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Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 26 Feb 2006

     

GOD'S ORIGINAL FORM

Note: This article is meant for intellectuals only

[This is the Maha Maha Satsanga—Great Great Discourse, which was given by Swami on February 26, 2006, on the occasion of Mahashivaratri]

Whenever you think about God, the thinking itself is a form made of awareness or mind, even though you claim that you are thinking about formless God. You can never think anything which is formless, because your thinking itself is a form. The form may have some specific boundaries like a statue. Alternatively, the form may not have specific boundaries like air or water. But the air or water also has some regular or irregular boundaries, since even the air or water has certain limits. You call space as a formless object. But space has some limitations somewhere and you do not perceive those limits. Such limits may not be perceived but they certainly exist. Therefore, the concept of your formless object has some boundaries, which are either irregular or not perceived.

When you think of God as Awareness (Chit), the awareness is ‘mind’, which is nervous energy. Energy is in the form of waves and thus cannot be formless. According to the special theory of relativity of Einstein, space is also a form of energy because space exhibits the property of bending. In that case, space also cannot be formless. Even if you consider space as infinite vacuum, you are aware of the space. Such awareness itself means that space has become a form of awareness or mental energy. Therefore, strictly speaking there is no formless object in the creation. What you call as formless is an object, which has either irregular or infinite boundaries and which is imagined. Since, such a formless object is a form in the strict sense, an actual formless concept is impossible.

Therefore, whether you say that God created space or God created energy in the beginning, both statements mean the same because space is also a form of energy. The Veda says that Parabrahman created the space in the beginning (Atmana Akasah…). The Veda says again that Parabrahman created energy in the beginning (Tat Tejo…). Both the Vedic statements mean the same in terms of the latest concept of science. However, let such space or energy be called as the Formless God in your language. Thinking of such a Formless God becomes very very difficult for any ordinary human being. Even a scholar cannot maintain such a concept in his mind for a long time. Even if you are able to maintain such a concept in your mind, such a God is not the absolute God because the absolute God is completely unimaginable as per the Veda and the Gita (Yasyaa matam…, Mamtu Veda Na…). God imagined as space or awareness (mental energy) is not the absolute God, who is beyond space and awareness. The Veda says that God created space. The Veda says that God is beyond awareness. The creator is always beyond the creation. Even in the absence of the creation, the creator must exist.

According to the Brahma Sutras, God is the cause of this universe as its Creator and is the material cause of the universe too. The pot-maker is the creator of the pot. The mud is the material cause of the pot. Even in the absence of the pot, the pot-maker and the mud exist. Therefore, God existed even before the creation of the universe. The pot-maker and the mud exist even after the destruction of the pot. Similarly, even after the destruction of the world, God must exist. Thus God must exist before the creation of space and after the dissolution of space. You can never imagine the situation before the creation or after the dissolution of space. Your intelligence cannot cross the spatial dimensions and therefore cannot cross the concept of space. That means you can never imagine God. The Veda says that God alone knows God (Brahma vit Brahmaiva…).

Therefore, when you imagine God as the all-pervading space, such an imagination itself is only an item of creation. Such imagination is only an incarnation of God. When you imagine Him as space, you imagine God who has entered space and is in the space. Similarly, if you imagine God as all-pervading energy, you have imagined only the energy in which God is present. Therefore, you perceive God as space, inert energy or mental energy (awareness) such forms of God are only the incarnations of God in the forms of space, inert energy or awareness respectively. This means that you can perceive only an incarnation of God and never the absolute God.

