Main The Yoga of Jesus: Understanding the Hidden Teachings of the Gospels
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Abrahamic religions at their best - copying and stealing from other ancient cultures and then destroying them, 45 ancient cultures got decimated in last 2000 years.
Abrahamic religions at their best - copying and stealing from other ancient cultures and then destroying them, 45 ancient cultures got decimated in last 2000 years.
08 November 2020 (22:36)
Praise for Paramahansa Yogananda’s complete commentary on the teachings of Jesus… The Second Coming of Christ: The Resurrection of the Christ Within You (published by Self-Realization Fellowship, 2004) “Offers startling ideas about the deeper meaning of Jesus’ teachings and their essential unity with yoga, one of the world’s oldest and most systematic religious paths to achieving oneness with God….It has been praised as a groundbreaking work by comparative religion scholars.” — Los Angeles Times “A masterpiece of spiritual revelation….As Yogananda delves into the life and background of Jesus, it becomes clear that the Gospels contain a universal esoteric message that has been awaiting full and systematic explication since the apostolic age. In Yogananda’s commentary, what had been veiled, obscure, and oblique is fully disclosed.” — Yoga International “The publication of The Second Coming of Christ, by Paramahansa Yogananda, has all the hallmarks of an epochal offering….A majestic portrait of universality and depth. This is no ordinary work.” — Dayton Daily News “A remarkable new two-volume work…The Second Coming of Christ: The Resurrection of the Christ Within You contains insights that can help Christians see their faith in fresh ways.” — Kansas City Star “In a world that is full of hatred, violence, anger, and darkness, the bringing out of The Second Coming of Christ: The Resurrection of the Christ Within You by Paramahansa Yogananda synchronizes with the need of the hour.” — India Post “Yogananda strips away the divisiveness and dogmatic approach that have accumulated around Jesus’ teachings and affirms that it is possible for every individual — regardless of one’s faith tradition — to have the same relationship that Jesus had with the Divine.” — Sacred Pathways “Paramahansa Yogananda shows the universal truth of Self-realization hidden in the Gospels, which is relevant to all people and can help unify all religions in a higher awareness beyond any sectarian bou; ndaries. This book can transform humanity at this time of global crisis today if it is sincerely studied and practiced.”— Dr. David Frawley, Director, American Institute of Vedic Studies “This revelatory commentary…breathes with the same heartfelt wisdom and gentle beauty that we associate with the Autobiography of a Yogi. If for any reason you may have lost touch with Jesus’ message, Yogananda is an ideal companion to reawaken you to its meaning and majesty.”— Adyar Booknews (Australia) Copyright © 2007 Self-Realization Fellowship All rights in this digital edition of The Yoga of Jesus are reserved by Self-Realization Fellowship. Note to the Reader Subject only to any conditions established by the distributor from which you obtained this book, Self-Realization Fellowship welcomes you to download this edition onto any number of your own devices for your individual, non-commercial use; and to print excerpts for your own reference. Kindly note, however, that upon acquiring this edition the reader agrees to abide by applicable national and international copyright laws; and to abstain from distributing, reproducing, or transmitting the contents to other individuals or entities, by any means (electronic, mechanical, or otherwise) without the publisher’s prior written consent. We appreciate your cooperation in respecting the author’s work and in helping to preserve its integrity by upholding these principles. Thank you for supporting our non-profit publishing endeavors in connection with the legacy of Paramahansa Yogananda. Authorized by the International Publications Council of SELF-REALIZATION FELLOWSHIP 3880 San Rafael Avenue Los Angeles, California 90065-3219 The Self-Realization Fellowship name and emblem (shown above) appear on all SRF books, recordings, and other publications, as an assurance that a work originates with the society established by Paramahansa Yogananda and faithfully conveys his teachings. Ebook edition, 2016. ISBN: 978-0-87612-556-4 (paperback) ISBN: 978-0-87612-687-5 (Kindle edition) ISBN: 978-0-87612-688-2 (ePub edition) Contents Preface Part I: Jesus the Christ—Avatar and Yogi 1. Jesus the Avatar God’s manifestation in divine incarnations • The universal Christ Consciousness• True meaning of “The Second Coming” 2. Jesus and Yoga Jesus’ years in India • The lost teachings of the Gospels • Yoga: Universal science of religion 3. Inner Teachings of Jesus the Yogi How every soul can attain Christ Consciousness • Importance of the Comforter, or Holy Ghost • Yoga and the Book of Revelation • True Baptism in Spirit Part II: “One Way” or Universality? 4. The “Second Birth”: Awakening of Soul-Intuition Jesus’ teachings on “born again” • Expressing the divine potentials of the soul • Advancing from material consciousness to spiritual consciousness 5. “Lifting Up the Son of Man” to Divine Consciousness The heavenly planes of God’s creation • The esoteric science of kundalini or “serpent force” in the spine 6. The True Meaning of “Belief on His Name” and Salvation Is Jesus the only savior? • Dogma and misunderstanding in institutional “churchianity” • Blind belief versus personal realization of truth Part III: Jesus’ Yoga of Divine Love 7. The Beatitudes How man’s life becomes blessed, filled with heavenly bliss 8. Divine Love: Highest Goal of Religion and of Life The two greatest commandments: Love of God first, and serving the Divine Presence in all 9. The Kingdom of God Within You The core of Jesus’ message: The blissful kingdom of the Heavenly Father and the method of its attainment About the Author Glossary A note to the reader: To assist the reader who may be unfamiliar with the concepts and terminology of Yoga and Eastern philosophy, a glossary has been provided at the back of the book. This gives easy-to-find definitions of most of the terms that are important to understanding Paramahansa Yogananda’s exposition of the teachings of Jesus — such as Christ Consciousness, Holy Ghost, Aum, the astral and causal worlds, and the various yogic terms applicable to the experience of meditation and God-realization. Preface • Did Jesus, like the ancient sages and masters of the East, teach meditation as the way to enter “the kingdom of heaven”? • Were there “hidden teachings” given to his immediate disciples, which have been lost or suppressed through the centuries? • Did he really teach that all non-Christians are excluded from God’s kingdom? And does a literal reading of the Gospel truly probe the depths of his epoch-making message for humanity? These and other questions are answered with reverent understanding and unprecedented insight by Paramahansa Yogananda in The Second Coming of Christ: The Resurrection of the Christ Within You. And his conclusions tally remarkably with contemporary religious scholars’ ongoing explorations of the profound esoteric and experiential dimensions of early Christianity, as revealed in the “Gnostic gospels” and other recently discovered manuscripts lost since the second and third centuries. Paramahansa Yogananda is renowned as “the Father of Yoga in the West” and one of the preeminent spiritual figures of our time. The Second Coming of Christ — his monumental work on the “original teachings of Jesus” — was published in two large volumes (totaling more than 1,700 pages) in 2004. Taking the reader verse by verse through the four Gospels, the book’s 75 discourses provide in-depth discussions of the true significance of Jesus’ words, showing how they can only be fully understood when considered in the light of their original purpose: as a path to direct, personal experience of “the kingdom of God within you.” Reporting on the release of this groundbreaking work, the Los Angeles Times (December 11, 2004) wrote: “The Second Coming of Christ: The Resurrection of the Christ Within You offers startling ideas about the deeper meaning of Jesus’ teachings and their essential unity with yoga, one of the world’s oldest and most systematic religious paths to achieving oneness with God….The book aims to recover what Yogananda believed were major teachings lost to institutional Christianity. Among them was the idea that every seeker can know God not through mere belief but by direct experience via yoga meditation.” Another review, in Sacred Pathways magazine (December 2004), stated: “Yogananda strips away the divisiveness and dogmatic approach that have accumulated around Jesus’ teachings and affirms that it is possible for every individual — regardless of one’s faith tradition — to have the same relationship that Jesus had with the Divine….He outlines the methods of God-communion that Jesus imparted to his direct disciples but which were obscured over the centuries, and explains such topics as the Holy Ghost, baptism, meditation, forgiveness of sins, reincarnation, heaven and hell, and resurrection. In so doing, he reveals the underlying unity of Jesus’ moral and esoteric teachings with India’s ancient science of Yoga, meditation, and union with God.” Experts in the fields of religion, history, and healing also praised the book: “This is one of those rare bridge-building books that can truly change the way one sees a figure one thought one knew well,” wrote Dr. Robert Ellwood, Emeritus Professor of Religion, University of Southern California. “Paramahansa Yogananda’s The Second Coming of Christ is one of the most important analyses of Jesus’ teachings that exists,” said Dr. Larry Dossey, M.D., noted author and researcher in the field of holistic medicine. “Many interpretations of Jesus’s words divide peoples, cultures, and nations; these foster unity and healing, and that is why they are vital for today’s world.” Yoga International magazine (March 2005) began its review of the book with these words: “Yoga went global in the twentieth century. Now it seems likely that the divisive chasm between Christian teaching and India’s ancient spiritual science will finally be bridged here in the twentyfirst. Paramahansa Yogananda’s new book, The Second Coming of Christ, holds out this promise, arguing that the division has always been superficial. The implications for yoga practitioners in the West — and for society at large — are enormous.” This present volume is intended as a first glimpse of Paramahansa Yogananda’s revelatory exposition on the hidden yoga of the Gospels, which is explained in much greater detail in The Second Coming of Christ. What Is Yoga, Really? Most of us are accustomed to looking outside of ourselves for fulfillment. We are living in a world that conditions us to believe that outer attainments can give us what we want. Yet again and again our experiences show us that nothing external can completely fulfill the deep longing within for “something more.” Most of the time, however, we find ourselves striving toward that which always seems to lie just beyond our reach. We are caught up in doing rather than being, in action rather than awareness. It is hard for us to picture a state of complete calmness and repose in which thoughts and feelings cease to dance in perpetual motion. Yet it is through such a state of quietude that we can touch a level of joy and understanding impossible to achieve otherwise. It is said in the Bible: “Be still, and know that I am God.” In these few words lies the key to the science of yoga. This ancient spiritual science offers a direct means of stilling the natural turbulence of thoughts and restlessness of body that prevent us from knowing what we really are. Ordinarily our awareness and energies are directed outward, to the things of this world, which we perceive through the limited instruments of our five senses. Because human reason has to rely upon the partial and often deceptive data supplied by the physical senses, we must learn to tap deeper and more subtle levels of awareness if