Daily Readings from the Works of Swami Venkatesananda


Insights and Inspirations (Venkatesa Daily Readings Vol 2) - The 'I' Cannot Know God

March 15, 2019

The 'I' Cannot Know God

Swami Venkatesananda    We are asked to surrender to God, to be totally devoted to God. What is God? Why not admit: "I do not know." The 'I' is not something that can know God!

     We are shown in the Bhagavad Gita and other scriptures, that God is not limited or weak, but we are, and so we need some aid to remind us of God. We use symbols to represent God, and as we sit in front of them we feel the presence of God. He is however not limited to that picture or statue. The symbol, the statue, serves as a reminder of God, but when one looks within and feels the Divine Presence, there is no more need of any outer sign. I know that God is not only there, but He is everywhere - also in me! Thus, once one has learned to feel the Presence of God before the symbol and to realise His omnipresence, one knows how to experience this elsewhere.

     Sometimes there is a block: I notice something I do not like, something ugly. I say: "No! This is not God" Then I remember Krishna's words about God's Omnipresence, regardless of the mind's classifications. The block is dropped. I regard the sage as God-like. Then I encounter another man whom I consider to be less holy. Suddenly there comes the message of Krishna to my mind: "Even he is God." In this manner there is expansion of consciousness like the ever-widening circles around a stone dropped into a pool.

    Surrender to God cannot be explained; but if one is careful, one may catch a glimpse of it. As one goes on in the light of this expanding consciousness to realize that this and that i.e. everything is God (the so-called holy as well as the apparently unholy), something is dissolving within: the ego! Suddenly one realizes that this God, who is in one and all, pervades all creation. I cannot be exempt from this Omnipresence, which is all-inclusive, which includes me - but not as 'I'! The 'I' has dissolved. Suddenly one realizes: that is surrender to God.

     The function of the body will still go on, even if you are the Buddha. It will live just as the grass and the trees live, but there is total surrender of the ego-sense — Īśvarapraṇiḍhāna. At that stage all your preconceptions, all regret and remorse, have gone. The feeling 'I am a holy man' is gone, as also the sense of guilt: 'I am a sinner'. Whatever life brings or takes, there is neither approval nor disapproval. If unhappiness comes, let it come! Then one is happy -  and is happiness! That is true surrender.

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