Why the Gods Make Visits

Why did the gods come to visit you while you were intensively chanting Krishna’s name? I am referring to the time in Madras when Ram, Sita and Lakshman appeared before you.

Papaji: A man who is realised is higher than the gods. Why? Because the gods still have unfulfilled desires. Look at the stories of all the Hindu gods. They are all attached to beautiful women. Krishna is attached to Radha, Ram to Sita, Siva to Parvati, and so on. These gods are not enlightened because they have not given up their attachments. To remove their attachments, they come to see the people who are realised.

I often tell a story about a realised sage who fell asleep under a tree. When he woke up he found that he was surrounded by gods from the heavens. He asked why they had come to see him, and this is what one of them said.

‘We have come for your satsang. There is no satsang like this available in the heavens. Nobody there is enlightened.’

‘But I was asleep,’ said the sage. ‘I was just minding my own business, sleeping under a tree.’

‘We know,’ said the god. ‘But even as you sleep, we experience a peace with you that we cannot find anywhere in the heavens.’

This is how it is. The gods may have great powers and long lives, but they haven’t found the permanent peace of enlightenment. Enlightenment is not available in the heavens. To get it, the gods have to come back to earth and be reborn here.

There are different planes or worlds, each of which has a different set of beings. There are god-like beings in the so-called higher realms, and demonic, animal-like creatures in the lower worlds. I have visited these realms and have seen for myself what goes on there. The higher realms are beautiful places. The bodies of the beings who live there are translucent and handsome. The lower worlds seem to be full of strange, deformed creatures. I saw some with ugly, mutilated bodies: one eye, one nose and strangely-shaped trunks. Some of them were cannibals who seemed to live by eating each other. It was a horrible place, so I didn’t stay there very long.

After death one can get reborn in any of these worlds, but freedom, moksha, is only available in this realm. The gods can enjoy themselves in their heavenly realms for thousands of years, but eventually they will have to be reborn again.

Your question was, ‘Why did these gods appear before me?’ The answer is: ‘They wanted final emancipation and they knew they couldn’t get it in the heavens.’

Excerpt from Nothing Ever Happened Volume One, pages 126-127
By David Godman