“The many past births you spoiled can be rectified right now, today, if you start chanting Shri Rama’s holy name and renounce bad association, says Tulsi.” (Dohavali, 22)
बिगरी जनम अनेक की सुधरै अबहीं आजु |
होहि राम को नाम जपु तुलसी तजि कुसमाजु ||
bigarī janama aneka kī sudharai abahīṃ āju |
hohi rāma ko nāma japu tulasī taji kusamāju ||
1. God lives
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada reveals that there are particular principles which had a significant influence in attracting him towards the message of His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. One of them is that God is a living being, not just an abstract.
This is an important distinction to make because without active encouragement and constant discussion, how would a person arrive at the conclusion on their own? It is not like we are born with the eyes to notice the presence of the Divine in every sphere. It was not until recent times that scientists could take pictures of the inside of the body. Even so, there is no imagery to detect either the individual soul [atma] or Supreme Soul [Paramatma].
The idea that God lives is very encouraging. It means that not only is there someone looking over and managing the entire creation, but He is available for consultation. Unlike with a celebrity or important politician, paperwork or bureaucracy is not involved in getting a meeting.
2. We can live with Him
We can get a meeting through meditation. The guru says to chant the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Avoid the four pillars of sinful life, keep a clean diet of foods in the mode of goodness, and also try to maintain the association of other sadhus, who are saintly people.
चतुर्-विधा भजन्ते मां
जनाः सुकृतिनो ऽर्जुन
आर्तो जिज्ञासुर् अर्थार्थी
ज्ञानी च भरतर्षभ
catur-vidhā bhajante māṁ
janāḥ sukṛtino ‘rjuna
ārto jijñāsur arthārthī
jñānī ca bharatarṣabha
“O best among the Bharatas [Arjuna], four kinds of pious men render devotional service unto Me—the distressed, the desirer of wealth, the inquisitive, and he who is searching for knowledge of the Absolute.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 7.16)
Gradually, I will be able to notice that God lives within me. I can also live with Him. More than simply approaching Him for stuff, for help in material life, for answers to pressing questions, I can spend an infinite duration of time enjoying in His company.
Leaders of other faiths may make a similar promise.
“Surrender now and be saved. Avoid eternal damnation. Profess your allegiance and wait until the afterlife for eternal happiness.”
Through the Vaishnava representative, I learn that I can live with God right now. Today. Not tomorrow. Not in an hour. In a second. I just have to change my consciousness. Renounce bad association and hold onto the holy name, as Goswami Tulsidas advises.
Though He lives everywhere through His Supersoul feature, the permanent residence for the Bhagavan personality is the Vaikuntha realm. That place, also known as the spiritual world, has many planets, the foremost of which is Goloka Vrindavana.
There God lives in His all-attractive form of Krishna. He has nothing to do; just enjoyment and play. There are so many associates to give Him increasing pleasure, and they derive the same. They are so happy in His association that they forget His Divine nature.
In the beginning I get a taste for spiritual life by understanding that God lives and that I can live with Him. In the highest stage of liberation I forget those two aspects and simply enjoy the time spent in the association of the Almighty. This is the secret of the bhakti path which the guru kindly reveals to me. He is not stingy in this area. He is ready to reveal the same to everyone, to inspire the kind of service that is the only way towards true and lasting happiness.
More than someone wealth to give,
Guru revealing that God to live.
And that potential with Him to be,
Always His transcendental form to see.
More than just living in fear,
The ananda property clear.
The same ready for everyone to teach,
The ideal companion not out of reach.
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