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Work until the Earth is Godly || On Advait Vedanta (2019)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
5 min
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Questioner (Q): So far I have asked so many questions, and patiently you have answered all. I have made sincere efforts to walk in the direction shown by you as much as possible. Now, no question bugs me except the same old one: What do I do to go to God’s place? Whatever I do seems to increase the restlessness and the thirst. I feel as if I am somewhere hanging between the earth and the sky. Sorry for being a laggard student troubling you always.

Acharya Prashant (AP): You are asking, “What do I do to go to God’s place?” God does not have any place; you have a place. God has no place. When the Saints talk of God’s abode or God’s country, they don’t literally mean it, do they?

So, God has no place; specifically, God has no particular place, which means these places that you see all around you are all God’s places—potentially. Potentially, every place is God’s place, provided the one living in that place, the one at the center of that place, is Godly.

You will have to work in this Earth, upon this Earth with Godliness in your heart, and then this Earth itself will be God’s place. With Godliness in your heart, work on this Earth, and then you will find that God’s territory is here. But work you must. Otherwise, the potentiality will remain just potentiality; earth will just remain potentially God’s place, not actually.

A lot of hard work is needed, not so much to change the Earth but first of all to change yourself. If you are changing, parallely, concurrently you will start seeing a change in the Earth. The more your inner self becomes Godly, the more this Earth will appear Godly to you, like God’s place.

Work. You must know what the characteristics of Godliness are, right? You know of saccidānanda (existence-consciousness-bliss). So, you see around you—when I say around you, I mean the physical territory around you—whether there is sat , whether there is chit , whether there is ānanda , and if there is not, work; work hard to bring these about.

You know the characteristics of Godliness. You know of freedom, you know of Truth, you know of simplicity, you know of love, you know of non-violence. Look at the world around you. Do you find these prevailing? If not, then work. Work very hard to bring them to Earth. This very Earth, I said, can be hell, or potentially it can be God’s place, heaven. Depends on you. But then, don’t be confused. When I say change the Earth, I repeat, that the change that you see in the Earth would always be commensurate with the change that is happening inside you.

Work. Wherever you see filth, wherever you see darkness, that’s where your work lies. Fight it, dispel it. There is no other way.

Darkness is what is shrouding the light. Man believes so much in his own places that he is missing God’s place. You cannot reach God’s place by avoiding the Earth or escaping the Earth; there is no vehicle to launch you into the outer space. God does not live elsewhere; either He would be here, or nowhere. And you will have to dig Him out here. Work is needed. You will have to carve Him out here. Work is needed. God potentially exists here. It’s like stones potentially exist here, but the deity has to be carved out. Work is needed. Cleanliness potentially exists even in the filthiest of places, doesn’t it? But the filth has to be broomed out. So, work is needed.

Q: I was reading Ashtavakra, and it was written there that sādhana (practice) needs to be done, and on another page it was written that you have already arrived. So, there is confusion.

AP: Sādhana needs to be done to reach a stage where you can see that you have already arrived. Without sādhana you will never know that you have already arrived. Without sādhana , are you ever in rest? The common man undertakes no *sādhana*—how is he? Restless. Does he ever believe that he has finally, ultimately, irrevocably arrived?

So, the faith that one has arrived is not really common among human beings. What is usual and common? That we have not arrived, this belief. What do you usually find among human beings? The belief that one has not arrived and that there is a fair distance to go. Sādhana is needed to rid oneself of this misplaced and painful belief.

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