June 2011

‘Renounce the ego’ is the Lord’s only request; ‘I’ll make you a God’ is the promise.Chinmaya

 “Can we see God?” is a common question asked by many. The above quote answers it all. You can not only see God, but you can be God as well! In fact, seeing God is being God.

A determined young man – a college student – once confronted Sadhu Vaswaniji and said to him, “You talk of God all the time – but where is He? He is not to be seen or heard! Your God is nowhere!”

Vaswaniji asked him to write those words on a piece of paper. Casually, the student picked up a pen and wrote in block letters: GOD IS NOWHERE. Vaswaniji smiled gently. He took the pen from the young man’s hand and drew a line – a stroke between ‘W’ and ‘H’ and asked him to read it.

The student read it aloud “God is now here”!

God is in the now, and God is right here! God is that light of awareness in whose presence we are aware of form, colour, sound, touch, taste or smell. God is that light of consciousness because of which we are conscious of the outer world of things and beings and the inner world of ideas and feelings. Again, God is that ‘I’ in us without which we have no existence! God thus defined becomes our innermost and intimate experience which none can deny or refute.

If this awareness, this consciousness, this ‘I’, is God, then why is it that we don’t experience the blissful state of Godhood?

Pujya Gurudev gives an apt simile in this regard. Why blame the chocolate if it doesn’t taste good when eaten along with the wrapper. Pure Consciousness ‘tasted’ along with the wrapper i.e. the body-mind-intellect entity or the ego, can only give us limited and painful experiences. Renounce the wrapper of ego and then enjoy the sweetness of the blissful Pure Consciousness.

Also, there is no ‘becoming’ God. Renounce the ego and what remains is God alone!

It is like silence. Stop making noise and the silence is already there. Stop dreaming and lo! The waker alone remains. It is only a wrong notion in the mind which makes us believe that we are this body-mind entity. Scriptures ask us to remove this imaginary egoistic notion, logically proving that the seen ego (the body-mind entity) is different from the seer, the Pure Awareness. Abidance in this Awareness itself is being God.

The Lord can only request us to renounce the ego; He cannot do it for us. The choice is given to us – whether to allow the play of the tyrant ego in us or allow God to take over. Making the first choice will mean keeping all the mind-born diseases like worries and anxieties as our constant companions. Make the second choice and we will see for ourselves how effortlessly the mind rests in peace, receiving the timely and appropriate guidance from the Divine.

Professor Samuel F B Morse, the inventor of the first electromagnetic single-wire telegraph system and the co-inventor of the Morse code, was asked in an interview, “In the course of your experiments at the university, there must have been occasions when you felt you were at a dead-end, knowing not which way to turn.”

“Of course yes,” he answered. “Such situations happened more than once.”

“Then what was your reaction?”

“I prayed for light, more light.”

“Did God give you what you asked for?”

“Yes, He did,” answered the Professor. “That’s why I always felt that I never deserved the honours that came to me from Europe and America. All this is due to God’s help. I wasn’t in any way superior to other scientists. The Lord had to bestow this gift (telegraphy) on mankind, and He had to choose someone. I am grateful that He chose to reveal it through me.”

Prof. Morse did not make the mistake of forgetting the Lord, as is the case with most of us. Once the invention was made in May 1844, the first message he sent through the telegraph was, “What God hath wrought!” (= what God has done).

It takes a great amount of maturity and wisdom to say, “O Lord – Thine, not mine!”

Thales, one of the seven wise men of ancient Greece, famously known as the father of modern science, was once asked, “What is the most difficult thing in this world?” Without a second thought, Thales replied, “To renounce one’s ego!”

Hundreds of devotees thronged to see the Master. This used to shatter the silence of the ashram, upsetting the inmates living there. But the Master seemed to be just as content with the noise as with the silence. One day, the disciples came to the Master, complaining about their difficulty in meditation due to the absence of silence in the ashram.

With a gentle smile, the Master replied, “silence is not the absence of sound, but the absence of the self!”

May we remain ‘absent’; and in that silence of absence, may we recognize His Eternal Presence!

O   M         T   A   T         S   A   T

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