The One God - How to Attain Him

Sri P. K. Mahadevah

If Vedas proclaim 'Eko Brahma Dvitiyo Nasti' there is only one God, not a second. The Trimurtis (Brahma, Vishnu and Siva) and all other gods and goddesses are the attributes of only the one Great God and so we cannot say there are many different gods. They are just the pearls, a necklace. When many pearls are tied and made into what is called a necklace, you cannot say the pearl is different or the necklace is different.

You may call Him by whatever name, but still He is the one and the same Lord. In the same manner as many rivers flow to the sea and lose their names and forms and after reaching the sea they are termed as only sea, the various ways of worship lead to the ultimate goal of Reality.

The purpose is same and only the ways are different. Every individual has a certain degree of enlightenment towards the Supreme and in keeping with his requirement, he chooses his best way of devotion. The Bhagavad Gita, the Song Divine, puts to rest the conflicting ideas of the existence of various gods. Bhagavan Sri Krishna tells Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita:

'Aham sarvasya Prabhavo, Mattah Sarvan Pravartate', meaning: I am the originator of all everything begins from me.

He further says in the Vibhuti Yoga chapter, 'Adityanam Aham Vishnuh, Jyotisnam Raviramsuman; Marichir Morutamasmi, Nakshatranam Aham Sasi', etc., indicating that He is the source of everything and it is He who sustains everything.

There is nothing which is not permeated by Him and not a leaf moves without His consent. There are Yogis who realise Him in the Atman, there are devotees who realise Him through Bhajan, there are Karma Yogis who realise Him by their performance of the allotted duty, there are Jnana Yogis, who realise Him as the one without a second, seeing Him seated in themselves and in all beings, animate and inanimate without distinction. It is the same effulgence which sustains a dog and it is the same effulgence which sustains an elephant, a Brahmana or a pariah. It is only the viewer who is confused, but when Divine Wisdom dawns one sees God in everything and everywhere.

There are Millions of beings all over the globe and even beyond the visual theatre of man, never ending, and our mind and intellect find it impossible to ponder over the vast expanse of space, limitless universe in the fourteen worlds and beyond, the never-ending expanse of space, where the wind moves not without His consent. The knowledge of everything is vividly perceivable by Him. He, out of mercy for mankind, has evolved certain codes of conduct, and accordingly, we see people of various races and classes, bowing before that great Entity; who is the supreme source of solace for mankind in a world bestrewn with the waves of His Maya or Illusion, and in Him we all take refuge.

May his Grace dawn on us all. May He lead us all to Divine Wisdom. Let us all bow before that Father, who is alike to all, friend or foe, wealthy or poor, high or low.

All of us individually say ‘My God’ and likewise God also refers to all as ‘My Children’. When these identical feelings take shape like the electric current, which you cannot see when being carried by copper wires, but when a light burns, or an engine moves by electricity you know there is power and the movement or light is by that power. Similar is the vision of the God we seek. Our knowledge is limited to a certain sphere, beyond which we generally do not ponder over with our natural intellect. But in meditation on the Divine we dispense with all other thoughts and concentrate our mind on single-pointed devotion, and when this devotion by habit and experience soars higher and higher, we feel a tinge of vibration like electric current, which indicates that our devotion is getting established. But in this busy world, finding very little time or convenience, such sittings or meditation are rather rare and those who do brave the social barrier and find time to retire to a solitary place for the purpose of devotion, experience a little bit of divinity, rather they are on the right track towards the Supreme, but the final assault can only be made by His grace.

In the materialistic world many things are possible by money but in the Divine field only devotion counts and one has to do it oneself and no third party can make an effort for your salvation. When we see smoke somewhere, we know it is due to fire being lit there and in the same manner, when our devotion gets established in the supreme, we can have an idea that our aims towards our objective to perceive the limitless beyond is getting momentum, thus the realisation of the ultimate can only be experienced by the seeker alone and no amount of description can give entry into that mysterious world of the Divine.

