Daily Readings

The Song of God - June

enlarged 4th edition - 1984 - isbn 062007583 CYT, Cape Town, SA

Om Namah Shivaya

Om Namah Venkatesaya

June 1

the 'life principle'

7 - The path of devotion - Jnana Vijnana Yoga - The Yoga of Wisdom and Realisation

VII:8 - I am the sapidity in water, Arjuna, the light in the moon and the sun; I am the syllable Om in all the Vedas, sound in ether, and virility in men.
VII:9 - I am the sweet fragrance in earth and the brilliance in fire, the life in all beings; and I am austerity in ascetics.

Here we are "lured" from the gross to the subtle.
The sense of taste is associated with water.
It is "housed" in the watery portion of all tasteful objects; and when it is brought into contact with our tongue, too, the first reaction is salivation.
What actually is that essence (rasa) in that liquid or watery portion which we refer to as taste?
It is God's manifestation; something which is beyond the reach (at least, yet) of the modern scientist .
Water and even the water-element in sugar, salt, vinegar, pepper, are but the carriers, vehicles or abodes of this innermost essence which is the real secret of taste.
The nature of these vehicles can be altered: if you add pepper-water to a lump of sugar, it will not be sweet any longer!
But there is an unalterable essence within that vehicle called sugar which is so subtle that no sense or instrument can discover it.
That is the reality or manifestation of God.
It is that which gives the distinctive quality to these vehicles.
Scientists have been asking themselves, "What makes the grass green?" Chlorophyll.
"How is that formed?"
The ultimate principle in this quest is the manifestation of God - not God himself, yet!
That is the "life principle" in all beings.
Its existence can be guessed, experienced, but not grasped by the senses or the mind.
We ought to be grateful to God that his divine power is gently leading even the most atheistic and materialistic of scientists of today towards this penultimate step of sheer wonderment.
Wonderment gives rise to quest, enquiry.
Without the latter the wonderment may degenerate into sensuality, emotional exhibitionism or materialism.
Enquiry is discovery.

June 2


7 - The path of devotion - Jnana Vijnana Yoga - The Yoga of Wisdom and Realisation

VII:10 - Know me, O Arjuna, as the eternal seed of all beings; I am the intelligence of the intelligent, the prowess of all brave men.
VII:11 - Of the strong, I am the strength devoid of desire and attachment, and in all beings, I am the desire unopposed to Dharma, Arjuna.

The goal of the modern scientist was reached by the yogi, via pure spiritual enquiry.
Their angle of approach is different, but their goal is the same.
The scientist approaches it from the external form; the yogi from the inner spirit.
Hence, our Master granted that even the scientist was an "externalised raja yogi".
Krsna does not let us abandon this quest of truth at any wayside station.
We must not be satisfied merely with labels and names.
As seekers of the truth we must go to the root or seed of such qualities as asceticism, strength, splendour or intelligence, and there come face to face with that which gave rise to them in the various beings.
If we are vigilant, anything will lead us to the ultimate reality, for all things are rooted in God.
A clear understanding of this philosophy will give us two life-transforming secrets:
(1) Subjectively, if we wish to grow in any of these virtues (like asceticism) we should meditate upon God as their source, and
(2) Objectively, we should see God in the strong, the wise, and so on, and thus avoid jealousy, fear and other negative and destructive emotions.
The qualifying statements in respect of "strength" and "desire" should be meditated upon.
Benevolent strength and desire that do not transgress righteousness are God's own manifestations.
If there were no desire at all, life would come to a standstill.
Therefore God himself, his energy, his consciousness, his power manifests itself as desire in the human heart and in the hearts of living beings, to carry on the function of creation.
What is absent there, is "I desire" or "my desire".
In the heart of the yogi who adopts this vision there is no undivine desire, and therefore he does not judge others.
In one who has such an ennobling vision, what has to be done is done spontaneously by God's will, as determined by him.

June 3

sattva, rajas and tamas

7 - The path of devotion - Jnana Vijnana Yoga - The Yoga of Wisdom and Realisation

VII:12 - All states of being - be they of goodness, passion or ignorance - are manifested by my energy. I am, in one sense, everything - but I am independent. I am not under the modes of this material nature.
VII:13 - Deluded by these three qualities of Nature, all this world does not know Me, as distinct from them and immutable.

Krishna is very cautious! Asceticism, and so on, are the manifestation of his nature, not to be confused with him.
He remains further behind, beneath and within them.
Again, "within" should not be taken to mean that he is somehow encased, limited or restricted by them.
They are all in him, but he is not "contained" in them as a pot contains water!
God is like the crystal which reflects the colour of a nearby object.
It is ignorance that attributes to the crystal itself the colour of the object.
A crude analogy may help.
Look at the flame of a candle.
The extremely subtle, intangible, axiomatic and self-existent power that carries out the process of combustion in that flame is comparable to God.
The flame of fire itself resembles his nature (though in philosophy even his nature and its modes are subtler than the candle-flame).
The fire of the flame has three characteristics: light, heat and smoke, comparable respectively to sattva, rajas and tamas, which are modes of God's divine nature .
All beings in the universe (sentient and inert) participate in these three qualities because they all form part of God's nature.
If we do not see that these qualities flow from the divine, we remain deluded by the manifest phenomena, not caring to probe them to discover the reality.
However, sooner or later man asks the right question, and, pursuing the right line of approach, he discovers that just as the ocean is one indivisible mass of water, so the three distinctions of sattva, rajas and tamas do not exist separately in God. They are made only in order to promote our understanding. The truth is seen to be transcendent - something which embraces all these. They exist in God without division, yet he is beyond them and also changeless.

June 4


7 - The path of devotion - Jnana Vijnana Yoga - The Yoga of Wisdom and Realisation

VII:14 - This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered to Me, can easily cross beyond this divine illusion.
VII:15 - The evil-doers and the deluded, who are the lowest of men, do not seek Me; they whose knowledge is destroyed by illusion follow the ways of demons.

