everywhere and in everything, in the same way the Brahman or God is present everywhere.

This is why whenever we remember God, we chant, 'Namami-shamishan nirvan roopam vibhum vyapakam brahma-ved swaroopam. Nijam nirgunam nirvikalpam niriham chidakashmakashvasam bhajeham. Nirakaromkarmulam turiyam gira-gyan gotitamisham girisham. Karalam mahakal kalam kripalam gunagar sansarparam natoham'.

(Opening verses of the Rudrashtakam – An Ode sung in the glory of Lord Shiva, by Shri Goswami Tulsidas)

It means that God is the vast endless space of Consciousness.

Just like the space element is present everywhere, in the same way the Brahman or God is present everywhere. One who goes searching (for the Divine) outside of himself is a fool. The one who goes within himself attains the Self (Divine), and  he is the intelligent one.

There is a verse sung in the praise of Lord Dakshinamurthy (a benevolent form of Lord Shiva as the embodiment of all knowledge), which says, ‘Vyomavad vyaapta dehaaya Shri Dakshinamurtaye Namaha’.

(Meaning: Obeisance to Lord Dakshinamurthy who is the personification of the Supreme Self that permeates through Space).

It means, what does God’s body look like? It is vast, endless like the sky.

Lord Krishna also says the same thing, ‘Just like the air present is throughout the space, in the same way, all the creatures and everything in the creation resides within Me. So all creatures; the five elements, nature; absolutely everything resides within Me’.

Now, does anyone go searching for that which is present everywhere? One who goes searching (for the Divine) outside of himself is a fool. The one who goes within and reposes within himself attains the Self (Divine), and he is the intelligent one.

Even if you keep visiting pilgrim spots one after the other, such as Kailash-Mansarovar (a holy shrine of Lord Shiva in the Himalayas), you are not going to find Lord Shiva.

Where ever you are, when you simply become silent and go within yourself, that very moment, you find God.

Lord Shiva is present everywhere, as Chidakasha: the all-pervading space of consciousness. God is like the sky (space). Is space visible? Can you see space? Yes and No.

So you should have total faith that God is present everywhere. Do not run after God. Do not be feverish to see God (meaning, the desire to see God in a form).

There is a beautiful couplet by Saint Kabir Das, ‘Hari Hari kehta Mai phira, Par Hari nahi milay. Jab mai theher karr chhup ho gayya, toh Hari laage peeche kehat Kabir! Kabir!’

(Meaning: When I feverishly searched for God everywhere, I could not find Him anywhere. The moment I relaxed and reposed in my Self, God came behind me calling, ‘Kabir, Kabir!’).

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(Note: The discourse was given in Hindi. Above is a translation of the original talk.)

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