we would solve the enigmas of life — Who am I? Why am I here? How do I realize Truth? Yoga is a simple process of reversing the ordinary outward flow of energy and consciousness so that the mind becomes a dynamic center of direct perception — no longer dependent upon the fallible senses but capable of actually experiencing Truth. By practicing the step-by-step methods of yoga — taking nothing for granted on emotional grounds or through blind faith — we come to know our oneness with the Infinite Intelligence, Power, and Joy which gives life to all and which is the essence of our own Self.1 In past centuries many of the higher techniques of yoga were little understood or practiced, owing to mankind’s limited knowledge of the forces that run the universe. But today scientific investigation is rapidly changing the way we view ourselves and the world. The traditional materialistic conception of life has vanished with the discovery that matter and energy are essentially one: Every existing substance can be reduced to a pattern or form of energy, which interacts and interconnects with other forms. Some of today’s most celebrated physicists go a step further, identifying consciousness as the fundamental ground of all being. Thus modern science is confirming the ancient principles of yoga, which proclaim that unity pervades the universe. The word yoga itself means “union”: of the individual consciousness or soul with the Universal Consciousness or Spirit. Though many people think of yoga only as physical exercises — the asanas or postures that have gained widespread popularity in recent decades — these are actually only the most superficial aspect of this profound science of unfolding the infinite potentials of the human mind and soul. There are various paths of yoga that lead toward this goal, each one a specialized branch of one comprehensive system: Hatha Yoga — a system of physical postures, or asanas, whose higher purpose is to purify the body, giving one awareness and control over its internal states and rendering it fit for meditation. Karma Yoga — selfless service to others as part of one’s larger Self, without attachment to the results; and the performance of all actions with the consciousness of God as the Doer. Mantra Yoga — centering the consciousness within through japa, or the repetition of certain universal root-word sounds representing a particular aspect of Spirit. Bhakti Yoga — all-surrendering devotion through which one strives to see and love the divinity in every creature and in everything, thus maintaining an unceasing worship. Jnana Yoga — the path of wisdom, which emphasizes the application of discriminative intelligence to achieve spiritual liberation. Raja Yoga — the royal or highest path of yoga, formally systematized in the second century b.c. by the Indian sage Patanjali, which combines the essence of all the other paths. At the heart of the Raja Yoga system, balancing and unifying these various approaches, is the practice of definite, scientific methods of meditation that enable one to perceive, from the very beginning of one’s efforts, glimpses of the ultimate goal — conscious union with the inexhaustibly blissful Spirit. The quickest and most effective approach to the goal of yoga employs those methods of meditation that deal directly with energy and consciousness. It is this direct approach that characterizes Kriya Yoga,2 the particular form of Raja Yoga meditation taught by Paramahansa Yogananda. India’s most beloved scripture of yoga is the Bhagavad Gita — a profound treatise on union with God, and a timeless prescription for happiness and balanced success in everyday life. That Jesus knew and taught the same universal science of God-realization and precepts for spiritual living is the revelation brought to the world at large by Paramahansa Yogananda, as shown in the pages of this book.3 A brief work such as the present one can provide only an introductory glimpse of the profound and inspiring unity between the teachings of Jesus the Christ and those of yoga. Readers who are inspired by this selection of excerpts will find abundantly more detail and practical teaching for daily life in the two volumes of The Second Coming of Christ. As Paramahansa Yogananda writes in the introduction to that work: “In these pages I offer to the world an intuitionally perceived spiritual interpretation of the words spoken by Jesus, truths received through actual communion with Christ Consciousness. They will be found to be universally true if they are studied conscientiously and meditated upon with soul-awakened intuitive perception. They reveal the perfect unity that exists among the revelations of the Christian Bible, the Bhagavad Gita of India, and all other time-tested true scriptures. “The saviors of the world do not come to foster inimical doctrinal divisions; their teachings should not be used toward that end. It is something of a misnomer even to refer to the New Testament as the ‘Christian’ Bible, for it does not belong exclusively to any one sect. Truth is meant for the blessing and upliftment of the entire human race. As the Christ Consciousness is universal, so does Jesus Christ belong to all.” — Self-Realization Fellowship * * * 1 “Self” is capitalized to denote the soul, man’s true identity, in contradistinction to the ego or pseudo-soul, the lower self with which man temporarily identifies through ignorance of his real nature. 2 “Kriya is an ancient science,” Paramahansa Yogananda wrote in his Autobiography of a Yogi. “Lahiri Mahasaya received it from his great guru, Babaji, who rediscovered and clarified the technique after it had been lost in the Dark Ages. Babaji renamed it, simply, Kriya Yoga.” “The Kriya Yoga that I am giving to the world through you in this nineteenth century,” Babaji told Lahiri Mahasaya, “is a revival of the same science that Krishna gave millenniums ago to Arjuna; and that was later known to Patanjali and Christ, and to St. John, St. Paul, and other disciples.” 3 A small companion volume, The Yoga of the Bhagavad Gita: An Introduction to India’s Universal Science of God-Realization, has been published simultaneously with the present book — excerpts from the comprehensive teachings of the Gita presented in Paramahansa Yogananda’s highly acclaimed two-volume commentary, God Talks With Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita. CHAPTER 1 Jesus the Avatar God’s Manifestation in Divine Incarnations For mere mortals to cope with a life of unsolved and unsolvable mysteries in an inscrutable universe would indeed be an overwhelming challenge were it not for divine emissaries who come on earth to speak with the voice and authority of God for the guidance of man. Aeons past, in ancient higher ages in India, rishis enunciated the manifestation of Divine Beneficence, of “God with us,” in terms of divine incarnations, avatars—God incarnate on earth in enlightened beings…. Many are the voices that have intermediated between God and man, khanda avatars, or partial incarnations in God-knowing souls. Less common are the purna avatars, liberated beings who are fully one with God; their return to earth is to fulfill a God-ordained mission. The Lord in the sacred Hindu Bible, the Bhagavad Gita, declares: “Whenever virtue declines and vice predominates, I incarnate as an Avatar. In visible form I appear from age to age to protect the virtuous and to destroy evildoing in order to reestablish righteousness.” The same one glorious infinite consciousness of God, the Universal Christ Consciousness, Kutastha Chaitanya, becomes familiarly apparelled in the individuality of an enlightened soul, graced with a distinguishing personality and godly nature appropriate to the times and purpose of the incarnation. Without this intercession of God’s love come to earth in the example, message, and guiding hand of His avatars, it would scarce be possible for groping humanity to find the path into God’s kingdom midst the dark miasma of world delusion, the cosmic substance of human habitation. Lest His benighted children be lost forever in creation’s delusive labyrinths, the Lord comes again and again in God-illumined prophets to light the way…. Jesus was preceded by Gautama Buddha, the “Enlightened One,” whose incarnation reminded a forgetful generation of the Dharma Chakra, the ever-rotating wheel of karma—self-initiated action and its effects which make each man, and not a Cosmic Dictator, responsible for his own present condition. Buddha brought heart back into the arid theology and mechanical rituals into which the ancient Vedic religion of India had fallen after the passing of a higher age in which Bhagavan Krishna, India’s most beloved of avatars, preached the way of divine love and God-realization through the practice of the supreme spiritual science of yoga, union with God. Divine intercession to mitigate the cosmic law of cause and effect [karma], by which a man suffers from his errors, was at the heart of the mission of love Jesus came to fulfill…. Jesus came to demonstrate the forgiveness and compassion of God, whose love is a shelter even from exacting law. The Good Shepherd of souls opened his arms to all, rejecting none, and with universal love coaxed the world to follow him on the path to liberation through the example of his spirit of sacrifice, renunciation, forgiveness, love for friend and enemy alike, and supreme love for God above all else. As the tiny babe in the manger at Bethlehem, and as the savior who healed the sick and raised the dead and applied the salve of love on the wounds of errors, the Christ in Jesus lived among men as one of them that they too might learn to live like gods. Christ Consciousness: Oneness With God’s Infinite Intelligence and Bliss Pervading All Creation To understand the magnitude of a divine incarnation, it is necessary to understand the source and nature of the consciousness that is incarnate in the avatar. Jesus spoke of this consciousness when he proclaimed: “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30) and “I am in the Father, and the Father in me” (John 14:11). Those who unite their consciousness to God know both the transcendent and the immanent nature of Spirit—the singularity of the ever-existing, ever-conscious, ever-new Bliss of the Uncreate Absolute, and the myriad manifestations of His Being as the infinitude of forms into which He variegates Himself in the panorama of creation. There is a distinguishing difference of meaning between Jesus and Christ. His given name was Jesus; his honorific title was “Christ.” In his little human body called Jesus was born the vast Christ Consciousness, the omniscient Intelligence of God omnipresent in every part and particle of creation. The universe is not the result merely of a fortuitous combination of vibrating forces and subatomic particles, as proposed by material scientists—a chance excrescence of solids, liquids, and gases into earth, oceans, atmosphere, plants, all harmoniously interrelated to provide a habitable home for human beings. Blind forces cannot organize themselves into intelligently structured objects. As human intelligence is needed to put water into the small square compartments of an ice tray to be frozen into cubes, so in the coalescence of vibration into progressively evolving forms throughout the universe we see the results of a hidden Immanent Intelligence. What could be more miraculous than the evident presence in every speck of creation of a Divine Intelligence? How the mighty tree emerges from a tiny seed. How countless worlds roll in infinite space, held in a purposeful cosmic dance by the precise adjustment of universal forces. How the marvelously complex human body is created from a single microscopic cell, is endowed with self-conscious intelligence, and is sustained, healed, and enlivened by invisible power. In every atom of this astounding universe, God is ceaselessly working miracles; yet obtuse man takes them for granted. * * * Science Discovers Intelligent Order “The rise of science served to extend the range of nature’s marvels, so that today we have discovered order in the deepest recesses of the atom and among the grandest collection of galaxies,” writes Paul Davies, Ph.D., well-known author and professor of