Light From Eternal Lamps–Essays On Practical Spiritual Life–by Swami Nirmalananda Giri
Where Do We Find God?
"And when they came nigh to Jerusalem, unto Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he sendeth forth two of his disciples, and saith unto them, Go your way into the village over against you: and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat; loose him, and bring him. And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and straightway he will send him hither."1
In every religion that makes offerings to God, it is understood that nothing can be offered that has been first used by another person–for example, flowers should not be smelled before offering, nor should food be tasted beforehand.
Jesus, entering Jerusalem, would ride only on an animal that had never before been ridden. This is a symbol of the advent of higher consciousness within our own being. Where can Christ Consciousness "sit" within us? Not our body, emotions, mind, intellect, or will–they have all been used (and used up) by ourselves and others.
Sweet as it sounds, it is pointless to ask God to come into our heart. How much trash is in the heart! How much foolishness is in there! Our heart is like the proverbial crazy person's house that is filled to the top with junk. There is not even anywhere to sit. Most people want to clear a tiny space for God, as long as He will not stay too long (after all, they do have to get on with "their" life, they cannot waste all their time looking at God). But it does not work. God does not come.
But we want God to come and stay. How can we manage that? By establishing ourselves in that part of our being which can be touched by none other but God: our spirit. And what will happen then? We will find that God is already there. In the depths of our being God is already present and waiting for us to arrive. We are the absent party, not Him.
We cannot meet God through body, feeling, senses, thoughts, or desire. Only in the spirit can He, the Infinite Spirit, be found. This is why religion is such a detriment. It points outward, saying: "God is there. Worship and serve Him." This includes so-called Christianity, even though Jesus says: "Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you."2 Of course professional religion is interested in perpetuating itself rather than introducing people to the kingdom of God–for then they would have no more business. However that may be, the truth is this: God can neither be worshipped nor served. But He can be KNOWN."Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you."3 Now that is possible. Most of the practices of external religion are just painted doors on a blank wall, but through meditation we can approach and meet the God Within. When we turn within, away from all that has been handled, smudged, and damaged by "the world and all that therein is" and enter into the simple principle of consciousness that is the real "us," the search for God will be over, and the endeavor to make that state permanent will begin. And meditation is the way to accomplish that, too.