by Michael Ketterhagen
Swami Rama, the original spiritual head of the Himalayan Institute in the United States and my original yoga teacher, always introduced his talks with the statement, “I pray to the Divinity within You,” as he held his hand together in the pray position.
This is an incredible salutation.
When he said that and joined his hands in the traditional “namaste” posture, he was telling us the core principle of the Yoga Tradition and helped us to realize, after it sunk in, that each of us is the “temple of the Holy Spirit,” as Christianity believes. The realization of that fact is also the goal of each of those traditions. Believers in both traditions long to be one with God either after they die or during their present physical lives while on earth.
What does that mean…to be carriers of Divinity?
It means it doesn’t matter what religious belief one has. Everyone has the Divinity within them. It really doesn’t matter either if a person is a living saint or an ardent criminal. All humans have the divinity within them. What does matter is a person realizes that the Divinity, God, is within them.
It also means that even though I may not act like a “saintly” person, or even though I may think some people may go to hell, or even though I may believe in God much differently than you do, we are both “shrines of the Lord of Life.” Each of us is to be honored and respected and cared for in the same way that we would honor and respect a “saint.”
We are all the carriers of the Divine!
What would such an understanding mean to our world in 2022?
It would mean no wars! No hatred! No animosity toward anyone! It would mean that when we find someone doing something harmful that we don’t punish them, but work at finding out why they were doing what they did and attempt let them know that they are acting against the core of their being. It would mean loving them even when they might be acting in an unlovable manner. It would mean going out of our way to understand them deeply by sharing with them our deep awareness that “God is within them,” that the Divine is one with their core self. It would mean constantly acting in a loving, respectful, dignified manner toward them to show them that they are, like every other human, “harbingers” of the Divine. We all are the temples, shrines of God.
Wow! What a different world that would be.
I pray to the Divinity within You!