Hari Om! Namaste!!
This is a very touchy topic. So, non-believers (atheists) and doubters(agnostics) need not read any further. Others, continue!
Ultimate Reality, sometimes referred to as God, is nothing but the Permanent Truth that controls everything without limits of time and space.
It is also called Paramatma or Brahman in Indian philosophy. It is important to know this concept properly. If we don’t, it becomes very challenging and abstract to understand our philosophy or Scriptures. So, let us make an attempt to know it with complete clarity.
In Sanatana Dharma(a.k.a Hinduism), the Scriptures define God as Sat-Chit-Ananda. Sat means Ultimate Truth that exists all the time and everywhere. The Truth that does not need a comparison or proof.
Chit roughly means consciousness in English. This aspect of Reality is the toughest part to understand. So, it needs elaboration.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to describe it – explaining it in words is like- telling somebody about the smell of jasmine flower who has not seen the jasmine flower yet. We can feel chit aspect of God as pulsating energy(spanda) during certain types of meditation e.g. Kundalini Yoga.
Is there a way to know it without going into all that meditation stuff? Yes, by analogies.
Some Analogies for Chit
It is like electrical energy, we can see its effect, not itself. We can see light glowing(effect) and not electricity(cause).
Another example, looking at the movement of leaves on trees(effect), we say wind is blowing(cause). Do we see wind? No! We simply take it granted that the cause exists because of effect.
The chit makes the sense organs to work: eyes see, ears hear, tongue senses the taste etc. At this point, some people may argue that- brain senses all these.
But wait, think a bit more and ask: what directs the brain to sense? That is the chit aspect of the God.
The Ultimate Proof
Now, some scientific minde(a)d people may jump in and ask: where is the proof? We need to ask them back in turn: when was the last time they demanded proof for existence of atoms, electricity or the Great Himalayas? 🙂
Jokes apart, what is the best proof then? We may say: “Yes! eye witness!” Seeing is believing, right? But think again – many a times whatever we concluded based on seeing went wrong and was false! The only best proof is the personal experience. We can touch and feel the chit aspect of God with the help of Realized Masters via meditation.
The Ultimate Reality is beyond our mind and logic. This is the reason why we cannot understand it by applying our logical rules and by mind. For example, Divine Power can occupy two different places at the same time. This is because it is not bound by time and space constraints.
If we apply our rational mind and logic, we utterly fail! The trick is to park the logic, test the Divine Energy by techniques like Traditional Indian Yoga under the supervision of Guru and further validate the experience by studying our Scriptures.
Now, about ananda aspect of the Ultimate Reality. Ananda means complete bliss or happiness or absolute peace. Why should it be full of bliss? Answer is simple: bliss is the essential nature of the Ultimate Reality. Not being blissful implies that something is required to make it happy or full. By being completely blissful and contented by itself, it can function continuously without being restless to seek happiness!
Also, there are many other attributes to Ultimate Reality. It is immanent(vishwamaya), world is made up of it. Usual analogy given in scriptures is that – divine power permeates the entire universe just like oil in sesame seeds. Although, we know oil exists in the seed we cannot see it! Similarly, it is transcendent (vishwotteerna) too. That is to say, it is beyond world and controls the world.
Other Attributes like Shape, Color etc.
Does the Ultimate Reality have any shape, color etc.? It can have if it wishes. Actually, these are limited attributes defined by us to facilitate our visualization of abstract, infinite and immanent Reality.
What is the shape of water? It is formless. It can take the shape of any vessel. The vessel facilitates us to handle water. What is its color? It is colorless. However, sometimes the color helps us to see its presence!
Similarly, limited forms such as idols and pictures of deities are tools to assist us to focus our mind to imagine and feel the infinite, powerful and formless Ultimate Reality.
It is becoming very abstract. What is the best way to understand the Ultimate Truth?
We cannot comprehend the Ultimate Reality just by reading this article or the Scriptures. It can be clearly understood by our own experience through any path of our traditional Indian Yoga. Of course, we need to prepare ourselves for that.
I am interested in experiencing the God. Could you please help me in finding a Realized Master(Sadguru) to receive the gift of Shaktipat?
Absolutely. Our recommended links section may help you in your quest for a Real Guru. Go ahead. All the best!
May that Supreme Divine Power(Shri Shakti) help us in every way to experience and realize That Shakti within ourselves!
Om Namah Shivaya ||