How can I know God?
Every living being in the world is a seeker of God. Even if one tries for countless ages, he cannot become an atheist. The reason is that even the so-called atheist is searching for bliss. This ‘bliss’ is synonymous with ‘God’ and so one who is searching for happiness is searching knowingly or unknowingly for God. We are eternal and so is God. God is not senior to us. Is it then not surprising that we have not yet attained our goal of knowing God though countless lives have passed?
It is even more surprising that you have not yet even decided on the path to know and attain God. Suppose you are standing at a crossroad and one person guides you to go to the left, another sends you to the right and someone else directs you in a different direction, you will get confused as to where to go. So what generally happens is that the traveller goes straight for a while and then returns, feeling it is the wrong route; then he goes to the left and returns, then right and returns. In this going back and forth, the whole of our human life is wasted. We have done this in every life, otherwise if we knew the correct path and kept walking then no matter how long the journey maybe, we would have reached the destination.
There are many paths to know God. As the rivers flow into the ocean by following different paths, similarly there are many paths to know God. However, as declared by Jagadguru Kripalu Ji Maharaj, there is only one true path to attain God. It is called the path of Love or the path of Devotion. In order to walk on this path, there is no need for us to study the Vedas or scriptures which will get you even more confused. In fact, it is beyond the human intellect to understand the true meaning of the Vedas.
Only God himself or the Saint bestowed with divine intellect know the Vedas and the scriptures. A theoretical man, no matter how great a scholar he may be, even if gifted with the intellect of Brishapati (the perceptor of the Celestial Gods) or Saraswati (God of learning) cannot understand the Vedas. When Saraswati’s intellect fails on the subject of God, then what to say of the common man.
After knowing that the path of Devotion is the only means to know and attain God, it is of no use for one to listen to, read or reflect upon anything else. A great scholar may give a long and beautiful lecture, but he too will finally have to conclude that it is only through devotion that one can know God. So why would one practise and follow difficult ritualistic paths? You just have to follow the simple path of Devotion.
You must have heard from the scriptures that either simpletons or illiterate rustics usually attain God or those who are humble and admit themselves to be ignorant, though they possess immense knowledge of the scriptures. History bears witness to the fact that Jagadguru Shankaracharya, Jagadguru Ramanujacharaya among a few, have been just a handful of such great scholars. Otherwise, most of the Saints in India have been illiterate, who put complete faith in following the path of Devotion to God.
Incomplete knowledge gives rise to doubt. Therefore, the Vedas advise –
“Surrender your scholarship at the Lotus feet of the Lord or else it will increase your pride, which is the greatest obstacle in the path of devotion.”
Vedas further declare:
“Although the Supreme Personality, God cannot be grasped by the greatest senses, mind and intellect, yet that unknowable and invisible God can be fully known and seen by that fortunate soul who is graced by Him, with his Divine power.”
“No one can know God even if he endeavours to know Him for innumerable lifetimes, but when God imparts His grace to a soul, he can know Him and attain divine bliss for eternity.”
The grace of a Rasik Saint will be showered only after the devotee’s mind and heart is completely pure. The process to attain complete purity of heart and mind is possible only by strictly adhering to the instructions of your Guru during preliminary devotion or sadhana bhakti.
We have been fortunate enough to be blessed with a human body, to listen to the Saints and to study the Vedas and other scriptures innumerable times. Still we are confused and are not able to take the decision as to how to attain God. This means we have not yet attained true knowledge.
True knowledge or right understanding of the scriptures leads to the firm decision. Just as you realise yourself, “I am” and this realisation always remains the same everywhere with you and in all circumstances.
Similarly, after attaining this true knowledge, there will not be any doubt about the path to know and attain God.
By Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj
(Credits: A Journey towards Divine Love)
*A brief introduction of Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj*
(Known by His devotees as Shri Maharajji)
The original title of Jagadguruttam (‘Greatest Spiritual Teacher of the World’) was bestowed upon Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj on January 14, 1957 by ‘Kashi Vidvat Parishad’ (a council of 500 greatest scholars saints of India). He composed divine texts like ‘Prem Ras Madira’, ‘Prem Ras Siddhant’, and ‘Radha Govind Geet’ to lead us on the right path of devotion. He also gave priceless monuments as gifts to the world which include - Bhakti Mandir located in Bhakti Dham, Mangarh, Prem Mandir located in Vrindavan Dham, and Kirti Mandir located in Barsana Dham. Shri Maharajji also built hospitals for the impoverished, the Jagadguru Kripalu Chikitsalaya in Vrindavan, Jagadguru Kripalu Chikitsalaya in Barsana, and another one in Pratapgarh. All three help millions of underprivileged to gain free access to medical care. His Kindergarten, School, and College for impoverished girls Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat Education is located in Kunda and provides completely free education.