Monday, September 14, 2020

Why isn't God visible to us?

Kannada Article by: KS Srinivasa Iyengar

English Rendering by: MR Yashaswini

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While counselling Arjuna in Bhagawadgeeta Sri Krishna says - "Oh Arjuna! Ishwara who controls all the beings through his Maayaa (illusory power) resides in the heart of all living beings. From this it can be inferred that this supreme entity resides in all our hearts too. Heart inside our body is well-known; but how do we see the lord residing within it? While the heart is internal, our eyes are external! Ironically he isn't seen by even the cardiologists who perform open heart surgeries!

As the experienced describe, our body is synonymous to a Ratha (chariot) - "Nara Ratha" or a human chariot is what it is called. "Nara" is nothing but the "Jeeva" (being). This chariot also carries "Narayana" who is the guide, aim and also the destination of this Jeeva. Heart is the region where the Jeeva and Deva unite. But how do we believe that both the Jeeva and Deva reside in the Human Body? Then why is it that we are unable to see the Paramaatma residing within? It is because we have not paid attention in this direction. Sriranga Mahaguru has beautifully illustrated this behaviour through an analogy. A man who is engrossed in his routine work might not notice even biological stimuli as natural as his hunger or sleep. Body indicates hunger amidst his day-to-day activities. But yielding to his busy schedules, he either fails to notice them or sometimes even ignores them. Similarly one might feel very sleepy in a movie's second show screening. This, when ignored and made a habit, would result in sleep and hunger gradually dwindling away.

By surrendering ourselves to these sense organs and material pleasures we are neglecting our soul's hunger. Hence the Lord who is indeed residing in our body is not visible to us. In order to turn our focus towards him, the Maharshis of our country have constructed several temples in this holy land of Bharata. They prescribed 16 samskaaras (purificatory rites) to be performed for every jeeva in every household. They formulated several rules and regulations that ward off the impediments and complement the path of Saadhana.

A newborn child is shown a lamp placed in a niche resembling the urdhva trikona (upward triangle). The child is also made to hear Ghantaa-naada (reverberation of the divine bell which resembles the pranava naada). This way Maharshis ensured that our focus is always on Jyothi (divine Light), Naada and that it stays focussed on Paramaatma throughout our life. Today these principles have been forgotten and hence God also has gone out of sight. Sriranga Mahaguru's words are noteworthy here - "We are entitled to dwell in the fourth state and enjoy the gracious company of god just as we have the right to experience the other three states namely waking, dreaming and deep-sleep states."

May that Sarveshwara (Supreme Being) bestow upon us the ability to realize and experience the Lord.

Note: The Kannada version of this article can be viewed at AYVM blogs.