Man’s life is strange. He spends his entire life chasing mirages. He comes into the world with desires inbuilt into his psyche. There is no end to his desires-Desire for money; fame; good relationships and more, all in the hope of an ultimately happy life.
The typical man spends his entire life chasing his dreams and before he knows it, his life –span is over and death is staring him in the face. Even at that stage, most men are not able to let go off their perennial desires and they die longing for something or the other. In a nutshell, life is spent in a futile attempt to satisfy desires but all that man is able to achieve is to inflame them further and create new desires as well. Not only does this cycle of desire go on endlessly but man also creates various karmic loans with other people and thus he gets further and further entangled in the cycle of birth and death.
Thus the man who was born desiring this world, dies hankering for more worldly experiences. There is nothing strange in this. This is how Kaal keeps Brahm-Creation-going on endlessly.
Yet inside each pore of this creation resides the Lord himself. Everything in this universe-from the rocks, to the plants and to man himself, all have the same divine spark inside. The only difference is in the level of consciousness that the divine spark experiences in a particular body; i.e. The same divine spark in man experiences far more than the divine spark inside an animal, or a plant, or a mineral even though the divine spark inside all are the same.
It is said that God, sleeps in the minerals, dreams in the plants and awakens in man. And one day, this divine spark asks a question-“Who am I? What is my purpose and what is the purpose of this creation?”
That day is a big day in the life of the individual since from that day onwards, instead of seeking happiness outside-in the world created by Kaal, man starts to look inwards for answers to these questions. As man gets serious about knowing this eternal Truth, he starts to look for answers. He searches in the study of the scriptures; he seeks it in the morality of society; he seeks it in the rules of religion and in the life of the great realized masters who have come to guide us. He finally comes to one inevitable conclusion. What is that conclusion? – That God is everything and everything is a part of God. There is nothing that has its existence outside God’s domain. Essentially there is nothing apart from God. God is not only the material creation that man sees all around in the universe-the stars planets etc but God is also the unseen spirit that lies inside that material universe. In the end there is nothing except the Lord. When the seeking man realizes this truth, he wants to see the Lord face to face.
Mostly people are not at this stage. They are still chasing the mirage. Many others believe in the Lord, but believe in a beggar-master relationship and they only seek worldly favours and boons. They don’t care for God except for as a provider of their selfish needs. Yet there are a few who don’t fall in this category but who seek the Lord for no reason except to be with Him.
The question I ask all of you who read this is -Do you have a genuine, non-selfish desire to see the Lord face to face? If your answer is yes then you are part of the lucky few, and you are not alone. There are several people on the list of wanting to see the Lord face to face. The Holy Bible and other scriptures such as the Bhagwat Geeta have talked about those people who wished to see God face to face. Arjun, in the Bhagwat Geeta pleads with the Lord to grant him His(the Lord’s) vision since only then will he will be able to shed his doubt, fear and sorrow. Many chapters of the Bible also are simply descriptions of those people who experienced God.
Right from ancient times, the genuine seekers have wanted to see the Lord. It was a score of Greeks who came to Galilee to observe the Passover. Perhaps having heard about the miracle worker – Jesus Christ, they had a deep desire of wanting to see Him face to face. Therefore, they came to Philip – one of the disciples of Jesus Christ, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked Him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” (Bible, John 12:21). I guess they thought that Philip could assist them in meeting Jesus Christ.
Job says, “Oh, that I knew where I might find Him, that I might come to His seat” (Bible, Job 23:3). There are many such instances in the Bible. King David says, “Early will I seek You, evening and morning and at noon I will pray; I meditate on You in the night watches” (Bible, Psalm 63:1; 55:17; 63:6). Zacchaeus, who was of short stature, climbed up a sycamore tree to see who Jesus was (Bible, Luke 19:3, 4). Hannah came seeking the presence of God in bitterness of soul perhaps thinking, ‘Can I see the Lord in the tabernacle? Can I shed my tears at His feet?’ (Bible, 1 Samuel 1:10,11).
Thus for the sincere seeker of the Lord, it my advice that he should desire for God realization from the depth of His being to the extent that he can think of nothing else. Such a person is obsessed with the Lord to such an extent that he feels that he will die unless God graces him with his presence. He should seek the Lord in every waking moment and even in his dreams and he should seek the Lord not because he is troubled in life or for emergencies but for his everyday company. Such a person understands that in God’s presence alone there is fullness of joy. The feet of the Lord is the only place where he can open his heart and pour out his agony. “ (Bible, Ephesians 3:20). King David cried out to God everyday and God testified him as a man after His own heart. Isn’t that a wonderful testimony from Almighty God? When Hannah poured her agony at the feet of God, He heard it and blessed her. Zacchaeus sought the Lord and found salvation. Similarly if you also seek the Lord diligently, He will come near you and remove all your sorrows with His power and grant His life in abundance to you.
Yet one question remains in the mind of the seeker who reads the scriptures. The Holy Bible mentions in many places that man cannot see God face to face. Yet at other points in the bible, it is said that such and such a person saw God face to face. This understandably confuses the reader but this is a confusion of the seekers mind and not a real contradiction. Let us understand what is being said. For example, Bible, Exodus 33:20 says that God stated, ‘You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!’ And yet, Bible, Genesis 17:1 says that God appeared to Abraham. Bible, Exodus 24:10 says the Israelites ‘saw the God of Israel,’ and Bible, Exodus 24:11 says that ‘They saw God.'” How can both be true?
