EAST - WEST
September, 1932 Vol.4—11
MEDITATIONS —By Swami Yogananda
I will take all sorrows from the attic of memory
And cast them into the fires of oblivion.
Every day I will endeavor
To establish a new temple of Self-Realization
In the soil of new friendship.
I will behold God Himself
Bestowing on me His Divine Love
Through the love of all those who love me.
I will behold the person
Who now considers himself as my enemy
To be in truth my Divine brother
Hidden behind the veil of misunderstanding.
I will tear aside this veil with the dagger of love
So that, seeing my humble,
He will receive the offerings of my good will.
Every night I will come out of my hiding place
In self-flattery, and the flattery of others,
And I will speak the cold truth to myself
About the difference between the real me
And my flattering conception of myself.
Each morning I will rouse
The judge of my impartial introspection
And ask Him to try me before His Tribunal
Of conscience, and ask the district attorney
Of discrimination to prosecute the rowdy error,
Which steals the peace-wealth of my soul.
Being endowed with free choice
I am the Son of God in reality.
I have been dreaming that I am a mortal man.
I am now awake. The dream of my soul
Imprisoned in my bodily cage has vanished.
I am everything that my Heavenly Father is.
Within my soul is the joy
Which my Ego is seeking.
I suddenly become aware of His Bliss
Honey-combed in the hive of silence.
I will break the hive of secret silence
And drink the honey of unceasing blessedness.
While I watch the variously decorated
Temples of Thy flowers near me,
In tears of devotion I will wait
For Thy silent feet of fragrance
To approach my olfactory temple and baptize me
With Thy secret sweetness.
I will strive to make myself and all others
Definitely rich with God, first and last.
I will seek safety first, last, and all the time
In the constant inner thought of God-Peace.
First and foremost,
I will try to be a Joy Billionaire
And satisfy my needs
For health and prosperity at the same time.
I will acquire divinely-deep concentration
And then use its unlimited power
To meet the God-given demands of my life.
I will scatter the stars of my unlimited cheer
To dispel the dark sadness of souls.
I will spread the moonrays of my sympathy
In all individuals, in all races, in all my own kind.
I want no monuments
On the mountains of human fame,
But I want secretly to remain
In the caves of Divine love in souls
And silently serve them
With invisible thoughts of helpfulness.
I would like to dematerialize my body
And namelessly and formlessly
Be the silent Divine messenger
Visiting the dark corners of all souls
And kindling candles of peace
Stolen from the works of silence.
The King of the Universe is my Father.
I am the prince successor to all His kingdom
Of power, wealth, and wisdom.
—By Brahmacharee Nerode
Honesty and intelligence are my silent comrades
In this life of constant peace and war.
Through the pursuit of honesty,
I will contact God. By dint of intelligence
I will conquer life.
Hatred or jealousy, raise not thy head.
Born of God, I am a gardener of God-love.
I am a traveler,
Determined to reach the sublime heights.
Let storm shriek or dangers entomb me,
I will not falter in pressing ahead.
It is all because of my trust
In Thee and Thy loving Law.
Everything breeds its own kind,
Good bringing forth good,
Evil bringing forth evil.
Such is the Law of Compensation.
I will sow only the seeds of beneficence
On the soil of my thought and activity.
I am swimming in the pool of Eternity.
Oh, my soul, feel the splashes of immortality
Around, within, and about me.
Law rules the earth,
But Love rules the higher laws.
By the unseen laws of love, I will forever live,
And thus find the love of my Beloved.
Prosperity! Thou vain necessity of matter.
I will enchain thee by the chains
Of my all-conquering thought-force
Which radiates from the power-house
Stars and planets! Ye are the witnesses
Of ageless aeons and eternal lighthouses
On the highway of time. Influence my life
For better or for worse.
I will overpower all influences
By the prowess of my soul-force.
My soul! Arise, awake, and conquer.
Hard is the economic struggle.
Harder still is the struggle of the Spirit.
Bruised and bleeding at times, may I yet
Cling to my ideal adventure to know Thee
Through every expression of my humble life.
When I was steeped in Maya,
I demanded pragmatic evidences
In regard to Thy existence.
Now light has graciously broken into my house.
I care for naught but Thy Presence.
Such was my misfortune, that for aeons
I thought that Thou wert apart from life, world,
And all that intellect or senses can comprehend.
As my days pass by and glacier-waters of wisdom
Rush into my being, I find that by following
The golden path of temperance
I can see and feel Thee behind the beauty and joy
Of all that lives and all that breathes.
Time and again Thou hast knocked at my door.
My house was dark, and sleep
Hovered over the place. Now that I am awake,
I Will hear Thy footsteps.
Each day is the harbinger of a new experience.
Every new experience is a new day.
Why should I bother about the day that is dead?
I do not care what life has in store for me.
The Hand of God weaves the destiny of stars
As well as of man.
What God offers I will accept with a glad heart.
Reason, Faith, Realization
—By James Warnack
TOO much solitude is apt to make men over-sensitive, sometimes insane, or, perhaps bitter. Too much society, regardless of the brand, has a tendency to make one forget himself and to look upon himself as the thing which society thinks him to be. To see ones-self as others see us is seldom desirable. It is always good to see ourselves as we are. This is so for the reason that when a man has thrown off every cloak of make-believe with which his fellow man has clothed him, when he has discarded every robe of falsehood which he has foolishly wrapped around himself, and when he has shaken off the dust of environment and the red paint of circumstances, he will stand revealed to himself and be well pleased with himself, for he will see a creature fair and good, made in the image of God.
I now believe this to be true because once I felt it to be true. Feeling is the eyesight of the soul. Real feeling is not a faculty of the physical brain nor of the mind, but rather of the soul, and that faculty, feeling, is a cord that cannot vibrate unless it be touched by the hand that guides the soul in its journey. For this reason, although my mind may, and often does, discredit the assertions of those five little guides who lead me first through flower beds and then over rocks and thorns, I still must forever believe in the truth of that which my soul has once seen. The mind thinks but the soul knows, and whatever my soul has once felt to be true, I accept as an eternal verity. I never feel that the unpleasant, the horrible, the vicious, and the disorderly are ture. I may think such things are real, I may fear them, but somehow I never feel that these qualities or conditions are good and true and beautiful in any sense. Reason may tell me that all things have their place in the eternal order, that even disorder is only seeming disorder. Reason may insist that vice is as necessary as virtue. The chief function of reason seems to be to play the clown and amuse us by its constant contradictions of itself, and yet, reason has another office. It lights the torch of Faith, and Faith, beautiful Faith! Very well does she guide us through the darkness until the sun of Truth bursts upon us through the gloom. Then even the fair light of sweet Faith is obscured as we walk in the brightness of the greater glory of Realization.
The Amazing Law of Permanent Divine Healing
—By Swami Yogananda
PERFECT health is given by God. Disease is man-made. The baby who is born blind, or who is born a moron, brings such a condition from a past from of existence. Diseases acquired from the past or created through transgressions of the laws in this life are the results of human error. God wants His children to enjoy health and happiness, but they create disease and sorrow by breaking His laws.
A stone wall never wants to hurt the knuckles of a man who strikes it. The man hurts himself through his foolishness in not understanding the effect of the wall on his striking knuckles. Likewise, God is harmony, and when man, made in His image, tries to lead an inharmonious life, he hurts himself. God never punishes man. Man punishes himself by reaping the results of his self-created wrong actions.
All diseases are the result of collisions of the brittle inharmonious life with the stone wall of God’s harmony within. Peaceful actions tune in with God’s peace as felt in Silence within, and the result is happiness. Wrong actions collide with God’s peace of silence and produce unhappiness.
There are diseases which result from breaking hygienic laws and the consequent bacterial invasion. There are maladies which results from disobeying the mental laws of being, and the consequent attack of mental bacteria of fear, anger, worry, greed, temptation, and lack of self-control. There are diseases which arise from the soul’s ignorance.
After all, it must be remembered that ignorance is the mother of all physical, mental, and spiritual diseases. Abolish ignorance by contacting God and forthwith body, mind, and soul will be healed of all maladies.
Medicine Has Power But Also Has Limitations
No doubt some medicines have healing power, since God gave herbs and minerals power to affect the body of man. Only a man who can drink a bottle of Potassium Cyanide without any ill effect can speak with authority of the delusive power of medicine or matter.
We know from experience that medicine has power to heal, as is demonstrated by the wonderful healings effected by good drugs and good doctors, but it must be remembered, medicine and doctors have limited power and often reveal their helplessness when confronted with chronic diseases. Therefore, to put your entire trust in medicine is sure to bring disillusionment.
Human Methods Cannot Guarantee
Permanent Mental or Physical Cure
Medicine and doctors cannot guarantee against recurrence of all diseases and cannot guarantee complete destruction of the roots. The same is true regarding the destruction of mental diseases and the soul disease of ignorance. The obvious human methods of cure through reading books or by following the advice of friends cannot insure permanent healing of mental and soul troubles.
Must Seek Permanent Panacea For All Troubles
The necessity of seeking a sure method of permanently curing bodily, mental, and spiritual ills becomes apparent. Permanent cure of all human troubles means the complete absence of any recurrence of physical diseases born of bacteria or accidents, or from any mental or spiritual causes.
Drinking all the medicines, undergoing countless operations, or reading all the holy books of the world can give temporary relief, but can never destroy the possibility of the recurrence of these three-fold physical, mental, and spiritual sufferings. What is that universal panacea which will destroy pain, accidents, and ignorance forever so that the body, mind, and soul may be the perfect image of Spirit?
Technique of Permanent Healing
It is this. Convince the mind first that all human methods of cure are limited in their healing power, and that only God’s all-permeating, all-healing power is unlimited. While sitting in silence in the morning and evening, and whenever you have time during the day, mentally affirm: "Father, Thy unlimited and all-healing Power is in me. Manifest Thy light through the darkness of my ignorance."
Just as the thought of swallowing drugs does not heal a bodily disease, so also just the imaginary contact of God through blind prayers cannot produce the desired healing. As darkness cannot remain where light is, so also, the light of God’s perfect presence felt in the body must drive away the darkness of disease. Few realize this. Most people make wishes when they are overpowered with desires for healing. Most people pray with disbelief in their hearts, or with a sense of hopelessness, thinking that God will not listen to prayers, or they then pray and do not wait to find out if their prayer has reached God.
Pray Until Answer is Received
Before going to bed, and upon awakening, mentally and deeply try to broadcast your message: "I and my Father are One," until your mind microphone, broken by hammers of restlessness, becomes divinely repaired and is able to transmit your demand to God. As a broken microphone cannot broadcast a message, so a restless mind cannot transmit prayers to God.
It is better to pray after deep silence or after silencing all restless thought. Keep a calm bodily posture of concentration throughout meditation and prayer. It is still better to pray after calming mind and switching off the life force and senses from the five-sense telephones of touch, taste, smell, hearing, and sight, by the practice of the fourth and fifth Yogoda lessons.
In order to broadcast a message from Los Angeles to the Woolworth Building in New York, you need a good broadcasting outfit. You must not broadcast once and stop. You must keep on persistently broadcasting until you know your message has been received and you get a response. In the same way, keep mentally repeating the above affirmation until the mind microphone becomes repaired by the skill of deep concentration or by attaining calmness through the popular method of silence, or by practice of the Yogoda lessons.