When you perceive God as space, you call God as formless. If this space is taken as vacuum or ‘nothingness’, then God does not exist as per Buddhism or the older concept of science. But now science accepts space as a form of energy. Therefore, according to science ‘nothingness’ does not exist at all. According to science, the example of ‘nothingness’ is space itself and now the space has also become ‘something’. Therefore, now a scientist cannot say that God does not exist because non-existence or ‘nothing’ is vacuum or space, which also is a form of energy. Buddhism adopted ancient logic, which like the older concept of science, believed that space was non-existence of anything. Since, science, which is the modern logic overrules the ancient logic, Buddhism is naturally rejected by the modern science. If a scientist says that God does not exist, he is a no more a scientist because he is not aware of the latest special theory of relativity. Thus, an atheist is an outdated scientist. All the modern scientists, who are aware of the latest concept of space, have to believe in the existence of God.

Is the Universe God?

Therefore, when you cannot perceive God in His original form and you can perceive God only through some medium of creation like space or energy or awareness, why not perceive God through the medium of matter also? Now if God exists in space, it means that God exists in this universe. If God is present in the universe, the universe cannot be a separate object of entertainment to God. The Veda says that this universe is created for His entertainment (Ekaki Na ...). If you are present in the cinema and become the cinema by pervading all over the cinema, the cinema is not a separate object for you and therefore it cannot give entertainment to you. If you are the spectator of the cinema, you should be separate from the cinema. You are the subject and the cinema is object, which is separate from you. If the subject and object are one and the same, there is no existence of the object at all. It means God did not create this universe. If the creation is absent, there is no entertainment to God. This leads to the inability of God in creating any object that is separate from Himself for His entertainment. Such inability means that God cannot be Omnipotent. Therefore, the separate existence of the universe in which God is not present, must be accepted to avoid all these contradictions.

Now the Veda says that God entered this universe (Tadevanu Pravisat…). But the Veda does not say that God entered the entire universe. God entered the Universe only through some limited form. Therefore, the entrance of God in to the universe is accepted. At the same time since God did not enter the entire universe, the universe exists as a separate object for His entertainment.

You may argue that God entered the entire universe as per a Vedic statement (Eesha vasyam idam…). But if you carefully analyze that statement, it also means that God enters this big universe only through a small form. The translation of that Vedic statement reveals the correct meaning like this: “In this large world, any small world can be pervaded over by the Lord entirely”. This is the true translation. The small world means the human body and the big world means this entire universe. This means that the Lord enters this big world through a small world, which is the human form. The human form alone can be called as a mini-world. The large world contains nine items, which are the inert five elements (earth, water, energy, air and space) and the four living items called as Antah karanams (mind, intelligence, self-awareness or ego and the awareness which stores all the information). All these nine items are common between this large world and the small human being. Therefore, the conclusion of the Veda is that God enters this large world through a small human form. This can be explained by common experience also. A spectator, who is seeing the cinema, wishes to take up a role in the cinema. Thus, he enters the cinema through a role and the cinema still entertains him. Therefore, the Gita also says that God enters this world only through a human form. The Gita also says that God becomes a Jeeva or human form by entering such a human form (Jeeva Bhutah…). You have entered the role or the dress of a king in the drama, which means that you have become the king in the drama. For all practical purposes, you are the king in the drama. But you retain your identity as the actor in the role and therefore you have not become the king in the true sense. The audience can treat you as the king but at the same time they are aware that you are not the real king. Similarly the devotees treat the human incarnation as God for all practical purposes. But whenever ego and jealousy enter their minds, they can analyze and know that God is in the human form and therefore the human form is not really God. Neither has God become the human form nor has the human form become God. Such clarification will reduce their ego and jealousy and their devotion can become again alive.

Therefore, God cannot enter the (entire) space because if God enters this space, He becomes one with the Universe and His entertainment is lost. Therefore the power of God is the material cause of this world. The power is modified into this world as the mud is modified into the pot. Therefore, the formless God that you think of, is only the power of God and not the original God. Space is only the modification of the power of God, which is like the mud. God is like the pot-maker who is not modified into the pot. In this example let us assume that the pot-maker created the mud and then made the pot from the mud.

