The experience of God means an experience of your own self. God-realization and self-realization are the same. The God who we look at in front of us exists within us; the face that we look at in the mirror is right here with us. The God who is formless becomes visible to us through a form.
What is it that is called a vision of God? Someone has a vision of Rama, someone of Hanuman, someone of Devi, someone sees a burning flame and someone sees his guru. These visions are not like dreams, they are as clear as a person appearing in front of you, and this is called darshan. To see outside that which is within is darshan.
In order to have a vision of God, your heart should be like that of a child. A child is innocent; when a person’s heart is pure and simple, he has the heart of a child. The second thing is intensity of the emotion of bhakti, devotion.
Intensity of emotions means that an emotion felt within is in excess. Greed and desire also appear as intense emotions. If desire, anger and greed can reach a point of excess, bhakti can also reach a point of excess. There comes a time when it becomes too much. At this point, there is no doubt in the mind, only knowingness.
Mirabai thought a wooden statue of Krishna was her husband. What kind of a mind is this? Even a small girl will doubt it. Doubt means the existence of two thoughts: “This is a statue of Krishna, this is not my husband.” But Mirabai did not have any doubt. This is a certain kind of mind, which is one-pointed. Ramakrishna Paramahamsa was married at the age of twelve or thirteen, but he never considered his wife as his wife. He always held her as Mother. Such a person does not have any doubt. One who has single awareness has only one emotion. It is a different kind of mind. It is an intense state of bhakti where the personality turns into something else. In that state where the emotions reach an acute intensity, the person becomes so simple that the God who is hidden within becomes visible outside.
No one can see God outside. God is only seen within, but it feels as if he is outside. This can happen to many people. The simple and great souls say that when you have a vision of God, then a person’s birth, karma and destiny, everything changes; the entire course of life changes.
In what form the vision will come and who will have it is difficult to say. If you travel a hundred kilometres prostrating on the ground you may not have a vision of God. However, a person here who was a drunkard became my disciple and had the vision of God. God will appear before whosoever He wills. It is said, “The vision of God is up to the will of God.” How can we bring the will of God into our life?
The microcosm in our body holds the macrocosm. Our head is the microcosm, in it exists the macrocosm. In this body, the area inside the brain where all the glands, muscles and grey matter exist holds the macrocosm. If you see the pineal gland from a particular angle, with an instrument capable of subtle vision, you will see an image of Ganesha. That is its structure. I have studied it. The molecular structures of the glands that exist in different parts of the brain are replicas of Hanuman, Ganesha and Devi.
Srimad Devi Bhagavat Maha Puranam describes the residence of Devi. It describes where Devi lives, how many friends and attendants she has, her chamber, how many doors it has, the height of the ceiling, the width of the pond outside, the mountains beyond, the army and so on. When you compare this description to biological anatomy, it is an exact match. To understand this, it is essential to have knowledge of anatomy, of the different layers of the brain, the different centres from where communication travels, electronic circuits travel, chemical flows travel and different sensory organs connect. If you learn about all this, then you will feel that Ganesha is not the deity of a certain tribe, but a deity who exists within every human being in the form of genius. It is the same with Hanuman and Devi.
The abode of Devi in the brain is called kundalini yoga in tantra. The entire circuit of Devi starts from a point, and goes down the spinal column. Where the spinal column ends, at the tail bone, behind the uterus, it meets with the gland behind the womb in the cervix. That gland is mooladhara. From ancient times this structure has been called an inverted tree. Many traditions have spoken about it. The Bible has references to it. How will a tree performing shirshasana look like? Oordhwamoolam adhahshaakham, as described in the Bhagavad Gita (15:1):
They (the wise) speak of the indestructible peepul tree, having its root above and branches below, whose leaves are the metres or hymns; he who knows it is a knower of the Vedas.
The deities such as Ganesha, Hanuman and Durga are not just mental or tribal concepts. They actually exist in our bodies. They are a reality of our microcosm. Our microcosm is the home of the macrocosm. The cosmos exists within us.
When do we see God outside? We see him outside when we cannot see him inside. That is when we go to a temple due to our helplessness. When we cannot see our face we have to see it in the mirror. When you begin to see him inside you will stop going there. Kabir says:
Where do you search for me,
I am so close to you.
There is another strange thing inside this house, this microcosm. There are billions of cells within this body and each cell is a complete person. This means that whatever you are, whatever I am, all of me is contained within one cell. This means that within me there are billions of Swami Satyanandas. This is a finding of science, not of the Puranas. It is also said that a man’s joys, sorrows, fortune, fate, life, death, disease, complexion, height, all these exist within each cell of his body.
Science has now discovered cloning. It is no longer necessary for a child to be born of the natural course, now they can take a cell out of the body and clone it. The two-and-a-half billion cells of my body can be taken out and as many children created. This is a thing of science. Science does not believe in God. However, this proves that a very big truth lies hidden within our body. And you should have knowledge of that truth, whether you are a boy or a girl, educated or illiterate, qualified or unqualified, possess a good character or bad character, are a vegetarian or meat-eater. What matters is whether your awareness is centred outside or inside. Are you an internalized person or an externalized person? If you are externalized, then the world will go on for you the way it has gone on. If you are internalized, it means that you are a yogi. A yogi is always internalized.
The Ramacharitamanas says that a person can exist within even while living amid the illusions of the world. You know what worldly illusions are. Living within means that when you sit for meditation, prayer or yoga, be awake within. What you then find, you will not find in any temple, mosque, church, pilgrimage or guru. You will find Him within. God exists within you, God exists within me. This is why the sages go on saying, Soham Soham Shivoham Chidanandaroopa Shivoham.
When God appears, everything becomes known and nothing more remains to be known. The world becomes shoonya, void. However, it is not necessary that when God appears, the world should disappear. The experience of God does not negate the experience of the world. It came to you to say, “Follow this path.” So whenever you have the experience of God, change your lifestyle. You have to discover what that experience means and if it does not come again, it means that it came to give you encouragement, a message, an order or instruction so that you may make certain changes in your life or thinking.
First make the house ready, then He will come. When God gives darshan, it symbolizes something. When God gives His experience, it is a transcendental experience, a universal experience, a cosmic experience.