- 1. God and man
- 2. Spiritual experiences of a seeker
- 3. Divine messages (akashvani) – God’s communication with man
- 4. God and saints
- 5. God and the Guru
God’s Name is Self-created (Svayambhu) while man is named by another.
A. God has not kept Himself in obscurity. Remaining unmanifest is His basic nature.
B. God is not in obscurity. It is man who is blind. Since man cannot perceive the subtle dimension he cannot see God.
C. God does not want to answer man’s query ‘Why did You create the Great Illusion (Maya)?’ so He has gone into hiding!
Both God and saints have stated that all of us are a part of God. If an orphan is told that his parents are alive then he will certainly go in search of them. The search for God is similar.
Since there is only one Brahman principle the knowledge of the Self-realised one and that of God, about Brahman is one and the same. However only God is aware of the different subjects from the Great Illusion (Maya). Even the Self-realised one cannot acquire knowledge in its absoluteness.
‘Both destiny from willful actions (karmaprarabdha) and destined actions (prarabdhakarma) have been created by God. Thus if their creator Himself is venerated then what harm can they cause? What can your destiny which has been created by Him do then?’(1)
‘Does God favour destiny or effort? In worldly people He favours either destiny or effort whichever is predominant in the individual and in the one who has surrendered unto Him He favours his effort alone.’(2)
God protects internally and brings about death externally. That is why if one becomes introverted one traverses time and does not die but if one remains extroverted, one may have to face death.
When people approach us with worldly problems like inability to bear a male child, failure in arranging a match for their daughter, no success in getting a job, etc. we tell them, “Please do not ask us such questions, you may consult other evolved persons for that. We only give spiritual guidance and answer queries like how one can get a vision of God, attain the Final Liberation, etc.” After telling them this most individuals ask for addresses of those evolved persons. They want happiness from the Great Illusion (Maya); hence no one asks for God’s address!
A. A vision (darshan): Mostly a vision of God is obtained with the subtle sense organs of vision, not the gross eyes. Before giving Arjun a vision of His universal form Shrikrushna told him,
न तु मां शक्यसे द्रष्टुमनेनैव स्वचक्षुषा ।
दिव्यं ददामि ते चक्षु: पश्य मे योगमैश्वरम् ।। – श्रीमद्भगवद्गीता ११:८
Meaning: You are incapable of viewing Me with these mortal eyes, (hence) I shall bestow you with divine vision. (Now) see My divine prowess. – Shrimadbhagvadgita 11:8
Saying thus, The Lord endowed Arjun with divine vision. Only then could he view that universal form. After acquiring inner vision, that is after acquiring knowledge about the soul or in other words after acquiring the spiritual experience of God’s unmanifest form, one gets spiritual experiences of all His characteristics. Then one gets a vision of His manifest (sagun) form as well.
Man can establish contact with God through spiritual practice. Just as one feels like conveying important good or bad news to others so is the case of God. He too wishes to convey messages to man. These are called divine messages. Kansa came to know of Krushna’s birth through such divine messages.
Just as only important news is broadcast over the radio, so also only very important good or bad news is conveyed in a divine message.
A. How good should the news be for it to be broadcast as a divine message?: If news about the birth of incarnations like Rama, Krushna, etc. is considered as 100% good, then news which is atleast 70% good, for instance Rama’s slaying of Ravan is broadcast as a divine message.
B. How bad should the news be for it to be broadcast as a divine message?: If news about the culmination of incarnations like Rama, Krushna, etc. is considered as 100% bad, then news which is atleast 70% bad, for instance the birth of Shishupal is broadcast.
Divine messages are of two types.
A. Collective: For collective hearing of divine messages, collective sattvik (sattva predominant) nature of society is necessary. Such sattvik nature was present in the Satyayug. That is why in the Satyayug the number of people who were able to hear divine messages was high. As the yugs (eras) kept changing the cumulative merits that is the collective sattvik nature began declining and along with it the proportion of those hearing divine messages too declined and finally became completely obsolete in the Kaliyug.
