Weekly Commentaries on the Bible and the Bhagavad Gita
by Swami Kriyananda (J. Donald Walters)
Week 1, At the Heart of Silence—the Eternal Word
Truth is one and eternal. Realize oneness with it in your deathless Self, within.
The following commentary is based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda.
In the Gospel of St. John, Chapter 1, these immortal lines appear:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
Human vision beholds individuality and separation everywhere. Divine vision beholds the oneness of cosmic vibration, of which all things, no matter how diverse, are manifestations. Cosmic Sound—the "Word" of God—and Cosmic Light: These are eternal. The world, as revealed to us by our senses, is illusory.
In Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramhansa Yogananda relates an early experience he received of the divine aspect of reality:
Sitting on my bed one morning, I fell into a deep reverie.
"What is behind the darkness of closed eyes?" This probing thought came powerfully into my mind. An immense flash of light at once manifested to my inward gaze. Divine shapes of saints, sitting in meditation posture in mountain caves, formed like miniature cinema pictures on the large screen of radiance within my forehead.
"Who are you?" I spoke aloud.
"We are the Himalayan yogis." The celestial response is difficult to describe; my heart was thrilled.
"Ah, I long to go to the Himalayas and become like you!" The vision vanished, but the silvery beams expanded in ever-widening circles to infinity.
"What is this wondrous glow?"
"I am Iswara. I am Light." The voice was as murmuring clouds.
"I want to be one with Thee!"
Out of the slow dwindling of my divine ecstasy, I salvaged a permanent legacy of inspiration to seek God.
Wise are we if we meditate on that experience of Yogananda's, and salvage from it even a breath of his inspiration. For, quite simply, there is nothing else! As the Bhagavad Gita says in the seventh Chapter:
I make and unmake this universe. Apart from Me nothing exists, O Arjuna. All things, like the beads of a necklace, are strung together on the thread of My consciousness, and are sustained by Me.
Thus, through holy scripture, God has spoken to mankind.