Children, people have many false notions about God. Although the majority believe in God, some deny his presence. Then, even among those who believe, many believe God is an external power. In truth, God resides in everything sentient and insentient. Just as there is a tree in each seed, butter in all milk and gold in every ornament, there is divinity in each individual. If we move along the right path, we will be able to experience and know God, the divinity inside us. Can we ever really verbalise the sweetness of honey and the beauty of nature? Only in experience do we know it. Similarly, experiencing God within us is beyond words, senses or the mind.
Once a sannyasi was walking by a school. Some of the students made fun of him, “Why are you wearing those weird clothes?”
The sannyasi replied, “Sannyasa is taken with the aim of realising God.”
The students then asked, “Has anyone ever seen God? How does one realise God?”
Pointing at a tree, the sannyasi asked, “Where did this tree come from?”
The children answered, “From a seed.”
There were a lot of fruits under the tree. The sannyasi picked one up and took a bite. Then he looked inside and dropped it. He then took another fruit and did the same.
Seeing this, the students asked, “What are you doing? Have you gone mad? Why are you taking one bite from each fruit and dropping it?”
The sannyasi answered, “You said the tree came from the seed. I was checking the seeds in each fruit to see if I could see the tree in any of them.”
Hearing this, the students laughed. “How can you find a big tree in a tiny seed?” They asked. “First the seed must be planted. Then, at the right time, with water and fertilizer, the seed germinates and slowly becomes a tree.”
The sannyasi said, “Experiencing God is just like that. Just as the tree is within the seed, God resides in each one of you. But at this moment this is not your experience. Because of this, how can you say there is no God? If you follow the disciplines which God-realised people have followed, then you will come to experience God.”
Children, God is an experience. Spiritual disciplines such as prayer, worship, meditation and chanting are ways to unfold that experience. When a flower is in its bud stage, we cannot fathom its beauty or fragrance. It first has to bloom. Similarly the flowers of our heart must bloom through meditation and other spiritual practices. Then you will be able to see God and experience divine, supreme bliss.
Amma, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi