What or who is GOD in Advaita?
GOD is Good Orderly Direction born out of the all pervading cosmic intelligence accessible at every moment and situation while in the here and now. The most profound and elaborate manifestation of this cosmic intelligence is the human being.
The intricate bodily functions, life giving bio-chemical reactions, master code of every behavior held in the genes, capabilities of the brain and the whole harmony orchestrated by the breath to create a living entity are created by the same creative force that created the beautiful cyclic laws of nature, the bounty of a living planet, the well balanced dance of the planets, the bountiful resource of the sun and the stellar interplay for us. That one consciousness governs the whole is amply demonstrated by mystic sciences like astrology, which show the interdependence. All this provides ample evidence and irrefutable proof of a universal consciousness having far greater capabilities than imaginable, of restoring peace and harmony in creation itself and in our lives too. This universal consciousness is both the source and the purpose of all creation. And to take assistance of this higher power, of which we are an integral part, all we have to be is open-minded in accepting its existence and willing to let go of the restrictions we ourselves place upon it by clinging to our limitations of the past and its reflections into the future. This is the mould that we have to break, the ego (edging God out) that we have to loose since ego doesn’t allow us to reside in here and now. Couple this with surrender and then the magic begins.
Simple way to stay happy: stop thinking (attempted to, in meditation)
But it is also the most difficult task to do. From the moment of our birth, with the first breath, the brain is one faculty we are enslaved to. We reach such stages of material progress/spiritual degradation that we identify ourselves only with our bodily uniforms & its accomplishments. We have no clue as to who we really are, presently donning this body.
Every thought whether in the form of language or picture carries with it its own progression in the relative time scale, enriching itself from past experiences and buffering against future apprehensions. This is the reason we are trapped in the space-time fabric. Coz we are enslaved to the mind, ever oscillating between past and possible futures.
Thus the only remedy is to nullify the mind. The tool to be used here is meditation. The usual method of trying to keep the mind still by sitting in an aasan with eyes closed is not fully effective in the present day. Coz stray thoughts are bound to creep in due to the mind’s unemployment. And such meditation is space time constricted and once out of it the mind returns to its usual monkey state and dances with the ego losing all the merits, if any, derived thru meditation. The whole motive of meditation, to bring about a transformation in the mind state so as to be dispassionate, is undermined. The worst offshoot of such meditations is the superiority complex one develops and feels he has to help the less fortunate and thus hit the feel good factor. These routines oust the equanimity which is essential to reach the singular higher reality which is the only truth. Even the humility that they develop is cultured or cultivated and not an offshoot of equanimity. Meditation is not a time bound, an hour a day process, but an ongoing reality to nullify the conditioning of the mind and hence escape the space-time entrapment.
The practice of meditation is represented by the three monkeys, who cover their eyes, ears and mouths so as to avoid the phenomenal world. The practice of non-meditation is ceasing to be the see-er, hearer or speaker while eyes, ears and mouths are fulfilling their function in daily life.- Open Secret by Wei Wu Wei
Best way to meditate is to use the senses to meditate with undivided attention in the present situation. The senses constantly takes inputs while the mind oversees the process. This process of keeping the mind at work works better than any other coz it is in the here & now. When meditation is carried as described above, the mind is both at work & it is vacant. It’s the closet one can cone to “having the pie & eating it too”
It is also called as surrendering to GOD or higher power. It is not that one then stops doing his karma or taking decisions. It is just that now their thought, word & deed are not premeditated, planned or conditioned. The mind is neither in past nor future but here in the now. This breeds in us a certain degree of dispassion, taking us away from this illusion called reality or MAYA and thus bringing us closer to our higher self. Therefore any karma (thought, word & deed) performed with the mind in the here and now, is in sync with the universal conscious and hence confirms with dharma and is guided by divine intelligence. This is because of the perspective of our higher self which sees our lives as another dream (reincarnation) and in a dream anything is possible. Thus when the reigns of our lives are handed over to our higher selves who can dream our reality, we let magic creep into our lives, thus breaking the bonds of laws of space time causation and human conditioning. Thus reinstating the fact passed down ages that the universe we live in is mindstuff and we are its masters.
The universal consciousness or higher power or GOD does not come as a voice in the sky like ancient times but as an instinctive command, which has not even been put for consideration to the mind.
If followed, then know that you have implemented surrender (unconditionally). Now you are living by GOD’s will for you(which will be in your best interests coz he is the dreamer and the one to experience & hence has nothing but love for his creation.)
Thus by keeping the mind attentive, watching the sensory inputs and acting to the first impulse with a faith in higher power keeps one in the here & now. With practice the impulse gets more delayed and toned down and ultimately the mind rests on the most registered sensory organ the nose and the process of breathing.
Only in the here & now is the mind silent and the consciousness can be seen as one seamless space-time fabric. Everything becomes a subjective experience. It is then that the one who experiences or self is realized. Then it becomes clear that all of reality including myself is but of the same material as the one dreams are made up of. It’s then that we come to know the wearer of the uniform – the SELF.
Evolution v/s creation : relative space time v/s here and now.
The central point in reestablishing God’s kingdom within us and which in turn reflects around us is – to turn our life and our will over to the care of God; surrender. Thus the victory is won only through surrender.
How to differentiate between self will and GOD’s will?
Pointers of self will : struggle & compromise
To surrender one needs to lose, drop the pretence of being able to control ones life and stop trying to manage it – in other words refrain from using our self will and limited intelligence and wisdom to produce an even more limited life, seemingly well defined but utterly constricted life, devoid of the principle of uncertainty which is the vital ingredient for a child like wonder and for creation itself. Coz wonder is the very wool dreams are made of, the very fabric that allows the universal consciousness to permeate into the individual self, flowering the imaginations of the mind to dream a better reality and the actions that follow the thought to realize it.
But as we grow, spend time, we get caught up in the whorl of our collective past experiences which form the boundary of our intellectual or thought domain. It is with this limited perception of reality that any uncertainty breeds in us either hope or mostly despair. Despair leads us to seek a release using our limited intelligence which makes us grope for methods and means while all the while harboring doubts of the outcome which in itself is self defeating. Hope on the other hand is blind to all the limitations; all it nurtures is a secret desire for the objective coupled by a belief, which positively affects the outcome. And it is always the strength of the desire that affects the means and its effectiveness and when coupled with a sense of justification (dharma) with reliance on a higher power, it paves a road where there was none, creates opportunities magically and opens portals of strength and resources within us that we ourselves never knew existed; astounding us with what we ourselves are capable of accomplishing.
One cannot completely loose the self will (samadhi) and still partake in the process of creation coz it is the self will itself that gives definition to the undefined universal consciousness. – This is the reason why the master Ramakrishna rebukes Swami Vivekananda from all the time immersing himself in the consciousness and only gratifying himself as then he would not have accomplished the task of rising the collective consciousness of humanity which is possible only when he partakes in the normal world after tasting the nectar. Coz a single experience of the Samadhi state is sufficient to bring about a realization of the immortal, all encompassing, all pervading nature of the self of which we are embodiments. With this realization it is impossible for one to reside anywhere other than in the here and now and depending on the placement of the individual, his self will becomes a net resolution of the wills around him while all the while his mind is reposed in the oneness of the benign self, thus dictating all his actions-thought, word, deed towards furthering collective harmony and well-being.