—By Swami Yogananda
I sat on the mound with eyes closed,
Watching the inky darkness
That enveloped me.
There was naught within me but darkness,
But I seemed to seek something unknown
I opened my eyes
And the gay world of splendor
Richly decorated with the measureless sheet
Of twinkling moonbeams,
Teeming with mysteries unspoken,
Myriads of flowers, green velvet grass,
Chains of shining peaks,
Light-bejewelled waves of the heaving seas,
Mighty Power of cities,
These mocked at me and called me dreamer.
The voice of the proud world
Seemed to laugh and say:
"Foolish dreamer! Why shut your eyes
And banish my beauty from your sight
And live in empty darkness?"
I silently said within myself,
"Audacious Intruder, thy beauty
Would forever remain unappreciated
Without the invisible inmates
Of my dark mental chamber."
Even as I thought this,
I felt the thrilling call
Of some mysterious charm within.
I closed the doors of my eyes.
There again, I was confronted
With the same abysmal darkness.
I watched with steady vision
Looking and seeking in all directions
I felt I caught glimpses of opaque thought
Which became half-visible
In that deep mystic chamber.
I steadily watched in the dim
But growing light of my concentration.
The gloom became softer
And revealed its hidden glory.
I found I could see there
Without my eyes,
See each glimmering thought
Flash and disappear
Or come bursting like star-shells,
With revealing showers of light,
And vanish in the mental sky.
I could count each flash, each outburst,
Recognize their intensity, their duration,
And meaningful splendors.
I found I could hear there
Without my ears,
The muffled chafing roars
Of loud powerful thoughts,
Softer sweet suggestions of conscience,
And the quiet voice of reason.
I heard distinctly all they said
As I had never heard before.
Thus for the first time I felt the presence
Of these living inner invisible
And their indifference toward me.
These, my own,
Long had lived so near in this dark chamber,
Planning, organizing, moulding my destiny,
Yet unassuming, unnoticed, unseen, Unheeded.
What charm you cast around,
What stupendous work you do,
Are you afraid to plainly appear
In the crude scorching gaze of human minds?
Do you fear to be hurt
By the twilight of pale
Or choked by the gross vibrations
Of noisy matter?
Yet how stealthily you go out
Of the dark chamber
To build the huge sky-scrapers,
The mighty bridges
And all material achievements,
Then slip away, unknown,
Unthanked, unhonored, unsought.
The coursing train in the nightly gloom,
The whirling airplane,
The floating steel village with small cabins,
The triumphs of art,
The Parthenon and Taj Mahal,
All man-made miracles,
All remind me of you only and your powers,
O Mighty Thoughts!
But when I see the sparkling lake
Welcoming me to quench my thirst,
And the dark clouds bursting with eagerness
To pour its rivers of rain
To fill our life-giving paddy fields
And nectar fruit-trees,
And the moon's light
Switched on at the approach of darkness,
And the changing round of the seasons,
And the hall of the world
Beautifully carpeted with soft green grass,
And the sunlight-painted clouds
On the canvas of the sky,
All these matchless scenic pictures,
I begin to question
Whose is the Cosmic Hand
That works so wisely-powerful everywhere!
I wonder whose all-pervading voice
Commands the sun, moon, planets,
Earth, nature, the seasons,
All blind forces, the ebbing and flowing seas,
Man, life and death,
And receives their obedience!
Is there an inifinite chamber of mystery
In which one Limitless Luminous Mind hides
And secretly reaches forth
To decorate the Universe
With endless charms?
Down thru the windows of Memory I looked.
I recalled the early hour of my childhood,
When the sun of my consciousness
First began gradually to appear.
As it slowly
Rose out of the darkness of the unconscious Mind,
It dimly lighted only one part
Of my little mental horizon
That lay encompassing my mother,
Playthings and few multi-colored candies.
Later, as my consciousness grew brighter,
I found a great part of my mental horizon
I saw in it many other things,
My friends, relations, neighbors, my country,
These were revealed and included.
As I look within,
On the mental sky,
The sun of my consciousness
Seems to be shinning
Brighter than ever
In its supreme power.
It no longer lights one direction
Or only a portion of my mental horizon,
Or only a few friends or one nation
—But all nations,
Nay, all creatures and nature, all planets,
All stars, all shining electrons,
All Universes, all Space.
I did not know
That out of the inky darkness of my mind
I would discover
The Sun of Cosmic Consciousness!
Learn to Meditate
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