While creating the mud, the Lord is the creator or designer as well as the material. But while creating the pot from the mud, God is only the pot-maker or designer. The pot-maker, while creating the mud, is not modified because only the power of the pot-maker is modified into mud. Therefore, the material cause for the mud is the power of the pot-maker and not the pot-maker directly. This is the concept of Dvaita (duality) of Madhva.

In the concept of Ramanuja, which is called as ‘Vishishta Advaita’ (qualified monism), the pot is considered as an associated body of the pot-maker. Instead of the pot, you can take the example of the cloth. The cotton thread is the material cause of the cloth. The weaver is the creator of the cloth. The weaver has created the thread and the power of the weaver is modified into thread as explained above. The weaver wears the cloth made by him and this point alone (association of the creator with the creation) is the extra concept in this theory. The weaver treats the cloth wrapped on his body as another external body of his. The the Gita also says that your external gross body is like a shirt. Therefore, Ramanuja assumes this world as the body of God.

The Advaita scholars mocked at this concept due to their ignorance. They said that if God were associated with the world, the changes in the world would mean changes in the body of God, which means that God is changed. This is absolute foolishness. When the body is compared to an associated shirt, the changes in the shirt cannot be equated to the changes in the person who is wearing it. If you take the body of a realized soul like Ramana Maharshi, He treated His body as His shirt. He separated Himself from the body and limited Himself to the soul. He observed the surgery of His body like a person, who is the spectator of His shirt being stitched by somebody. Thus if you take God as a realized soul, the changes in this universe cannot touch God, in spite of His association with the universe. To reject the mocking of the Advaita Scholars, Madhva avoided the example of the weaver in which the wrapped cloth is treated as another external body. He took the example of a pot so that the pot cannot cover the body of its creator like the cloth. Therefore, the pot cannot be treated as an external body of its creator like the cloth.

Shankara compared the world to an imagination or a daydream of a person. The person is not modified into the imagination. Only his mind or his mental energy (awareness) is modified into the imaginary world. This awareness (Chit or Para Shakti or Mula Maya) is just like the cotton thread of a weaver or the mud of the pot maker. God created this awareness in the beginning and here also the power of God created the awareness, which is modified into the world. Thus just like the mud or the thread, the awareness is the material cause of the world. The power of God is the material cause of the awareness. Now the most important point comes. What is the difference between God and His power? Both God and His power are inexplicable and exist in the same state. Therefore, if the power is modified, we can say that God is also modified. In that case instead of the power of God, God directly becomes the material cause of awareness. The real point is that since God and His power are both inexplicable, the process of modification of the power of God into awareness also becomes inexplicable. In such a case you cannot use even the word ‘modification’ when you say that the power of God created the awareness.

Shankara called awareness itself as God and for Him God is the awareness-incarnation (awareness in which God has entered). This awareness-incarnation alone is taken as the original God by all the Acharyaas and also the Brahma Sutras. If you go beyond awareness you cannot understand God and cannot preach to anybody about God. For such original God, no words can be used to describe. When you utter a word some thought comes to your mind, as the meaning of that word. The original God is beyond thought and therefore, any word fails to indicate Him. If such a God is preached, nobody will believe in the existence of such a God. People will say that such a God does not exist. That is why the Buddhists became atheists. Therefore, any preacher should say that the absolute God is the awareness-incarnation. It means that awareness is God.

Vivarta and Parinama

The creation of the world by this ‘Awareness’ can be explained through the process of modification. The soul in the human body is also a drop of such awareness. Now you can say that as the soul creates a dream, God creates the world through modification (Parinama).

