Have you ever wondered about the meaning of life? Have you ever felt like something is missing, like there must be more to this existence than what we see and experience in our day-to-day lives? Perhaps you are one of the many people who are searching for God but don’t know where to begin.
Before You Find God, You Need to Understand Who You are Looking For
To begin with, let’s understand what kind of God we are talking about. Who or what are we actually looking for?
In the sacred Vedas, the lawbooks of this world, it is said that the Lord can be understood in three forms:
- Brahman is the impersonal effulgence emanating from the body of the Supreme Being. The most primitive idea of God, accessible even to who don’t subscribe to any particular religious path.
- Paramatma is the Supersoul or Lord in the heart of every living being. The Christian concept of the Holy Spirit is the same as this.
- Bhagavan is the highest understanding of God as the Supreme Person. It is this God, the Personality, that we ultimately seek.
In order to recognize the personal aspect of the Lord, a person must first understand the greatness of the Personality for which he aspires. And for this reason, in every religious tradition, there are authoritative scriptures that describe the greatness and glory of God.
For example, in the Bhagavad-gita, Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, speaks of Himself. He does this in order to establish the authority of His greatness and His might.
Saints in every spiritual tradition also primarily emphasize the aspect of the greatness of God. They say that there is nothing that is not connected with the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Finding God with our Limited Mind is Tough!
Our tiny brains, which are clouded by material nature, the lower energy of God, are unable to perceive the infinite power as such.
This tiny apparatus, which is called the human mind, is not capable of grasping those powerful energies or elements that surround it. And so many people invent various theories about the fundamental nature of this world. They say that this material world is nothing more than just a combination of some random circumstances: the Big Bang happened, atoms combined into molecules, the fish evolved to man, etc. The more a person’s mind is developed to think in material terms, the more he is inclined to believe in chance. However, in reality nothing happens by accident.
Ultimately, one cannot understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead with his tiny mind. Our mind is affected by the energies of material nature — passion and ignorance. They force us to focus on ourselves and they turn off our ability to see and think objectively about the real picture of this world.
Lack of intelligence and clarity of mind, culminating in forgetfulness of our original, spiritual nature, is a “gift” by Supreme Personality of Godhead for those who wish to neglect Him and instead consider themselves to be independent, supreme beings. God Himself says this in the Bhagavad-gita (15.15):
I reside in the heart of every living being, and memory, knowledge and forgetfulness come from Me.
That is, everything comes from the Lord, including the abilities of our mind. And to understand His infinite power, this also requires His grace and His will to do so.
What are the ways for finding God?
There are two aspects to understanding the Absolute Truth.
The first is the ascending path of acquiring knowledge, from the bottom up. This is the path used by people who rely on their intellect and reason. Sometimes they achieve a little success along the way. There is a whole philosophical concept in the study of the material world, which is called sankhya yoga. In it, people use their mind and senses to come to a basic understanding of the elements of the material world.
But there is also a second way — the descending path of revealed knowledge. On this path, knowledge moves downward, from top to bottom, transmitted through the chain of disciplic succession. The downward path of acquiring knowledge is the most efficient and perfect, and is followed in all schools where a teacher teaches a student the the science of their field. The same applies to the field of spiritual knowledge: in order to acquire transcendental knowledge, one must first come into contact with the true source. He must receive spiritual knowledge either from the Lord Himself, the supreme master, or from His representative, the spiritual master.
The chain of disciplic succession is the only true way to know God, because it is free from uncertainty, guesswork, and the other flaws of the ascending process.
Finding God with the Help of Vedas
There are four faults common to all conditioned living beings, both animals and humans. And in order to rid yourself of their influence, you need to get in touch with a pure source of knowledge. This pure, infallible source is Vedic knowledge .
To comprehend the Vedas, a descending process is naturally needed, because the limited abilities of the mind and intellect cannot reach up to grasp the spiritual knowledge that exists beyond them. This is only possible by the grace of the Lord Himself, Krishna. He says this in the Bhagavad Gita:
Those who constantly serve Me with love and devotion, I endow with the intelligence that helps them come to Me.
Bhagavad Gita As It Is, 10.10
The downward path of understanding the Lord means that one must submit to His supreme will. He should find the representative of God, the spiritual master, and ask him how to find God.
To know the truth, surrender yourself to a spiritual master. Ask him humbly and serve him. Self-realized souls can give you knowledge, for they have seen the truth.
Bhagavad Gita As It Is, 4.34
To know God, you need to find a spiritual teacher, learn from him about God, and serve him.
