Where Is God?
The sanctuary attached to the main lecture hall has a large (5 feet tall) black granite deity statue inside. Outside, there is a spire that indicates to everyone where the sanctuary is. Elaborate daily worship is conducted by traditional priests from India. Is this statue God? Hmmmm
I’ve been appreciating one of the most helpful metaphors that is often referenced in the classes here, that of a finger pointing to the moon. Imagine you meet someone at night on the street and they point to the sky and say “Wow! Isn’t the moon beautiful!” Question: Is their finger the moon? Of course not. If you continue to look at their finger, will you experience the glory of the moon? Of course not. And if you look at a deity statue without tuning in to what it is pointing to, you will not experience the glory of God.
Vedanta philosophy takes this to the next level. Can you see God in every person? In yourself? This is a tall order, given the surface appearance of people and their personalities. Even if you intellectually accept that God is omnipresent, that is not enough. We have to move from the head to the heart. The deities are a good starting point. They have none of the personality quirks that would make us doubt their divinity. If there is only one God, how come there are many deities? They are like so many fingers pointing to the one moon. Find one that helps you feel the living Presence of God. Become established in this Presence. Ultimately, you will discover this Presence in your very own heart, forever. Yes!
p.s. The photo below from the salad bar at the local Giant grocery store. Love it!
QUOTES FROM MY NOTES
Names and forms of different waves are different. The water of the various waves is one. Names and forms of different people are different. The consciousness in different people is one, just as in a dream.
The only thing in the whole universe that does not have attributes is “I”. It is timeless and spaceless. This is not the personality “I”. It is the “I” that remains the same even when the personality changes, even when the body changes, even when the mind changes, even when the emotions change. It is Being itself. Abide in this Being and be free.
If you are not ready to see God in everything, then pick and focus on those things in which you can see God.
It is our attitude that makes us miserable. It is our attitude that makes us free.