Maya is regarded as an illusion, and illusion is such only to one who regards that illusion as the reality.
A careful study of these two stanzas reveals to us several great truths.
Evildoers are so because they are deluded and their knowledge is destroyed by this illusion.
But their own reality cannot be destroyed by this or even by the worst sin or evil, as Krishna never tires of repeating.
Sin is only a product of delusion demanding nothing sensational or spectacular to remove it.
We must awaken ourselves to the fact that as long as we are in the grip of the delusion of the three modes of nature, the guna, we shall go on erring.
The fact that people are different and that stupidity, dynamism or piety prevail in this universe, is divine nature manifesting in a particular form.
The arising of this vision enables us to cross this illusion.
Nature is God's nature; and the "guna" are modes of his nature.
Yet, they have the power to delude us. Smoke is born of fire; yet, when it enters our eyes, it can compel us to close them against the light of fire.
Tamas - inertia or stupidity - is a quality that effectively prevents us from even perceiving the truth about nature.
This illusory power is divine and hence outside the pale of rationalization.
It is like the 'liquid that will dissolve everything' - where can it be stored?
The human intelligence itself is a reflection of spirit in matter, part of this illusion.
Knowledge of the reality will dissolve all illusion, including the rationalizing power of the intellect!
This knowledge is not intellectual but intuitive, immediate experience, obtainable only by total self-surrender and relentless quest.
Hence, the Kathopanisad warns us: "Arise, awake, resort to the Master and learn.
The path is like the razor's edge, difficult to perceive and to tread."

June 5

needle and magnet

7 - The path of devotion - Jnana Vijnana Yoga - The Yoga of Wisdom and Realisation

VII:16 - Four kinds of virtuous men worship me, O Arjuna: they are the distressed, the seeker of knowledge, the seeker of wealth, and the wise, O Lord of the Bharatas!
VII:17 - Of them, the wise, ever steadfast and devoted to the One, excels; for, I am exceedingly dear to the wise, and he is dear to Me.

To pray and to worship God motivelessly is of course good.
Some people feel that it is a sign of depravity to pray for selfish ends and material advantages.
Here, Krishna disagrees: they who worship him for these are surety virtuous men (not necessarily wise).
The poor man who prays to God for wealth is surely nobler and more virtuous than the thief or dacoit.
The sick man who prays for relief is better than the drug addict.
In fact, one of the purposes of poverty and sickness is to turn man to God.
Unconsciously the poor and sick recognise this if they are virtuous and that recognition or awareness comes by God's grace.
A hot pan will burn your finger, whether you touch it knowingly or unknowingly.
Even so, the fire of God's power will devour desire and ignorance whether you touch it deliberately or accidentally.
Thus, prayer is good whatever the motive. When the prayer-contact is made, the Lord's love burns to ashes all earthly desires and frees us from all selfishness and egoism.
However, this does not minimise the glory of unselfish love of God for his own sake.
The wise man, jnani, who loves God motivelessly is supreme.
He knows the appearance as appearance, and therefore he knows the reality of the appearance.
He is fully aware that the diverse world phenomena are purely manifestations of God's divine nature.
Hence, he knows that he loves God because he cannot help doing so since God is the very soul of his soul.
He knows, too, that this eternal unity or oneness is expressed in him as irrepressible love.
He is the pure iron needle; God is the magnet.
In his case the devotion and surrender are natural.
He rests in God, in unbroken, eternal communion.

June 6


7 - The path of devotion - Jnana Vijnana Yoga - The Yoga of Wisdom and Realisation

VII:18 - Noble indeed are all these; but I deem the wise man as My very Self; for, steadfast in mind, he is established in Me alone as the supreme goal.
VII:19 - After many lives, he who is in knowledge surrenders to Me, knowing Me as all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.

The wise devotee of the Lord, knows that his love of God is nothing other than a manifestation of his unity with God.
In his endeavor to gain the vision of the truth concerning life, the world, the ego, appearance and the reality, the wise seeker sees one physical appearance as different from another, but inwardly he realizes that these differences are superficial.
Just as all trees grow from the same soil, so all manifest creation has its origin in God.
This is an unalterable, eternal fact of existence.
In that vision there is wisdom, insight, enlightenment and incomparable love.
This sublime state of supreme love of God is not attained in a single lifetime.
We adore the perfected saint, the man of God, but seldom realize that he has not attained this state by chance or even by magic or miracle, but by many lifetimes of persistent and intense endeavor to reach the pinnacle of God-consciousness.
The expression used here is "Vasudeva".
This is a proper name of Krishna which also means "that which envelops all" - the omnipresent.
By which sign can we recognize the "great soul"?
He is so expansive of heart that in his cosmic vision all beings are experienced as the one omnipresent being.
He has been working towards this highest realization by constantly endeavoring to remove name and form and by "seeing" the hidden inner essence - God.
We, too, shall eventually reach this goal, only to realize that what we sought is the seeker's love!
One optimistic note is possible here.
When the Bhagavad Gita tells us: "After many lifetimes of striving one attains this perfection", I think it is proper for us to ask: "How do you know that all of us have not already been striving for many lifetimes, and this is the last one?" It is possible.

June 7

do not proselytize

7 - The path of devotion - Jnana Vijnana Yoga - The Yoga of Wisdom and Realisation

VII:20 - Those whose minds are distorted by desires, surrender to other devas, and follow the particular rules and regulations of worship according to their own natures.
VII:21 - Whatever form any devotee desires to worship with faith, that faith of his I make firm and unflinching.

Here is a sample of the most wonderful Krishna-approach to any problem.
A defective or negative aspect of our life, an imperfect or distorted vision of the truth, are not allowed to pass unnoticed, but they are not condemned outright.
Every thing has its own place in creation - that which we call good, evil or neutral.
It is easy to idealize but difficult for many and nearly impossible for the vast majority to put this concept into practice.
How often do we find the disastrous and arrogant attitude on the part of some religious leaders who profess to monopolize the truth whilst vehemently condemning all other faiths!
What a colossal waste of time!
What a loss of a great opportunity to embrace all and thus reach perfection!
If only all religious leaders would mind their own business!
There is no harm in glorifying their own viewpoint, but they should not bother to judge others.
If they can, they should help those treading other paths, encouraging each in his own path, instead of disturbing the faith of others, proselytizing with fervor and then leaving them untended and in the lurch.
The world would be a much happier place for everyone to live in if all were left to worship God in their own way.
This understanding is the divine attitude.
Krishna commands: strengthen everyone in his own faith; never disturb anyone's faith.
The truth is that God or the infinite pervades the entire universe.
There is nothing and nobody outside of it.
Hence, verse twenty-one tells us: whatever the form in which the devotee wishes to adore God, let him do so.
Even the materialist who, encouraged and motivated by his own desires and cravings, worships power or wealth, will eventually, in God's good time, discover the futility of such worship and arrive at the pinnacle of self-realization.
A few seeds of divine thought sown in him will germinate in their own time, but an immature, premature leap will only be ineffective.

June 8

concept of god

7 - The path of devotion - Jnana Vijnana Yoga - The Yoga of Wisdom and Realisation

VII:22 - Endowed with that faith, he engages in the worship of that deity, and from it he obtains his desire, these being verily ordained by Me alone.
VII:23 - Verily the reward that accrues to those men of small intelligence is finite. The worshippers of the gods go to them, but my devotees come to me.

