Cosmic Consciousness

—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

Yet familiar.

I opened my eyes

And the gay world of splendor

Richly decorated with the measureless sheet

Of twinkling moonbeams,

Sublime stars

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

—Sometimes bewildered,

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

.....Like dream-lightning,

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


Their warmth

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,

Invisible Friends!

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

Unthinking mentalities,

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

Became illumined.

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!


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