Form and Formless God

February 8, 2011 Comments Off on Form and Formless God

A devotee: “Has God forms or has He none?”

Ramakrishna Paramhansa:

“No one can say with finality that God is only ‘this’ and nothing else.  He is formless, and again He has forms.  For the bhakta (devotee) He assumes forms.

But He is formless for the jnani (The Enlightened person), that is, for

him who looks on the world as a mere dream.  The bhakta feels that he is

one entity and the world another.  Therefore God reveals Himself to him

as a Person.  But the jnani-the Vedantist, for instance-always reasons,

applying the process of ‘Not this, not this’.  Through this

discrimination he realizes, by his inner perception, that the ego and

the universe are both illusory, like a dream.  Then the jnani realizes

Brahman in his own consciousness.  He cannot describe what Brahman is.


Do you know what I mean? Think of Brahman, Existence-Knowledge-Bliss

Absolute, as a shoreless ocean.  Through the cooling influence, as it

were, of the bhakta’s love, the water has frozen at places into blocks

of ice.  In other words, God now and then assumes various forms for His

lovers and reveals Himself to them as a Person.  But with the rising of

the sun of Knowledge, the blocks of ice melt.  Then one doesn’t feel any

more that God is a Person, nor does one see God’s forms.  What He is

cannot be described.  Who will describe Him? He who would do so

disappears.  He cannot find his ‘I’ any more.”


The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna



Tags: God, Form, Formless

Path: Hinduism



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