GOD is simple, everything else is complex.
Do not seek absolute values in the relative world of nature.
After 30 years of guiding others through their soul’s journey with our Yoga of Mystics® program, I’ve observed not only the fast-paced world we live in today, but the limited amount of time and focus most students give for reflecting on their experiences. Not much time is given to reading the wisdom many reformers have brought to modern day spirituality. Most people want a quick fix to their subconscious habits, which have brought them much suffering.
In an effort to facilitate and hopefully speed up the process of self realization for truth seekers, I have collected many gems from two avatars. Here specifically are snippets of wisdom on MAYA-SATAN-SHADOWS from Swami Paramahansa Yogananda. In this world of duality, it is critical to have understanding of not only the light, but of the shadows. Enjoy what I found to be informative and a great conversation among two sages.
Kali represents the eternal principle in nature. She is traditionally pictured as a four-armed woman, standing on the form of the God Shiva or the Infinite, because nature or the phenomenal world is rooted in the Noumenon. The four arms symbolize cardinal attributes, two beneficent, two destructive, indicating the essential duality of matter or creation. Cosmic illusion; literally, “the measurer.” Maya is the magical power in creation by which limitations and divisions are apparently present in the Immeasurable and Inseparable. Emerson wrote the following poem, to which he gave the title of maya: Illusion works impenetrable, Weaving webs innumerable, Her gay pictures never fail, Crowd each other, veil on veil, Charmer who will be believed By man who thirsts to be deceived.
“Good and evil is the challenging riddle which life places sphinxlike before every intelligence. Attempting no solution, most men pay forfeit with their lives, penalty now even as in the days of Thebes. Here and there, a towering lonely figure never cries defeat. From the maya of duality he plucks the cleaveless truth of unity.”
“You speak with conviction, sir.”
“I have long exercised an honest introspection, the exquisitely painful approach to wisdom. Self-scrutiny, relentless observance of one’s thoughts, is a stark and shattering experience. It pulverizes the stoutest ego. But true self-analysis mathematically operates to produce seers. The way of ‘self-expression,’ individual acknowledgments, results in egotists, sure of the right to their private interpretations of God and the universe.”
“Truth humbly retires, no doubt, before such arrogant originality.” I was enjoying the discussion.
“Man can understand no eternal verity until he has freed himself from pretensions. The human mind, bared to a centuried slime, is teeming with repulsive life of countless world-delusions. Struggles of the battlefields pale into insignificance here, when man first contends with inward enemies! No mortal foes these, to be overcome by harrowing array of might! Omnipresent, unresting, pursuing man even in sleep, subtly equipped with a miasmic weapon, these soldiers of ignorant lusts seek to slay us all. Thoughtless is the man who buries his ideals, surrendering to the common fate. Can he seem other than impotent, wooden, ignominious?”
“Respected Sir, have you no sympathy for the bewildered masses?”
The sage was silent for a moment, then answered obliquely. “To love both the invisible God, Repository of All Virtues, and visible man, apparently possessed of none, is often baffling! But ingenuity is equal to the maze. Inner research soon exposes a unity in all human minds-the stalwart kinship of selfish motive. In one sense at least, the brotherhood of man stands revealed. An aghast humility follows this leveling discovery. It ripens into compassion for one’s fellows, blind to the healing potencies of the soul awaiting exploration.”
“The saints of every age, sir, have felt like yourself for the sorrows of the world.”
“Only the shallow man loses responsiveness to the woes of others’ lives, as he sinks into narrow suffering of his own.” The SADHU’S austere face was noticeably softened. “The one who practices a scalpel self-dissection will know an expansion of universal pity. Release is given him from the deafening demands of his ego. The love of God flowers on such soil. The creature finally turns to his Creator, if for no other reason than to ask in anguish: ‘Why, Lord, why?’ By ignoble whips of pain, man is driven at last into the Infinite Presence, whose beauty alone should lure him.”
The sage and I were present in Calcutta’s Kalighat Temple, whither I had gone to view its famed magnificence. With a sweeping gesture, my chance companion dismissed the ornate dignity.
~Excerpts from Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramahansa Yogananda