Keep repeating the above affirmation, not only until calmness is attained, but until God answers with the ever-increasing, ever-new Bliss born of unceasing, deepening concentration. When the very-new, ever-increasing joy fills your silence, then know that you have contacted God and that He is answering through the receiving instrument of your Soul. This God-contact may be accomplished through regular, intense, long-continued meditations.
The Proof of God’s Response
A feeling of great joy is absolute proof that God has accepted your demand to be recognized as His prodigal Son come home.
Demand To Be One With God
Must Precede All Other Desires
Remember, beggars get only a beggar’s share, while a son receives a son’s share, so do not beg for money or health, but demand your lost Divine Birthright of Oneness with the Father. When that is actually accomplished by the ever-increasing, ever-new joy contact of God in silence, then all things, including health, abundance, and wisdom will be added unto you.
Jesus spoke of the foolishness of men of the world seeking bread first. He instructed all mankind to seek God first. To find God actually by Yogoda meditation and silence, and not by imagination, according to the old theological way, is the only way to bring back your lost Oneness with God.
To be One with God is to own everything that God has. To be One with God is to be His son. To become the Divine Prince is to acquire everything, including health, happiness, and wisdom, even as the Father has.
Last of all, when the joy-contact of God is felt, you have regained your lost Divine Right. Then deeply affirm: "Perfect Father, Thou art in me. I am well," or affirm any legitimate need, but not unnecessary desires.
Tuning in With Yogoda Healers or With the Swami
Tuning in with Divine healers at Yogoda headquarters by private correspondence will be found to be effective. To tune in with the spiritual Yogoda teachers, sit in deep silence and meditation any time during the day and mentally repeat the following affirmation: "Father, Thy Light is flowing through Christ, through the Saints of all Religions, through the Master Minds of India, through the Swami and Yogoda healers, and strongly and uninterruptedly through me. I am well."
Tune in with Swami’s prayers, which are sent out through the ether, anywhere, any time between 6 and 10 o’clock in the morning. His prayer message is waiting to offer physical, mental, or spiritual help to those who tune in by deep silence.
As repeated visualization of a table laden with good food does not bring food or satisfy hunger, if the table is empty, so also visualization of health may encourage the mind or offer temporary relief, but can never bring permanent health, which is only possible by beholding God in the perfect body-temple. Instead of simply feeling that God is in the body, the soul, mind, and body will be perceived as the perfect manifestation of God Himself. It is after such realization that the body can remain permanently healed.
THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST
Origin of Evil, I We Were Gods, Misuse of Power, The Middle Path, The Only Reality
ORIGIN OF EVIL
THERE ARE many causes which can be set forth as to the origin of evil. Some people say that it is due to man’s own fault and that neither God nor any evil power, such as that of a conscious Satan, is responsible for all the evil in the world.
Although evil is relative and is due to the lack of harmony with God’s laws, if you hit a stone wall with your knuckles the resulting undeniable evil of pain would not be created or willed by the wall, but would be due to your ignorance in trying to hurt a stone wall.
Likewise, it can be said, God is the eternal stone wall of goodness, and anyone who is foolish enough to misuse his intelligence and try to act against the good is bound to produce the evil of pain and suffering. God is good. We were made in His image, endowed with the gift of free choice to tune in with His Nature of Goodness, Peace, and Immortality, and those who get out of tune with Him by performing evil actions are bound to suffer.
Many people say that evil resulted from the erroneous effort of trying to collide evil actions and pernicious ways of life with the wall of eternal good principles underlying all things in God, or from breaking God’s laws. Then others say that evil arises not only from trying to reconcile good and evil, but results also from the law of cause and effect; that man, although made in the image of God and receiving perfect independence, misused it and acted in a way resulting in the collision with good, which produced evil.
A little boy endowed with reason may enjoy perfect health and protection under the strict discipline of his mother, but when he grows up and says: "Mother, I know I am safe under your care, but I wonder why you gave me the power of free choice if you are always to decide how I am to act? Mother dear, I want to choose for myself and find out in what lies my own good and what leads me to suffering."
The mother replies: "Son, it is right for you to demand from me the right to use your free choice. When you were helpless and your reason had not yet budded forth into full expression, I helped you, and nurtured you through the maternal love which protects babies. Now, however, you are grown up, your reason has opened your eyes, and you must depend upon your own free choice and judgment to guide you to do what will produce your well being."
Thus the youth ventures into the world unguarded, with a semi-developed reason, and the first thing that he does is to get into a fight and secure the resulting evil of a broken leg and a black eye.
In exactly the same way the Divine Mother protects each baby through the instinctive love of parents until grown up, then the baby has to protect itself by the exercise of reason. If the baby uses reason rightly, it becomes happy, but if reason is misused, then evil is precipitated through the misuse of reason.
Subjective Origin of Evil
Many intellectualists claim that evil is more subjective than objective. this is not wholly true. It can be explained that most evil is due to the ignorance of man. For example, the habit of physical over-indulgence, and its consequent evils of indiscretion, ill health, and grip of temptation, does not arise until man, by an act of erroneous judgment, forgets himself and subjectively by repeated transgressions allows this consciousness to become a habit.
All habits, good or bad, control and enslave the mind only after the will has allowed itself to be overcome by repeated good or evil actions born of good or evil judgment, as the case may be. Thus it may be said, man’s good judgment, and his will, acting under its influence, produce all good, and man’s ignorant or evil judgment, and his will acting repeatedly under its influence, is responsible for all evil. From this viewpoint good and evil are mostly subjective instead of originating in some objective power.
It may be asked why some children are born with special tendencies of self-control and some with tendencies of weakness. Some intellectuals may point out that heredity is responsible for good or bad traits in a child. Then the question comes: Why would an impartial God start one child with a good heredity and a good brain inclined only to good tendencies, and another child with a bad heredity and the brain of a moron inclined only to do evil under the compelling influence of evil physiological instincts?
According to the law of reincarnation and the law of karma, or the law of cause and effect, which governs the actions of all persons, it is explained that the soul attracts to itself a good or bad heredity, and a good or bad brain, according to pre-natal habits formed during the period of the past incarnation preceding death in the last incarnation and rebirth in this life. Therefore, it may be said that the good or bad judgment of all incarnations, working through the law of cause and effect, which governs all human actions, creates good or bad habits, and that good or bad habits create good or bad hereditary tendencies, and that thus all evil arises from wrong judgment.
All this is very well said, namely, that evil is subjective, but it does not explain why millions of bacteria and virulent, invisible armies of germs move silently about the earth seeking, like devouring locusts, to destroy the crop of human lives.
Why is it easy for the majority of people to be tempted materially? Why are they spiritually idle, and why do they do the very things that will hurt them? Why is there death by floods and cataclysms? Why do men murder each other in war? It does not seem possible that all of the ten million people destroyed by flood and famine in China could have suffered due to their past actions in previous lives.
Why is there cannibalism in Nature? Why does the baby salmon live on the flesh of its mother? Why does the big fish eat the little fish? Why do even the thoughts of wrong judgment and emotions of jealousy, revenge, greed, and selfishness arise at all in the human mind which was made in the image of God?
If man is the image of God, and God is good, then the logical deduction is that man could become nothing else but good. The world war may have resulted from industrial selfishness, from nations fuming with national selfishness and greed for possession, but why was it not avoided by parliamentary discussions? Why was it that the slaying of the Austrian Duke threw the world into furious conflagration? Think of Tamarlane, emperor of India, slaying one million Hindus after his victory.
Think of the joy in fishing. You deceive the fish by hooked food, and the more the fish struggles for life, the more you enjoy it and say: "My, it is a game fish." Would you like to change places with the fish? Think of the Aztecs, who used to cut the hearts out of their prisoners of war, six or seven hundred at a time, in front of their idol gods. Think of all the burning of witches and martyrs under the zeal of the Christian faith.
Think of the war of the Crusades, fought for the Biblical teachings, which preach only love for your enemies. Think of the thousands of priests who advocated war and prayed for the destruction of their enemy brothers and victory for themselves. Think of the numberless diseases which infest plants and animals who have no free choice and who consequently could not attract pre-natal evils due to bad karma.
The eternal warfare of animals preying on one another, and the battle of opposites in Nature, distinctly show that there is an evil force which is employing germs, wrong judgment of men, and cannibalistic instincts, which are wrong vibrations resulting from the wrong actions of man, and breed temptation to do wrong in infinite ways by trying to destroy the effort of the Infinite Good who is trying to express Himself in infinite good ways.
If We Were Gods,
We would create a Much Better World
We think that if we were Almighty we could create a much better world than this. We would banish from earth cancer, accidents, weakness, revengefulness, anger, greed, murder, famine, leprosy, cannibalism, industrial greed resulting in depression, earthquakes, floods, bad weather, drought, death by pain, boredom, old age, despair, poisonous bacteria, tragedies of life, and so forth.
We would create a world with a joyous struggle and not painful struggle, an ever-new happy state of mind for all men, entirely different from mental idleness and boredom. We would make the body with the qualities of asbestos, diseaseless, changeable according to the commandments of our will. We would have our bodies tailored in the workshop of materialization and self-rejuvenation.
We would create a variety of occupations with a variety of actions, all leading to Infinite, unending, ever-new happiness. Good citizens would be materialized by will from the ether, even as God created the first man and woman, and would dematerialize ourselves in Cosmic Consciousness after we had successfully finished our earthly entertainment.
The Dragon, Subjective Evil, and No Evil
Blind theologians and superstitious people made a dragon out of Satan, which had to be killed by the sword of the conquering knight. Modern intellectuals try to explain Satan away as a merely subjective idea born of ignorance. Some modern spiritual denominations, being unable to explain the existence of evil in the entirely good God, completely and blindly deny even the existence of evil.
We find that Jesus, whose knowledge was born of intuition, distinctly spoke of a conscious Satan who lured Him to the wilderness and tempted Him with the wild beasts of evil patterns arrayed side by side with the good patterns of God. This conscious force comes in the form of little temptations to the ordinary man. Imagine how a young boy like Hickman of California, who was a devout devotee of the church, could be influenced by evil to cut a young girl to pieces just for the fun of it. The Loeb and Peopold boys of Chicago were tempted also by evil to mutilate the body of a young boy just to satisfy the sense of curiosity. The existence of such evils is the reason Jesus prayed: "Thy kingdom come," in order that man might use his independence and act rightly, and that he might substitute the kingdom of God for the kingdom of evil.
Satan, like a fisherman, has cast a net of delusion around all mankind and is continually trying to drag man toward the slavery of delusion, death, and finitude. Satan tempts humanity by his baits of greed, and promises of pleasure, and leads people to destruction and continuous painful reincarnations. He keeps souls, like fish, in the pond of finitude and spawns them with desires for his own destructive uses.
Satan Creates An Evil Pattern
For Every Good Pattern Created by God
For all the patterns of good created by God, Satan created corresponding patterns of psychological evils. God created wisdom, Satan ignorance. God created all good, Satan all evil. God created the senses of sight, smell, taste, hearing, and touch to be the servants of man, bringing happiness to him. Satan by temptation made man the slave of his senses and caused the resultant misery.
