The Only Technique
A devotee, Shri G. Lakshman once asked Swami, "What is the use of the form of God, when I can experience God directly, once I come to know His qualities?" Swami replied to his question by a spontaneous discourse in the two parts given below. Shri G. Lakshman is an excellent devotee who is literally crazy for divine knowledge. When he hears divine knowledge from Swami, he forgets to eat or sleep. He donates lot of money for the propagation of this divine knowledge in the service of Lord Datta. Recently Swami gave him a vision of Lord Ananta Padmanabha for a long time and Shri Lakshman was immersed in the infinite bliss for several days.
Let us assume that Parabrahma (God) is fire. The qualities of Parabrahma like knowledge, bliss and love put together, can be assumed as the heat. Also let us assume the human incarnation to a wire.
Now unless you have experience (by your senses), you cannot have any knowledge. However, Vedas, Sastras and logic should also support the experience. Otherwise a mad person may experience some false thing, which cannot be taken as a standard. Thus when you get experience, which is supported by the Vedas, Sastras and logic, it becomes real knowledge.
If you wanted to experience fire along with its heat directly, you would be turned to ashes and disappear. Similarly when the God fully expresses Himself along with His qualities, the whole world disappears; you too disappear. When you do not exist, there is no question of getting any knowledge. Thus you can never experience Parabrahma (God) directly; you cannot have the knowledge of Parabrahma at any cost. The Parabrahma is beyond your imagination. Therefore through the egoistic path consisting only of knowledge (Jnana yoga), you can neither experience the fire nor experience the heat. You are totally lost.
But if you can get rid of your egoism and jealousy and if you can accept the human incarnation, at least you can experience the qualities of God; even if you cannot experience fire directly, at least you can experience heat. When one end of a wire is put in fire, the fire as if enters the wire. When you touch the other end of the wire you experience the heat safely, without getting burnt. What is fire after all? Fire is nothing but infinitely intensified heat. When fire enters the wire the fire is hidden in the wire but it radiates just enough heat through the wire so that you may experience heat without being burnt to ashes. By experiencing the little heat that you get from the wire, you can imagine the infinite intensity of that heat and thus you can imagine fire. The wire controls the intensity of heat so that you can 'experience' fire.
All you have to do is that once you experience heat, you have to multiply it infinitely in your mind and that brings the experience of fire to your brain. If you try to experience fire directly, then even before you experience its heat you will just be vaporized, in which situation there cannot be any experience or knowledge. Thus the fire has arranged this 'wire technique' so that you can experience its quality of heat, within your limits and thereby imagine even the infiniteness of that heat, which is fire.
The first wire (human incarnation) into which the fire (God) entered, was called Datta. Thereafter the second third and all subsequent human incarnations of God were also called by the same name, Datta. Every human incarnation is Datta. Datta means the wire (human body of the incarnation) that is given to the devotees in order to experience the hidden fire (God) in it. The three heads of Datta, represent the three qualities namely, satvam (knowledge, purity), rajas (activity, passions) and tamas (ignorance, inertia). The inner meaning of this representation is that the human body of the incarnation, is prakrti (product of nature) or Maya, which consists of all the three fundamental qualities. [Everything in creation is a product of Maya and therefore consists of all three qualities]. There is no need for Lord Datta to actually wear three heads; they are only a pictorial representation of the concept for the sake of the understanding of ignorant people.
Even Lord Rama, who was an incarnation of God and is regarded as the embodiment of satvam (purity) became angry with Sage Jabali and thereby displayed rajas (passion). On another occasion, Rama went after the golden deer to satisfy the craving of his wife and that is tamas (inert attachment). This shows that He had all three qualities and thus the three heads indicate that any human incarnation invariably contains all the three qualities.
Parabrahma has arranged this 'wire technique' to experience Him, using His highest intelligence. If anybody can suggest a better way than this, Parabrahma will acknowledge with thanks and will adopt that technique in future.
As per the Vedas, knowledge bliss and love are the characteristic properties or qualities of God (Parabrahma). Any property must be possessed by a base-material or entity called the substratum (dravya). Light and heat are the characteristic properties of the sun. The sun is their substratum and possesses the properties. The substratum may be regarded as the concentrated form of the properties. So, God is the substratum and hence the concentrated form of knowledge, bliss and love, as said by the Veda "Prajnana ghanah" "Brahma puccham pratistha". This God, who is the substratum of the qualities mentioned above, is beyond imagination. Imagination too is a form of knowledge. We have seen earlier that knowledge must be born from experience (perception by senses) and that the Vedas, Sastras and logic should support it. Then only can it be real knowledge. Mere experience cannot give real knowledge because the experience of a mad person cannot be regarded as true. Yet direct experience is a must for any knowledge. If somebody says that honey is sweet, such knowledge cannot be real unless you taste honey and experience it.
Consciousness is also a quality. A quality cannot exist independently. Consciousness can be found only a living being and that living being is the substratum of consciousness. Similarly, power is another quality. Power is also a quality. The sun is the condensed form of light and when the sun is absent, light too is absent. God is the condensed form of knowledge, bliss and love and God created this world through His creative power called Maya.
