People of the present generation have come to believe that it is not possible to achieve oneness with God while being a family person. Because of this myth, many in the present generation do not venture in this direction even though they would like to. To commence their spiritual journey, they keep waiting for an opportune time, when they would be free of their worldly responsibility. The worldly duties and responsibilities however, never cease, and their whole life is spent in this never-ending wait.
In reality, oneness with God can be achieved by a family person, as well as a person who has renounced the world, although the rules and means of accomplishing this are different for the two groups.
If we look at history, we will find that most of our saints like Rishi Shaunak, Angira, Vyas and many others were family men. If living in a family would have been incompatible with spiritual progress, then how could they have achieved salvation and left a mine of supreme knowledge for us? Several saints of the modern times like saint Ramanuj and Ballabh Swami were also family men.
It appears that the practice of renouncing the world started during the time of Lord Buddha. Later it was also practiced by swamis Shankaracharya and Gorakhnath.
From that time, this practice has been imprinted so strongly on people’s hearts, that they started strongly believing that such renunciation is a prerequisite for spiritual progress and enlightenment.
Spiritual practices taught by saints always take into account the social environment and the lifestyle prevalent at that time. It is possible that the practice of renouncing the world to realize God, was needed at the time when it was prescribed but this has become largely outdated in today’s world in which people live under different circumstances and under much different constraints.
A person harboring internal worldly desires related to family, children, wealth, comforts etc, could be living as a family man in a household, or as an ascetic in a cave, but both of them have not actually renounced the world. On the other hand, a person who is living as a family man, but is not internally attached to material things, who is always dependent on his guru or God for all his worldly workings, who shuns his ego and remains thankful to his guru and God during all favorable and unfavorable circumstances, has actually internally renounced the world, and is sure to progress spiritually.
Internal renunciation of desires is therefore all important, which has little to do with the fact whether we are physically living as a family person, or in a remote jungle.
No special preparation is needed to realize God. You can achieve it in whatever phase or circumstance of life you are currently in. Even an unprincipled, sinful person can realize God as long he has a strong internal desire to do so; a desire similar to the fish’s yearning for water on being taken out of it.
God is present everywhere, in our households as well as in deep forests and everywhere in between. He is always right next to you. You have to open your eyes and experience him in every object and every action of yours. The moment you develop a true yearning for him, the moment you shed a few tears in his memory, he will appear before you. You have to call for Him with all your heart, thinking that he is always right next to you. He listens to everybody and protects everyone. He has nowhere to go other than being in the midst of people who truly remember him.
Make it your second nature to always keep him in your thoughts. Once you develop such a mindset then it does not matter whether you are a family man, or a person who has renounced everything, your name will appear on the list of people he really likes. And one day he will decide to remove all the curtains and appear before you in all his glory.
People always complain that it is difficult for them to remember God all the time. They complain that if they are not completely focused on their jobs and profession, they run the risk of underperforming at work. To an extent such people are right. Every person cannot do this. There is no harm in focusing all your energy and concentration in to your work while you discharge your duties relating to your job or profession. You can forget God at that time.
But even while working and several times during the day there are situations or breaks when you have nothing to do. They may be only a couple of minutes here and there, but you should devote those to remembering your God or Guru. At such times you should rid your mind of other thoughts, and think that your God or Guru is in front of you. His light is all around you and you are experiencing peace and bliss emanating from him. A person who devotes his free time to the remembrance of his God or guru with true devotion, is sure to succeed. It is not possible that his God or Guru will not listen to him.
If you take one step towards him he will take 100 steps towards you, if you call him once, he will call you a 100 times. Our God or Guru is our father. He cannot tolerate his child’s misery. He is forever devoted to you as long as you seek and pray for his help.
Translated from Sadhan Ke Anubhav written by Guru Maharaj, Dr. Chaturbhuj Sahay Ji, by Sanjiv Kumar.