There is no separation between God and us. It is just that we are still in a deep, dark sleep of ignorance. So, all that needs to be done is: just wake up!.

A child in the mother’s lap goes to sleep, dreams that he has been separated from his mother and sobs in his sleep. Now, what should this child do to get his mother back? Well, the mother is very much there. The child simply needs to wake up. And that is precisely what we all need to do. This very ‘waking up’ is called enlightenment.

But first we need to understand what God is. God is not a form; God is not a ‘he’ or a ‘she’. God is truth-existence-bliss. Formless, eternal, never-changing, omnipresent absolute existence. The Sanskrit word for this singular absolute reality is ‘Brahman.’ But for the sake of the western readers, I will refer to this existence as ‘God’.

‘We are not different from God’. This is a mere statement for most people. It is a mere hypothesis. But to the enlightened being; it is empirical. A self-realized master speaks from his direct experience. So, if we want to make it our own experience, we have to endeavour in that direction .

People often say that they are searching for God. But this begs the question: where did you lose God in the first place? After all, you can only find that which has been lost. ‘I am looking for God’, is indeed a very strange statement. We need to understand that God is not lost, it is we who are lost. We need to get back on the right track so that we can reach our destination. We need to wake up to our own reality.

God is not distant from us, God is not away from us, God is not somewhere up in the sky. ‘If that is so, then why can’t I see God?’ Well, if your mind can’t ‘see’ God, it reflects your mind’s blindness. A veil of ignorance shrouds your ability to ‘see’ God. Path of awakening is the path of unveiling ignorance.

Just as a tiniest of seed has the potential to grow into a mighty Oak; every human mind has this seed of potentiality. The potential to realize one’s own true identity. The potential of knowing God. Now, how hard is it to realize God? What are the prerequisites for Self-realization?.

Sage Vashishth says to Sri Rama: ‘Blinking of an eyelid is harder than knowing your true Self. Crushing of rose petals between finger tips is harder than knowing God.’ Incredible, isn’t it! As easy as that, you may ask incredulously. Well, it is and it isn’t. It is easy if you have readied yourself by imbibing the requisite qualities in your mind. It was indeed easy for Rama; for his mind was pure, equanimous, calm, composed and integrated.What if the mind is not like Rama’s? How difficult is it then? Sage Vashishtha has the answer: ‘It is easier to count all the stars in the sky but it is harder to realize the Self. It is easier to count all the grains of sand on the Earth but attaining God is much harder.’ Imagine counting the zillions and zillions of stars, or the zillions and zillions of sand grains present on the entire globe, in rivers, oceans…it is impossible! The sage says this is easy, but knowing God is difficult if the ground of your mind has not been prepared appropriately.

Mind is sullied with so many impurities. Attachments, aversions, greed, lust, anger, jealousies, insecurities, desires, expectations – all these have tainted the mind. So, how can such a soiled mind be able to receive the highest knowledge, even if it is exposed to it? It is like pouring milk in a dirty container. Will the milk last?.

Au contraire, if the mind is purified, calm and integrated; it absorbs the highest wisdom as easily as a sponge soaks up water. It is not how much you hear or read but how much you are able to digest and imbibe. To digest words of wisdom, we need a mind free of disease. Free from all afflictions, free from egotism, free from agitations.

Calming down the mind is of utmost importance. Purity, stability, integration and concentration of the mind; should be the objective of life. Everything else will follow, right things will happen and life will get more meaningful and fulfilling.

What is Self-realization? A Self-Realized person knows God, knows one’s real identity and knows that the two are the same. A man or a woman of realization knows that he or she was always liberated. Such beings are called masters, in the true sense of the word. And the masters know that they haven’t ‘attained’ realization. What does it mean? It means that we cannot attain that which we already are. We are the Self. It is like that sleeping child crying for his mother. He is sitting in the lap of the mother in a false belief that he has lost his mother. On waking up the child smiles and realizes that he was never separated from the mother even for a moment.

The feeling of being separated from God is only due to the veil of ignorance. The mind is the cause of misery. The ancient science of yoga puts forth simple techniques for concentration and purification of the mind. As we follow the steps, a new horizon opens up in front of us, a new enthusiasm dawns as we start removing the layers of ignorance and we discover a completely new way of living our lives.

The difference between your mind and Sri Rama’s mind is the clarity, the integration, the power of resolve, the power to hold on to one thought; which your mind lacks. An unfocussed mind starts from one thought and before you know, it has spun an intricate web of thoughts. Whereas the power of concentration allows you to hold on to the original thought in its incipient form.

Say your eyes fall on somebody’s watch. This is the original thought. Concentrated mind will stop at this thought and thus will preserve its energy. Disturbed mind will start commenting on the watch, ‘It does look grand, it must be expensive, I wonder where he got it from, my boss has the same watch, I should go to a mall and look at some watches, actually I need a new dress rather than a watch…’ In this way from one single thought the mind creates this huge labyrinth of thoughts and by the time you catch your mind and come back to present moment, you are totally exhausted, you have lost so much energy.

There are some very effective techniques like pranayama, mantra japa, practice of yoga-asanas and yoga nidra to help in this regard. Each practice requires perseverance and regularity; but as you continue, you will have beautiful glimpses of meditation which will fill you with joy, with hope and with the determined resolve to ‘find’ the God who was never lost!.

Taken from videos and writings of revered master Anandmurti Gurumaa.