What is God? What is the meaning of God? This is a matter that has been taken in a very comprehensive manner. Every religion has a different approach to this. Every religious scripture such as Bhagwad Geeta, Quran Sharif, and Holy Bible depict God in different ways. The Patanjali yoga sutra and spirituality hold a very different approach to this.
However, we must understand that the word ‘God’ is not a matter of intellectual analysis. We can only understand God through experiences and spiritual realization.
Five Kleshas in humans
Although it is difficult to comprehend God. But here we will discuss what our scriptures/etiology and Patanjali Yoga sutra say about this. According to Patanjali, there are five kleshas (sorrows or destructive emotions) in humans – Avidya, Raag, Dwesha, Asmita, and Abhinivesha. Now, these kleshas are those negative emotions that create hindrances in the pathways of human beings from attaining enlightenment.
It makes humans weak from the inside as well as outside. Read on to understand these kleshas in depth.
It is called ignorance in English. Avidya means not understanding the truth in its true form. Most human beings consider the world as truth and consider souls and divinity a myth. As per human beings, this cycle of birth and death is considered truth. Likewise, sorrows of life are also considered “true” since we can see them in physical reality. As per yoga, our soul is the only truth that is free from every sorrow and cycle of life and death. Rest everything is “Maya” or unreal.
Asmita means I or egocentricity. It means when we start to recognize ourselves too strongly with our name, our physical body, our job title, status, etc. This leads to a false identity, as it contains an ego that is not your true self.
Raag means attachment. It means binding ourselves strongly to our physical body, name, our family or desires, and ambitions, which leads to attachment. In the Yoga sutra, it is the main klesha that causes pain and misery.
It means aversion. It is a feeling that negatively influences one’s perception of another person or the world. Dwesha is that feeling of hatred.
It means the fear of death. It means that we as human beings do not want to leave our physical bodies even if life is full of suffering. This fear of leaving the body is called Abhinivesha.
Attributes of God
These Kleshas are also termed Asuri Sampati. These Asuri Sampati are evil qualities that make humans weak from the inside. Now the person who does not possess any evil qualities and is far away from such evil qualities is known as Ishwar or God. The yoga sutra describes God as anyone who does not possess any of these five kleshas.
However, most human beings have at least one klesha in them, whether they are saints or the finest men of all religions.
How OM connects spirituality to God
According to the Patanjali yoga sutra, “OM” is a beej sound or origin sound of the universe from which all other sounds and words originated. Chanting “Om” tunes us into that sound and allows us to connect to the universal energy. Although most religion distinguishes OM in different forms. Hinduism, however, connects it to Shiva, the destroyer and transformer. Om is an integral part of his beej mantra “Om Namah Shivaya”.
Great powers of God
Those people having these divine qualities possess great powers of nature. With the help of these qualities, they work towards the well-being of our society and the world.
According to the Yoga Sutra, God is that particular Purusha (i.e. person) who is free of all these kleshas and isn’t a subject of all Maya and power. We can symbolically represent this Purusha as “Om”.
God in different religions
In different religions, God is distinguished in different forms. Christianity and Islam follow a formless form of God. However, it is a tradition in Hindu culture to worship God through idols and pictures. Through these symbolic structures or idols, we see and express our Ishwara or God. Through the medium of bhakti Sagar or devotional songs, we worship our Gods.
Relationship between spirituality and God
So how can we connect spirituality with God? Bhakti yoga is a special branch of yoga that bridges the connection between God and spirituality. It is a path of devotion. Every human being has a spirit inside them irrespective of their caste or religion. Every human being has a consciousness that illuminates their entire body and this whole cosmos. Like humans, every living being possesses a spirit. This spirit or higher self is God who is omnipresent. This process of understanding that higher self is known as spirituality.
God is everywhere
How can we experience this greater self? We can only experience this by going inwards through the means of Yoga and meditation. It will help you to seek and experience that great soul. You will also be able to experience that great power that resides inside us. Only through this way we can see that God is inside everyone. Leaning into spirituality tells us that the higher self, who is free from every evil is always present inside us and resides in every nook and corner of this universe. He is the operator of this entire cosmos. Spirituality teaches us how we can experience the goodness of God with the help of Bhakti, Gyan, and karma.
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