The Idea of Oneness

On the occasion of Yogaswami's Mahasamadhi Day Bodhinatha unfolds a story about Yogaswami to illustrate that we are all One. Bodhinatha explains that if we set aside a person's external personality that we can see their divinity and that our very nature is that of love.

Unedited Transcript:

Vanakkam everyone. Very happy to be with you all this morning on the auspicious day of Yogaswami's Mahasamadhi puja. So it just happened to fall today, isn't that amazing? It shows something nice about our all coming together, something inner.

So I chose a story, it's one of my favorite Yogaswami stories, to share.

This one is about the idea of Oneness.

Once a devotee of Yogaswami's had a bath, wore clean clothes and was getting ready to see Swami. However, he was saddened by the thought that his heart was not as clean as his body and clothes. He couldn't control his mind and was descending further into sinful ways. His thoughts were so despicable that he could not even discuss it with friends. He felt that even his parents would despise him if they knew. He was ashamed to go before Swami with such thoughts but being an ardent devotee, he couldn't keep away either. So he decided he would prostrate himself before Swami and cry his heart out. On the way he hoped that Swami would not be in meditation because if He was, then He would perceive his evil thoughts. As he entered the ashram he found Swami happily conversing with His disciples. "I have escaped" thought the devotee as he worshiped Him.

Then Swami looked at him with a smile and said: "I know everything from your head to your toes. I know all your thoughts. Not only yours but everybody's. I am in everybody. You do not know this because you think of yourself as being separate from others. Learn to consider yourself as the same as others and not separate."

Then taking the camphor tray that was burning before Him, He gave it to his devotee and said: "Take this light and considering everyone here to be Siva, worship them."

And there's a letter of similar theme. It's in the published book. It's one of the letters to Yogendra.

"Dear Yogendra, who is love itself, the following lines are sent -

I am with you and you are with me. There is no distance between us. I am you. You are I. What is there to fear? Look! I exist as you. Then what must you do? You must love. Whom? Everyone. To speak more clearly, your very nature is love. Not only you, but all are pervaded by love. But there is no all, for you alone exist. All are you!"

So, what Yogaswami is of course emphasizing in these two instances, is that from His point of view He just saw a One consciousness. Everything was One from His point of view. And that's the consciousness we all want to strive for and we all want to talk about. The One consciousness of God Siva. Anbe Sivamayam, that permeates everything and every one. And when we're aware of that, or even striving to achieve that, it brings out the best in us, the divine in us. And it allows us to see the divine in everyone else. That of course is always a challenge. Because, naturally there are some people we like and other people we don't like. So, to see the divine in people we don't like, can be quite challenging. So I always tell people: Practice first with those you like best, work up to those you don't like.

But the divine is within everyone and if, you know we just set aside their external personality, set aside the person we know and look deeply into their eyes, we can see divinity within everyone. So that's what Yogaswami was encouraging all His disciples to do in those stories; is to see God in everyone, to look deeply enough and see the divine in everyone. And the divine in everyone is tied together as a One divinity. Cause we aren't all separate at the deepest level. There's only One of us.

So those are some nice thoughts for Yogaswami's Mahasamadhi day.