Thursday, January 12, 2017

The seven stages of God-realisation ~ Swami Krishnananda

The seven stages of God-realisation

The person who has realised God is called a God-realised soul. 

There are seven stages of God-realisation. These seven stages are mentioned in one way in the sutras of Patanjali, and in another way in the Yoga Vasishtha – especially the Yoga Vasishtha.

The first stage :"I want God only"

When a person is free from all desires to which ordinary people are accustomed, and thinks in the mind, "I want God only. My desire is to have God. I don't have a desire for anything else," this thought itself can be regarded as the first state or step towards God. You need not call it God-realisation; but nevertheless, it is a great thing even to be convinced that you want only that. Easily one cannot think like that; most people have got all kinds of ideas. But if you are convinced that this is the only thing that you want, it is the first step that you have taken towards God-realisation. I am mentioning something in the language of the Yoga Vasishtha. It is called subhechcha in Sanskrit: the desire to do the good thing, and the only thing being love of God, is the first step.

The second stage is vicharana.

You do not merely think, but you start analysing into the ways and means of moving still further: "How can I go? What steps am I taking? What are the sadhanas?" Going on thinking like this, going to Gurus and reading scriptures so that your mind becomes active in that direction is the second stage.

The third stage is tanumanasi

The third stage is that the mind is almost detaching itself from all objects. It is called tanumanasi. Tanu means thin, thread-like. The mind becomes thread-like in the third stage. It is as if it is breaking.

The fourth is sattvapatti

The fourth is the actual spiritual condition. The first three are the stages of a seeker, a sadhaka. The last four are the stages of an actual realised person. The fourth state is called sattvapatti which means the light of the cosmos will start flashing in your mind, like lightning. You see lightning flashes when there is a cloudy and rainy atmosphere. Like that you will feel lightning flashes, illuminations, etc., from inside. That is the fourth state, sattvapatti.

The fifth state is asamsakti

The fifth state is asamsakti. You will have no desire even to see a thing, let alone desire. Even the eyes do not have any interest in seeing things; the ears have no desire to hear anything; the nose has no desire to smell; the tongue has no desire to taste; the hands have no desire to touch. Even the desire to be conscious of the existence of something outside goes. This is called asamsakti, the fifth state.

The sixth is padartha-bhavana. 

The sixth is padartha-bhavana. You will begin to see matter itself shining like gold. Now it is all brick and mortar, iron and all kinds of things. It will all look like gold afterwards – shining. They will not look like material objects, but as if one thing only is pervading everywhere, as if the whole world is made up of gold – something like that. Now you see mountains, trees, people, things, but later everything will look like ornaments, like one gold. The True Reality will be seen at that time.

The seventh stage is the unity of the knower and known

The last stage is that you will actually merge into it. You will also become that very gold, and there will be no distinction between the knower of it and that which is known. These are the stages of God-realisation. There are differences, but in the last state there is no difference. You will merge into it.