Misuse of Senses
The sense of hearing, smell, and sight can be over-taxed with very little ill effect. Very few people are foolish enough to strain their eyes so much that they become blind. No one can smell flowers or perfumes long enough to cause death. Very few people can make themselves deaf by continuously listening to good music. Of course, the sense of sight may be baited by physical beauty and result in a series of wrong judgments and misery. The sense of hearing may be misused and lost by too much practice of cannon shooting or other loud explosions. The sense of smell can be vitiated, but it is the most harmless of all of the five senses and can stand much abuse without retaliation.
Think what dreadful consequences follow when the sense of taste or touch is over-taxed. How easy it is to over-eat and hasten death by indigestion. How easy it is for most people to over-indulge in physical temptation and indiscretion and bring upon themselves ill health, boredom, social, and matrimonial disaster, jealousy, murder, and so forth. God wanted man to procreate His species by materialization, but Satan, through misuse of his God-given power of free choice, created the physical urge and its infinite complications to keep man’s mind away from the joy of God. If God created infinite Bliss, Satan created the greatest of all the temptations—that of the flesh.
How Satan Created Temptation
To Oppose God’s Pattern of Soul Bliss
Is it wrong to have good children by the ordinary law of procreation? No, but remember that Satan’s law of procreation and its misuse can be overcome only by moderation in marriage and by self control and by the joyous contact with God in meditation and not by hypocritical renunciation. When the joy of God, felt in meditation with stillness of breath, remains continuously in the soul, then the physical temptation vanishes forever through contrast with this greater joy. Real freedom can be accomplished in no other way.
The Middle Path to Freedom
The joy in God is more tempting than all temptations. Just as when opium is suddenly denied to an opium addict, he becomes sick or dies, so, unless the laws of Satan, which have become second nature to man, are worked off gradually, man dies the death of ignorance.
Attempted complete self-control, by the sense-tortured individual develops hypocrisy, that is why Saint Paul said: "It is better to marry than to burn." Moderation in married life, supplemented by tasting of the Infinite Bliss of deep meditation and the unconditioned Divine Love in the soul, is a better way to freedom than the earthly way of reincarnation by physical procreation. The man who has completely attained Divine Bliss may not marry. If he does marry, as did Lahiri Mahasaya (my Guru’s Guru) it is only to show people how the consciousness of God can tame temptation and how God’s love can spiritualize conjugal love, and how it can exist under all conditions of life.
Since God’s love is more tempting than temptation, one can love God even though he loves his wife. One can love his wife with the love of God and not love of flesh. To love your wife in a material way only is to invite Satan to dwell with you and lead you to boredom, destruction of your most wonderful love, and to separation. To love your wife with the pure love of God and to live with her a life of self control by mental development, and to create spiritual children is a noble way to live. To be drowned by material cares, weariness, over-work, greed for money, over-indulgence in amusements, buying more things, and slaving for more money and saving no time for God leads you to the misery kingdom of Satan. A happy, contented, simple, harmonious married life of self control and meditation leads you to God.
God created forgiveness; Satan created revenge. Likewise, God created calmness, fearlessness, unselfishness, spirit of brotherhood, peace, love, understanding, wisdom, and happiness, and for each of these Satan created its psychological opposite of restlessness, fear, greed, individual and material selfishness, war, anger, hate, murder and jealousy instead of understanding; ignorance in place of wisdom, and sorrow to fight happiness.
Sense slavery was created to defeat the happiness in self control. National selfishness, false sense of patriotism, industrial selfishness, and national pride were created by Satan to destroy the universal spirit of brotherhood, international understanding, and law of equality created by God. Conscience, the voice of God, always beckons you to do right. Temptation, the voice of Satan, coaxes you to do wrong.
Remember that Satan has brought disease, cataclysms, famine, pain, death, strife, and imperfection in Nature so that man may desire to have a perfect earth and return again and again to earth life, where Satan reigns, and never go back to Spirit. Let us, by perfect living in a spiritual United States of the World, make God’s Heaven from Satan’s earth of imperfection. Let us help God’s pattern, to take the place of the evil designs of Satan.
Belief in an objective Satan explains the origin of all evil, which cannot be explained by the individual or collective subjective ignorance of man. You are free, so when you are tempted, or angry, or jealous, or selfish, or greedy, or revengeful, or restless, remember that Satan is asking you to come to his side. Remember that every time you are master of yourself: moderate, calm, understanding, unselfish, forgiving, and when you practice meditation, you are inviting God to help you. Remember, above all, that you are a free agent endowed with free will, and that Satan can only influence you when you command yourself to yield to his temptations.
You Must Choose
Remember, God can redeem you only when you act in accordance with His laws of right living in every way. Remember, also, that you are in the middle with Satan standing at your left with his kingdom of misery, and God remaining at your right with His kingdom of happiness. It rests with you whether you will allow Satan to pull you to his side, or whether you will ask God to draw you to His side of Eternal Freedom.
Remember, every time you are tempted to do wrong, it is not your subjective mind alone which is tempting you, but also objective Satan, and recognizing this, refuse to cooperate with him, thereby being destroyed.
Oneness Only Reality. God Alone Exists
Satan can work as wrong subjective consciousness in man, or he can become the objective evil in Nature. Many people think this conception of Satan teaches duality and not the conception of one God, who alone exists in the Cosmos. This is not true. In essence, in reality, there is nothing but Spirit, the only substance in existence, the ever-existing, ever-conscious, ever-new Bliss.
As the ocean, when it is calm, can exist without the storm and the waves, so the Spirit, by withdrawing all waves of manifestation, can exist as the only One Goodness, as the only One Reality, but when the ocean is in movement we must acknowledge a second force, the storm, which divides the one ocean into many struggling, mutually destructive, big and small waves.
God, in creating the Cosmos, has to use the independent Cosmic force of Satan’s delusion to produce in us the delusion of finite substances. As the waves do not change or hurt the ocean, in spite of the fact that big waves are destructive to small waves, so God, manifest as finite imperfect waves of creation, is not affected or changed in essence, although finite objects are perpetually colliding and destroying one another. After all, the evil of delusion exists only in the form, not in the essence of the Spirit. As long a there is Creation, so long will there by the conception of imperfection, for the formal delusion which produces in the infinite substance the consciousness of finite phenomena is born of Cosmic delusion.
Man Must Attain Complete Understanding
Spirit is perceived as the only Reality, the only eternal substance existing, when one goes into deep Samadhi (oneness with Spirit) and sees the ocean of Spirit without the waves of Creation. After attaining this realization, one is justified in saying that there is neither subjective nor objective Satan, but only ever-new, ever-joyous Spirit. However, as long as Creation only is perceived, one has to acknowledge the appearance of duality. God and Satan are facts, even if the latter exists only in delusion and not in reality. If you are dreaming and you hit your dream head against a dream wall, you will have a dream pain. While dreaming, you cannot deny the resultant pain of the collision of a dream head with a dream-conceived wall. In the same way, we are dreaming the delusion of the universe and cannot say that Satan or evil, or pain, disease, and matter do not exist. One who has wakened up in Cosmic Consciousness and forgotten the dream of Cosmic Delusion may say: "Ah, nothing exists but pure eternal goodness—one Spirit."
While Jesus was striving to reach the final state of highest wisdom, the accumulated, subjective, and objective evil, born of delusive habits of incarnations, through memory of short-lived happiness born of contact with temporal finite things, began to tempt him and try to dissuade him from God.
Jesus did not deny this evil. He recognized it and destroyed its binding force by the sword of wisdom, saying: "Get thee behind me, Satan," which means: "Let delusion be left behind my soul racing toward the Spirit." Do not deny subjective or objective evil while you are in delusion, but watch the destructive patterns of evil everywhere as temptation within you and as imperfection and strife in Nature.
Rally your patterns of goodness in your conscience and reason, and in the presence of God, as beauty in all Nature. Strengthen your consciousness of goodness, and in its light drive away the darkness of evil. After successfully doing this say: "Nothing exists but the goodness of God."
To the ordinary man, Satan appears as subjective ideas subtly luring him through pre-natal and post-natal bad habits. To the highly advanced, Satan takes objective form and uses vibratory voices in his last attempt to dissuade the Godward fleeing master who tries to remain completely beyond the net of satanic delusion.
Thus it was that when Satan saw Jesus nearing complete emancipation in God, he took an objective shape, talked to Him, and promised Him the temporal happiness which all his evil patterns of life could afford if Jesus would only forsake god. In the wilderness, when Jesus was enjoying the Divine Bliss contact of God, Satan used the wild beasts of passion, greed of possession, and so forth, to lure Him away from the complete attainment of Divine understanding.
If Jesus had been God on earth, He could not have been tempted, and would not have shown sings of mental struggle, as he did when he said: "Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: Nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done." He also said: "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"
Even after His crucifixion, in the astral state, Jesus had to purify Himself of all vestiges of delusion. That is why He said to Mary, to whom He first appeared: "Touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to my Father." Jesus was freeing Himself from all delusion, and when that was finished He attained complete self-mastery and could materialize His body at will and thus appear for forty days to His disciples.
In the October issue will be explained the physical, psychological, spiritual, and metaphysical effects of fasting and why Jesus fasted.
The Bhagavad Gita
Karma, Spiritual Analysis, Habits
Translation and interpretation of first stanza.
Within itself the blind mind consulted introspection, the impartial judge of all states of consciousness, asking: "My children, the crooked mental tendencies (Kurus), and the pure discriminative faculties (the pure Pandus), eager for different psychological battles, what did they?" The blind boisterous mind wanted the introspective faculty to reveal the battles between the sense-bent mental tendencies and the pure wisdom-loving, discipline-loving, self-control-evolving, wisdom faculties.
Think what amazing changes happen in the body of an ordinary man when he allows King Soul and his noble courtiers of intuition, omniscience, peace, bliss, calmness, self-control, power of complete relaxation, will-power, concentration, and discrimination to rule the kingdom of his body.
In the superman the entire flow of life force, attention, and wisdom floods toward the soul, and the human consciousness swims in the currents of the inner intuitional flow to the sea of God’s omnipresent peace and contentment.
In the ordinary man the ego, the Pseudo Soul, floats down the current of sense pleasure and wrecks itself over the falls of satiety, ignorance, discontentment, and misery. In the superman the inward reversed searchlight of perception reveals to the yogi the hiding place of the ever-beautiful, ever-joyous Spirit in everything. In the ordinary man the senses, (searchlights turned on matter), only reveal the Pseudo pleasurable and superficially attractive presence of limited matter.
Figure Y presents a different picture as to what happens when the bodily kingdom is usurped by rebel King Ego and his insurgent followers. The Ego is called the Pseudo Soul, for this Ego consciousness imitates the imaginary authority of the King Soul, and tries to dominate the entire bodily kingdom.
The royal chamber of the brain is no longer occupied by the peaceful, all-knowing, powerful soul, but is occupied by the ever-restless, proud, ignorant weakling, the rebel Prince Ego.
The brain, the fine cells of perception in the spinal cord, the plexuses, and the estates of the ten senses are all occupied by the armies of Evil.