The superficial meaning is clear as daylight.
No-one is compelled to accept or reject any particular method of worship of any form of the supreme being as long as that worship is with the faith that: "I am worshipping God".
The Hindu is not an idol worshipper.
He worships God, the divine presence in the idol which is the medium through which he can contact God.
He worships God in and through his guru and the saints, in and through God's manifestations in the mineral, plant, animal, human and celestial kingdoms; but there is the ever present faith that he is worship ping not the form but the spirit in all these.
This faith is initially based on intellectual or metaphysical grounds and the testimony of sages and saints.
In due course, it becomes a conviction born of direct realisation.
The great declaration of the veda: "The reality is one, sages designate it variously" indicates that whatever religion people profess, they are worshipping the supreme being in their own way, with faith.
God, being omnipresent, responds to the devotee's prayers, meditation or worship in his own way.
Having this attitude, the devotee regards whatever he receives in his life as the gift of God, and he is forever happy and unperturbed.
He who recognises the all-pervasiveness of God and still worships the supreme being alone through his different aspects will go to the supreme; but he who, unable to comprehend this truth, worships the forms themselves as God - even he is not lost!
He will become one with that aspect of God and in course of time realise God's infinity.
What a heart-warming doctrine!
No-one is condemned forever.
Whatever be one's concept of God, faith redeems him, for while the form remains as such, God is made manifest in the heart.

June 9

manifest - obvious

7 - The path of devotion - Jnana Vijnana Yoga - The Yoga of Wisdom and Realisation

VII:24 - Unintelligent men, who know me not, think that I have assumed this form and personality. Due to their small knowledge, they do not know my higher nature, which is changeless and supreme.
VII:25 - I am never manifest to the foolish and unintelligent. For them I am covered by my eternal creative potency; and so the deluded world knows me not, who am unborn and infallible.

The fundamental nature of reality is that it is unborn, unmanifest, unchanging.
But, the infinite has two aspects: one is the unmanifest and the other the manifest aspect. God is the unmanifest being, the infinite which is unmanifest.
This is capable of infinite manifestation, not only limited to this world.
We have very little idea of the manifest infinite, let alone the unmanifest!
Our world consists only of father, mother, wife, children and acquaintances.
Yet, the unmanifest is not exhausted by its own manifestation.
It is infinite.
Just as clouds come together and disperse the elements present various patterns.
The ignorant man imagines that worlds and bodies come into being, grow and die.
These changes pertain to the compounded elements or the interaction of the three modes of nature.
They belong to the inferior nature and not to the essential nature of God.
God is not obvious.
There is an illusion, yoga maya, based primarily on the senses and the intellect, which have limited function and no ability to perceive the truth.
The eyes see, the ears hear, and the mind believes that the messages brought in by the senses constitute the entire truth.
The intellect creates its own limitations, regarding them as absolutes which therefore appear to be obvious.
This is where the danger lies: what is obvious to one is not obvious to all beings.
It is your own mental projection or point of view, a maya.
(We must recognize, too, that even the belief in the existence of God is just one point of view!)
The deluded man, identifying the Lord with the manifestations of his nature, is satisfied and does not pursue further.
He forgets the total truth and considers his individual belief to be the ultimate truth.
Buddha provides the ideal prescription, however: can you see that all points of view are narrow and limited; and refuse to have a point of view of your own?
If you must have one, know that even it is only a point of view.
Then you are totally free.

June 10

pairs of opposites

7 - The path of devotion - Jnana Vijnana Yoga - The Yoga of Wisdom and Realisation

VII:26 - I know, O Arjuna, the beings of the past, the present and the future, but no one knows Me.
VII:27 - By the delusion of the pairs of opposites arising from desire and aversion, O Arjuna, all beings are subject to delusion at birth.

Scientists, discussing the travel through space of light rays, assure us that if at this moment someone on a planet or star one hundred light years away, were able to "see" the earth, he would be witnessing what took place here a hundred years ago!
Similarly, 'the future', too, is already "present" somewhere; only it has not yet come into our view.
This may sound fatalistic, but is only so where the material or physical part of the universe is concerned which is the very least of it!
The seasons and the changes, the floods and the earthquakes are as predictable as eclipses.
However, unpredictable are man's reaction and his inner attitude, for it is life that reveals the depth of our understanding, and it is the depth of understanding that flavours life.
Some sages have conceded that whereas even man's actions and reactions are predetermined, he is free to be egoistic and thus feel bound to sin and suffering, or to realise that he is the witness consciousness and thus be liberated from these.
Each individual conscious soul is, at the very dawn of creation (the birth of the soul), enshrouded in ignorance which gives rise to egoity.
This is followed by attraction and repulsion, attachment and aversion, likes and dislikes, and these in their turn, sustain the whole cycle of delusion-ignorance-egoity-action-reaction.
If the 'I' sits in the judgment seat, trying to determine whether someone is good, bad or indifferent, one cannot understand God.
Objects come into being, exist and disappear in this world - it is God's will.
But ignorant man desires some and dislikes others; thus he is not only bound, but reaps a harvest of pain and pleasure!
He who is able to overcome these is undeluded by the pairs of opposites and to him both past and future are "ever-present", God being the river which touches the beginning, the middle and the end at the same time.

June 11

vision of god

7 - The path of devotion - Jnana Vijnana Yoga - The Yoga of Wisdom and Realisation

VII:28 - But those men of virtuous deeds whose sins have come to an end, and who are freed from the delusion of the pairs of opposites, worship Me, steadfast in their vows.
VII:29 - Those who strive for liberation from old age and death, taking refuge in me, realise in full that Brahman, the whole knowledge of the Self and all action.
VII:30 - Those who know me as the supreme lord, as the governing principle of the material manifestation, who know me as the one underlying all the devas and as the one sustaining all sacrifices, can, with steadfast mind, understand and know me, even at the time of death.

The vision of God cannot be obtained unless the heart and mind are made completely pure through perfectly ethical and moral conduct, when sinful tendencies have been totally overcome.
A man meditating on the form of his guru without forgetting the ideal he stands for, grows in the virtues of the guru.
Through worship of the various manifestations of the Lord, much virtue is gained and sinfulness ceases.
There is no effort, even, to abandon sinfulness (such effort would likely become the seed of future sin - arrogance).
Sinfulness has to drop away.
It is not possible to acquire virtue, to abandon wickedness or to grow in humility.
When the right vision is acquired, these happen automatically.
Till then, one must strive to grow in virtue and reduce wickedness by all means.
Virtue and God-realization are simultaneous, without the relationship of cause and effect.
God is the very essence and soul of this material universe.
He is the basis of whatever concepts of God each one of us may have (however diverse these may be), and the spirit whose supreme sacrifice constitutes creation.
Such a homogeneous and comprehensive truth can only be grasped when the mind is steady and the heart absolutely pure.
In that transparent heart the light of God is truly reflected.
May we all enjoy that vision in this very birth.

