Why does not God physically appear
THIS IS A COLLECTED LIST OF INTERVIEWS AND TALKS BY THE SRINGERI ACHARYALS ON VARIOUS RELIGIOUS TOPICS DURING THE 1990’S. THEY WERE PUBLISHED IN “THE HINDU” NEWSPAPER.
"Why does not God physically appear in front of us?" is a question some people ask. The reply is that we all believe that there is nothing which is impossible for Him. Such being our faith, if He were to present Himself before us, will anyone allow Him to go back to His abode?
None of us will spare even a distinguished person should he visit us; we would pester him with our demands for material needs. Hence, if God were to reveal His form, some among us may even force Him to bring heaven to our place before He leaves. Still, it can be said that He may decide to appear before humans.
God had shown His divine form to a few well-merited persons. Why not He then grant His vision to all of us? It is because that our spiritual practice differs from that of the sages.
The latter had performed penance, spent time in meditation and were tolerant towards both heat and cold. So are some amongst us. But the fruit obtained is different. How can this discrepancy be explained?
The God-realized personalities who observed austerities and other types of rigorous spiritual exercises did so only to get rid of all belongings whereas ours is for the fulfillment of the desires lurking in our minds. They remained insulated from the pairs of opposites but our plight is entirely different.
The sages did not care for worldly comforts. Their aim was to behold the Lord. They meditated on His forms, while our thoughts are invariably about gaining pecuniary advantages. All these reasons account for the difference in results according to Sri Bharathi Theertha Mahaswamigal, Head of the Sringeri Sarada Peetam.
"We should also try and emulate their ways" the Acharya adds, in one of his lectures. It is wrong to offer worship to God for the fulfillment of our desires. Trying to gratify them will be in vain, resulting in misery, because they will multiply. If we sincerely take steps to eradicate our wants and spend our time in striving to behold the Lord, we too can witness His glorious forms.
Worshiping God with devotion is the greatest virtue. The devotion displayed by us should not be for mere show. Even when thrown amidst penury, Kuchela did not express to Lord Krishna (both were classmates) any of his needs. But Kuchela turned into a Kubera in a trice due to the Lord's grace. Hence all our good deeds should be aimed at pleasing Him.
The scriptures point out that the Lord graces a person by inducing appropriate thoughts in his mind, which will enable him to achieve success in his activities.