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ICM Library Foundation

Passages from The Living Gita.

Chapter 10.

Yoga of the Divine Manifestation.

If we see God in everything, that implies containers or vessels full of that consciousness, as if the container itself might not be made of the same consciousness. But there's not even a single spot without that consciousness. It's all One: the container and the contained are both consciousness. To feel and see everything as the expression of that consciousness is true devotion. Devotion is not simply prostrating and adoring and giving beautiful words of love. Devotion in daily life is seeing that everything is a manifestation of God. Devotion means seeing that consciousness, the same God in everything, or more accurately, as everything. Then however you relate with that aspect or manifestation, it becomes your worship. Your action or service is not for somebody else, but for the one consciousness. Devotion and worship go together.

That can happen every minute of our lives through everything we do. As that happens, automatically the Yoga of discrimination dawns. First, we do certain things to acquire a discriminating capacity - traditional devotion and worship. When you have viveka (discrimination), true devotion arises. Discrimination means you can distinguish between the real and the unreal, the permanent and the impermanent. Actually, nothing is unreal. We may think some things are unreal or impermanent. Sometimes it seems to be a dilemma: remembering the ultimate essence while functioning in regular, worldly life.

All the different names and forms are temporarily given to modifications of the essential one consciousness, which is permanent. But, in truth, there are really no modifications. The original consciousness just appears to change. Water appears to be a wave. But the wave after all is nothing but water. If we see the wave only as a wave, and not as water also, then it's an illusion. We should discriminate: "Yes, I see it as a wave. Because it rises up, I give the name, wave; but it's the same water rising up." That's discrimination - seeing the same essence behind all the names and forms. We all may sit together using different names, appearing in different forms. This is good for functioning on the worldly level. But even as we notice the differences, even while doing different things, at the back of the mind we should be seeing it all as one consciousness: "Why, it's all nothing but the same, expressing itself differently."

But when everything is seen as only the same consciousness, then there is no fun in life. So for the sake of fun and play, just to delight us, we keep the changes and also see the superficial differences. But know that the changes are only there so we can play. If it goes a little beyond playing and we begin to fight, then we should stop and realize, "No, this is all nonsense. Ultimately we're one and the same." That stops the fighting. If we are carried away seeing the differences, we forget the basic truth.

Always keep this in mind: essentially all is the same. Whether it's a piece of rock or a plant, a dog, a cat, a worm, or a human being, we are all simply the same essence. Yes, it looks a little different, but the difference is really nonsense. If you want to make sense, there is only this essence. Duality is non-sense. Non-duality is true sense. See the essence and play with the nonsense. Then life makes sense: viveka.


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