The Story of King Akbar Who Wanted to Find God
About 500 years ago there was a king in India named Akbar. King Akbar wanted to understand how to find God, so he turned to Birbal, his adviser, for an answer.
“Birbal! Tell me how I can find God!”
Birbal began to list different options: “The easiest way is to repeat the Names of God, maha mantra: hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare.
“I cannot understand how one can find God in this way,” Akbar replied. “Please explain it to me so that I can understand.”
So Birbal began to bring various gurus, yogis, mystics, and saints to Akbar, so that they would explain to him how to find God. But the king could not understand any of them.
Birbal was very sad. When he returned to his home that evening, his daughter asked him:
“Father, why are you so gloomy? What happened?”
“The king wants to find God,” said Birbal, “and he wants the whole process explained to him in such a way that he understands it exactly. I brought him the most intelligent people of our time. But still he doesn’t understand!
Then Birbal’s daughter advised him:
“Go to Vrindavan. There is a saint there named Vitalnath. He will definitely be able to explain to the king how to find God!”
Birbal went to Vitalnath. Finding the saint, he bowed to him and made his request. And Vitalnath replied:
“Okay, yes, no problem. I will tell your king how to find the Supreme Lord. But I will not go to him. Let him come to me.”
“I will tell Akbar how to find God. But he will have to come to me
When the Lord Calls You…
On the way back to the kingdom, Birbal began to wonder, “How can I persuade the king of the whole country to go to meet this saint? After all, usually people go to see the king, and not vice versa.
Arriving to Akbar, he explained the situation and waited for the king’s reaction. However, much to Birbal’s surprise, the king was not angry. Instead, he gladly agreed to go to Vrindavan to meet Vitalnath.
“If this saint can tell me how to find God,” Abkar said, “then I would come to meet him anywhere in the world!”
Akbar mounted his horse and immediately rushed to Vrindava to find Vitalnath. Bowing before the saint, the king immediately asked:
“Please! Please explain to me how to find God? I have heard countless explanations, but I still can’t understand it at all!”
Vitalnath answered Akbar:
“It is very easy. You may find God in the same way that you found me. I called you to my place, and you found me. So it is with God: when He calls you to Himself, then you will find Him.”
King Akbar was astonished. He could not believe that all this time the answer he was seeking was so simple. And yet, it made perfect sense to him. He returned to his kingdom, happy and satisfied.
Only in this way can we find God, when He Himself wants us to find Him. However, for this to happen, the second condition must also be fulfilled: we must have a strong desire to find Him, just like Akbar.
Q: Who is Jesus Christ as per Vedic doctrine?
A: For those who have grown up in Christian households or have been exposed to Christianity, Jesus Christ is often viewed as the one and only way to God. However, it’s important to recognize that Jesus Christ was a prophet of God, sent to guide humanity towards the path of righteousness. In Islam, Jesus Christ is referred to as Isa, and is regarded as one of the most important prophets of God, second only to Muhammad. As per the Vedas, Jesus was not the “one and only Son” for all eternity, but for the people who lived in that particular place and time. God manifests this universe with a specific purpose: to guide the souls to eternal life and joy. God sends many different prophets, sons, and representative to implant seeds of faith in the heart of lost souls and help guide the people back to Him.
Lord Jesus Christ is recognized as a representative of God, or in other words, a spiritual master. The teachings of Jesus emphasize the importance of love, compassion, selflessness, forgiveness, salvation, prayer, peace, and spiritual growth—these are all universal values that can be embraced by people of all faiths. It’s important to understand that Jesus’ message was not limited to a particular group of people, but was meant for all of humanity.
The Bible speaks of Christian life centered around finding God or seeking God in the eternal life of Jesus. When Jesus lived on the earth, he told everyone to seek God alone and follow His commandments. The Vedic scripture h avebeen speaking the same message to mankind, God’s children, for thousands of years:
- We should learn the path of love of God from a realized spiritual master
- We should regularly read and study the scripture
- We should seek truth and give up sin
- We should pray to God at every moment
A careful reader of the Bible will find that Bible has passages that share the same beliefs. However, the Bible is terse whereas Vedas give elaborate teachings on these and many other spiritual topics. You can discover for yourself by reading the Vedas.
Q: If I accept the Vedas, do I have to give up Jesus Christ?
A: No, you would have to accept Jesus, our savior, wholeheartedly. Many say that they accept Jesus, but do they follow Jesus? Faith in Christ Jesus means accepting his teachings and living a life free of sins. A Church may teach religion, but soul thirsts for a relationship with Lord. Religion or the Church usually focuses on externals. They miss the real message of Christ Jesus, which can only be received through a spiritual teacher who has lived a life based on the Bible or the Vedas.