June 12

that thou art

8 - The path of devotion - Aksara Brahma Yoga - The Yoga of the Imperishable Brahman

VIII:1 - Arjuna said : My Lord, what is Brahman? What is the self? What are fruitive activities? What is this material manifestation? And what are the deva? Please explain this to me.
VIII:2 - How does this Lord of sacrifice live in the body, and in which part does he live? And how can those engaged in devotional service know you at the time of death?

The Indian approach to the reality is both analytic and synthetic.
The sage or the yogi does not approve of or sanction a mere off-hand rejection of anything, even if he is assured that ultimately he will have to reject it.
All the philosophical categories must be clearly analysed, understood, and synthesized, ignoring the illusory differences.
Take, for instance, the great declaration of the Upanisad: "That (Brahman) thou (the soul) art".
The two must be clearly analysed and understood in their own respective aspects.
Brahman is the infinite, greater than the greatest and beyond all limitations.
The atman is the innermost self, the subtlest of the subtle, minuter than the minutest, and that which is left after all the personal limiting adjuncts have been negated, by the process of: "I" is not this body, "I" is not this vital sheath, "I" is not this mind, "I" is not this intellect and "I" is not this causal ignorance.
It is not as though this is a negative practice whereby the seeker attempts to reject or nullify the body, mind and so on, but the practice involves seeing the body in its true nature as merely body, the mind as mind, etc., not involving or belonging to the ego, "I".
It generates in the seeker the understanding of the self as abstract, nameless and formless.
Herein lies the genius of the Indian philosopher-sage. When this analytical-synthesis is pushed to its logical conclusion, the result is the immediate realization of the "identity" of "that" (Brahman) and "thou" (atman).
Even though God himself is all the characteristics mentioned in the last two verses, Arjuna, the good seeker, seeks to know them as they are.

June 13

karma of the totality

8 - The path of devotion - Aksara Brahma Yoga - The Yoga of the Imperishable Brahman

VIII:3 - The Blessed Lord said : The indestructible, supernatural living entity is called Brahman and his eternal nature is called the self. Action pertaining to the development of these material bodies is called karma, or fruitive activities.

The absolute (Brahman) is imperishable, supreme, infinite and beyond all these descriptive attributes.
Any description limits it.
Thus our Master used to say: "To define Brahman is to deny Brahman".
Hence it was that Buddha refrained from discussing it, and that Daksinamurti conveyed the wordless knowledge of it to the Sanatkumara, by silence filled with transcendental knowledge.
Brahman is not an inert nothingness or a void.
The supreme or totality does not undergo any change or decay.
Yet, in it there is constant change, which implies constancy and change.
These are not contradictory but complementary.
The nature inherent in this totality is adhyatma.
Or, conversely, atma, or selfhood, is inherent in this totality even to the point of individuality.
That is, you do not belong to yourself; yourself belongs to the totality.
This totality has, as its very substratum, infinite diversity which is the self of all; just as the night sky is studded with millions of diamonds - the stars.
Thus, self-knowledge is a re-attainment of something which the personality has lost. When the personality is keenly analysed, it becomes transparent, revealing its own substratum - that cosmic consciousness which is the goal, the supreme fulfilment or self-knowledge.
The compound word "bhutabhavodbhavakaro" suggests a dream or vision of something as if it existed.
That is the karma of the totality or God. Hence, God does not "create" as the carpenter creates furniture, but in that cosmic being there arises a feeling (bhavana) of the manifestation (bhuta) of all this multi-diversity.
That is called the universe which is maintained by God's grace, so that the souls therein may gain the necessary experience to attain self-knowledge.
Understood in this light, even the law of karma is seen as a contributory factor towards evolution and attainment of self-knowledge.

June 14

adhibhutam and adhidaivam

8 - The path of devotion - Aksara Brahma Yoga - The Yoga of the Imperishable Brahman

VIII:4 - Physical nature is known to be endlessly mutable. The universe is the cosmic form of the supreme Lord, and I am that Lord, the inner soul, dwelling in the heart of every embodied being.

The elements, adhibhutam, have a beginning and an end.
This is a continuous cycle that no one can arrest.
They are not totally destroyed, but as their nature changes, the forms perish; like the transition from ice to water to vapor.
The fundamental essence, however, is changeless.
It is absolute immaturity to be afraid of the inevitable.
In this world, things grow, decay and disappear from view, but there is something which is capable of observing the structure that starts as a wedding procession and itself turns into a funeral procession.
That observer is called the purusa.
This term is almost impossible to translate.
According to the two systems of Indian philosophy (sankhya and yoga) purusa is the imperishable, individual soul, uninvolved in the body and mind.
According to the veda it is the cosmic consciousness that pervades all, the God of gods.
Purusa is that which is able to observe all changing phenomena including those of your own body, mental states, states of consciousness or existence, and your states of immaturity and maturity.
A subtle distinction is made here between the perishable nature of the supreme being and the imperishable nature (purusa).
These are not two separable entities but two integrated principles, like the smallest blood capillaries that are all pervading in our body!
The distinction between adhibhutam and adhidaivam is one of viewpoint only, not of essence.
God alone is the principle of sacrifice in the body (cosmic and individual).
Hence the veda call him yajna (sacrifice).
Yajna is a certain type of knowledge which enables you to give and take, to engage yourself in appropriate action, and to understand that all creatures in this universe have the same needs as you have.
The spirit of sacrifice is God himself.
By living a life of sacrifice we shall shed all illusion and delusion and attain self-knowledge.
Do not read this with your eyes, mind or intellect, but with the eyes of your heart!

June 15


8 - The path of devotion - Aksara Brahma Yoga - The Yoga of the Imperishable Brahman

VIII:5 - And whoever, leaving the body, goes forth remembering me alone at the time of death, he attains my Being; there is no doubt about this.
VIII:6 - Whoever at the end leaves the body, thinking of any being, to that being only does he go, O Arjuna, because of his constant thought of that being.

