Worldly relations depend on fulfilling the desires of others, approving their conventions, meeting requirements, and so on. In short, it is a selfish game of vested interests; a tug-of-war between two parties or individuals.
People who hardly know Alpha and Omega of their own religion criticize the other’s religion. It is rightly said by someone that a complaining mind can only be religious (to some extent) but not philosophical, because that would require an open mind. It is also a well known fact that people are divided on the basis of caste, creed, and religion. Even husband and wife are divided on the basis of being male or female.
In such situations how can we sustain a relationship with others? When somebody is in trouble, people with compassionate hearts come forward to help, while crooked people exploit the situation, like when there is a train accident at night.
Sustaining a relationship depends upon being selfless. And, in turn, being selfless depends upon knowing the self-being, i.e., the force behind the body without which the body is non-living. Realization of that element, or say soul, which is present in all beings, makes a man with a compassionate heart.
The concept of God in a form serves the purpose of a sustainable relationship. Wise persons have named the attributes of God and they themselves are the embodiment of some of the attributes. However, it is not for the common man to recognize them easily. Unless one has developed qualities such as obeisance and a firm belief, it is not possible to identify them. Our limited mind is a hindrance to gauge their depth and real value.
In mathematics an imaginary number is represented by ‘i’ which is, in value, the square root of minus one. Mathematicians solve many problems using ‘i’. The concept works for them in the form of complex numbers.
Hence God, and all those embodying Him, are identified by certain attributes. Believing in God means the application of those attributes in one’s daily life. One has to leave the pursuit of worldly desires and pursue one’s goal judiciously, otherwise the end product ‘enjoyable relationship with God’ won’t be achieved.
Once the relationship with God, or His earthly embodiment, has been perfected, all worldly relationships are turned permanent. That is the beauty of this path.
Consider a husband and wife who are actors by profession and are acting in a film. During the shooting they may play various roles ranging from hate to the ‘made for each other’ type of roles, but when they arrive at home they might discuss and appreciate the success of how they acted a certain part. Maybe in this world we are also playing roles like that, but after leaving the body-world scene we may presume the same togetherness. I think this could make our relationships a little bit more comfortable during our sojourn on Earth.
Self-realization is the process of going beyond the body concept and connecting with Spirit. It depends upon our efforts solely, however various scriptures and saintly persons (by some people considered to be God in human form) are there for guidance and are surprisingly well suited to the different temperaments of mankind. There exist many ways through action, devotion, or knowledge paths, to realize the Self. Tests will occur at various levels and the results have to be confirmed by testament. Jesus Christ shows it by his own example at the cross. What he expresses is at the body level and what he accepts, as the Will of the Father, is at the Spirit level. Similar examples may be found elsewhere, when saints had to sacrifice their life in an exemplary way to create humbleness among their roguish fellow men, and show them compassion. Surprisingly, they succeed in their missions.
A relationship between Self and God may exist in a variety of ways. Here, I will talk only about the paramour kind of love that exists between a devotee and God. In practical life it is not considered desirable, particularly at the physical level, but it works at the non-physical level of mind, and it develops compassion. However, it happens by the grace of God at the last stage of the path of the honest devotee. Here, we may consider ourselves as the wife and our worldly relations as her husband (or other selfish family members) while the wife develops her paramour love for God. Whenever she develops paramour love and whenever it becomes explicit, immediately an uproar is created by the husband. He can restrict the physical meetings (such as performing various devotional acts or conversing with like-minded people), but in that case the wife develops a mental attachment to God. In the beginning the devotee may loose interest in fulfilling his wordly duties, but in due course he performs his duties better while in his mind paramour love is constantly increasing.
Physically the wife remains righteously attached to her family, but she enjoys the company of her paramour mentally. In the end she feels the manifestation of her lover not only in the members of her family, but in all beings and non-beings alike.
Thus end all kinds of differences with anybody and everybody, because one has stopped playing the game of likes and dislikes, internally as well externally.
This kind of love exists and has been testified to by many devotees through the ages. But it all depends upon the grace of God, or the spiritual teacher, that one is selected for such a joy. In this type of devotion the separation from God is considered highly valuable, as it keeps alive the hope of union. Usually, the devotee remains drowned in repeating the sweet name of God, His qualities, pastimes and abode.
SP Sharma, India