Truth And God
Truth and God are synonyms i.e. when I say God it means Truth, and when I say Truth it means God.
God is not the name of an entity which is away from us living somewhere in the sky in some far remote place in the cosmos. For the seers who understood the Truth- God is Truth.
Truth and God are synonyms; when I say God it means Truth, when I say Truth it means God. God exists in every core of an atom. This means that this whole universe is a manifestation of that very God, that very existence. Thus, each and every thing as well as the forms which we are seeing is the form of the divinity. The seers of this land loved and worshipped each and every form as God. The vision of God is not limited. It is limitless; it is beyond the boundaries of human mind.
The sun has billions of rays, which kick off the darkness wherever they fall. From one sun there are billions and trillions of rays shooting out. Every ray is part and parcel of that very sun, and not different from the sun. Similarly, each and every form of this universe is the ray of that very Divine, of the God, of the Truth. So these enlightened masters loved every plant, every tree, every man, and every woman with the same gusto and with the same love. But as it happens, people around these great masters could not understand the depth of their insight, but still they lovingly picked up the rituals of worshipping plant, trees and even a human being. As every human being is divine, every human being can be called God. You too are God; all of us are God.
The seers and sages saw within themselves the divinity and the same light present everywhere. They were not thinking about God, they were not just philosophizing, they could feel and they could experience. Thus, they worshipped and loved living God. Even a glade of grass is God. So, sometimes it baffles me when we say that there are three hundred thirty million Gods believed by Hindus. But I would say the number is very less. It is more than this number. Because the numbers should be as many as there are human beings on this earth.
This spark of divinity, if it gets ignited in the person, then such a person can love everyone, worship all. Hindu civilization grew around the thought that God isn’t far away from us, but in us, within us as well as beyond us. Sun, moon, stars, air, water, from the galaxies to a glade of grass, you, me, and all of us are because of God. A God who is apart from us can be a fabrication of mind. This mind thinks about God because of God. So, we need to go deeper into the inner recesses of the mind to know the eternal source of this mind.
Fire is present everywhere, in all things; because fire is the basic element. Ether, fire, earth, water, and air are the basic ingredients with which this whole world is formed. Fire is everywhere. But you cannot see fire with the naked eye. The fire is right here in this chair on which I am sitting, fire is in this body but the light of this fire will be seen only if we help the fire to come out. Fire too became a sign of God in various religions. When Moses went up the Mount Sinai, it is said that a bush burnt up the holy fire and God talked to him. It is symbolic; fire is being used as a metaphor. Moses was a meditator and the one who is perpetually in silence, observing mind; a day comes when the explosion happens and the unseen is seen. The hidden takes its appearance.
Fire is worshipped by Hindus and Zoroastrians. There are candles lit in churches, lamps in the Buddhist and Jain temples. In one way or the other, fire happens to be in almost all religious places. Fire is a symbol of life, beauty. Fire has been used to explain the omniscience of God by rishis of Upanishad. Fire is right here, there, everywhere but we have to do something to see its glow. God is within us but we have to explore our heart to know the inner light and those who are able to do so are called Enlightened – one who has seen the inner light.
When a rishi worships the Ganga, it might seem very pagan for a stranger to Hindu civilization. It’s just a river, why worship it? It’s just a cow, an animal, why worship it? It’s just a tulsi, a herbal plant, why worship it? But they are not worshipping the tree or the plant or the river or the cow, they are worshipping the Divinity which is there. Why did Ganga get a higher status than other rivers? Because since ages, the entire length of Ganga, from its source at Gangotri to the Bay of Bengal where it merges with the ocean, has been used by individuals to meditate, to explore the inner realms of consciousness. These individuals have been spreading their vibrations and aura in this region. Energy never dies; all energies which got released for thousands of years, has purified and sanctified every speck of sand along the Ganga.
Thus the water of Ganga is naturally magnetized, it has great healing properties. And anything that heals should be given due respect. When the sages offered salutation to the Ganga, it was not a salutation to mere a river, it was a salutation given to the qualities of its water and the Divinity which they could foresee. But it doesn’t mean that the crowds of people who are standing today by the Ganga have this insight. For them it is just a ritual, a tradition. Just by being born in a Hindu family you do not get higher knowledge. Knowledge doesn’t get transferred from one person to another, what to say about generations.
As it happens, enlightened masters are understood by disciples and worshipped by masses. But the people are unable to understand the density of the master’s knowledge. According to their level, they pick up few things, and then they turn it into rituals, which is very harmless. Offering flowers to a statue or a Holy River – what harm can it bring? But when rituals become defining elements of religion, then it becomes the biggest hurdle. One can mindlessly follow rituals and live life of stupidity and ignorance. It is easy to be ritualistic but difficult to be a truly religious person. People just follow the traditions and from these very rituals, religions are recognized. Every religion has its own set of rituals which gives different identity to it. But truly speaking, the real religion has to be the religion of Truth.
If Hindus have forgotten the real Hindu essence, the same has happened to all other religions. How many Christians have really understood the gospel? What Gospel says, how many Christians understand its essence? People have picked up a few sermons; they have just picked up the ritual of going to the church. Jews have synagogues, Muslims have mosques and like any other habit they treat going to their respective worship places in the same manner.
Again, the Christians have their own set of rituals which they follow very religiously. Similarly, Hindus have their own set of rituals which they follow sincerely. Somehow, in this they miss the real essence, the real core. To know the reality, the desire to know has to be there in the heart of these people. But it is missing. Believing seems very convenient, seeking is arduous. So, people opt to be a believer and not a seeker. As lot of sincere introspection is required, exploration and experimentation is crucial to understand. But generally people are lazy, really lazy. So they are happy by just following the rituals. Those who do so miss the whole purpose of religion – they have missed the message.
That is the reason, in India, a great emphasis has been made on the fact that one should have a Master, a Guru through whom you get the understanding, you get the wisdom and you don’t act like a fool by just following the rituals and missing the real essence. Rituals are like an empty can of juice. There is no juice left in it and if you keep on licking the can, nothing will come out of it. People are happy with the empty cans of religion. These are the people who have missed the joy of religion. This is very pathetic. They could have been enriched with the real knowledge. And yet they are happy with just an empty set of rituals. They could have been really religious, but they are happy just to follow the belief system of any particular set of religion.
So, it does not matter what religion you believe, what matters is the religiousness. Not the dogma, not the books, not the scriptures, what matters is your attitude to life.