The Will of God

Paramahamsa Niranjanananda, Mangrove Mountain, Australia, 20.5.94

What is God's will and what is God? God is a force, an energy, which is neither masculine nor feminine. God is neither a he nor a she, neither white nor black. "It" is pure energy and this energy has within itself the components of generation, organisation, destruction and transmutation. This is the actual meaning of the word God. The force of Generation - G; the force, the power of Organisation, maintenance and sustenance - O; and the force or the power of Destruction, transformation and transmutation - D.

These powers are three qualities of life which manifest spontaneously, naturally, and we also experience them. We can experience the power of nurturing, preserving, sustaining. We can experience the force of destruction. We can experience the quality of generation or creation. In our own way, we are constantly experiencing these three aspects of God.

In the cosmic dimension God takes an immense form known as the omniscient form, the omnipotent form, the omnipresent form. This energy of God governs the process of evolution and it is a process over which nobody has any control.

We are constantly evolving, constantly moving, and if we think that eighty years of our life can make a big difference in terms of infinity, then we are mistaken. Eighty or one hundred years of our life is nothing in relation to infinity; it is not even the blinking of an eye. In this span of life, which is not even equivalent to the blinking of an eyelid, we go through so much drama, it is incredible! We become minor gods in our own way in relation to our life because we feel that we are controlling it, while, in fact, this is the time when that cosmic energy actually laughs at us, when God's energy laughs and smiles. How many times does God laugh? He laughs first when the doctor says to a patient, "Do not worry, I will save you." Again he laughs when you tell Him all your projects and plans for the future.

God has also devised structures of how a human being has to express himself and how he has to live. In the Vedic tradition this structure has been given a name. It contains the four areas of artha, kama, dharma and moksha. Artha means external security, contentment, happiness. Kama means fulfilment of one's desires and aspirations. Dharma means living according to the laws of Nature and the Divine. Moksha means continuing along the path of evolution to attain mukti, moksha or freedom. These are the four components of a structure which governs any and every kind of life form, whether it is an amoeba, plant life, insect life, animal life or human life. Wherever there is life you will find this structure. Of course, the understanding and the experience of this structure will be different for different life forms, but they exist nevertheless.

In Yoga this is also known as the will of God. One who can live harmoniously within the structure of artha, kama, dharma and moksha, one who can strive for contentment and happiness with a selfless attitude is following one of the mandates. One who can strive to fulfil all the aspirations and desires in a positive, constructive and creative way fulfils another mandate. One who lives according to the principles of dharma fulfils another mandate, and one who is aware of the evolutionary process in life and does not struggle with that process fulfils the final mandate. This is the will of God. These are the four components of the will, the Divine Will.

The Vedic tradition states very clearly that no life form is different to God, that all life forms have their source in God. There is a very beautiful sukta (hymn) in the Rig Veda known as Purusha Suktam which states that God has a thousand heads, a thousand eyes, a thousand arms, a thousand legs, and a thousand feet, which mean that the energy which we call God is an all-pervading reality. The spark of life is in everything.

Of course, in order to help our understanding of divinity we have given it a colour, a form and a name. In order to identify with something we have to give it a form, a name and a shape. We cannot identify with an abstract idea, neither can we identify with a universal idea. We are individuals who express our individuality and we can only identify with a concept after it has been given a name and form. Without name without form, we cannot understand anything. If you did not know the word 'sun', how would you describe that fireball in the sky? We have to use some form of word and connect with something, to identify with something, to know something. This has been defined as the sakara or manifest aspect of God. The nirakara aspect, the unmanifest aspect, is the cosmic nature of God. Yoga believes in the cosmic nature and in adapting one's life, in adjusting one's life, to ultimately understand that cosmic reality which goes beyond name, form and idea. That is the yogic concept of God.

The best way to experience God in daily life is to live according to the principles of dharma, strive for mukti, be aware of kama, and be content in artha. If you can fulfil these four conditions then you do not have to work very hard.