I’ve been making frequent trips to Master’s Market at Ananda Village to get something cool and refreshing to combat the rising temperatures. An outstanding drink I found there, and which I recommend everyone try, is Virgil’s All Natural Zero Sugar Orange.
From direct experience, I proclaim that this is the best drink in all the three worlds with which to beat the summer. Here is my indisputable list of supporting facts:
1. It’s delicious
2. It’s All-natural
3. It’s flavored with “monk-fruit” (yay!) (Monk-fruit even has its own site: https://monkfruit.org/)
4. Content-wise everything in it adds to a zero (see the image above), and thus reminds us, each time we look at it, of The Law of Zero!
Did you know about the Law of Zero?
The Law of Zero is one of the most important principles of yoga. This is such a central teaching that Paramhansa Yogananda and Swami Kriyananda refer to it over and over again. Here are a few excerpts.
But wait! Don’t glean over these excerpts hurriedly.
Instead, take some quality time off, have a Virgil’s All-natural Zero Sugar Orange at hand to sip on (or something else which is delicious, all-natural, has monk-fruit, and adheres to the Law of Zero) and think over these lines deeply. Finally, over a second can of Virgil’s All-natural Zero Sugar Orange, ponder over the question at the end of all these excerpts.
- From “The Return to Zero,” in God is for Everyone by Swami Kriyananda:
What holds us prisoners to limitation is, above all, the power of desire. The fulfillment of desires causes us as much pain as pleasure, for things we desire have no permanence. The gains and losses of life are self-canceling. They must all, in the end, total zero! For creation itself exists on the principle of duality. Every plus must be balanced by a minus, every gain, canceled out by a loss – even as all the waves are compensated for by corresponding depressions in the sea.
What a supreme irony, that all the struggles, the desires and ambitions, the hopes, the ever-present fear of failure, the careful planning, the investment of years of effort, the sacrificial deferral of fulfillment, the eager longings and expectations – all must lead from any success achieved to “the morning after”: cancelation by an equal and opposite failure! Zero cannot but be the sum total. That is the law of the universe. Think of all the tears, the anguish and frustration of waiting, the laughter of relief at reaching eventual success, and all of it, literally, for nothing!
Perfection can be achieved only by subsiding into the oneness of Spirit.
- From “Watching the Cosmic Motion Picture of Life,” in Whispers from Eternity by Paramhansa Yogananda:
“Is it not ironic that every human struggle to ‘get ahead,’ to achieve this goal or that, and every dream and hope of a ‘happy ending,’ must always be canceled out by the very opposite of everything we sought. Every ‘up’ must be balanced by a ‘down’; every triumph, by a defeat. The sum total of our myriads of incarnations must be zero!”
- From “The Anatomy of Yoga- Part I” in The Art and Science of Raja Yoga by Swami Kriyananda:
Man’s likes and dislikes are the key to his involvement in delusion. They take him outside of himself. His upward surge of enthusiasm, when things go well, is no sign of ultimate fulfillment, for it relates to things that do not really affect him. He is like a mountaineer who after enormous effort reaches the top of a difficult climb, only to have to turn around and come down again. In the realm of duality, every up is followed, sooner or later, by a down. The two must, and do, cancel each other exactly, for the Truth exists only and forever at the midpoint between opposites. All the striving and the dreaming, the laughter and the tears of countless incarnations add up at last – outwardly, at least – to nothing gained, nothing lost: a neat zero.
The happiness of acquisition will be balanced in one way or another by the pain of loss. Fulfillment cannot be found outside oneself any more than one man’s success can be a complete triumph for his neighbors.
- From “The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam Explained” by Paramhansa Yogananda/ Swami Kriyananda
But come with old Khayyam, and leave the Lot
Of Kaikobad and Kaikhosru forgot:
Let Rustum lay about him as he will,
Or Hatim Tai cry Supper – heed them not.
Come, pursue the ancient way taught by Omar Khayyam – the path to soul-emancipation.
Souls appear continuously on earth, sing their piece, then slip away as they came, mysteriously. Let people be what they will: lazy or active, bored or engrossed in material pursuits. What does it matter? Be neither saddened nor elated by anything that occurs in this world. Let not outer attachments impede your soul’s progress in its race toward inner freedom.
O discerning one! rise above life’s dualities, above the endless gradations of relativity. Lo! every plan for success, so wantonly embraced; every looming disaster, so fearfully denied – all have as their sum total: zero! What are they but fictions, after all – fleeting mind-children in life’s constantly changing dream?
- From “The Eternal Religion” from “The Hindu Way of Awakening” by Swami Kriyananda
The larger an ocean wave, the more it obscures—for a person riding it—the ocean’s underlying calmness. The larger the wave, moreover, the deeper its offsetting trough. The more people distance themselves from their soul-center within by seeking fulfillment in outer excitement and sense-stimulation, the more their emotional highs are followed, necessarily, by emotional lows of sorrow and depression. The greater a victory, the greater also, sooner or later, the defeat. The greater the fame, the greater the opposition from others. The greater the success, the greater—perhaps in some other area of life—the degree of failure.
