That’s why Kabir insists so much for surati – remembrance, awareness, consciousness. The more aware you are, the more you will be godly. You are already godly, but only in awareness will you recognize the fact; only in awareness will you be able to see who you are.
A few things before we enter into the sutras. In the East, we have not thought of God as separate from existence. Not like a potter who makes a pot – then the pot is different from the potter. Not like a painter who paints a canvas – once he has painted, he is separate from the painting. The painter may die and the painting will live – the painting has its own life now; the painter is not needed.
In the East, we have conceived of God as a dancer. You cannot separate the dance and the dancer. God is Nataraj, the dancer of all dancers. You cannot separate the dancer and the dance, they are always together. If there is a dance there is the dancer; the dance has no other life than the dancer. And when the dancer is really in dance he is not separate from his dance either. The dancer dissolves into his dance.
Remember that metaphor, it is very symbolic and significant; it will help you to move into godliness more easily. Prayer is not needed, remembrance is needed. You are that already – all that is needed is to remember who you are.
I have heard an ancient parable, a very famous one.
There was once a very great master, his name was Ribhu. He had one rare disciple, his name was Nidagha. Ribhu hoped too much – seeing the potentiality of Nidagha, he was working hard on him.
The master works hard only on those disciples who are more potential than others. There are differences of potentiality: there are a few who are only casually interested – much is not possible with them…whose passion to find God is lukewarm, cannot even be called passion. There are a few whose thirst is intense, who are ready to risk all. God is not just one item in their life’s search, but the only phenomenon that they would like to know. Nidagha was rare. Ribhu was working hard on him.
Although the master taught his disciple “the supreme truth of the one absolute reality, without a second,” Nidagha, in spite of his erudition and understanding, did not get sufficient conviction to adopt and follow the spiritual path of self-knowledge, but settled down in his native town to lead a life devoted to the observance of ceremonial religion.
That’s what I mean when I say if you are a Hindu or a Mohammedan or a Christian you will not find God. Those are ceremonial religions, those are poor substitutes for the real thing. They cannot nourish you, they can only keep you in a kind of consolation, convenience, comfort. You can go on telling yourself, “Yes, I am doing whatsoever is needed. I go to the temple, to the church, I pray twice, or five times, I do all the rituals.”