February 3, 2011 Comments Off
When a sadhaka starts worshipping a vigraha (image) of his Beloved, he will in the course of his practice attain to a condition in which the form of his Beloved is beheld, wherever his eyes may fall.
Next he comes to realize : “All other deities are contained in my Beloved.” He sees that everyone’s Lord, in fact all things, are contained in his own Ista (Lord, beloved, worshipped), and that his Ista also dwells in all deities, as indeed, in everything.
The sadhaka comes to feel: “As my Lord resides within me, so He, who is present within everyone else, is truly the same Lord. In water and on land, in trees, shrubs and creepers – everywhere in the whole universe abides my Beloved. Further, all the various forms and modes of being that we behold, are they not expressions of my Beloved? For there is none save Him.
He is smaller than the smallest, and greater than the greatest.” Actuated by your various inborn tendencies, you each worship a different deity. The true progress in one’s spiritual experience depends on the sincerity and intensity of one’s aspiration. The measure of a person’s spiritual advance will be reflected in the manifestations that are vouchsafed to him of his Ista, who will by no means remain inaccessible or separate from His devotee, but let Himself be contacted in an infinite variety of ways.
Conditioned though you be, you will find the All within you and on the other hand, be able to grasp that your Own innate tendencies are also part or this All. What has been said here, represents one point of view.
You cannot dissociate yourself from the Whole.
The multifarious kinds of beasts, birds, men and so forth – what are they all? What are these varieties of shapes, of modes of being, what is the essence within them? What really are these ever-changing forms?
Gradually, slowly, because you are rapt in the contemplation of your Beloved, He becomes revealed to you in every one of them; not even a grain of sand is excluded. You realise that water, earth, plants, animals,’ birds, human beings, are nothing but forms of your Beloved. Some experience it in this manner-realization does not come to everyone in the same way. There are infinite possibilities.
Consequently, the specific path along which – for any particular person the Universal will reveal itself in its boundlessness, remains concealed from the average individual. What you have just heard in the discourse on the Shrimad Bhdgavata about the universal body of the Lord, which comprises all things – trees, flowers, leaves, hills, mountains, rivers, oceans, and so forth, a time will come, must come, when one actually perceives this all-pervading Universal Form of the One. The variety of His shapes and guises is infinite, uncountable, without end.
“He who is multi-shaped, who constantly creates and destroys these His forms, He is the One whom I adore.” To the degree that you grow in the ever fuller and wider recognition of this truth, you will realize your oneness with each of these numberless forms. In this immensity there are diverse shapes, diverse modes, manifested in diverse ways, without end, without number – and yet there is end and number. When a sadhaka enters this state, he becomes conscious of the perpetual transformation of all forms and moods. He awakens to true understanding, that is to say, he comes to realize that the Supreme Himself manifests as the power of understanding. When the current of one’s thinking that was directed towards worldly matters, is reversed and turned inwards, the One Himself becomes revealed as the ‘secret skill’:
Look at the ever-changing world, where what exists at one moment is non-existent the next, where being is continually entering into non-being – who then is this non-being? Even the non-existent exists. In this connection it must be said that, if one wants to find Truth, everything will have to be realized as it is in its own place, without choosing one thing rather than another. It is a Kingdom without end, in which even, what is discerned as non-existence is equally an expression of the One.
~Anandamayee Ma Source