An Introduction to Yoga/Lecture IV/Chapter 11

An Introduction to Yoga by Annie Wood Besant
Lecture IV/Chapter 11: The End

The End

What is to be the end of this long struggle? What is the goal of the upward climbing, the prize of the great battle? What does the yogi reach at last? He reaches unity. Sometimes I am not sure that large numbers of people, if they realised what unity means, would really desire to reach it. There are many "virtues" of your ordinary life which will drop entirely away from you when you reach unity. Many things you admire will be no longer helps but hindrances, when the sense of unity begins to dawn. All those qualities so useful in ordinary life—such as moral indignation, repulsion from evil, judgment of others—have no room where unity is realised. When you feel repulsion from evil, it is a sign that your Higher Self is beginning to awaken, is seeing the dangers of evil: he drags the body forcibly away from it. That is the beginning of the conscious moral life. Hatred of evil is better at that stage than indifference to evil. It is a necessary stage. But repulsion cannot be felt when a man has realised unity, when he sees God made manifest in man. A man who knows unity cannot judge another. "I judge no man," said the Christ. He cannot be repelled by anyone. The sinner is himself, and how shall he be repelled from himself? For him there is no "I" or "Thee," for we are one.

This is not a thing that many honestly wish for. It is not a thing that many honestly desire. The man who has realised unity knows no difference between himself and the vilest wretch that walks the earth. He sees only the God that walks in the sinner, and knows that the sin is not in the God but in the sheath. The difference is only there. He who has realised the inner greatness of the Self never pronounces judgment upon another, knows that other as himself, and he himself as that other—that is unity. We talk brotherhood, but how many of us really practice it? And even that is not the thing the yogi aims at. Greater than brotherhood are identity and realisation of the Self as one. The Sixth Root Race will carry brotherhood to the highest point. The Seventh Root Race will know identity, will realise the unity of the human race. To catch a glimpse of the beauty of that high conception, the greatness of the unity in which "I" and "mine," "you" and "yours" have vanished, in which we are all one life, even to do that lifts the whole nature towards divinity, and those who can even see that unity is fair; they are the nearer to the realisation of the Beauty that is God.