When one says at the doorstep of God, it is visualized as being at the doorstep of temple. In most religions there exists a concept of ‘the gates of heaven’. But a man reaches this gate only after death and so we should not hurry to interpret the meaning of ‘devacha dwar’ (gates of God) as ‘Swargacha dwar’ (gates of heaven). In fact, the subject here is about what a man can do and achieve while being alive.
Chari Mukti – means the four types of mukti (liberation):
Salokata - Residence in the same abode of the Lord
Sameepta - Intimacy or close proximity with the Lord
Swaroopta - Same form as the Lord
Sayujyata - merging with the Lord
Salokata Mukti – means dwelling eternally in the highest abode with the lord. If a person is a devotee of say, Lord Vishnu or his incarnations Ram or Krishna, then the abode of his Lord is ‘Vaikuntha’. Lord Shiva resides in Kailas. Even though their respective devotees may go to these abodes, this journey too happens only after death. And hence we need not think or talk about it.
Where does God reside?
Lord Ram left for exile and in a few days reached the jungle called ‘Dandakaranya’. There he met many sages. While leaving the ashram of Sage Valmiki he asked, “where should I stay during my exile?’ To which Valmiki said, “Ram, is there any place where you do not reside?”
Moral of this story is – ‘God is omni-present, all-pervading in the form of Principle. There is no place where he does not exist.’ But the place where his presence can be felt or experienced prominently is the heart of his devotee.
Ramkrishna used to say – The heart of the devotee is the drawing room of God. He mainly resides there".
Where is the kingdom of God? – Everywhere. A devotee considers himself to be a native of god’s kingdom and a wise devotee experiences this. In this context Gurudev Ranade has said,
I am a citizen of the God's Kingdom'.
Definition of Salokata
Believing that God is all-pervading and in this sense considering that ‘I reside in the same abode of Lord’ and being in this state of knowledge is called ‘salokta mukti’.
‘One, who stands at the gate of Lord, for a moment, attains the four forms of liberation (mukti)’. Before we understand the meaning of this statement we first need to understand which are the four types of liberation and their forms. We have just seen the first form of liberation – Salokata. Second is Sameepta.
To be continued