God is a Friend of All Beings – Jnanananda Bharati
He attains peace who knows Me as the friend of all beings, as the enjoyer of all sacrifices and penances, and as the Overlord of the entire universe. (Bhagavad Geeta V:29)
If our conception of God is a terrible entity of whom we have to be constantly afraid, there can be no peace or happiness, as the element of fear, a state of unpleasant unrest, will be present. God has, therefore, to be accepted as a friend, well-wisher, deeply interested in our welfare. If we have the confident belief that we have such a friend in God, there is no need to tell him about our wants as he is omniscient and knows what it is good for us, and is sure to look after our welfare without any request from us.
As God is omnipotent, that is no need to doubt his ability to help us in every way. As he is omnipresent, we have no need to seek him out elsewhere than in our own marks hearts where He is ever present, regulating every thought wave of ours. In fact, he is even in our stomach looking after the digestion of the food we send there.
Having become(the fire), I abide in the body of beings, associated with prana and apana, digest the fourfold food. (Geeta XV: 14).
If we recognize the existence of such a friend, it will give us strength and mental equilibrium, which are quite necessary for a state of peace.
But it is only proper to remind ourselves that though God is certainly our friend, he is not only our friend but the friend of all created beings. If we think of hurting any other being, he will remind us that he is a friend of that being also. If we persist in injuring that being, he himself will turn against us as he has to befriend that being. Thus if we contemplate to do any harm to any other being, you will not only be forfeiting his friendship but will invest him with the character of an enemy of whom we have to be afraid.
It is not necessary for that being to call upon God to befriend him against the injury contemplated by us. The mere contemplation, being known to God who is seated in our heart itself, is sufficient to discredit us in his eyes. If the other person is a devotee who has surrendered himself entirely to God, the injury contemplated will automatically rebound on ourselves. If we bear in mind therefore that he is the friend of all, we cannot possibly cause or contemplate any harm or fear to any being and this necessarily leads to a state where nobody else can cause or contemplate any harm or fear to us. The result will be a state of peace and happiness.
As he it Is the Overlord of all created beings, he cannot be partial to anyone to the detriment of any other. If he is partial, he cannot be the friend of all. To be impartial, he has necessarily to be just and can never swerve from the strict standards of Right. If we repose confidence in such a friend, we also must be very careful that we do not violate that standard, for any violation will only result in our forfeiting his friendship with the inevitable loss of peace and happiness.
Here is a very healthy and practical recipe which the sage Patanjali prescribes, and which can be easily and profitably used for maintaining our mental equilibrium even in our daily intercourse with others amongst whom we have to live.
People are generally happy or miserable in their experiences, are virtuous or sinful in their actions. Thus the people with whom we come into contact may be conceived of as falling into four classes; (i) the happy, (ii) the miserable, (iii) the virtuous, and (iv) the sinful.
Patanjali says that if you think of all happy people as your own, if you’ll extend your pity to all miserable people, if you evince your commendation of the virtuous, and if you ignore the sinful by your indifference, none of these can generate in you any feelings which can disturb your peace of mind. Therefore, the mind will be pure, clear, and restful and consequently capable of full receptiveness toward Truth.
Sri Jnanananda Bharati