Who God Actually Is?
People always wonder about the existence of God. Some say that he does not exist and some say that he exists everywhere. Now, what actually the truth is? Aren’t both the things quite contradictory to each other? To clear away your confusions, we have come up with a beautiful story from one of the greatest preachers. This article will force you to rethink about Who God actually is!
Sri Ramakrishna had a unique way of imparting spiritual instructions. The following story told by him shows a very practical approach to religion.

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In a forest there lived a holy man who had many disciples.  One day he taught them to see Narayana (God) in all beings and hence have a reverential attitude towards everyone.  The disciples once went inside a forest to gather wood for a sacrificial fire.  Suddenly, they heard a warning “get out of the way, a mad elephant is coming”.  All the disciples except one ran away and took shelter in a safe place.  But, one disciple reasoned that since the Guru had taught them to see Narayana i.e. God, in every being, the elephant is also God in another form and if so why should he run away from it.  He stood still, bowed before the elephant and started chanting some stotras.  The Mahout of the elephant shouted, “Run Away !, Run Away!”, but the disciple didn’t move.
The animal lifted him up with his trunk and threw him forcefully on the ground aside and went away.  Hurt and bruised the disciple lay unconscious on the ground.  Coming to know what had happened, his teacher and brother disciples came to the spot where he was lying and carried him to the hermitage.  After some first-aid, he soon regained consciousness.

Then, the teacher asked him, “You saw the animal coming and also heard the warning, then why didn’t you run away?”.  The disciple replied, “Sir, you taught us to see God in every being, hence I thought that the animal is also God in another form and hence I didn’t run away.”  Then the teacher corrected him saying, “Yes my child, it is true that the elephant was God in another form, but the Mahout who was driving the elephant was also God and he instructed you to run away.  Since all are manifestations of God, why you didn’t trust the Mahout’s words?  You should have heeded the words of Mahout God.”

God dwells in all beings, but we can be intimate only with the good people and must keep away from the evil minded.

Practical Vedanta
By: Swami Shantatmananda

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