There are two aspects – the good and the evil. In Satya Yuga, good and evil used to live in different lokas, in different dimensions, in different worlds. For good people, it was the deva loka, the divine dimension of light; and for bad people, it was the asura loka, the demonic dimension of darkness. In Satya Yuga, they all had their own worlds. Then came Treta Yuga in which both coexisted in the same world, good and evil did not have two different worlds. For example, Rama and Ravana both existed in the same world, there was no deva loka and no asura loka. After Treta Yuga came Dwapara Yuga when the good and the evil became part of the same family. There were some good people and some bad people in the same family, like the Pandava and Kaurava brothers.
Now we are in Kali Yuga, when the good and the evil exist within one person. The change has been from deva loka and asura loka, to the same world, to the same family, to one individual, one person. Today the asura vritti is much more dominant than the deva vritti. The deva vritti is soft, positive, luminous and sattwic, the asura vritti is hard and rigid. We are seeing now the rise of the asura vritti around the globe.
There is something called consciousness and people say that it is individual as well as collective and global. When a member of the family feels mentally imbalanced and agitated, that person is experiencing imbalance, agitation and crisis one hundred percent. However, other family members are also feeling it, not in the same intensity as the person who is suffering, not one hundred percent, yet they will be affected at least ten, fifteen, twenty or thirty percent depending on their association with the person. This happens at the individual level.
There is also a global consciousness where we are all connected to the same source known as the collective consciousness. In that collective consciousness, all the responses of the seven billion people are present and we are bombarded by that all the time. Unfortunately, as individuals we are not strong enough to stop that torrent of bombardment.
This year we have seen the rise of the asura vritti, the destructive and negative, all over the world. It is not coming from anywhere outside, but from within oneself. Nations are buying arms and ammunition in great quantities. Instead of thinking how they can live properly in the world, people are thinking of how they can use this opportunity to dominate the world. That is an asura vritti.
People had barely staggered out of the first lockdown during which everyone had suffered economically, financially, at all levels – and by the time they try to get back on their feet again, there is a second lock-down. There is a drain of resources again. Then unlock happens and again they struggle. By the time, they are getting back on their feet, the third lock-down. happens.
This creates a lot of uncertainty. Instead of addressing issues to make people more confident, secure, safe and optimistic, we, as humanity, are using our resources in an asuric manner. That is part of the collective consciousness and no matter where you are in the world, whether you are at the border or not, that collective consciousness will have some effect on you.
Only those who remain connected to positivity are able to survive it. It is the only way to survive. If you can remain connected to positivity and remain connected to the deva tattwa within you, the asura vritti will have no attraction or power to pull you. This is something you should think about. It is not good enough just to say that globally and individually human behaviour and society is deteriorating. Yes, it is, we see it every moment of every day. We should ask ourselves, ‘How can we survive in such a situation?’
I had told you a story during Diwali: As the sun was setting, it sent out feelers around the world as to who could spread light while the sun was absent. The call was heard by a deepak whose wick was not burning. It said, “Well, I will burn and as long as I can, I will bring light, but you have to give me the strength, the courage and the shakti.” The last ray of the sun came and ignited the wick which became the flame. The last ray of the sun transmitted its own shakti of fire and energy to the wick and to the deepak which had never known fire before. Only after transmitting its own shakti into that wick and seeing the deepak become luminous did the sun set completely.
How was that possible? The agni, fire, in the deepak and the agni of the sun are the same element, the same tattwa, there is no difference. It is the same fire, the same tej, luminosity. It is that little contact with positivity and selflessness, the motivation and the intent which ignites the fire.
As that deepak had become imbued with the power of the sun, it was able to burn and it shed light throughout the whole night. When the sun rose the next morning and saw this little deepak burning brightly, he said, “I’ll give you a boon – Wherever you go you will always dispel darkness, darkness will never be able to stand up against you.” And that is true. A thousand years of darkness can dissipate in one instant the moment you strike a match.
It is that positive deva element which is important, not the asura element. There has been a transformation of human nature from Satya Yuga, when the distinction between righteousness and unrighteousness was clear and the devas and asuras lived according to those principles, to what we see today in Kali Yuga. In Satya Yuga, whenever the balance was broken, whenever the borderlines were crossed, there were conflicts, however each one adhered to their own dharma. Today the same thing is happening within one individual, not just between two separate factions. Unfortunately, it is the individual who is failing today and lacks wisdom, understanding, sympathy, kindness or compassion; only the self is primary and foremost.
If we are able to maintain a connection with luminosity, there is always faith and advancement. If we cannot maintain that connection with the sun and with its essence, fire has no meaning. It is the sun which has to manifest in the fire of the deepak, it is the atma which has to manifest in the individual jivatma.
Today, good and evil are within us, however if we can maintain positivity that may become an example and a method for others. They will see that the rope of positivity will guide us out of this gloom of the asura vrittis. This has been the teaching and training of Sri Swami Sivanandaji and Sri Swami Satyanandaji. It is our asura vritti which does not allow us to see our own defect and flaw in us because we don’t have the strength and the courage to face it, but we love to observe the same defect and flaw in others. This is asura vritti. We have to change that. It is the spiritual learning of the time, if we want to survive and overcome the asura vrittis. This is also the message of Diwali for there is never any darkness where there is light.
4 November 2020, Diwali, Ganga Darshan, Munger