After thoroughly understanding the first two stages, we have to enter into the third stage. We have already seen that Ishta Devata is important in one’s spiritual progress. This Ishta Devata alone will take us to the ultimate stage. Ishta Devata is like a Guru. We will get instructions from Ishta Devata quite often, when we are nearing the final stage. So what is this final stage? This is nothing but identifying ourselves with Brahman, the God. We have already learnt to identify ourselves with our Ishta Devata, to whom we have a form. But Brahmam does not have a form. He is the cause of the creation of the Universe. We have to identify ourselves with the formless, which is by no means an easy task. The first thing in the final stage is understand the clear distinction between the Brahman and the maya. We have already seen that maya is surrounding the Brahman as a sheath. So, for knowing the Brahman we have to go past this sheath. Maya controls all our deeds and actions. It makes us to laugh and cry. But Brahman does not act. You can know a table as table on seeing the table, as it has a form.
The knowing a table as a table is the work of Maya, the illusion. But in the case of the Brahman, we have to realise something that is the Supreme in this universe which does not have a form. We have to visualize the form of the formless. How do we go about it? “Aham Brahmam asmi” and “tat twam asi” are the two famous sayings from the Vedas. Both have the same meaning. Aham means ‘I am’. Asmi means existing. Te literal meaning is “I am existing as Brahmam”. Tat means ‘that’. Twam means ‘you’. Asi means existing. The literal meaning is “you are existing as that”. Here ‘that’ means Brahmam. The initial two stages help us here. The first stage is the universal love, the concern for others. The second stage is sadhana with manifestation. The third and final stage is realizing us as God. Unless somebody has gone through the first two stages meticulously, the final stage is just not possible. Now let us enter into the final stage. The first thing in the final stage is to get away from the attachment. The ‘I’ concept should be completely taken away from your consciousness. If we have leftover ego, nothing will work for us.
We must develop the attitude that God will take care of everything. We must also understand that whatever one does, that will be the will of God only. The actions are controlled by the God and not by the individual. If somebody hurts us, we should think that the God has decided to hurt us at this appointed time and the God has done that act of hurting through that person. In the final stage only our mind alone need to work. There should be no thoughts in our mind other than the thought of the form of the formless. The absolute purity of our mind is essential. Even a small distraction will spoil everything. That is why during this period ancient saints went to mountains and forests just to focus their attention on Brahman. It is extremely difficult to focus on something that does not have a form. Only at this stage the true meditation is to be practiced. For a true meditation, no particular posture is required. We can lie down on the floor and meditate. The form of the Ishta Devata, our Guru should disappear. There will me no more Guru. No more teaching. No more chanting. No more rituals. We need to do nothing. From here on every activity will be different for each individual. It bill be nothing but total bliss; total ananda, the Oneness. Once we follow these principles, the exact realisation will happen at any time and will take only a few seconds. Only for these few seconds, we have to take so many births. From the moment of realisation, we will be different. We will not be just humans. We will be part of Creation. We will merge with Him.
But please understand that we can only merge with Him and not become God. God is all alone. He does not need anybody. From this moment onwards, we can pray for others. What ever we say will come true. For a moment if our ego takes over, everything will be lost. We have then to undergo the ordeal of births after births. We live like others, we do everything like others. But we are different. The bliss will be reflected in our body. Body will shine. Our speech will be different. We will not take credit for anything. Now one can say “Aham Brahmam asmi”. Those who realise this become Brahman, that is merges with the Brahman.