Quickening of the Process of Self-unfoldment
Educated and thoughtful
men and women you already are; already you have climbed up that
long ladder which separates the present outer form of the Deity
in you from His form in the dust. The manifest Deity sleeps in the
mineral and the stone. He becomes more and more unfolded in vegetables
and animals, and lastly in
man He has reached what appears as His culmination to ordinary men.
Having done so much, shall you not do more ? With the consciousness
so far unfolded, does it seem impossible that it should unfold in
the future into the Divine?
As you realize that the
laws of the evolution of form and of the unfolding of consciousness
in the universe and man are the same, and that it is through these
laws that the yogi brings out his hidden powers, then you will understand
also that it is not necessary to go into the mountain or into the
desert, to hide yourself in a cave or a forest, in order that the
union with the Self may be obtainedÄHe who is within you and
without you. Sometimes for a special purpose seclusion may be useful.
It may be well at times to retire temporarily from the busy haunts
of men. But in the universe planned by Isvara, in order that the
powers of the Self may be brought outÄthere is your best field
for Yoga, planned with Divine wisdom and sagacity. The world is
meant for the unfolding of the Self: why should you then seek to
run away from it? Look at Shri Krishna Himself in that great Upanishad
of yoga, the Bhagavad-Gita. He spoke it out on a battle-field, and
not on a mountain peak. He spoke it to a Kshattriya ready to fight,
and not to a Brahmana quietly retired from the world. The Kurukshetra
of the world is the field of Yoga. They who cannot face the world
have not the strength to face the difficulties of Yoga practice.
If the outer world out-wearies your powers, how do you expect to
difficulties of the inner life? If you cannot climb over the little
troubles of the world, how can you hope to climb over the difficulties
that a yogi has to scale? Those men blunder, who think that running
away from the world is the road to victory, and that peace can be
found only in certain localities.
As a matter of fact,
you have practised Yoga unconsciously in the past, even before your
self- consciousness had separated itself, was aware of itself. Sand
knew itself to be different, in temporary matter at least, from
all the others that surround it. And that is the first idea that
you should take up and hold firmly: Yoga is only a quickened process
of the ordinary unfolding of consciousness.
Yoga may then be defined
as the "rational application of the laws of the unfolding of
consciousness in an individual case". That is what is meant
by the methods of Yoga. You study the laws' of the unfolding of
consciousness in the universe, you then apply them to a special
caseÄand that case is your own. You cannot apply them to another.
They must be self-applied. That is the definite principle to grasp.
So we must add one more word to our definition: "Yoga is the
rational application of the laws of the unfolding of consciousness,
self-applied in an individual case."
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