31. Seeing God in Others
It was the auspicious day of Skanda Sashti. Out in the open terrace are the devotees, admirers and visitors gathered round Swami Krishnanandaji seated as usual cross-legged in his armchair. The glow of his genial face was enhanced by the orange colour of the shoulder wrap and the sunlight playing upon his whole person. Due to the festival, those gathered today were few in number. Among these are a very young Italian couple who speak little English and between themselves in French, not in Italian.
Swamiji: How is it you, being Italians speak French. What is your mother tongue?
Visitor: My wife speaks only French, her province is near the French border. So I too speak French.
Swamiji: Do you understand the few simple instructions I have given you for the practice of yoga? It is good that both of you are interested in learning the practice of yoga. But how is it that you are wearing orange-coloured clothes? Don't you like white clothes?
Visitor: Yes, we do, but we like this colour more.
An ashramite: Swamiji, what does “yagnena yagna kalpitham” mean?
Swamiji: It means, I offer the sacrifice, in sacrifice. God sacrifices Himself in yagna.
Ashramite: Would Swamiji like to tell us today what was referred to in passing the other day—man's propensity to see evil in others, while he has to put in an effort to see the goodness in others?
Swamiji: Cosmic consciousness does not brook the idea of the other because the other does not exist. The 'other' does not exist for the cosmic consciousness which has no quality, and which is not conditioned by space and time in which alone duality can exist. So when in man's consciousness there is duality, the 'other' existing in space and time, and as if in opposition to him, the sense of enmity also comes up.
Ashramite: But, Swamiji has said that the natural tendency for man is goodness and cooperation?
Swamiji: Yes. But once it gets individualised as the ego, it brooks not another. The ego of the jiva does not allow the ego of another individual along with itself because its superiority suffers. That is what it will not like. (At this point Rev. Swamiji turned in his chair completely to the right and spoke vehemently) Hey, why are you keeping on looking at me like that? I have not done anything to you, then why are you staring me in the face?
(The ashramite thought some person was actually standing behind her and Swamiji was addressing him. So she turned round to see who had so angered Swamiji. The whole crowd burst into laughter at this, for Swamiji was merely addressing the air, acting out what he spoke. Swamiji and the ashramite joined in the laughter.) The limited consciousness sees only enmity in the 'other'. The mind does not comprehend the universality of consciousness until it has transcended itself. Thus, the rationality of the universal consciousness turns out as externality in the individual.
Ashramite: The mind is the ego, is it not?
Swamiji: Yes. They are one and the same thing, two words stand for one thing. And this externality causes unfriendliness and prompts, as a first reaction. That is why this first reaction of seeing evil while the natural tendency is goodwill. Ego is the counterpart of the outside object, love of the ego is there in the object and forms the cause of all the troubles. Mind is ego, mind is ego in function, movement. (Pause.) You have to wait for the reality of consciousness to unfold itself in meditation. The waiting is the positive affirmation of the reality, and it shall come into being by meditation.
The ocean is not in the waves, yet the waves are the ocean. They are within each other, inseparable. When Lord Krishna assumed the Visvarupa, the vision showed the interconnectedness of everything with everything else. Nothing is outside yourself. To consider otherwise only brings enmity. You must love everything; it is yourself only. Even trees respond to love; fields yield better in quiet, undisturbed atmosphere. They do not like noise and bustle. Trees respond to music—they vibrate joyously when you approach them with music. You will understand that language is the language of love. A crow used to bring one fruit every day to feed a yogi who knew the bird's language! The language of love.
Nothing exists outside you. You know Saint Francis of Assisi used to talk to wolves. They listened to his commands. The saint knew the language of animals, for he loved them. We should dislike evil, not the man who does evil. But we foist the dislike of evil on the man who does it. The universal consciousness cannot bear the idea of duality. This is foisted by the ego of the individual on another individual. You should go beyond space-time consciousness due to which persons and objects look external to you. You cannot have anything outside your consciousness. A conception otherwise is a psychological blunder. To get beyond such a conception you have to meditate to restore your unfragmented consciousness. The mind must be gradually taken up to its ultimate level of universal consciousness.