Paramahansa Yogananda's poems serve to deepen yoga meditation, offering devotees new ways of grasping the spiritual nature of all creation.
Introduction and Excerpt from "In Me"
According to the great guru, Paramahansa Yogananda, everything in creation is connected, irrevocably through its Creator. Although Maya, or delusion, makes it seem that people, trees, rivers, mountains, ocean, and the sky are all separate entities, they are separated only as part of the mayic scheme.
The speaker in Paramahansa Yogananda's "In Me" is celebrating his kinship and connectivity with all created beings. His ultimate purpose is to demonstrate his union with the Creator of all those creatures in natural phenomena.
The following is an excerpt from the drama portrayed in the poem, "In Me":
Excerpt from "In Me"
Hello, Yonder Tree!
Thou dost breathe in me, in me;
O fast-footed River!
Thy shining, meandering quiver
Thou dost shine through me, in me. . . .
(Please note: The poem in its entirety may be found in Paramahansa Yogananda's Songs of the Soul, published by Self-Realization Fellowship, Los Angeles, CA, 1983 and 2014 printings.)
The unity of all natural phenomena exists for the self-realized individual, who can then chant that all is "in me."
First Movement: Worshiping Unity
In the opening movement, the speaker greets and points out, "yonder tree!" and declares that the tree breathes in him. He knows himself and the tree to have a common ancestor, and he senses that as he breathes the same air in which the tree takes its being, his relationship with the tree is unity instead of seeming separateness.
The speaker then makes the same claim regarding the river. Even though a tree and a river seem so different in their mayic forms and functions, still they remain connected through their Creator, and thus connected to the speaker.
The river may be "fast-footed" while the tree remains rooted in the soil, thus rendering them seemingly very different in form and function. But the speaker unites them through himself. Both natural forms exist in the speaker, just as they exist in their Creator.
Second Movement: Home is Where the Soul Resides
The speaker then moves on to an even larger, vaster phenomenon, the Himalayan Mountain range. He describes the mountains as coupled with "snowy sovereign white regalia." Keeping with the royalty metaphor, he states that the "throne" of those mountains resides in him.
The home of the mountains, the locus that emanates from the Father Creator exists in the speaker, for he is aware of his larger self that exists everywhere. Because the speaker had united his soul with the Over-Soul Creator, he can feel all things in himself just as the Creator does.
Third Movement: The Oceanic Awareness
As the speaker gathers all phenomena in his purview, his discourse become closer and more aligned with the Blessed Lord Creator Himself. By the third movement, the audience can realize that not only is the speaker speaking for himself, he is actually giving his audience a glimpse of Creation from the eye of its Creator.
Thus, as the speaker addresses the nature of the ocean, he can aver that to him that vast expanse that seems to exist in "boundless stretches" is actually "small." Instead of a huge expanse of water, to him it is but a "tiny drop upon a ball."
In order for such a huge expanse of water to be a mere drop and exist inside some entity, that entity would have to be of tremendous size, unimaginable to the human mind. Such an entity can only be the original Creator, the Divine Really, or God.
Fourth Movement: Growing Vastness of Earthly Creations
The speaker had begun his discourse with the smaller features of nature—the tree, the river—then he moved to a larger earthly feature, the vast Himalayas, then he addressed the largest feature on earth, the ocean.
Now the speaker addresses the phenomenon that holds the place of the vastest area known to earth inhabitants—the sky. In the environment of earth creatures, the sky as it surrounds that "ball" on which they exist remains the entity most vast in nature. Not only does the eye report that vastness, but in the imagination, the sky seems to exist without an end. The eye and all the technological visual enhancement tools cannot detect the end of the sky.
This speaker now metaphorically transforms the nature of the sky to that of the ocean. He predicts that "in some higher age," humankind will ride in a "better boat" and discover that the ends of the sky also reside in each one of them. After he finds the "borderland" of the sky, he knows he will find it in himself.
Fifth Movement: Angels in the Spine and Brain
The speaker concludes with a metaphysical boundary—the "distant heavens." Of course, that distance is merely a delusional reality, because again, even those distant heavens exist in the speaker.
The speaker addresses a "secret One" and seven angels. The secret One is God and the seven angels are the six chakras of the spine—coccyx, sacral, lumbar, dorsal, cervical, medulla oblongata, and the seventh is the spiritual eye in the forehead.
These angels exist in the speaker and every child of God. After devotees have earned the power to find themselves in those angels, they will see all of the angels as well as the "secret One."
It is with that sacred Union that all children of the Sacred Reality will be able to chant with the speaker that all creation exists in them. And they will understand the eternal truth that "[i]n my sphere You all I see, / In me, in me, in me!"
© 2018 Linda Sue Grimes