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There Is No Impersonal God

Suppose you think of God as an impersonal Entity; if you close your eyes, what do you think? At best, you will be thinking of space, infinite space, and even then you have no idea what infinity is. Or you will think of God as light, as love, as life, as purity, and so on. What is this? God is light. What will you think? What do you mean by light? Is it like an electric light in your room? You will think of some light; you will think of some human love, some human feeling. And as soon as you think of human feelings, or even light, you will forget that you think in terms of symbols.

You feel, in your pride, that you are thinking of the impersonal God, but when you think of God as light, God as infinity, God as love, at once you think in terms of symbols. You do exactly what others are doing only you think that you are superior.

And you are pursuing a path for which you are not fit. There are persons who are fit, but not most of those persons who think in that way. We all think in terms of symbols, because we are simply symbols. Each man is a symbol of certain ideas; he is here on this earth to fulfil certain ideas in this life. When these ideas are fulfilled, his life is finished, and he takes up another life. So we, ourselves, are symbols of certain ideas.

When you think of God, also, whom you worship God, you must use certain forms which are called symbols. All religious worship makes use of certain symbols. Some religious persons will think, ‘No. These are not symbols. That is idolatry.’ But they forget they are doing the same thing, only unknowingly, and not in a systematic way. Since we cannot think, except in terms of symbols, let us do it systematically.

Why, our very language is a collection of symbols. What is a word? What is our language? It is simply a word symbol. There is a thing, and we use a certain word which is the word symbol for the thing. And it is said that when you think and worship in terms of symbols, and there are various symbols, they are verbal symbols since you think in terms of words, word symbols, material symbol, ritual symbols. You cannot think of God excepting as a personal Being.

Source - Forms of Spiritual Practice by Swami Pavitrananda - Prabuddha Bharata June 2018 Issue.