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 28: Self-Reliance vs. Self-Reliance
Last week we considered the need for attunement—with God, with the gurus, with the wisdom of others—until we make that wisdom our own. There is a strong, and in fact valid, belief nowadays in the need for standing on one's own feet rather than depending weakly on others to carry us by their strength.
Swami Kriyananda was once asked, “What is the best yoga posture?” “That one,” he replied, “which sets you squarely on your own two feet.”
Our strength must come from within. If that strength comes from the ego, however, instead of from soul-consciousness, it is like a guitar string without its sounding board: the notes it emits will be thin and feeble. Our strength must come from within, but must be coupled with recognition of our inner link with broader and higher realities.
The Bhagavad Gita says in the tenth Chapter:
Everyone in this world whose life is glorious, or prosperous, or powerful—know that his achievement is but a little spark from the great sun of My effulgence.
Jesus in talking to his disciples emphasized also the power of attunement with his own consciousness as a ray of the Divine. For this ray had descended already, through him, in response to their devotion; it was a sign that God was already “listening” to them with receptive attention, and did not require to be wooed in that way any longer. In the passage preceding the one that we read last week, Jesus said:
This was the meaning of Paramhansa Yogananda's counsel also, when speaking more intimately to the disciples of the need for attunement with him.
I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
Thus, through holy scripture, God has spoken to mankind.