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God and salvation are right here


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God and salvation are right here


The Lord appears as a human incarnation in order to make Himself available to our direct perception. Thus He satisfies the Vedic statement 'yat sak?at aparok?at brahma, which means that the Lord is available to direct perception right here. The bhagavad gita also says the same thing; “manu?i? tanumasritam. When the Lord takes human form, it is important to recognize Him as the Lord. Prophet Mohammed gave thirty three signs to identify the human incarnation of the Lord. Thus actually Islam also accepts the human incarnation of God although the prevalent form of the religion is averse to this concept. When these signs are followed the human incarnation can be identified and the statements of the scriptures which assert the direct perception or pratyak?a prama?a are satisfied. People cannot accept God right in front of them owing to their ego and jealousy.


They try to place God in some other world and some later time (after death). These are people with a lower maturity. The mature people who have conquered their ego and jealousy accept God in human form in this world. The ?gveda says ihacetavedit atha satyamasti na cetmahati vina??i, which means, “That which is here is true. That which is not here is not true”. The acceptance of the Lord right here, available to direct perception is desirable as it satisfies a scientist or a rationalist too. Science is based on direct perception as the means to establish the validity or existence of a statement or an entity. From the above discussion, God in human form is not an obscure, unverifiable entity. He is available here and now for direct perception. 'yat sak?at aparok?at brahma means that God is here itself. He is not to be known through some other medium of questionable validity but by direct perception. The statement that God is here, does not mean that every individual soul is God. The individual soul is certainly different from God. However God has taken up a particular human body and lives among us.


Salvation is freedom from all worldly bonds. It is also here. It is not in some other world. In this world we have a lot of attachments. These bonds with other souls and material things impede our salvation. All such bonds are temporary and changing. Today we are attached to some person and tomorrow to someone else. Salvation consists in breaking all such temporary bonds. This is achieved by developing and nurturing the single permanent bond with God. In no relation, or no action performed for any other soul here, is there permanence. By attaching to God alone can one free oneself from all the temporary bonds of the world.


The soul is made of the life energy or the superior energy called para prak?ti. The para prak?ti is a drop in the ocean of the totality of the superior energy called the para sakti or maya. The para sakti is the Power of the Lord. It gives rise to Creation. The individual soul has attachments to other souls which are also para prak?ti. Additionally it also has attachments with material things which are a grossified (inert) form of the para prak?ti called as apara prak?ti. The apara prak?ti includes all inert objects such as wealth, land, house, cars and so on. Now the individual soul is in this world. It has bonds to other souls and to inert objects, which are both in this world. The breaking of these bonds is also in this world. Therefore salvation is in this world. It is here and now. It is not after death, in some other unknown world.


Is death salvation?


Death is not salvation. It is only the soul changing one body for a new one, as a person changes one shirt for another. The five elements which constitute the body are like five free birds. The Lord brings them together by force and puts them in the cage of the form of a human body. In forcibly bringing the free birds together, there is a decrease in entropy (disorder). There is a natural tendency of any system to increase in entropy. In other words things spontaneously tend to go into disorder (a state of greater freedom). This is to say that the birds are always trying to get free and fly away. Owing to the Grace of the Lord the elements have combined in this human body by force. The human body is extremely rare to get. It has a very special goal and that is to realize God. It is for this purpose that we have been given the human body.


When a human being, in his life forgets God and gets engrossed in samsara, it is a waste of precious human life. It becomes essential for the Lord to remind him of his purpose in life and to change his direction from the world to the Lord. He does so by threatening to open the cage of the birds representing the five elements. He does not open it, but merely threatens. This threat causes the five elements try to escape; they do not actually escape. We experience this as a disturbance in the five elements which constitute the body. Such a disturbance is disease. Thus disease is a warning from the Lord for us to change our course and remember the Lord.


There is another purpose of giving disease to a person. Every person has done some bad deeds in the past for which he has to suffer according to the theory of karma. He has to get the karma phala or the fruit of his actions. Therefore by giving disease God achieves more than one purpose; to reduce the ego of the person, to turn Him to God and to exhaust some of his karma phala. Thus delivering the karma phala and spiritual development of the soul is carried out simultaneously. This can be compared to a teacher, who as a punishment to poor performers in his class, assigns them extra assignments in the same subject. He achieves two ends by this single punishment. He not only punishes poor performance but also helps them develop in the subject by the extra assignments. Thus in giving disease and adversity to us, we can see the Lord's infinite compassion.


In spite of His repeated warnings in the forms of disease when a person refuses to mend his ways, He issues orders to release the birds from the cage. The elements, which were forcibly kept in the cage of the human form, fly away. This is seen as the death and disintegration of the body.

Even in death His compassion alone is reflected. Death is followed by severe treatment in hell. Here the soul suffers for its sins or bad deeds. This suffering exhausts all the fruits of the bad deeds. It can be compared to exceedingly dirty clothes being cast off and taken to the laundry. There they are soaked in a corrosive detergent, scrubbed, and beaten. When they are done they are as clean as new. Likewise the soul, after it has exhausted all its sins, comes out thoroughly cleansed. Disease or adversity can be compared to a simple wash in plain water. When that is not sufficient to change a person, He gives the person a thorough and vigorous wash in the laundry called hell. The soul comes out as good as new. Thus death is in fact the infinite kindness of the Lord.


Thus there is no need to fear death. One should be glad that one is dying remembering that it is the infinite kindness of the Lord. Death means that you will be washed thoroughly and will come out clean. He is wiping your slate clean and giving you a fresh start. We have an extremely negative view of death. In reality there is no reason to have such an attitude. We should have a positive attitude towards death. It is said that death is spontaneous and natural while life is brought about by force; mara?am prak?ti? sariri?a? vik?ti? jivita? uccyate budhai?. This is understood better using the concept of entropy. Death is a high entropy state while life is a low entropy state. Dying means the elements are going to a state of disorder and hence the process is spontaneous.

At the time of death we should thank the Lord with full heart for wiping our slate clean and giving us a new start. sthitva syamantakalepi brahmanirva?a m?chate. God should always be looked at with a positive attitude. He is the embodiment of Love and Compassion. All that He gives us in our lives is ultimately for our benefit.


At the Lotus Feet of His Holiness Sri Dattaswami


Anil Antony



Universal Spirituality for World Peace


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