The Presence of God
Given at the Lighthouse Center 12 August 2006
by Jain Master Gurudev Chitrabhanu
Namaste, I bow to all of you. If you reflect on yourself, you ask, “Who am I? I am Divine. I will not put myself down in any circumstances.” Your commitment is not to put yourself down in any circumstances. The world can put you down, but they don’t know you.
How many people remember the breath? How many breaths are destroyed with anger, jealousy, competitiveness, ego, suspicion? Let the breath be the breath of Peace, of Love, of Divine Light. Every breath should be charged with Love and Peace and Divine Light.
One person asked me years ago, “Do you believe in God?” When you don’t have, you believe. Do you believe in the sun? No, you have the sun, the sun is there. Belief is not realization, not experience; belief is tomorrow. One man said, “Guruji, I don’t believe in God. I feel, I see God in vegetables, animals, in the eye of a child, the eye of a fish.” Where there is life pulsating, the desire to love, there is the presence of God. How can we live without the presence of God? When you breathe, inhale the Divine, the presence of God, and exhale the anger, the hate, the stress, the negative energy.
Don’t think of what others are thinking; think of what you are thinking. We are so eager to know what others are thinking, saying, believing about us. But Mahavir’s teaching says, “Don’t trust even my word if it does not make sense to you. Believe in yourself.” Those who get divorced started with love, and celebration. But over time they don’t agree, and thoughts, beliefs and anger separates them. Love is destroyed by anger, jealousy, and hatred. Who has the power to destroy you? No one, unless you give your consent. Our own thoughts can destroy us. If you don’t hurt anybody, no one will hurt you. When you have no fear, you do not attract violence. If someone doesn’t agree with us, that’s fine. But we want to correct them, make them see it our way.
Belief is a very dangerous thing. One student used to have a time concept, a belief that he always had to hurry, hurry, hurry. When he saw the red light, he’d think, “Oh my god, I’m going to be late!” But now he meditates on the breath, taking each breath with awareness, staying with each breath. When you hurry, worry is inevitable. More hurry, more worry. Now when he sees the red light, he says, “Thank you, I will have time to breathe.” The red light that was a sign of tension is now a sign of peace and rest. When you have God with every breath, it will be good time all the time.
We all have the Light. The Light is the same, the bulbs are different. God is everyone. God is Love. Love is God. If you love, that is the presence of God. The more you love, the more you don’t want to hurt or hate anyone. As you breathe in peace, those around you will feel your calm. Peace begets peace. Whatsoever happens in life, accept it. Meditation is to be aware of every moment, and to accept what comes. Not to be upset, not to blame. But it will take time. Every moment is taking you
to the last dance. If you live 100 years, all the breaths are accumulating to the last dance, death. The last minute, the moment of death, departure. If we live in peace, we are with eternity. I am, I was, I will be. So belief in the creator, throw it out. Anything created will be destroyed. But the soul is not destroyed; energy cannot be destroyed. Energy is indestructible. I am energy, sentient energy, I cannot be destroyed. Energy takes different forms, according to your desires: Truth, Beauty, and Goodness.
Start feeling love. Be kind to yourself, don’t beat yourself up. People can say or do anything, but if you don’t give your consent, no one can hurt you. If they say something hurtful, laugh with them. When I first came to this country, students at the university would make fun of my clothing. I would smile, it wouldn’t bother me. Then we started meditating together, and they didn’t make fun anymore. What people say is their problem. We have to know ourself. Meditation is every minute, every breath. Take a deep reath—it’s free, no charge. Breathe in oxygen, life, the Divine. So Hum, I am Divine.
Paramatma is like 24 carat gold. Paramatma is the purest, most supreme soul. When you have purified yourself completely, you are God, you are pure consciousness, you are Paramatma. This takes a long time, because we are all so conditioned, as Christians, Jews, Muslims. But no one has a right to tell anyone, “If you don’t believe, you will go to hell”. We all want to experience Truth, Beauty, Goodness. But when the negative thoughts come, we struggle with ourselves. With these thoughts there is no peace. I know you are all blessed. Break the conditions and experience pure breaths. It is not easy, but begin. It is a challenge, continuously. When the mind goes to the negative, you have to say, “Come back”. Our habits are like a dog straying. Even I have to remind myself. I think of Mahivir who said, “If I can do it, you can do it.”
We have to have clarity that we are indestructible, sentient energy. Meditation will gradually take out the fear of death. The body becomes old and tired, the spare parts run out. What you sow, that you grow. First, remember that you are indestructible, not created, not a toy. You are immortal, ever present. To maintain the body, the purer the breath you have, the longer the life. Have no regrets in life—if only I had done that…Many years ago I was in Florida, about to go to Boston. A man told me that I would miss the beautiful weather. I told him that it was beautiful in Boston too. He said it was so hot, so cold, so rainy in Boston, not like Florida, so warm and sunny. See how the world changes with your perception. Enjoy the weather wherever you are.
Second, realize, feel, touch, see the presence of God. When Native Americans take fruit from a tree they say, “Today we take fruit from the tree, one day we give nourishment to the tree”. From you I receive, to you I give. We have no right to waste a single grain. Nourish your body with respect and reverence, and don’t waste anything. Respect everything, and minimize violence.
Third, bring a prayer of peace to the whole universe. We can send good vibrations, even to those who don’t know what they are doing. Hitler went to church to pray, and then said he was just doing what God told him to do. We do not want to be like Hitler. Ask yourself, “What is my contribution to the suffering in the world?” Our anger will contribute to outer violence and inner violence. Anyone who wants peace in the world must be at peace within first. Thomas Merton said, “If you want the world to become peaceful, you become peaceful”.
Given at the Lighthouse Center 12 August 2006