manusim tanum asritam
param bhavam ajananto
mama bhuta-mahesvaram 9.11
In this verse Krishna tells Arjuna - Fools deride Me when I descend in the human form. They do not know My transcendental nature and My supreme dominion over all that be.
Now I know how true the words of Krishna are! During the last one and a half year, when I talk about Swami Nithyananda to people or when I showed His videos, I have seen quite a few people who say, 'Nah, I don't get the idea of worshipping a human...'
There are people who are strong believers of God, who go to temples/church/mosque, who do all kinds of Vedic rituals at their place. They have strong faith in the power of the idols. But you say one word about a living enlightened master, they run away from you.
This has been happening from the time of Krishna, otherwise why would Krishna say that in Bhagvat Gita. As recently as the 19th/20th century, the world saw one of the greatest enlightened masters - Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. When He was alive, people thought He was a mad man; they said He was acting when Ramakrishna used to enter into ecstasy with the mention of the word Kali. Now, after a hundred years, people throng his ashrams around the world. Every Vijaya Dashami when Goddess Kali is worshipped, people go to the nearest Ramakrishna Ashram.
To these very same people if you talk about a living enlightened Master like Swami Nithyananda, I have seen how they started speculating - 'I can believe Ramakrishna is God; He is enlightened. How can this living person be enlightened?'
We are very comfortable with a stone idol being called as God; we are ready to bathe in the holy rivers; we are happy to see and worship a person physically not present. But, we just cannot accept another living person as God or some Supreme Soul or some Supreme Power... whatever you want to call it.
Why? Why can't we associate the word God with a living person? The answer is simple. Our ego! Our ego does not allow us to accept anything else as more supreme than itself. It is ready to accept a stone idol as God, a dead person as God because it thinks it can back off when the same idol asks it to surrender in return. That faith to an idol is not wrong. That devotion is not wrong at all. Ramakrishna became enlightened because of His strong devotion to a 6 feet Kali idol. But Ramakrishna surrendered Himself completely. He had such a craving for Kali that for a glimpse of Her, he was ready to behead himself.
In the name of rituals and pooja, whatever we are doing is just a farce because our ego is still solid. How many times have we completely immersed ourselves in ritual? We cannot accept a living person as God because of the same reason. When we surrender to a living enlightened person, our ego is scared that it will be killed.
Because it knows, that is precisely what a Master would do - Kill Ego...
Shankaracharya, an enlightened master who was exponent on Advaithic (non-duality) philosophy, says in his Vivekachudaamani,
Manushyatvam Mumukshutvam Maha-purushasamsrayah.
which means, the three things that are most difficult to obtain are - a human birth, desire for liberation and the company of a living enlightened Master.
And when such an opportunity is placed right in front of us, we do not recognize it. Instead we think, 'how I wish I was born during the time of Krishna' People used to go and tell Ramakrishna exactly this. Ramakrishna used to tell them, that same Krishna is in front you. And today many tell our Master 'how nice it would have been if I could sit at the feet of Ramakrishna...'
Swami Nithyananda says jovially, 'the grandfather when alive was outside the house, in the out-house; when he died, he was brought inside the house, inside the God's room!'
Our ego is continuously finding different ways to escape from dissolving and in this process, we have been missing living enlightened masters all along. We have either missed them due to our ignorance or mistook them to be just humans.
Mind you, if you have a chance, better grab it; otherwise you never know how many more births you have to take before you find a living enlightened master again.