Ishwar Putra Arun
The Lord created this entire world out of His own essence. Every single part of this creation- matter, energy, consciousness and soul are parts of the Lord. There is absolutely nothing in this universe that has come from a different source. In fact there is nothing else apart from the Lord. The Bhagwat Gita says that this universe is completely permeated by the Lord but the Lord is not permeated by creation. If creation be a fruit, the Lord is the tree. So there can be no question that all things, seen and unseen are nothing but some aspect of the Lord Himself.
This is the first essential knowledge that helps on the path of liberation since when we realize this then we know that our essential nature is divine and then we start taking the right steps back towards our real nature
The second thing to know is that why did the Lord create this universe? What motive did He have? The answer is that it was only to experience
Himself and to have someone to love that the Lord did this. There was no other motive except Love. Love was enough to start the act of creation by the Lord. To achieve this goal of experiencing this love, the Lord divided Himself from a singularity to a duality. From One, He became two. The first portion He sent forth to create the material universe and the second portion was He Himself which impregnated itself into every pore of material creation.
The result is that it is the Lord Himself who sits inside each one of us and witnesses the play of creation. This is why the Holy Bible says that – “The Lord is my witness.”
The third thing to know is that – that part of the Lord that is inside each of us is called the individual soul. The individual soul consists of the essence of God-which is ever unchanging wrapped up in delusion. That wrapping of delusion is what makes the individual soul forget his true nature and get attracted and subsequently attached to creation rather than to the creator. This is why individual souls-even though eternal- go through the cycle of birth and death. This happens because of being attached to some aspect of this creation we chase a certain experience, or a particular person, or a particular relationship that gave us pleasure and we follow that memory from birth after birth.
The fourth thing to remember is that, since our essential nature is divine, we can be called the children of God. God intended that He would create this universe and send His children to enjoy it but at some point the children forgot that they had come to a playground and this was not their real home. They forgot their real home and their real eternal nature. They forgot that this playground was temporary and ever-changing and that permanent happiness and home was with only with their father in heaven.
The seductive powers of this universe are such that we, the children have completely got involved with this playground. We think we own some part of it and we fight over and even hurt each other to enjoy the ownership of this playground.
God had wanted that, His children enjoy the pleasures of His creation-the garden of Eden- that He created for us but He had never expected that the children would get so engrossed with the playground that they would forget Him and their real home. He never expected that His children would give priority to His creation rather than to Him. But this is what happened. The keeper of creation-Kaal made sure by offering temptation that Man would get completely seduced and enmeshed in creation and one day when God came to visit his children in the Garden of Eden, He found His children hiding from Him. They had eaten the forbidden fruit against God’s express command. This is the first time man disobeyed their father and the fall of man started. For the first time man felt ashamed of himself and felt the need to hide from God. Man discovered, deceit and he learnt to speak untruth as a consequence of the guilt and fear he felt on disobeying his father. All the guilt and fear we feel today is the descendent of that original sin where we disobeyed our most loving and kind father and did things that we were not supposed to do. Since that day Man learnt to live in his mind and be clever instead of living in his heart and be loving as God had intended it to be. This is when man was banished from the garden of heaven into the physical world and that is when he had to toil to earn his daily bread and this is when man started to undergo the cycle of birth and death.
The tragedy is that man has not learnt from his mistakes and even today he still believes that the playground is his home and he wants to indulge in the perks, pleasures and temptations of the playground. Man has not only forgotten his father but also forgotten his own true Self.
In that sense it is not God who has left us but it is we who have left God. The troubles and difficulties we face today as individuals and as societies and nations are not created by our father-the Lord, but by ourselves and our decision to leave God as our guide. Just as children fighting and hurting each other in a playground is not the fault of the parents, similarly the situation in the world today is self created by man. God should not be blamed for it. Just as parents cannot remove the hurt and anger that a child feels childishly as he plays in the playground, God cannot remove the hurt and anger we feel in this world. Happiness can be found only when we realize the real nature of this world and our real divine nature.
We may have forgotten God but He has not forgotten us. He knows we are being foolish and that one day we will wake up. God eagerly waits for that day when His son will finally remember Him and call out to Him for succour.
Not only has God not forgotten us, He actively remains in our presence so that He may protect us from real harm and provide us with indirect guidance.
Today He is amongst us with the name ‘Lord Kalki’. He desires that His children remember Him and for that to happen, we His children have to become a bit like Him. We, His children must not live in sin since He Himself is sinless. It is fairly clear that in today’s time, people’s behaviour, living style and style of worship all have become defective. Both kings and their subjects are living lives that are against the teachings of God and are trying to deceive the Lord for some petty gain. The covenant that was agreed upon between man and God has been wilfully broken by each and every man. This is why we are distant from the Lord and we cannot see Him face to face which is essentially our right and heritage. We ourselves have given away our own real treasure in exchange for trinkets of glass and beads.