mathematical physics, in Evidence of Purpose: Scientists Discover the Creator (New York: Continuum Publishing, 1994). Systems theorist Ervin Laszlo reports in The Whispering Pond: A Personal Guide to the Emerging Vision of Science (Boston: Element Books, 1999): “The fine-tuning of the physical universe to the parameters of life constitutes a series of coincidences—if that is what they are….in which even the slightest departure from the given values would spell the end of life, or, more exactly, create conditions under which life could never have evolved in the first place. If the neutron did not outweigh the proton in the nucleus of the atom, the active lifetime of the Sun and other stars would be reduced to a few hundred years; if the electric charge of electrons and protons did not balance precisely, all configurations of matter would be unstable and the universe would consist of nothing more than radiation and a relatively uniform mixture of gases….If the strong force that binds the particles of a nucleus were merely a fraction weaker than it is, deuteron could not exist and stars such as the Sun could not shine. And if that force were slightly stronger than it is, the Sun and other active stars would inflate and perhaps explode….The values of the four universal forces [electromagnetism, gravity, and the nuclear strong and weak forces] were precisely such that life could evolve in the cosmos.” Professor Davies estimates that if—as some scientists maintain—there were no inherent guiding intelligence and cosmic evolution were governed only by the chance operation of strictly mechanical laws, “the time required to achieve the level of order we now meet in the universe purely by random processes is of the order of at least 101080 years”—inconceivably longer than the current age of the universe. Citing these calculations, Laszlo wryly observes: “Serendipity of this magnitude strains credibility,” and concludes: “Must we then face the possibility that the universe we witness is the result of purposeful design by an omnipotent master builder?” (Publisher’s Note) * * * Christ is God’s Infinite Intelligence that is present in all creation. The Infinite Christ is the “only begotten son” of God the Father, the only pure Reflection of Spirit in the created realm. That Universal Intelligence, the Kutastha Chaitanya or Krishna Consciousness of the Hindu scriptures, was fully manifested in the incarnation of Jesus, Krishna, and other divine ones; and it can be manifested also in your consciousness. Just imagine! If you were living in this one room all of your life, having no contact with or knowledge of what is beyond these walls, you would say that this is the whole of your world. But if someone were to take you into the world outside, you would realize how infinitesimal your “world” was. So it is with the perception of Christ Consciousness. The scope of mortal consciousness by comparison is like observing only the area of a tiny mustard seed to the exclusion of the rest of the cosmos. Christ Consciousness is Omnipresence, the Lord spread over every pore of infinite space and permeating every atom.4 An ant’s consciousness is limited to the sensations of its little body. An elephant’s consciousness is extended throughout its massive frame, so that ten people touching ten different parts of its body would awaken simultaneous awareness. Christ Consciousness…extends to the boundaries of all vibratory regions. The entirety of vibratory creation is an externalization of Spirit. Omnipresent Spirit secretes Itself in vibratory matter, just as oil is hidden in the olive. When the olive is squeezed, tiny drops of oil appear on its surface; so Spirit, as individual souls, by a process of evolution gradually emerges from matter. Spirit expresses Itself as beauty and magnetic and chemical power in minerals and gems; as beauty and life in plants; as beauty, life, power, motion, and consciousness in animals; as comprehension and expanding power in man; and again returns to Omnipresence in the superman.5 Each evolutionary phase thus manifests a fuller measure of Spirit. The animal is freed from the inertia of minerals and the fixity of plants to experience with locomotion and sentient consciousness a greater portion of God’s creation. Man, by his self-consciousness, additionally comprehends the thoughts of his fellow beings and can project his sensory mind into star-studded space, at least by the power of imagination. The superman expands his life energy and consciousness from his body into all space, actually feeling as his own self the presence of all universes in the vast cosmos as well as every minute atom of the earth. In the superman, the lost omnipresence of Spirit, bound in the soul as individualized Spirit, is regained…. The consciousness of Jesus was transferred from the circumference of the body to the boundary of all finite creation in the vibratory region of manifestation: the sphere of space and time encompassing planetary universes, stars, the Milky Way, and our little solar system family of which the earth is a part, and on which the physical body of Jesus was but a speck. Jesus the man, a tiny particle on the earth, became Jesus the Christ, with his consciousness all-pervading in oneness with the Christ Consciousness. Jesus’ Principal Teaching: How to Become a Christ God’s work in creation is to draw, through evolutionary promptings of the Christ Intelligence, all beings back to conscious oneness with Himself….When there is widespread suffering on earth, God responds to the soul call of His devotees by sending a divine son who by his exemplary spiritual life of expressing Christ Consciousness can teach people to cooperate with His work of salvation in their lives. It was of that Infinite Consciousness, replete with the love and bliss of God, that Saint John spoke when he said: “As many as received him [the Christ Consciousness], to them gave he power to become the sons of God.” Thus according to Jesus’ own teaching as recorded by his most highly advanced apostle, John, all souls who become united with Christ Consciousness by intuitive Self-realization are rightly called sons of God. To receive Christ is not accomplished through church membership, nor by outer ritual of acknowledging Jesus as one’s savior but never knowing him in reality by contacting him in meditation. To know Christ signifies to close the eyes, expand the consciousness and so deepen the concentration that through the inner light of soul intuition one partakes of the same consciousness that Jesus had. Saint John and other advanced disciples of Jesus who truly “received him” felt him as the Christ Consciousness present in every speck of space. A true Christian—a Christ-one—is he who frees his soul from the consciousness of the body and unites it with the Christ Intelligence pervading all creation. A small cup cannot hold an ocean within itself. Likewise, the cup of human consciousness, limited by the physical and mental instrumentalities of material perceptions, cannot grasp the universal Christ Consciousness, no matter how desirous one may be of doing so. By the definite science of meditation known for millenniums to the yogis and sages of India, and to Jesus, any seeker of God can enlarge the caliber of his consciousness to omniscience—to receive within himself the Universal Intelligence of God. The divine power of Christ realization is an internal experience; it may be received through unalloyed devotion for God and for His pure reflection as Christ. The power of church and temple will vanish. Real spirituality shall come from the temples of great souls who are day and night in the ecstasy of God. Such souls as I have seen in India surpass the glory of all the temples. Remember, Christ seeks the temples of true souls. He loves the quiet shrine of devotion in your heart where you abide with him, there in the sanctuary aglow with the vigil light of your love. Those who meditate devoutly will receive Christ on the altar of calmness in their own consciousness. In titling this work The Second Coming of Christ,6 I am not referring to a literal return of Jesus to earth. He came two thousand years ago and, after imparting a universal path to God’s kingdom, was crucified and resurrected; his reappearance to the masses now is not necessary for the fulfillment of his teachings. What is necessary is for the cosmic wisdom and divine perception of Jesus to speak again through each one’s own experience and understanding of the infinite Christ Consciousness that was incarnate in Jesus. That will be his true Second Coming. Real Christ followers are those who embrace in their own consciousness through meditation and ecstasy the omnipresent cosmic wisdom and bliss of Jesus Christ….Devotees who want to be real Christ-ians, rather than just members of Christian churchianity, must know and truly feel the presence of Omnipresent Christ all the time, must commune with Him in ecstasy, and be guided by His Infinite Wisdom. These teachings have been sent to explain the truth as Jesus intended it to be known in the world—not to give a new Christianity, but to give the real Christ-teaching: how to become like Christ, how to resurrect the Eternal Christ within one’s Self. * * * 4 See also here. The counter-force in creation, which produces disharmony, disease, separateness, and ignorance, is personified in the Bible as Satan. In yoga philosophy this delusive force is called Maya or Apara-Prakriti. A comprehensive explanation is given by Paramahansa Yogananda in The Second Coming of Christ: The Resurrection of the Christ Within You. 5 These five evolutionary stages are referenced in yoga philosophy as koshas, “sheaths” that are progressively unfolded as creation evolves from inert matter back to pure Spirit. See God Talks With Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita, pages 63 ff., commentary on I:4 – 6. (Publisher’s Note) 6 I.e., the larger work by Paramahansa Yogananda from which The Yoga of Jesus is extracted. CHAPTER 2 Jesus and Yoga The continuity of God’s word through His avatars [was] beautifully symbolized by the spiritual exchange between Jesus at his birth and the Wise Men of India come to honor his incarnation. There is a very strong tradition in India, authoritatively known amongst high metaphysicians in tales well told and written in ancient manuscripts, that the wise men of the East who made their way to the infant Jesus in Bethlehem were, in fact, great sages of India. Not only did the Indian masters come to Jesus, but he reciprocated their visit. During the unaccounted-for years of Jesus’ life—the Scripture remains silent about him from approximately age fourteen to thirty—he journeyed to India, probably traveling the well-established trade route that linked the Mediterranean with China and India. His own God-realization, reawakened and reinforced in the company of the masters and the spiritual environs of India, provided a background of the universality of truth from which he could preach a simple, open message comprehensible to the masses of his native country, yet with underlying meanings that would be appreciated in generations to come as the infancy of man’s mind would mature in understanding. The “Lost Years” of Jesus In the New Testament, the curtain of silence comes down on the life of Jesus after his twelfth year, not to rise once more until eighteen years later, at which time he receives baptism from John and begins preaching to the multitude. We are told only: “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52). For the contemporaries of such an extraordinary figure to find nothing noteworthy to record from his childhood to his thirtieth year is in and of itself extraordinary. Remarkable accounts, however, do exist, not in the land of Jesus’ birth but farther east where he spent most of the unaccounted-for years. Hidden away in a Tibetan monastery priceless records lie. They speak of a Saint Issa from Israel “in whom was manifest the soul of the universe”; who from the age of fourteen to twenty-eight was in India and regions of the Himalayas among the saints, monks, and pundits; who preached his message throughout that area and then returned to teach in his native land, where he was treated vilely, condemned, and