I would like to start by saying that men have tried to find and see God for countless centuries and millennia but without success. Bible, John 5:37; I Timothy 6:16; I Peter 1:8; and I John 4:12 tells us that no man has been able to see God. There are main two reasons men have not been able to see God.
The first reason is that Bible, Colossians 1:15 and I Timothy 1:17 reveal that God is invisible. So we should not be surprised that God cannot be found in the heavens with telescopes or by space exploration. He cannot be found by travelling to the planet Mars, the next nearest star or the farthest star. Since God is an invisible being, man cannot normally see Him. Man can only see God when God allows man to see Him. So Moses asked God in Bible, Exodus 33:18 to allow Him to see God. Initially, God said, “No!”
The second reason that men cannot see God is that if and when they see God, they will die. That is the essence of what God told Moses in Bible, Exodus33:20 – You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live.
That is, Moses did not see God’s face according to verse 21, but Moses could see other parts of God. Bible, Exodus 33:21-23 prophesied – Then the Lord said, “Behold, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand there on the rock; and it will come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. Then I will take My hand away and you shall see My back, but My face shall not be seen.”
Here we saw that Moses was allowed to see God’s back but not His face. We should not think that God has a literal face and back just as we do, and we should not think that God is composed of different animal or human parts. So Moses saw something called God’s back, whatever that was. Moses could not see God’s face. We should not take this to mean that God has a human face. How shall we understand that? If I want to see one of my friends, I expect to see his or her face and not their back. So Moses did not see God fully. He saw God’s back, whatever that was, because God allowed it.
Now let’s consider several passages in the Bible that say people did see God. We want to ask in what sense did people see God.
The first example is the apostle John who wrote both the gospel of John and the book of Revelation. It is important to notice that the same author wrote both books since he describes God and God’s throne room in Revelation 4, but yet in Bible, John 1:18 he says, “No one has seen God at any time.” How can both be true? In what sense did John see God in Revelation 4? The answer is found in the fact that the description of God in Revelation 4 was obtained by a vision. So John saw a vision of God but not God while he (John) was still in human flesh.
The second example, is found in Bible, Deuteronomy 34:10 here we are told that Moses had an extraordinary relationship with God. Here is the verse, since that time no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face.
Here we are told that Jacob also spoke with God face-to-face in Bible, Genesis 32:24-30. So in what sense did Jacob see God “face to face”? What does it mean to see God face to face? Bible, Deuteronomy 5:4 gives us the answer when it says that Moses saw God on Mt. Sinai face to face. Both passages refer to the fact that Moses saw God’s back. It does not mean that Moses saw God’s face. “Face-to-face” is an expression indicating that communication has taken place between man and God.
In another passage, Bible, Exodus 24:10-11, we are told that Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and the seventy leaders went up on Mt. Sinai and saw God. See these prophesy of Bible, Exodus 24:10 …..and they saw the God of Israel; and under His feet there appeared to be a pavement of sapphire, as clear as the sky itself.
The above verse reveals that they saw God’s feet and the sea of glass beneath the throne of God. The apostle John describes the same thing in Bible, Revelation 4:6. But notice that nothing is said about what part(s) of God they saw. Did they see only His feet and back? It would appear from the other passages that we have considered that they did not see His face. That is what no man can see and live to talk about it.
In Bible, Genesis 17:1 Abraham saw a theophany or an appearance of Jesus Christ in the Old Testament called the Angel of the Lord. So when the passage says that the Lord appeared to Abraham and said, “I am God Almighty; Walk before Me, and be blameless,” God did not appear as Himself but as the Angel – a theophany.
For completeness, Bible, I Kings 3:5; 9:2 and 11:9 say that King Solomon saw God in a dream but not in person. Bible, Isaiah 6:1 and 5 say that Isaiah saw God. That is, he saw a vision of God but not God in reality or he was not bodily in heaven in the presence of God. Bible, Ezekiel 3:23 says that Ezekiel saw the glory of God but not God’s face. Bible, Acts 7:55-60 says that the first Christian martyr saw a vision of the glory of God and Jesus in His resurrection body. That is, he did not bodily go to heaven and see God.
We shall conclude with three verses. The first two verses are Bible, John 1:18 and I John4:12 which say that “No one has seen God at any time.” No man while still being on this earth has truly seen God at any time. No man has seen God’s face.
So what can we conclude from all this? We can conclude that the Lord is far beyond us and we cannot see Him in His full glory. To be able to see even a fraction of Him, we have to change our being and increase our capacity to be like Him. Only then can God reveal Himself in a limited way to our mortal frame. Otherwise if He reveals Himself to us, it will be like pouring a million volts of electricity in a 100 watt bulb. The bulb cannot handle it and will simply explode.
The Bible, Matthew 5:8 prophesied, Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. That is, the only way anyone can really see God is to be pure in heart. One who is pure in heart will be repentant of their sins and want to live a holy life. Such a person will want to be spiritually right with God and will believe in Lord Kalki and give their life to Him. Such a person will increasingly become a vessel in which the Lord can pour a fraction of His essence.