What prevents us from getting close to God?

Swamiji, is it we who keep ourselves away from God or is it God who is keeping us at a distance? What is the obstacle or hindrance that prevents us from getting closer to God?

You are always with God and never is he away from you. It is wrong to conclude that a person segregates him- or herself from God.  It is God who activates you, he is your maker and it is he who makes you do things. He has sent you to this world but you do not know the reason why.  This ignorance is the reason you are unable to understand him.

There is a concept that says that each person should strive for Self-realization. Without knowledge of this concept a person remains in darkness and keeps him- or herself away from God.  This world is created, preserved and destroyed by God.  This is a truth we still have to realize. The cause of our ignorance is the fact that our hearts are corrupted with evil tendencies like lust, anger, ego, and so forth. These tendencies enslave us and keep us away from Divinity.

O God! Thoughts of you do not arise in my mind. Am I or are you responsible for this estrangement? I have surrendered myself fully at your feet, so why, O God, do you remain indifferent towards me? In this way, the mind in pain questions. You simply say that you have fully surrendered at the feet of God but you have not yet translated your idea of surrender into action. What keeps you from doing so?

You say that you have poorna sharanagati full surrender, but your mind is like a monkey jumping from one branch to another. The mind runs a riotous race and its movements are never arrested. The active restless mind then thinks it should be still and finds great joy in sleep, but sleep is not stillness of mind. Some people think their minds are at rest when they are asleep and snoring loudly.  To say the mind is at rest when one is asleep is a misconception. Be awake, sleepless and always think of God! Concentrate all your thoughts on God. Let go of useless thoughts and let all your thoughts be of God. If your mind is at rest, doing nothing, then you are getting nearer to God. So, it is you keeping yourself away from God with your riotous thoughts.  You channel all your thoughts in the wrong direction and expect to satisfy the desires of the mind, something which is in fact detrimental to its welfare. If you really and sincerely think of God, then you will go closer to him and, by doing this, you will see God.

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