In the brain ignorance reigns supreme instead of wisdom. During the rule of King Soul, all laws regarding health, mental efficiency, and spiritual education of the thought dwellers and intelligent cellular inhabitants of the bodily kingdom were carried on under the supreme guidance of wisdom. As a result, health, prosperity, peace, discrimination, efficiency, and intuitive guidance resided in the bodily kingdom. Under the Ego regime, all the laws which cultivate the well-being of the thoughts and cells of the bodily kingdom, are broken and started by the Prime Minister of Ignorance. The Minister of Wisdom, who worked under King Soul, is banished.
Figure X and
—Between Soul Rule and Ego Rule
In the place of Prince Ego, which sees only good in everything, the Prince Evil Eye rules the optical estate. When Prince noble Vision ruled the optical estate, only good objects, exquisite scenery, holy faces, spiritual expressions of art, and saintly pictures were photographed as sensations, and their motion pictures shown to the thought inhabitants in the brain for their spiritual education and peace. However, since Prince Good Eye was deposed under Ego regime, motion pictures of instructive scenes of battle, ugly places, luring, evil-awakening faces, sense-awakening art, and evil suggestions were played in the brain to degrade the good taste of the bodily inhabitants of intelligent cells and thoughts.
Truth and Flattery
During Soul regime, the auditory estate was ruled by Prince Truth-Listener. The sense of hearing loved to listen only to voices of cold beneficial truth, which guide thoughts to the goal of wisdom. Under Ego regime, Prince Flattery loved to hear only pleasant, word-sweetened, poisonous untruths, which lead the thoughts to develop the consciousness of self-sufficiency and to perform evil deeds.
Fragrance and Smell
Under Soul guidance, Prince Fragrance loved only to entertain the body cells with the fragrance of natural flowers and health-producing good, savory foods, but being counselled by Ego Prince, Enslaved Smell made the thoughts and cells indulge in heavy, artificial perfumes and made them learn to love and enjoy unhealthy, malnutritious, strong-smelling and too spicy foods. When the sense of smell is enslaved, it loses its natural attachment to good plain food. It develops a special enslaved attachment to strong, tasty, but highly injurious food. The thoughts and cells when coarsened and made less sensitive by Prince Enslaved Smell create only ill health and greed in the cells and thoughts of the body.
Prince Right-Eating Against Prince Greed
Under Soul rule Prince Right-Eating habits ruled the gustatory estate. He supplied right food, especially raw foods, with all the correct elements in them, with their natural flavors and undestroyed vitamins. These good foods nourished the body cells and helped to make them immune to disease, and preserved their youth and vitality.
Under Ego regime Prince Greed created an unnatural craving for injurious, over-cooked, devitalized food in the taste, thoughts, and body cells, inviting indigestion and sickness to destroy the bodily kingdom.
Prince Peace Touch Versus Prince Sense Touch
Under Soul’s regime, the bodily touch loved only moderate climate, moderate healthy and wholesome bodily sensations like cleanliness, alertness, activity, and so forth, which produced peace. Under Ego control, the body loves to indulge in extreme hot or extreme cold weather, and takes pleasure in enslaving the bodily sensations, creating idleness, lethargy, and so forth. Prince Sense Touch makes the body cells nervous, lazy, insert, and sickly.
Prince Sweet Speech Against Prince Bitter Speech
Under the Soul’s rule Sweet Speech entertained the cells and thoughts with the magic of harmony and euphonious words. Soul-awakening songs and peace-producing, heart-melting speech always entertained, educated, and inspired the thought and cell inhabitants of the body to speak and sing God, to speak good, and to sing good only.
Under Ego regime, the Prince Bitter Speech continues throwing out ugly vibrations by speaking belching fires of inharmonious bitterness, and keeps bombarding with cannons of evil words which wreck the castles of peace, friendship, and love which were built to protect the happiness of the thoughts and cells in the bodily kingdom.
Prince Good Grasp Against Prince Evil Grasp
Under Soul rule, the instruments of action, the hands, reached out for good things and were busy doing good deeds guided by Prince Good Grasp. Under Evil rule, the hands were automatically busy performing misdeeds, thieving, murdering, and everything which makes for the discomfort of the inhabitants of the bodily kingdom.
Prince Noble Steps and Prince Evil Steps
Under Soul’s control, the instruments of motion, the human feet, always loved to go to places of inspiration, such as temples, spiritual services, good entertainments, and to holy people.
Under the Evil rule, the bodily habits urge the footsteps to move toward places of noxious amusements, gambling dens, grog-shops, and evil, rowdy, distracting company.
Prince Controlled Creative Impulse
And Prince Temptation
Under Soul rule, the creative impulse brings to the misery-infested slaves of the earth noble spiritual souls, who free matter-entangled souls and inspire them to retrace their footsteps toward spiritual blessedness.
Under Soul’s guidance, the creative impulse also creates, purely on the spiritual plane, noble ideas, artistic and literary masterpieces, and soul revolutionizing books.
Under Ego regime, Prince Self-Control remains a prisoner in the hands of temptation. Wicked, degrading souls are brought onto the earth to spread misery. The cells and thoughts are busy with morbid thoughts of temptation, which bring ill health, insatiable lust, sense-slavery, old age, and death to the cells of the bodily kingdom.
Disease and Healthy Muscles
Under King Soul all excretory muscles function properly to eliminate poisons from the system. Under Ego rule, those muscular instruments of healthy action become weak and diseased, and retain and infect the body cells with poison.
The Battle Between Soul and Ego,
And Between Self-Realization and Ignorance
The figure X represents the perfect state of the bodily kingdom and its inhabitants of thoughts and cells under the wise rule of King Soul and his Prime Minister, discrimination, and his house of bodily and common sense tendencies.
Figure Y describes the map of the bodily kingdom as completely occupied by Rebel King Ego and his Prime Minister, Ignorance, and counsellors of Evil Desires.
Many psychological skirmishes occur before King Soul reigns supreme in the bodily kingdom, or King Ego completely controls the kingdom of the body. It must be remembered that, no matter how many times in our life or in how many incarnations, King Ego completely occupies the bodily kingdom, nevertheless he can never rule for Eternity.
On the contrary, if King Soul once gets complete control of the soul and body kingdom, he can rule for Eternity. This is due to the fact that sin and ignorance are temporary veils of the soul, whereas, wisdom and bliss are the essential nature of the soul. It is good to know that souls may be sinners for a time, but it is impossible for them to be sinners and suffer perdition forever. We, being made in the image of God, by misuse of free choice can make that image soiled with the temporary soot of ignorance. but we cannot destroy that immortal stamp of God from within us.
Under the complete control of Ego, the bodily kingdom manifests restlessness. With restlessness comes the eclipse of discrimination. Intoxicated discrimination lets loose the reins of self-control, which bind the steeds of the senses. The sense stallions sidetrack the bodily car of Soul and plunge it to pitfalls of destructive disease and ignorance.
The restless mind, under complete control of Ego and desire remains ignorant and restless without making any effort to fight Evil and bring King Calmness to rule the fortress of life. In this state the mind suffers from continuous restlessness, inefficiency, ill health, and ignorance. This is shown in figure Y.
In the second quality of psychological battle the mind occasionally, but temporarily, established the victory of King Soul in the enemy kingdom of restlessness and ignorance.
This is accomplished by King Calmness making long, strenuous efforts in bombarding the ramparts of restlessness with the guns of regularly repeated continuous sieges of months of deep meditation.
In this state the bodily kingdom is infested with continuous restlessness, only broken by occasional calmness.
In the third quality of the psychological battle King Calmness and his soldiers, by repeated invasions with the big guns of deep continuous higher meditation, advance deeply in the territory of restlessness, establishing the Kingdom of Peace.
The result of this battle is known by the state of continuous peace which the bodily kingdom enjoys, with only occasional outbreaks of the rebels of restlessness, temporarily disrupting certain tracts of soul peace.
In the fourth quality of the psychological battle King Ego and all his soldiers of material desires are completely routed and the peaceful kingdom of Soul is forever established in the empire of Life. This is elaborately illustrated, as shown in figure X.
Under Soul control the charioteer of discrimination holds the reigns of self-control and mind, which guide the sense-steeds on the path of righteousness in the race toward the kingdom of Bliss.
Last of all, every night, or any other time, the true aspirants on the spiritual path should ask the Soul and its armies of Self-Realization arrayed against Rebel King Ego and his soldiers of delusion: "What did they? Which side has been victorious today?"
The biological, historical, chemical, and wisdom battles of life will be described in the next issue.
Astrological World Cycles
By Tara Mata (Laurie Pratt)
IN a series of articles, of which this is the first, the writer proposes to demonstrate the profound connection of an astronomical phenomenon, known as the Precession of the Equinoxes, with the history of mankind and the great cycles of the world. The true Age, or Yoga, of the present world-period, in reference to the Grand Cycle of Time, symbolized by the stars in their courses, will be pointed out, and certain erroneous ideas that have been circulated by modern philosophical literature, due to misunderstanding of the ancient Hindu Scriptures, will be corrected. The writer will attempt to make all astronomical and astrological references clear enough to be understood by those with only a very elementary knowledge of those sciences.
Authority Is Great Hindu Sage
Readers of EAST-WEST will be interested to know that the chief authority for the writer’s central thesis, which will be developed mainly in the second article of this series, is a small work, published privately in India, entitled: "The Holy Science," by Swami Yogananda’s Guru and Master, Swami Sri Yukteswar Giriji Maharaj, founder of Sadhumandal (counsel of sages) and its various Sat-Sanga (fellowship ) branches in different parts of India. This saintly Guru is a learned and illuminating commentator on the Bhagavad Gita and other Scriptures, including the Christian Bible, and has, in addition, a grasp of modern science that entitles his views to a very respectful hearing.
Systems of Chronology
The many systems of chronology adopted by different nations at various times are usually the source of great confusion to later historians and archaeologists in their attempts to fix the periods of history. However, whenever the ancients mentioned the position, during their own times, of the planets or of the Equinoxes in reference to the Zodiacal Constellations, the chronological era of such men in world-history can be determined with exactness. An illustration of the truth of this claim, and one which incidentally proves the great astronomical learning of the ancient Egyptians, who could so correctly place the planets, is a mummy’s coffin, now in the British Museum, which bears on its cover a Zodiacal representation of the planetary positions at the time the dead Egyptian was embalmed. Calculations by modern astronomers have proved that on the precise date of October 7, 1722, B.C., the planets and luminaries were in the exact positions shown on the coffin design. The mummy can thus be assigned an undeniable antiquity of seventeen centuries before Christ.
All ancient and modern methods of measuring years are based either upon solar or lunar phenomena. Just as a sundial will show the exact time of true noon in any locality, regardless of what system of mean or standard time may be used there, so man has no accurate reference of the passage of time in world cycles through the ages, except the testimony of celestial phenomena.
Precession of the Equinoxes
As every student who goes deeply into the study of any religion, philosophy, or history will find himself confronted with the necessity of understanding the astronomical and even astrological significance of the Precession of the Equinoxes, it is well that this subject be simply and briefly dealt with here.
