THE NATURE OF GOD



In the Gita, Krishna says, “I am seated in the hearts of all.” Is that a general statement that God is within all beings or is it that it's recognized at the heart center?

God term is conscious principle in all living beings. That energy exists in all living beings. When someone dies, that energy separates from the mind-body complex. Human beings are more conscious of their life so they have more God consciousness. So the statement “I am seated in the heart of all” is correct. Here “I am” represents the Self.



What does God want?

God within wants to live in peace. God without wants universal peace. God wants nothing because God is complete.



Can you only experience God if you are in a mortal body and liberated?

What is that experience? It's the experience of eternal peace. But the peace comes in degrees. The more the mind gets pure, the more peace God is experienced. The mind-body complex is the instrument of experience. Liberation means merging in that supreme truth (God).



Do you need a body to experience this relationship with God? Wouldn't the liberated person want to reincarnate in order to have that experience of the Self?

A light bulb is needed for the electricity to make light. There is electricity but without the light bulb it will not make light. Similarly mind-body complex is needed to experience divine presence within. If a person is liberated, it means the person is merged in the Self. No separate identity exists.



We talk about freeing our mind from desires. But what about our desire for God?

Desire for God is called devotion. Desire and attachment are expressions of individual's existence or ego. “I know I exist because I desire, I work to achieve, I fight, I get violent,” etc. All these are expressions of the ego. The ego has a simple definition: “I am.” Desire for God is based on ego but this desire is for liberating the spirit from worldliness.



How is the desire for God different? Does the “I am” diminish when we desire God?

Desire for God doesn't strengthen the ego of individuality (I-amness) unless there is pride in it. Human mind always clings to some object. If it clings to God, then its desire for the world weakens and vice versa.



Can't you experience love and devotion for God and still be deluded?

Yes, it depends on the quality of love and devotion. Delusion is created by the ego. Delusion appears in an ignorant person's mind as well as in the mind of intellectuals. An ignorant person can have more love and devotion for God and an intellectual can have doubts about God. But when exclusive love for God develops, then no delusion can exist.



My daughter lost a friend in a car accident on Christmas day. Is there any way besides listening that we can help her? I realize my understanding of death doesn't work for her. How can we help one who has suffered such a loss?

In pain people's minds are so confused that they don't listen to reasons. But we always play tricks in answering questions. We bring God or destiny. You can't answer why it happens. But you have to answer, so naturally you bring God in this matter. In reality God has nothing to do with it but you have to say, “that's the way God wanted” or “it was her destiny”.



What could you recommend for my dry meditations? Feelings of fear and doubt are coming up. It seems to be a dry phase in my meditation.

Romance goes up and down. It's the same with God. If God would just give us $100 per hour to meditate, then we would go very deep, expecting that maybe God would give us $200 per hour. So a carrot is necessary for a donkey to run fast. I mean some spiritual experiences. Without going deep in meditation, we don't experience divine presence in a form of peace or bliss. Without having any experience, we feel meditation is dry. If you go on meditating even if it is dry, then one day it will change.



Are there any accidents in the universe or is everything a part of God's plan?

When the cause is not known, we say it's an accident. God has no plans; it's all in nature. In nature sometimes imbalances in energies can happen.



How does one offer all thoughts, feelings, and actions to God?

It is offered by prayer. It's offered by not seeking self-interest. It is offered by self-surrender.



Who is the Self?

The self in the body is I-consciousness. The Self in the universe is called God or universal consciousness. “I-consciousness,” when it functions in the world through the mind and intellect, is called the ego (jiva).



Would you please expand on the true nature of the Self?

The true nature of the Self is the pure conscious principle; that's all. But it reflects through the mind and intellect in all thoughts, actions, and feelings. It becomes ego of individuality (jivahood) and goes through the cycle of birth and death. All our karmas and samskaras are caused by the ego self.



Would the human form of the God incarnation be just one form or could it have several forms at one time?

It can be one or several; it depends on the universal situation.



Could God be incarnated without declaring that he or she is here?

The actions declare and not the words. The God incarnate's actions will be selfless and divine. That way the God incarnates become known.



Do you feel that we are entering an age in which there's a decline in righteousness and an increase of materialism? And if so, is God manifested somewhere?

Everything gets old so the creation as a whole also gets old. As in old age, all kinds of problems arise. Similarly in nature all kinds of problems develop. Population increases. The earth doesn't increase. The atmosphere is polluted. It creates diseases, over-population, develops hate and violence. It is decline of righteousness. There is no other place to go. In such conditions, a reformist (God incarnate) app0ears and reforms the human society. The change can be violent or peaceful.



How can we interpret the decline of virtue on a microcosmic level?

Microcosmic level in the decline of virtue means individually how much we are degraded from the spiritual path. Anger, lying, hypocrisy, cheating: all kinds of negative activities in our thoughts and actions indicate decline of virtue.



Does God also take the form of evil?

Evilness comes from the egoism which is from prakriti (nature). But prakriti is not independent so we can say that both virtues and vice come from God.



Could you comment on the statement that God neither punishes nor rewards?

It's one's own karma which brings reward or punishment. God is a conscious principle in all functions of nature. If someone lives a spiritual life, the person will be rewarded by his/her own spiritual samskaras. Similarly and evil person will get punishment.



What does the divine do to protect innocent children from evil?

The divine or God directly doesn't protect but the divine energy in people appears and protects them from evil-doers.



And when children have not been protected and have been hurt, what does the divine do to help them?

Again the divine doesn't help directly but through a saintly person the child gets help.



Is there any difference between the person who gets enlightened and an incarnation of God?

In the Gita it's said that one who has known the Self becomes the Self or God. But here God incarnates have a special purpose, that is “to remove evilness” and establish path of spirituality. Enlightenment is in degrees. One who is totally enlightened is similar to God incarnate.



Is there a person who fits that description of God incarnate at the present time?

Jesus Christ, Buddha, Krishna, Mohammed.



In reincarnation theory, there's a last life. That implies a first life. What would be the nature of the first life?

First human birth or life of a person who first incarnates? Different religions have different beliefs regarding human incarnation. Some believe humans are born as humans and some believe life progressed gradually to human form from a single-celled animal. In reincarnation theory, samskaras are considered the cause. Samskaras are the imprints of action in the mind. They are eternal. They temporarily become dormant but never get destroyed. According to samskara philosophy there is no first and last. It's a cyclic order which never ends. You can't be separated from God because the conscious energy in all beings is God.



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