The Vishishta Advaita scholars criticized Shankara that in such a case, it seems that God undergoes modification. To avoid this misinterpretation, Shankara used the argument of Vivarta, which is an apparent modification. What is the difference between Parinama and Vivarta? Water becomes ice and this is Parinama (actual modification). When a very little awareness called as the mind, which is the power of the soul, becomes the dream, it is called Vivarta (apparent modification). Therefore, in Parinama either all or a large amount of the material is modified. In Vivarta only an iota of the material (negligible trace) is modified. Since it is negligible it can be treated as nothing. Both are modifications but the difference lies in the quantity that is modified. Therefore, the power of God, which is modified into awareness, is very little compared to God, who is the source of that power. This proves that all the three Achaaryaas (Shankara, Ramanuja and Madhva) preached the same concept and only their followers have misunderstood and got confused.

Awareness as God

The awareness assumed as God by the Brahma Sutras and the Achaaryaas is different from the soul, which is a drop of awareness present in the human body as the soul. The awareness assumed as God, has God hidden in it and hence is ‘divine awareness’. The soul is not divine due to the absence of God. Therefore, when you compare God with the soul, the God in your comparison is not the original God but He is the awareness-incarnation. The awareness-incarnation can be compared with the soul of any human being because the awareness in both the cases is qualitatively one and the same. If you take the soul of Krishna and the soul of a human being both are one and the same qualitatively as well as quantitatively. But the soul in Krishna is divine and the other soul is not divine. One is an electric wire and the other is an ordinary wire. The original God who is beyond the entire creation can never be compared with any type of awareness, because God is unimaginable and the awareness is imaginable. Therefore, the creation of awareness by such unimaginable God is also unimaginable and cannot be called as modification. The creation of the world by the power of the awareness can be called as modification because the awareness, its power, the process of modification and the modified world are all imaginable items. Therefore, the entire philosophy of the Acharyaas is revolving only in the imaginable items and never touches the unimaginable God. Only the blessed soul who is one in millions can recognize the existence of such an unimaginable God. This is the main point in the Brahma Jnana or the spiritual knowledge.

The awareness, which is the material cause, is also not really affected by the changes in the product (universe). When you break the pot by a stone, the pot is broken but not the mud. Neither the pot-maker nor the mud is broken. Therefore, neither God nor the Mula Maya is affected by the changes in this world. Therefore, even if you assume that Mula Maya is God, this concept is not affected. Therefore, even concept of Shankara remains unchanged. According to Shankara this Mula Maya and the world are negligible compared to God. The existence of any negligible item is treated as almost nil. In this view also, God is unaffected by Mula Maya or its modification, which is the world. Therefore, all the three Acharayas have preached the same concept in different ways.

Worship—Only Through the Incarnation

Therefore, the space or energy or awareness, which is treated as formless by you, has form because the creation always has limits compared to the creator. Thus, your formless God is only the modification of the power of God and does not contain God. Therefore, the entire universe is not God, which means that every item in the universe is not God. The Veda (Neti neti…) and the Gita (Mamebhyah Param…) say the same. Therefore, the formless form of God or any form of in creation like the sun or a statue, also does not contain God. All these are modifications of the power of God, which is called as Mula Maya. You can worship these forms as representative models of God. A chart represents a machine. A chart is not the machine. The chart does not contain the machine. The chart represents the machine as a model. You can learn the concept of the machine from the chart. But if you catch the chart you have not touched even an atom of the machine. Thus, if you catch the space or energy or awareness or a statue or any living being in the universe, you have caught only the creation but not the creator, because the creator is not in the creation. However, when you catch a very particular human form like Rama, Krishna, Jesus or Sai Baba, you have caught God because God exists in that particular human form only. The Gita says that if you catch any item of the creation, you have caught only that item of creation but not the creator (Bhutejya yanti…). The Gita says in the same verse that if you catch Krishna, you can catch God because God exists in Krishna. Krishna means the present human incarnation, which is a human incarnation present in your human generation. If the word Krishna stood only for a past human incarnation, then in case of Arjuna to whom the Gita was preached, the existing Krishna should not have been God. Only the past incarnation Rama, should have been mentioned as God for Arjuna. Similarly, Hanuman should have worshipped some past human incarnation like Vamana or Parashurama in His time and He should not have worshipped Rama, who was the present human incarnation.