Life and the law of cause and effect known as karma rules all activity, and has no choice but to give us, as the sum total of all our endeavors, that bleak figure: zero. Just as the over-all ocean level never changes, so our central reality remains unaltered and untouched by anything we do and by anything that happens to us in this dream-world of outward manifestation.
- From “Men, Women” in “A Renunciate Order for the New Age” by Swami Kriyananda
The Supreme Spirit, as Creator, manifested everything by vibrating what we might call the surface of Its consciousness to produce waves of separate awareness. Where there is vibration, there is duality. This movement of consciousness in opposite directions from a state of rest at the center is what produces Creation.
Duality (dwaita) exists everywhere; everything has its own self-cancelling opposite. For every joy, there is an equal and opposite sorrow. For every success, there is an equal and opposite failure. Heat is, in the over-all scheme of things, canceled out by cold; pleasure, by pain; light, by darkness; fulfillment, by disappointment; triumph, by disaster. It will be noted that these opposites apply to both mental states and material conditions.
Mankind struggles over countless incarnations to achieve a fulfillment that, out of the very nature of manifested reality, simply cannot but recede before him forever. The sum total of all his striving must be zero. (And what a supreme irony: to reflect that the anguished striving of countless incarnations must always end, quite literally, in nothing!?)
- From “Stilling the Waves” in “Awaken to Superconsciousness” by Swami Kriyananda
The universe is founded on the principle of duality. Everything in existence is balanced by its polar opposite. Heat is balanced by cold; light, by darkness; positive, by negative. In mankind, duality is found in the balancing opposites of male and female, joy and sorrow, love and hatred. Wherever one quality exists, its complementary opposite will be found also. They exist together because each is needed to cancel out the other in absolute perfection.
The overall level of an ocean is not altered by the height of the waves at its surface. The higher any wave, the deeper its respective trough. Our essential consciousness, similarly, remains unaffected by our emotional ups and downs. Pleasure and pain, success and failure, fulfillment and disappointment: These are but waves on the surface of calm, intuitive feeling.
The Law of Duality acts as much in our individual lives as in objective Nature. Not only is every joy balanced in the general scheme of things with a sorrow, but that balance occurs in our subjective lives as well. Because our emotions are tied to the post of ego-consciousness, every joy that we experience emotionally must be balanced in our own emotions by an equal and opposite sorrow. Every personal success must be balanced by an equally personal failure; every personal fulfillment must be balanced by a corresponding personal disappointment.
The farther a pendulum swings in one direction, the farther it must swing back in the opposite direction. As an alcoholic binge is succeeded by a hangover, so an emotional “binge” of any kind is inevitably succeeded by its opposite.
People think to increase their happiness or their success by pushing their “energy-pendulum” in the direction they want it to go – toward more possessions, greater fame, more intense pleasure. They wonder why the pendulum seems always to swing back in the opposite direction. Blindness! How could it do otherwise?
Such is the supreme irony of human existence that the sum total of all our striving must always be the same: zero!
How ironic, that everything we strive for so earnestly should add up to nothing. The entire drama of life, with all its pluses and minuses, its ups and downs, its moments of hope and of despair, brings us back again and again to the status quo. Nothing, really, is ever accomplished – nothing outwardly, anyway. Our only gains are inward, in the refinement of our spiritual understanding.
The only state in which joy or other positive feelings are not balanced by opposites is that of superconsciousness. There, the waves of emotion subside in calm, intuitive feeling. Joy, love, and peace are realized, then, as absolutes, not as relativities. For they are attributes of Pure Consciousness.
Fulfillment can never be achieved by reaching out for it, but only by stilling the active and reactive feelings in the heart. The soul, realizing at last that it will never find contentment so long as it seeks peace outwardly, turns within. And there, finally, in meditation, it finds perfect fulfillment.
Meditation is the process of neutralizing those waves of feeling, by releasing the ego from involvement with them.
This Summer, as we sip on Virgil’s All-Natural Zero Sugar orange, let’s remember the Law of Zero, and let us ask ourselves:
“Are we being fooled into spending all of our time playing the Game of Zeroes?”
“Are we wisely focused on diving deep within into the Land of Superconsciousness, which is where true fulfillment lies.”
PS: Why Virgil’s All-Natural Zero Sugar orange?
Because Swami Kriyananda taught that anything and everything can remind us of our one spiritual goal:
“Let everything remind us of Divine Mother. Paramhansa Yogananda was like that; even in little things. When he heard the “Jingle Bells; sung to him by the disciples, he cried out, “Racing through the skies to God, listening to the astral bells.” Another time someone gave him a mechanical top. He spun it and listened and to him the sound was like OM. Everything reminded him of spiritual truths. And so it is when we develop discrimination and devotion side by side, inter-related. When a man is hungry, everything reminds him of food. So when a man develops discrimination and devotion, everything reminds him of God.” —Swami Kriyananda