To feel oneself in the presence of qualities of the formless Isvara, like knowledge, bliss and peace is the meaning of a pratyaksa or Isvara-realization.
A belief of our times is that there are different paths to obtain Isvara but the final destination of all the paths is one. This assumption is not correct. All the paths do not lead to the Isvara, and most paths end in abysses of misery. In today’s spiritual landscape, various types of worship-techniques and religious texts are gaining popularity. Different methods have been prescribed and their goals are entirely different from dharmic Isvara-realization. Therefore the different spiritual journeys and the promised destinations are not the one as promised in the axiomatic different paths one destination statement.
For Eg. some of us have the goal to reach the seventh heaven, some want to find the fourth heaven, some Paramdhama, some Aksharadhama and some are looking for gau-loka, vaikunthaloka or kailasa. Knowing this, can we now say that all the goals are one? Whatever thoughts we have sheltered in our minds, regarding beauty, success, prosperity, fame, religion, spirituality, happiness, enjoyments, love etc., we are directed likewise in our modes and means of actions to realise and prove those beliefs correct. How shall we judge whether the assumptions sheltered in our minds are true or not? If we feel paramsanti (absolute peace) within us every second, and we realise that our consciousness is rising upwards i.e. getting refined, powers is developing within us, and most importantly if the emotions begotten by, rage, greed, pride and jealousy and an exhibitionist mindset are on the decline, then we are on the correct path. We must then realize that our assumptions are true and we must work harder to realise them. Otherwise we must find a way towards more correct assumptions or beliefs.
Only the well versed in truth, with pious and pure atma, followers of dharmic virtues and yogis can realize Isvara.
Completeness of Worship
Divine action with knowledge and practice of Isvara-bhakti is the completion of worship. The knowledge alone expresses as ahamkara.
The person living only on textual knowledge makes one's personality just like a desert. He builds an artificial and imaginative personality that has dryness, vanity and falsity. That is why the completion of knowledge is by karmas (actions). Without bhakti and jnana even the karma also becomes a bondage and pretentious. This is the reason why, doing karma with viveka (discretion), one can be in the state of samadhi and mukti. The proper vision is obtained through knowledge. The application of vision should be in karma and bhakti only.
Isvara does not give a beggar but to a deserving person. There are two types of beggars - One who desires for worldly things and the second one who seeks Paramatma only. In his bowl, except Paramatma no other thing is accepted.
To be such an eligible beggar, who is ready to sacrifice everything for God, is the fulfillment of worship.
With yoga-sadhana, darsanas and satsanga with sadgurus svadhyaya of Upanisads like arsa (Rsikrta) granthas\ tapas, vairagya, karmayoga and serving others; when the inner vision awakens then soul-vision is obtained. In this condition, the practioner can see one's form in all and form of everyone in self. One experiences Brahma in everyone and Brahma-jnana relationship in all relations. This practice, devotion or Brahma-jnana and fulfillment of worship.
To be completely devoted towards svakarma without the feeling of attachment is the best worship of Paramatma.
The prayer of a devotee
We don’t ask for wealth, materialistic objects, positions and honour from Paramatma but ask for unwavering devotion because by asking thus, we shall never become sad. Lord Srikrsna tells Arjuna about the promise of Paramatma:
ksipram bhavati dharmatma sasvacchantim nigacchati.
Kaunteya pratijanahi na me bhaktah pranasyati.
If my devotee does even a little devotion, he is never perished. It is very trivial to beg for wealth and opulence from Isvara. It is like asking ration card when we meet the president.
We should never ask Isvara for positions, power, wealth or wordly things. The desires for opulence is imparted by the kind Paramatma-Paramesvara even without asking; he gives everyone according to their capacity, ability and eligibility. We should only ask - Paramatma let us perform our actions, innate quality with devotion. Oh, lord! give us only a boon not to forget you even for a second. Motivate us in such a way that we speak about your attributes. Let your hand be on our head, bless us (your children):
Mere sar par tera hi hatha rahe
Mera labjo me teri hi bata rahe
Koi muskila kabhi aye agara,
Teri rahamat mere satha rahe
Mere sar par...
Koi manjila pana he agara,
Meri raho pe teri raha rahe
Mere sar par...
Mere mehbuba tu mere pasa rahe,
Mere labjo me teri bata rahe
Mere sar par...
Rahe neki me sada mere karma,
Daman me na koi daga rahe
Mere sar par...
Sarira and Indriyas
The purpose of a being who obtains the human body is to bear the fruits of actions and realise the state of moksa.
This universe has four main types of bodies, from the perspective of gross dimensions - andaja, jarayuja, svedaja and udbhijja. From the subtler perspective of yoga, there are three types of bodies: sthula sarira (gross body), suksma sarira (subtle body) and karana sarira (causual body).
The suksma sarira has a total of eighteen tattvas - five jnanendriyas, five karmendriyas, five tanmatras, mana, buddhi and ahankara.
(Excerpted from the book Divine Transformation: Building Blocks for Englightened Life, Ideal Nation & Peaceful World by Acharya Balakrishna)