Swamiji, what is the shortest way to find God?
The shortest path to find God is: close your eyes and look within. That is all. Close your eyes, look within and unite with your beloved. God is in you. God is not outside. God is not far from you. You dont have to go anywhere to find God. There is no way to God. He is in your very heart and you ask which is the way to God! He is in you. He is your soul. He is nearer than your breath, nearer than your mind, nearer than your thought, nearer than your prana. God is the nearest presence you can experience.
The closest thing in the world to you is God. So to ask for a shortcut to God is unnecessary. There is no shortcut to God. He is right here. My Guruji used to sing a song, In earth, air, fire, ether and water is Rama. In the heart, mind, prana and the senses is Rama. In the brain and arteries is Rama. Where is the place where God is not? Whatever you see is his creation. The beauty of nature is his creation, the sky, the sun, the moon are his creations, and most of all, you are his creation. Therefore, if you want to find God, shut down all the senses, look within your own self and you will find Him.
The form of God you see is the form in which He wants to reveal Himself to you. God reveals Himself in many ways. To Moses He revealed in a fire behind the bush. To Guru Nanak He revealed in the form of name, akalapurusha. To Mohammad He revealed in the form of sound, shabda, shruti. To the rishis, God revealed in the form of Rama, Lakshmana and Sita. To Ramakrishna he revealed Himself in the form of Mother Kali. To some He reveals in the form of clouds. In the Upanishads it is written that the clouds roared da-da-da, and the demons, devas and human beings all heard the voice of God in that.
He has infinite forms. There is no end to Gods forms. Any form which He reveals to you is His form; therefore, do not ask this question again to any sannyasin and never allow it to enter your mind. Do not ask for the easiest way to God. Instead say, There is no way to God. I am God. Aham Brahmasmi.
It has been said in the scriptures, Things happen on their own, there is nothing in the hands of man. Please explain.
Yes, that is true. That is absolutely right. Look at how the administration of this huge creation is running. All seasons arrive on time and leave on time. Everything is governed. You cannot find any fault anywhere. There is perfection and accuracy everywhere. You can tell at what time a lunar eclipse will occur fifty thousand years from now, for the laws for that are immutable. The law of the world is a fixed law, which has been formed since eternity, and everything is running according to that. And the small human being is caught up in his individual ego! We believe that we can do things when in fact it is God who does everything and gets everything done, who inspires life. He sits in your heart and moves you like a puppeteer moves a puppet. Our strings are held in Gods hands.
But even guru holds the strings?
Yes, God has given the strings to guru and told him to move them. So guru can only move the strings, the laws of the strings have already been established. It is believed that even God does not interfere in his own laws. Only in rare cases where a devotee has intense love for God does He change the laws. Such love did indeed awaken in a few people such as Mirabai. In the intensity of that love the devotee becomes blind. Just as when a boy is in love, nothing goes down his head no matter how the parents try to convince him, when there is intense love between God and devotee, the devotee cannot understand the things that are happening around him. He only lives in the intensity of his love.
If his son is sick, he does not ask God to cure him. When you are in love with God, you cannot think of son, daughter, father, mother, husband or wife. Love is uni-directional. An arrow does not go in two directions, a bullet does not follow two directions and love also follows only one direction. It can go either towards God or towards the world.
When the devotee reaches the highest state of love, he can force God to change His laws. But he does not do that. What will he force Him for? For his son, factory, himself? No. For him, I becomes insignificant; son, factory and bank balance become insignificant. When a boy and girl fall intensely in love, they cannot think of anything other than each other. They cannot hear or comprehend what the parents say. A bhakta experiences the same state. When he is immersed in love for God, he does not know that his factory is burning, his wife or child is sick or that he has cancer. For, he has been blessed by love. Love is the biggest support in life. This does not need to be proven. Half the diseases occur because you feel that nobody loves you. If you get to know that your son or husband loves you immensely, what will your state be? You will find a life-support.
What is love? When the mind is completely immersed in something, it is love. Some are in love with alcohol, some with poetry and some with books. Vachaspati Mishra was a scholar of philosophy who wrote the scriptures of Vedanta. He did not even realize that he was married, for he was in love with the scriptures, contemplation and philosophy. He did not even know what a woman was or having a child was.
When the devotees mind is completely engrossed in God, he can change the laws of God, for God becomes helpless before him. Gods biggest weakness is a bhakta. This has also been said in the scriptures. God bows down before a true bhakta. He becomes weak before him the way a mother becomes weak before her child.
What is the form of God that one sees in dreams?
You should consider that as an experience. What is seen in dreams is a subtle experience. If your mind is restless, you will get broken dreams. If your desires are not fulfilled, you will dream of what you desire. If you have toxins in your body, you will get bad dreams. It is said that to dream of God is a good sign. However, if you have an experience of God when you are awake, when all the sense organs are active and the mind is alert, consider your life as blessed. But the trouble is that we are like the boy who went on throwing diamonds in the water thinking they were stones, for he was in the dark. You do not even know what the experience of God is.
You have experienced passion, anger, fear, love and compassion, but you cannot identify the experience of God. This is something you must try hard for. You will have to identify the experience, you will have to recognize that this was an experience of God. Who knows in what form you will see Him! He came to Tulsidas in Chitrakoot, but he could not recognize Him. It is possible that God came to you many times as a stranger and you asked Him to go away. This is how human beings are. They are not interested in looking for God; they are content with money. They think, If we get money, what need is there of God!
With the experience of God, everything in a person transforms. All the hormones go through a change. Ramakrishna Paramahamsa used to say, Mati taka; taka mati. Money is dust and dust is money. This means that when you experience God, the object that you used to consider as valuable becomes useless and that which you thought of as useless becomes valuable.