|[ Excerpt from The Science of Yoga, page 235 ]
Lord Ganesha said:
"Sages do not say, 'yoga is union.' Yoga is not union with wealth. Yoga is not union with objects or elements... yoga is not union with fathers, mothers, and others; or union with kinsfolk, sons, and others... Yoga is not even union with Indra's God's realm... I affirm that the yoga consisting in the attitude of non-separation is the perfect yoga."
Unity, the ultimate, indivisible reality, known as the tao in Taoism, as dharmakaya or tathata in Buddhism, is referred to as Brahman in Hinduism. Brahman is also often loosely translated as 'God', but this should not be confused with a common monotheic interpretation of God as a Supreme, Omnipotent Being; rather as the 'unitive principle' itself, or the indivisible 'One Reality' which manifests itself in all things.
Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani in her article entitled Oneness, fittingly demonstrates the innate yearning for unity within all human beings and the manifestation of this yearning from those with various degrees of awareness:
"Everyone wants Oneness in some form or another. The Unitive impulse is deeply imbedded in our DNA. But everyone seeks that union in a different way, and according to their own level of consciousness."
She explains that everyone inherently seeks oneness, albeit on an unconscious level. She continues:
"None of us likes the sense of the presence of 'the other'. When we sense 'otherness', we instinctively try to remove it in various ways according to our level of evolution.
At the lower animal level, we can remove the sense of the otherness by eating it, killing it, mating with it, or chasing it away.
This kind of oneness is still practiced by the animal man, homo erectus, who is still mostly dominated by his animal brain. Perhaps 90% of the human race still exists on this level of consciousness and this is one explanation for the horrendous wars and conflicts which are ravaging the earth. 'There should be ONLY ONE, and that ONLY ONE should be ME,' thinks the animal brain. This is a very crude concept of Oneness.
The egotistical man, who has risen above herd consciousness, above mob allegiances, interprets this primordial 'urge for Oneness' in more subtle ways. He may no longer kill, eat, mate with or chase away 'the other', but he will try to submerge 'the other' in his own ego presence. This can be done through social, political, emotional or economic dominance. He thus creates the presence of 'one will' or 'one aim', which dominates 'the other'.
Charismatic leaders such as Napoleon in France, Adolf Hitler in Germany, Mussolini in Italy, Stalin in Russia, Franco in Spain and Mao in China all demonstrated this kind of 'oneness'... Of course, history shows us clearly where all these crude attempts at Oneness end.
As one rises in evolution, one chooses more refined methods of achieving Oneness and erasing the sense of 'otherness'.
This may be expresses now in a more refined sense such as sports, competitions, takeover bids in business, different kinds of national and international gatherings which seek to resolve the 'otherness' through various methods of communication and communion, through conferences, political parties, rallies, etc.
Some think that they can banish that terrifying sense of 'otherness' by finding the 'perfect mate'. The man and woman unite and create the child and ONE UNIT is formed… [But] sooner or later even this family unit has to brush up against ‘the other’, and the [same] old patterns emerge.
Emotional bonds are formed to create a Oneness, but emotions are fickle and unstable. That kind of oneness can only be transient [and impermanent].
[But] those forces which push us toward union are powerful and strong. Perhaps the Universe is saying 'Look! Sooner or later you have to come back to me. What you are looking for here and there can only be found in the Real, True and Permanent sense, when you lift your eyes to the sky [or look deep within the Self] and realize that ALL IS IN ESSENCE, ONENESS'.
... At the top of the evolutionary ladder, at the peak, the point, the tip of the mountain, there is only Oneness. It is to those heights that this primordial unitive impulse seeks to propel us. The journey up this big and treacherous mountain may take us thousands of lifetimes, but it is a journey that we all have to make… sooner or later. But, says the Guru, 'if not now… When?'"
NOTE: This yoga article is an excerpt from The Science of Yoga, an online yoga training program with streaming yoga videos and 600 pages of step-by-step yoga instruction.
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