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15. The Truth beyond Definition
That which exists in the three periods of time and therefore which is beyond time - that which exists everywhere, and that which is conscious of all things at the same time, is obviously beyond guessing.
In that omniscient being the universe arises as part of its own nature.
The arising of the universe is potentially inherent in the cosmic being.
If this is not seen then one cannot see the omnipresence.
In that omnipresence there is no distinction between unity and diversity.
In a dream there are hundreds of thousands of people, hundreds of thousands of beings, and in that dream you also exist as if independent of them, that is, independent of you.
Crazy, but true!
If that is sort of inferentially clear, then suddenly one realises that even these definitions of unity and diversity are merely words which are coined by an immature mind, groping to find the truth.
They are not truth.
There is nothing called unity, there is nothing called diversity.
This division again is created by the mind which is stupid.
In that unity this diversity exists, and the two together are called omnipresent.
Where the distinction between unity and diversity vanishes, and one seems to merge into the other without distinction, without a contradiction, is what is called omnipresent.
Omnipresent does not mean that God dwells in you.
'God dwells in you' means that there is something other than God also, in you - which is not omnipresence.
God does not dwell in you as tea in a cup - the cup being you and God dwells in it - then you are denying the word 'omnipresent' immediately!
It is the omnipresent that functions in a certain way, in what apparently looks like a diversity within itself, and since it is omniscient it is all the time conscious of this omnipresence, that all this is happening within the one which is also the many.
And it is also omnipotent, so it is able to function in infinitely diverse ways.
Why does a dog bark, the swami speak, somebody sing?
That is how it is!
That is how the omnipresent omnipotence, omniscience manifests itself.
When that is understood the Bhagavad Gita is simply thrilling.
If you do not understand this, you go on performing these ceremonies - doing charity and good actions in strict accordance with the injunctions and the prohibitions of the scriptures - which is very good, excellent.
If you examine your own conduct very carefully, whether you are a religious person completely and totally committed to tradition, or a philanthropic person who has been brought up on the idea that you must do good to everybody, that God has placed you on this earth in order to promote human welfare and that sort of thing, it is not difficult at all to detect the presence of fear.
The best part of human goodness is unfortunately based on fear.
You are good to your friend because you are afraid that otherwise your security or happiness is threatened.
As long as you are doing something good, it is very good, but since this goodness is based upon fear of consequences the goodness is not free, it is constrained, conditioned.
In the same way, if you are able to look at yourself, you might see that you are religious, you go to the temple, you pray and you do japa because you are afraid of some unknown unhappiness striking you.
And you are afraid that for all the sins that you have committed here you might be sent to hell.
These possibilities are present in our lives, and we are aware of them.
As long as this fear exists, it brings in some kind of a hope that 'by doing this, I am ensuring my happiness here and maybe a better life after I drop this body.'
Fear and hope keep chasing each other without an apparent end.
Can one recognise here and now, immediately, that 'I am' is true but 'I' do not belong to 'me'?
'I am' but I am myself part of that cosmic being.
This 'I am' has a dual form, one as an individual, the other as part of the cosmic totality.
It is exactly like space.
There is space called the room, but it is an integral indivisible part of the total space.
Even so, the individual seems to be dual, but it is indivisible.
Indivi(sible)duality has become individuality.
It is merely a point of view.
So, if in the correct understanding or realisation of this simple truth, it is possible for you and me to live in the constant realisation that all these 'I am's' are integral parts of this totality called God, and the intelligence that functions and the manifestations of that intelligence in infinite forms - whether it is called cleverness, crookedness, wickedness, saintliness, holiness, unholiness - are all part of that cosmic intelligence, then it becomes impossible for the mind not to be constantly conscious of God.
Krsna says:
Do this, and your security is guaranteed.
If you dwell constantly in God in this manner, if your own awareness, attention, consciousness, mind, citta is directed in this manner constantly, then your security is guaranteed.
In other words, if you realise that God is omniscient and omnipresent and omnipotent, why will you desire anything?
And will you be afraid of losing anything that you have?
Knowing that he is here, he knows everything, and he can do everything, is supreme security.
In that state, if your limbs fall away, that is precisely what is needed.
He knows best.
That surrender happens when all that we have discussed so far becomes a realisation.
Occasionally we may have a glimpse of this truth, but it is not easy to sustain this awareness, because our own wrong thinking and wrong upbringing stand in the way.
We have been brought up from babyhood to regard this as mine - 'I must protect it - and I must have that also.
The more I have, the better it is, the more secure I will be'.
It is not easy suddenly to realise that God is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent, and that even without praying for what you need, it is provided.
Occasionally one may get into this realisation, but it is soon lost because of what they call samskara and vasana.
Hence Krsna, whose approach is always comprehensive, suggests that if you find it difficult to live in this realisation all the time:
Whatever thou doest, whatever thou eatest, whatever thou offereth in sacrifice, whatever thou givest, whatever thou practiseth as austerity, O Arjuna, do it as an offering to me. (9:27)
Whatever you do, whether you regard that action as righteous or unrighteous, good or evil, know that this action arises in God, so it is offered unto God.
Even the offerer is God, but since you have in this bhakti yoga a sense of duality, whatever you do, offer it to God.
As you go on offering all these at the feet of this omnipresent being, gradually you will grow in this tiny little trick of pushing this ego away.
On the one hand you are trying to link yourself up with God all the time; on the other hand samskara also have their own play.
But gradually the good samskara grow stronger and the other samskara get weaker.
You are moving towards the light with faltering steps.
Soon he becomes righteous and attains to eternal peace, O Arjuna, know thou for certain that my devotee is never destroyed. (9:31)
Once you turn towards the light, darkness is dispelled.
How much more then the holy brahmana and devoted royal saints!
Having obtained this impermanent and misery-ridden world, do thou worship me. (9:33)
Fix thy mind on me (saturate the mind with me); be devoted to me; sacrifice unto (work for) me; bow down to me; having thus united thy whole self with me, taking me as thy supreme goal, thou shalt come unto me. (9:34)
Therefore try with all your being to resort to or to be devoted to God.

The Bhagavad Gita - Introduction | EN

Swami Venkatesananda

The Song of God - Introduction - Swami Venkatesananda - enlarged 4th edition – 1984 - published by The Chiltern Yoga Trust, Cape Town, South Africa
1998 - 2017

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