God constantly tells us through all means possible that we are not what we think we are and he also guides us on how to realize our true nature. God says very clearly to man that (1) God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.
(2)Man must obey the wishes of God and implement them in his daily life and
(3) Man should not be corrupt and nor try to make the image of God corrupt since God can never be corrupt.
To approach God freely, to see Him and to be close to Him, has always been part of His plan for us from the beginning; His divine light was meant to illumine every human relationship with truth and transparency. In the state of original purity, there was no need to put on masks, to engage in ploys or to attempt to conceal ourselves from one another. Everything was clear and pure in the beginning.
As mentioned above, When Adam and Eve yielded to temptation and broke off this relationship of trusting communion with God, sin entered into human history. The effects were immediately evident, within themselves, in their relationship with each other and with nature. And how dramatic the effects are! Our original purity has been defiled. From that time on, we were no longer capable of closeness to God. Men and women began to conceal themselves, to cover their nakedness. Lacking the light which comes from seeing the Lord, they saw everything around them in a distorted fashion, myopically. The inner compass which had guided them in their quest for happiness lost its point of reference, and the attractions of power, wealth, possessions, and a desire for pleasure at all costs, led them to the abyss of sorrow and anguish.
The Bible, Matthew 5:8 prophesied “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Let us now try to understand more fully how this blessedness comes about through purity of heart. First of all, we need to appreciate the biblical meaning of the word heart. In Hebrew thought, the heart is the centre of the emotions, thoughts and intentions of the human person. Since the Bible teaches us that God does not look to appearances, but to the heart (Bible, 1 Samuel 16:7), we can also say that it is from the heart that we see God. This is because the heart is really the human being in his or her totality as a unity of body and soul, in his or her ability to love and to be loved.
In the heart of each man and woman, the Lord’s invitation constantly resounds: “Seek My face!” (Bible, Psalms 27:8). At the same time, we must always realize that we are poor sinners. For example, we read in the Book of Psalms: “Who can climb the mountain of the Lord? Who shall stand in His holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart” (Bible, Psalms 24:3-4). But we must never be afraid or discouraged: throughout the Bible and in the history of each one of us we see that it is always God who takes the first step. He purifies us so that we can come into His presence.
When the prophet Isaiah heard the Lord’s call to speak in His name, he was terrified and said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips”. And yet the Lord purified him, sending to him an angel who touched his lips, saying: “Your guilt is taken away, and your sin is forgiven”. In the New Testament, when on the shores of lake Genessaret Jesus called his first disciples and performed the sign of the miraculous catch of fish, Simon Peter fell at his feet, exclaiming: “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord” (Bible, Luke 5:8). Jesus’ reply was immediate: “Do not be afraid; henceforth you will be fishers of men” (Bible, Luke 5:10). And when one of the disciples of Jesus asked him: “Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied,” the Master replied: “He who has seen me has seen the Father (Bible, John 14:8-9).
The Lord’s invitation to encounter him is made to each of you, in whatever place or situation you find yourself. It suffices to have the desire for “a renewed personal encounter with the son of God, or at least an openness to letting Him encounter you; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day”. We are all sinners, needing to be purified by the Lord. But it is enough to take a small step towards the son of God to realize that He awaits us always with open arms, particularly in the sacrament of Reconciliation, a privileged opportunity to encounter that divine mercy which purifies us and renews our hearts.
In what, then, does the happiness born of a pure heart consist? From Jesus’ list of the evils which make someone impure, we see that the question has to do above all with the area of our relationships. Each one of us must learn to discern what can “defile” his or her heart and to form his or her conscience rightly and sensibly, so as to be capable of “discerning the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Bible, Romans 12:2). We need to show a healthy concern for creation, for the purity of our air, water and food, but how much more do we need to protect the purity of what is most precious of all: our heart and our relationships. This “human ecology” will help us to breathe the pure air that comes from beauty, from true love, and from holiness.
I am asking you a question: “Where is your treasure? In what does your heart find its rest?”
The reply is that our hearts can be attached to true or false treasures, they can find genuine rest or they can simply slumber, becoming lazy and lethargic. The greatest good we can have in life is our relationship with God. Are you convinced of this? Do you realize how much you are worth in the eyes of God? Do you know that you are loved and welcomed by Him unconditionally, as indeed you are? Once we lose our sense of this, we human beings become an incomprehensible enigma, for it is the knowledge that we are loved unconditionally by God which gives meaning to our lives. Do you remember the conversation that Jesus had with the rich young man (Bible, Mark 10:17-22)? The evangelist Mark observes that the Lord looked upon
Him and loved him (Bible, Mark 10: 21), and invited him to follow Him and thus to find true riches. I hope, dear friends, that this loving gaze of the Lord will accompany each of you throughout life. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
In the next and final part-part 3, we will discuss some of the ways by which man can remain pure.
To be continued…