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We Are the Children of The Light

This article is excerpted from a Sunday service talk given by Swami Kriyananda at Ananda Village on March 12, 2000

It's important to remember the extraordinary length of time that we live in this world before we finally realize that we have come from the Light—that we are children of the Light. We must always affirm this and remember that this awareness is an innate memory. Patanjali's definition of ecstasy was, in fact, just this—smritti, or memory.

Yet we've hung around a long time out of that light. If it had been for only one or two lives, it wouldn't be that bad. But when you realize that quite possibly it's been billions of lives that we've been struggling along, then this process assumes awesome proportions. It takes five to eight million lives for the soul even to reach the human level, and once we're there the trouble really begins because we're endowed with intelligence and discrimination.

We can misuse our intelligence and be totally undiscriminating, so that we get ourselves into a myriad of tangles. Master once said, "People are so skillful in their ignorance." Every incarnation piles a little bit more mud on the gold of our soul and darkens a little bit more the divine light within us.

It's lovely to say, "I'm a child of the light," because it's the deepest underlying reality. But we have to understand that if we live at the surface of our memory in our egos, we're going to be affirming lots of things that have nothing to do with our soul nature. Here is the real dilemma: How do we find our way back to the awareness of being children of the light? Is it by just rejecting everything and saying it's all delusion? No.

I've emphasized, for example, the importance of creating an ashram rather than a community as such. Babaji sent Master to us to bring Kriya Yoga to the world, and to create places where people could seek God. As far as it goes, this is a truth and worth stating, but it's not the whole truth.

I don't want you to think that I want you all to close your doors, wall up everything, and sit there chanting AUM. We have to realize that living in this world, we have to try constantly to balance the inner and the outer. We have to create beautiful communities—but for God. That's the real secret. It's not helpful to say, "Community is delusion. Creativity is delusion. Everything we can do is delusion. I don't want to have any part of it."

Master wasn't against all these things. If you understand the truth, both sides are right, but you just have to understand them in the right proportion. Whereas I emphasize the idea that I'm not creative, I do it because you jolly well know that I am, and I want to emphasize the other side, too.

I would find life very boring if I didn't try to make it better. My whole life has been an effort to creatively help others to find happiness by directing their lives toward God. It's not that I don't believe in being creative, but rather I believe in being creative for God and trying more and more to realize Him as the Doer.

I don't create because I want to do it, but because I feel God would like this, or this would express Him. Often when I've written many of the things that I've done-the music or books-it's been with tears of joy flowing down my cheeks. So you can't say it doesn't mean anything to me. Obviously it means a great deal, but because it's done for God. If it weren't done for God it would be meaningless, because everything is meaningless without Him.

So we need to keep a balance. We want to create good schools, for example, not where the children just sit chanting the Gayatri mantra, but where they learn how to live in the world in the right way. We want to show them how to bring moral and spiritual principles into whatever they do and not just say, "It's all delusion, so I won't do anything."

I'm probably the last of Master's disciples to say, "Don't act." TheBhagavad Gita itself is an exhortation to action. It teaches that although we know that the goal of life is to get out of delusion, nonetheless, "No one ever achieved Me who tried to do so by inactivity." You can't not act.Even if you just sit there, you're breathing, and that's action. The answer is to act in the right way, and that means doing everything with the thought of God.

It all comes down to this: In order to manifest the world, God had to create motion. A good illustration for this principle is that when a propeller is spinning rapidly, the individual blades suddenly seem like one solid plate.
Or when you strike the tines of a tuning fork so that they vibrate back and forth, it looks like a solid thing. Where there's movement, there's delusion, and where there's delusion, there's movement.

Wherever in this duality you have movement in one direction, this will inescapably produce movement in the other. So happiness is offset by suffering, love by hatred, peace by excitement, heat by cold, and light by darkness. This whole world is made of those opposites and of movement between the two. If you really enjoy anything emotionally, you're going to have an equal and opposite sadness. It's the law of life.

Does that mean, therefore, that you should go around with a blank face? No. It means that any outward reaction will produce a similar and opposite reaction. But joy in yourself is something that doesn't have an opposite.
The closer you come to your own center, the less you have movement-and the less you have of movement, the less you have of any oppositional state.

