Spiritual Message for the Day – Thought and Action is Vitally Connected by Swami Krishnananda

Baba Times Digest© | 29 June 2014 16:56 EST | New York Edition

Thought and Action is Vitally Connected

Divine Life Society Publication: Chapter 22 – True Spiritual Living by Swami Krishnananda

The system of yoga lays down a kind of discipline that compels us to take a total view of things – not only of ourselves as individuals or personalities, but also of things outside with which we are apparently connected.

It is the rise of the ‘whole’ towards a larger ‘whole’. Purnamadah purnamidam, says the Upanishad. Everywhere there is a sense of fullness. Even an atom is a completeness by itself; it is not a part of anything. We may say the atom is a part of a molecule, but that is only a way of expression. The atom, by itself, is complete, self-sufficient – like a solar system. Everything, even a cell in the body, is self-complete, though many cells make up a larger body. Every stage in yoga is a complete step, a full-fledged activity of the mind in that particular stage or level.

So, the first and foremost of precautions that we have to take here is that our understanding and emotion do not move in different directions. Sometimes they even move in opposite directions, which should not be the case. While the intellect may be denying something vehemently on a scientific basis, the emotion may be affirming the very same thing, contradicting what the intellect is asserting, and so on. Many of the students of yoga are sufficiently prepared intellectually but are not prepared emotionally and, therefore, there is not much success. The emotions are driven towards things which the intellect vehemently denies in its own way, and there is no use when the intellect works in one manner and the emotion works in another manner.

How are we to discover or find out if our understanding and feeling go together? This is a great and difficult task before us, because many of us are incapable of making a subtle analysis of our nature. If a person is half-sleepy and unintelligent, incapable of judging things properly, what good will it do to the army if he is made a general or a commander-in-chief? The battle inwardly fought is more serious than all the battles that history might have seen in the world.

In the Mahabharata, towards the end, there is an incident where the Pandava king Yudhishthira, having won victory in the Mahabharata war and having been crowned emperor with all glory, pomp and éclat, starts crying and weeping. Why was he crying? He was responsible for the whole war – in one sense, at least – and through the thick of the battle he had moved through his brothers with his army, and won the war with great difficulty. Everyone regarded it as a righteous war. Now he had been crowned king, the whole country was so joyous and jubilant over this happy event, and this man was crying! What had happened to him? Sri Krishna was sitting near him. He asked, “What are you crying for?” “Oh! What is the good of all these things that I have now! I have killed all my brethren, and I have a blood-stained kingdom. All my kith and kin, my dear ones, have gone. My grandfather, my Guru, are no more. What for is this kingdom? Why have I come here? And why am I here as a king?” He was weeping. Then, Sri Krishna turned to Yudhishthira and said, “My dear friend, I am very sorry for your state of mind. You are under the impression that you have fought a battle, engaged yourself in a very vehement war and killed many people; but do you know that you have not fought any battle or won any victory? The battle is still to be fought and the victory is still to be won – because now a battle is going on in your own mind, and that is indeed a more serious battle compared to the outer battle that you apparently fought, for which you are crying. Neither have you destroyed enemies, nor have you won victory. Your enemies are still inside you, and victory has not yet been won; that is why you are weeping. Your enemies are working inside.”

The yogi takes, therefore, a very serious notion of everything. There is nothing simple, unimportant or insignificant which the yogi can take as a sort of diversion or a hobby. Even if it is an act of sweeping the floor, it is important for him, because every thought and every action is vitally connected with what we are.

There are many secrets which are not open to our minds. Yesterday while reading a book I came across a very interesting passage, from Rousseau, the great thinker: “Why are you searching for the cause of evil? You are he.” And the sentence goes on: “You are responsible not only for the evil that you have done and are doing, but also for the evil that you are suffering from.” This is something horrible. We are also responsible for the evils we are suffering from, not merely for what we are doing. Yes. He opened up a psychological Pandora’s box when he made this statement, because we are very cozy under our blankets of comfortable thinking, due to which we think that the sufferings that we are undergoing are not our own making, that they are thrust upon us by others. Experience is the essence of this law which works in the universe, and no experience will come to us, impinge upon us or become our own unless we have a part to play in that drama of experience.

This is the reason why the yogi takes everything very seriously and never complains of circumstances, conditions, persons, things, etc., outside him, because for him there is no such thing as ‘outside’. He is in a very tremendous expanded atmosphere where everything seems to be connected with him, and with this attitude it is that he takes to a persistent practice of the higher stages of yoga.


In the working of the physiological system in our body, we cannot say which works first and which works afterwards. The respiratory system, the circulatory system, the heart, the head are all working simultaneously, though they are apparently different from one another. We cannot say the head thinks first and the heart is afterwards; everything is always. Similarly, the stages of yoga are stages only for the purpose of logical distinction, and they are not a chronological order that is laid before us. With this grounding, the yogi takes up the task of what he has to do next.

Excerpts from:


Thought and Action is Vitally Connected - Chapter 22 – True Spiritual Living by Swami Krishnananda

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