How To Experience God?

We have a question from Hari

The same question Vivekananda asked Ramakrishna, Have you seen god? Can you show him to me?. I want to experience god? Please explain if there is a way to do so?

Swami Vivekananda was never interested in the so called “God” which we worship these days. He was more interested in learning the “Supreme truth” of life and his definition of God was –

God is something which manifests you, me and everything else that you see around you, something which is the supreme truth but that thing itself cannot be seen, realized, understood or felt. Everything exists for that thing but nobody knows what exactly it is for which all these things exist.

I will explain his definition through some examples.

Example #1: You cannot see your own eyes. But you see everything because of that eye. There is something which allows you to see everything but itself.

Example #2: As soon as a child is born, it starts to cry. The child “rebels” against his conditions as soon as it starts to exist. In the initial few years, the child loves to break “Rules”, is mostly “Wild” and “Animal like”. The child is slowly made disciplined and civic by the people surrounding them.

So as soon as something exists, it rebels against the conditions that is surrounding him. Right from the day the child is born, he rebels against parents, goes to school to get an education, goes to college to earn a degree, gets a job or starts a business. All these things are a form of rebel, he is fighting and existing but he is not happy by the conditions responsible for his existence and he fights with this conditions, until the day he dies.

Example #3: A government is formed to maintain law, order and govern “people”. However, there is nobody to “Govern” the government itself. The government creates “Rules” to govern the people who made the government but there is noone to control the government.

Nobody can define that “This is government”. A Police constable is a representative of a “Government” but the constable is not “Government” in its entire form.

Going Back to Definition of God

Now let’s rewind a bit and go back to the definition of God by Swami Vivekananda

God is something which manifests you, me and everything else that you see around you, something which is the supreme truth but that thing itself cannot be seen, realized, understood or felt. Everything exists for that thing but nobody knows what exactly it is for which all these things exist.

For the above three examples which I have cited, you can replace God with your eyes (example #1), the conditions of life (example #2) and Government (example #3)

I hope you get what I am trying to say.

How to Experience God

Now you may wonder, I want to experience a way to experience God. But before you even think about it, I want you to learn this Shloka from Upanishads

Na tatra chaksur gachati, na vaag gachati, na manah
Na vidmo na vijaaniimo yathaitad anushishyaat
anyad eva tad viditadd atho aviditaad adhi
iti shushruma purveshaam ye nas tad vyaacha chakshirey

Let’s understand what this shloka is trying to say.

  • Na tatra chaksur gachati – The eye cannot reach there.
  • Na Vaag gachati – Neither it can be described through words.
  • Na Manah – The mind cannot reach there.
  • Na vidmo na vijaaniimo yathaitad anushishyaat – Nobody can teach this to anyone, it is impossible to convey the definition of “That” based on human understanding.
  • Anyad eva tad viditadd atho aviditaad adhi – It is indeed other than the known but it is not the unknown either.
  • Iti shushruma purveshaam ye nas tad vyaacha chakshirey – it is not divine, neither human, not something which people worship. The understanding of this is the goal of life, death and beyond.

Hinduism claims that the understanding of God can come through realization of a purpose. This purpose, although not a necessity,  can be anything which you can imagine and let’s you recognize your meaning for existence.

  • If you are a street sweeper, you can realize God by sweeping streets so well even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.
  • If you are a sportsman, you can realize God by devoting everything you have to Sport and cherishing the craft, but not for money, fame or recognition but for the love of Sport itself. Wilma Rudolph is an example.
  • If you are a teacher, you can realize God by teaching people something which improves their lives. This very act of teaching itself is the realization of God, if the subject devotes and submerges himself entirely to the cause. The story of Rajesh Kumar, who himself being a college dropout loves teaching poor students under a Flyover in Delhi.
  • If you are an Entrepreneur, you can realize God by devoting all your energy, passion, wealth to that cause itself, going bankrupt, losing all your money, all your fame, recognition, hitting rock bottom, losing all the empire you had created but keeping that cause alive and manifest itself. Steve Jobs and Elon Musk are great examples of Entrepreneurs who lost it all but kept the cause alive, regardless of their own existence.

Realization of purpose will help you experience God

Going back to the Shloka I mentioned above,

The eye cannot reach there. Neither it can be described through words, the mind cannot reach there, Nobody can teach this to anyone. It is indeed other than the known but it is not the unknown either.

You have to understand your purpose in life, first. Only after you have realized what is your role in this universe, you can experience God. If you don’t know what it is, keep looking. Don’t settle. It is through this continuous exercise of knowing, understanding and finding your purpose, you will come to a point where you will know what you are meant to do. It could be anything but you’ve got to reach that state when you realize –

I have figured out what I need to do to realize my purpose.

Once you realize that purpose, you will have to keep at it and submerge yourself to that cause, just like Wilma Rudolph, Steve Jobs, Henry Ford, Elon Musk and other people did. Only after you’ve submerged yourself to that cause for a great amount of time, you will realize what is God.

There are 5 stages and you will slowly graduate from one stage to another till you reach the ultimate stage of “Anandamaya”, the state of pure bliss and enlightenment. The realization of God will happen when you reach the ultimate Stage of life, the Anandamaya Stage and one cannot get to that stage unless he/she has discovered purpose first. Purpose is the vehicle which will take you from the 3rd stage (“Manomaya”) to 4th stage (“Vijnanmaya”). The realization of god will come when you graduate from 4th stage “Vijnanmaya” to the ultimate stage of “Anandamaya”.

Read: 5 Stages of Human consiousness


Note to readers: Just because I have written this doesn’t mean that I know it all and I have reached that stage myself and that I have experienced god and know what it is. I am just sharing what I have known through my study of Indian wisdom and philosophy.

 
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