1. If we expect to be able to see God everywhere and in everything through our physical eyes, it is only a sign of our lack of understanding.
Our eyes have certain limitations like everyother instrument or device that is created by man. Human eyes no doubt is a bewildering piece of creation that fits so much functionality in such a small area of our body. However, there are inherent limitations of what this instrument of cognition can capture and send information to the brain for making sense of it. These limitations pertain to light, distance, angle, color, size etc. Do take a few minutes to read this article to know about your eyes. https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20150727-what-are-the-limits-of-human-vision
We interact with the world not based on only what is presented to the physical eyes. We interpret the world around us based on our knowledge, prior experiences, attitudes and beliefs. Lets call this as the inner eye. We respond to things around us based on the combined functioning of outer and inner eyes.
For example, when we see the fluttering of our national flag, it instantly draws our attention and invokes a range of emotions that drives us from within to express our utmost respect and adoration. This is definitely not based on just what the outer eyes see. It is based on the interpretation of our inner eyes. The tri-colour cloth is symbolic of the history, culture, heritage, pride, future, values, potential and greatness of our entire nation.
2. If we dont see God everywhere and in everything that is seen by our physical eyes, it is only a sign of our lack of understanding.
Its indeed our good fortune and unfathomable blessedness that we have had such a Master in our lives. My Master, has not only enabled us to see clearly with our outer eyes, he has also cleansed our inner eyes. He has shown us the pathways to behold the most beautiful vision through our inner eyes.
My Master says:
…..For instance, in a room of mirrors, a dog has walked in. This dog looks around and sees dogs in each of the mirrors around.
Now this dog, by way of seeking to make friends with one of the dogs, proceeds cautiously towards one of the mirrors. Now even as this dog is walking towards one of the mirrors, it sees that all the other dogs are also closing down on it.
At the moment it sees so many dogs closing down on itself, and that’s its ignorance proper, it becomes frightened and immediately becomes angered. The moment it becomes angry, it pounces on the dog in the mirror by way of seeking a fight. And in the course of this fight which it rages with the dog there, it breaks the mirror.
And the bits into which this mirror has ultimately become, all of those would also show the reflections of the dog. So the number of dogs has increased many fold times, more frightening for this dog, again a fight. And in this process of continuous struggle with the mirror and mirror bits, everything in a short while is splinters and broken bits.
No more dogs it sees, so at peace with itself, the dog walks out. So here what’s happened is, the dog has looked upon its own reflections, made a distinction between those reflected forms and itself, duality comes in, ignorance, anger.
So this is the characteristic feature of Jiva Pragna and full of ignorance.
Contrast this with the Atma Tattva, you see your reflections but you have the supreme knowledge given to you that I’m the one, the one manifest as the many. What is there there and what is over here is essentially the same.
So here you have the essence of this word ‘GOD’ spelled thus G-O-D . You go from left to right, you spell it as G O D and you are talking of GOD. That is full of Jnana or knowledge. You come from the other side, spell it D O G you become a dog. Ignorance and the case of duality and suffering in the process.….
What do you think is the take home message here? Whatever we see around us, everything that we see around us is nothing but God alone. This is what our inner eye can reveal to us.
My Master says,
Its very impulsive for us to interact with the world based on what meets the outer eyes. But with deliberate practice and faith, we can definitely alter this to interact with the world based the on vision revealed to us by our inner eye ज्ञानचक्षु ।
Lets say that the yellow suitcase contains gold, while the rest are empty. Which suitcase would you choose over others ? Obviously it would be the yellow suitcase. Although you can’t see the gold with your outer eye, based on the knowledge visible to the inner eye, you would value the yellow suitcase over all else.
On the contrary, if we instead ignored our inner eye and only go by what the outer eye presents to us, we would each appreciate and value one over the other based on its form and apperance.
3. The Vision of the inner eye as revealed by the Vedas & Upanishads
The great scientists of ancient India, the Rishis, the seers of truth have revealed to us the hidden content that exists in all forms and appearances. One such great seer of truth is याज्ञवल्क्यः (Yagnavalkya).
Let me quote a few lines from बृहदारण्यक-उपनिषद् (BrhadaaraNyaka-UpaniShad). मैत्रेयी asks याज्ञवल्क्यः to reveal to her the means of attaining immortality. To this याज्ञवल्क्यः responds.
