What does the term God stand for and what does it mean to me?

This is a perennial search inbuilt in each one of us that is sometimes latent and at times active. To most of us, the term God is synonymous with Ishwara, Bhagavan, Paramatma, etc., and it indicates the Supreme Truth sought by all.

A deeper understanding is gained when one delves into the Sastras and begins to probe what is conveyed in them. Besides providing the key to ethical living, the Sastras enrich one’s inner and spiritual life, awakening the consciousness to the subtle presence of the Supreme Brahman in each and every aspect of creation. “The Supreme Lord dwells in the inner subtle space in the hearts of all beings in the most subtle form. He is the cause of life in the being and is responsible for its form and function.”

In a discourse, Sri Jamadagni pointed out that the Sastras reiterate that internalising this ultimate truth and meditating on it should become the primary goal of every one if one is to gain salvation. The Sastras are well aware of the difficulties in this path — on the one hand, spiritual progress in individuals depends on their diverse levels of understanding, and on the other, this esoteric knowledge of Brahman is beyond human thought, word and imagination (yatha vacho nivartanthe aprapya manasa saha). Yet, their aim is to reach out to all and lead them from the known to the unknown. The easiest approach suggested is to know and worship the tangible form of the Brahman dwelling as deities in sacred temples.

The idea is to see an image of the Supreme Being and then see the very Brahman in it. When a saligrama stone is believed to be Vishnu and worshipped with devotion, it leads to chitta vritti when the mind is involved with the thought of the Brahman alone.

At a still more subtle level, meditation on the syllable Omkara is suggested. Brahman is seen as the essence of the sound represented in Omkara. The Vedas claim that there is nothing greater than Omkara for in it is subsumed the entire creation and that Brahma meditated on the Omkara to create the entire universe.

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