5. Contemplation on God and Service of Humanity
(Darshan given on January 15th, 1996.)
A visitor: Is Vedanta one way to go to God?
Swamiji: Vedanta is not the way to God. Your love for God is the way to God. Even if you know Vedanta but you have no love for God, you cannot reach God. Vedanta means knowledge of God.
Visitor: What is love of God?
Swamiji: Wanting God only and nothing else, that is called love of God. But for that, you must know what you mean by ‘God'. What is the meaning of ‘God'?
Visitor: Everything. God is everything.
Swamiji: How can you love everything?
Visitor: By feeling love for everything.
Swamiji: Can you love everything?
Visitor: Be in everything.
Swamiji: Is it possible to love everything?
Swamiji: Then that is the way to God. Are you satisfied?
Another visitor: What is the meaning of ‘I am God'?
Swamiji: Why are you asking this question again? Already this question has been answered just now. What is the meaning of ‘Everything is God'? That is the same thing as ‘I am God' because the ‘I' is included in everything.
Another visitor: What is an Avatar?
Swamiji: Avatar means the coming of God from heaven to Earth. When God descends to the Earth it is called Avatara, Incarnation.
Another visitor: What about discipline on the spiritual path?
Swamiji: Discipline means control of the sense organs, and not allowing the senses to go on thinking of objects of the world. When the senses are controlled, the mind becomes very strong. If the mind goes on thinking hundreds of things through the sense organs, the mind becomes weak. So spiritual discipline means increasing the strength of the mind, which requires the restraint of the sense organs from taking the mind away to objects outside. This is the main discipline in spiritual life. The more you think of the objects outside, the more your mind becomes weaker and weaker.
You said that everything is God. If you can think everything, then the mind will not go to the sense objects because you cannot move to everything at the same time. Hence, the mind gets controlled automatically if your idea of totality, or everything, is clear in the mind. Thinking of all things at the same time is also discipline. Either you think all things at the same time or you think nothing, one of the two. But if you think of only certain things due to a desire for them, the mind will become weak.
All this is very difficult to practise unless there is a Guru or a teacher. It is not easy to control the mind. It is a very great secret which requires complete discipline under the guidance of a teacher. So that is my brief answer.
Visitor: How can we meet our Guru?
Swamiji: The Guru will come to you when you are ready for it.
Another visitor: How was your meeting with Sivanandaji Guru? How did you get to him? What kind of internal work were you doing in yourself to find your Guru? Did you come to Rishikesh to meet Swami Sivananda, or did you come for another purpose and then met him?
Swamiji: No, we came for Swami Sivananda only, not for something else.
Visitor: What was that special moment when you found that he was your Guru?
Swamiji: When you see a person like that, you will know he is a Guru. But you cannot easily find such people. There is great power and majesty and greatness and grandeur in their personality. Actually, if you live with a person for some time, you can know what kind of person he is. Any one of you can find out your Guru by trying to live with that person for some time, whoever that person is, and in a few days you can know what kind of person he is.
Visitor: During the time that Swami Sivananda was here, what was the sadhana?
Swamiji: To keep the mind always concentrated in God and keep oneself busy in the service of people. The personality is dedicated to service of people and, at the same time, the mind is devoted to God. This is the main sadhana of Swami Sivananda. Merely doing service is not sufficient if the mind is not thinking of God. They must go together. The thought of God and the spirit of service must go together simultaneously. Contemplation and action, they go together. That is the essence of spiritual life.
Another visitor: Can you explain about the yugas? When will Kali Yuga be finished? Now it is very difficult.
Swamiji: After four million years, so you have enough time to suffer. Why are you worried about yugas? What is the problem?
Visitor: No problem.
Swamiji: Instead of worrying that it is dark and night, be happy that tomorrow there will be daytime. That is better than thinking of darkness. There is darkness and also there is daytime, isn't it? So is it better to think of night, or better to think of day? Which is better? As night will pass away and day will come, likewise the Kali Yuga will also go one day and then the truth will come. So you cannot ask the night to go immediately. It has its own time, and likewise is this also. It has its own time to go.
Another visitor: How can we live it, because we live in duality? How can we live in duality and in unity at the same time?
Swamiji: I told you, contemplation on God and service of humanity. It is unity and duality combined together. When you do work, there is duality. When you think of God, there is unity.