From time immemorial, man has been worshipping God, either as impersonal Power or the Creator or the Base, or the personal God, Ideal, Lover, Protector, or in any other form according to his aesthetic pleasures. Simultaneously, there had been also a question as to the need of accepting a God and if He exists, the nature of such a God. Different systems of philosophies have advocated different views.
If we go back to the Vedic period and pre-Vedic period, we see that the people were worshipping the Nature as God (ādhibhautika). Then, they started worshipping the different powers behind the Nature (ādhidaivika). In the Ṛg Veda, we have hymns addressed to different deities – Indra, Varuṇa, Agni and others, glorifying each one of them. But, we can also see that they worshipped these gods either out of fear or expecting for some fortunes, health, removal of enemies etc. Then the prominence of Śiva, Viṣṇu and Brahma Trinity, as they are called, with their respective functions as destroying, protecting and creating. But when the Vedantic system and especially the Advaita gained popularity, the God was conceived as attribute-less (nirguṇa) while other systems considered God as with attributes (saguṇa).
The Sahaj Marg system of Raja Yoga meditation, currently guided by its Spiritual Master, Shri. Kamlesh D Patel, goes far beyond all these conceptualisations. Rev. Babuji Maharaj, the founder president of Shri Ram Chandra Mission (www.srcm.org) and the spiritual Guru of Sahaj Marg, has said that God is neither ‘Saguṇa’ nor ‘Nirguṇa’, but beyond both. He is what He is. In fact, Rev.Chariji Maharaj, the successor of Rev. Babuji Maharaj has pointed out many a time that the concept of God as Sat-Cit-Ānanda, as advocated by Advaitins is still at a lower level. The scriptures too support His view. The Nāsadiya Sūkta of the Ṛg Veda says, “Nāsadāsīnnosadāsīttadānīm” (“There was neither sat (existence) nor asat (non-existence) at that time) while referring to what was there in the beginning before creation.
In the Upaniṣads, we find contradictory statements: The Chāndogya Upaniṣad (6.2.1) says, “sadevasaumyaidamagraāsīt”, i.e., “Oh, dear, only existence was there in the beginning”. The same Upaniṣad (3.19.1) says, “asadevaṁidamatraāsīt”, i.e., “non-existence was there in the beginning”. Rev. Babuji Maharaj has very correctly called ‘THAT’ as ‘Non-being-Being”.
The Bhagavad gītā also supports the view of Rev. Babuji Maharaj. Lord Kṛṣṇa (II.16) says,
“nāsato vidyate bhāvo nābhāvo vidyate sataḥ
Ubhayorapi dṛṣṭo'ntas tvanayos tattvadarśibhiḥ”
(The Unreal does not have existence and the real does not cease to exist. The truth has been realised by Seers by going beyond both these).
While seeing the Cosmic form of the Lord, Arjuna (XI.37) says, “tvamakṣaraṁsadasattatparaṁyat” (“You are the Imperishable and are what is beyond Sat and Asat”). Hence, there is no room for duality when we transcend both. Therefore, Rev. Babuji Maharaj has very rightly called ‘That’ as “Non-being-Being”! Coming to the aspect of ‘Cit’, Rev. Master has said that if we accept ‘Cit’ we should accept the manas (mind). But Rev. Babuji Maharaj has said, “God is mindless”, which is reflected in the Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad (II.1.2) also “aprāṇo hi amanaḥśubhro hi akṣarātparataḥparaḥ”.
As for Ānanda (Bliss), Rev. Babuji Maharaj has pointed out that we have to transcend bliss. Therefore, the concept of Sat-Cit-Ānanda as representing the Ultimate Reality is not the final end and Sahaj Marg goes far ahead of this.
As for worshipping God as ‘Power’, Rev. Chariji Maharaj pointed out once during a discussion that “if we accept God as power, we have to accept disintegration in God, for when power is generated, there is disintegration. Hence, God will cease to be omni-pervasive. So, Sahaj Marg looks at this aspect also from a different perspective, that God is beyond power. Regarding idol worship, Rev. Babuji Maharaj and Rev. Chariji Maharaj have repeatedly pointed out the limitation of such worship. Therefore, Sahaj Marg says that God cannot be seen, heard of, touched, smelled or tasted by the organs (indriyas) – we can only experience the condition. That is why the Sahaj Marg mission prayer says “..to bring us upto that stage”. Rev. Babuji Maharaj has rightly cautioned that no one should talk of God unless he has experienced ‘That’. Further, it cannot be taught, but can only be felt by the grace of the Guru, who comes in the human form to take us all to that Base, Bhūma, Tam, Zero, Nothingness, otherwise known as God or Brahman. Hence, we say that “Guru is God”.