The equinoctial times are about March 21 and September 22 of each year, when day and night are equal in length all over the earth. This is due to the fact that only on those two days does the earth’s axis come to an exact right angle (90°) with an imaginary line running from the center of the Sun to the center of the earth (the equator). The second of time when this right angle is exactly complete, and the Sun is directly in line with the earth’s equator, the Sun is considered to have reached the equinoctial points of Aries O° (the Vernal Equinox, or spring in the northern hemisphere, about March 21) and Libra O° (the Autumnal Equinox, or fall, in the northern hemisphere, about September 22). The ecliptic, or Sun’s annual apparent path around the earth, is measured off, starting with the equinoctial point of Aries O°, into 360°, 12 signs of 30° each, called the Zodiac of the Signs. This Zodiac, or imaginary belt in the heavens, with the ecliptic as its middle line, is considered to be 16° wide, in order to include the latitude, north and south of the sun’s path, of all those planets belonging to our particular solar system. The Sun completes its circuit of this Zodiac of 360° in about 365¼ days, our solar year.
Zodiac of the Constellations
The Equinoxes having been explained, we shall now consider the meaning of their precession. Modern astronomers have classified every fixed star in the heavens into groups called Constellations. Those groups, however, which lie close to the plane of the ecliptic, were arranged into Constellations in very ancient times, and were considered to form the belt of the natural and actual Zodiac, through which the Sun appeared to travel in its yearly pilgrimage around our earth. This was the Zodiac of the Constellations, and the ancients divided it into 360° or 12 signs of 30° each.
What is the difference between the Zodiac of the Constellations and the Zodiac of the Signs? There is no difference in their division into signs and degrees, or in the astrological influences ascribed to their various parts, but there is, at present, a difference in space between them. There would be no necessity for dual Zodiacs if the Sun, each year, reached its equinoctial point of Aries O° at exactly the same point of space, measured by reference to some fixed star of the Constellations. However, it has been mathematically determined by astronomers that each year at the moment when the Sun reaches its equinoctial point of Aries O° and is in exact line with the earth’s equator, the position of the earth in reference to some determinant fixed star is some 50" of space father west than the earth was at the same equinoctial moment of the previous year.
The position of any fixed star near the ecliptic and near the border line of the Constellation Aries could be chosen to be the determinant, or standard reference point, in order to observe this yearly precession of the Vernal Equinoctial Point among the fixed stars. The Hindu astronomers selected Revati as the determinant fixed star, and considered this star as marking Aries O° of the constellations. Each year the equinoctial point of Aries O° of the signs will be found to have precessed some 50" of space farther west of Revati than it was the previous year. The meaning of the term, "Precession of the Equinoxes," is now clear. It refers to the slight annual increase in distance of the equinoctial points from a standard fixed star, which is considered as Areis O° in the Zodiac of the Constellations, while the Vernal Equinox is considered as Aries O° in the Zodiac of the Signs.
The Central Sun of the Universe
The cause of precession has not been finally established by modern astronomers, some claiming it is due to a slow change in direction of the earth’s axis, while others believe they have mathematical proof that the phenomenon is caused by the motion of the Sun in space along its own orbit, whereby all the bodies of our solar system are being brought nearer to a Grand Central Sun, around which our own Sun and every other Sun (fixed star) in the universe is revolving.
All ancient nations considered Alcyone, brightest star of the Pleiades, to be this Grand Central Sun. To the Babylonians it was Temennu, "The Foundation Stone." The Arabs had two names for it—Kimah, the "Immortal Seal or Type," and Al Wasat, "The Central One." It was Amba, "The Mother" of the Hindus, and its present name of Alcyone was derived from a Greek word signifying Peace. It is so far distant from us at present as to appear to be a star of only the third magnitude. There is a significant passage in the Bible (Job 38:4-31) about the Constellation containing Alcyone, where the Lord asked Job: "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades?"
24,000 Years For One Circuit
The great sages of ancient India, whose knowledge of astronomy has not been surpassed by any modern nation, claimed that by the phenomenon of precession the equinoctial points of our Sun would take 24,000 years to complete one circuit around the Zodiac of the Constellations. Modern science tells us that the present rate of precession is 50.1" yearly, or 1°0" in 72 years. At that rate, it would take, not 24,000, but 25,920 years for the Vernal Equinox to make one whole circle of the Zodiac of the Constellations and return to any given starting point (fixed star). However, there is no proof that the present rate of precession, or 50.1" yearly, is constant, and the ancients claimed that at certain stages of the cycle the rate of precession is slightly more rapid than at other stages. This theory receives proof from the calculations of the great astronomer, Hipparchus (146 years B.C.), who gave the rate of precession at the time of his observations as 50-2/3", or a rate somewhat faster than at present. We have, therefore, no scientific reason to deny that the ancient Hindu astronomers were correct in giving 24,000 years as the time which would elapse between one coincidence of the Vernal Equinox with any fixed star and its next exact coincidence with the same star.
The Four Ages or Yugas
This precessional cycle of 24,000 years is profoundly related to the Four Ages or Yugas into which the ancient rishis (wise men) of India divided each cyclic period. These Ages, known to the Greeks and others as the Golden, Silver, Bronze, and Iron Ages, are as follows:
Satya Yuga—4800 years
Treta Yuga—3600 years
Dwapara Yuga—2400 years
Kali Yuga—1200 years
Total, 12,000 years
It will be seen that two of these cycles of 12,000 equal one complete Precession of the Equinoxes, or 24,000 years, and on this parallel the writer proposes to prove the correct present cyclic Age of the World, and to disprove the current theory that we are still in the dark Iron Age of Kali.
At an important date in Hindu chronology, which would correspond to the year 3102 B.C., the records of Hindu astronomers showed that the last coincidence of the two Zodiacs had occurred 20,400 years previous. As present-day astronomers know that a later coincidence of the two Zodiacs took place in 498 A.D., it will be seen that it required exactly 24,000 years (20,400 + 3,102 + 498 = 24,000), just as the ancients had claimed, for an Equinoctial Precessional Cycle to be completed.
DIAGRAM (I). is very simple, but must be carefully studied in connection with the text.
Daiba Yuga or Electric Cycle
The rishis of old divided the Sidereal Year of 24,000 years, corresponding to the "Great Year" of Plato, into two parts of 12,000 years, each of which embraced a Great Daiba Yuga or Electric Cycle of the Four Ages in the life of mankind and the world generally. One was the Daiba Yuga of the Ascending Arc, and the other of the Descending Arc. The ancients taught that whenever the Sun, in the course of its own revolution, approached most closely to the Grand Central Sun, Bishnunavi, the seat of Brahma, (this point is reached whenever the Autumnal Equinox, or Libra O° of the Signs, coincides with the Revati or Aries O° of the Constellations) the Golden Age of the Descending Arc would begin for mankind.
The Autumnal Equinox was last on Libra O° in the year 11502 B.C., and the Golden Age of the world (Krita or Satya Yuga) endured from that year until 6702 B.C., or a period of 4,800 years. The ancient calculations tell us that each of the Four Yugas is composed of a main period lasting ten-twelfths of the entire duration of the Age, and of two Sandhis, (mutation or transition periods) one before and one after the main Yuga, each measuring one-twelfth of the total time allowed. Thus, Satya Yuga was assigned a total duration of 4,800 years, consisting of a main period of 4,000 years, which is preceded and followed by Sandhis of 400 years each.
Golden and Silver Ages
The Golden Age of a cycle is the one in which Manu, the great Hindu sage, tells us neither sin nor suffering are common. "Men live four centuries." The ideal length of man’s life is limited by the number of years in the Sandhi period of the Age in which he is born.
Treta Yuga, or the Silver Age of mankind, started in 6702 B.C. and continued for 3,600 years, until 3102 B.C. The rule is given in the ancient calculations that, to obtain the length of each of the Yugas after Satya Yuga, the figure one should be deducted from both the number of thousands and of hundreds indicating the duration of each preceding Age and its Sandhis. Hence, the main period of Treta Yuga consists of 3,000 years (one thousand less than that of Satya Yuga), and its two Sandhis are each 300 years long (one hundred less than those of the Golden Age); hence, the total of 3,600 years. During this second Age, men lived for 300 years, and were highly enlightened and spiritually - awakened, though not to such an advanced degree as was reached in the Golden Age.
Bronze and Iron Ages
The year 3102 B.C., a date previously mentioned in the second paragraph of this article, saw the commencement of the Dwapara Yuga of the Descending Arc, the Bronze Age of the ancient world. It lasted until 702 B.C., a period of 2,400 years, which was divided into a main Yuga of 2,000 years, and two transition periods of 200 years each. The traditional account is that the ideal man of that time lived for 200 years. He developed the great ancient civilizations, more concrete and less spiritual than those of the Silver and Golden Ages, but still superior to any civilization of a later growth, all of which come within the limits of the historical epochs of mankind.
The year 702 B.C. saw the start of Kali Yuga, the last of the Four Ages of Daiba Yuga of the Descending Arc. This Iron Age lasted until 498 A.D., or a period of 1,200 years, divided into 1,000 years for the main period of Kali Yuga, and two Sandhis of 100 years each. Most of the ancient world civilizations and empires deteriorated and crumbled away during this period, and by 498 A.D. the creative spirit of mankind was at its lowest ebb. Men did not live beyond a span of 100 years.
This date, 498 A.D., marks the completion of the electric cycle of 12,000 years. Daiba Yuga of the Descending Arc, which is attended by the precession of the Autumnal Equinox from Aires 0° to Libra 0° of the Constellations. The Sun, with its solar system, including our own Earth, has travelled, in this period of 12,000 years, from a point in its orbit nearest to the Grand Central Sun to a point farthest away from that seat of universal magnetism, and the history of the world has faithfully portrayed this gradual descent from light to darkness.
An Historical Illustration
H. G. Wells, in his "Outline of History," referring to the condition of mankind about the beginning of the sixth century, A.D. (two years after the close of Kali Yoga of the Descending Arc in 498) says:
"It is not perhaps true to say that the world became miserable in these ‘dark ages’ to which we have now come; much nearer the truth is to say that the world collapsed into a sea of misery that was already there. Our histories of these times are very imperfect; there were few places where men could write, and little encouragement to write at all....But we know enough to tell that this age was an age not merely of war and robbery, but of famine and pestilence.... To many in those dark days it seemed that all learning and all that made life seemly and desirable was perishing."
The Next Golden Age
The year 498 A.D., which saw the Autumnal Equinox on Aries 0°, and the Sun at the nadir of its own orbital path, therefore marks the beginning of the Daiba Yuga of the Ascending Arc, or 12,000 years of gradual progress and improvement, wherein our solar system slowly approaches ever nearer to the Grand Central Sun. This approach will culminate in the year 12498 A.D., when the Autumnal Equinox will reach the fixed star Revati in Aries 0°, and the highest point of our next Golden Age will be attained. Exactly 24,000 years will have elapsed since the previous coincidence, in 11502 B.C. of Libra 0 of the Signs with Aries 0 of the Constellations, and everything in our universe will be in a state of balance and harmony. The year 12498 A.D. will begin a new cycle, a new Daiba Yuga of the Descending Arc, lasting 12,000 years, and thus mankind will descend through a new series of the Four Ages marked out on the Zodiacal Clock of Destiny.