The joy that you have in meditation doesn't produce the opposite reaction. If, however, you have an emotional reaction to a good meditation, you will have an emotional pain, because it's in reaction that opposites come. Don't say, for example, "Oh, wow, I had such a great meditation!" If you do, tomorrow you'll find yourself in a slump. But if you can say calmly, "That was a good meditation," and offer it back to God, you'll find that it stays with you.

Today, more than in most centuries, we have a war between darkness and light. Don't think that it pleases God if you stand back and say, "It's all delusion. I won't get involved." You must be involved. Be involved fighting for God and serving Him. Say to God, "What can I do to help You? What can I do to advance Your light and bring it into the world?"
It isn't going to happen by withdrawing and letting Him do it because it's all delusion. Yes, it is delusion, but given that, why not dream beauty?

Why dream nightmares? We must think of creating beautiful places for God where the right spirit is expressed. How wonderful to create communities like Ananda and leave aside dogmas and sectarianism. The greatest thing that could happen would be if thousands of communities like Ananda began. They all don't have to be part of Ananda but could be autonomous communities. In this way we can encourage thousands of other to live together in harmony.

I have to be honest with you. Nearly every day I thank God for Ananda, for all these wonderful friends in Him, and for giving us a way to serve Him more and to bring more joy into the world. All of these things are right and good, and I want to support them with all my heart.

You'll see that the more you give everything to Him and let Him do it, then you will find your own divine individuality and your own unique expression.

There are so many ways of expressing God, and if expressing Him is all that really matters, He will act through you.
I was thinking of back in the hippie times when I met Stephen Gaskin from San Francisco who founded a commune in Tennessee called The Farm. We talked, and he and I were exactly on opposite sides of the coin in almost everything. He loved rock music—"It was the real music, man." I didn't mind his love for rock music at all, because he was so genuine in what he was doing. I loved the man. I don't like ungenuineness. I don't like when people do things just because other people are doing them. But when they do it from inside, then I love it. I may not like the specific thing, but that's another story.

People don't have to be just like you to be genuine, or to be doing things for God. God has so many different songs to sing. The important thing is that whatever you do be an expression from your own heart. A couple of years ago a newspaper reporter in Italy asked me, "What's your favorite music?" I startled myself by saying, "Well, my own." But if she had asked me, "What do you think is the best music?" I couldn't have answered that way. But certainly it's my favorite because it comes from my heart.

Everything you do should be your favorite not because it's better than somebody else, but because God is doing it through you. Don't compare what you do what others have done. If it sings your song, if it dances your dance, if it expresses your thoughts, then this is what you owe to the world and to God. It may be just cleaning shoes, but if you do it with devotion, then it has great value. If you follow that inner voice, you'll be walking in those steps that take you to knowing yourself as a child of the light.

But always remember to do everything with non-attachment. Don't think, "This is my dance, my song, my book." Try to stay strictly away from that thought.This takes willpower and inner self-control so that when people praise you, you can repudiate it. You should say, "I will not accept that thought, not to punish myself, because I want to be more than this little tiny imprisoned self-consciousness."

Give God the credit for what you do well—and also for your mistakes. Give Him, I hesitate to use the words "credit" or "blame," but nonetheless make Him the agent of whatever you do. If you make a mistake, why try to hide it as if He didn't see that one? He saw it. He was it. He's everything.

Whatever you do-if it's beautiful, if it's ugly, if it's glorious, if it's painful-give it to Him, and you will find yourself gradually becoming free.

So it is that great sinners have quickly found God. It says in the Bhagavad Gita, "Even the worst of sinners, if he steadfastly meditates on Me will quickly come to Me." By affirming that you are a child of the light, and by intense effort in meditation, you will go deeper and deeper into your consciousness until suddenly you expose the gold that is your true self.

God created this world for one purpose: to enjoy himself through many. Does He enjoy Himself at Buchenwald? No. Does He enjoy Himself in torturing or in wars? No. He doesn't enjoy those things, and therefore He hasn't yet fulfilled the purpose of His creation.
He wants mankind to live in Godly light and in that light to come close to Him. He wants to show us how He can enjoy Himself in all these forms and see all of them as Divine. Be child of the light, and live in the joy and freedom of God.

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