B. Individual: Individual hearing of divine messages depends upon the individual’s (vyashti) merits and will continue to be so till the end of the universe just as in the Satyayug, because individual merit is the devotional life of those desirous of Liberation (mumukshu), seekers and saints and devotional life is the very soul of the individual’s support of God.
Only those with a minimum spiritual level of 70% hear divine messages if the cumulative merits of society are atleast 30%.
A. Spiritual level of the individual.
B. Just as radio frequencies from a particular radio station get obstructed by a mountain in their path so also due to the obstacle of raja and tama components in society the sattva predominant frequencies of divine messages reach the earth in lesser quantities. As a result, there is a reduction in hearing these messages. The following example illustrates the effect of cumulative sins and merits: ‘A demon named Tarkasur had three sons. They were blessed with boons by Lord Brahma and had thus acquired three cities. All the three demons were devotees of Lord Shiva. One wise thing that they had done was that they had brought righteous and pious Brahmans and kept them in their cities. This enhanced their powers even more. These demons conquered heaven and dethroned the deities. The deities first approached Lord Vishnu and then along with Him, Lord Shiva, to express their grievances. Seeing their pitiable condition Lord Shiva sent for Sage Narad and told Him, “Assuming an illusory form visit the cities of the demons and create doubts about Dharmacharan">Righteousness in the minds of the meritorious souls living there.” Narad complied with His directives. The inhabitants of the cities forgot the path of Dharmacharan">Righteousness and became unrighteous. Thus their merits decreased Consequently the might of the demons diminished. Then Lord Shiva attacked the demons and with just one arrow penetrating the three cities, killed them (Saur Puran).’(3)
3.5 The yug (era), number of spiritually evolved individuals, cumulative sins and merits of society and the ability to hear divine messages
The following table gives the yug, number of people evolved beyond 70%, cumulative sins and merits of society and the percentage of people in society who are able to hear divine messages.
|Yug||Number of people
|Cumulative||Number of people
in society who can
|Kali||1/1 lakh||1||90||1/10 lakh|
Depending on a seeker’s spiritual level, his feelings for God and saints vary stepwise as described below.
1. God and saints are complementary to each other. God gains importance due to saints (Gurus) and grants visions in a dream, etc. to His devotees so that saints (Gurus) get recognition. [In reality as a seeker is unfamiliar with The Lord’s face but is familiar with a saint’s (Guru’s) he is able to develop faith in the familiar face of the saint (Guru) instantly.]
2. Saints are greater than God. There are some quotes in support of this statement, e.g. ‘If God is pleased He blesses with things from the gross but if saints are appeased They endow with God Himself’, ‘When saints come home one may put aside God (idols) and worship Them instead’.
3. God is crafty. He gets His work done through various saints. (In reality He Himself performs His mission assuming various forms.)
4. Both God and saints are one and the same. An example to illustrate this is given in the biography of our Sadguru H.H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj – ‘From there we proceeded to Badrinarayan. H.H. Baba sat on a bench outside the temple as the ritualistic worship along with the ritual of moving lit lamps (darshan arti) was being performed. Then the priest came out with the arti platter and offered it to Baba as a blessing, as is the custom. Baba responded saying “Arti was not performed at all”. We wonder what the priest felt, but just then he performed arti for Baba and sang a hymn (arti) of Lord Shankar while doing so.’ (4)
5. Lord Yama trembles when Tukaram’s Name is chanted, Says Rameshvar Bhatt
Tukaram is none other than Lord Vishnu.
A. God and the Guru are one and the same: Guru is the manifest form of God and God is the unmanifest form of the Guru.
A bank has several branches. According to one’s convenience one opens an account and deposits money in a local branch. There is no need to take the trouble of going to the main branch in a distant place, to deposit the money. In the same way spiritual emotion (bhav), devotion, service, sacrifice, etc. are easier to practise in the context of God’s manifest (sagun) form, that is the Guru, instead of doing them for the invisible unmanifest God. Just as the money deposited in any branch of a bank finally reaches its main branch so also service rendered unto the Guru amounts to that of God.
