214 Another causality underlying the causality of the world

Yoga sees another causality underlying the causality of the world. A stage play has its own causal sequence: within the play, daggers kill, kings are honoured, the mother loves a baby. But there is a deeper causal sequence which is quite different: the daggers do not kill though the stabbed man falls, the king is a very minor role, the baby over which the mother croons is a doll. All the events, though they seem determined by the stage situation, are in fact free choices by the cast. They are careful to preserve the play situation. They do not lean against a pillar in the palace; if someone did, a ripple would go across the marble of the painted scenery. A keen eye can in fact see many of the inconsistencies in the stage setting and action of the play, though children are often completely deceived.

In something of the same way, yoga sees the cosmos as controlled and held together by intelligence. Sometimes its particular functions are called deva-s, or shining ones, or gods. They may be directly perceived by some yogins who worship God in his manifestations. Śaṇkara states in one of his commentaries that ancient sages met the gods face to face, and it can be the same today for those who meditate on them through yoga. But the Gītā expects the yogin finally to look deeper than outer divine manifestation, and find the Lord within himself also. The Lord is so to say the producer of the play.

One may feel: ‘All the talk about the divine in Nature is very well while things go well, while it is a question of beautiful scenery and good health and so on. But what about when things are really bad? Can even the most advanced yogin retain his vision then?’

As an introduction, here is an account of an incident in the life of Swami Rama Tirtha, once a fellow disciple of Dr Shastri. He was a totally dedicated yogin, even during his worldly career as a Professor of Mathematics, and this state showed itself while he was still a young man. It would take one of milder resolution and training efforts a much longer time. But the mahatma said that it would be reached by all who persisted

215 Rama Tirtha after his God-realization
212 The idea of reincarnation contains hints at wider truths