(Below is an excerpt from the conversation between मैत्रेयी and याज्ञवल्क्यः)
स होवाच न वा अरे पत्युः कामाय पतिः प्रियो भवत्यात्मनस्तु कामाय पतिः प्रियो भवति । न वा अरे जायायै कामाय जाया प्रिया भवत्यात्मनस्तु कामाय जाया प्रिया भवति । न वा अरे पुत्राणां कामाय पुत्राः प्रिया भवन्त्यात्मनस्तु कामाय पुत्राः प्रिया भवन्ति । न वा अरे वित्तस्य कामाय वित्तं प्रियं भवत्यात्मनस्तु कामाय वित्तं प्रियं भवति । न वा अरे ब्रह्मणः कामाय ब्रह्म प्रियं भवत्यात्मनस्तु कामाय ब्रह्म प्रियं भवति । न वा अरे क्षत्रस्य कामाय क्षत्रं प्रियं भवत्यात्मनस्तु कामाय क्षत्रं प्रियं भवति । न वा अरे लोकानां कामाय लोकाः प्रिया भवन्त्यात्मनस्तु कामाय लोकाः प्रिया भवन्ति । न वा अरे देवानां कामाय देवाः प्रिया भवन्त्यात्मनस्तु कामाय देवाः प्रिया भवन्ति । न वा अरे भूतानां कामाय भूतानि प्रियाणि भवन्त्यात्मनस्तु कामाय भूतानि प्रियाणि भवन्ति । न वा अरे सर्वस्य कामाय सर्वं प्रियं भवत्यात्मनस्तु कामाय सर्वं प्रियं भवति । आत्मा वा अरे द्रष्टव्यः श्रोतव्यो मन्तव्यो निदिध्यासितव्यो मैत्रेय्यात्मनो वा अरे दर्शनेन श्रवणेन मत्या विज्ञानेनेदं सर्वं विदितम् ॥ ५ ॥
He (याज्ञवल्क्यः) said: "Verily a husband is not dear, that you may love the husband; but that you may love the Self, therefore, a husband is dear." "Verily not indeed for the wife's sake, the wife is dear; but for the sake of the Self, the wife is dear." "Verily sons are not dear, that you may love the sons; but that you may love the Self, therefore, sons are dear." "Verily not for the sake of wealth, wealth is dear; but for the sake of the Self, is wealth dear." "Verily the brahmin is not dear, that you may love the brahmin; but that you may love the Self therefore the brahmin is dear." "Verily the kshatriya is not dear, that you may love the kshatriya; but that you may love the Self therefore the kshatriya is dear." "Verily not for the worlds' sake the worlds are dear; but for the sake of the Self, are the worlds dear." "Verily not for the gods's sake the gods are dear; but for the sake of the Self, are the gods dear." "Verily not for the vedas' sake the vedas are dear; but for the sake of the Self, are the vedas dear." "Verily not for the elements' sake the elements are dear; but for the sake of the Self, are the elements dear." "Verily not for the universes' sake the universes are dear; but for the sake of the Self, are the universes dear." "Verily, the Self (आत्मा) is to be seen, heard, reflected and meditated upon, O Maitreyi! When we see, hear, reflect and know the Self, all this (Universe) is known."
Just as we, verily not for the suitcases’ sake, the suitcase is dear; but for the sake of the Gold within, the suitcase is dear.
There is nothing more to be said beyond what the Upanishads declare !
Image & Text Sources:
- Indian Flag – https://images.app.goo.gl/oQcA3UjhcL2aKB656
- Dog in Mirror maze – https://images.app.goo.gl/ErvzmRbqqTwiY9ef9
- My Master’s words (highlighted text) is an excerpt from the translated version of the message delivered on 15/08/1983 available to be seen here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mh51u9aJHoc
- Suitcases – https://images.app.goo.gl/rp11mCwRXR9eR3hHA
- Samskrtam text quoted from बृहदारण्यकोपनिषद् – द्वितीयोऽध्यायः – चतुर्थं ब्राह्मणम् – https://advaitasharada.sringeri.net/display/bhashya/Brha#BR_C02_S04
- Translation of the above referenced text is from Pg 122 of ‘Dialogues from the Upanishads’ by Swami Sivananda.