Today, as I write this, there is a full eclipse of the sun. This rare event happens when the moon passes directly between the earth and the sun. Even though the moon is hundreds of times smaller than the sun, the apparent size of the two bodies seems the same because the moon is so much closer to the earth. During a full eclipse only the corona, the intensely hot outer rim of the sun is visible. Normally, this cannot be seen, but it is as if Divine Mother wants to give us an occasional demonstration of the precision of Her universe.
When the moon eclipses the sun, the sky darkens, and when emotions obscure our higher nature, our minds grow gloomy. Emotions, especially when negative, have a unique ability to sap our spiritual strength. In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras it says, “Yogas chitta vritti nirodh,” meaning Self-realization occurs spontaneously when we are able to neutralize the whirlpools of likes and dislikes. So, how can we accomplish this?Although this event is very interesting to scientists, astrologers, and viewers, I am more interested in its spiritual symbolism. The moon is often considered to represent our hidden, emotional nature, while the sun represents the outward-flowing life-force. Paramhansa Yogananda, in a fascinating statement, said that the physical sun is the symbol of our spiritual eye. The implications are vast, implying that the whole of the physical world is merely a symbolic representation of inner, spiritual realities.
It does no good to repress our emotions. That will lead to more problems than it solves. So, does that mean that we should freely express our emotions, no matter how hurtful? No, of course not. The secret is to transmute their downward-pulling energy into devotion or other practices that stimulate our spiritual zeal.
Yogic techniques, such as watching the breath or Kriya Yoga, help us gain control over the reactive process. Over time, meditators find profound changes in their ability to remain calm and centered no matter what life throws at them.
In daily life, you can neutralize a negative emotion by practicing its polar opposite. Love overcomes hatred, and joy drives out sorrow. Ultimately, the bliss of God neutralizes everything else. Life’s lesser things fill our visual field only because, so long as we identify with our ego, they seem much closer to us. Once, Swami Kriyananda was lamenting his attachment to good food. Paramhansa Yogananda told him not to worry about it, saying, “Once ecstasy comes, all other attachments fall away.”
Finally, realize that it is God’s power that energizes everything. The moon generates no light of its own; it only reflects the light of the sun. Similarly, the ego is but a dim reflection of the soul, God’s spark within each of us.