"Such is the great influence of time which governs the universe," writes Swami Sriyukteswarji. "No man can overcome this influence except he, who, blessed with pure love, the heavenly gift of Nature, becomes Divine and, being baptized in the holy stream Pranava (Aum + the sacred vibration), comprehends the kingdom of God."
Returning to a consideration of the last Daiba Yuga of the Ascending Arc, which began in 498 A.D., we find man starting a new Kali Yuga, from which he did not emerge until its period of 1,200 years had passed, in 1698 A.D. Reference to Diagram (I) will make it clear that this new Kali Yuga, or Iron (sometimes call Earthen) Age differs from the preceding Kali Yuga of another electric cycle (702 B.C. to 498 A.D.) as the latter was the last Age of Daiba Yuga of the Descending Arc, whereas the Kali Yuga of 498 A.D. to 1698 A.D. is the first age of Daiba Yuga of the Ascending Arc, which is distinguished by a general upward, not downward, trend in history. The seeds sown in the Iron Age of our own cycle are to bear fruit in this our present Dwapara Age.
Age of Our Present Era
The Age of Bronze, or Dwapara Yuga, begun in 1698 A.D., will last for 2,400 years, ending in 4098 A.D., 2,166 years hence. The present year of l932 A.D. is thus the year 234 of the Dwapara, or Bronze Age, of the Ascending Arc. At the end of this Age, which is the second of the four ascending Ages (Dwapara Yuga of the Descending Arc is the Third Age.) the intellectual and spiritual power of the average man will be twice as great as that of the ordinary man of 498 A.D. at the beginning of our present 12,000-year cycle, but will be only half as great as the power to be attained by men at the highest peak, 12498 A.D. of the Golden Age of our Daiba Yuga. In other words, the end of our Dwapara Yuga will mark the completion of two of the four ages, and the Divine powers inherent in man will be developed to half their true extent.
The 234th year of Dwapara Yuga corresponds to the present equinoctial positions of Virgo-Pisces 11 degrees. The Vernal Equinox is now falling each spring (in the Northern Hemisphere) among the fixed stars in Pisces 11° of the Constellations, and the Autumnal Equinox is falling among the fixed stars in Virgo 11°. For that reason, mankind is not only in Dwapara Yuga of the cycle of the Four Ages, but is also under the influence of the Virgo-Pisces period of the Cycle of the Constellations.
The signs that lie opposite in the zodiac interact on each other, intermingling their influences to such an extent that it is difficult to separate one form the other. Western astrologers attach most importance to the position of the Vernal Equinox among the constellations, and hence call the present Era the "Piscean Age," but the ancients considered the astrological import of the Autumnal Equinox to be the more significant. We cannot doubt the accuracy of the earlier teachings when we see (Diagram I) that the Vernal Equinox, now falling in Pisces would signify the world as being in the Golden Age, if we grant the spring point primary astrological consequence. None of us are likely to maintain that the present, or the immediate past, history of the world displays the state of near-perfection that belongs to a Golden Age.
World Now in Age of Virgo
On the other hand, the position of the Autumnal Equinox, falling now in Virgo of the Constellations, and in Dwapara Era, does accurately point out the state of present world development, which has lately emerged (in 1698 A.D.) from the historic "Dark Ages" of Kali Yuga into the greater freedom, intellectual light, and scientific advancement of the Bronze Era. For this reason, we must allow first consideration to the astrological meaning in world-history of the position of the Autumnal, rather than the Vernal, Equinox. Therefore, properly speaking, we are now in the "Age of Virgo," not primarily of Pisces, although Pisces has a very important secondary significance, being indissolubly linked in character and effect with its opposite sign.
Coming Age of Leo-Aquarius
As the equinoxes, at the present stage of their cycle, take 72 years to pass backward through the 60 minutes of space that constitute one degree of the natural or fixed-star Zodiac, and as they are now falling on Virgo-Pisces 11 degrees, it will need about 700 more years before they will coincide with Leo-Aquarius 0°. The coming Leo-Aquarius Age, which will last some 2,000 years, while the equinoxes pass through these opposite signs, will include all the rest of the Dwapara Yuga and part of the third Yuga, Treta, or the immensely enlightened Silver Age.
Next we will point out when and how the mistaken idea and calculation, namely, that the world is still in Kali Yuga, crept into modern Hindu almanacs and astrological and philosophical writings which deal with such subjects as the "Ages" of the world.
Later we will show the fitting application of the term "Bronze Age" to our modern era, and will cite history in demonstration of the sublime correspondence of heavenly phenomena with mundane events.
To be continued
The Mystery of Mahatma Gandhi
—By Swami Yogananda
Gandhi’s International Love
Gandhi includes in his patriotism not only all nationalities, but his compassion includes kindness and love for all animals. He does not believe in hurting anything, yet he is not a fanatic on this subject, for he ordered a cow to be killed to relieve it from the suffering and agony of disease. Gandhi has said: "I love the English people, but I am the deadliest enemy of any wrong form of government which the English may impose upon India."
Conquering Evil by Good (Non-Resistance)
Jesus did not live to see much of the results of His work and suffering. Gandhi has been more fortunate. No saint has been so famous during his lifetime, attracting people only by the miracles of ideal human conduct and character. The president of an American university advised his large body of students to emulate the dauntless, impossible-to-bribe Gandhi and not to follow an American President, who might fear to act nobly because of his political opponents.
Gandhi, by his ideal conduct, is growing in popularity and will go down through history as a great savior who has changed, not only the destinies of individuals and of India, but of nations. Instead of criticizing him, even his deadliest enemies admit that Gandhi is sincere and that he cannot be bribed by money, flattery, concessions, or political fame. He never compromises with principle.
Gandhi’s doctrine of resisting evil by the force of love has already proven to be practical. In this machine age when man’s destructive power has grown to far exceed his powers of construction, Gandhi has given an universal panacea for the ills of our social system, namely, the most formidable Spiritual weapon of "Resistance by Love", to conquer all social and political evils. War breeds war, and it can be prevented only by non-resistance and the overcoming power of love.
In the golden temple of Amritsar in India there lived a debauched priest who controlled and misspent millions of rupees that were derived form the incense of the temple. Gandhi’s followers protested, and in return the priest ordered them to stay out of the temple on pain of death.
Two hundred of Gandhi’s followers, Akali Sikhs, traditional warriors who carry little sabers as an insignia of their religion, entreated the priests to allow them to worship in the temple. They wished to free the people from this burden but intended to use only peaceful means by resisting with love and not by physical force.
The three hundred soldiers of the light brigade were armed when they marched to death with cannons roaring to the left and to the right, but these two hundred followers of Gandhi willingly walked into the jaws of death armed only with small daggers. When they reached the temple yard, they were met by twenty of the followers of the corrupt priest. Gandhi’s men allowed the handful of priests to shut the temple gates behind them. Then these two hundred fierce, stalwart warriors were tied to the pillars of the temple, their clothes soaked with kerosene, and they were burned alive by the twenty priests.
These two hundred warriors made no physical resistance and not one used his dagger against the handful of twenty who were murdering them in cold blood. Imagine what spiritual force Gandhi possesses in order to destroy the crude, fierce, fighting spirit and military anger of these warriors and train them to be meek and to use the mighty weapon of love to fight evil.
What was the outcome of this tragedy? Although two hundred perished, they demonstrated what Gandhi had said: "If bloodshed is necessary, let it be your own blood, and then there will be less blood shed." If these two hundred had fought and used force, thousands would have been drawn into the battle and killed, due to the clash which would have occurred between the outraged people and the police. Instead, although two hundred perished, by their death they accomplished the end that they desired. The priest and his followers were arrested and punished, and once more the temple was consecrated and opened free to the public.
When Gandhi went to South Africa as a lawyer, he started his first non-cooperation movement by initiating a period of fasting until redress measures were effected. He, his wife, and about three hundred followers, after twenty-one days of fasting, were released, Generals Smuts and Bothas came to their knees and the Hindus won their Cause. That was Gandhi’s first victory.
During the world war, Gandhi was a loyalist and won the King George gold medal for raising an ambulance corps and bravely picking up the wounded amidst flying bullets. Later, in india, General Dyer dropped bombs from an airplane onto a harmless, unarmed crowd of two thousand people and ordered his soldiers to shoot, until ammunition ran short. The only offense of the people was that they had gathered together to protest, which was against the order of the police. This occasion turned Gandhi against the British government and ever since he has said: "I love the British people, but henceforth I am the deadliest enemy of any wrong form of government in India." Many chivalrous English newspapers severely condemned the action of General Dyer and he was recalled to England. The English people living in India are very different from the majority of English officers who rule India. The latter are responsible for creating a misunderstanding between true Hindus and true English.
Recent Activities of Gandhi
And His Contribution to the World
America had trouble about tea. India had trouble about salt. Gandhi roused India to demand freedom by trying to repeal the ridiculous salt law which prohibited Hindus from evaporating their own sea water to make salt, and compelled them to use refined salt from England. When Gandhi, in his spectacular, yet seemingly insignificant, march to the sea, went with about seventy followers to make salt, everybody laughed, but before long all India began to make salt.
Gandhi stopped the non-cooperation movement when it broke into violence on one occasion, but this last time, when he was put in prison, he just said: "This must go on," and ever since, thousands of India’s most renowned men have courted jail in the Cause of Freedom. Gandhi has visited jail many times, not as a prisoner, but as a saint, who converted the prison into a temple of liberty, which will remain in the minds of men forever. Gandhi in prison is dangerous. Gandhi dead in prison will be alive evermore to preach his gospel of liberty and equality.
Gandhi and Social Revolution
Gandhi does not believe in creating equality by force and wresting acquired power from the rich. He believes in spontaneous renunciation and in spontaneous giving from the heart, and he tries to unite people by cultivating brotherhood in their hearts. If you use the sword, you will fall by the sword. Gandhi is preaching love, so that all nations may help one another even as loving, prosperous brothers help a distressed brother.
Gandhi Has Successfully Demonstrated
Gandhi’s greatest triumph came when his weaponless army and spiritual battalion resisted government orders not to make salt and not to assemble. Eye witnesses have described how the police, armed with sticks and machine guns, charged the people, how brave men fell with shattered skulls and wounded bodies, and how they stood up again with fractured heads, saying: "Kill us, but we will not move." On many occasions the police fled, leaving their instruments of war, tired of killing their unarmed brothers. Gandhi has gained the armistice, and the promise of self-government has been urged. Gandhi has accomplished more in three years for India by resisting with spiritual force than Ireland was able to accomplish in seven hundred years by using violence.
I believe the way to end war will be demonstrated when India attains her goal without beating or killing English people, then a politically crucified India will be victorious and will be the savior of nations. As Bishop Fisher said: "Mahatma Gandhi is the most outstanding figure in all Christendom and is teaching the nations of the world a new way to combat war."
If ever anyone has practically contributed to the cause of World Peace, President Wilson and Mahatma Gandhi have. President Wilson, by the mere utterance of the plan for the League of Nations, gave the world an ideal of freedom toward which it can work. It does not matter if Mr. Wilson did not live to see the fulfillment of his dreams. His work will go on.
