Note: This question is the first one in a series of “Three questions every spiritual seeker asks.”
Does god exist?
This question is the hardest one for most seekers. Many spiritual seekers even become atheists later because they can’t find convincing answer to this question. This happens either because they didn’t get proper spiritual guidance or because they tried to use their mind to get an intellectual answer to this question. One thing that you must first understand is that a seeker receives the answer to this question through realization, not through an explanation.
What is the problem?
Mind is the main problem. In fact it is the only thing that is between you and your true ‘self’. It is not easy to control this fleeting mind at all. You sit for meditation and your mind reaches the Eiffel tower. How hard you try to concentrate, it always oscillates between the past and the future, in a matter of fraction of a second. That is the nature of the mind.
How to deal with it?
But do not be disappointed. There is a simple way to deal with this cunning mind.
That simple way is through ‘trust’. Please try to understand this carefully. Try to understand how trust really works. Take an example. If you trust your spouse, your mind will be peaceful. But the moment you start to doubt your spouse, your mind will have hundreds of questions, coming one after another. So through trust, we can control our mind. Trust is a a proven technique used in the spiritual path. It is very powerful; it can shut your mind completely. ‘Love’ can also do the same thing.
The need of a guru is much emphasized in the spiritual path for this reason. So you need to find someone whom you can trust completely. It is not necessary that the guru knows everything, but at least you should believe that he knows more than you. Otherwise, the ego will rise and it will bring doubts again. Also remember that you can be your own guru. In fact your “self” is the ultimate/only guru. However, realizing this fact may take some time. So it is better to follow the instructions of self-realized masters until your ‘self’ starts guiding you.
What happens after you have control over your mind?
Once you kill your ego or mind (in spirituality ego and mind are synonymous), you are now receptive to the element of ‘grace’. Grace is the nectar of the universe and it is omnipresent. Grace is always there but because of the ‘ego’ most people do not experience it. When the ego vanishes, the grace will flow towards you and you will be able to experience it. Usually, this stage is one’s “spiritual awakening“. Once this happens, you will become aware of many other dimensions of life that you had not experienced previously. For example, you may be aware of your “energy body“. For some people, awakening happens in the presence of their guru. For a few people, awakening can also happen spontaneously depending upon their past karma. Some people also experience awakening instantly upon following the instructions of a guru, for example, while answering the question “who are you” through self-inquiry. It is the fact that awakening happens naturally, in every human being, in the due course of time if one just lives the life without thinking.
After the spiritual awakening, a profound clarity comes in one’s life, about life and about the whole existence. One feels deep sense of contentment and happiness. It is as if our million questions have been answered at once. Such spiritual experiences act as a proof of our “spiritual existence” which our logical mind always seeks. After such experience, one is sure to follow the spiritual path onward. In fact most people are atheists only until they have this taste of the “self”. Forget the question of god’s existence, such experience will clear your every doubt about everything, from the very root.