The presiding deities

Each person has a presiding deity which looks after him. Here in the West you speak of guardian angels which guide and protect individuals. In the East we use the term 'presiding deity'. Our Indian philosophy says that there are as many gods as there are human beings. Each person has a god of his own. This god is not separate from us, although it has its own existence. We feel that our individual deity is not something outside ourselves but part and parcel of our existence — just like our body, our mind and our heart. So we claim our deity as our own. Everything within us we feel is ours. If we are following the spiritual life, we know that inside the heart there is something called the soul. Just as we claim the other parts of our being, so also we claim our inner divinity, our soul.

The presiding deities undoubtedly are superior to us. They are kind and they are infinitely more divine than we are. But although these deities or angels have more power than we have and they protect us according to their capacity, they do not have infinite Power. Never! Only the Absolute Supreme, who is the Lord of the Universe, has infinite Power. When it is a matter of infinite Power, infinite Peace, infinite Light, we won't get these qualities from these deities. We will get them only from our Self-realisation. In Self-realisation we achieve the Highest, the Absolute, as our very own.

There is only one infinite Truth and this infinite Truth is being manifested in millions and billions of ways in infinite forms and shapes. The Absolute is like the tree and these lesser deities are like small branches. Those who are advanced in the spiritual life have deities which are like big branches — larger and more powerful than the other branches.