One of the programmes of Yoga

(… continued from ‘Spirit is independent of the body’)

If we just read a short passage from one of the training books, of which our teacher wrote, called, ‘The Heart of the Eastern Mystical Teaching.”

Reading:     ‘Choose a picture of the object of your meditation, whether Shiva, Rama or Krishna, and install it in the region of your heart; then think of it with all love; or look at a flame carefully and endow it with the form of the object of your meditation and concentrate on it in your heart. You may have seen, if a little child has shut himself up in a room, with what great love the mother tries to induce him to open the door.

The Lord is hidden in the chamber of one’s heart so let the jiva, by loving meditation for a few hours daily, induce Him to manifest Himself in the region of the mind. The rest of the day should be spent in reading about Him, discussing Him with fellow devotees and in trying in practice to imitate His great virtues. This is a most important aid to meditation. May I tell you that my own object of worship was my holy Guru Bhagawan whom I saw as Shiva and as Krishna.

If you meditate daily in this way for eighteen months and every now and then devote a week or two entirely to it, you will, in your meditation, lose consciousness of both the world and yourself and experience only the object of meditation. You will see an extraordinary light resembling the colour of a lotus in its intensified form in your heart and all mental limitations will disappear. This state is called samadhi.’

So this is a summary of one of the programmes which our teacher gave. It is for people who are, so to speak, desperate or haven’t got time to do this. Well, the average television time now we are watching each day is three hours. It would mean watching less television and it would mean throwing the centre of interest. When this happens, even partially, the meditator comes into touch with the cosmic purpose. Before that, our actions seem reasonable at the time, seem good at the time, but somehow they don’t come off.  They don’t work if they are not in accordance with the cosmic purpose.

This little diagram is given. The cosmic purpose is, so to speak, a circle which is almost infinite. The circumference is almost infinite and it’s that line across the top. It’s this long line across the top. That is the comic purpose. Now, if we are individuals, we can, for a moment, for a little bit, be in touch with the cosmic purpose moving here.  But because we are rooted by an invisible core onto individual personality, quite soon our movement begins to leave the cosmic purpose and begins to circle about ourselves. For a time we can say, “Oh well, of course, there are obviously some variations,” but gradually our movement comes further and further away from the cosmic purpose. Finally, it becomes completely the opposite and then finally it will come around and then again, we will have another go. Unless we can break this cord holding us at the centre of the personality we will not be able to follow the cosmic purpose. If we belong to a group, a clique, then the centre can be wider. We can seem to be in conformity of the cosmic purpose longer, but soon it begins to change and finally it goes completely in the opposite direction, which so often happens.

The French Revolution was to Voltaire and those like him, thought to be quite justified – the violence – to get rid of the aristocrats and have a fair society.  In fact, only about 3% of the people who were guillotined were aristocrats. They turned on themselves. The violence which had been supposed to have been just a means to break the tyranny, but the violence continued and then they were executing each other. 

We can feel that the world is a huge, glittering mechanism and consciousness is only a tiny little thing.  Vincent Chien wrote an article, a short story called, ‘The Man Who Saw Through Heaven,’ about a missionary who went to see the great telescope and he was shown these massive galaxies. Then the astronomer said to him, “You are just a tiny little thing in a tiny little earth, which is itself only in a tiny galaxy. You’re nothing,” and the missionary went mad. There is a continuation to the story, which we needn’t go into now, but the shock was very great.

Now this is an illusion. The basis of the yoga is that the world is mental. The Gita says in chapter 13, one of the accounts of the creation, the great elements are caused with the mind, not of man, but the mind of God. The great elements, then the cosmic purpose and then the cosmic intelligence and beyond that, a mass of searing possibilities, the unmanifest. It is a mental thing.

Now, if we put up two pictures, this one shows a great distance, the sea, and many miles beyond it, just the tip of Mount Fuji in the dawn. This one is of a little corner of a temple. So they are vast distances on that far picture and a very short distance here – but the pictures are the same size. The vastness, the great distances in one and the closeness in the other are part of a projection which our minds are putting on the pictures. We are putting a perspective onto the pictures. We seem to see that Fuji is distant, but actually it’s not.  In the same way the vastness of the universe is mental.

We think of consciousness as a tiny little thing inside a human brain, but this is not at all the yogic view.  Consciousness is universal. The cosmic purpose is a universal purpose and we are not to be confused by the fact that on this earth, as we see it, physically we are very small. It doesn’t mean that, from the point of view of consciousness, it has any more relation to the truth than the false perspective which we see in those pictures here.

Our teacher said we can find people that have a role in this great consciousness and if we meditate and if we practice freeing ourselves from the compulsion of instant reactions and the like, we can find out what that role is. We can say, “Oh well, must be very small.” No, there are trigger effects. The movement which sets off a gun is very small. The effect is tremendous.

In the same way, he said those who have the opportunity of practicing meditation and coming into touch with the cosmic purpose will find a role and they will be able to play the role, which is a significant contribution to the whole cosmic purpose.

© Trevor Leggett

Titles in this series are:

Part 1: The Power of the Mind

Part 2: A fundamental practice of yoga

Part 3: Spirit is independent of the body

Part 4: One of the programmes of Yoga