Mahatma Gandhi has given to the world an intensely practical method, not only to crush war, but to make war impossible. Why must people blow their brains out trying to settle disputes in a manner that has never yet settled anything? No other politician, except Gandhi, has included the interests of the whole world when considering the welfare of his own country.
Gandhi wants freedom for India and for all subject nations in order that the world may be a safer and happier place for people of all nations to live in. The secret dynamite of hatred causes war. Destroy hatred and peace will come to stay on earth. Gandhi is the spokesman of the Age, a World Reformer, a great Political Savior who has come on earth to conquer the world with the invincible weapon of love and understanding, and to establish the United States of the World with Truth as its President. By his suffering, renunciation, and universal love he is making nations feel that they are brothers and as such they must make up their differences.
Gandhi and Yogoda Sat-Sanga Movement
As Mahatma Gandhi is uniting nations by teaching them to fight evil with exemplary love—love manifest in action—so this great spiritual movement has come to the Western World to conquer souls by Self-Realization.
Religious differences will always exist unless people understand the fundamental unity of souls. What is needed is a step-by-step, universally true, scientific ladder of Self-Realization which can lead mankind by the shortest route, in the quickest way, to the one goal of eternal happiness, and can regain the lost image of God-Immortality. Yogoda does not emphasize beliefs of sectarianism, but its teaching shows the royal Highway to Meditation, where all theological bypaths conjoin, and which lead straight-way to the all-freeing Wisdom. If people of all religions knew the technique of God contact, they could find Him also in the fellowship of all devout and spiritual souls. (Sat-Sanga).
Fellowship with those who profess religion, without inner God-contact in meditation, ends in boosting false beliefs and in causing theological bull-fights. Whereas, contacting God by a scientific, constantly progressive technique in the company of followers of various creeds, develops appreciation through mutual help and through finding the universal way to freedom. Politics as spiritualized by Gandhi, and consecrated altars of the hearts of men, God illumined through meditation, can establish the Heaven of Peace within and without in the family, social, political, and spiritual life of man.
Gandhi is bringing a paradise of peace and brotherhood into the hearts of the people of all nations, and all nations are bringing the everlasting Bliss God into the souls of men.
Let the Western brothers keep conquering the Orient with material efficiency, and let the Eastern brothers keep conquering the souls of the Western brothers with love. This will make the Eastern and Western people uniformly developed, both materially and spiritually.
Mahatma Gandhi is the modern spiritual mystery, who will solve the complicated problems of the East and the West.
Food, Health, Intellectual and Spiritual Recipes
NUT AND VEGETABLE PATTY
Take some seedless raisins, just cover them with water, and soak over night. When ready to use, drain off the water. Then mix the raisins with peanut butter and roll into balls. Run some tender, fresh carrots through a vegetable grinder until they are very finely ground. Mix the carrots with a little orange juice, then thoroughly cover the peanut and raisin balls with the carrots, about one-half inch thick. This will form large patties with the carrots on the outside. Place on a platter and cover with Yogoda Curry Sauce.
YOGODA CURRY SAUCE
Melt two tablespoonfuls of butter. Slice and chop into the hot butter half a large onion and half a large apple, and chop and add three cloves of garlic and one chili. When all are nearly cooked, add two or three teaspoonfuls of Crosse & Blackwell’s curry powder, more or less according to taste, and fry it also, adding more butter if necessary. Then add half a cupful of seedless raisins that have been soaked, and one sliced banana. The banana does not need much frying. When all are sufficiently cooked, add the contents of one large can of evaporated milk, or an equal quantity of half milk and half water, or fresh cream, or half cream and half milk. Let simmer gently for five minute. Rub two teaspoonfuls of flour into one teaspoonful of butter and stir into the sauce. Salt to taste just before serving. Serve over rice, hard boiled eggs, or vegetables. This amount will serve five.
Whip half a pint of cream stiff. Slice one-fourth pound of marshmallows with scissors, dropping the slices into the whipped cream. Blanch four large English walnut meats and slice thin. Slice eight candied cherries and stir the nuts and cherries into the cream and marshmallow mixture. Let stand over night, or until the marshmallows have jellied into the cream. Serve in sherbet glasses topped with unsweetened whipped cream and a candied cherry.
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Creating Your Happiness
—By Swami Yogananda
SOME PEOPLE say that happiness is found only in mental contentment, whereas, there are other people who hold that is consists in having lots of money, an over-abundance of furniture, yachts, estates, cars, and liveried servants. Both these views are one-sided and incomplete.
The ascetic, sitting in a cave, may have some mental contentment, but he has to depend upon food products grown by a farmer or produced by a factory. He has to wear clothing made by a weaver. No ascetic in the world could find complete happiness only in the mind, without the use of at least a few material things.
On the other hand, it is untrue that all happiness is dependent upon constantly buying things, often on the installment plan, or upon owning palaces, cars, and all the other countless objects that one’s fancy may dictate. In fact, when happiness is sought only through the acquisition of an infinite number of material things, it can never be found, for happiness consists principally in the attitude of the mind, and is conditioned only partially by outside factors.
There have been cases of martyrs who have sacrificed their lives rather than lose the inner comforts of their minds. Such ascetics have found happiness in states of the mind without the addition of any material things. On the other hand, it is very rare to find people happy who seek happiness only by acquiring more and more material objects.
The man whose entire happiness is dependent upon the creation and fulfillment of new desires can never be happy, for his happiness is always dependent upon something that he expects to have sometime in the future. He courts happiness without ever winning it, just as a dog will chase continually after the ever-receding sausage, dangling far-off in front of his eyes, from the end of a long stick tied on his back.
This depression is raising a hue and cry from those who think, now that stocks have gone down, that they were happier when their stocks were high, but in reality we known that when their stocks were very high, they were unhappy because they wanted them to keep on going up and up, higher and higher, without limit. Man can never satisfy his desires if he forgets that happiness is mostly in the mind, and only partially in the acquisition of the world’s necessities.
The present condition of affairs is teaching people the real law of happiness. They see that on one hand, the world-wide desire to become happy by constantly possessing more and more only causes over-production and its consequent times of depression, and that on the other hand, mental contentment for the mass of people is impossible if they do not have food and work.
How many of those offsprings of the stock market, (millionaires prematurely born), would be glad and contented now if they could only have back the little legitimately-owned first capital which they invested, now that their all, their original capital and also their paper profits, are lost, because they were filled with the greedy desire to "get rich quick?"
How many laborers, who were never satisfied before the depression with their work or their wages, would be only too glad now to get any kind of work on any salary? So, do not let the depression affect you, but learn the lesson that it teaches, which is, that happiness consists in making the mightiest efforts to reduce your desires and needs, and in cultivating the ability to meet those needs at will, and in always trying to smile, both outwardly and inwardly, in spite of every predicament.
Be silent and calm every night for at least ten minutes (longer if possible) before you retire, and again in the morning before rising. This will produce an undaunted, unbreakable inner habit of happiness which will make you able to meet all the trying situations of the every-day battle of life. With that unchangeable happiness within, go about seeking to fulfill the demands of your daily needs. Seek happiness more and more in your mind, and less and less in the desire to acquire things. Be so happy in your mind that nothing that comes can possibly make you unhappy. Now you can get along without things you have been accustomed to. Be happy because you know that you have acquired the power not to be negative, and because you know, too, that you can acquire at will whatever you need, and that you will never again become so material-minded that you will forget your inner happiness, even though you should become a millionaire.
The Waves of Redondo
—By Ralph J. Martin
Coming in, coming in, coming in!
Pour all the sands of all the shores
Through an hour-glass sifting, and still they
Roll in, roll in, roll in, forever.
Beating down, beating down, beating down!
Grind all the mountains into silt
By the frosts, by the winds, by the rain.
Splashing, splashing, splashing forever.
Lives of men, lives of men, lives of men!
Before the dawn of life ‘til now
And henceforth on have passed until all
Are gone, are gone, are gone, forever.
Waves are things, waves are things,
Waves are things!
That only beat and surge and foam.
Lives of men are a part of that One
That knows, that knows, that knows forever.
Waves come in, waves come in, waves come in!
Bringing us that wider sense of things;
With that truth to live in Harmony
That is, that is, that is, forever.
A Ray of Hope
—By Robindra C. Nag
NOT long ago in a conference of University professors the question was raised as to the validity of making religious education compulsory. There was strong sentiment for and against it, but the majority seemed to be opposed to it. Living as we do, in a democracy characterized by a spirit of tolerance and non-intervention by the State in the realm of religion, the question still remains in its speculative state. On the other hand, evidence on all sides betrays that there is something radically wrong in the body-politic, and the problem pertaining to the proper development of the religious consciousness seems to loom large on the horizon.
The fathers of the Republic were with few exceptions very religious, and we have often been told by the modern religious leaders of the country that what the present generation needs is a reversion to the former type. Those who like this attitude are neither far-sighted in their vision nor are they scientific in their criticism. Such a statement can only proceed from a lethargic mental attitude that revels in sweeping generalizations.
The problems of the twentieth century America are quite different from those of the seventeenth or eighteenth century, and the two outstanding factors that have contributed more than any other in the evolution of the present change are: First, the rapid industrialization of the country and, second, the heterogeneity of its population.
The unusual opportunities offered by this country for economic development always led to a desire for economic expansion and gradually the criteria of success became one of material possession. Material possession per se is hardly to be blamed, but the spirit behind the process—that of looking upon it not as a means to an end but as the end itself—has led to certain social and religious problems which have to be tackled, not in a superficial way, but at their very root. America had to go through that phase and is not to be criticized too harshly, for the very simple reason that the whole civilization is yet in a experimental state. At the same time, the facts remains that, however sympathetic we may be, the problems have to be solved.
If the scientific development leads merely to the expansion of material possession at the expense of the higher aspects of life, it is to be looked upon as a curse rather than a liberating force. However, it is a happy augury of the times that the leaders of science are in tune with the thought and ideals of the leaders of religion, and vice versa. This reconciliation of the spirit of science with modern religious movements is to my mind the greatest achievement of the modern age. It is merely the beginning and the future is yet fraught with immense possibilities.
The present skeptical attitude of the American youth toward the problems of religion is partly due to wrong standards set by the leaders themselves and partly due to the awakening of a new consciousness that the old order of things is destined to crumble away.
This consciousness, in the last analysis, is traceable to the rapid development of science and the gradual undermining of the old order of things based on a conception of authority.
We are well aware of the efforts made by the different religious organizations of this country, but the reason for the small measure of success which they seem to have attained is on account of their lack of elasticity in adjusting their technique to meet the problems which have sprung up from an age of science. That science alone cannot bring peace and happiness to mankind has been a rude jolt to those who always looked upon the development of the modern age as peculiarly characteristic of the supremacy of the West. On the other hand, the present uneasiness, the present restlessness, the present feeling of vacuum in the midst of plenty have compelled a certain amount of sober thought on the significance of the development of the spirit within. The embodiment of the age-old heritage of India that salvation comes from within, coupled with the Christ Consciousness, will, I believe, serve as a solution to some of the puzzling problems of the youth of the age. In the meantime, let us hold our souls in patience and always remember that the darkest night is often the surest sign of the advent of the most glorious dawn.
