Pranam means an expression of loving oneness in the Oneness of the Spirit, God, Paramatma. The Creator and the Creation are one. To feel it as separate is Avidya (ignorance) or Maya (Illusion). To feel it as one in Vidya (knowledge), Mayateeta (beyond Maya). As long as a sense of separateness remains, forgiveness, love, kindness, mercy, charity, and sinlessness will not come. As long as these don’t come, real happiness and joy can’t come. Practicing spirituality is the source of all knowledge, happiness, joy, harmony, and health. We need to have faith in the source of our being, our existence, our perfect state, beyond sorrow, beyond hostility, beyond sufferings.
When you mention God some people laugh, and in a careless and superficial manner, without due thought challenge you. They often ask “Do you know God? Have you seen God? If God is there, why so much suffering is present in the World”? When some near and dear ones die of an incurable disease, people vociferously deny the existence of God. They even blame God for all ills and evils, which is ignorance. The trouble is that human knowledge and understanding is not perfect.
Most people wrongly think that the only method of knowing and understanding is through the sense organs, mind, intellect, and speech. Most people don’t have the idea that there are other higher subtle methods of acquiring higher knowledge, the knowledge of Spirit. As long as you don’t know or understand your own Inner or Higher Self, you can’t know God. Your Inner Self, The Spirit, is so great and yet so subtle that speech, mind, intellect and sense organs are inadequate or incapable of knowing or perceiving this. In fact, your real or Inner and Higher Self is the Spirit, Soul, or God. All the above faculties take their birth from The Spirit and are inefficient, incompetent, and inadequate to understand their source, the Spirit, or the Soul. for this, you need to understand their source, the Spirit, or the Soul. Happiness is your own nature. Hence it is not wrong to desire it. What is wrong is seeking it outside, because it is inside.
For this, you need to have faith, love for The Spirit, and preparation of your instrument of knowledge, i.e., speech, thoughts, senses, and intuitive power. You need proper motivation, the right practice, and a positive attitude to start with. If you want to understand and know God, you have to abstain from arguments regarding the existence or non-existence of God. Rise above all mental, intellectual gymnastics, exercises, and actively practice spirituality.
How to understand God ?
For example, practice Kriya Yoga, and you will understand and know your Inner Self, Soul, God, The Spirit. Only then you can understand the secrets of Creation, the answers to all your questions, and freedom from suffering. “Somebody should do it for you ” will not work. Its price is your own sincere efforts. No spoon-feeding can give you real and sufficient nutrition. The secrets of rising above all suffering are not to deny it and not to blame anybody else. Take responsibility for yourself and work for it. Some people say, “Then when should we have faith in God? “You may not believe in God, you may not have faith in God, but logically you should believe in yourself.
If you have problems believing in yourself, you are advised to see a psychiatrist or a moral & spiritual counselor. The truth is that Truth is One, The Absolute, Existence Absolute, Consciousness Absolute, and Joy Absolute. This Truth is your own Being. Prepare your field, sharpen your instruments of knowledge, develop and increase your striking power to win. Strike hard, strike long, don’t despair, you can win over ignorance, superstition, weakness, lethargy, and all obstacles.
Importance of health
You should have strong, good physical health. Also, mental health and, a good grounding in spirituality to overcome obstacles & have the will to succeed. Yoga scriptures say,
शरीर माध्यम खलु धर्म साधनम्
sharira madhyam khalu dharma sadhanam
For success and happiness you need hard and sustained work. for this, you need a healthy and strong body, strong and calm mind.
नायमात्मा बलहीनेन लभ्यो न च प्रमादात् तपसो वाप्यलिङ्गात् ।MUNDAKA UPANISHAD
nāyam ātmā pravacanena labhyo
na medhayā na bahunā śrutena
You can’t realize the Spirit by the power of your thoughts and calmly watch your Inner Self, The Spirit. Daily practice of Kriya Yoga is of immense value and practical importance, in controlling your thoughts and developing the powers of intuition, and perceiving the Spirit or Inner Self in you. Daily practice of Mahamudra will give you health, vitality, strength, and helps you to overcome obstacles by preventing diseases, lethargy, and self-doubts. The Jyoti or Yoni Mudra will give you the vision and perception of calmness and self-confidence. The teachings of The Holy Bhagavad Gita, the greatest scripture of spiritual and material harmony of knowledge, opens with the statement,
धर्मक्षेत्रे कुरुक्षेत्रे समवेता युयुत्सवःTHE BHAGAVAD GITA CH1 V1
dharma-kṣhetre kuru-kṣhetre samavetā yuyutsavaḥ
In this Creation, your body (which is a combination of the physical, astral, and causal bodies) is the field of spirituality and also the field of exertion, efforts, and right action. Attend it and you will understand the Truth Absolute, Knowledge Absolute, and Joy Absolute. Please don’t be misguided enough to search for happiness, harmony, health, and spirituality in mountain caves, ashrams, or the so-called Holy places of Worship. It is in your own heart that the source of Sat Chit Ananda is constantly abiding. Remember you are Dharmakshetra, you are Kurukshetra, the spheres of existence, spirituality, and right action. Realize it and enjoy the health, harmony, and happiness which you are searching for.
Om Tat Sat Om, God is the only Truth.
May God bless you with Love, Laughter, Light, Longevity and Life.
With Love and Best Wishes,
Paramahansa Atmananda Ji