Vaman Pandit travelled all over India defeating great intellectuals. He took letters which showed that they had accepted defeat from him. When returning with these letters of victory, one evening as he sat under a tree to perform the ritual of sandhya he spotted a brahmarakshas (a haughty, disdainful spirit of a Brahman) seated on a branch of that tree. At that very moment another brahmarakshas appeared and attempted to sit on a neighbouring branch. The first brahmarakshas stopped him saying, “This place is reserved for Vaman Pandit because his victories have inflated his ego.” Hearing this, Vaman Pandit tore all the letters of victory and retired to the Himalays to undertake austerities. Despite several years of penance God did not grant him His vision (darshan). Dejected, he jumped off the cliff. Just then God held him and placing His left hand over his head, blessed him. Then the following conversation ensued.
|Pandit||:||Why did You place Your left hand and not the right on my head?|
|God||:||Only the Guru has the privilege to do that|
|Pandit||:||Where will I meet my Guru?|
|God||:||Atop the mountain Sajjangad (situated in
Maharashtra in India)
Vaman Pandit then set off to offer obeisance to Samarth Ramdas Swami at Sajjangad. When he paid obeisance to Him, Samarth placed His right hand on Pandit’s back and blessed him.
|Pandit||:||Why did You not bless me by placing
Your hand on my head?
|Swami||:||God has already done that.|
|Pandit||:||Then why did God say that ‘only the Guru
has the right to place the right hand on the
|Swami||:||Both God’s hands, right and left are one
and the same. Why do you not understand
that God and the Guru are one and the
Shankaracharya in His text Sarvavedantasiddhantasarsangraha has said,
जन्मानेकशतै: सदादरयुजा भक्त्या समाराधितो ।
भक्तैर्वैदिकलक्षणेन विधिना संतुष्ट ईश: स्वयम् ।
साक्षात् श्री गुरुरूपमेत्य कृपया दृग्गोचर: सन् प्रभु: ।
तत्त्वं साधु विबोध्यं तारयतितान् संसारदु:खार्णवात् ।। २५४ ।।
Meaning: When devotees worship The Lord in the course of hundreds of births in a righteous [sattvik (sattva predominant)] manner, with faith, following the Vedic scriptures and observing rituals in an excellent manner, then in some birth, Lord Shankar is venerated and appears in the form of a Guru. Thus granting the realisation of the universal principle (the soul principle – atmadnyan) in its absoluteness He redeems the disciple from the worldly ocean of unhappiness. – 254
The same text also quotes,
शिव एको गुरु:साक्षात् गुरुरेव शिव: स्वयम् ।
उभयोरन्तरं किंचित् न द्रष्टव्यं मुमुक्षुभि: ।।
Meaning: Lord Shiva is the real Guru and the Guru is Lord Shiva Himself. Those desirous of Liberation (mumukshus) should never think of Them as even slightly distinct from each other.
B. After worshipping God devotedly He is appeased and arranges for one to meet Shri Guru and when Shri Guru is appeased The Lord manifests before oneself to grant a vision.
I follow the orders of the Sadguru of this world,
I at once uplift the one on whom He bestows His grace. – 11.788
I am little attached to My devotees,
But I love devotees of Gurus immensely.
The spiritual emotion (bhav) of devotion is not attainable
Without the company of saints (satsang). – 11.1527
– Shri Eknathi Bhagvat
C. When experiencing objects fulfilling one’s desire through The Lord, Guru and saints one gradually develops detachment (vairagya) for them and becomes qualified to follow the spiritual path. This phenomenon does not occur if desires are fulfilled by subordinate deities (kshudradevata).
D. All characteristics of God excluding those of the physical body, are present in a Guru.
A. Differences between God and the Guru are enumerated in the table below.
|1. Duration of the
manifest / unmanifest
A. Most of the time
C. His holy company to
|2. Energy||Destroyer and
|3. Mercifulness||Usually absent||Present most of
|4. Expectation that others
He is devoid of
expectation and does
not expect devotees
to practice Spirituality.
