Sunday Service Week 22: The Inner Kingdom
Reading from Rays of the One Light
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.
Most people imagine that the “inner kingdom,” as Jesus described it, lacks the fascination they attribute to sense life: the bright lights, the diverse attractions, the joys and the laughter. Little do they realize what a vast universe exists in their own selves!
There are many passages in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible that describe aspects of this inner kingdom. In the Book of Genesis we read: “And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden. . . . And the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 2:8, 9). This garden was in no earthly place. It exists even now, in the very Self of every human being! The legend of Adam and Eve is allegorical. It describes how the first human beings dissipated their spiritual energy, centered in the spine. The spine is the channel through which flows the river of baptism and of spiritual life.
The Bhagavad Gita tells us, “The wise speak of an eternal ashvatta tree, with its roots above and its branches below” (15:1) The “tree of life,” spoken of also in Genesis, is the spine. Its roots are above, in the brain’s energy. Its branches are the outward spreading nervous system. When the “sap,” which is to say, the energy, flows downward the consciousness is drawn into delusion. On the other hand, when the energy is drawn upward in deep meditation, the consciousness is drawn toward its eternal source, God, and is at last united with Him.
Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita therefore urges his chief disciple Arjuna to embrace the yoga science, the path of meditation. “The yogi,” he says, “is greater than the ascetic, greater even than the followers of the paths of wisdom [Gyana Yoga] or of action [Karma Yoga]. Be thou, O Arjuna, a yogi!”
For those who would find the divine truth, Krishna gives this description of the yogi:
Steadfast a lamp burns, sheltered from the wind;
Steadfastly meditating, solitary,
Such is the likeness of the Yogi’s mind
Shut from sense-storms and burning bright to heaven.
Thus, through holy Scripture, God has spoken to mankind.
Reading from Affirmations for Self-Healing
Truthfulness is not caustic statements of unpleasant facts and unflattering opinions. Such statements are usually born of pride. But truthfulness is the effort always to see the divine truth behind appearances. It is the effort to express always that aspect of truth which may prove the most beneficial.
Truthfulness, as applied to ourselves, means not to hide behind self-flattering justifications: to look honestly at our real motives for doing anything, and not to flinch before unpleasant realities in ourselves. Truthfulness means seeing things as they really are, but then looking more deeply for ways to improve those realities.Practice this affirmation out loud, guided by Swami Kriyananda
Whatever is, simply is; I cannot change it for the mere wishing. Fearlessly, therefore, I accept the truth, knowing that, at the heart of everything, God’s truth is always good.
Heavenly Father, I will not fear the truth, for I know that Truth comes from Thee. Help me to see behind all appearances Thy smiling, all-compassionate gaze.