The Homecoming

My grandmother once told me a story of four yogis. The first was a Bhakti yogi, one who felt that devotion and love for God in his physical form was the right way to please him. The Bhaktas emotions ruled his heart and soul.

The second was a gyana yogi. He let his head rule over everything else. He viewed everything with intelligence and reasoning. He was not the emotional kind.

The third was a karmayogi. He was a workaholic. He felt that without work there was no life. ‘Work is worship’ and it was the only way to seek the favour of the Almighty God.

The fourth was a Kriyayogi. He felt that work, form and emotions were all just illusions. Everything around us is just cosmic energy. Unless every action, thought, word or deed was directed to transformation of energy and channeling the same, nothing would be right.

“Well”, said Grandma, “since all these four yogis were so different in nature, they could never pull along together, so they never agreed to do anything jointly. But surprisingly one night they were strolling together in a forest and it started to rain. They ran for shelter to an ancient Shiva Temple. There was an old Shiva Lingam in the centre. Four pillars around it held up a creaky old roof. But it was enough to shelter them from the rain. Soon, the rain became more and more violent and started coming down in sheets. The storm was full of fury and the wind whistled through the forest as the trees swayed dangerously all around. The four yogis huddled closer and closer for fear of being blown away by the mighty tempest. Eventually all of them were hugging and clinging onto the Shiva Lingam in order to anchor themselves to the ground.

All of a sudden they felt something happening to them all. There was a divine presence emanating from the lingam and enveloping them all in its comforting embrace. It was like a homecoming. Each one thought the same thing. “All these years I have performed yogic penance but never felt your presence Lord, as I feel you now! Why today of all days? In the middle of this forest, in this stormy night!” And God said compassionately “Today all four of you have got together. Till you did that, how could I have come?”

In the core of our heart, these four aspects of our personality, fight over each other. Sometimes we try Bhakti, Gyan, Karma or Kriya to win over the Lord. But if only we were to try moderation and let each have its own place in our life and let all of them coexist in harmony, I think God would soon accept us as His very own and that would be a homecoming for us too.