put to death. Except as chronicled in these ancient manuscripts, no other history of the unknown years of Jesus’ life has ever been published. Providentially, these ancient records were discovered and copied [in the Himis Monastery in Tibet] by a Russian traveler, Nicholas Notovitch….He published his notes himself in 1894 under the title The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ…. In 1922, Swami Abhedananda, a direct disciple of Ramakrishna Paramahansa, visited the Himis Monastery, and confirmed all of the salient details about Issa published in Notovitch’s book. Nicholas Roerich, in an expedition to India and Tibet in the mid-1920s, saw and copied verses from ancient manuscripts that were the same, or at least the same in content, as those published by Notovitch. He was also deeply impressed by the oral traditions of that area: “In Srinagar we first encountered the curious legend about Christ’s visit to this place. Afterwards we saw how widely spread in India, in Ladak and in Central Asia, was the legend of the visit of Christ to these parts during his long absence, quoted in the Gospel.” * * * India: Mother of Religion A wealth of evidence for the primacy of India’s spiritual culture in the ancient world is presented by Georg Feuerstein, Ph.D., Subhash Kak, Ph.D., and David Frawley, O.M.D., in In Search of the Cradle of Civilization: New Light on Ancient India (Wheaton, Ill.: Quest Books, 1995): “The old saying ex oriente lux (‘From the East, light’) is no platitude, for civilization’s torch, especially the core sacred tradition of perennial wisdom, has been handed down from the eastern hemisphere….The Middle-Eastern creations of Judaism and Christianity, which largely have given our civilization its present shape, were influenced by ideas stemming from countries farther east, especially India.” The scriptures of India “are the oldest extant philosophy and psychology of our race,” says renowned historian Will Durant in Our Oriental Heritage (The Story of Civilization, Part I). Robert C. Priddy, professor of the history of philosophy at the University of Oslo, wrote in On India’s Ancient Past (1999): “India’s past is so ancient and has been so influential in the rise of civilization and religion, at least for almost everyone in the Old World, that most people can claim it actually to be the earliest part of our own odyssey….The mother of religion, the world’s earliest spiritual teachings of the Vedic tradition contains the most sublime and all-embracing of philosophies.” In his two-volume work India and World Civilization (Michigan State University Press, 1969), historian D. P. Singhal amasses abundant documentation of India’s spiritual nurturing of the ancient world. He describes the excavation of a vase near Baghdad that has led researchers to the conclusion that “by the middle of the third millennium b.c., an Indian cult was already being practiced in Mesopotamia….Archaeology has thus shown that two thousand years before the earliest references in cuneiform texts to contact with India, she was sending her manufactures to the land where the roots of Western civilization lie.” (Publisher’s Note) * * * India is the mother of religion. Her civilization has been acknowledged as much older than the legendary civilization of Egypt. If you study these matters, you will see how the hoary scriptures of India, predating all other revelations, have influenced the Book of the Dead of Egypt and the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, as well as other religions. All were in touch with, and drew from, the religion of India, because India specialized in religion from time immemorial. So it was that Jesus himself went to India; Notovitch’s manuscript tells us: “Issa secretly absented himself from his father’s house; left Jerusalem, and, in a train of merchants, journeyed toward the Sindh, with the object of perfecting himself in the knowledge of the Word of God and the study of the laws of the great Buddhas.”7 This is not to say that Jesus learned everything he taught from his spiritual mentors and associates in India and surrounding regions. Avatars come with their own endowment of wisdom. Jesus’ store of divine realization was merely awakened and molded to fit his unique mission by his sojourn among the Hindu pundits, Buddhist monks, and particularly the great masters of yoga from whom he received initiation in the esoteric science of God-union through meditation. From the knowledge he had gleaned, and from the wisdom brought forth from his soul in deep meditation, he distilled for the masses simple parables of the ideal principles by which to govern one’s life in the sight of God. But to those close disciples who were ready to receive it, he taught the deeper mysteries, as evidenced in the New Testament book of Revelation of Saint John, the symbology of which accords exactly with the yoga science of God-realization. [See sidebar “Yoga and the Book of Revelation.”] The documents discovered by Notovitch lend historical support to my long-held assertion, gleaned from my earliest years in India, that Jesus was linked with the rishis of India through the Wise Men who journeyed to his cradle, and for whom he went to India to receive their blessings and to confer concerning his world mission. That his teaching, born internally from his God-realization and nurtured externally by his studies with the masters, expresses the universality of Christ Consciousness that knows no boundary of race or creed, is what I shall endeavor to make evident throughout the pages of this book. Like the sun, which rises in the East and travels to the West spreading its rays, so Christ rose in the East and came to the West, there to be enshrined in a vast Christendom whose adherents look to him as their guru and savior. It is no happenstance that Jesus chose to be born an Oriental Christ in Palestine. This locale was the hub linking the East with Europe. He traveled to India to honor his ties with her rishis, preached his message throughout that area, and then went back to spread his teachings in Palestine, which he saw in his great wisdom as the doorway through which his spirit and words would find their way to Europe and the rest of the world. This great Christ, radiating the spiritual strength and power of the Orient to the West, is a divine liaison to unite God-loving peoples of East and West. Truth is not the monopoly of the Orient or the Occident. The pure silver-gold rays of sunlight appear to be red or blue when observed through red or blue glass. So, also, truth only appears to be different when colored by an Oriental or Occidental civilization. In looking at the simple essence of truth expressed by the great ones of various times and climes, one finds very little difference in their messages. What I received from my Guru and the venerated masters of India I find the same as that which I have received from the teachings of Jesus the Christ. The Lost Teachings of the Gospels Christ has been much misinterpreted by the world. Even the most elementary principles of his teachings have been desecrated, and their esoteric depths have been forgotten. They have been crucified at the hands of dogma, prejudice, and cramped understanding. Genocidal wars have been fought, people have been burned as witches and heretics, on the presumed authority of man-made doctrines of Christianity. How to salvage the immortal teachings from the hands of ignorance? We must know Jesus as an Oriental Christ, a supreme yogi who manifested full mastery of the universal science of God-union, and thus could speak and act as a savior with the voice and authority of God. He has been Westernized too much. Jesus was an Oriental, by birth and blood and training. To separate a teacher from the background of his nationality is to blur the understanding through which he is perceived. No matter what Jesus the Christ was himself, as regards his own soul, being born and maturing in the Orient, he had to use the medium of Oriental civilization, customs, mannerisms, language, parables, in spreading his message. Hence to understand Jesus Christ and his teachings one must be sympathetically open to the Oriental point of view—in particular, India’s ancient and present civilization, religious scriptures, traditions, philosophies, spiritual beliefs, and intuitive metaphysical experiences. Though, esoterically understood, the teachings of Jesus are universal, they are saturated with the essence of Oriental culture—rooted in Oriental influences which have been made adaptable to the Western environment. The Gospels can be rightly understood in the light of the teachings of India—not the caste-ridden, stone-worshiping, distorted interpretations of Hinduism, but the philosophical, soul-saving wisdom of her rishis: the kernel not the husk of the Vedas, Upanishads, and Bhagavad Gita. This essence of Truth—the Sanatana Dharma, or eternal principles of righteousness that uphold man and the universe—was given to the world thousands of years before the Christian era, and preserved in India with a spiritual vitality that has made the quest for God the be-all and end-all of life and not an armchair diversion. The Universal Science of Religion The personal realization of truth is the science behind all sciences. But for most persons, religion has devolved to a matter of belief only. One believes in Catholicism, another believes in some Protestant denomination, others assert belief that the Jewish or Hindu or Muslim or Buddhist religion is the true way. The science of religion identifies the universal truths common to all—the basis of religion—and teaches how by their practical application persons can build their lives according to the Divine Plan. India’s teaching of Raja Yoga, the “royal” science of the soul, supersedes the orthodoxy of religion by setting forth systematically the practice of those methods that are universally necessary for the perfection of every individual, regardless of race or creed. Gnostic Gospels: The Lost Christianity? Through the remarkable discovery of early Christian gnostic texts at Nag Hammadi, Egypt, in 1945, one may glimpse something of what was lost to conventional Christianity during this process of “Westernization.” Elaine Pagels, Ph.D., writes in The Gnostic Gospels (New York: Vintage Books, 1981): “The Nag Hammadi texts, and others like them, which circulated at the beginning of the Christian era, were denounced as heresy by orthodox Christians in the middle of the second century….But those who wrote and circulated these texts did not regard themselves as ‘heretics.’ Most of the writings use Christian terminology, unmistakably related to a Jewish heritage. Many claim to offer traditions about Jesus that are secret, hidden from ‘the many’ who constitute what, in the second century, came to be called the ‘catholic church.’ These Christians are now called gnostics, from the Greek word gnosis, usually translated as ‘knowledge.’ For as those who claim to know nothing about ultimate reality are called agnostic (literally, ‘not-knowing’), the person who does claim to know such things is called gnostic (‘knowing’). But gnosis is not primarily rational knowledge….As the gnostics use the term, we could translate it as ‘insight,’ for gnosis involves an intuitive process of knowing oneself….[According to gnostic teachers,] to know oneself, at the deepest level, is simultaneously to know God; this is the secret of gnosis…. “The ‘living Jesus’ of these texts speaks of illusion and enlightenment, not of sin and repentance, like the Jesus of the New Testament. Instead of coming to save us from sin, he comes as a guide who opens access to spiritual understanding…. “Orthodox Christians believe that Jesus is Lord and Son of God in a unique way: he remains forever distinct from the rest of humanity whom he came to save. Yet the gnostic Gospel of Thomas relates that as soon as Thomas recognizes him, Jesus says to Thomas that they have both received their being from the same source: ‘I am not your master. Because you have drunk, you have become drunk from the bubbling stream which I have measured out….He who will drink from my mouth will become as I am: I myself shall become he, and the things that are hidden will be revealed to him.’ “Does not such teaching—the identity of the divine and human, the concern with illusion and enlightenment, the founder who is presented not as Lord, but as spiritual guide—sound more Eastern than Western?…Could Hindu or Buddhist traditions have influenced gnosticism?….Ideas that we associate with Eastern religions emerged in the first century through the gnostic movement in the West, but they were suppressed and condemned by polemicists like Irenaeus.” (Publisher’s Note) What is needed is a reunion of the science of religion with the spirit, or inspiration, of religion—the esoteric with the exoteric. The yoga science taught by Lord Krishna, which provides practical methods for actual inner experience of God to supplant the feeble life-expectancy of beliefs, and the spirit of Christ-love and brotherhood preached by Jesus—the only sure panacea to prevent the world from tearing itself apart by its unyielding differences—are in tandem one and the same universal truth, taught by these two Christs of East and West. The saviors of the world do not come to foster inimical doctrinal divisions; their teachings should not be used toward that end. It is something of a misnomer even to refer to the New Testament as the “Christian” Bible, for it does not belong exclusively to any one sect. Truth is meant for the blessing and upliftment of the entire human race. As the Christ Consciousness is universal, so does Jesus Christ belong to all. Though I emphasize the message of Lord Jesus in the New Testament and the yoga science of God-union delineated by Bhagavan Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita as the summum bonum of the way to God-realization, I honor the diverse expressions of truth flowing from the One God through the scriptures of His various emissaries. Truth, in and of itself, is the ultimate “religion.” Though truth can be expressed in different ways by sectarian “isms,” it can never be exhausted by them. It has infinite manifestations and ramifications, but one consummation: direct experience of God, the Sole Reality. The human stamp of sectarian affiliation is of little meaning. It is not the religious denomination in which one’s name is registered, nor the culture or creed in which one was born, that gives salvation. The essence of truth goes beyond all outer form. It is that essence which is paramount in understanding Jesus and his universal call to souls to enter the kingdom of God, which is “within you.” We are all children of God, from our inception unto eternity. Differences come from prejudices, and prejudice is the child of ignorance. We should not proudly identify ourselves as Americans or Indians or Italians or any other nationality, for that is but an accident of birth. Above all else, we should be proud that we are children of God, made in His image. Is not that the message of Christ? Jesus the Christ is an excellent model for both East and West to follow. God’s stamp, “son of God,” is hidden in every soul. Jesus affirmed the scriptures: “Ye are gods.” Do away with masks! Come out openly as sons of God—not by hollow proclamations and learned-by-heart prayers, fireworks of intellectually worded sermons contrived to praise God and gather converts, but by realization! Become identified not with narrow bigotry, masked as wisdom, but with Christ Consciousness. Become identified with Universal Love, expressed in service to all, both materially and spiritually; then you will know who Jesus Christ was, and can say in your soul that we are all one band, all sons of One God! * * * 7 Cf. Swami Abhedananda’s translation of this verse from the Tibetan: “At this time his great desire was to achieve full realisation of godhead and learn religion at the feet of those who have attained perfection through meditation.”—Journey into Kashmir and Tibet CHAPTER 3 Inner Teachings of Jesus the Yogi How Every Soul Can Attain Christ Consciousness The Importance of the Comforter, or Holy Ghost “If ye love me keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless…. “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:15–18, 26, 27). Today the same admonition applies that Jesus gave to his immediate disciples. If a devotee loves him (that is, loves contact with the Christ Consciousness in him) then he or she must faithfully follow the commandments—the laws of bodily and mental discipline and meditation—which are required to manifest the Christ Consciousness in the individual’s own consciousness. The promise of Jesus to send the Holy Ghost after he was gone few in the Christian world have understood. Holy Ghost is the sacred, invisible vibratory power of God that actively sustains the universe: the Word, or Aum, Cosmic Vibration, the Great Comforter, the Savior from all sorrows. The Word: God’s Intelligent Cosmic Vibration The scientific evolution of cosmic creation from the Creator-Lord is outlined, in arcane terminology, in the Old Testament book of Genesis. In the New Testament, the opening verses of Saint John’s Gospel may rightly be called Genesis According to Saint John. Both these profound Biblical accounts, when clearly grasped by intuitive perception, correspond exactly to the spiritual cosmology set forth in the scriptures of India handed down by her Golden Age God-knowing rishis. Saint John was perhaps the greatest of the disciples of Jesus. Just as a schoolteacher finds among his pupils one whose superior comprehension ranks him first in the class, and others who must be ranked lower, so among the disciples of Jesus there were differing degrees of ability to appreciate and absorb the depth and breadth of the teachings of the Christ-man. The records left by Saint John, among the various books of the New Testament, evince the highest degree of divine realization, making known the deep esoteric truths experienced by Jesus and transferred to John. Not only in his gospel, but in his epistles and especially in the profound metaphysical experiences symbolically described in the Book of Revelation, John presents the truths taught by Jesus from the point of view of inward intuitive realization. In John’s words we find precision; that is why his gospel, though last among the four in the New Testament, should be considered first when the true meaning of the life and teachings of Jesus is being sought. * * * The “Word” in Original Christianity Though official church doctrine for centuries has interpreted “the Word” (Logos in the original Greek) to be a reference to Jesus himself, that was not the understanding originally intended by Saint John in this passage. According to scholars, the concept John was expressing can best be understood not through the exegesis of much-later church orthodoxy, but through the scriptural writings and the teachings of Jewish philosophers of John’s own period—for example, the Book of Proverbs (with which John and any other Jewish person of his time would have been familiar). Karen Armstrong in A History of God: The 4,000 Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1993) writes: “The author of the Book of Proverbs, who was writing in the third century bce…personifies Wisdom so that she seems a separate person: “Yahweh created me [Wisdom] when his purpose first unfolded, before the oldest of his works. From everlasting I was firmly set, from the beginning, before earth came into being…when he laid the foundations of the earth, I was at his side, a master craftsman, delighting him day after day, ever at play in his presence, at play everywhere in the world, delighting to be with the sons of men” (Proverbs 8:22–23, 30–31; The Jerusalem Bible)…. “In the Aramaic translations of the Hebrew scriptures known as the targums, which were being composed at this time [i.e., when the John’s Gospel was written], the term Memra (word) is used to describe God’s activity in the world. It performs the same function as other technical terms like ‘glory,’ ‘Holy Spirit,’ and ‘Shekinah’ which emphasized the distinction between God’s presence in the world and the incomprehensible reality of God itself. Like the divine Wisdom, the ‘Word’ symbolized God’s original plan for creation.” The writings of early Church Fathers also indicate that this was the meaning intended by Saint John. In Clement of Alexandria (Edinburgh: William Blackwood and Sons, 1914) John Patrick states: “Clement repeatedly identifies the Word with the Wisdom of God.” And Dr. Anne Pasquier, professor of theology at Université Laval, Quebec, writes in The Nag Hammadi Library After Fifty Years (John D. Turner and Anne McGuire, editors; New York: Brill, 1997): “Philo, Clement of Alexandria, and Origen…all associate the Logos with the word of God in the Old Testament accounts of the creation when ‘God spoke and it was done.’ The Valentinians do likewise….According to the Valentinians, the prologue to John’s Gospel depicts a spiritual genesis, the model for the material one, and it is seen as a spiritual interpretation of the Old Testament accounts of the creation.” However, the “Word” (as also “the only begotten Son”) came to signify the person of Jesus only through a gradual evolution of doctrine brought about by complex theological and political influences. It was not until the fourth century, writes historian Karen Armstrong in A History of God, that the church came to “adopt an exclusive notion of religious truth: Jesus was the first and last Word of God to the human race.” (Publisher’s Note) * * * “In the beginning….” With these words commence the cosmogonies of the Old and New Testament alike. “Beginning” refers to the birth of finite creation, for in the Eternal Absolute—Spirit—there is neither beginning nor end…. Spirit, being the only existing Substance, had naught but Itself with which to create. Spirit and Its universal creation could not be essentially different, for two ever-existing Infinite Forces would consequently each be absolute, which is by definition an impossibility. An orderly creation requires the duality of Creator and created. Thus, Spirit first gave rise to a Magic Delusion, Maya, the cosmic Magical Measurer,8 which produces the illusion of dividing a portion of the Indivisible Infinite into separate finite objects, even as a calm ocean becomes distorted into individual waves on its surface by the action of a storm. All creation is nothing but Spirit, seemingly and temporarily diversified by Spirit’s creative vibratory activity. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men (John 1:1–4). “Word” means intelligent vibration, intelligent energy, going forth from God. Any utterance of a word, such as “flower,” expressed by an intelligent being, consists of sound energy or vibration, plus thought, which imbues that vibration with intelligent meaning. Likewise, the Word that is the beginning and source of all created substances is Cosmic Vibration [Holy Ghost] imbued with Cosmic Intelligence [Christ Consciousness]. Thought of matter, energy of which matter is composed, matter itself—all things—are but the differently vibrating thoughts of the Spirit. Before creation, there is only undifferentiated Spirit. In manifesting creation, Spirit becomes God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost…. The Unmanifested Spirit became God the Father, the Creator of all creative vibration. God the Father, in the Hindu scriptures, is called Ishvara (the Cosmic Ruler) or Sat (the supreme pure essence of Cosmic Consciousness)—the Transcendental Intelligence. That is, God the Father exists transcendentally untouched by any tremor of vibratory creation—a conscious, separate Cosmic Consciousness. The vibratory force emanating from Spirit, endowed with the illusory creative power of maya, is the Holy Ghost: Cosmic Vibration, the Word, Aum (Om) or Amen. The Word, the creative energy and sound of Cosmic Vibration, like the sound waves of an unimaginably powerful earthquake, went out of the Creator to manifest the universe. That Cosmic Vibration, permeated with Cosmic Intelligence, was condensed into subtle elements—thermal, electric, magnetic, and all manner of rays; thence into atoms of vapor (gases), liquids, and solids. A cosmic vibration omnipresently active in space could not of itself create or sustain the wondrously complex cosmos….