By Paramahamsa Yogananda
When you stand on a mountain top and look up at a clear night sky, you see only a few thousand stars. But uncounted trillions more lie beyond your vision. If you look through a telescope, the light of distance stars takes aeons to reach the earth. space is infinite. the ordinary human mind cannot comprehend this truth. The visible universe is thus a vast personal representation of the invisible God. Everything is a part of Him, even the smallest speck of dust. In seemingly empty space there is one Link, one Life eternal, which unites everything in the universe – animate & inanimate – one wave of Life flowing through everything.
Everything in essence is the ever living Absolute who has become personal and visible to us for a time through this cosmos. It is His life permeating the universe, rotating the suns and moons and stars in mathematical order. God is visible as these created forms, yet that very visibility makes Him invisible. Therefore God is both personal and impersonal. He is the un-created Absolute, and He is manifest in His creation, peering at us through the twinkling stars, breathing on on us His sweet fragrance through the flowers, and talking to us through the Saints.
The impersonal God cannot be described or even understood by the intellect. It’s only the personal God that you can think of or worship. So long as we are identified with our own body consciousness, God will be more real to us in the personal aspect than in the impersonal. In fact, we should approach him through the visible, that is more tangible to us. For this reason are great saints are sent to us. In this way, God takes a body at will to guide and inspire us. But He cannot be confined to any one body, for that would mean He is subjected to birth & death. He would be limited not limitless. He would not be God.
In the beginning before creation, God was invisible, but he wanted to become visible, and to enjoy his infinite nature through many forms. Electricity is in the air around us, but you did not see it. Unmanifest, it is impersonal. But it’s brought into a bulb, it becomes visible, even though it is the same electricity. So it is with God. The Divine Electricity in body- bulbs are all the human beings .
Thus my God, not only remains unseen behind the stars, hidden in the sky, but he is visible right before me – God who has taken the forms of more than a billion beings on earth. But though He has made a personal representation of Himself in each human being, some reflect his light more than others. These are His great saints and avatars.
Since God is not limited to any one manifestation, it is alright to realize Him in whatever form is dearest to your heart. He will appear to you in a form representative of one of His divine attributes, such as those personified in the deities of Hindu Scriptures or as any Saint, or a great soul that you love.
Worship Him as the very essence, and love Him in manifest form as the Nearest of the near.