MISCELLANEOUS

Presence of saints

CHENNAI: It is possible to experience the presence of God in temples as the images there have been consecrated with Mantras and worship conducted there regularly. Similarly, saints radiate divine vibrations as they are in constant union with God and it is for this reason that all experience peace of mind in their presence. The living presence of God or of saints is known as “Sannidhyam” which is actually experienced at a very subtle level. All beings feel these vibrations unconsciously which is the reason why the mere presence of saints can be transforming. Those who are spiritually evolved experience this more consciously and are often moved in the presence of saints.

In his discourse, Swami Vimurthananda said the presence of a saint like Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and his grace continued to be experienced by devotees even after his lifetime. The Supreme Being is all-pervasive and eternal but human beings are able to experience Him only when they have evolved till their minds have been purified by devotion to Him. Devotion is a process of refining the mind till all its negative tendencies like desire for sensory gratification, greed and anger are removed.

It is possible to experience the presence of saints even if one has not seen them by attuning one’s mind to receive their grace. There are four methods by which a devotee can relate himself to a saint by which he can realise God. The first is to remove all that are unnecessary to one’s spiritual growth. The example is of a sculptor who can at once see a sculpture in a stone which is not apparent to a layman. The sculptor only chisels away the unwanted portions to make the statue appear from the stone.

So also in life a spiritual seeker should know how to discard whatever is unnecessary to progress. The second requirement is implicit faith in God’s grace which is often channelled through the preceptor and saints. Thirdly he must believe that it is possible to converse with God and saints, and this can be practised by reading their sayings and applying them to oneself. Last is the necessity of prayer as this is the time a devotee on a regular basis can commune with a saint and experience his grace.