How to Attain God Realization

Swami Sivananda

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Develop discrimination between the real and the unreal. God alone is real. Everything else is unreal. Renounce all sensual pleasures, seeing the defects in them. They wear out the senses, cause diseases, restlessness of mind., etc. Equip yourself with the sixfold virtues (Shadsampat) of serenity (Sama), control of the senses (Dama), cessation from sensual enjoyments (Uparati), endurance (Titiksha), faith in God, scriptures, Guru and in one's own self (Sraddha) and concentration of mind (Samadhana). Hear the Mahavakyas (the great sentences of the Upanishads) that speak of the identity of the individual soul with the Supreme Soul. Reflect upon them and then practise intense meditation. You will attain Self-realisation.

Serve all, seeing God in all. Perform all your daily actions as worship of God. Give up the idea that you are the doer. Feel that God does everything and that you are only His instrument. Give up attachment to actions and their fruits.

Do Japa of His Holy Name. His Name is a great purifier. Sing His praises. Worship Him. Meditate upon His beautiful form. Surrender to His Will (Atmanivedan).

Do not identify yourself with the body, which is inert, impure, perishable and which is only a combination of the five elements: earth, water, fire, air, and ether. Always feel that you are the all-pervading, formless, pure, Satchidananda Atma. Assert 'Aham Brahmasmi'. See the Self in all.

Take Sattvic food. Keep company With the wise. Study Gita and other religious books daily. Eradicate all vices. Cultivate all virtues. Observe Ahimsa (Non-injury), Satyam (Truth), and Brahmacharya (Chastity).

Keep the body fit and energetic by practising daily some important Asanas, such as Sirshasana, Sarvangasana, Matsyasana, Paschimottanasana, Bhujangasana and Mayurasana, a few rounds of easy, comfortable Pranayama and light physical exercise such as long walk.

God is a question of supply and demand. If you really yearn for His Darshan, He will reveal Himself to you in an instant.

Combine all the love you cherish towards all worldly objects, wife, son, wealth, property, relatives, friends, and then apply this combined love towards God. You will realise in this very second.

It is not very difficult to have Darshan (vision) of God, or to please Him. God is an ocean of mercy. He is a slave of His devotees. He ran with lightning speed to save Draupadi from the wicked hands of the Kauravas. He begged pardon of Prahlada for not coming to his rescue earlier. He caressed the dying bird, Jatayu, keeping him on His laps, and wiped off his dirt with the trusses of His hairs. He carried the palanquin of His devotee Tyagaraja and also water in a vessel for his ablution. He proudly bears, as an ornament, the scar left on His chest by the kick of Bhrigu. He wears the skulls of His devotees as a garland round His neck. The Lord Himself has admitted: "I am under the complete control of my Bhaktas."

Pray to Him fervently for His Grace. Be up and doing in spiritual Sadhana, Bhajana, etc. Never waste a single minute. Pray fervently like Prahlad. Sing His name like Radha. Weep in solitude like Mira on account of His separation. Do kirtan like Lord Gauranga. Sing Bhajan like Ram Prasad of Bengal. Dance in Divine ecstasy like Chaitanya Maha Prabhu and enter into Bhava Samadhi. Repeat His Name like Valmiki, Tukaram and Ramdas. He will certainly bless you with His beatific vision, Supreme Knowledge, and Eternal Bliss.

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