You are a Divine incarnation with the capacity to access the infinite within you. Yoga describes that the vastness of Consciousness chooses to manifest, through many levels of contraction, to become matter. From the formless to the form, all is made of the One. Everything is Consciousness!
“Yoga promises you that you will know yourself to the deepest and fullest extent, recognizing your own Divinity and seeing it in everyone and everything else.” — Swami Nirmalananda
The point of yoga’s practices is that you know and experience this within yourself. This is easy when you are emerging from a deep meditation or at the end of a yoga class. Your quiet mind makes you able to experience peace. You’ve found an entry into the infinite within, which is called “svaroopa,” your own Divine Essence.
Yet most of the time, you’re not experiencing yourself as Divine. While the infinite reality is concealed in every object, you can’t see the it because you’re trapped in your preferences. If you like how something is going, it’s yoga; if not, it can’t possibly be yoga. A yoga student returned home one day to see her kitchen flooded. She stood there and made a decision: “I guess this is my yoga for the day”. She rolled up her sleeves, opened her heart, got to work, and was in a state of bliss throughout the clean-up.
Not everything goes your way. Not everyone one is interested in yoga or inner peace. Swamiji says, “If you’re looking for the world and the people around you to show you their Divinity, you’re going to have a long wait.” The only way you can find the Divinity that pervades all of existence is by looking inward. You must find God in yourself first.
I learned a beautiful Sanskrit verse in yoga teacher training which begins with:
OM. That is perfect. This is perfect.
“That” is your Divine Beingness, already perfect and full. “This” is everyone and everything in this world, already perfect and full. If you had told me B.Y. (before yoga) that “everything is perfect, the perfect becoming the perfect,” I’d have thought you were crazy. For I was a master of the “yes…buts.” A lifelong skeptic, I was trying to make the world fit into my expectations. To me, “the perfect” meant perfectionism. If I perfected the poses, if I was the perfect wife and mother, even the perfect yogi, then my life would fall into place. These delusions captivated me for years! When I chanted that mantra, it felt like a promise of things to come. Deep inside, somehow I knew I was more than my mind was telling me.
In order to behold the perfect in everything, you must first find it within. You’ve already proved to yourself that figuring things out doesn’t make you enlightened. You cannot really enlighten yourself. Only One who knows the Self can reveal your inherent Divinity to you.
Swami Nirmalananda describes it this way, “I was so fortunate to find such a One. I didn’t know that I was looking for my Self. I didn’t know that my mind was what was in the way. My Guru showed me what I was looking for and how to get deeper in, past my mind. I live in undying gratitude to Him, and delight in serving others who want the same.”
Even though this world is chaotic and unpredictable, it is the form of formless Consciousness. Everything coming at you is another form of the Divine. Everything! Your mind doesn’t have to understand. Why? Because you are more than your mind. How do you find your Self?
- Pause in the midst of your activities. Take a breath. Even sigh!
- Offer whatever you are doing to your own Divine Self, the One who is being you while being all.
In this way, you will begin to explore yoga’s promise: to know your Self to the deepest and fullest extent.
OM svaroopa svasvabhavah namo namah