[Thus] the transcendent consciousness of God the Father became manifest within the Holy Ghost vibration as the Son—the Christ Consciousness, God’s intelligence in all vibratory creation. This pure reflection of God in the Holy Ghost indirectly guides it to create, re-create, preserve, and mold creation according to God’s divine purpose. * * * The Vibratory Nature of Creation Recent advances in what theoretical physicists call “superstring theory” are leading science toward an understanding of the vibratory nature of creation. Brian Greene, Ph.D., professor of physics at Cornell and Columbia Universities, writes in The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory (New York: Vintage Books, 2000): “During the last thirty years of his life, Albert Einstein sought relentlessly for a so-called unified field theory—a theory capable of describing nature’s forces within a single, all-encompassing, coherent framework….Now, at the dawn of the new millennium, proponents of string theory claim that the threads of this elusive unified tapestry finally have been revealed…. “The theory suggests that the microscopic landscape is suffused with tiny strings whose vibrational patterns orchestrate the evolution of the universe,” Professor Greene writes, and tells us that “the length of a typical string loop is…about a hundred billion billion (1020) times smaller than an atomic nucleus.” Professor Greene explains that by the end of the twentieth century, science had determined that the physical universe was composed of a very few fundamental particles, such as electrons, quarks (which are the building blocks of protons and neutrons), and neutrinos. “Although each particle was viewed as elementary,” he writes, “the kind of ‘stuff’ each embodied was thought to be different. Electron ‘stuff,’ for example, had negative electric charge, while neutrino ‘stuff’ had no electric charge. String theory alters this picture radically by declaring that the ‘stuff’ of all matter and all forces is the same.” “According to string theory, there is only one fundamental ingredient—the string,” Greene writes in The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004). He explains that “just as a violin string can vibrate in different patterns, each of which produces a distinct musical tone, the filaments of superstring theory can also vibrate in different patterns….A tiny string vibrating in one pattern would have the mass and the electric charge of an electron; according to the theory, such a vibrating string would be what we have traditionally called an electron. A tiny string vibrating in a different pattern would have the requisite properties to identify it as a quark, a neutrino, or any other kind of particle….Each arises from a different vibrational pattern executed by the same underlying entity….At the ultramicroscopic level, the universe would be akin to a string symphony vibrating matter into existence.” (Publisher’s Note) * * * The Biblical writers, not versed in the terminologies that express the knowledge of the modern age, quite aptly used “Holy Ghost” and “the Word” to designate the character of the Intelligent Cosmic Vibration. “Word” implies a vibratory sound, carrying materializing power. “Ghost” implies an intelligent, invisible, conscious force. “Holy” describes this Vibration because it is the manifestation of Spirit; and because it is trying to create the universe according to the perfect pattern of God. The designation in the Hindu scriptures of this “Holy Ghost” as Aum signifies its role in God’s creative plan: A stands for akara, or creative vibration; u for ukara, preservative vibration; and m for makara, the vibratory power of dissolution. A storm roaring across the sea creates waves, large and small, preserves them for some time, and then by withdrawing dissolves them. So the Aum or Holy Ghost creates all things, preserves them in myriad forms, and ultimately dissolves them in the sea-bosom of God to be again re-created—a continuing process of renewal of life and form in the ongoing cosmic dreaming of God. Thus is the Word or Cosmic Vibration the origin of “all things”: “without him was not anything made that was made.” The Word existed from the very beginning of creation—God’s first manifestation in bringing forth the universe. “The Word was with God”—imbued with God’s reflected intelligence, Christ Consciousness—“and the Word was God”—vibrations of His own one Being. Saint John’s declaration echoes an eternal truth resonating in various passages of the hoary Vedas: that the cosmic vibratory Word (Vak) was with God the Father-Creator (Prajapati) in the beginning of creation, when naught else existed; and that by Vak were made all things; and that Vak is itself Brahman (God). “These things saith the Amen [the Word, Aum], the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God.”9 The holy Cosmic Sound of Aum or Amen is the witness of the manifested Divine Presence in all creation. Father, Son, and Holy Ghost According to Yoga The Holy Trinity of Christianity—Father, Son, and Holy Ghost—in relation to the ordinary concept of the incarnation of Jesus is wholly inexplicable without differentiating between Jesus the body and Jesus the vehicle in which the only begotten Son, Christ Consciousness, was manifested. Jesus himself makes such distinction when speaking of his body as the “son of man”; and of his soul, which was not circumscribed by the body but was one with the only begotten Christ Consciousness in all specks of vibration, as the “son of God.” “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son” to redeem it; that is, God the Father remained hidden beyond the vibratory realm that went out from His Being, but then secreted Himself as the Christ Intelligence in all matter and in all living beings in order to bring, by beautiful evolutional coaxings, all things back to His home of Everlasting Blessedness. Without this presence of God ubiquitously permeating creation, man would indeed feel bereft of Divine Succor—how sweetly, sometimes almost imperceptibly, It comes to his aid when he bows his knee in supplication. His Creator and Supreme Benefactor is never more than a devotional thought away. Saint John said: “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God.” The plural number in “sons of God” shows distinctly, from the teachings he received from Jesus, that not the body of Jesus but his state of Christ Consciousness was the only begotten son; and that all those who could clarify their consciousness and receive, or in an unobstructed way reflect, the power of God, could become the sons of God. They could be one with the only begotten reflection of God in all matter, as was Jesus; and through the son, Christ Consciousness, ascend to the Father, the supreme Cosmic Consciousness. India’s priceless contribution to the world, discovered anciently by her rishis, is the science of religion—yoga, “divine union”—by which God can be known, not as a theological concept but as an actual personal experience. Of all scientific knowledge, the yoga science of God-realization is of the highest value to man, for it strikes at the root-cause of all human maladies: ignorance, the beclouding envelopment of delusion. When one becomes firmly established in God-realization, delusion is transcended and the subordinate mortal consciousness is elevated to Christlike status. Receiving Christ Consciousness by Communion With the Holy Ghost in Meditation But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:12–13). The light of God shines equally in all, but because of delusive ignorance all do not receive, reflect, it alike. Sunlight falls the same on a lump of coal and a diamond, but only the diamond receives and reflects the light in brilliant splendor. The carbon in the coal has the potential to become a diamond. All it requires is conversion under high pressure. So it is said here that everyone can be like Christ—whosoever clarifies his consciousness by a moral and spiritual life, and especially by the purification of meditation in which rudimentary mortality is sublimed into the soul’s perfection of immortality. To be a son of God is not something one has to acquire: rather, one has only to receive His light and realize God has already conferred on him, at his very inception, that blessed status. “Even to them that believe on his name”: When even the Name of God rouses one’s devotion and anchors one’s thoughts in Him, it becomes a door to salvation. When the mere mention of His name sets the soul afire with love for God, it will start the devotee on his way to liberation. The deeper meaning of “name” is a reference to Cosmic Vibration (the Word, Aum, Amen). God as Spirit has no circumscribing name. Whether one refers to the Absolute as God or Jehovah or Brahman or Allah, that does not express Him. God the Creator and Father of all vibrates through nature as the eternal life, and that life has the sound of the great Amen or Aum. That name most accurately defines God. “Those who believe on his name” means those who commune with that Aum sound, the voice of God in the Holy Ghost vibration. When one hears that name of God, that Cosmic Vibration, he is on his way to becoming a son of God, for in that sound his consciousness touches the immanent Christ Consciousness, which will introduce him to God as Cosmic Consciousness. Sage Patanjali, India’s greatest exponent of yoga, describes God the Creator as Ishvara, the Cosmic Lord or Ruler. “His symbol is Pranava (the Holy Word or Sound, Aum). By prayerful, repeated chanting of Aum and meditation on its meaning, obstacles disappear and the consciousness turns inward (away from external sensory identification)” (Yoga Sutras I:27–29).10 Essential sons of God, clear reflections of the Father untarnished by delusion, have become sons of man by identification with the flesh and forgetfulness of their origin in Spirit. Deluded man is just a beggar on the street of time. But as Jesus received and reflected through his purified consciousness the divine sonship of Christ Consciousness, so also every man, by yoga meditation, can clarify his mind and become a diamondlike mentality who will receive and reflect the light of God. * * * Baptism by the Holy Ghost The ultimate baptism, acclaimed by John the Baptist and by all Self-realized masters, is to be baptized “with the Holy Ghost, and with fire”—that is, to become permeated with God’s presence in the holy Creative Vibration whose omnipresent omniscience not only uplifts and expands the consciousness, but whose fire of cosmic life energy actually cauterizes sins of present bad habits and karmic effects of past erroneous actions. The uplifting vibrations of “the Comforter” bring profound inner peace and joy. The Creative Vibration vitalizes the individual life force in the body, which conduces to health and well-being, and can be consciously directed as healing power to those in need of divine aid. Being the source of intelligent creativity, the Aum vibration inspires one’s own initiative, ingenuity, and will. By contacting God…in meditation, all desires of the heart are fulfilled; for nothing is more worthwhile, more pleasant or attractive than the all-satisfying, ever-new joy of God….One who bathes his consciousness in the Holy Ghost becomes unattached to personal desires and objects while enjoying everything with the joyousness of God within. [An ecstatic experience of Paramahansa Yogananda in communion with the Holy Ghost Cosmic Vibration of Aum:] “When sensory perceptions vibrate their pleasures in the body, I experience a heaviness; a weighty load hangs on the bosom of my soul, and I feel drawn down to matter. But, O elevating Aum, when Thou dost vibrate within me, oh, what exultant joy and lightness I feel. I soar above the body. I am drawn toward Spirit. O great Aum, rolling ocean of Aum, vibrate long within me so that I may remain awake to Thine infinite presence, broadened into identity with the Universal Spirit. Oh, this is the Voice of Heaven. This is the voice of Spirit. Aum, Thou art the source of all life, of all expressions of creation in the universe. So let me feel Thee, O great Mother Vibration, rolling within me as a part of Thy Cosmic Self. Receive me; make me one with Thee. Never leave me; be always rolling within me