"Where will I go from here?" - this question has worried every man at some time or other.
Krishna's answer is extremely simple.
It will depend entirely upon the state of your inner being (that is what bhava means) at the time the soul leaves the body.
If that state is one of total saturation with God, then the soul reaches him.
This does not contradict the karma theory, but completes or fulfils it.
The state of inner being of man is made not only of his actions, but also of the impressions they left behind and his desires and aspirations, all put together.
This is what determines his next incarnation, for the very simple reason that it acts like a crystal inviting others of the same substance to adhere to it and thus to form a new body.
"Antakala" is when the body is released from "my" grip or connection.
In other words, the idea that "I am this body" or "the body is mine" is suspended.
"Antakale" is the last hour.
This occurs not only at the time of what is called death, but every night when one goes to sleep!
Normally, the state of one's inner being is reflected in the last thought which is sure to be the image of one's ruling passion in life.
There are some who persist in thinking bestial thoughts though they may have neither the courage nor the opportunity to act on them.
They may appear "evolved," but the inner picture (bhava) is of an animal.
When the human mask is dropped at death, they assume the real shape (i.e. that of an animal).
Yet, we wonder, "How can a human being descend into an animal birth?"
No theorizing, wishful thinking or rationalization is of any use here.
The fact is not altered by one's belief or disbelief.
Hence the vital need, without "planning" for a better birth in the future, is to be better now.

June 16

vigilant yet uninvolved

8 - The path of devotion - Aksara Brahma Yoga - The Yoga of the Imperishable Brahman

VIII:7 - Therefore, at all times remember me only, and fight. With mind and intellect absorbed in Me, you shall doubtless come to me alone.
VIII:8 - With the mind constantly engaged in remembering Me, made steadfast by the method of habitual meditation, and constantly meditating, one goes to the Supreme Person, the Resplendent, O Arjuna.

This is the yoga of the Bhagavad Gita which will, with guaranteed certainty, lead us to the Lord.
It is buddhi yoga (the yoga of understanding); not confined to any physical activity - whether it be charity, service, ritual or yoga practices such as asana, pranayama, concentration and meditation - though these are not excluded, looked down upon or discouraged.
The yogi must acquire, by diligent cultivation, what my Master Swami Sivananda called 'double consciousness'.
He must be able to realize the crystalline nature of the self, and also perceive all activity as being sustained by the modes of the guna (the divine nature).
Realizing that he is the immortal self or atman, he must behold the ever-active nature of God of which the self is but a silent, non-participant witness.
The self, being non-different from the infinite, ceases to interfere in this shadow play of nature on the "silver screen" of God.
Established in this realization, contemplation of the omnipresent God is not contradicted by activity.
The yogi does not shy away from what must be done. With body and mind he works in this world doing his every duty flawlessly and efficiently.
Only, in his heart, likes and dislikes, fear, pleasure and pain are absent.
His inner being stands aside, ever vigilant yet uninvolved, in constant remembrance of God.
This is "continuous meditation", "dynamic contemplation" or "contemplative dynamism" - the innermost teaching of the Bhagavad Gita.
There is no suppression or repression, but a whole-souled participation in the divine will without the least tinge of egoism. Hence, the yogi is never drawn towards the objects, though he moves amidst them.
He lives in God.

June 17

prana and apana

8 - The path of devotion - Aksara Brahma Yoga - The Yoga of the Imperishable Brahman

VIII:9 - One should meditate on the Supreme as the one who knows everything, as he who is the oldest, who is the controller, who is smaller than the smallest, who is the maintainer of everything, who is beyond all material conception, who is inconceivable, and who is always a person. He is luminous like the sun and, being supernatural, is beyond this material nature.
VIII:10 - At the time of death, with unshaken mind, endowed with devotion and by the power of yoga, fixing the life-breath in the middle of the two eyebrows, he reaches that resplendent Supreme Person.

This is the yogi's conscious exit from the body.
As a result of continuous and intense practice of yoga (particularly Hatha yoga), the yogi attains perfect control over prana, the life-force - not just the breath that flows in the nostrils, nor even the oxygen in the air, but the extremely subtle divine power that utilizes all these gross substances and maintains the soul's abode, the human body.
That life-force (prana) is spread out and distributed throughout the body to activate its various functions.
The Hatha yogi gives the same prana various names to indicate the different functions it performs.
He designates the force that moves upwards as prana and the force that tends to move downwards as apana.
The former is positive and the latter negative.
By a process of regulated breathing, the yogi brings them together, reversing their course.
Their fusion gives him power similar, say, to high-voltage electricity.
With this he awakens the dormant psychic power in him, the kundalini Shakti which is then led by stages from one center of consciousness to the next along the innermost core of the spinal cord, and eventually to the ajna chakra, the center between the eyebrows.
With this psychic power, the whole prana is also withdrawn.
From the ajna chakra, he merges his self in God-consciousness and is liberated.
In the case of the yogi, as the body is dropped, handed over to the elements, as it were, the entire being is totally saturated with the realization of God's omnipresence, and there is no further movement.
He reaches the supreme.

June 18

aksara and ksara

8 - The path of devotion - Aksara Brahma Yoga - The Yoga of the Imperishable Brahman

VIII:11 - That which is declared Imperishable by those who know the Vedas, that which the ascetics and passion-free enter, that desiring which celibacy is practised - that goal I will declare to you in brief.

"Ksara" is something which "causes to flow", "pour out", according to the veda.
"Aksara" in the veda is that which is not thus involved in "flowing out", "pouring out", i.e., that which is uninvolved in creation.
That aksara is the supreme transcendental reality, the ever-present thing in-itself, the colored pieces of glass in a kaleidoscope, the fundamental principle, the unmodified substance whose modifications and manifestations appear to us as the created universe.
It is the screen on which the ever-moving objects and the colorful panorama are projected.
One who is absorbed in watching the drama projected on the screen is unaware of the screen on which it is projected.
It demands tremendous inner discipline to perceive, as it were, the screen and the film independently, at the same time.
Hence, the ancients prescribed an austere and ethical life of self-control and total freedom from passion - for normally the mind is kept in a state of continuous flux by passions and is thus prevented from perceiving the screen, the substratum.
Then the mind, free from desires and passions, is not thus disturbed and with the requisite training will be able to perceive the substratum.
This training is called "brahmacarya" - "to live, move and have one's being in Brahman (God)."
Its own preliminary step is continence, the restraint of one of the most powerful instincts in man.
What such yogis reach and how they reach it is now explained by Krishna.

June 19

the law of last thought-form

8 - The path of devotion - Aksara Brahma Yoga - The Yoga of the Imperishable Brahman

VIII:12 - Having closed all the gates, confined the mind in the heart and fixed the life-breath in the head, engaged in the practice of concentration,
VIII:13 - Uttering the monosyllable Om, remembering Me always, he who departs thus, leaving the body, attains to the supreme goal.

