God Present Within Us by Swami Krishnananda

Baba Times Digest© |2 March 2014 13:53 EST | New York Edition

God Present Within Us

Divine Life Society Publication: - The Spiritual Import of the Mahabharata and the Bhagavadgita by Swami Krishnananda

The Field of Comprehension

Our observations and perceptions are mostly partial, one-sided; and this defect or limitation that is imposed upon the process of perception gives us a wrong picture of the object—even if it be God Himself, the supreme object of knowledge. We may call it the field of comprehension.

The thought of God is the most difficult thought. As a matter of fact, any thought is difficult when it is attempted to be made comprehensive. The difficulty is not in the fact that the object here is God—the difficulty is in the structure of the mind itself. There is a common defect present in all perception. The object is looked upon as an object only and bereft of any other implication in its existence. That objects are simply located in a particular place is a fallacy, and this fallacy is at the root of all our knowledge.

We cannot think God. Our minds are not so made as to enable us to contemplate God as He is in Himself. But the Bhagavadgita insists that liberation is impossible until and unless meditation becomes practicable on the true God.

And who is this true God?

We are not merely mortals, individuals, but we have a superhuman element within us, and this is the deepest adhyatma in us. That is God present within us. The root of our personality is God Himself. The mind has to be united with God—this is called yoga. Ultimately yoga means union with God.

The Absolute or Brahman has to be comprehended in its integrality, totality, unity, in its blendedness and completeness—not merely in transcendence, but also in immanence and inclusiveness of everything. The adhyatma (subject) is not isolated from the adhibhuta (object) or the adhiyajna or the adhidaiva.

The adhiyajna or the field of activity, service and relationship of any kind is one of the manifestations of God Himself, so that the concept of God includes the concept of human society, and it cannot exclude it. So social welfare, social thinking, the humanistic approach is incomplete without the introduction of the divine element into it.

“How then are we to contemplate the Supreme Being?”

The imperishable, eternal is called the Absolute—aksaram brahma paramam. Inasmuch as everything is perishable, the tendency of the whole universe is to overcome this perishable character of itself and attain the imperishable Brahman. The adhyatma is the essential nature of an individual. Your essential nature is naturally not what appears on the surface of your personality.

The innermost essence and the basic rock bottom of the individual is adhyatma, and it is inseparable from the imperishable Brahman. The atman is Brahman; kutasta is the same as the Absolute. Just as the root of the wave in the ocean is the ocean itself, the root of personality, the Overself, the kutastachaitanya, is Brahman, the Imperishable. All activity which forms part of the field of adhiyajna is called karma in a cosmical sense. There is only one activity ultimately, and that is the movement of the cosmos towards its ultimate end. All actions, the so-called activities of individuals, are facets of cosmic activity. This is the supreme yajna and is called adhiyajna—the transcendent purpose behind all activities.

The principle of karma gets transformed into yoga, known as karma yoga, when all actions are realized as expressions of cosmic activity. There is no such thing as my activity or your activity. They are only outer manifestations, through the individualities of persons, and there is only one agent behind action—God Himself—and neither are you the doer, nor am I the doer. If the actions do not belong to you, the fruits thereof also cannot belong to you. That is why the Gita again insists upon our abandonment of the fruits of action. If, by any kind of egotistic affirmation of yourself, you assert your agency in any kind of action, there would be a nemesis following from this false notion of action—a reaction set up by this individual notion of activity or personal agency. This nemesis or reaction is what is known as karma bandhana, or the bondage of karma, which becomes the source of sorrows of various types, including transmigration. So the creative impulse, which is the source of all forms of action in this world, is the ultimate karma. This alone can be called real karma, and all other karmas are included in this supreme karma.

The perishable form of the world, the objectness that is present in objects is called adhibhuta. There is a reality hidden in appearances, and this appearance aspect is called adhibhuta, while the reality that is responsible even for the appearance is the imperishable Brahman. Their essential nature is eternity and infinitude, but their name-form complex, which is in space and time, is the perishable aspect—this is called adhibhuta.

The adhidaiva is the presiding principle behind all individuals, the supreme consciousness that is at the base of all individualities—not the mind, but consciousness. The element within you, the superhuman principle, the divinity implanted in the heart of all individuals, ruling your destiny, guarding you, protecting you, directing you in the proper way is the adhidaiva.

The divine incarnation is the adhiyajna. The blessedness of humanity rests in the extent to which it is able to be guided by the divinity that is immanent in human society. Human individuals cannot achieve ultimate success merely with the power of their hands and feet. Success is a name that we give to an achievement which is of a permanent nature. That which is today, but shall pass away tomorrow, cannot be called a victory.

Today we are looking up with dazed eyes as to what is going to happen to us in the future, because we are always depending on the strength of our arms, the power of our understanding or intellect, the ratiocinating faculty minus the divine element in us. Man minus God is a corpse, and a corpse cannot be expected to win any victory or achieve success. God creates the world and also takes care of it. He is the Creator and also the Preserver, and He preserves the world that He has created by means of His incarnations. Anything in this world that is superb, magnificent and beyond the ordinary in power, in knowledge and in capacity of any kind should be regarded as a divine manifestation.

God incarnates Himself at every juncture or crucial moment, for the solidarity of mankind, for the establishment of righteousness and the abolition of unrighteousness. There is an eternal manifestation of God. As God is eternity, His manifestation also is timeless. God is the only friend of man, truly speaking, because perishable individuals cannot be regarded as true friends—they pass away. We must realize God as the true friend, as incarnate divinity, as a presence which is perpetually before us, guarding us and taking care of us in every respect, providing us with everything that is required at any moment of time. Contemplating God in this manner, we realize His presence even in society.

Hence the necessity to conceive God as a totality and comprehensiveness and not merely as an external object bereft of relationship with the subject and human society. Such yoga is supposed to be the means of the liberation of the spirit from this mortal tabernacle (residence, dwelling place).

Excerpts from:

God Present Within Us - The Spiritual Import of the Mahabharata and the Bhagavadgita by Swami Krishnananda

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