Can We See God?Feb 21, 2022
by Pritha Ricoy
The question, “Can we see God” reminds me of a time when I was 19 years old. I was part of a Christian church, and we were gathered in a team-building activity. I remember asking the group of women, “How can I hear God?”
Essentially, I wanted to know if there was this thunderous voice that, for whatever reason, I wasn’t able to hear yet. I don't remember the answer I was given, but I think it was pretty abstract because I remember leaving a little more confused.
What I’ve realized by being on this path for almost four years is that many of the answers that we’re searching for about God point back to the quality of emotions in our heart and how our heart is expressing itself.
The heart is like a hub for many of our attachments. While it’s the center from which we can express so much beauty, it’s also the place where we store things like resentments, grudges, and the meannesses that separate us from ourselves and others.
Sri Yukteswar once told Yogananda, “I don’t want your love. Your love stinks.”
The reality is our love stinks sometimes.
How many times do we practice “mercenary” love, or conditional love? In other words, I love you, but only if you continue to do this for me or act this way. How many times do we stop the flow of giving to the people we know and like?
A lot of the time our love stinks because our hearts become muddied by selfish desires, attachments, and those meanness like greed, jealousy, etc.
So how can we see God… how can we perceive or even express this omnipresent, unconditional love that exists… when our hearts aren’t open to receiving it?
The question “can we see God” is a question of the purity of our hearts. Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure of heart. For they shall see God.”
Our ability to purify our heart is the difference between seeing God daily, once a month, or once a year- and it’s really a matter of a few inches (from the Heart Chakra to the Spiritual eye).
The same energy that can stay stagnant in these whirlpools of suffering, is the same energy that can create our liberation. Energy is energy. It’s simply directional; it’s about the direction in which energy is flowing that determines whether we can see God or not.
The beauty of yoga is that it's practical. Even if you don’t identify with Kriya Yoga as your path, you can probably appreciate these universal principles.
1. Practice the Yamas and Niyamas
You can think of these as the dos and don’ts of right living. They were prescribed to us by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras. The Yamas are ahimsa (non-violence), asteya (non-stealing), satya (truthfulness), aparigraha (non-possessiveness), and brahmacharya (celibacy or fidelity).
The Niyamas are saucha (purity or cleanliness), santosha (contentment), tapas (self-discipline) , and svadhyaya (self-reflection) and ishvara pranidhana (surrender to a higher power).
If you practiced just one of these yamas for any period of time, it’s likely you would notice the difference in the quality of your emotions and the state of your heart.
2. Focus At The Spiritual Eye
Another tool is to literally aid the energy of the heart to rise up the spine by focusing at the spiritual eye. A lot of people are concerned about the chakras, but you can take care of many of them by learning to keep your focus on the spiritual eye. Because the spiritual eye is like a magnet, it will naturally coax the energy from the lower chakras. That’s why we emphasize keeping your gaze uplifted during meditation, but it’s also something you can practice throughout the day - whether you’re in conversation or writing a blog.
3. Practice meditation… with devotion
Most people reading this probably meditate. But it's helpful to remember that we should practice all of our techniques with full confidence that they work. Even more importantly, embrace an attitude of loving devotion. Yogananda said, “Kriya yoga plus devotion works like mathematics. It cannot fail.”
Practice meditation expecting (even demanding!) to see God. If you’re meditating and you’re not feeling love in your heart, remember the chant Today My Mind Has Dived:
“Today my mind has dived deep in thee. If I find not, I will not blame thy sea, I will find fault with my diving.”
If you’re not feeling uplifted or peaceful after your meditation, talk to someone who has been on the path a little longer. The Ananda community is a hub full of amazing souls willing to share what works with a friend!
It’s important to honor the human experience; purifying the heart isn’t for the faint of heart! In a recent blog on Bliss, Nayaswami Devi reminds us of a power mindset shift.
Renunciation in this new age requires us to be samadhi-affirming, not world-negating. Yes, you can still enjoy the things of this world; we are still in a body! But start to affirm that what you really want, above everything else, is to see God in everything and in everyone all the time.
I believe that with sincerity and effort of the heart, we can and we will see God. Divine Mother will show us the way.