The Essence of Self-Realization, by Swami Kriyananda
The Eight Aspects of God
There are eight aspects in which God can be experienced: as Light, Sound, Peace, Calmness, Love, Joy, Wisdom, and Power.
To experience Him as Light during meditation brings calmness to the mind, purifying it and giving it clarity. The more deeply one contemplates the inner light, the more one perceives all things as made of that light.
To experience God as Sound is to commune with the Holy Ghost, or Aum, the Cosmic Vibration. When you are immersed in Aum, nothing can touch you. Aum raises the mind above the delusions of human existence, into the pure skies of divine consciousness.
Peace is an early meditative experience. Peace, like a weightless waterfall, cleanses the mind of all anxiety and care, bestowing heavenly relief.
Calmness is another divine experience. This aspect of God is more dynamic and more powerful than that of Peace. Calmness gives the devotee power to overcome all the obstacles in his life. Even in human affairs, the person who can remain calm under all circumstances is invincible.
Love is another aspect of God — not personal love, but Love infinite. Those who live in ego-consciousness think of impersonal love as cold and abstract. But divine love is all-absorbing, and infinitely comforting. It is impersonal only in the sense that it is utterly untainted by selfish desire. The unity one finds in divine love is possible only to the soul. It cannot be experienced by the ego.
Joy is another aspect of God. Divine joy is like millions of earthly joys crushed into one. The quest for human happiness is like looking around for a candle while sitting out of doors in the sun. Divine joy surrounds us eternally, yet people look to mere things for their happiness. Mostly, all they find is relief from emotional or physical pain. But divine joy is the blazing Reality. Before it, earthly joys are but shadows.
Wisdom is intuitive insight, not intellectual understanding. The difference between human and divine wisdom is that the human mind comes at things indirectly, from without. The scientist, for example, investigates the atom objectively. But the yogi becomes the atom. Divine perception is always from within. From within alone can a thing be understood in its true essence.
Power, finally, is that aspect of God which creates and runs the universe. Imagine what power it took to bring the galaxies into existence! Masters manifest some of that power in their lives. The expression, ‘Gentle Jesus, meek and mild,’ describes only one side of Jesus’ nature. The other side was revealed in the power with which he drove the moneychangers from the temple. Just think what magnetism it took to combat single-handedly all those men, entrenched as they were in habits and desires that had been sanctioned by ancient custom!
People are often appalled by the power they see expressed in the lives of saints. But remember, you will never find God until you are very strong in yourself. Power may exercise less appeal on your mind than other aspects of God, but it is important to realize that divine power, too, is a part of your divine nature.
Whatever aspect of God you experience in meditation, never keep it contained in the little chalice of your consciousness, but try always to expand that experience to infinity.