Just as it is important for us to know how to live, it is equally important for us to know how to die - not to be afraid of death, to block it from our minds or even to long for it.
Death is inevitable.
The Bhagavad Gita, in addition to teaching the art of living gives instructions in the art of dying.
The hatha yogi closes all the 'gates' of the body with the help of a few simple psycho-physical exercises.
Sitting in siddhasana, he presses the left heel firmly on the perineum thus closing the rectum and places the right heel on the generative organ, closing that 'gate' too.
By the practice of yoni mudra, he closes the other 'gates': the ears with the thumbs, the eyes with the index fingers, the nostrils with the middle fingers, the upper and lower lips respectively with the ring and little fingers.
Now he sees the subtle core of the sushumna-nadi or the spinal cord as a radiant hollow tube through which the awakened Kundalini Shakti ascends, piercing centre after centre of the gross elements.
With his mind fixed in his heart, symbolically at the feet of the Lord, he takes the kundalini Shakti (prana) to the crown of the head.
Thus the prana has been consciously and deliberately withdrawn from the whole body i.e. from matter.
When the time comes for him to leave the body, the yogi utters the monosyllable Om, the sound-picture of the absolute, and discards the body remembering God.
In accordance with the law of last thought-form, he reaches God.
If we train ourselves in the art of withdrawing the prana from the body now, by constant, diligent effort and daily practice of these exercises, perhaps we will use them in the last hour, and departure will be facilitated.

June 20


8 - The path of devotion - Aksara Brahma Yoga - The Yoga of the Imperishable Brahman

VIII:14 - For one who remembers me without deviation I am easy to obtain, O Arjuna, because of his constant engagement in devotional service.
VIII:15 - Having attained Me, these great souls do not again take birth in this world, which is the place of pain and is non-eternal; they have reached the highest perfection.

If a man thinks of God constantly and daily (a double emphasis!), he will automatically think of him in the last hour, too.
All devotees of the Lord recognize the near impossibility of governing one's own last thoughts.
One devotee actually prayed in pathetic and pleading tone: "Oh Lord, may my mind enter your lotus feet right now; for who knows what it will think of when my throat is choked in the last hour of my life." This is especially true these days when sudden and violent accidents and heart attacks snatch life away, without notice! Therefore, it is all the more important to be ever God-conscious so that even if the last moment were untimely, the mind would by habit think of God and reach him.
Desire and karma, which together constitute the "state of inner being" called "bhava," determine the next incarnation. When ignorance-born desire and ego-engineered activity (karma) cease, then, freed from these shackles, the soul awakens from the slumber of ignorance, and shaking off the dream-state of bondage regains self-knowledge.
Once the individualized consciousness has become totally merged with the cosmic consciousness there is no return to this world of "pain and impermanence." It is like throwing a bucket of water into a lake; that same water can never be retrieved. Lord Buddha's life teaches us that pain and suffering exist in this world in order to remind us of a state of being in which these shall not be and to lead us to that state.

June 21

the guru as god

8 - The path of devotion - Aksara Brahma Yoga - The Yoga of the Imperishable Brahman

VIII:16 - All the worlds, including the world of Brahma, are subject to return again, O Arjuna. But he who reaches Me has no rebirth.

Every moment, the past moment is dead; and each moment dies an instant after it is born.
Death is co-existent with life.
That is, there is birth, death and rebirth moment after moment.
When one realizes this, life and discipline become effortless.
To live in this spirit where there is death every moment, one had to see a great master like my Gurudev Swami Sivananda.
When death is brought into life, there is no attachment or craving.
The ego, as the storehouse of experiences, is dropped and when this happens there is God.
This is possible only by Grace.
Some extremely ignorant people ask: "What happens to me after I become one with God?"
The fact that they are so seriously concerned about what happens to their individual personality is proof positive that God-realization is still far away from them.
A seeker once wrote to our Master: "I have realized God; now, please tell me what to do."
What an absurd question!
If he has realized and become one with God the omniscient, does he not know?
Yet, the world is full of such wonderful people whom we have to answer.
The simple answer is: "When you become one with God, his will and yours will be in perfect alignment."
A lump of salt coming into contact with the ocean, becomes inseparably one with the ocean.
It is not lost, but has attained to the incomparable dignity and glory of ocean-hood.
Similarly, God-realization is no loss of personality; it is the expansion of that personality to cosmic dimensions.
The sage of self-realization thus becomes God himself.
When, as in the case of specially chosen masters, the personality is "returned" to the world, it is no longer a limited, egoistic, imperfect personality, but a gift from God of a part of himself.
That is why we regard the guru as God.

June 22


8 - The path of devotion - Aksara Brahma Yoga - The Yoga of the Imperishable Brahman

VIII:17 - Those who know the day of Brahma, which is of a duration of a thousand yugas, and the night, which is also of a thousand yugas' duration, they know day and night.
VIII:18 - From the unmanifested all the manifested proceed at the coming of the 'day'; at the coming of the 'night' they dissolve into that alone which is called the unmanifested.

Indian astronomers and sages of intuitive wisdom have calculated that a maha-yuga (age) is of the duration of 4,320,000 years according to the earth calendar.
A thousand of these constitutes the creator's "day-time" - the period during which the manifest world "exists."
After this there is an equal duration of the 'night' of the creator.
I believe the latest scientific discovery is that just as once everything emerged from God, later, everything will collapse into itself - first there was an explosion, and later there will be an implosion where everything will be sucked into its own center.
The entire universe will be reduced to a pinpoint called a "singularity."
What is wrong with calling this Brahman, God?
Though here and there in our scriptures there is a description of "creation," such descriptions are quickly followed by a statement that it is a repetitive process.
At the beginning of creation, the creator re-creates what was during the previous "day of the creator."
No one can ever visualize a "creation from nothing."
For then we should foolishly accept the idea that this manifest universe has existed only for a brief while and before that, from beginningless time, there was nothing! It is a cycle, with its projection and reabsorption; beginningless and endless (though he who is awake to self-knowledge is not caught in this relentlessly turning wheel).
Many scientists and astronomers today seem to agree with this view of an ever-existing universe, condensing and expanding.
Meditation on the magnitude of the universe will save you from the worries of the moment.
The words and the concepts of "time," "night" and "day" are relative and illusory.
Realizing this, all fear falls away from you.

June 23

dream of god

8 - The path of devotion - Aksara Brahma Yoga - The Yoga of the Imperishable Brahman

VIII:19 - This same multitude of beings, born again and again, is dissolved, helplessly, at the coming of the night, and comes forth at the coming of the day.
VIII:20 - But verily there exists, higher than the unmanifested, another unmanifested eternal, who is not destroyed when all beings are destroyed.

