A person who tries to trace the original abode of the soul needs some basic information or guidance. Is God there or not, the existence of the soul and its final abode, rebirth vis-à-vis the fruit of one’s last life’s deeds, etc. are such questions which are raised by beginners of spirituality.
These are very personal, mind boggling questions and one’s own efforts are necessary to find the answers to them. There are three kinds of help available for this purpose – scriptures, saints, and God. Scriptures cannot be discarded even when their origin is beyond historical times or when they don’t give the required information explicitly. Similarly, saints are also a reliable source of such information because they have gone through the process of spirituality practically in their life. It is absolutely desirable that the saint is a devotee and has knowledge of the scriptures too. Lastly, God is a matter of personal experience, and reading His biography, teachings, and acts at the time of His incarnations are of great help. These three sources of help are available in almost all religions.
Saints could be identified by certain common traits. Adoption of a simple life and high thinking, maintaining peace and happiness in mind, being full of compassion at heart, aiming at the welfare of mankind are the main qualities of a saint. They are also experts in synthesizing prevailing opposite views on certain spiritual aspects. They provide wonderful meanings to the scriptures and also explain intriguing questions. Among the scriptures, Saints, and God, those saints are the most desirable, who in human form clear delusions from the mind of seekers based on their own practical experience.
It may be noted that through self-realization, one gets the idea of non-duality but as long as the body lasts one is seen as behaving in duality. A devotee who loves God in duality through any relationship and realizes the dwelling of God in all beings, keeps postponing meeting Him till the end of his bodily existence. Jesus Christ never called His Father to Earth for any kind of intervention and all miracles performed by Him were credited to the faith of the beneficiaries and the bestowal of the grace of God.
From time immemorial some of the great thinkers, and nowadays scientists, have been pondering on such questions such as who created this universe and why, when and till what time will it remain? A common mind can’t believe such theories whose results could only be verified to be true in an unimaginably long time. We seem to be in the middle of the life span of the universe similar to the Earth where any point on the surface could be taken as a starting or an end point, or none.
Though man seems to be an intelligent species in many cases it is the worst species capable of total destruction on Earth. In the animal kingdom there are animals with various characteristics and each species is peculiar in some way but with certain limitations in other aspects. These animals are parts of the food chain and leading among them is man as the consumer of all. Presently, it seems that we have enough devices to destroy the world population.
Imagine two situations on Earth: Either all of us turn out to be righteous people and as a result there will be Heaven on Earth, or all of us agree to finish off the world realizing that most of us are only pursuing selfish motives and have turned it into a chaotic hell. No one is sure about which turn mankind will take and when. If on one side people are trying to make it heaven, then on the other side people are trying to destroy it. Surprisingly, the number of righteous people is countable but the majority of wicked people is large in numbers. Even then the situation is not out of hands because people other than the righteous ones are not totally unrighteous and the world is continuing in spite of many threats felt by mankind in the past.
All such whims and fancies are no more troubling the mind when one happens to reach a state of love and compassion at heart and develops a relationship with a personal God.
SP Sharma, India