When one has tasted sugar, he knows what the taste is like, but howsoever you may tell a man who has not tasted sugar that sugar is sweet, be will not get an exact idea of what you say. In this like manner, Divine Experience is one to be felt and realised and not written and explained.

God as the symbol of purity, chastity, effulgence, brilliance, kindness, generosity, meekness, wisdom, knowledge, power. The power of solace and comfort can be understood in some extent by a man of ordinary intellect, and by devotion to a greater extent, but to understand God as described in the Puranas requires faith. As a man's faith is, so he becomes. Faith is the main essential prerequisite for any understanding of the Divine faculties and faith is as one grasps it.

To the man of faith the idols are the manifestation of the Lord and he develops his devotion by offering worship to that idol and in course of time he gets established in Dhyana Yoga. After Dhyana Yoga has been established, the idol, the worshipped and the worshipper are transcended and when that stage comes where one does not feel like seeing or hearing and only gets merged in the Supreme Effulgence of Power, there is no doubt, there is no enquiry, there is no wavering. All is but Sat-Chit-Ananda, no viewer, nor the viewed, no seeker, nor the sought.

It is to be taken for granted that a description or rather even an attempt to describe the Ultimate, the Supreme, the Divine, is an uphill task and even the venture to write something can only be said to be born of pride and ignorance, who can attempt to describe the indescribable, and as Ramakrishna Paramahamsa has said:

‘Measure not the immeasurable; following the string of thought into the fathomless; who asks utter, who answers errs, say naught’.

God is beyond the faculty of mental imagination or description and how can man even attempt to describe God? But we can content ourselves with the mere feeling that God sustains everything, it is all the attributes of the one God we see and nothing is devoid of the presence of the Supreme.

We are all essentially Divine in nature. Bhagawan Sri Krishna tells Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita: ‘I stand holding the universe by a mere spark of my effulgence’. By a mere spark of the Divine, the whole universe is sustained and now we can imagine the bulk potential of the Supreme. It is better left unexplained than limit the unexplainable by a few fragments of words! To describe is to limit Him, but Bhagawan has said:

'Madbhakta Yatra Gayanti tatra Ttshthami Narad'

meaning 'I stand before the devotees who sing my Glory'

and only with this idea, this narration has been attempted.

We feel His presence as we indulge in Divine activities like Bhajan, meditation, talking or writing or reading about Him. To Arjuna Bhagawan Sri Krishna said that devotees ever singing his glories and devoted to him and speaking themselves about his glories, always remain in a state of divine ecstasy and find everlasting bliss and happiness The happiness here alluded to is the divine ecstasy and not that experienced by the temporary gain of any materialistic achievement or by the turn of good fortune in the world, which are all transitory and like bubbles in the rough sea.

Man is unhappy in this world because of ignorance and the moment he embarks on the divine path with devotion, true happiness and peace come as a matter of routine. Nowhere else, not by any other means, can man find happiness on earth. God is great and his attributes are greater. His name is near for crossing the ocean of uncertainties. Ever engaged in the divine path, nothing deters one from one's true aspiration on the road to blessedness. That one God has thousands and thousands of names and forms and in whatever manner man approaches him, in the selfsame manner He rewards.

The Vishnu Sahasranaam is a pointer in this direction. Lord Vishnu is only one but his one thousand names may make Him appear like thousand forms. He is essentially one the Supreme. These thousand names of the Lord Vishnu help devotees to acquire devotion. For the protection of the devotees and for the destruction of sinners, God assumes various shapes and forms and the singing of any particular name carries the full potency of the Supreme. It is only a matter of taste and preference in what way we can establish devotion. All are not Jnana Yogis to dispense with the usual form of ritualistic worship inculcated in the Shastras but by and by as our devotion gets established deeper and deeper, there may come a stage when we need not have to cling to the conventional ways of worship. But a beginner has to ascend the steps of the steps of the ladder one by one from the bottom. A time will come when you can jump two steps or even more and ultimately you may be able to make a jump straight to the pinnacle.