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God is Immanent

by Swami Sivananda

As I have said already, God is an absentee landlord of this world. He is hiding Himself within these objects. He is remaining within these objects. He is the Indweller and inter-penetrating Presence or Essence or Substance, the intelligent and creative principle of the universe itself. This is a fundamental conception of pantheism. You will find in the Svetasvatara Upanishad:

"One shining Being sits hidden in every creature, pervading all, the Inner Self of all beings, the watcher of all acts, abiding in all created things, the witness, the heart, the absolute, free of all attributes. "

Just as oil is hidden in seed, butter in milk, mind in brain, foetus in the womb, sun behind the clouds, fire in wood, sugar or salt in water, scent in buds, sound in the gramophonic records, gold in quarts, microbes in blood, so also God is hidden in all these beings and forms. Just as you see the bacilli of cholera, typhoid fever, consumption or any other disease as for that matter through the powerful lens of microscope, so also you can see God through the eye of intuition (Jnana Chakshus).

The first Sloka of the Isavasya Upanishad begins with: "Isa-vasyam-idam sarvam-All these movable and immovable objects are indwelt by the Lord." In the Katha Upanishad (I-iii-12) you will find: "Esha sarveshu bhuteshu gudho-atma. . . -This Atman is hidden in all beings. " He who has a sharp, subtle, pure intellect can see Him.

God is full of mercy, love and compassion. He has been described as "Ocean of Mercy. " His mercy flows like the streams of the Ganga and the Yamuna. He is depicted as having sold Himself to His devotees, so to say. He willingly suffers endless pain in the eyes of the world in order to alleviate the sufferings of His devotees. He bears the scar left on His chest by the kick of Bhrigu as an ornament. He wears the skulls of His devotees as a garland round His neck. He ran with lightning speed to save the modesty of Draupadi from being outraged.

He apologised and begged pardon of Prahlada in the following words:

"O dear, you were too tender of age and too delicate of body to stand the terrible tortures inflicted on your person by your hot-headed father. A parallel of his atrocious deed I have never seen. Pray, therefore excuse me if I was late in coming to your rescue. "

You are all aware of the dying Jatayu in the lap of Sri Rama, who caressed the bird which was mortally wounded in its heroic efforts to rescue Sita from the clutches of the demon king, Ravana. He wiped off the dust on its body with the trusses of His hair. Mark here the unique, tender affection of Sri Rama towards His devotees!

God becomes a slave of His devotees. Lord Krishna says: "I am not in My control. I am under the complete control of My Bhaktas. They have taken entire possession of My heart. How can I leave them when they have renounced everything for My sake only?"

Lord Rama carried the palanquin of His devotee, Sri Tyagaraja of Tiruvayur, the late reputed songster-Bhakta. He carried water in a vessel for His ablution. He is ever waiting for a chance to serve you in the same way. May His blessings be upon us all!


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