Self-Realization Fellowship Blog

Paramahansa Yogananda on Following the Example of Great Souls

April 11, 2022

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From the talks and writings of Paramahansa Yogananda

When we open our inner eyes of soul wisdom, we behold the omnipresent Light of God. Within this Light is the consciousness of Christ, the “Son” or pure reflection of God present everywhere in the universe. This Christ Consciousness, the Infinite Christ, is God's intelligence and love knocking on the closed eyelids of our souls, urging us that all we have to do is look to this Light within and we shall see all ignorance and diversities vanish.

There is a difference in meaning between Jesus and Christ. Jesus is the name of a little human body in which the vast Christ Consciousness was born. Although the Christ Consciousness manifested in the body of Jesus, it cannot be limited to one human form. It would be a metaphysical error to say that the omnipresent Christ Consciousness is circumscribed by the body of any one human being.

When St. John said that “as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God,” he meant that anyone who could receive that Christ Consciousness…would become, as did Jesus, a son of God—one with the Father.

This offers hope to every seeking heart, for there would be no incentive in following the example of Jesus if we could not be like him. Jesus was not sent to us to symbolize an unattainable goal. He came as a living inspiration, demonstrating what we all may successfully seek and achieve.

Every day, in the beginning, my mind used to say, “You can't know God. Only great ones like Krishna, Jesus, and Buddha could.” Then I would reason, “If God favored them, He is partial; but I know He is not—He does not favor anyone. Even they had to go through great trials. But they were divinely successful, so I too can realize God.”

[An affirmation to practice:] All spiritually successful persons, such as Jesus, Babaji, Lahiri Mahasaya, Sri Yukteswar, Swami Shankara, and other masters are manifestations of our one Father, God. I am happy in the thought that my spiritual ambition to realize unity with God is one that has already been attained by all great masters.

Watch a short video of Brother Chidananda, president of SRF/YSS, on our “Unity of the Scriptures” webpage. In this video he expands on the importance Paramahansa Yogananda placed in his teachings on the quote from St. John above. Though this video is taken from a talk recorded in 2020, it speaks directly to this moment and to the ever-current opportunity that each one of us has to successfully realize our unity with the bliss of the Divine — just as great yogis and saints have done.

Click on the button and scroll down to the video.

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