What Our Soul Is Seeking For
The word God is very common. Everyone knows this particular word. Then what is meant by the word God? Seldom people know. In our Vedas, it says, “As you know Him, you find Him.” If you don’t have Him, it means you don’t know Him. It means the knowing and finding are simultaneous. The Gita says the same thing: “As soon as a person knows God, dedicates himself to God…then what happens? Whatever he wants.” Let us look at this idea more closely.
Krishna, God Himself, tells us in the Gita, “Suppose a devotee has surrendered himself to Me, but his mode of surrendering, his motivation behind that dedication is unique. His conception about God is unique. His relationship with God is unique. According to all of these Uniqueness, he attains Me, but in that unique and variable form because I have uncountable forms, because I am almighty and loving.” Thus God is here, He is everywhere, He is in His Divine abode, He is Divine, but His form is uncountable. You cannot count. So a devotee or a true aspirant is really wanting God, but in what form is he wanting God? That makes all the difference! So we must look at who or what we believe God is.
What is the definition of God in our minds? If you look through the books available nowadays on spirituality, God or meditation, you’ll find that the definition of God is very much changed as it was hundreds and thousands of years ago. In those days God was only absolute love, absolute Divine love, but now the definition has been changed and people are thinking all in psychic terms. Everything that is a little different from what we normally experience, everything that seems superior, everything that appears abnormal, we just put a label, ‘G-o-d’, God.
The question is: Is that the God of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu? Is that the God of the Gita? Is that the God of the eternal Vedas? This is the real question.
Take a factual example: You wish to know about God, and I am here to teach of God. But what I think about God is in my mind, what you think about God is in your mind. What I mean to say is that actually, what is God? Unless you understand that aspect, there cannot be a path to or a devotion of or a meditation for God realization.
Say, for instance, you are going to meet someone. All you know is that the person lives in Los Angeles. You flew from New York, came to the Los Angeles airport, and now you are trying to find that person. It’s such a big town—miles and miles and miles. Can you find that person among the millions of houses? I think it is impossible. But you know he is there, he is there somewhere, but it is impossible. You can devote your whole life and still you may not find him. You must know the exact address of that person, the person’s name, who that person is. Only then you can reach him.
Similarly, unless you know the exact definition of God, the exact form of God, the exact path of God realization, then and only then can you directly proceed on the path. Otherwise, there is no possibility. You may spend your whole life—even lives and lives—you may spend all your time before you realize you are lost, and then it is too late. You started on some path and you sincerely believed it was the path to God. You followed it, perhaps wholeheartedly, but after 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 years you began to experience that you are getting nowhere. You noticed you are feeling more attraction towards the world than towards God. Your heart is burning with increased desires and discontentment, and you feel far from God’s consolation and Grace. Now it is too late to change your path to God.
So it is very important to know what is the actual definition of God. And who can tell? Who can tell? That’s the greatest question: who? There are millions of missions, religions, philosophies and belief systems all over the world. In every country there are hundreds and hundreds of missions and belief systems related to God, and they confuse you more and more. How are you going to find out if that problem is solved? Solve that problem and then at least a major problem has been solved.
To this end I can only suggest that you know there are Saints, prophets, Descension of God on this earth, Descension of the loving and Gracious personality of God, Divine personalities, Saints sent by God to propagate His mission. They will not be in thousands or hundreds—not at any one time on this earth, but in our history, in our scriptures, they are in the thousands. So those Divine personalities they introduced God. They were one with God. They propagated only God’s love, so their writings can guide you a little to find what is the path to God.
We can have a quick survey of all of those. We can’t have all, just a few important scriptures, starting from the very beginning of the human civilization. Vedas were the only scriptures which were revealed in the very beginning or you can say even before human civilization. According to our Indian Divine history, the very first people on this earth were all the descended Saints. They appeared with the will of God and then it started through one generation.
So from those days, Vedas existed. All the Vedas, there are many, many branches, but in gist, there are two main points: “We cannot find God with intellectual speculation or intellectual analysis or intellectual research.” But Veda doesn’t say that you can never find God, it says you cannot find God with your intellect. Then what is the path? Veda says, “Bhakti…” Dedication… It’s not an act of your intellect; dedication is an act of your heart or you can say your emotional mind. So through dedication, through complete dedication, you can find God.
