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Paramahansa Yogananda’s "One That’s Everywhere"

Paramahansa Yogananda's poems serve to deepen yoga meditation, offering devotees new ways of grasping the spiritual nature of all creation.

Paramahansa Yogananda

Introduction and Excerpt from "One That’s Everywhere"

The great spiritual leader, Paramahansa Yogananda, composed many amazing, divinity-inspired poems that inspire and uplift all who are blessed to hear them. One need not be a follower of the great guru's teachings to understand, appreciate, and benefit from these beautiful, spiritually blessed compositions. The great guru's classics, Metaphysical Meditations and Whispers from Eternity, are filled with pieces that guide and inspire as they accompany the devotee on the path to self-realization through the meditation techniques created and offered by the great guru.

Especially helpful because of its literary value is the great guru's volume of poem titled Songs of the Soul, in which this poem, “One That’s Everywhere” appears. This poem features two variously rimed stanzas. The speaker celebrates all natural creatures, including language-blessed humankind. The great guru's poem reveals that Divine Omnipresence strives to reveal Itself through all creatures, even the so-called inanimate.

All of nature asserts itself from a divine origin. However, because the other creatures remain without language and a definite manner for clear communication, they do not reach the level of capabilities that the human being does. The complex brain of each human individual that retains the ability to create such a complex and clear system of communication bespeaks the special creation that the human being has undergone through evolution.

(Please note: The spelling, "rhyme," was introduced into English by Dr. Samuel Johnson through an etymological error. For my explanation for using only the original form, please see "Rime vs Rhyme: An Unfortunate Error.")

Excerpt from "One That's Everywhere"

The wind plays,
The tree sighs,
The sun smiles,
The river moves.
Feigning dread, the sky is blushing red
At the sun-god's gentle tread. . . .

(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.)

Commentary

The speaker in Paramahansa Yogananda's poem, "One That’s Everywhere," reveals that Divine Omnipresence strives to reveal Itself through all creatures, even the inanimate.

First Stanza: Varied Creations of Nature

In the first stanza, the speaker begins with deliberation by cataloguing a short list of nature’s entities all coupled with their own special activity: wind playing, tree sighing, sun smiling, and river moving. These varied creations of nature offer the human individual a vast field for thought and wondrous amazement about the natural environment. This speaker interprets the activities in playful and colorful ways. For example, instead of observing mundanely that the wind blows, his cheerful, creative mind interprets, "the wind plays." Similarly, instead of merely averring that the sun shines, he offers the unique perspective that "the sun smiles." The association of "sun" and "smiles" is now quite a widespread phenomenon.

To remark about the largest natural feature of mankind’s field of vision, the speaker offers an expansive line: "Feigning dread, the sky is blushing red / At the sun-god’s gentle tread." The beauty of the sky becomes intense and palpable through this marvelous interpretation of events. The triple rime, dread-red-thread, multiplies the phenomenal effect of sun’s rays as they paint the sky. The speaker then dramatizes the daily occurrence of planet Earth transforming from dark to light: "Earth changes robes / Of black and starlit night / For dazzling golden light."

Second Stanza: Expressing Individuality

Referring to Mother Nature as "Dame Nature," the speaker reports that this metaphoric lady of nature enjoys decking herself out in fabulous colors that humanity observes as the "changing seasons." The speaker then proclaims that "the murmuring brook" attempts to convey "hidden thought" that an unseen, inner spirit brings to the flowing water. This deeply-inspired, observant speaker then reveals, "The birds aspire to sing / Of things unknown that swell within."

These linguistically mute creatures of nature all are motivated by the unseen, unheard, omnipresent Divinity, about which they strive to articulate in their own unique manner. But it is humankind, who "first speaks in language true." While the other natural creatures, also made in the image of the Divine, strive to express their own individuality as they sing of their inner spirit, only the human creature has been blessed with the ability to create and employ a fully formed system of communication.

Only the human being is capable of expressing the Divine in a conscious way. Human individuals are able to speak loudly and clearly and "with meaning new." All natural creatures, however, are inspired by the divine, but their expression of the great spirit remains only partial. It is a great blessing, therefore, to reach the status of being born in human form, for in that blessed state the human being is allowed to "fully declare / Of One that’s everywhere."

A spiritual classic

A spiritual classic

© 2019 Linda Sue Grimes