In the Light of Wisdom
by Swami Krishnananda

Chapter 22: To Rest In What We Truly Are

All that we have studied leads us to come nearer to our own selves in both the aspects of internality and externality. This is the sum and substance of the yoga teachings. To deviate from our selves, whether in the capacity of our internal consciousness or in its outward expansion, would be to be in world-awareness. Questions, problems and difficulties are entanglements of consciousness in processes which are imagined to be external to itself. Nothing can be external to consciousness, and yet we can develop a notion of externality to consciousness. It is the notion of externality that causes bondage, and the whole process of yoga is thus a conscious withdrawal from this notion of externality to a blending of its internal and external nature. In this blend there is neither the internal nor the external.

That there is something outside us is again a notion of consciousness. All the limbs of yoga are attempts of the entangled consciousness to disentangle itself and to gradually rise above the notion of its externality. The more we cease from the notion of the external, the more we tend towards the universal. The universal and the internal would be realised to be the same thing in the end. This is why we are told that God is within us and that the Kingdom of Heaven is within. How could a kingdom be inside one’s person? A large body or an empire cannot be inside one’s heart. Yet it can be, because the meaning is that the universal is the same as what is inside. Because the universal is another name for consciousness, it is incapable of being externalised.

This we will realise to be the essence of the yoga teachings, and to reach this, to realise this and to experience this, we practise the limbs of yoga. The various paths of yoga are variegated attempts at coming to the same point of experience. The emphasis is not so much on the yogas, but on the aim of the yogas. The emphasis is not on the forms or the shape of practices, but on the spirit behind them. We will realise that all yoga is one. There are not many yogas, inasmuch as it is a name that we give to the tendency of consciousness to merge into the universal, which again is identified with supreme subjectivity. God is the supreme universal Subject. The implication of it should be clear. One should meditate on this great universal internality.