Friday, February 7, 2020

The Unification of the Soul with the Supreme

Kannada Article by: Subrahmanya Somayaji
English Rendering by: M R Bhashyam

Once there was a noble king who ruled a prosperous kingdom. The subjects adored the virtuous king. As fate would have it, the enemies invaded the kingdom. The ensuing war did not go well for the king and it was soon clear that it would be lost.  The ministers advised him to escape. They reasoned that, if the king were to survive at-least,   the sovereignty could be won back in due course.  The king agreed reluctantly and in the interest of the state he, his wife escaped into the forest along with their infant.  However, in the harsh environment of the jungle, they could not survive for long.  First the queen, then the king died leaving the child behind.   Some hunters in the jungle heard the baby’s cries, took pity and fetched him along with them.  The child grew up with other children, as one among them, and soon was a youth.

One day, the young prince along with his mates went into the forest to hunt.  An ascetic in the woods noticed that this boy was different from others in not only his physical features like build and complexion, but also in behavior and demeanor.   He called him aside and asked him to study himself in a mirror and reflect.  The mirror showed that his physical personality like the chest, arms, complexion etc were different but his reflection on himself pointed to a persona different from others. The boy was puzzled and went back to the ascetic to understand the reason.  The sage, having the ability to know the past, present and future apprised him of his past, reminded him of his duties as a prince and encouraged him to build an army and win back the kingdom. That changed the life of the prince. With enormous effort and dedication he organized his people, mastered the art of warfare, built a strong army, fought and defeated the enemies and won the kingdom back.

This is the story of us all. There is an empire within us, the effulgent radiant empire of the Soul which is the lap of God.   Defeated by the senses, we have left that empire and wandered into the fold of their wilderness and lost ourselves. For transient pleasures bestowed by our senses, we have sacrificed the unbounded joy of our inner selves. We have forgotten our true identity and lost our way in their labyrinth, just as it happened to the prince.  In order that we understand our true selves, our sages, with enormous compassion, have gifted us the path of “Yoga” and skillfully weaved it into our daily lives. Here, we can recall the words of Shri SriRanga Mahaguru  about the term Yoga , and he used to say that, “The merger of the Soul into the Supreme is Yoga”. The real meaning of Yoga, then is, the merger, the absorption of the finite into the infinite. The path followed to achieve this confluence is also termed as Yoga. Let us pray to God that He shower his grace on us so that we may re- discover ourselves and attain the ultimate goal of Yoga – the merger, in our lives.

Note: The Kannada version of this article can be viewed at AYVM blogs