Hello and welcome to episode 78 of The Ask Sri Vishwanath Show. Today I want to talk about the qualities of a man or woman of God. How do you recognise those qualities?
Today’s question comes from Ryan and Ryan says “How do you recognise a true teacher or a man or woman of God? What qualities should I be looking for?”
Thanks for the question Ryan. Krishna has spoken about those qualities in various chapters in the Bhagavad Gita. We may need a few episodes to cover it all but I want to give you a different perspective.
All of this tips come from Sri Ram Krishna Paramhansa who was a guru to Vivekananda. So how can we tell if someone has those qualities or if we have gained those qualities ourselves? Ram Krishna says that a man or woman of god will never see God at a distance. That’s a big difference. They do not talk about God as he but as the consciousness within them. They know God dwells in the heart of all beings and they encourage others to see the same. They have reached this stage of realisation. Krishna says “God dwells in the heart of all beings causing them to revolve through maya as if mounted on a machine.” That’s a really beautiful thought.
I also love the following verse: “the supreme self, smaller than the smallest, higher than the highest lies concealed in the heart of all creatures. Know it to be all pervasive and immortal. This supreme self cannot be attained by study of scriptures or vast learning. It is given to him who whole heartedly seeks for it. To such an aspirant the supreme self reveals its true nature.”
Seeker or holder
Ram Krishna says there are two choices. There is you, the seeker holding God’s hand and then there is God Holding your hand . So if you are a man or women of God he will be holding your hand. When God holds your hand you are safe just as a child is safe when parents hold their hands. Men and women of god completely surrender to him lock, stock and barrel.
In our cases, well for most of us anyway we are seeking god so we hold his hand. When a child holds a fathers hand it is a different scenario. He is not 100% safe because the child might loosen the grip every now and then. This does not happen when the parents hold the child’s hand .
It is good that we are seeking God but what we should aim for is for God to hold our hands and to completely immerse ourselves in the consciousness.
Thirdly, in the Bhagavad Gita Krishna says “The sage neither hates light, action, delusion when they appear nor seek them when they disappear. Seated as if indifferent he is not disturbed by constituents. He stirs not, is of steadfast resolve holding that constituents alone prevail.”
These men of God do not hate or fear when a bad thought comes neither do they seek them when they disappear. These tamasic or rajasic thoughts do not disturb or disrupt him. He knows that these waves are separate from the ocean and he remains unaffected by his thoughts. He is the deep ocean so the thoughts at the surface do not bother him in the slightest. Remember we spoke about this before, these thoughts are forced up by the script and the gunas.
When we get a tamas thought we identify ourselves with the tamas thought and then we get disturbed. This is the difference between us and a man or woman of God. They get those thoughts too because they are part of the timeline and the script because, remember every saint has a past and every sinner has a future. So even sages might get a tamas thought but the difference is it will not disturb them. At the same time he will not get really excited if he gets a sattvic thought. He remains detached from all thought, good and bad and when all of those thoughts are gone he does not chase after them.
When a tamas thought comes to us we often get disturbed but once it’s gone we still seek it. People seek, pleasure, desire and happiness. We keep running after those things that we seek even when they disappear and this seeking disrupts our thoughts. The sage will never seek it because he does not identify himself with any of these thoughts, good or bad.
“He stirs not, is of steadfast resolve holding that constituents alone prevail.”
The sage is always of steadfast resolve. He is not concerned with the sattvic, rajasic and tamasic thoughts at the surface. He is not concerned with them because he knows these sattvic, rajasic and tamasic thoughts are nothing more than an illusion. They are the lower nature of his consciousness and he knows that it is important to only be in his higher nature. He is always immersed in the consciousness.
“The sage neither hates light, action, delusion when they appear nor seek them when they disappear.” This is so important. This is the power of a sage, of a man or woman of God.
Ram Krishna used the example of a coconut. The coconut has a kernel and a shell. If you take a knife to a coconut to try and remove the kernel nothing happens because the shell is too strong. It will not open unless the milk has dried up. When the milk dries up the kernel inside rattles around and separates itself from the shell. The kernel and the shell are then separate from each other. This is the sign of a great man, where his kernel and shell have separated. The milk represents the gunas and when this dries up you can be separated from them. Their self is separated from the body, mind and intellect.
Most normal people have trouble separating themselves from the self and we become disrupted by the gunas. To be separate we need to dry those gunas up and connect with the consciousness. We are affected by our thoughts but they are not because they are separate from them.
Finally Ram Krishna says we are like a child, who wants something and keeps nagging their parent. We always nag the one who is on our side. Even when they don’t give you what you want you keep pestering them. Eventually they get so frustrated that they give in. We need to force our demands on the mother of the universe which is our consciousness and consider god as your own.
Think of him as being with you always. Not at a distance. I hope I answered your question. Remember you keep asking questions and I’ll keep answering them.