II—Law of Karma
In the July number of East-West "Pre-existence" or "Reincarnation" was our subject. The law of Karma is its twin. Some people in the Western World cannot see the difference between Karma and fate. To know the difference, one must know the meaning of law as applied to Karma and also the meaning of fate.
What is Karma? Karma is a Sanskrit word meaning action, but the Sanskrit meaning includes the causes of action, action itself, and the results of action.
The Western mind catches part of the idea in the law of cause and effect. In the realm of physics, chemistry, and other special departments of science, the scientist fully accepts this law. The ancient sages of India long ago found out that law, or cause and effect, also operated in the higher plane of human life.
The article on "Preexistence" has established the idea that our present life is the result of our yesterday, just as tomorrow will be the result of today. Our future life will be what we now make it by our aspirations, thoughts, and actions. These have shaped our life here in part, checked by their influence in a past life.
We reap what we have sown. Think not only of your present limitations. We gather not only the fruit of our mistakes, we reap also every blessing that we deserve. We earn that which we are and that which we have. Cast up the account and dwell on your blessings as you do on your limitations.
St. Paul said to the Corinthians: "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Man aspires, thinks, and acts up to the day of his going out (death). He sows in actions causes that have their effects. These effects are the harvest. He reaps only what he sows. Where is the harvest field? The next life is the harvest field, just as this life is the harvest field.
Thousands of years before St. Paul said: "We reap what we sow," Manu, the ancient Hindu holy man, said: "Thou canst not gather what thou dost not sow; as thou dost plant the tree, so it will grow. Whatsoever acts man commits, whatever his state of mind, of that recompense must he receive in a corresponding body." Man is the actor. He puts the causes in motion. He must take their effects.
What is Fate? In contrast with this, fate carries the idea that both cause and effect are foreordained. It is an old idea of the popular mind. The consciousness of the mass mind could not reach beyond SOMEONE ruling and controlling. Man has the power of choice. According to his choice, he himself is responsible. He is the agent of Karma.
In the light of the foregoing, consider the following, not by reading just once, but when your mind is in repose keep these thoughts in your mind and let them do their constructive work. An old instruction is this: "Each Soul is his own law-giver. The giver of glory or of gloom to himself, and equally the bestower of his life, his reward, and his punishment."
In this sense an ancient sage once said: "The Soul of a brave man is stronger than anything that can happen to him."
To be continued
Soul of the storm!
Robed in the swirling clouds,
Armed with the lightning,
Bestriding the winds
As they hurtle across the worlds,
O, voice of the sky,
The earth is rapt in adoration,
Flashes of Inner Perception
—By Brahmacharee Nerode
YOU have worth exactly to the extent that you have manifested the power-that-is-within-you on the surface of your life and activity.
REAL YOU is the prolific source of all-power-that-there-is, but the WORK-A-DAY YOU is only a fragment of that which has been brought out and lived.
BASIC YOU is Infinite in its potentiality, and as long as you have not touched the inmost depth of this fundamental YOU, know that you are not THAT.
APPARENT-YOU is not all that you are. Let not appearances hide the glory of Reality. Do not determine your spiritual value according to the dimension of VISIBLE-YOU. To measure YOU, measure your measureless consciousness instead.
INNER-YOU is indeed a mine of gold. Not even a fraction of its hidden wealth and treasures have you surrendered to the light and glare of the day.
Know that YOUR HEIGHT is the height of as much of your consciousness as you are aware of at a given moment. Limitless and boundless is the territory of your consciousness, as it is inseparably a part of the unlimited and the unbounded.
In fact, underlying all diverse manifestations stretches the immensity of ONE CONSCIOUSNESS, untrammelled and free. No limitation can limit IT, nor can any binding bind IT. You are an inalienable part of this Infinite.
Therefore, in essence YOU are POWER itself, yet the question is: to what degree has your essential self found its expression in your practical self. Your manifested self is not on a par with the self that could be expressed. Power-expressed is not the same as power-inherent, and power that could be expressed. Herein lies the drawback of many idealistic philosophers, who ignore the primary fact that their GOD-NATURE is not their MAN-NATURE, even though the two are one and the same. GOD in a descending scale is man, and man in an ascending scale is GOD, and essentially GOD and MAN are one. However, in actuality man is man unless he ascends to the state of GOD-CONSCIOUSNESS.
Therefore, evolve your human nature until you become enveloped in the halo of GOD-NATURE. In other words, BE YOUR REAL SELF. BE CONSCIOUS OF YOURSELF.
Unload Your Daily Trifles
As the eastern sky was burning with the purple rays of the setting Sun, I said to the wearied wayfarer: "Brother, unload the burden of your daily trifles from your weary heart. Let your soul breathe in the peace of the dying day.
"No," replied the tired voice: "I have no spare moments to waste in your mystic idleness. I am too busy in fruitful work."
I approached the buyers and sellers in the market-place and said: "Friends, leave your earthly accounts of loss and gain by the wayside for a moment. Come and open your hearts to the meditation of the blinking stars and prayers of the heaving waves."
"No," remonstrated they: "Will that buy our daily bread? Why do you scatter your precious moments to the capricious winds? We are too busy to waste our time in meditation and prayers."
Slowly I walked to the man who was pouring his life over the pages of books and said: "Friend, you have read enough; now come out into the open and with silence in your soul read the golden psalm that twilight writes on the leaves of the somber trees and faces of voyaging clouds."
"No," replied the book-worm: "I feed my intellect with the borrowed thoughts of all ages. Where is time to waste? I am too busy."
In wonderment I turned to the philosopher, who was standing near, and asked: "Dear philosopher, the day is dying, to be re-born beyond the other shores of night. Let us bow to the Lord who keeps up the rhythm of life and death to the tune of day and night. Come and sit down under the stretching arms of darkness to wipe off the dust and heat of the day in the silence of meditation."
"No," interrupted the philosopher: "Philosophy is my food. Philosophy is my meditation. Why waste time in meditating on God? I am too busy."
They were all busy with their daily trifles. The mystic alone idles away his time in playing with the beauty of the open and the grandeur of the hidden. Oh, God! Burn all my loss and gain, all my learning and knowledge, all my philosophy and wisdom in the purple graveyard of Thy evening sky, so that there will remain nothing of me but ONE UNBROKEN MEDITATION.
Before the Morning Star sets on her journey to the land where the Sun passes his night, I jump out of my bed and throw myself into the hard wheel of diurnal grind.
With potent sarcasm on her face, the Morning Star remarks: "Oh, impatient soul! Why are you in such a satanic hurry on your march to your grave? There is a rhythm in every moment of time. Why do you break the rhythm by the dissonance of your restless mind?"
Wisely I retort: "Well, the work has to be done. Bread has to be earned. What else can I do?"
Sharply the Morning Star replies: "While you hurry, do you accomplish anything worth while? No, you don’t. You simply destroy your precious life and its song, its peace, and its perfume. Look at me. Through eternity I sit at the door of dawn, letting every star pass by to a bed of rest. As soon as the last star dies out of sight, I slowly take my leave with a smile on my face and peace in my heart, then I wend my way to the land where the Sun passes his night. Do I hurry? Never.
Now, as the day progresses and the Sun rises to its Zenith, hungrily I look at the time, well-nigh losing my patience at the thought of the work that is yet to be done. I hurry to the point of wearing myself out.
Philosophically the Sun smiles at me from the heavens, saying: "Oh, foolish man! Before Time was born God trusted me with the work of pouring light into the lips of darkness and life into the pores of matter. From me, both life and light spring. Never, for a day, did I hurry. Never, for a day did I tire myself. Look not at the clock of your earthly life. Why not fasten your eyes on the clocks of Eternity? While all Eternity stretches before you for all unmeasured time, why do you worry and hurry?"
Coldly I replied: "Well said, sir, yet work has to be done, and bread has to be earned. What else can I do?"
Sprinkling the dusts of flaming gold on the sauntering clouds as he makes his exit through the Western gate, the Sun remarks: "Oh, faithless man! Bread of life is not made by the clumsy hands of man. It evolves out of peaceful moments, actively engaged in fruitful work. Knead your moments with a patient mind, and lo! active joy will be your bread of life."
Man seeks happiness, but such is the constitution of life, that man suffers from the illusion of unhappiness.
Most people have no philosophy of life. Consequently, life offers them some incoherent experiences which, lacking the undercurrent of a basic principle, deluges them with supposed miseries. The Reality expresses itself in the continuity and progression of life, the understanding of which places in the hands of man the basket of Infinite beauty and joy. There is nothing which is not Divine in its essence.
Everything is a fragment of God, who is pure Bliss. In the fiery battlefield of life, anybody who has this sane attitude of existence never fails to recognize the face of God even in the heart of the darkest night. Such people live in joy, because there is nothing but joy in the Creation of the Lord. The seeming darkness is a hidden light in the march of cosmic evolution. Therefore, first realize the Bliss Consciousness of the Infinite within. Vision the All and the Absolute. In the light of this wisdom, whenever you look at the world, you will see nothing but joy dancing around you.
As silence surrounds my soul with her spreading wings of serenity and calm, and also my meditation deepens into profound silence and awakening, I hear the liquid joy of Thy sweet melody rippling across the unknown azures of my hidden self.
The more the darkness benumbs and overlaps my senses, the louder speaks silence in the innermost shrine of my depthless depth, and wider and brighter grows the horizon within.
As I seek still deeper silence in my meditations all sense of limitation dies out of my illumined consciousness; all senses melt into their elemental nature of allness, and my thought enlarges itself into the eternity of spaceless time and timeless space, and I behold myself as one resplendent self resting on the bosom of Thy anxious love.
Silence, more silence, is the incessant cry of my restless heart. Deeper is the silence, stronger is my craving for more silence. In silence I feel MYSELF and THEE. To me, profound silence is THY bespoken WORD to my soul. Nothing speaks so clearly as deep silence. My soul! Meditate unceasingly so that thou canst migrate everlastingly to the happy Elysium of silence. Silence! Be thou my mystic guide blazing the way to fulfillment and wisdom.
Whatever its character may be,
Produces its definite results,
Not only whether it will or not,
But in spite of the will we may exercise
To prevent it."—A. M. Crane.
My Basket of Goodwill
By Swami Yogananda
As my love’s dawn burst forth from the folds of nocturnal indifference, I strolled out with the basket of my goodwill to gather the falling blossoms of sorrow and joy around the trees of other Lives. I gathered the withered and the feebly-palpitating blossoms and sprinkled o’er them the dews of my sympathy. Thirstily they drank of my joy and revived. The drooping ones came to life. The fresh ones wore a new smile. Then I poured the bluebells of sadness and the red roses of joy on Thy Altar of Smiles within me, and there all the blossoms breathed Thy immortal life, and remained as unfading flowers to decorate Thy Temple. In my basket of goodwill I hold the blossoms of my goodwill and the goodwill of all, saturated with Thy blessings, and I am outpouring them on the Altar-Hearts of Souls, so that all souls may be ready to give Thee a floral welcome into the Temple of Our Reverence.
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