Now come to the Gita. It says, “Through bhakti, through dedication, through exclusive dedication…you can find God.” Exclusive means… Say for instance you are in the world. You have a family, husband or wife, children, you have to support. You have a job. Don’t leave anything. Devote some time for God also. It means you are doing 50-50, you’re putting half of your mind in the world and half in God. Even then it is quite enough. Suppose you have got that great longing for God realization and you want, “Oh, I must find God right now. Not tomorrow, not tonight, why not now?” And you supported your thought with your understanding. Here comes the right use of your intellect.
What is your understanding? That He is kind. You know that through the scriptures, through writings of Saints. He is kind and He can shower His kindness any time. So when He’s kind, why cannot he shower His kindness on you now? There’s no reason. Because He is almighty, He has no dates or no appointments for various people. There is no appointment book because there is no limitation. We keep our appointment books because there’s a limited twenty-four hours in a day, limited about thirty days in a month. We have got all limitations. So we get the appointment book and make appointments. But in God’s kingdom there’s no limitation of anything, there is no diary. It is open every time, it is open, come and receive. Delay is from the soul’s side, not from God’s side! The Giver is giving; it is for the receiver to receive when he is ready to receive. So that is what you have to understand mentally.
Let’s say both things are being properly used, your mind and your heart, your emotions and your intellect. So when you have intellectually learned, when you learned that yes, He is kind and He can show Himself any time, then why not now? With this understanding, when your longing goes deeper, and deeper, and deeper, He comes closer, and closer, and closer to you. But you see even if you try to force your mind that way, a part of your head will say “No.” Why not? “No.” This is because you hesitate in trusting that He will appear, or even that he may appear, maybe in one hour or tonight. You don’t trust. From the heart you feel, “No, No, it cannot be that easy.” It is your heart that hesitates. God is ready.
Why won’t you accept it? Why is there something that is pulling you back, something that you don’t know, that brings you back? That something has to be avoided. I’ll explain what is that something. Anyway, if that comes in your mind that “truly I want Him now” and you have the intense longing for Him, there is no reason why He should not come. That is complete dedication as taught in the Gita. It means exclusive devotion or exclusive bhakti or exclusive surrender. Surrender, dedication, devotion, bhakti, all of these four words signify the same thing.
So when that thing happens, then He reveals Himself. You can see Him. You can visualize Him face to face. You can merge yourself in Him. You can experience His absolute radiance which is omnipresent in the world. You can play with Him. Whatever you wish, everything is perfect. But whatever you wish, that depends upon you, and upon your conception about the personality of God.
In this conception you cannot think of God using your psychic powers or abstract intellectual ideology. I mean it should be the real God, but in the form that you love Him. Say, for instance, in the world you love someone as your daughter, someone as your friend, someone as your sister, someone as your mother, they’re all women but the relationship is different. That’s what I mean, that you must remember the real God. In that way you feel yourself related to God, that relationship and those feelings may appear. In that form, He will come to you.
So in this way, this is bhakti, this is dedication or devotion, or this is surrender. The Bhagwatam explains that there are many, many confused aspirants who try to find God in their own way and devote years and years and years in isolation, transcending inside into Samadhi and trying to find God in their hearts. They are called yogis and gyanis. They fail. But Krishna, the supremely charming and loving personality of God, says, “A devotee who is not trying to find Me with his intellect, but rather he is trying to dedicate himself, the one that knows that his soul and I are not just closely related, but that we are eternally closely related, that our relationship is not a formed relation, but it is an internal and eternal relation that can never die, he experiences Me as his Divine Beloved and tries to find Me, not with any demand or request. He only wants Me to love, that is all. Such a devotee or such a disciple or such a bhakt, I take care of Him even during his devotional period, and I don’t let him fall in the worldly mire. I protect him. Slowly as his divine-love-consciousness increases, he feels Me closer and closer, and in the end he finds Me.”
There were many Saints in India, they all said very similar things. Harivansh, Haridas, Roop Goswami, Sanatan Goswami, Vallabhacharya, Nimbarkacharya, many, many acharyas, very similar things they said. Dedicate yourself to loving, Gracious God, He will take care of you, and in the end He will come to you in His Divine personified form. Just start something: cry for Him, cry for His Grace, for His Love alone. That will purify your heart and put positive imprints on your mind and move you towards the path of dedication. In this way a devotee or any person who determines to find God understands that this life is a golden chance to find the love of God. It can start any time he desires to. Your time is passing. Every moment…what is gone is gone. It will never come back. Start now.