There are some important questions we should all ask at some point. Who am I? What is the purpose of life? Does God exist? What happens at death? Where did I come from? Why is there suffering?
But where can I find definitive answers to these questions?
Google has become the default source of information for most people despite the overwhelming amount of material that comes up in answers to their searches. But so much of the information is incomplete or misleading. If I Google “Who am I?” I got 65 million results. “The purpose of life” returns over 330 million results, while a search on “God” or “death” returns over 2 billion results. I could give up and say that ignorance is bliss, but I want to know the truth.
Maybe the answer is somewhere in the world of Google, hidden among the billions of results. But if I do not know the truth, how will I recognize it, even if I had time to read them all? I may accept that real knowledge and truth do exist, but how do I go about accessing them? Where do I go? Who do I ask?
In the Bhagavad-Gita we are told:
Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth.Bhagavad-Gita 4:34
How do I find such a self-realized soul? It is said, “By the grace of God, one gets guru, and by the grace of guru one gets God.” If I sincerely approach the Supreme Person and ask for His help, He will bring me into contact with His transcendental representative.
I experienced this truth in my own life. In 1971, I was living on the bay fronting Sausalito, on a thirty-five-foot steel lifeboat that had been converted into a houseboat. It was a very cold winter, and the boat was like an icebox. I had left behind college and my four-year scholarship and was searching for the Absolute Truth.
One night, I approached God in sincere prayer, asking Him to lead me to someone who knew Him. Within three months, I met Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda, a self-realized soul who comes in a long line of bonafide spiritual masters.
I can approach God through sincere communication of any type, silently within my mind, out loud, or in writing. He is present everywhere, including in my own heart. He knows my thoughts, desires, and secrets, and is the witness of all my activities. I do not even have to be convinced that He is real. I can simply ask, “Please let me know You.”
The Supreme Person is my best friend and eternal well-wisher and is happy to answer my sincere plea. He arranges my life and places opportunities before me, so I can progress on the path of self-realization and God-realization if that is what I want. The truth then will appear to me, in what may seem like random events, such as my meeting with Jagad Guru all those years ago. I will also be given the ability to recognize the truth as it appears.
The Supreme Lord says, “Out of compassion for them, I, dwelling in their hearts, destroy with the shining lamp of knowledge, the darkness born of ignorance.Bhagavad-Gita 10:11
Sahadeva das is an initiated disciple of Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda who comes in a long line of bona fide yoga spiritual masters. Sahadeva das considers it his great fortune in life to have heard and learned from a self-realized soul and is humbly attempting to pass on what he has received.