The existence of present human incarnation is always opposed by priests and scholars. If the Lord is in the human form, every person will reach Him alone and respect Him by submitting Guru Dakshina (offerings of money) at His lotus feet. Similarly, people will go to the Lord in human form to receive the divine knowledge directly, which will be the correct interpretation of the divine scriptures. They will certainly respect and submit Guru Dakshina only to the Lord in human form. By this the priests and scholars will neither get money nor fame from the public. Every human being is fond of money and then fame. A poor man strives for money. A rich man strives for fame. Therefore, money and fame attract the entire humanity without exception. Even scholars and saints are after fame. If the present human incarnation is accepted, all the money and fame will go to the Lord in human form only. Human beings do not like this and therefore, repel against the present human incarnation. Apart from money and fame, people are fond of love and respect. Even the family members will respect and love the Lord and the head of the family can never tolerate this. All these are the real naked factors creating jealousy and ego in the minds of all human beings. Just like the light of the sun, heat of the fire etc., egoistic jealousy is the inseparable inherent characteristic of any human being. Even if one removes this, it lies in the sub-conscious state in hidden form like a seed. Whenever favorable conditions come, the seed of jealousy will germinate and ego comes out like the sprout. Therefore, no human being can remove this egoistic jealousy permanently. The fever subsides by the medicine, but it will come again in the next season. Again you have to use the medicine. Therefore, you can never eradicate ego and jealousy completely because it is the inherent characteristic of the human being. Now what is the medicine? The only medicine is knowledge, which includes the analysis of the human incarnation. Whenever egoistic jealousy flares up like a fever, immediately you must remember the verse in the Gita, which is “Avyaktam Vyaktimapannam…”, which means that fools think that the Lord (Avyaktam) is modified into the human being (Vyaktam) in the case of a human incarnation. A human incarnation is God  in flesh. This means neither is God the flesh nor is the flesh God. The Lord said in the Gita that He enters the human body (Manusheem Tanumasritam). The word ‘Asritam’ means entry. The electric current enters the wire, which means that the current is present in the wire. Neither is the current the wire nor is the wire the current. Neither has the current become the wire nor has the wire become the current. The human incarnation is a two-in-one system. In one device, both a tape recorder and a radio are present. Both co-exist in one device. None is the other. The external inert gross body is the device. The inner subtle body (Jeeva) along with the innermost causal body (Atman) together are called as the Jeevatman, which is like the tape recorder. The Lord is like the radio. When the Lord likes a particular human soul (Jeevatman) due to its exceptional divine love, the Lord enters such a human body and gets associated with that devoted soul.

The Lord comes down to this earth for some work. He needs some residence to stay. Instead of taking a single residence for Himself, He prefers to stay in the body of a devotee so that the association pleases Him as well as the devotee. You have gone to some town for some work. You have a close relative there. You will visit his house and stay with him. By this you can finish your work, please the relative and also be happy yourself in his association. Therefore, the Lord never likes to create an inert human body for Himself alone during His visit. This concept is clearly mentioned in the Veda (Dvasuparna Sayuja Sakhaaya). The word ‘Sakhaaya’ means that the Lord visits the house of His devotee who is very friendly to Him. Therefore, the Lord enters the gross body of a devotee and stays with him for sometime so that not only is His work done but He also pleases the devotee.

