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  Divine Forms and Abodes of One God  

Sanatan Dharm - Part III of III
The Divine Forms and Abodes of One God

Click here to read Part I - What is Sanatan Dharm?
Click here to read Part II - God and His Path of Attainment are Both Eternal

One should not get confused about the celestial gods. Celestial gods are only the sattvic manifestations of maya. There are 33 main gods. Out of them 8 are important: Indra, Brihaspati, Kuber, Surya (sun god), Varun (god of water), Agni (god of fire), Vayu (god of air) and Prajapati; and out of eight, two are prominent: Indra and Prajapati. Brahma is the supreme authority in the celestial world and he is the creator of our brahmand. These gods have in no way any relation to devotion to the supreme God.

There are mainly six forms of the same one single God that reveal and represent
: His knowledge, His vision and Bliss, and His Divine love. They are termed as: chit shakti, the power of knowledge; sandhini shakti, the power of almightiness which also has Blissfulness; and hladini shakti, the power of affection or the Bliss of Bliss whose efflorescence is called ‘Divine love.’ In general, all the forms of God are the form of Bliss with Their special characteristics.

All the six forms of God relate to these three powers and every form of God has His own Divine dimension or abode called lok. These forms and Their abode are: (1) Nirakar brahm (the formless aspect of God that represents only the knowledge aspect or the chit shakti of God). This Divine existence, where all the liberated souls of Gyanis and Yogis enter, is called brahm drav. It is also called avyakt shaktik brahm, which means that it is such an aspect of God where all of His Divine attributes and virtues are in an absolutely dormant state; that’s why it remains formless (nirakar). (2) God Vishnu, (3) God Shiv, and (4) Goddess Durga. The abode of all the three forms of God is collectively called Vaikunth (or param vyom) and it is the form of sandhini shakti. These are the almighty forms of God. (5) God Ram, His abode is called Saket, and (6) God Krishn, He has three abodes, Dwarika, Golok and Vrindaban. Bhagwan Ram and Krishn are the Divine love forms of God, whereas Bhagwan Ram reveals the modest form of Divine love mixed with almightiness, and Bhagwan Krishn reveals and represents the intimate, more intimate, and the most intimate forms of His Divine love in His three abodes (respectively). These four abodes are related to hladini shakti, the Divine love power.

These are thus the six forms of the same one single God. There are some more forms of God which are mentioned in the scriptures, like: Ganesh, Kartikeya, Gauri, Kali, Nav Durga, Saraswati etc. All of these forms are the affiliates of the almighty forms of God of Vaikunth abode, God Vishnu, God Shiv, or Goddess Durga.

This philosophy of the forms of God and His abodes has been extensively described in the scriptures in various ways and in thousands and thousands of verses. We have compiled, consolidated and reconciled the whole philosophy and kept it here in an easily understandable form.

Sometimes some people leisurely ask that the other religions of the world have only one God, why then the Hindu religion have more than one form of God? First thing you should know is, that such questioners are just casual talkers. They are not interested in knowing God, because, if they really want to know, they could properly study our religion and find out the greatness of and the depth of the descriptions of God in our scriptures. However, the answer is that the other religions of the world either have ‘no true Divine God’ or have only adopted the ‘impersonal aspect of God.’

‘No true Divine God’ means that although some religions use the word God in the tenets of their religious books but the ‘concept of God’ whatever they have is only a vague mythology derived on the intellectual grounds of the first promoters of that religion. So the ‘word’ God is there in their religion, but it does not relate to the true Divine God; and some religions of the world mention God only in an impersonal (nirakar) form. But in Hindu religion, the Sanatan Dharm, there is a detailed and complete philosophy of God from nirakar brahm to the most loving form of God, Krishn.

So the one and the same Gracious God eternally appears in various forms of His Divine dignity and Divine lusciousness Who is approachable through bhakti, which evokes His Grace that reveals any of the forms of God, whatever a devotee desires.

Kinds of Divine liberation.

Liberation from the eternal bondage of maya is not the outcome of any amount of good karm or spiritual practice or devotion. Sincere, honest, humble, dedicated and correct practice of meditation or devotion or selfless good karm only evolves the sattva gun and purifies the heart of the doer. On the perfect purification of the heart, which happens with selfless bhakti, the gyani or bhakt devotee receives God realization and then he is liberated from the bondage of maya. The liberation is primarily of two kinds: (1) Gyani Saint’s liberation, and (2) Bhakt Saint’s liberation. Gyani Saint’s liberation is a nonexperiential state called kaivalya mokch, but Bhakt Saint’s liberation is an absolute experience of the Divine Bliss of the Divine abode of the form of God he has worshipped. The Bhagwatam (3/29) details the states of a Bhakt Saint’s liberation.

The mind of a gyani or yogi Saint (after his death) is terminated and his soul joins the nirakar Divinity called brahm drav. His personal identity is permanently terminated and his soul enters an absolutely no-experience (kaivalya) state forever; whereas the mayic mind of a Bhakt Saint (upon God realization) is instantly replaced with the Divine mind and the Divine senses of that form of God which he has realized. Thus, his material identity is replaced with the Divine identity (body, mind and senses), and, with this Divine body (after his death) he enters the Divine abode of his beloved God (which is omnipresent) and perceives and enjoys the absolute Bliss of that abode forever. This is the liberation of a Bhakt Saint. Thus, a Vishnu Bhakt goes to Vishnu’s abode, Shiv Bhakt goes to Shiv’s abode and Durga Bhakt goes to Durga’s abode, and so on. All of these abodes of the almighty forms of God are collectively called the Vaikunth abode. A Ram Bhakt goes to Saket and a Krishn Bhakt goes to Krishn’s abode. If he has worshipped Dwarikadhish Krishn, he goes to Dwarika abode; if he has worshipped Krishn of Golok, he goes to Golok abode; and if he has worshipped Radha Krishn or Krishn of Vrindaban, he goes to Vrindaban abode.
Every Bhakt Saint enjoys the unlimited Bliss of the Divine abode he is in, in its absoluteness. However, the lusciousness and the enchanting fascination of the Divine Bliss progressively goes on increasing in an absolute fashion from Vaikunth to Vrindaban abode. Thus, one single Divine Bliss appears in a number of unimaginably amazing forms.

God is equally omnipresent with all of his forms and abodes.
Nirakar brahm is also omnipresent.

An artistic representation of all the six Divine dimensions.
An artistic representation of all the six Divine dimensions.

Click here to read Part I - What is Sanatan Dharm?
Click here to read Part II - God and His Path of Attainment are Both Eternal
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