All this coming and going, according to one school of thought (amply supported by the Bhagavatam which contains highly colorful stories of such creation), takes place in the mind of God (II:20).
The Hebrew word in the Genesis story of the Bible, which is usually translated "in the beginning" also means "in the head" - creation took place in God's head!
The universe is an extensive and prolonged "dream" of God.
Even as during the course of our own dream the dream-objects are indeed real, the objects of this universe seem to be real to us, while the dream of the cosmic dreamer is still in progress.
Otherwise, how is it that though scientists have proved that the whole universe is nothing more than a perpetual movement of light-waves, and that all objects of this universe are, in the ultimate analysis, nothing but energy, we persist in seeing a variety of objects?
What sees what? "I see this paper".
When "I" and "paper" are both vibrations of energy, what makes "I," "I", and "paper," "paper?"
When thus we pursue all our sense perceptions (which together we call the manifest universe), we arrive at the ultimate unmanifested principle - the reality or the absolute.
That absolute is beyond the intellect and the senses.
The unmanifested (root-matter or mulaprakrti) which projects itself and withdraws such manifestation is what Fred Hoyle calls the eternally self-creating root element of which the universe is composed.
It keeps changing, over the substratum of the absolute which is unchanging.
That is Brahman.
That is the self. "That thou art", cry out the Upanishad!

June 24

intellect and love

8 - The path of devotion - Aksara Brahma Yoga - The Yoga of the Imperishable Brahman

VIII:21 - That supreme abode is called unmanifested and infallible, and it is the supreme destination. When one goes there, he never comes back. That's my supreme abode.
VIII:22 - That highest Purusha is attainable by unswerving devotion to Him alone, within Whom all beings dwell, and by Whom All is pervaded.

Being beyond the intellect and definition, the absolute (eternal godhead) is attainable only by devotion.
Faith, love and total self-surrender are the only means here; not intellectuality, reasoning or ratiocination.
Intellect is but a creature of the cosmic dream.
Hence, it can only lead us either farther from God or, at best, to his threshold (if we make it sub-serve faith, that is).
Devotion is the key that unlocks the gates of eternal truth.
Krishna emphasizes again and again that while the seeker ought to do everything possible in his power to be good, to do good, to practice yoga for the purification of the self, the ultimate freedom, buddhi yoga, the eye of intuition or nirvana can only be God's gift.
Even the self that demands them, that seeks them, must disappear in the fire of the seeking!
The seeker and the sought must become one, merging in that point when the seeker has nothing more to seek.
It is then that the sought is revealed or experienced.
The seeker is the sought, for the self is nonexistent and illusory. God-love tears the veil of illusion and removes the distinction between the seeker and the sought.
This is the path of devotion of love and of self-surrender.
Even the Kathopanisad declares that the self cannot be realized by one through much learning, but reveals itself to whom it will.
This does not mean that God is whimsical, but that total egolessness is known only by God.
This much is certain: devotion and self-surrender guarantee self-realization.

June 25


8 - The path of devotion - Aksara Brahma Yoga - The Yoga of the Imperishable Brahman

VIII:23 - I will now explain to you the different times at which, the yogi, passing away from this world, one does or does not come back.
VIII:24 - Fire, light, daytime, the bright fortnight, the six months of the northern path, departing then, men who know Brahman go to Brahman.
VIII:25 - Attaining to the lunar light by smoke, night-time, the dark fortnight or the six months of the southern path, the yogi returns.
VIII:26 - The bright and the dark paths of the world are verily thought to be eternal; by the one a person goes not to return again; by the other he returns.

These verses can be taken literally or symbolically.
What is there during the day that you find absent at night?
The sun, the representative of the light.
Thus, these verses may mean that if you have lived an enlightened life in full consciousness, in light, in clarity, in doubtlessness, then of course you go to Brahman.
You are liberated, free.
But if the life is characterized by darkness, if it is full of doubts, regrets and remorse, then of course you keep going round and round in this world cycle.
Not all people who pass on during the periods mentioned in verse 24 attain Brahman.
Only those "who have known Brahman."
The yogi who has undergone the psychophysical practices mentioned earlier in this chapter ought to be able to separate the soul from the body at will.
On the analogy of Bhisma (who was "slain" in battle, but who discarded his body at a later date), some feel that the yogi, to discard the body, must choose such time as the path of light will open to him.
There are others, however, who declare that the yogi or sage who is awake to the reality gives his body no special value at all and lets it fall when it may, to decay and return to the natural elements.
Such a sage does not "depart" at all, but becomes one with Brahman immediately.

June 26

balance your mind

8 - The path of devotion - Aksara Brahma Yoga - The Yoga of the Imperishable Brahman

VIII:27 - Knowing these paths, O Arjuna, no yogi is ever deluded. Therefore, at all times, be steadfast in Yoga.
VIII:28 - Whatever fruits or merits is declared to accrue from the study of the Vedas, the performance of sacrifices, the practice of austerities, the offering of gifts, beyond all these goes the yogi, having known this; and he attains to the supreme primeval abode.

What man who has clearly understood this continual birth-death-rebirth cycle and the endless miseries that it brings with it, could be foolish and blind enough to cling to this earthly life or value it?
Think of the millions of years that you have eaten, drunk and slept, enjoyed sensual pleasures and suffered the consequent misery.
Should you still wallow in delusion?
Think of the thousands of births you have had and the thousands of parents, wives, husbands and children that you have had in those births.
Should you still wallow in delusion?
Think of the desires gratified and thus strengthened, the ambitions fulfilled, the houses built, money made and property acquired, and think of how all these have been razed to the earth by the ravages of time - the millions of millennia that this universe has existed.
Should you still wallow in delusion?
Think of the insignificance of a short span of fifty years of active life in comparison to the millions of years that constitute a day of the creator.
What can you do during this short span that can compare to self-realisation which can liberate you from transmigration for ever?
Should you still wallow in delusion?
Think of the insignificance of this life-span and rejoice that its pleasures and even its pains do not last a split-second - "Even this will pass away, balance your mind in pain and joy" said our Master.
Do not wallow in delusion, but seek to attain the supreme abode this very moment.

June 27


9 - The path of devotion - Raja Vidya Yoga - The Yoga of the Kingly Science and Sovereign Secret.

IX:1 - The Blessed Lord said : I shall now declare to you who does not cavil, the greatest secret, the knowledge combined with knowing. Having known this, you shall be free from miseries.
IX:2 - This is the kingly science, the kingly secret, the supreme purifier; realisable by direct intuitional knowledge, according to dharma, very easy to perform and imperishable.

