Paramahansa Yogananda – The Essence of Self-Realization
Kriya Yoga is an instrument through which human evolution can be quickened. Kriya Yoga, controlling the mind directly through the life force, is the easiest, most effective, and most scientific avenue of approach to the Infinite.
The after effects of Kriya bring with them the utmost peace and bliss. The joy that comes with Kriya is greater than the joys of all pleasurable physical sensations put together. From that joy experienced in meditation I receive the rest of a thousand sleeps. Sleep becomes virtually unnecessary to the advanced Kriya Yogi.
Self-realization is yoga or “oneness” with truth—the direct perception or experience of truth by the all-knowing intuitive faculty of the soul.
“In this path (of yoga action) there is no loss of the unfinished effort for realization, nor is there creation of contrary effects.
Even a tiny bit of this real religion protects one from great fear (the colossal sufferings inherent in the repeated cycles of birth and death).”—The Bhagavad Gita II:40
Yoga is the path of spiritual action, the infallible means by which concept is transmuted into realization. For those who embrace this “real religion,” there is no waste of any holy effort! The least attempt will be to their lasting benefit.
This last sentence of this Gita verse was often quoted by Mahavatar Babaji in referring to Kriya Yoga. Herein is a message of encouragement to devotees who, having entered the spiritual path, have not yet achieved any noticeable progress. In the material world, all successes are known by their tangible, though often short-lasting, results. But in the spiritual path all results, being primarily psychological, are intangible. They are real, nonetheless, and everlastingly beneficial. Spiritual results begin as subtle transformations in the consciousness of the inner being.
True religion are those immutable principles that protect man permanently from the threefold suffering of disease, unhappiness, and ignorance.
“Forget the past. The vanished lives of all men are dark with many shames. Human conduct is ever unreliable until man is anchored in the Divine. Everything in future will improve if you are making a spiritual effort now.”
You are, and ever will be, a perfect reflection of Spirit. You were Spirit; now you imagine yourself to be mortal; but by meditation on your true Self, and by performing God-reminding actions constantly, you can remember your forgotten Spirit-nature and remain in that consciousness through all futurity. Since you are immortal, do not burden yourself with earthly limitations.
What is meditation?
Becoming one with the soul. It means banishing the consciousness of being related to the body and to human limitations, and trying to remember that one is a soul. Meditation brings proof of the existence of God.
A man looking at the sky and the mountains and the ocean does not detect in them the Divine Presence. The subtle beam of the Creator is imperceptible to the human gaze. Because He is everywhere, it is as if He were nowhere.
Being infinite, God cannot be limited to any form, human or stone; yet He is manifest in all forms. One can rightly say that God manifests in every man as well as in great saints, for He is present in all.
No real difference is present among creatures: all are products of Prakriti [“Mother Nature”, “creative force”] and all are sustained by the same Underlying Divinity. Their seeming diversity is rooted in the unity of One Mind. To realize this truth is emancipation, oneness with God. … He is a liberated man who sees only the Lord in all creatures and in all creation.
God is consciousness. There is essentially nothing in the universe but mind or consciousness.
The sanskrit term for God is Sat-Chit-Ananda: Eternal Being or Truth (Sat), Infinite Consciousness (Chit), and Ever-new Bliss (Ananda).
Such is the paradox of creation, that God exists as the Soul of all men, creating and supporting them, yet does not Himself become entangled with them. And human beings, although saturated with God, are overcome by cosmic delusion and made subject to birth and death. A mystery indeed!
True wisdom: understanding how the One Consciousness becomes all things.
The wise do not indulge in grief for things that are inevitably changeable and evanescent. Those who always weep and complain that life is filled with bitter things reveal the narrowness of their minds. In God’s consciousness, all worldly things are trifles, because they are not eternal. … They master the restlessness that is synonymous with mortal life, and experience consciously the complete calmness, or silence, accompanying freedom from identification with the body.
When such a devotee reaches this immutable state of perfection, he witnesses all the changes of life and death without being moved by them. Identification with the waves of changes leads to misery, for to live and find pleasure in the changeable is to be separated from the Eternal.
The wise, therefore, are not tossed with the ups and downs of the waves of happiness and misery. They dive deep into the Spirit-Ocean of Bliss, avoiding the storms of delusion, the waves of change that rage on the surface of human consciousness.
Modern life is becoming very unsatisfactory. It does not give you happiness. There are too many things, too many desires. More nice cars and dresses and entertainments—and more worries! Free yourself from these so-called “necessities”…
There is no security anywhere in this world; at any time your consciousness may be forced to give up the body by disease or misfortune…
In these days of struggle, it is very hard to attain God, for your days are spent in restless activities and business pursuits — which mean nothing in the end but loss of time, and unhappiness.
In the transient realm of time and space, there is constant change, or cessation, in form and expression; but the essence within these changes endures. Everlasting is the soul of man (the true Self) and the soul of the universe (Kutastha Chaitanya, the Krishna or Christ Consciousness)—the “thou and I” expressions of Spirit. Permanent also are the principles of Nature, the Spirit-essentials of being or manifestation.
The wise do not expect to reap everlasting happiness from friends, beloved family, or dear possessions! The forms of loved ones are snatched away by death. Material objects turn out to be meaningless when one becomes used to them; or when, in old age, the senses grow unappreciative, powerless. Concentrate on the immortal Spirit through meditation and find there a harvest of eternal, ever new peace!
First, free yourself from wrong thoughts and habits.
Second, establish good habits and perform good deeds.
If you keep on trying, you will improve.
A saint is a sinner who never gave up.
Never give up!
Every spiritual thought you think will be your eternal friend. And every evil inclination you acquire will be your enemy for a long, long time; it will pursue you until you slay it. Remember that.
Balance material and spiritual duties in your life; that will bring you supreme happiness.
Awake, sleep no more!
The process of liberating human consciousness consists in training it by study, affirmations, concentration, meditation, to turn its attention away from the vibrations of the gross body with its ceaseless fluctuations of thought and emotion, and to feel the subtler and more stable vibrations of Life Energy and of higher consciousness states.
Which do you want: God’s eternal bliss, which may be yours by denying yourself a few pleasures now? Or worldly happiness now, which will not last?
Why do you permit yourself to remain entrapped in the cycles of births and deaths and their untold miseries? How many lifetimes will you helplessly go through all this? Don’t waste your time.
Do not think of yourself as the body, but as the joyous consciousness and immortal life behind it.
Truths are not truths to you unless you realize them within yourself. Without realization, they are just ideas. For spiritual perception, spiritual consciousness, lies not in vague theological ideas, but in the acquisition of Self-realization.
The ocean cannot be received in a cup unless the cup is made as large as the ocean. Likewise, the cup of human concentration and human faculties must be enlarged in order to comprehend God. Receiving denotes capacity acquired by self-development; it is different from mere belief.
“Forsake this small weakheartedness (of mortal consciousness).
Before you is the royal path.”—The Bhagavad Gita II:3
Everything else can wait, but your search for God cannot wait. These are not just sermons that I am giving you, but the truth that will free you.
God Bless You!
April 1, 2021