The only alive temple is in ourselves
I already had a questioned ready that I was hesitating asking even if it was very important for me in that moment: how can we overrun our discouragement? I hardly formulated that question in my mind when Yoga Swami answered instantaneously.
“Let us see what discourage is, first. No doubt you want to say pessimism, right? Pessimism and optimism are two opposite ways of reflecting the same reality in our being. We could say they are the two faces of the same coin. You are not at all in good conditions when you are pessimistic compared to the state you are in when you are optimistic; still, you are not in extraordinary good conditions when you are optimistic compared to the state you are in when you are pessimistic.
Reflecting themselves in distinct sates of happiness and sadness, both optimism and pessimism are just different angles from which you look upon life, as the wise man who always remains the same. For the one who has not reached liberation, yet, optimism is preferred to pessimism.
The wise and completely detached person understands that it is neither of them, in reality. If you look at life closely, with detachment, the way it is exactly – and not just from an ordinary angle – if you can permanently feel it profoundly and detached, outside this duality, then you are neither pessimistic nor optimistic, ever. If you realize this at least once and keep it permanently, you are already free”. While Yoga Swami was talking, an American older lady entered (as we could see later on) took of her sandals and joined us on the floor.
Her familiar way of smiling to each present person and her affectionate manner of greeting Yoga Swami showed she came to visit pretty often.
“What have you done lately?” asked Yoga Swami full of joy.
“I went to the Hindu temple in the neighbourhood. It is such a quite place for me.”
Yoga Swami asked laughing: “Do you mean the stone temple? So, you actually went to worship some stone gods in a stone temple! You should know there is only one real and alive temple, actually, and this is the temple within us. In order to really find God we must know first this right temple, as well as possible. Do not illusion yourself! There is no other temple in reality. No one but ourselves can save or free us”.
“What about Jesus? And Buddha? They could not help us?” cried the American lady. Her attitude was clearly not a wish to find the truth but a vivid reaction triggered by Yoga Swami’s words, as her religious susceptibilities were profoundly hurt.
“You should know that Jesus and Buddha saved themselves first and they did that through sustained effort. After that, the limited and dogmatic priests put on valueless paper what was actually their vivid experience as liberated persons and preached it without knowing a quarter of what was written there. The priests acted like fools in that direction.
In order to realize God in you and reach the state of final liberation, each one must act and work for himself. Never trust the one who promises he can help while you do nothing. Someone really capable can only impel us periodically; nobody will always help us but ourselves. Remember, no one but God can do this. Somebody else, even if he is skilful, can only show us the way, can only propel us through examples, but the path is always walked alone.”
Yoga Swami continued to talk like that, full of inspiration, and we listened carefully to every word of his, cherishing every moment spent in that dirty mysterious hut. Later we noticed several people came and stood at the narrow entrance of the hut that become full.
“Why do you all come to see me?” was a precise question addressed to each present person. “I am like any one of you. I search, I look in the dark, and I do my best to understand. I know the ignorant is surrounded by darkness but we also know the wise man himself understands he is surrounded by even thicker darkness. I cannot really help you. Only God can help you through me the way He considers it right and I am His humble and obedient tool. Always remember that! Everything comes from God only. I do not have anything so I cannot offer you anything. You cannot get anything from me here. Everything has been from God. Nobody believes I am stupid and yet, I know very well I am stupid”.
The American lady promptly answered: “But you are not stupid at all”. She looked anxious to reveal his false modesty.
Yoga Swami agreed later on: “Maybe I am stupid in a totally different way – a stupid that benevolently admits the reality of his stupidity as he is conscious of it”.
Yoga Swami left the physical world for good (mahasamadhi) and died a couple of years ago but what he told us then, in the direct and unconstrained manner that characterized him all his life, will always remain for us a vivid truth, a source of inspiration for all those who met him. The unforgettable experience of talking to a liberated soul in his life has been for me much more instructive and illuminating than reading several books on yoga or the eternal wisdom that leads to discover almighty God within us.
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