Perceiving God Everywhere
Space, wind, fire, water, earth, all the celestial objects, all the living creatures, the directions, trees, plants and other immovable beings, as well as the rivers and the oceans form the body of Lord Hari. So, (with one-pointed devotion) prostrate before every being (regarding that to be Lord Hari).
Points for Introspection:
Devotees worship God with lot of devotion. But most of the devotees worship God finding Him only in image and idols present in their own pūjā-shrines or in temples.
But, is God present only in the images and idols? What happens to the devotee who performs his worship and then steps out of the shrine and temple? Mostly he is again gripped by various emotions like anger, irritation, jealousy and depression. Under the grip of these tendencies, all the divinity that he experiences during the worship is lost. How to retain the divine feelings of the Lord when the devotee is away from the place of worship? People, places and events, which surround him, do not bring to him the thought of God. Neither does he feel the Lord’s presence at other moments of his wakeful hours.
A supreme devotee is one who remains absorbed in the thought of God without any break. He never misses the presence of God at any moment of his life. When a devotee dwells constantly in the remembrance of God, all his evil tendencies get dissolved, agitation of the mind gets sublimated. He experiences purity and expansion of the mind. Devotion for God deepens.
But, how to have constant remembrance of God? How to see him everywhere and in everything, despite the fact that the world around does not appear to be divine.
This shloka says: Wherever we look at, whatever we interact with, we should see God. We should remember that He is the Creator and hence He is present in all His creation. Everyday we are interacting with sky, wind, fire, water and earth. In fact, we are living because of the presence of all these. Everyday we also see the celestial objects, the elements, all the directions. We see the plants and trees. We see rivers and oceans. All these are most common but most indispensable companions of our life. But living in the close association of all these, do we ever think of God in these interactions? Mostly we appreciate Nature, we also feel awe-struck by the variety in Nature, the variety in Creation. But, seldom do we think of the Creator. When we see a beautiful flower we want to possess it, when we see a ripe fruit in the tree, we want to pluck and eat it. Our thoughts do not go beyond that. The thought of God generally does not arise in normal day-to- day activities and interactions.
As long as a seeker has differentiation in outlook, he acknowledges the presence of God only in certain places, in certain things and in certain activities. Everything else he finds non-Godly or non-divine. Only when this differentiating outlook dissolves, i.e., when one finds God in everything – in good as well as bad, in happiness as well as misery, he becomes supremely happy and blissful. But how to see God everywhere and in everything? What is the practice?
This shloka points out that all that we see around us – living and non-living, mobile and immobile, the activities and interactions that we have – is permeated and pervaded by God. This whole universe with everything in it is God’s body alone, nothing else. He alone envelopes every creation in this earth.
When the seeker or devotee practices this introspection throughout the day amidst all thoughts and actions, he is able to experience God’s presence every moment and everywhere, even in the midst of most unfavourable and trying circumstances.
The divine touch of God removes all miseries and impurities from the seeker’s mind. His mind melts with exclusive devotion to God, and gets filled with pure love for everybody. To experience the presence of God and the resulting divinity he does not have to go particularly to a divine place any more. Wherever his eyes fall, wherever his feet take him, he sees God and God alone.
What does he do then? Finding God everywhere, he prostrates with exclusive devotion before everything – whoever and whatever he comes across. For him everything in this world becomes God Himself.
This beautiful shloka, when chanted with feelings again and again, makes us aware as to how we miss seeing God in daily life in everything around us. Once we become aware, the overwhelming feeling that it is God and God everywhere, generates in us a horripilation and we get showered with Supreme bliss. The taste of exclusive devotion brings a feeling of intense humility and the head tends to bow down to whatever we come across.
खं (khaṃ) = space; वायुम् (vāyum) = wind; अग्निम् (agnim) = fire; सलिलम् (salilam) = water; महीम् (mahīm) = earth; च (ca) = and; ज्योतींषि (jyotīṃṣi) = all the celestial objects; सत्त्वानि (sattvāni) = the living creatures; दिशो (diśo) = the directions; द्रुमादीन् (drumādīn) = trees, plants and other immovable beings; सरित्समुद्राम् च (sarit-samudrāmś-ca) = the rivers and the oceans; हरेः (hareḥ) = of Lord Hari; शरीरम् (śarīram) = body; यत्किञ्च (yatkiñca) = whatever; भूतम् (bhūtam) = existence; प्रणमेत् (praṇamet) = should prostrate; अनन्यः (ananyaḥ) = one-pointed, exclusive.
खं वायुं अग्निं सलिलं महीं ज्योतींषि च सत्त्वानि दिशः द्रुमादीन् सरित्समुद्रां च हरेः शरीरं । यत्किञ्च भूतं अनन्यः प्रणमेत् ।
khaṃ vāyuṃ agniṃ salilaṃ mahīṃ jyotīṃṣi ca sattvāni diśaḥ drumādīn sarit-samudrāṃ ca hareḥ śarīraṃ. yatkiñca bhūtaṃ ananyaḥ praṇamet.
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