You need to understand, living with your chosen ideal is called “Ishta Nishta”, “Leela Dhyana”. I have seen so many people, ordinary village men in India, living with their chosen ideal and living the highest enlightened life without even knowing the words integrity, authenticity, responsibility and enriching and all that! Without knowing any of these words, they are radiating, radiating enlightenment!
I tell you, just this one truth, ishta nishta and leela dhyana, made millions of Indian villagers enlightened! Millions of Indian villagers practice the presence of God. Understand! What you are doing? Unknowingly you are practicing the presence of God!
The western world kids are taught to live with Barbie dolls or cartoons they see on TV. Fortunately, God saved me! I was born in a village of South India, in this great civilization, civilization of Bharat. From a young age, I was living and practicing the presence of God.
See, what I understood about Ganesha at the age of three, and what I understand about Ganesha now is different. But that understanding at the age of three only has led me to this understanding. If I was too busy with Mickey Mouse, Tom and Jerry at the age of three, I would have been disillusioned at the age of thirteen that Tom and Jerry doesn’t exist. But I would not have reached any higher understanding. Because I started living with Ganesha at the age of three, even at the age of thirty-five I have higher understanding of Ganesha which has led me to higher and higher planes of existence. Ishta Nishta and Leela Dhyana, practicing the presence of God, living with God!
Please understand! I need to tell you, practicing the presence of God I myself did in my life. I carried the photograph of Shri Ramakrishna from the age of thirteen till the age of twenty-two, practicing his presence continuously. Continuously! Whole day! I tell you, practicing the presence of God is one of the most powerful methods to make you authentic and integrated. Practicing the presence of God is one of the most powerful and integrated methods for becoming enlightened.
Listen! I have defined leela dhyana. Leela dhyana means, being lost in the pastimes of the Guru or God. With God one thing is that you may not be directly involved in the whole leela. So you have to remember, remember and try to practice. With Guru, you are directly part of it. So, you don’t need to try to remember. Remember; he will be remembering you! He will be remembering you! This is called leela dhyana. Even if you are afraid he is going to fire you is leela dhyana. Then practicing the presence of God is constantly feeling you are with him, he is with you.
Practicing the presence of God is the greatest, most powerful technique to put you in bhava samadhi immediately. Ramakrishna did it. Ramana Maharshi practiced it. Even the great agnostic, atheist, enlightened beings like J. Krishnamurthi practiced it. If you read the biography of J. Krishnamurthy, from the young age he was trained to practice the presence of the higher power.