How to see God?
By: AIF Staff
As it is said in the Padma Purana: “One cannot understand the form, name, quality, or paraphernalia of God with one’s material senses.” Our senses are imperfect, so how can we see the Supreme Person? It is not possible.
Then how is it possible to see Him? Sevonmukhe hi jihvadau: If we train our senses, if we purify our senses, those purified senses will help us see God. It is just as if we had cataracts on our eyes. Because our eyes are suffering from cataracts, we cannot see. But this does not mean that there is nothing to be seen—only that we cannot see. Similarly, now we cannot conceive of the form of God, but if our cataracts are removed, we can see Him.
The Brahma-samhita says: premanjana-churita-bhakti-vilocanena santah sadaiva hridayeshu vilokayanti: [Bs. 5.38] “The devotees whose eyes are anointed with the love-of-God ointment see God, Krishna, within their hearts twenty-four hours a day.” So, we require to purify our senses. Then we’ll be able to understand what the form of God is, what the name of God is, what the qualities of God are, what the abode of God is, and what the paraphernalia of God are, and we’ll be able to see God in everything.
We cannot understand God by our own endeavor, but God can reveal Himself to us. Trying to see God by our own efforts is just like trying to see the sun when it is dark outside. If we say, “Oh, I have a very strong flashlight, and I shall search out the sun,” we will not be able to see it. But in the morning, when the sun rises out of its own will, we can see it. Similarly, we cannot see God by our own endeavor, because our senses are all imperfect. We have to purify our senses and wait for the time when God will be pleased to reveal Himself before us. This is the process of Krishna consciousness. We cannot challenge, “Oh, my dear God, my dear Krishna, You must come before me. I shall see You.” No, God is not our order-supplier, our servant. When He is pleased with us, we’ll see Him.
The Svetasvatara Upanishad (4.20) explains “The Lord’s form of beauty is imperceptible to mundane senses. No one can see Him with material eyes. Only those who realize, through deep pure-hearted meditation, this Supreme Personality, who resides in everyone’s heart, can attain liberation.”
“No one can understand the transcendental nature of the name, form, quality and pastimes of Sri Krishna through his materially contaminated senses. Only when one becomes spiritually saturated by transcendental service to the Lord are the transcendental name, form, quality and pastimes of the Lord revealed to him.” (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.2.234)1.2.234]
“Krishna isn’t perceivable by our blunt material senses.” The word namadi means “beginning with His name.” With our material senses we cannot understand Krishna’s names or His form or His qualities or His paraphernalia or His activities. It is not possible.
Then how are they to be understood? Sevonmukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuraty adah: “When we render transcendental loving service to the Lord with our senses, beginning with the tongue, the Lord gradually reveals Himself.”
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