By Nayaswami Dharmadevi
November 14, 2017

Have you ever felt like life kicks you when you’re down? That’s because it does! Humanity is at war between the forces of light and of darkness in the consciousness of man. Swami Kriyananda dedicated an entire chapter of his book The Art & Science of Raja Yoga to this topic: Life is a Battlefield!

The battle is waged within each one of us. The epic story of the Mahabharata is the perfect spiritual allegory. We have great warriors on both sides – for God wants each of us to be heroic in our victory over Maya (Delusion).

On the side of our evil tendencies, known to be undefeatable on the battlefield, stands Duryodhana, who represents Material Desire. He sits, for most of us, as ruler of our kingdom.

Duryodhana is surrounded by his brothers of almost equal strength (the Kauravas): Dushasana (Anger), Vikarna (Greed), and ninety-seven others! If that wasn’t enough, he has on his side Dronacharya (Habit), Shalya (Material Pride), Shakuni (Material Attachment), Karna (Attachment to Worldly Happiness), and perhaps the most imposing of them all, Bhishma (Ego), who has the boon to not die unless he wills himself to.

Geez! It could seem like the odds are stacked against us. However, let’s not forget our mighty heroes – our spiritual warriors – the Pandava brothers! They are only five in number but boy are they powerful. Paramhansa Yogananda said the Pandavas represent our chakras from the base of the spine to the throat center – youngest to oldest respectively. Krishna, or the Christ Consciousness, within each of us relates to our sixth chakra or spiritual eye.

Arjuna (Third Chakra), is our self-will, which when united with Divine will (Krishna) cannot be beaten. He is the hero of the Bhagavad Gita because he overcomes discouragement and decides to fight – without him, there wouldn’t even be a battle.

Once our willpower is engaged, Bhima (Heart Chakra) is unleashed. The courage of the heart, with its petals facing upward in devotional self-offering to the Divine, is fierce to say the least! He single-handedly kills all of the Kaurava brothers (evil tendencies).

We are Divine beings having a human experience. The sooner we can get our warriors arrayed for battle, with single-pointed focus on the task at hand (our own Self-realization), the sooner will be our inevitable victory. Why continue to suffer when a world of Bliss is awaiting you, right within?

“True spiritual peace is not a state into which one sinks passively – a reward for long years of suffering and tears. It is the peace, rather, of victory, of a fight well fought and of the certainty that one has overcome. It is not a wall placed protectively around one to shut out the horrors of life; it is rather a blinding light, banishing those horrors into non-existence, even as darkness is banished from a room when one turns on the electric light.”

“Why cling to anything? All that man seeks awaits him in his inner Self, not as a result of merely avoiding conflicts, but as a result, rather, of overcoming them. Peace is a mind soaring in the free skies of inner consciousness.”

The Art & Science of Raja Yoga
by Swami Kriyananda