When you say that someone has knowledge, it automatically means that that someone also has consciousness. Knowledge assumes consciousness. However, every conscious being need not have knowledge. Knowledge normally means the knowledge of a certain concept (Sastra) Prajnanam means the true and infinite knowledge of God, which is also called as philosophy. Vedanta is philosophy, because it is the topmost knowledge of Vedas. Vedanta is fully known only by God. Therefore God is 'Sarvajna' (He who knows everything). Although He is all-knowing, God Himself created ignorance, which is called Maya and He got covered by this Maya with His own will. He enjoys by watching this world like a movie, which is nothing but His ideas. If Maya is removed, the world disappears and God (He who is beyond all qualities, such as knowledge and ignorance) alone remains. This God without ignorance is called Parabrahman. However when there is no ignorance (Maya), there is no creation and no individuals; therefore no one can know Parabrahman since the person trying to know God disappears.
Veda says "Brahma vit Brahma...." This means that God alone knows God. The Bhagavad Gita also says the same thing "Mam tu veda na kascana", which means that no body knows God. Therefore you cannot directly experience God and in fact you cannot even experience His three properties directly from Him. When you yourself do not exist, how can you experience God and his qualities? When there is no experience, real knowledge cannot be obtained. It is not sufficient to simply know that God possesses the knowledge of Himself, which is called Prajnanam by Veda. Did you hear Prajnanam from God? You have not understood anything simply by hearing the word Prajnanam. If you have heard the word mathematics do you know all that is to be known in mathematics? So you must hear that special knowledge, Prajnanam, from God, get bliss, develop love for God through your service and then God will love you. Only then you can say that you have experienced God and that you have real knowledge of God, which is called Brahma Jnanam. Already we have seen that it is impossible to attain the special knowledge directly from God because you yourself cannot exist in that situation.
Yet we must somehow get the knowledge of God and the question is how to get it? God must enter the world secretly and should give you the special knowledge. If God is fully revealed, the world disappears. Therefore God enters a human body which is a product of His Maya. His entrance in the body is also a Maya. Now He is hidden in that human body in order to maintain the existence of you and the world. Now He gives you the special knowledge through that human body. That special knowledge will also be given in a greatly reduced dosage so that you can safely receive it. If the dosage is more you will vanish. Now you are getting the special knowledge directly from God and the human body is only a medium. God pervades that human body from top to bottom; internally and externally. The Veda says the same "Antar bahisca".
Now by this experience you have attained the complete Brahma Jnanam. There is no other way than this. If you want to see God by your two eyes, it is impossible because if God appears you will disappear along with this world. God can be seen only by the third eye which is the eye of knowledge, and that too with God's grace. You cannot see God. You cannot touch God. You cannot talk with God. You cannot live with God. So what is the use of such visions? Visions are useless unless you attain the God's grace. Grace is more important than visions. God gave His vision to Arjuna as well as to the blind king Dhrtarastra. Yet Dhrtarastra was not blessed like Arjuna. Radha and Hanuman were never given any such visions. But both attained the highest fruit. When Arjuna saw that vision he shivered with fear and prayed God to come back to the form of human body. Arjuna was the bravest man in the world. He was Nara, who had worshipped Lord Narayana (God) continuously for the past thousand births. He also saw God through the third eye alone and with the grace of God. If such an Arjuna shivered with fright looking at God, what will be case of ordinary human beings? They will simply vaporize before the power of God. If you receive knowledge, bliss and love of God and if you love God through your service, you are really blessed. You can experience these three qualities only through human incarnation.
Some people claim themselves to be human incarnations by saying that they have infinite bliss and love. Yet they do not possess the knowledge supported by the Veda, Sastras and logic. Even if they speak the knowledge, they cannot quote the scriptures and cannot give correct logic. Such people are fraud incarnations because knowledge cannot be separated from bliss and love. The light of the sun cannot be separated from its heat. Both light and heat always co-exist. If you neglect Krisna, how can you get the special knowledge in the form of Bhagavad Gita? If you neglect the divine form Lord Brahma, (Brahmadeva) how can you get the knowledge of the Vedas? Sages have heard Vedas from the four faces of Lord Brahma. Sages sitting near Lord Brahma are attaining the special knowledge, called Vedanta, and are immersed in infinite bliss and love.
Lord Buddha, who is one of the ten incarnations of Lord Narayana, said that the Vedas are Pauruseyas, which means that Vedas are spoken by a form i.e., Lord Brahma and hence cannot be the Word of God. But some have condemned Buddha and have insisted that Vedas came directly from God. Yes, it is true that the Vedas were told by God. But He did it through the medium of a form; not directly. God pervades the entire divine body of Lord Brahma and through that body, the Vedas were told to the sages.
In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krsna says that foolish people insult the medium of the human body because of their jealousy and egoism (Avajananti...). The Veda says "Vedahametam".. which means that 'I have recognized the human incarnation, who removes the darkness of ignorance and radiates the light of the special knowledge like a sun'. Veda further says "Tamevam Vidvan..", which means 'he who recognizes such a human incarnation becomes liberated in this world itself (jivanmukta)'. Veda further says 'Nanyah panthah' which means 'there is no other way to experience God other than through the human incarnation'.