by Paramhansa Yogananda
Inner Culture, May 1936
People build their aspirations and form their desires according to their prenatal and postnatal influences. Heredity and national, social, and family characteristics, tastes, and habits mold the life of a child. Children, in the beginning of their lives, are about the same everywhere, but, as they grow older and the family and social characteristics begin to exercise their influence, it is then that individuals begin to reveal national and racial traits.
It seems as if God is trying to evolve the art of right living by expressing His Truth through a combination of particular civilizations, mentalities, and nationalities. No nation is complete in itself. An absorption and collection of the best in all nationalities may supply us the best information on the art of living. It is important to note that Jesus and the Master Minds of India not only attained the best in all civilizations since the earliest era to the present time, but they manifested the highest ideals embodied in all religions. Therefore, the art of right living can be found in the study of the best in all nationalities, plus the study of the individual lives of great Saints.
Diversity and Unity
Diversity is the Law of Nature. Unity is the way that leads to the Infinite. By discord and diversity, the world is thrown into the boiling pot of sorrow, wars, and death. Uniting Souls with Truth by ideal living is the way to happiness, peace, and immortality. Through individual, industrial, and political selfishness, explosives of the feeling of race superiority, and by the excluding commercialism of dogma, entrenched religions have kept races divided and shattered by social, industrial, political, religious, and financial wars, resulting in depressions, ignorance, and mass misery.
A combination of the spiritually-efficient qualities with the scientific materially-efficient qualities as represented in the lives of great men can offer us an art of living which will produce physically, mentally, morally, materially, socially, and spiritually the highest type of all-round men in all nationalities. Do not take only those principles which develop the physical at the expense of the Spiritual phase of man’s life, or vice versa, but also take those which equally and harmoniously develop the superman with his balanced physical, mental, moral, and Spiritual qualities.
How to Build World Unity
Scientists, politicians, business men, and social workers by limited specific methods unconsciously and indirectly are trying to pave the path to World Unity. The exponents of scientific religions, philosophy, and ethics of human conduct try to consciously garner the picked blossoms of Truth from the gardens of all forms of wisdom, and try to decorate human Souls with a floral costume of super-qualities which may directly qualify them to enter the Paradise of all-freeing ultimate wisdom.
Science is directly helping man with material comforts through her golden inventions. The same science, indirectly, is helping man to be the reformer of dogmatic religions and to explain many miracles found in Nature and spoken of in religion. Science shows how, by changing the vibration of a pound of water into ice, that solidified water, instead of mixing and sinking, can be made to float on top of the water. It suggests through the scientific imagination that perhaps Jesus controlled the psychological relation between matter and mind and thus changed the atomic vibration of His body, enabling Him to walk on water.
In order to bring all humanity into the mansion of union and universal happiness, science, politics, social and individual ethics, international industries, and the science of international laws of living, all universally useful, moral, and religious sciences should offer ideal standards of the international laws of hygiene, peace, prosperity, education, moral codes, and applied psychological and Spiritual laws, which would make each of the fifteen hundred million human inhabitants of this earth an all-round, perfect world citizen.
Then each Soul would be able to say, “Down through the window of Memory I looked. I recall the early hours of my childhood, when the sun of my consciousness first began to appear. As it slowly rose out of the darkness of the unconscious mind, it dimly lighted only one part of my little mental horizon that lay encompassing my mother, playthings, and a few multi-colored desires. Later, as my consciousness grew brighter, a great part of my mental horizon was illumined. I saw in it not a few things only, but many thingsmy friends, relatives, neighbors, countryall these were revealed and included. Now, as I look within, on the mental sky, the sun of my consciousness seems to be shining brighter than ever in its supreme power. It no longer lights one direction only, or one portion of my mental horizon, or only a few friends or relatives, or one nation, but all nations, nay, all creatures and Nature, all planets, all stars, all shining electrons, all Universes, and all Space are included. I did not know that out of the inky darkness of my mind I would discover the Sun of Cosmic Consciousness.”
Do Your Part
Follow fearlessly the Truth wherever you perceive it. Love your family and country deeply so that you may learn to love and serve people of all nations more, and learn to find God in all men of whatever race or religion. While honoring God in all man-made temples, learn to worship and contact Him in the temple of deepest silence. Practice meditation for one hour in the morning and one hour at night. Learn the highest methods of scientific concentration and meditation as taught by great Hindu Masters. Do not be sidetracked to dogmatic, untested religious beliefs, but try to find the one highway of Self-Realization which leads quickly to God through the forests of belief and theology. The entire process of evolution in Nature and Man seems to suggest the necessity of removing the storm of ignorance in order to effect the union of delusion-projected waves of Life with the One Ocean of Spirit.
Offer This Prayer Daily
Our One Father, we are traveling by many true paths unto Thy one abode of Light. Show us the One Highway of Common Realization where meet all by-paths of theological beliefs. Make us feel that the diverse religions are branches of Thy One Tree of Truth. Bless us that we may enjoy the intuition-tested, ripe, luscious fruits of self-knowledge hanging from all the branches of manifold Scriptural teachings.
In Thy One Temple of Silence, we are singing unto Thee a chorus of many-voiced religions. Teach us to chant in harmony our love’s many expressions unto Thee, that our melody of Souls may rouse Thee to break Thy vow of silence and lift us on Thy lap of Universal Understanding and Immortality, that we my hear Thy Song’s Refrain in all our tender chants to Thee.