– Eknathi Bhagvat
[Present – in the state of
the embodied soul
(jivadasha), absent – in
the state of the Supreme
|5. Privilege to place His
hand on the head in the
form of a blessing
|6. From whom does He
|From everyone exclu-
ding the Guru. Even
God cannot save one
from the Guru’s wrath.
One has to humbly
surrender at the Guru’s
feet and plead for
|The Guru can save one
from God’s wrath***
|7. What does He endow
once He is appeased?
|A. Whatever the
devotee wishes for
B. From the manifest
|A. That which is useful
to the disciple.
B. The unmanifest
(nirgun), that is God!
* Outwardly why a Guru appears only in the form of a saviour, will be understood from the following stage.
Stage 1: May 1995
Dr. Jayant Athavale: One of the missions of an incarnation is ‘destruction of evildoers (विनाशाय च दुष्कृताम्)’ yet why does one not see any Guru or saint performing this task?
Baba (H.H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj): The Guru’s mission is to grant salvation to a disciple. The saviour form of The Lord Himself is the Guru. A Guru cannot attain the spiritual level of an incarnation. He has certain limitations.
** Since God is in the unmanifest state He cannot place His hand in the manifest form ! If God does it then He is named as some deity.
*** If Shrihari or Tripurari gets enraged with devotees, then Shri Guru protects them with determination. – Shri Gurucharitra 2:24
Meaning: Shrihari (Vishnu) and Tripurari (Shiva) are Names used for The Lord in the Vaishnav and Shaiva sects respectively. If the destroyer form of God gets angry with the motive of teaching something to a devotee, then simultaneously the saviour form of God, that is the Guru takes care of him. However, if the Guru Himself gets enraged then there is no remedy but to ask for His forgiveness.
B. The disciple follows the advice of the Guru; hence he acquires spiritual knowledge of the unmanifest. God complies with what a devotee tells Him, that is He attains the manifest form and appears before the devotee.
Lord grant Me a disciple who has the knowledge of Brahman,
One who is supreme in spiritual emotion, an icon of devotion and love
Detachment is present in the one who has these qualities.
Tuka (Saint Tukaram) prays fervently, if I find such a disciple,
I will be the happiest person,
I will shield the dear one from evil eyes.
Lord with Your grace grant Me a disciple
Who will carry on My work (of spread of Spirituality)
May he become omniscient in the knowledge of Brahman
and be upheld in glory in all the three worlds.
Tuka is calling out to You, My Lord Vithoba,
He is knocking at Your door.
For more information on the Guru refer ‘Science of Spirituality: Vol. 4 – Path of Guru’s Grace (Gurukrupayoga)’.
‘Supreme God, God, Incarnations and Deities’, published by Sanatan Sanstha.
. Bhajanamrut (Devotional songs) by Saint Bhaktaraj. Fifth reprint, Page 246. H.H. Shrimat Sadguru Bhaktaraj Maharaj’s Platinum Jubilee Celebrations, Magh Shukla Navami, Shake 1916, 9th February 1995, Indore. Publisher: Sanatan Bharatiya Sanskruti Sanstha, Mumbai.
. Sadhubodh: Shri Gulabrav Maharaj Virachit Prashnottaratmak Sukti Ratnavali. Ashtamayashti, Page 103. Publisher: Shri Dnyaneshvar Madhuradvait Sampradayik Mandal, Dahisath, Amaravati.
. Bharatiya Sanskrutikosh. First edition: Vol. 9, Page 311. Publisher: Pandit Mahadevshastri Joshi, Secretary, Bharatiya Sanskrutikosh Mandal, 410 Shanivar Peth, Pune 411 030.
. Nath Majha Bhaktaraj. First edition 1988, Anant Chaturdashi, 24th September 1988, Page 143. Author: Dr. Viththal Madhav Page. Publisher and copyright: H.H. Shri Bhaktaraj Maharaj Charitra Prakashan Samiti, through Rajarajeshvar Publications, Bhaktavatsalyashram, 102/11, Annapurna Road, Rajendranagar, Indore (M.P.) 452 012.