the Children of The Light
This article is excerpted from a Sunday service talk
given by Swami Kriyananda at Ananda Village on March 12,
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
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,
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
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
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
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