Rays of the One Light
Weekly commentaries on the Bible and the Bhagavad Gita
by Swami Kriyananda (J. Donald Walters)
Truth is one and eternal. Realize oneness with it in your deathless Self, within. The following commentary is based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda.
Week 22: The Inner Kingdom
Most people imagine that the “inner Kingdom,” as Jesus described it, lacks the fascination they attribute to sense life: the bright lights, the diverse attractions, the joys and the laughter. Little do they realize what a vast universe exists in their own selves!
There are many passages in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible that describe aspects of this inner kingdom. In the Book of Genesis we read: “And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden... And the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 2:8, 9). This garden was in no earthly place. It exists even now, in the very Self of every human being! The legend of Adam and Eve is allegorical. It describes how the first human beings dissipated their spiritual energy, centered in the spine. The spine is the channel through which flows the river of baptism and of spiritual life.
The Bhagavad Gita tells us, “The wise speak of an eternal ashvatta tree, with its roots above and its branches below” (15:1). The “tree of life,” spoken of also in genesis, is the spine. Its roots are above, in the brain’s energy. Its branches are the outward spreading nervous system. When the “sap,” which is to say, the energy, flows downward the consciousness is drawn into delusion. On the other hand, when the energy is drawn upward in deep meditation, the consciousness is drawn toward its eternal source, God, and is at last united with Him.
Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita therefore urges his chief disciple Arjuna to embrace the yoga science, the path of meditation. “The yogi,” he says, “is greater than the ascetic, greater even than the followers of the paths of wisdom [Gyana Yoga] or of action [Karma Yoga]. Be thou, O Arjuna, a yogi!”
For those who would find the divine truth, Krishna gives this description of the yogi:
Wherever you are, whatever your outward beliefs and observances, seek God in the silence of your soul.
Steadfast a lamp burns, sheltered from the winds;
Steadfastly meditating, solitary,
Such is the likeness of the Yogi’s mind
Shut from sense-storms and burning bright
Thus, through holy Scripture, God has spoken to mankind.
Copyright © 1996 by Hansa Trust