How can you experience God?
God though formless, pulled by the love for His devotees comes to earth in different forms as an Avatar, as a Divine incarnation. If you want to experience God, it is not possible just by listening, or talking about it or commenting about God. You can truly know it only through experience. God can be understood only through direct experience. What is the quality of God? It is nothing but selfless and desire less love. In this kind of selfless love, there is nothing called the duality of giving and taking. Therefore, wherever you are experiencing such selfless love, you can know that God exists there. If you want to really understand and experience God, you have to develop the quality of Anapeksha. Only a person who is totally bereft of desires and expectations can completely understand the principle of God. Otherwise even if God appears in front of you, because of the impurities within you, you will not be able to really experience Him. A person, who is filled with Ahamkara and Mamakara – ‘I’ and ‘mine’- attachments and desires and ego, will not be able to understand God.
Krishna in Bhagavad Gita enumerates the qualities of a devotee who is dear to Him. The first is Anapeksha, desireless person. When you approach God with the only desire to have His Darshan, to talk to Him, to be talked to by Him, to experience Him without asking for anything that is worldly, you will be able to understand Him and experience Him. Only such a devotee is a man of wisdom, Jnani. Four categories of devotees adore God – first is the Arthi, second is Artharthi, third is Jignasu, and fourth is the Jnani. All the four categories come to God but only the Jnani, man of wisdom – will recognise God because he doesn’t have any desires and expectations. The Jnani has only one aspiration – to have the Darshan of God and to experience Him and there is no other desire.
Devotion is not just love for God. It also has as a component, service. It is natural if you love someone, you will serve him or her. Only when you serve the people whom you love, you can experience bliss. When you ask the question “How can I love God and serve Him?” the answer is “You have to love God in all and serve God in all.”
Indulal Shah dedicated all his life to Swami, Swami’s service and Swami’s mission. Even today he is here. He is a very great ideal for all our students. There were times when Swami was not known and not many service activities were happening. At that point of time, he came to Swami and recognised Swami and wanted to propagate Swami’s message and serve His mission. Even before he built his own house, he wanted to build Dharmakshetra, a place of worship and service for Swami. He never developed narrow-mindedness like “I want to earn lot of money in my life and become a rich person.” Whatever he earned, whatever he achieved in life, everything he submitted at the Lotus Feet of Swami. He did not keep anything for himself.
When you use your head, there will be only arguments and counter arguments. When you use your heart, come with love, in a trice, in a moment, you can recognise Swami’s presence. If you want to recognise and experience Swami, the only way is to give up the impurities of ‘I’ and ‘mine’, develop selfless love like Indulal Shah. Once you do that you will be able to easily enjoy and experience Swami.