Bowing in ritual
Worshipping the Eternal
My heart meets Thee at Thy Place
And sees Thy Face.
Illusions during the day
Are gone out of my way
With vibrant emotion
At the further point of my devotion
No more I exist
Only Thee exists.
Like birds playing
Like flowers blooming
Reduce the distance
Make me pure existence
So that, at Thy Place
Always my heart sees Thy Face.
The great religions are like branches
Of one spreading tree:
It is alone in its growth,
Although it has birthed many shoots.
And is it ever possible that branches
Would suddenly, in anger, hit each other?
Religions are the same as branches,
That grew from one big tree.
And these, Shri Mataji’s words, not without reason
All men with thankfulness accept.
It’s time to understand
That we are brothers,
Beyond the races, nationalities, and faiths,
And independent of our skin colors.
Because like branches
Just one root we have!
The Lord is one
Though there are many paths,
That lead to Him –
The goal is always one:
The mountain peak that pierces clouds.
The goal of life is union with God.
Let’s not forget Whose Image and Likeness we carry,
And we will understand to where we aspire.
Source: Mikhanovsky, Vladimir. Hope Faith Love: The Road to God. Pune, India: Nirmal Transformation, 2007.
“Why has God created this beautiful universe?” has been a question asked for thousands of years. The reason is very simple to understand. This beauty that is created cannot see itself. In the same way, God who is the source of beauty, cannot see His own beauty. Like a pearl cannot enter into itself to see its beauty, like the sky cannot understand its own beauty, the stars cannot see their own beauty, the sun cannot behold its brilliance. In the same way, God Almighty cannot behold His own being. He needs a mirror. And that’s how He has created this beautiful universe as His mirror.
In this mirror, He has created now the beautiful things like the sun. The sun has to see his own reflection also. So He has created these beautiful trees to see that when he shines they come up so well and look so green.
Then He has created those birds to rise early in the morning to greet the sun, so that the sun knows that “Yes, I am there, I am existing.” Or else He has created these beautiful lakes for these trees to see their reflection and the lakes to feel their existence when the ripples start moving within themselves.
So then He created human beings. The human beings also cannot see their own beauty, their own glory. That’s why they are in the darkness. They are ignorant. They cannot see what lies within themselves. So they are running after something which is absolutely against themselves, which is ugliness, which is self-destructive. And the struggle to get to reality is such a lot that, as a result, they destroy themselves – like people have taken to these drugs, taken to all bad habits because they do not know what beautiful things they are.
So now a mirror has to be created for them to see for themselves, how beautiful they are. Their mirror is their spirit. That spirit is to be brought in their consciousness, in their attention. If it comes in their attention, then they can see their image.
Shri Mataji, 1983
(First photograph: estrip.org; Second photograph: cavinguk.co)
One night I found myself in a very difficult situation, and in desperation and as a last resort I appealed to God, in whom I didn’t believe, saying, “If there is such a thing as God, you’ve got to help me”.
I had been brought up in a Christian family and had to go to church most Sundays but I’d never felt it helped me or gave me any peace. I felt worse for going, actually, as the idea of original sin and all the rules meant I could never feel good about myself. Because of my negative experiences with the church, which was Protestant, I found it difficult to believe in Jesus Christ and God. So I considered myself an atheist, I suppose, although I was idealistic and had high moral values.
I still had an interest in spirituality, however, and thought that there must be some metaphysical answer to the ills of the world and I was searching for the key that would unlock the door to the mysteries of life. I felt that there was some force (which I thought of as the life force) which looked after all the animals and plants on the earth without them doing anything. I thought that as I was, surely, just as important as the plants and animals then that force was, hopefully, looking after me too. I felt that if I could be more in tune with that force, without thinking, just like the plants and animals, then I could be healed as well.
So I started looking for a Buddhist meditation group. Buddhists don’t talk about God, I thought, but they seem to be people of integrity and very much at peace in meditation. But it wasn’t to be. All the groups I rang didn’t answer their phones. Eventually I decided to go to Sahaja Yoga, which I had heard about from a friend.
As it happened, Shri Mataji, the founder of Sahaja Yoga, was coming to my city the following week. Her lecture was extremely interesting and covered a wide range of topics including God and Jesus Christ. I thought, “Oh, no!” I was surprised, however, to find that rather than urging us to go to church and become Christians, Shri Mataji openly stated that many Christians were not as loving and forgiving as they should be and that their intolerance and hypocrisy had turned many people away from Christianity because they were not following the teachings of Christ as they should. That had been my experience! When Shri Mataji spoke about God I thought, “I’m not interested in having anything to do with God or religion”. But I was so impressed with Shri Mataji and she spoke about all sorts of other interesting aspects of spirituality as well. I decided I would put aside her references to God and try Sahaja Yoga.
I have never regretted my decision. Sahaja Yoga has been the most wonderful experience of my life. Over time I have learnt that the original teachings of Jesus Christ are quite different from the teachings of the Church which has twisted and distorted many things over time. I have also discovered the mystical aspects of Christianity, some of which were recorded in the Dead Sea Scrolls and kept secret by the Vatican for many years. I do not have to follow the dictates of priests or ministers who interpret spirituality for me, tell me what to do and have power over me. I find real comfort and peace from meditating and from a personal connectedness that I never felt in the church. And, yes, I have learnt from my experiences that God does exist, and has taken many forms over the millennia, not just the form of Jesus Christ.
So if you, like me, have had bad experiences or have become disenchanted with the Church and feel nervous about the mention of God, don’t worry about it. Just put it aside and try Sahaja Yoga. True spirituality involves much more than the narrow view of God and religion that has been promulgated by Christian churches.
And if you like, you too can ask the question, “Does God exist?” or “Is there such a thing as God?” and see how the answer unfolds in your life.