Ishaavaasyam idam sarvam - God Omnipresent
"Ishaavaasyam idam sarvam yat kim ca jagatyam jagat
tena tyaktena bhunjithaah maa gridhah kasyasvid dhanam"
first mantra of the Ishavasya Upanishad:
The entire universe is indwelt, enveloped, covered by the Supreme Being;
Live a happy life in this world. Enjoy your existence; do not suffer.
an interview published in INDIA New England News – Chinmaya Mission,
Boston (June 1, 2003) (page 6 of the pdf
(http://media.collegepublisher.com/media/paper549/documents/60e6n63f.pdf ) Swami Chinmayananda explained the meaning lucidly thus:
This positive state of harmony and peace, which can be invoked by an intelligent person of will and courage, is called God.
He is present everywhere --
as the raga in the music, or
the canvas in a painting.
He is the warp and woof of the entire tapestry of life,
as the thread in a piece of cotton.
We must have
the ears to listen to the raga,
the understanding to see the canvas, and
the knowledge to recognize the thread in the cloth.
The hurried existence of busy
diverts our attention, and we consequently
fail to see, hear, or know Him. ……….
We can do no better than sing in chorus with Hans Denk:
'Oh my God,
how does it happen in this poor old world that
Thou art so great and yet nobody finds Thee,
Thou callest so loudly and nobody hears Thee,
Thou art so near and yet nobody feels Thee,
Thou givest Thyself to everybody
and yet nobody even knows Thy name?
Men flee from Thee
and say they cannot find Thee;
Men turn their backs
and say they cannot see Thee;
Men cover their ears
and say they cannot hear Thee.'
Tamil Saint Tirumoolar explained in his Tirumanthiram
how our individual perceptions hide
with this example of a child playing with an elephant-figure carved out of wood:
maRaiththadhu maamadha yaanai
The child played ecstatic with his elephant proud,
paar-mudhal-bhootham = earth etc. the (five) elements = prithvi, aapah, tejas, vaayu, akaasha = earth, water, fire, air and space.
A wild elephant carved out of wood might look very real. A closer scrutiny reveals that though it resembles an elephant in shape, it is made of wood only and is life-less. Similarly, study of the scriptures and cogitation in the mind will reveal to us that this world which appears to be made of the five elements is really made of the timber called the Paramatman; we must learn to look upon all this as the Supreme God-head.
Thirumoolar says in this poem that because of our being accustomed to seeing the five elements (pancha bhootas) all the time, we must not forget to see the Paramatman that is hidden within them. We must recognize that it is indeed He who pervades them, learn to see Ishwara in everything and develop the Upanishadic perception: Isavasyam idam sarvam .
Upanishads perceived Life as Ful, Bliss as pervading the entire world and and
named the experience: sat chit ananda.
the Buddha, however, perceived suffering as all pervading in our experiential world and stated this as his 'First Noble Truth'.
Shraddha (faith), Bhakti (love of the all-pervading
God) and Karma Yoga (action) practiced with detachment (vairagya)
will help us to progress on the path to satchitananda.
Since God is Blisssful
existence principle, the Dweller in all beings (Vaasudeva)
the assertion that 'Life is full of Bliss' is a corollary to the statement that God is Omnipresent;
this is implied in the following Gita Slokam YI-30:
He who perceives Me in all
and perceives all in Me,
to him I am not lost and
he too is not lost to me
Search for God
The experience of one who, not knowing this great truth about the omnipresence of God,
searched for Him in many places and missed Him -- is vividly illustrated in the following pictures:
The man whispered: "God, speak to me"
and the meadowlark sang.
But the man did not hear!
So the man yelled: God, speak to me.
And God rolled the thunder across the sky.
But the man did not listen!
He looked around and said, "God, let me see you."
And a star shined brightly.
But the man did not see!
And, he shouted, "God, show me a miracle."
And a life was born!
And yet again, the man did not notice!
So, he cried out in despair,
"God, touch me."
Whereupon, God reached down and gently touched the man.
But the man brushed the butterfly away ....
and walked on, disappointed.
He could not see God anywhere,
because he could not see Him everywhere
and in all beings.
The ego in the un-evolved person,
is a rebel that has exiled itself from its native kingdom, the Self.
On re-discovery of the Self, the ego becomes the Self
in such a happy blending of a homogeneous whole that
thereafter, there is no distinction between the ego and the Self.
Such a realized person experiences God in many ways:
in the chirping of the birds,
in the roll of the thunder,
in the twinkling light of the stars,
in the miracle of the birth of a child,
and in the soft touch of a butterfly.
He sees God everywhere
and experiences God in everything.
He sings in tune with the Isavasya Upanishad mantra:
Isaavasyam idam sarvam
The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad narrates the story of Lord Prajapati
instructing the Devas (gods), the Naras (humans) and the Asuras (demons):
When they were confused and approached him for advice,
He sent the thunder pealing forth with the sound DA, DA, DA.
The Devas understood ‘DA’ to
mean daamayata - 'control yourselves',
since they were lost in the pleasures of heaven..
The Naras understood it as datta - 'give',
since they were acquisitive and selfish by nature.
And the asuras got the meaning dayadhvam - 'be compassionate',
since they were by nature cruel.
We can constantly listen to the DA-DA-DA sound that our heart sends forth and
imbibe Prajapati's lesson of Self-control, Sharing and Compassion
so that we may feel the presence of God always and near to us.
You may worship a picture as God but not God as a picture.
You can elevate a piece of stone, a piece of mud, or a bit of paper to the position of God and worship it,
but do not bring down God to the position of a piece of stone, or a bit of paper. Ramakrishna
......... it has been said: "Eswara
Sarva Bhutanam" - that is, Eswara is present in all things;
you may thus think of a stone as Eswara, but not Eswara as a stone.
Others may argue that we worship a stone and imagine it to be God.
The correct interpretation is that we are accustomed to believing that God is present in everything in this world.
Therefore, we worship the tulasi leaves, the cow, the ashvattha tree, the lion, the tiger, the snake and in fact all the creation in this world,
because God is present in everything in this world. ....... we should not think that we are doing this in blind faith.
The Upanishads speak of Satyakama Jabala who told his Master after a
long stay in the forest
that he was taught by a bull, a swan, a bird, and the fire when he was all alone in the forest tending to the cattle.
The guileless boy heard the voice of God, no matter where it came from, and became enlightened!
The Lord is always attempting to communicate with us in many ways.
We have to still the constant noise in our mind to be able to hear Him speak to us:
He whispers as the wind,
murmurs through the leaves
and shouts as the thunder.
Through the firmament, He teaches universality;
through the blowing air, the message of ceaseless work;
through the mountain, the co-existence of muteness and greatness;
and through the flowing river, the need to move on.