In the last chapter the Lord quietly slipped in an idea which, on the surface, looks impossible: "Think of God constantly and at the same time never neglect your duty here."
How does a single person split himself into two, for how else can one fulfil this commandment?
In this chapter, Krsna answers this vital question.
Hence all the flourish at the very outset.
'Rajavidya' literally means 'the king of all knowledge'.
This highest knowledge is available only to one who is king of his mind and senses, since these are the outlets through which true intuitive knowledge is lost.
Krsna is no vain egoist.
The precarious middle path is imperceptibly subtle, so we are not usually sure where humility ends and timidity begins. A simple rule might help: personal effrontery must be humbly borne, but the glory of the divine wisdom must not be under-rated or allowed to be trampled upon.
Krsna demonstrated true and divine humility by becoming Arjuna's charioteer, but he is emphatic that the yoga he now teaches is a kingly science.
It is a kingly science, no doubt, yet the fanfare is also used in order to enable us to listen more attentively - this is no ordinary science!
The word 'secret' is used, perhaps, 'so that we will be tempted to spread the message!
Maybe Krsna also meant, when he declared the teaching to be a secret, that although the interpretation of the words may be clear, the message is secret and requires investigation.
It is a profound secret on the non-verbal level, and must be understood not with the head, but with the heart.
When that happens, it becomes a living truth and instantly you are purified.

June 28


9 - The path of devotion - Raja Vidya Yoga - The Yoga of the Kingly Science and Sovereign Secret.

IX:3 - Those who have no faith in the path of devotional service, O Arjuna, return to the path of this world of death, without attaining Me.

The word 'sradda' cannot be easily translated.
Merely translating it into 'faith' does not make it clear.
However, the rest of the verse gives an indication of its meaning.
If that something called 'sradda' is not there, you do not reach the truth or self-realisation.
If you do not reach self-realisation, you experience birth and death again and again.
You are trapped in this, world in which you constantly experience happiness and unhappiness, success and failure, pleasure and pain.
When this 'sradda' arises, then the constant succession of changes - beginnings and endings is like water on a duck's back and the ultimate truth becomes 'realisable by direct intuitional knowledge' .
'Sradda' - we shall call it faith - is important.
If a man has no faith in a teaching he fails to adopt it in his life.
Hence, though this dharma knowledge of the self is a kingly science and though God and all saints are ever ready, willing and eager to bring more and more souls on to this path, the path becomes a 'kingly secret'.
Lack of faith makes us doubt the value of practice, so we wallow in delusion!
If we have the necessary faith, however, we take up the practice and realise that self-knowledge which is superior to all else.
Self-knowledge is different from a layman 's knowledge of the radio; all he knows is how to turn the knobs, the rest was done by the engineer.
In self-knowledge there is no second-hand knowledge, hearsay or dependence upon the authority of someone else.
Here, we accept a working hypothesis - on faith - practise yoga, attain direct realisation and prove the hypothesis ourselves.
Faith itself will purify our heart and mind.
If it does not lead to this, self purification, it is not 'sradda'.
Our heart and soul are polluted because of our identification of the soul with inert and changing matter.
Rain water is pure, but is polluted on coming into contact with the earth.
When this identification of the self with the body and mind ceases, we regain our pristine purity.
If we have this 'sradda', then we let life flow in a profound realisation - which has been described in the rest of this chapter.

June 29


9 - The path of devotion - Raja Vidya Yoga - The Yoga of the Kingly Science and Sovereign Secret.

IX:4 - All this world is pervaded by Me in My unmanifest aspect; all beings exist in Me, but I do not dwell in them.

What is that kingly science or kingly secret?
As is characteristic of Krsna, he gives, in a simple, straightforward verse, the whole truth.
The entire universe is completely permeated by God, the reality, but in an unmanifested, not-so-obvious guise.
That is what is really meant in Gurudev's famous Universal Prayer: 'You are omnipresent'.
Omnipresent means that there is nothing other than God.
If that understanding arises there is nothing to be negated.
This understanding is prevented by various factors, one of which is thinking that this may not be the reality.
Instead of investigating what the reality is, the mind assumes that the reality must have certain characteristics and whatever does not possess these characteristics is not the reality.
It gets caught up in its own web of thought, of maya.
The truth of God's omnipresence is, in fact, scientific, though science which is fast moving towards the same conclusion may yet take some time before even surmising it.
We have already reached the stage at which we are scientifically assured that only-one thing exists in the universe vibrant energy which, when it is comparatively at rest, appears to be mass.
All the elements are atoms arranged in a particular combination and the atoms themselves are distinguished in accordance with the number of electrons and protons they contain.
Yet, how 'is it that a table is different from a book?
There is obviously some erroneous perception in the beholder.
Who is this beholder? The man.
He, too, shares the same fate as the universe which to him appears outside.
He is also composed of the same elements and factors.
Though in reality one alone exists, there is this mysterious 'internal reflection'.
It is loosely comparable to the dream of a sleeping man: objects created in and by the one mind acting on one another.
Though in calmer and saner moments we may glimpse this truth, it is hard to realise and live in it.
This is Krsna's yoga: constantly remember that God is the sole, though not-so-obvious, reality pervading all, including you, but never limited to or conditioned by anything in the universe.

June 30

the divine yoga

9 - The path of devotion - Raja Vidya Yoga - The Yoga of the Kingly Science and Sovereign Secret.

IX:5 - Yet everything that's created does not rest in Me. Behold My Divine Yoga! Although I am the maintainer of all living entities, and although I am everywhere, still my Self is the very source of creation.

"Measure not the immeasurable in words", warned lord Buddha.
Daksinamurti indicated it by silence and the symbol of wisdom (cin-mudra).
The vaidika seers exclaimed "Hau, hau", unable to find words to express their vision.
Sage Yajnavalkya declared that all positive definitions are distractions and that the reality can only be approached by the total negation of all names and forms, thoughts and concepts - 'neti, neti' , 'not this, not this'.
Yet, if no-one said anything, no-one (except the rarest few to whom silence is meaningful) could learn.
Here we are, on the horns of a dilemma!
The method adopted by the Indian sage to overcome this is paradoxical.
Every thesis is immediately opposed by its antithesis, and the resultant inexpressible synthesis is the nearest point which human intellect can reach before awakening to the reality (an event which the Zen Buddhists call 'satori') which is enlightenment.
The previous verse said 'all beings exist in me' and here we are told 'nor do beings exist in me'!
Deep meditation on this conundrum will remove the suggestion of duality and plurality implied in the first statement.
It is not like saying: "sweets are in the tin", but rather "vapour is pervaded by water", where vapour and water are not two different things, but one is just the manifestation of the other.
Thus, the reality is there, everywhere, all the time, in not-so-obvious a manner.
God is the creator and sustainer of all beings, yet not outside them.
God dwells in all beings, yet is not limited to them.
All beings are pervaded by him, yet not as 'all beings' (diverse and different) but in a mysterious manner all are forever one with him, without in any way affecting him, tainting him, limiting him or conditioning him.
This indeed is the divine yoga; and the Lord explains it further in the following verses.

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