like a mighty spiritual ocean, calling to me and revealing Thine oceanic presence. O Mighty Vibration, O Mighty Truth that percolates through every atom of my flesh, peace and harmony eternal, bliss and wisdom eternal, come with Thy presence, with Thy universal resonance! Oh, these tiny joys, these tiny tonics of sensual vibrations, I wish to forsake. Enfold me in Thy vibration and carry me along with Thy rolling sound. Let me be free from the bondage of flesh; let me roll on with Thine infinite vibratory ripples of omniscient joy, O great Aum. Be with me, possess me, absolve me in Thee.” * * * The method of contacting this Cosmic Vibration, the Holy Ghost, is for the first time being spread worldwide by means of definite meditation techniques of the Kriya Yoga science. Through the blessing of communion with the Holy Ghost, the cup of human consciousness is expanded to receive the ocean of Christ Consciousness. The adept in the practice of the science of Kriya Yoga who consciously experiences the presence of the Holy Ghost Comforter and merges in the Son, or immanent Christ Consciousness, attains thereby realization of God the Father and entry into the infinite kingdom of God. Christ will thus appear a second time in the consciousness of every devout adept who masters the technique of contacting the Holy Ghost, the bestower of indescribable blissful comfort in Spirit. Yoga Science of the Spine: “Make Straight the Way of the Lord” There is a beautiful revelation of the way to that divine contact hidden in the Biblical verses where John the Baptist describes himself: I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Isaiah (John 1:23). When one’s senses are engaged outwardly, one is engrossed in the busy mart of creation’s interacting complexities of matter. Even when one’s eyes are closed in prayer or in other concentrated thoughts, still one is in the domain of busyness. The real wilderness, where no mortal thoughts, restlessness, or human desires, intrude, is in transcendence of the sensory mind, the subconscious mind, and the superconscious mind—in the cosmic consciousness of Spirit, the uncreate trackless “wilderness” of Infinite Bliss. As John heard within himself in the wilderness of silence the all-knowing Cosmic Sound, the intuitive wisdom commanded him silently: “Make straight the way of the Lord.” Manifest the Lord, the subjective Christ Consciousness in all cosmic vibratory creation, within yourself through the intuitive feeling awakened when in the state of transcendental ecstasy the divine metaphysical centers of life and consciousness are opened in the straight spinal pathway. Man’s body, unique among all creatures, possesses spiritual cerebrospinal centers of divine consciousness in which the descended Spirit is templed. These are known to the yogis, and to Saint John—who described them in Revelation as the seven seals, and as seven stars and seven churches, with their seven angels and seven golden candlesticks. Yoga treatises explain the awakening of the spinal centers not as some mystical aberration but as a purely natural occurrence common to all devotees who find their way into the presence of God. The principles of yoga know no artificial boundaries of religious isms. Yoga is the universal science of divine union of the soul with Spirit, of man with his Maker. Yoga describes the definite way Spirit descends from Cosmic Consciousness into matter and individualized expression in all beings; and how, conversely, individualized consciousness ultimately must reascend to Spirit. Many are the pathways of religion and the modes of approaching God; but ultimately they all lead to one highway of final ascension to union with Him. The way of liberation of the soul from its ties to mortal consciousness in the body is identical for all: through the same “straight” highway of the spine by which the soul descended from Spirit into the body and matter.11 Man’s true nature is the soul, a ray of Spirit. As God is ever-existing, ever-conscious, ever-new Bliss, so the soul, by encasement in the body, is individualized ever-existing, ever-conscious, ever-new Bliss. The bodily covering of the soul is threefold in nature. The physical body, with which man so affectionately and tenaciously identifies himself, is little more than inert matter, a clod of earthly minerals and chemicals made up of gross atoms. The physical body receives all its enlivening energy and powers from an inner radiant astral body of lifetrons. The astral body, in turn, is empowered by a causal body of pure consciousness, consisting of all of the ideational principles that structure and maintain the astral and physical bodily instruments employed by the soul to interact with God’s creation. The three bodies are tied together and work as one by a knotting of life force and consciousness in seven spiritual cerebrospinal centers: a physical bodily instrument, empowered by the life force of the astral body and the consciousness from the causal form. In its residency in the triune body, the soul takes on the limitations of confinement and becomes the pseudosoul, or ego. Descending first into the causal body of consciousness through the ideational centers of the causal spine of magnetized consciousness, thence into the wondrous spinal centers of light and power of the astral body, life force and consciousness then descend into the physical body through the brain and spine outward into the nervous system and organs and senses, enabling man to cognize the world and interact with his material environment. The flow of the life force and consciousness outward through the spine and nerves causes man to perceive and appreciate sensory phenomena only. As attention is the conductor of man’s life currents and consciousness, persons who indulge the senses of touch, smell, taste, sound, and sight find the searchlights of their life force and consciousness concentrated on matter. But when, by self-mastery in meditation, the attention is focused steadily on the center of divine perception at the point between the eyebrows, the searchlights of life force and consciousness are reversed. Withdrawing from the senses, they reveal the light of the spiritual eye….Through this eye of omnipresence the devotee enters into the realms of divine consciousness. * * * Yoga and The Book of Revelation “Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter; the mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches” (Revelation 1:19–20). “And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof ?’ ” (Revelation 5:1–2). Yoga treatises identify these centers (in ascending order) as: muladhara (the coccygeal, at the base of the spine); svadhisthana (the sacral, two inches above muladhara); manipura (the lumbar, opposite the navel); anahata (the dorsal, opposite the heart); vishuddha (the cervical, at the base of the neck); ajna (seat of the spiritual eye, traditionally located between the eyebrows; in actuality, directly connected by polarity with the medulla oblongata); sahasrara (“thousand-petalled lotus” in the uppermost part of the cerebrum). The seven centers are divinely planned exits or “trap doors” through which the soul has descended into the body and through which it must reascend by a process of meditation. By seven successive steps, the soul escapes into Cosmic Consciousness. Yoga treatises generally refer to the six lower centers as chakras (“wheels,” because the concentrated energy in each one is like a hub from which radiate rays of life-giving light and energy), with sahasrara referred to separately as a seventh center. All seven centers, however, are often referred to as lotuses, whose petals open, or turn upward, in spiritual awakening as the life and consciousness travel up the spine. * * * By the right method of meditation and devotion, with the eyes closed and concentrated on the spiritual eye, the devotee knocks at the gates of heaven. When the eyes are focused and still, and the breath and mind are calm, a light begins to form in the forehead. Eventually, with deep concentration, the tricolored light of the spiritual eye becomes visible.12 Just seeing the single eye is not enough; it is more difficult for the devotee to go into that light. But by practice of the higher methods, such as Kriya Yoga, the consciousness is led inside the spiritual eye, into another world of vaster dimensions. In the gold halo of the spiritual eye, all creation is perceived as the vibratory light of the Holy Ghost. The blue light of Christ Consciousness is where the angels and deity agents of God’s individualized powers of creation, preservation, and dissolution abide—as well as the most highly evolved saints. Through the white light of the spiritual eye, the devotee enters Cosmic Consciousness; he ascends unto God the Father. India’s yogis (those who seek union with God through formal scientific methods of yoga) lay the utmost importance on keeping the spine straight during meditation, and upon concentrating on the point between the eyebrows. A bent spine during meditation offers real resistance to the process of reversing the life currents to flow upward towards the spiritual eye. A bent spine throws the vertebrae out of alignment and pinches the nerves, trapping the life force in its accustomed state of body consciousness and mental restlessness. The populace in Israel was looking for Christ in a physical body, so John the Baptist assured them of the coming of one in whom Christ was manifested; but he also told them subtly that anyone who wanted truly to know Christ must receive him by uplifting the consciousness through the spine in meditation (“the way of the Lord”). John was emphasizing that just worshiping the body of Christ Jesus was not the way to know him. The Christ Consciousness embodied in Jesus could be realized only by awakening the astral centers of the spine, the straight way of ascension by which the metaphysical Christ Consciousness in the body of Jesus could be intuitionally perceived. The words of the prophet Isaiah, which were echoed by John the Baptist, show that both knew that the subjective Lord of Finite Vibratory Creation, or Christ Consciousness, could be welcomed into one’s own consciousness only through the meditation-awakened straight highway of the spine. Isaiah, John, the yogis, all know that to receive Christ Consciousness more than a simple physical contact with a Christlike person is necessary. One must know how to meditate—how to switch off the attention from the distractions of the senses, and how to keep the consciousness fixed on the altar of the spiritual eye where Christ Consciousness can be received in all its glory.13 Every true religion leads to God, but some paths take a longer time while others are shorter. No matter what God-ordained religion one follows, its beliefs will merge in one and the same common experience of God. Yoga is the unifying path that is followed by all religionists as they make the final approach to God. Before one can reach God, there has to be the “repentance” that turns the consciousness from delusive matter to the kingdom of God within. This withdrawal retires the life force and mind inward to rise through the spiritualizing centers of the spine to the supreme states of divine realization. The final union with God and the stages involved in this union are universal. That is yoga, the science of religion. Divergent bypaths will meet on the highway of God; and that highway is through the spine—the way to transcend body consciousness and enter the infinite divine kingdom. * * * The Astral Body of Life Energy Scientific discovery of the electromagnetic energy that forms an organizing template for the physical body is described in Vibrational Medicine (Rochester, Vermont: Bear and Company, 2001), by Richard Gerber, M.D.: “Neuroanatomist Harold S. Burr at Yale University during the 1940s was studying the shape of energy fields”—which he termed “fields of life” or “L-fields”—“around living plants and animals. Some of Burr’s work involved the shape of electrical fields surrounding salamanders. He found that the salamanders possessed an energy field roughly shaped like the adult animal. He also discovered that this field contained an electrical axis which was aligned with the brain