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Pujya Dr. K.C. Varadachari - Volume -1

Discourses on The Philosophy of Sri Ramchandra's Rajayoga - Lecture -3

As I said, according to Shri Ram Chandraji, where religion ends, there spirituality begins. After this sentence, Master gives the description of God or the Ultimate Reality. Religions have got notions of God which are as different from one another as possible. But they have all one common thing. God has a particular nature such as that of the Creator of the world, Sustainer of the world and Destroyer of the world. He has wonderful attributes or excellent attributes - Infinite Compassion, Infinite Beauty, Infinite Power, Infinite Grace and so on. This God is the God of Religion. That is, we are all thinking of the excellent quality of which we have some awareness and these are the qualities of God. God is perfect extension, perfect space. He is at all time, the past, the present and the future, which are all in Him. And so He has wonderful attributes. This God we call Saguna. Of course, it may be that God has the qualities of nature also in a sense. Nothing that is not in the cause can be found in the effect. So, God has all these attributes. But according to Vedanta, the definition of Brahman has been "He from whom all creation, all origination arises". But, there are some people who have stated in Upanishads that God is described in terms of negation of these qualities, which we call of nature, that is, Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. Some people go to the extent that God has no qualities - either good or bad. Some people say that God is Nirguna; some people say that He is Saguna. What guna means, of course, is a very troublesome point of discussion or controversy. God has gunas means He has no bad qualities. So, that is how some people have interpreted. Certainly God cannot have bad qualities. One may then ask `we have bad and good qualities, how did they come about. If God has created bad qualities, they must have come from Him'. The cause must have the seeds of effect. There is evil in the Universe. God must in some way be evil. But we do not like to attribute evil to God and so they say evil is the good that we do not understand. 'Evil' is excellent. You do not know what it is. So you call it 'evil'. Anything you are afraid of is 'evil'. That is how some people try to explain or rather explain away evil. Some others say that the good qualities have the opposites also in this world. The world is a negation of God. God is perfect, we are all imperfect. God is good; we are all evil. Where there is good there must be bad. A good cannot be understood except in terms of bad. So, the standard of judgement of what is good or bad, truth or false must come from God, who is Truth, who is Blissful and the world is false, evil, unpleasant and unblissful. That is another meaning of God.

But, there is another concept that God is a Principle rather than a person. Then we may understand something of the problem. Religions always consider that God is a person. By person, it means someone in talking terms, knowing terms and loving terms. A person whom you can love, whom you can adore and whom you can worship. But if it is only a Principle, it is not in those terms. Are we worshipping the law of Gravitation? We worship persons in whom those laws are exhibited, a person who exhibits those principles. For instance, Gandhiji to us means a principle. He tried to exhibit truth and non-violence. He searched for Truth and Non-violence or love. Suppose, we remove these pictures. Then the principles will remain. We think of Rama as a person. Rama is a dharma principle. But not a person having a bow and arrow as in Kondanda Rama, having particular colour - bluish colour as it is described. That is not Rama. So you will find ultimately every great man is a principle and not a person. If you ask if a great principle can be lived and practised, well there is a man who came and showed that it can be practised. So, to exemplify a certain man comes into being. So, if God is the Supreme person, he exhibits the principles continuously, incessantly and eternally. But then, whenever you look at a person, you see or perceive the principle. Whenever you see principle, you see the person. They are bound together. You cannot think of the one without the other. God is the first cause. As a first cause, he is also loved. So we find that the Nirguna is non-personal God and the Saguna is personal God. Non-personal God, that is a principle and personal God, both of them are inseparable, except by us. When we want to think on principle we think of Him as a principle. As a person we exhibit Him.

I was suggesting to a friend yesterday that it is almost similar to the scientific notion of considering energy either in terms of particles or in terms of heat. When we think that as a wave, it follows the laws of waves and then we can take it as a particle also. So, if you take it as in Religion, God is personal and if you think in terms of philosophy, he is impersonal.

But we are confused in these matters and our logical capacity is dwarfed by Religion. So much so, even Sri Ramakrishna used to say that both Saguna and Nirguna are true. Well. Therefore, the principle point, if you want to put it, can be called Para Brahman. Master also has used them. This is used by the Advaithins also. But I do not know whether they are clear except when they emphasise this aspect in thinking of God as transcendent to or interior to the creative point. There must be a condition when He is not a Creator. It is Nirguna. The posterior point then is Iswara. So these are the Nirguna and Saguna notions of the Ultimate Reality.

But Ultimate Reality, says our Master, is something more than these. It is higher than the Nirguna or Saguna conception of Brahman. It goes far beyond. The Ultimate Reality, which we should call God in the sense that it is that, you have to attain, perfect Reality. So our Master says all these discussions about Saguna and Nirguna are transcended. We soar far beyond the notions of Religion or philosophy. It is attractive to hold a non-personal and think that impersonal is superior to the personal. I do not agree to either notion. We are going far beyond both, a condition which is beyond the personal and beyond the impersonal and that is something which is not within the range of our normal experience. It is not within the reach of our reason or feeling.

Religion is described as an aesthetic approach to Reality and philosophy is said to be an intellectual approach to Reality. You may also say that God can be approached through the will aspect of man. But will goes beyond both the intellectual and aesthetic approaches and that is why Master wanted in each on of us a will to go beyond the frontiers of philosophy and religion. Will, in its purer form breaks through these two barriers of intellect and aesthetic. "A perfect will is needed" that is what he says. Thought in its purer form is not an idea. It is just an 'aspiration' a 'force' an 'urge'. So, that concept of Ultimate is as he calls 'Energy' goes beyond the intellectual and aesthetic. That condition is what we are aiming at and that is the Ultimate Reality. So, when Master describes in the circles, he shows that there is a Brahmanda area and beyond that Para Brahmanda and beyond that is the Central Region, place of the purest will.

So, the Central Region, which is a discovery of the Master, is something beyond the Saguna and Nirguna from which our religious and philosophical notions came.