Most of us bow down our head with reverence when we visit the Temple. That is because we feel the presence of God before us. However, when we leave the Temple, we release that divine consciousness as well. We need to make amends here and learn to live our entire day in that divine consciousness by practicing the presence of God.
The Muṇḍaka Upaniṣhad of the Vedas gives a vivid understanding of the relationship between the soul and the Supreme Soul or God. Two birds are sitting on a tree. The first bird is busy eating the fruits. Sometimes it gets a sweet fruit, and it is happy, but sometimes it tastes a bitter fruit and feels miserable. The second bird is friend of the first bird, and it does not interfere, instead, it merely watches the first bird. If the first bird simply turns around and faces its friend, all its miseries will cease. In this metaphor, the tree is the body and the first bird is the soul, i.e. every one of us, whereas the second bird is the Supreme Soul, i.e. our Creator—God who is also seated in the hearts of all living beings. God is noting our karmas and is not interfering in our activities. If only we can bring Him back to our consciousness, we will then learn to live in the presence of God.
Consider for example, you go to office and sit down for your work. Now, before you get engrossed in your work, stop for a moment and recollect to yourself that God is sitting in front of you. It is a fact that He is all-pervading, is in our heart, and is always watching over us. Now, take Him out from there and make Him sit on the empty chair in front of you. Then begin your work and as you get engrossed in your work, it is natural you will forget about Him. But after an hour, again stop for a moment and recollect yourself, “God is watching me.” In this way, our consciousness, which had started slipping from the divine to the mundane, will again get elevated. Keep the practice going, increasing the frequency to every half hour, then fifteen minutes, and so on. With constant practice, the stage will be reached where you will continuously feel the presence of God with you.
This practice does not need any “japmala” (rosary beads); it does not need any external ostentation. Suppose you use the help of rosary beads to remember God at the office. You may soon notice your friends are creating anxiety for you by asking, “You have become a big mahatma (saint)? Which Baba’s lectures do you hear nowadays?” But the above said sadhana (practice), i.e. visualizing the presence of God, can be done quietly and discreetly.
Watch this interesting video by Swami Mukundananda –
Besides its ease in execution, practicing the presence of God has other advantages. One of those is that it will prevent you from wrongdoing. How? For instance, let us say a man, Ramesh, is going to commit a sin thinking that he is alone. His neighbor, Dinesh, comes from behind and pats him on the back, “Ramesh, what are you doing here?” Ramesh sees Dinesh is around, and so he hides his wrong intentions. Instead says, “Oh no, I was feeling bored. I was just taking a walk.” Thus, realizing that he was not by himself alone, Ramesh desisted from sin. Similarly, if we too can realize that we are not alone, but our Eternal Father is always with us, we will think many times before committing any sin. So, this is the sovereign recipe for fixing our consciousness and it is all a matter of practice.
To emphasis further, let us consider another example of cricket. When a successful cricketer descends on the field to bat, he immediately surveys the fielding that has been set by the opposing captain. Because the cricket ball is going to cross the 22 yards in less than half a second, there will not be sufficient time for the batsman to survey the field and then to bat. So, he keeps the 11 fielders in his mind when he stands at the crease and hits the ball skilfully as it comes. The commentator is left screaming, “He has pierced the field between mid-wicket and long-on and the ball is crossing the boundary for four runs.” Now, think what did that cricketer do earlier? He kept 11 fielders in his mind.
Similarly, if we can only learn to keep God with us, we will reach the state of karm-yog that has been described in the Bhagavad-Gita, and will find that our consciousness is flying at the divine levels. So, let this be the message on the seventh day of the Life Transformation Challenge and we shall continue from here in our journey going forward.