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Date Posted: 08:37
Author: Hendrik-20Jul02
Subject: Re: a question!
In reply to: seeker - 20 July 2002 's message, "a question!" on 08:33

Who knows whether God is personal or impersonal, or does exist at all?!

There are many yogis who believe in the real existence of a personal God, there are others (a smaller number perhaps) who feel drawn to an impersonal Divine.

Many of us here in America and Europe are conditioned by our intellectual approach and our like/dislike of Christian religion and such. Especially on this board here many people appear to have a rather philosophical mind. The common notion among these people seems to be that God is in essence impersonal, and the personal form of God is a minor manifestation who helps the sadhak on the way to the impersonal, the 'real' experience. Whereas Gods are abominable manifestations of Mind etc.

I have not much believe in such assumptions. The nature of the Divine is very probably beyond our petty intellectual conceptions. The game is very simple: Someone who feels drawn to an object of worship, may, after some time of practice, sooner or later have a vision of it and believe it to be the final experience. Others are being told by philosophers that the notion of the existence of Gods are bullshit; they won't be satisfied unless they have met something indescribable, shattering, which the mind cannot any longer perceive.

I don't get headaches brooding over this seeming contradiction anymore. I see it rather as a result of personal preference than as a matter of any exclusive highest truth. We are probably too narrow-minded to understand.

Personally I like the story of Ramakrishna who after a tough Sadhana - leading him to the verge of madness - finally got rewarded with the vision of his favorite Goddess Kali.

He then met Totapuri who was an accomplished Advaitist and who told him that the Kali experience was not the final one and gave him assistance in realizing the Impersonal Divine.

So far, so good. But the story went on. In spite of his newly attained profound Advaitist experience, Ramakrishna soon returned to Kali worship, because he did not see any contradiction doing so.

Totapuri was at first confounded, but then - something which he never did before - stayed with Ramakrishna for a couple of months before he moved on. When he parted he remarked that the experience with Sri Ramakrishna had been a great teaching to him -- after thitherto seeing only the Advaitist aspect of the Divine he now saw the truth in worshipping a Personal God; something which he was not able to understand before.

I think these two are a good example for yogis with a broader vision, whereas most of us and the would-be-masters get stuck in our favorite world-view. Totapuri, of course, did a tough tapasya for decades before attaining his realization hence it was difficult for him to accept something different. It is not easy to pursue a single-minded effort but at the same time keep an open mind and take things cool :-)

Hendrik

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