GOD stands inseparably by the worshipper’s Self as a charioteer to destroy spiritual ignorance. Worship does not really commence until, through a sage who has known God, the Supreme Spirit himself has not come awake in the worshipper’s Soul and taken upon himself the task of guidance from one instant to another as also of restraining and disciplining him, and escorting him safely across the incongruities of nature. At this stage God begins to command from all sides. But at the beginning, it is through an accomplished sage that he speaks. If a seeker is not fortunate enough to have such a sage as a teacher, God’s voice is only faintly audible to him.
Sri Krishn has preached in Bhagwad Geeta:
nāśayāmyātmabhāvastho jñānadīpena bhāsvatā
‘‘To extend my grace to them, I dwell in their innermost being and dispel the gloom of ignorance by the radiance of knowledge.”
The charioteer, whether he is the worshipped deity or a teacher- preceptor, or God himself, is the same. When the charioteer has awakened in the worshipper’s Self, his dictates are received in four ways.
At first there is the experience that is related to gross breath: of the infusion into it of a thought that was earlier not in it. When a worshipper sits in meditation, he is confronted with a number of questions. When is his mind going to be truly absorbed? To what extent is it already absorbed? When does his mind desire to escape from nature and when has it strayed from the path? The answers to these questions are signalled every moment by the adored God through physical reflexes. Twitching of limbs is an experience related to gross breath and it appears simultaneously at more than one point even within a moment. If the mind has deviated, these signals are transmitted minute after minute.
But these signals are received only if the devotee holds on to the form of the worshipped Godlike teacher with undeviating firmness. Reflex actions such as twitching of limbs are a much too frequent experience of ordinary beings because of the clash between their contradictory impulses, but these have nothing to do whatsoever with the signs that are transmitted to worshippers who are wholly dedicated to the sublime object of their worship.
The other experience is connected with the awakening of breath in dreams. Ordinary men dream according to their desires, but when a worshipper cleaves to God even dreams are transformed into divine instructions. Rather than dreaming, yogi perceive the act of becoming.
These two experiences are both preliminary. Association with a sage who has known reality, having faith in him, and rendering him even a token service suffice to bring about these experiences. But the two subsequent experiences of a worshipper are more subtle and dynamic, and they can be had only through active practice-only by really walking along the path.
The third experience is that of awakening into profound sleep. All of us in the world after all, as it were, lie immersed in slumber. We are but lying in a state of insensibility in the dark night of ignorance. And whatever we do, day and night, is but a dream. Profound sleep here refers to the condition that follows after the stage when the memory of God flows through the worshipper so very like a perennial stream that his vision of God is permanently fixed in the mind. This is that serene and blessed mood in which the worshipper is led gently on by his affections, and in which, while the physical breath is suspended and he is laid asleep in body, he becomes “a Living Soul.” This is the state of harmony and of deep joy in which the worshipper is blessed with an insight into the very life of things.
In such a condition the worshipped God transmits yet another signal, which manifests itself in the form of an image that is in consonance with the yogi’s prevailing mood and provides the correct direction, thus acquainting him with the past and the present. My revered teacher would quite often tell us that even like the Surgeon who first renders a patient unconscious and then cures him by the application of a suitable remedy, God-when the flame of worship is strong and steady-imbues the devotee with awareness of the state of his faith and worship to cure his spiritual sickness.
The fourth and final experience is of the spiritual awakening that leads to evenness of breath. This is the state in which the worshipper is on par with that God whose thought he has fixed his mind on as on a tangible object. This realization arises from within the Self and once this awakening has taken place, at every moment while sitting idly or up and active, the worshipper pre-visions occurrences that shall be and thus gains omniscience. This is the state, too, in which there arises a sense of oneness with the embodied Self. This final experience is generated when the darkness of ignorance is dissipated by the light of knowledge through the agency of a timeless and unmanifest sage who has awakened in his Soul.
As expounded by Swami Adgadanand Paramhans,most revered Gurudev.