Clusters On A String

From the teachings of Swami Sivananda Saraswati

There is nothing whatsoever higher than Me, O Dhananjaya! All this is strung on Me, as clusters of gems on a string.

—Bhagavad Gita (7:7)

If you imagine that there is nothing but protoplasm in this universe then all the forms will vanish. All forms are constructed from one kind of matter. A tree or a man, a dog, a bug or a mosquito, are made of the same kind of matter or protoplasm. The protoplasm is a mould of matter in which all life is placed. It is a homogeneous substance without structure, forming the physical basis of life. The thread of matter that connects all forms is one and the same. You can also imagine that there is nothing but energy or mind in this universe.

The hidden life

Behind the names and forms, there is the universal life or immanent God. Try to feel the reality behind the forms. Scorn not at the tiny creatures or the undeveloped beings. The same life that throbs or pulsates in you is also throbbing in ants, dogs, elephants and all creatures. Realize your identity and intimate relationship with all creatures. There is only a difference in the degree of manifestation or expression.

Look at a tree or a shrub, a dog or a cat, and endeavour to behold the real hidden life or consciousness behind and under the veil or form. If you practise this for some time you will derive inexpressible joy. All hatred will cease, and you will eventually develop cosmic love and unity of consciousness. It will be a rare and magnanimous experience, and result in the vedantic realization of oneness.

Divine presence

Life is common in trees, ants, birds, animals and human beings. What is common in the sun, moon, stars, chairs, walls, stones, animals, birds and human beings? It is existence. A table exists and a tree exists. Existence is the sat aspect of the Satchidananda Brahman.

There is only an apparent, fictitious difference in bodies and minds. There are differences in colour and opinion, but the atman is the same in all. A thief, a prostitute, a scavenger, a king, a rogue, a saint, a dog, a cat and a rat – all have the same common atman.

Feel your oneness with all. Feel your oneness with the sun, the sky, the wind, flowers, trees, birds, animals, stones, rivers and oceans. Realize the oneness of life, the unity of consciousness. Behold the one homogeneous Self everywhere, in all beings, animals and plants.

The divine life that throbs in every atom of the universe dwells also in the hearts of human beings. The soul of an ant is the soul of a man. The soul of a sinner is the soul of a saint. The soul of a beggar is the soul of a mighty king. The ultimate truth in nature is the ultimate reality in man. Feel the divine presence in all creation.