This explanation of God entering the devotee, dilutes the egoistic jealousy in several ways. This concept opens the chance for every devotee to become the human incarnation. When this chance is open, the jealousy gets reduced. Suppose a student got a gold medal. The chance to get the gold medal was open to all the students. Therefore, one need not be jealous of the topper. Again when you realize that the Lord is neither the human body nor the human soul, the jealousy goes down. Jealousy comes up only when you think that a particular human body is the Lord. When somebody says that the inner soul is the Lord and not the external gross body, the jealousy gets reduced. But the jealousy continues because that particular soul alone is the Lord and not your soul. The above-quoted verse in the Gita, clarifies that the Lord is neither modified into the external gross body, nor modified into the subtle body and nor modified into the soul. The Lord is beyond the three bodies and is called as Avyaktam or unimaginable. The three bodies are called as Vyaktam or imaginable items of creation. Therefore, the Lord never becomes any human being and no human being can become the Lord. This is the philosophy of Madhva, which pleases Islam. The memory of this knowledge acts like a medicine to subside your egoistic jealousy. You can never suppress it by force. If it is suppressed by force, it will rebound with million times the force. When it is suppressed (by this knowledge) you will regain your normal health, which is devotion. The current might have pervaded all over the wire, but still the current is current and the wire is a wire. But you can treat the electric wire as the current. You recognize the electric current by a shock. The electric wire gives you a shock. Therefore, the wire is current. This concept is explained in another verse in the Gita (Vasudevah Sarvamiti…). Both these verses are not contradicting each other. The first verse should be used to suppress the jealousy and the second verse must be used to worship the human incarnation with devotion. You have to use the antibiotic to kill the bacteria. You have to use the tonic for gaining strength. Both are medicines for different times and contexts. One kills life and the other improves life. The life of the bacteria must be killed and your life must be improved. It should not be vice-versa.

In the Gita it is told that nobody knows the Lord (Mam tu veda na kaschana…). The Veda also says that Brahman alone knows Brahman. Again the Veda says that the final knowledge of Brahman is that it can never be known. But again in the Gita it is said “Kaschit Mam vetti tattvatah”, which means that one in millions knows the reality of the Lord. Both these verses look contradictory to each other. The contradiction is removed if you take the meaning of the second verse like this: One knows finally that the Lord can never be known. People think that they know the Lord. But only one in millions realizes that the Lord can never be known. The meaning of the second verse indicates that one in millions understands the reality of the Lord, which means the human incarnation. The Lord is always unknown and therefore, the Lord is hidden in the human form. The Lord uses that medium to preach the divine knowledge. Therefore, He enters the human body and pervades all over it. The container always reflects the nature of the contained material. The wire gives a shock like the electric current present in it. Therefore the Lord is experienced. One can only experience the Lord through the medium but the real nature of the Lord can never be understood. Even a layman experiences the current by its shock but he can never understand the real nature of electricity. Such experience is possible only through the medium into which the Lord enters by His will. You cannot force the Lord to enter into every object that you like.

The priests in a temple say that they have invoked the Lord in a statue by reciting some hymns. They also say that they have expelled the Lord from the statue by reciting some other hymns. The fact is that they cannot even bring the life [of a person], which is a creation of God, into a dead body by reciting hymns. How can they bring the Creator Himself into a statue by hymns? Similarly, they cannot expel the life from a living body by reciting hymns. How can they expel the Creator?

The priests pretend to invoke the Lord into the statue for doing some business with you. As soon as the business is over, they again pretend to expel the Lord from it. Thus the Lord is used and exploited for earning money and respect from you. The statue may belong to some past human incarnation like Rama, Krishna etc. If the real human incarnation exists in the place of statue, the priests cannot do business with you. The human form of the Lord will Himself eat whatever you offer and will take away your Guru Dakshina. Therefore, the concept of human incarnation can be accepted, but not the concept of living human incarnation in the present human generation. The priests fear that their entire business may be lost. Therefore, in the Kali Yuga (present dark age of materialism) they have eliminated the possibility of the coming of a human incarnation of God up to the last day of destruction. In the Kali Yuga, Buddha was rejected as a human form of Lord because Buddha is seen as an atheist. The only human incarnation in Kali Yuga that the priests accept is Kalki, who will not come up to the last day of Kali Yuga. Thus throughout the Kali Yuga their business goes on undisturbed.