and spinal cord. Burr wanted to find precisely when this electrical axis first originated in the animal’s development. He began mapping the fields in progressively earlier stages of salamander embryogenesis. Burr discovered that the electrical axis originated in the unfertilized egg….Burr also experimented with the electrical fields around tiny seedlings. According to his research, the electrical field around a sprout was not the shape of the original seed. Instead the surrounding electrical field resembled the adult plant.” In Blueprint for Immortality: The Electric Patterns of Life (Essex, England: Saffron Walden, 1972), Professor Burr describes his research: “Most people who have taken high-school science will remember that if iron filings are scattered on a card held over a magnet they will arrange themselves in the pattern of the ‘lines of force’ of the magnet’s field. And if the filings are thrown away and fresh ones scattered on the card, the new filings will assume the same pattern as the old. “Something like this—though infinitely more complicated—happens in the human body. Its molecules and cells are constantly being torn apart and rebuilt with fresh material from the food we eat. But thanks to the controlling L-field, the new molecules and cells are rebuilt and arrange themselves in the same pattern as the old ones. “Modern research with ‘tagged’ elements has revealed that the materials of our bodies and brains are renewed much more often than was previously realized. All the protein in the body, for example, is ‘turned over’ every six months and, in some organs such as the liver, the protein is renewed much more frequently. When we meet a friend we have not seen for six months there is not one molecule in his face which was there when we last saw him. But, thanks to his controlling L-field, the new molecules have fallen into the old, familiar pattern and we can recognize his face. Until modern instruments revealed the existence of the controlling L-fields, biologists were at a loss to explain how our bodies ‘kept in shape’ through ceaseless metabolism and changes of material. Now the mystery has been solved, the electrodynamic field of the body serves as a matrix or mould, which preserves the ‘shape’ or arrangement of any material poured into it, however often the material may be changed.” (Publisher’s Note) * * * Spiritual truth and wisdom are found not in any words of a priest or preacher, but in the “wilderness” of inner silence. The Sanskrit scriptures say: “There are many sages with their scriptural and spiritual interpretations, apparently contradictory, but the real secret of religion is hidden in a cave.” True religion lies within oneself, in the cave of stillness, in the cave of calm intuitive wisdom, in the cave of the spiritual eye. By concentrating on the point between the eyebrows and delving into the depths of quiet in the luminous spiritual eye, one can find answers to all the religious queries of the heart. “The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost…shall teach you all things” (John 14:26). Yoga Bestows the True Baptism in Spirit The way of ascension was made manifest in the baptism of Jesus. As told in the Gospel According to Saint Matthew: And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:16–17). When one is baptized by immersion in the light of Spirit, the microcosmic spiritual eye in the body may be seen in its relation to the light of descending Spirit as the Cosmic Trinity. In the baptism of Jesus, this is described metaphorically as “Spirit descending like a dove, and lighting upon him.” The dove symbolizes the spiritual eye, seen by deeply meditating devotees at the Christ Consciousness center in the forehead between the two physical eyes. This eye of light and consciousness appears as a golden aura (the Holy Ghost Vibration) surrounding an opal-blue sphere (Christ Consciousness) in the center of which is a five-pointed star of brilliant white light (doorway to the Cosmic Consciousness of Spirit). The threefold light of God in the spiritual eye is symbolized by a dove because it brings perennial peace. Also, looking in the spiritual eye produces in man’s consciousness the purity signified by the dove. The mouth of the symbolic dove represents the star in the spiritual eye, the secret passage to Cosmic Consciousness. The two wings of the dove represent the two spheres of consciousness emanating from Cosmic Consciousness: The blue light of the spiritual eye is the microcosm of the subjective Christ Intelligence in all creation; and the golden ring of light in the spiritual eye is the microcosmic objective cosmic energy, Cosmic Vibration, or Holy Ghost. During baptism by Spirit in the form of the Holy Ghost as experienced by Jesus, he saw the light of the spiritual eye as descended from the macrocosmic Divine Light; and from this came the voice of Aum, the intelligent, all-creative heavenly sound, vibrating as an intelligible voice: “Thou art My Son, having lifted thy consciousness from the limitation of the body and all matter to realize thyself as one with My perfect reflection, My only begotten image, immanent in all manifestation. I am Bliss, and My joy I express in thy rejoicing in attunement with My Omnipresence.” Jesus felt his consciousness attuned to the Christ Consciousness, the “only begotten” reflection of God the Father’s Intelligence in the Holy Vibration: he first felt his body as the entire vibratory creation in which his little body was included; then within his cosmic body of all creation, he experienced his oneness with God’s innate Presence as the Infinite Christ or Universal Intelligence, a magnetic aura of blissful Divine Love in which God’s presence holds all beings. In deepest meditation, as practiced by those who are advanced in the technique of Kriya Yoga, the devotee experiences not only expansion in the Aum vibration “Voice from heaven,” but finds himself able also to follow the microcosmic light of Spirit in the “straight way” of the spine into the light of the spiritual eye “dove descending from heaven.”… Through his two physical eyes, man sees only his body and a little portion of the earth at a time. But spiritual baptism or initiation received from a true guru expands the consciousness. Anyone who can see, as did Jesus, the spiritual dove alight on him—that is, who can behold his spiritual eye of omnipresent omniscience—and through perseverance in ever deeper meditation penetrate his gaze through its light, will perceive the entire kingdom of Cosmic Energy and the consciousness of God existing within it and beyond, in the Infinite Bliss of Spirit.14 * * * 8 The Sanskrit word maya (cosmic delusion) means “the measurer”; it is the magical power in creation by which limitations and divisions are apparently present in the Immeasurable and Inseparable. 9 Revelation 3:14. Aum of the Vedas became the sacred word Hum of the Tibetans, Amin of the Moslems, and Amen of the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Jews, and Christians. The meaning of Amen in Hebrew is “sure, faithful.” 10 Patanjali’s date is unknown, though many scholars assign him to the second century b.c. His renowned Yoga Sutras presents, in a series of brief aphorisms, the condensed essence of the exceedingly vast and intricate science of God-union—setting forth the method of uniting the soul with the undifferentiated Spirit in such a beautiful, clear, and concise way that generations of scholars have acknowledged the Yoga Sutras as the foremost ancient work on yoga. 11 “And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it….but the redeemed shall walk there. And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (Isaiah 35:8–10). 12 “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light” (Matthew 6:22). 13 Whatever celestial star might have indicated to the Wise Men the birth of Jesus, it was a “star in the east” of greater power by which they knew of the coming on earth of Christ Jesus: the allrevealing light of the spiritual eye of the soul’s intuitive divine perception located in the “east” of the body—in a subtle spiritual center of Christ Consciousness in the forehead between the two physical eyes. 14 In his Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramahansa Yogananda wrote: “The world illusion, maya, manifests in men as avidya, literally, ‘not-knowledge,’ ignorance, delusion. Maya or avidya can never be destroyed through intellectual conviction or analysis, but solely through attaining the interior state of nirbikalpa samadhi. The Old Testament prophets, and seers of all lands and ages, spoke from that state of consciousness. “Ezekiel said: ‘Afterwards he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east: and, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory.’ Through the divine eye in the forehead (east), the yogi sails his consciousness into omnipresence, hearing the Word or Aum, divine sound of ‘many waters’: the vibrations of light that constitute the sole reality of creation.” CHAPTER 4 The “Second Birth”: Awakening of Soul-Intuition Hidden Truth in Jesus’ Parables And the disciples came, and said unto him, “Why speakest thou unto them in parables?” He answered and said unto them, “Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given….Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand” (Matthew 13:10, 11, 13). When Jesus was asked by his disciples why he taught the people in the subtle illustrations of parables, he answered, “Because it is so ordained that you who are my real disciples, living a spiritualized life and disciplining your actions according to my teachings, deserve by virtue of your inner awakening in your meditations to understand the truth of the arcane mysteries of heaven and how to attain the kingdom of God, Cosmic Consciousness hidden behind the vibratory creation of cosmic delusion. “But ordinary people, unprepared in their receptivity, are not able either to comprehend or to practice the deeper wisdom-truths. From parables, they glean according to their understanding simpler truths from the wisdom I send out to them. By practical application of what they are able to receive, they make some progress toward redemption.”… How do the receptive perceive truth, whereas the unreceptive “seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand”? The ultimate truths of heaven and the kingdom of God, the reality that lies behind sensory perception and beyond the cogitations of the rationalizing mind, can only be grasped by intuition—awakening the intuitive knowing, the pure comprehension, of the soul. There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, “Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.” Jesus answered and said unto him, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus saith unto him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?” Jesus answered, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, ‘Ye must be born again.’ The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit” (John 3:1–8). Nicodemus visited Jesus secretly in the night, for he feared social criticism. It was an act of courage for one of his position to approach the controversial teacher and to declare his faith in Jesus’ divine stature. He reverently affirmed his conviction that only a master who had actual God-communion could work the superlaws that govern the inner life of all beings and all things. In reply, Christ forthrightly directed Nicodemus’ attention to the heavenly Source of all phenomena in creation—mundane as well as “miraculous”—pointing out succinctly that anyone can contact that Source and know the wonders that proceed therefrom, even as Jesus himself did, by undergoing the spiritual “second birth” of intuitional soul-awakening. The superficially curious crowds attracted by displays of phenomenal powers received only scantily from the wisdom trove of Jesus, but the manifest sincerity of Nicodemus elicited from the Master determinate guidance that emphasized the Supreme Power and Goal on which man should concentrate. Miracles of wisdom to enlighten the mind are superior to miracles of physical healing and the subjugation of nature; and the even greater miracle is the healing of the root-cause of every form of suffering: del