To Find God Inside Us

From Teachings of Swami Satyananda Saraswati, Volume VI

God is inside, God is outside and God is in your bones. In order to find God, it is necessary for everybody to sit down quietly every day within themselves. Then they should transform their philosophy of life, transform the purpose of their incarnation, then understand the relationship they have with everybody and then reflect upon the relationship between this external body and the inner being.

It is said that by true bhakti you can realize God, see God within you, but sometimes I find bhakti very difficult because we are emotionally bankrupt. All the emotion, all the devotion, all the love is squandered. You have the objects of the world which are so fanciful. You cry and scream and shout for these things which are so brief in life. Find out who you love day in and day out. Please find out how much love you can give to God. Do you love God as much as you love your son? Do you love God as much as you love your girlfriend? Do you feel for God or remember Him as much as you remember your bank balance? I can give you thousands of examples from your life where you have failed to spare even a little love for Him.

Our love for God is intellectual. Our love for the things of this world is actual. Why don’t you change the picture? So hard! So hard! Then your love for the world becomes intellectual. Can you intellectually love your wife and husband? Can you have intellectual love for your children? Can you have intellectual love for your bank balance and property and poverty? Then it will take a twinkling of an eye to get that experience. Otherwise, no matter how much I talk of religion, nothing will happen.

Once a disciple asked his guru, “How can I see God within?” The guru replied, “Why don’t you cry out for Him?” The next day the disciple went to the sanctum sanctorum and started crying, “God I want you, I want you.” He went on waiting and watching. The guru said, “Good drama my child,” then he took the disciple on a journey. The guru and the disciple were travelling by boat. When the boat was halfway across the river he dropped the disciple into the water and then the disciple started crying and screaming and waving, “Oh, help!” The guru said, “Come on. Come out. Have you ever cried like that for God?”

The disciple understood, but you can do it better. You can do these things for the one you love, but how to love that formless God? Whether he’s white or black or brown or yellow nobody knows. Guru tells us that he has all those symptoms. Books say he’s very different, “Oh yes, that’s it,” but still experience does not happen. Therefore, it is better that everybody should try and awaken the self and this is the prime purpose of our incarnation on this planet. To eat, to sleep, seek security, to have sensual pleasure - these are also meant for animals. Man stands out first by one virtue; the moment he becomes aware he must think, “How can I see God in myself?” Then he should devote himself to the attainment of that experience.

—4 October 1984, Athens, Greece