‘Yoga’ — The Only Means To Achieve Divine Transformation

Isvara
Klesa karmavipakasay airaparamrstaha purusa visesa Isvaraha.
(Yoga sutra-1.24)

This verse explains that Isvara is free from the klesas or obstructions (due to avidya or ignorance, there occurs five obstructions or panchaklesa), actions (auspicious and non-auspicious, vipaka (birth and death etc. and karmaphala (fruits of action) and vasanas (deep seated desires).

Isvara does not possess attributes like appearance, color, mass or form. This is the reason Isvara is considered to be nirguna (unbounded by limitable qualities or attributes).

Isvara is the Lord of the prakrti, living beings, the creation and moksa.

Vedic texts mention various names of Isvara like Paramatma, Brahma, Parameshvara, atma, bhagvana, Parampita and Parampada etc. ‘Aum’ is the prime personal name of Paramatma. As the Vedas say — ‘Aum krato smara’. This makes it is clear that ‘Aum’ is the oldest word since the beginning of this creation. It is universal and scientific, as it constitutes the fabric of the universe. After intensive research on the scientific effects of ‘Aum’ it was found that Aum is a sacred, scientific and therapeutic word. It is not the exclusive symbol of any idol or an icon belonging to any particular tradition or religion, say Hinduism. That’s why in Vedic as well as across many countries and almost all religions and philosophies, cultures and traditions, the word ‘Aum’ is oft spoken as Amen/omen etc.

Various beliefs, sects and religious communities have different names for Isvara. In the Islamic religion, Isvara is called as Allaha, Khuda, Parvardigara and Maula etc. In Christianity, He is called Isvara, Lord, Almighty etc. In Sikhism he is called Akalapurusa, Vahe Guru Rab and Aunkara etc. In Persian religion, He is known as Ahurmazda etc.

Jews call Him Jihova. In China and Far-East they call Him Tao, Dao etc. Innumerable names are used to invoke Isvara. The knowledge of Isvara always remains in perfect balance, that is, it does not decrease-increase according to the changing Universe, or for that matter, the changing fortunes of men. It remains forever true and is never false. The omnipresent Isvara in his infinite potential has preserved this world (earth) and the world beyond (universe) within Himself.

The characteristic of Parameshvara is that he remains delightfully absorbed in bliss. There in no nullity or vacuum or flaws in him. He does not require any physical subtances.

Isvara wants that the living beings to follow our duties, as prescribed by him, to be happy and march on the path of mukti or moksa. By studying the Vedas and gathering knowledge of his qualities, actions and nature we can find more about his commands.

The living being can not collect the fruit of action completely by oneself, as it is dependent upon Isvara. Isvara decides to bestow the fruit of action, fully or partially, as he deems fit, at once or many times, whenever it is judged best for the being in his omniscience.

The diverse personal faiths of humanity are divided amongst many religions, sects, beliefs, or religious systems. We as a people have faith on the highest deity of all faiths, and consider him as one, the supreme father. We do not wish to mis-identify humanity as geographically and nationally divided followers of various deities, teachers and Isvaras.

We are not atheists but theists. We worship the one who is conscious and consciousness itself, is righteous, accomplished, and forever devoid of the five sins of violence, material enjoyments, falsity, intoxication and immorality. We worship and desire. His affinity and nearness by whose strength this world is working like a flawless machine.

Isvara is realised not by offering leaves, flowers, fruits or gifts but with feelings. These feelings are most unlike agitation, mania or imagination. They stand the test of truth. He tests the truth of our feelings and observes our sacrifices, restraints, righteousness and behaviour.

We are Isvara’s children. Isvara is the combination of three attributes truth, consciousness and bliss). He is formless, almighty, justifiable, kind, unborn, endless, invariable, eternal, pure and creator. That Isvara should be worshipped. He is the mother and father of all.
(Excerpted from the book Divine Transformation: Building Blocks for Englightened Life, Ideal Nation & Peaceful World by Acharya Balakrishna)