In the beyond state, God or Paramatman transcends both the individual and universal existence. Beyond form and beyond mind, He is entirely independent. You can call Him neither one nor many, for He is aloof from duality and non-duality. You cannot term Him personal or impersonal, as He cannot be bound by any quality. And yet it is He who appears as the individual soul, who exists as the universe, who plays the part of the Creator, and who manifests Himself as the Self-realized Savior.
To realize God in the Beyond-state is the eventual aim of every yoga or discipline. In order to attain to this state, various paths have been chalked out. But so much has been said and written about God-realization and "Christ-consciousness" that people are bewildered as to the right way and the immediate possibilities of its attainment. The inquiring mind, after wading laboriously through mystical and theosophical literature, only succeeds in learning some pseudo-philosophical terms that confuse and puzzle it. The highest state of consciousness is latent in all. The Son of God is in every man, but He has to be manifested.
There is a path in which the intellect tries to reach the Goal through mediation, concentration and inner sight (Jnanin Yoga); there is another path in which the heart makes tremendous efforts and tries to become one with the Almighty through the medium of emotions and feelings which culminate in Divine Love (Bhakti Yoga); there is still another path in which the spirit longs to unite with the one Indivisible Existence by means of selfless service to all (Karma Yoga). And again each of these paths have various branches, each of which, if followed to the end, may bring one to the high-road, which is but One — that leads to the Eternal Source of all life. Even in this materialistic age, a number of persons in every part of the world are making tremendous efforts to realize the Self. Some adopt sanyas,* other practice raja yoga, some renounce everything, other practice hatha yoga, some observe brahmacharya** and some seek the soul in tranquility, and others dedicate themselves to a Sadguru or Perfect Master.
No general rule or process can be laid down for the attainment of the Ultimate Reality. Generally speaking, in order to realize God or to gain the "native state" from which everything emerges, every individual has got to work out his or her own salvation, and for that matter, everybody should follow the creed of his own conscience, and choose and stick to that part which best suits his spiritual tendency, his mental attitude, his physical aptitude, and his external surroundings and circumstances.
It is not the way but the will that counts. Any religion, method, system or practice within the sphere of reason and intellect, if followed in the right spirit, can lead one to the real Path, which is above reason and intellect, and which leads one to the Ultimate Goal of humanity, viz., God-realization.
The various ceremonies and rituals, which are the part and parcel of every religion, constitute only their shadow. Dogmas, creeds and conventional ideas of heaven and hell and sin are perversions of Truth, and confuse and bewilder the mind. Rituals and ceremonies, instituted by the priest-ridden churches, have concentrated on outward forms, and have ignored the essentials of spiritual life —