The priests or scholars can get Guru Dakshina and fame as devotees of God and that would be fair since the devotee is next to the human incarnation. In fact the Lord is more pleased if you worship His devotees. Thus the priests and scholars can get Guru Dakshina and respect directly since they are devotees. This indirect business of showing the statue and claiming the offerings of people is cheating in the name of the Lord. The priests and scholars fear that you will give maximum respect and Guru Dakshina to the Lord alone. Therefore, they show you the Lord through a statue and want to earn the money to the maximum possible extent. The priests may revolt against Me as they did towards Jesus. But if they can analyze themselves, this is the fire, which indicates the true knowledge. It is told that Jesus would sprinkle fire and not water (He would baptize with fire). If you hide the truth and support the worship of statues it will be like sprinkling cold water. But if you conclude that the statue indicates the present human incarnation, such knowledge is like the sprinkling of fire.

All the statues are of human form alone. It is very difficult even to think of the formless God. Therefore, certain forms in the nature like the sun, mountains etc., were worshipped. Afterwards regular forms like statues came to stand for past human incarnations. But all these statues indicate that you should worship the present human form of the Lord who is the Sadguru. Shankara brought the devotees from the field of inert objects into the field of living beings. It is better to think that all the living beings are God than to think that inert objects are God. Something is better than nothing. The final stage shall be to show the Lord existing in a particular human form. God is in human form and this does not mean that all human forms are God. All ores are minerals but all minerals are not ores. Shankara Himself was that divine human incarnation. When He revealed the final truth, He was killed by Kapalikas at the age of 32 years. Similarly, Jesus was killed at the age of 32 years since He finally declared that He and His Father are one and the same, and criticized the priests for exploiting the people in the name of God.

You can never think of the original form of God. The moment you think about God you have perceived God hidden in the form of awareness. Any thought of God is only the awareness-incarnation of God. Therefore, you can receive God only as an incarnation. When God appears hidden in the energetic body (energetic incarnation), it is treated as divine vision. Lord Krishna appeared so in exhibiting the Viswarupam[1]. Jesus also appeared in an energetic body on a hill while He was alive in the human form. This shows that there is no difference between the incarnations of God whether it is the awareness-incarnation, a space-incarnation, an energy-incarnation or a human incarnation. The awareness, space, energy or human body is only an item of the creation. You can only perceive the Creator through a medium within the creation. The human form is the best medium for human beings, since in this medium He clarifies all the doubts and gives the light of the divine knowledge.

Shiva Rathri means the night of ignorance, which is removed by Shiva. Shiva is said to be the source of knowledge or Jnana Karaka (Jnanam Maheswarat…). The Shiva Lingam (the symbol representing Shiva) is also in the form of a wave, which is characteristic of energy according to science and it indicates light energy that removes the night. Night is a long chain of dark moments. Similarly, ignorance is a long chain of doubts. When all the doubts are cleared, the ignorance is removed. Such a day alone is the real Shiva Rathri. Devotion leads you to the Lord. Devotion is improved by hearing the stories of the Lord, which reflect His divine qualities. The knowledge from those stories is like the fertilizer, which improves the plant of devotion. But doubts are the worms and insects that destroy the plant. A fertilizer cannot destroy them. Only spiritual knowledge, which is also another chemical like the fertilizer can remove the doubts and allow the devotion to grow into a strong huge tree. You can attain the Lord by devotion, but attaining the Lord is not the goal. Even Duryodhana went near the Lord with a rope to tie Him and the Vishwarupam (Cosmic Form of the Lord) threw him out. The Gopikas instead went near the Lord to tie Him with the devotion-rope. Therefore, pleasing the Lord is the final goal. You can please the Lord only when your devotion is proved through service, which shall be done without any aspiration for any fruit in return. Therefore, the divine knowledge is always a must till you please the Lord as stated in the Gita (Adhyatma Jnana Nityatvam).


[1] Vision of Cosmic form

 
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