Sunday, May 9, 2010

Transcendental Nature of the Divine

“Those who are devotees of other gods and who worship them with faith actually worship only Me, O son of Kunti, but they do so in a wrong way. I am the only enjoyer and master of all sacrifices. Therefore, those who do not recognize My true transcendental nature fall down.”
……. Bhagavad-Gita 9: 23-24


Today when monotheistic religions and fundamentalist argue and espouse the concept of salvation or liberation through only the God of their religion and all others are cast aside as damned, the statement in chapter 9 verses 23 and 24 seem to confirm this concept but with a slight modification. Worship or devotion to any God ultimately terminates in the supreme Godhead of Lord Krishna. This approach is not direct but indirect, a tortuous route and there is a pre-condition that if one does not realize that ultimately all sacrifices and offering reach the supreme transcendental Godhead, all his devotions are in vain.

This is where one has to look deeply within the scripture to see what the intension of this writing was. These verses do not define a dogmatic approach to worship of a particular God, namely Lord Krishna. What these verses define is the nature of God that is true and to whom our devotion and sacrifice must be directed. Most religions have struggled with the rational approach to defining God and have stopped short of qualifying God through an anthropomorphic approach. This is the malady of all religions. It is this reason that Buddha, Jesus, Allah, Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva etc., are turned into God and the irreconcilable position of whose God is the true God becomes established among the followers. When we read the verse 23, the nature of all gods as defined for human understanding, which is defined as Suguna Brahma in Vedic theology, is only a path to the ultimate reality. If we are stuck at the level of the icons or imagery then we fall woefully short of our destination in our devotion. The only true worship of the divine can happen when the nature of the Godhead is fully appreciated and realized.

For us humans, it is impossible to comprehend the true nature of the Divine through the mind and hence signs are given pointing to the way or direction. As Bruce Lee tells a student in the film ‘Enter the Dragon’: “Don't think. FEEL. It's like a finger pointing at the moon. Do not concentrate on the finger or you will miss all of the heavenly glory!”
The signs and symbols and indicators we use to direct us to wisdom should not be confused with the wisdom itself. This is powerful, and it has layer upon layer of meaning to it. The words we read and the speakers we listen to can only point us in the right direction. They are not the truths in themselves.

Worship and devotion must be centred on the understanding of the nature of God. What is this nature? It is the nature of an all pervading energy, energy not to be confused with what we experience through our physicality and the senses, but a sustaining, trans-dimensional and cosmic web of being. It is the very fabric of all that is manifest and unmanifest. This is often referred to us the Self in Vedic philosophy.

“The Self is one. Unmoving, it moves swifter than thought. The senses do not overtake it, for always it goes before. Remaining still, it outstrips all that run. Without the Self, there is no life. To the ignorant the Self appears to move–yet it moves not. From the ignorant it is far distant–yet it is near. It is within all, and it is without all.”
………… (Isha Upanishad 4,5)

This is the transcendental nature of the ultimate reality which with our human limitation we call GOD.

Love to you all

2 comments :

  1. With so many religions and the branches within vying to indoctrinate and convince the followers of the superiority of their own with words, miracles, money power etc your article though true might not have many takers.
    good luck

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  2. Your reflection of transcendal Nature of God is curious. One has to go BEYOND to understand, not in human reasoning, but one has merge with the divine to understand.
    Good, Tibs Annan. susan

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