No, it’s not a blog about goats. Though I do love raw milk. In fact a friend of mine at Ananda Village has a goat farm called “Yogoata” (a play on one of Yogananda’s names for the teachings of Self-realization – Yogoda). The goat milk from her farm is truly delicious and nutritious. Though, I have to rein in my raw milk enthusiasm because this is not a blog about goats or raw milk!
You’ve probably heard, even if you’re not a soccer fan, about Lionel Messi and Argentina winning the World Cup. This victory cemented Messi’s status as the GOAT – the greatest of all time. This sports acronym is like the Holy Grail for athletes as they reach a perception of inappropriate god-like stature.
Could anyone or anything be greater than the GOAT?
In his explanation of the yoga sutras Paramhansa Yogananda describes God’s Spirit as, “Being unconditioned by time, He is the greatest of the great.” Here Yogananda describes God the Father as the Spirit beyond creation. The Son is the Christ Intelligence within creation. The Divine Mother is the Holy Spirit or sacred vibration out of which all creation emerged. Since His being is beyond creation and He is the “greatest of the great,” we could think of God as GREATER-GOATA - greater than the GOAT. Aha!
What does the “greatest of the great” look like? What does it feel like? How do we know if we are approaching Him?
Maybe you’ve seen Messi score a sublime goal or assist a teammate. That’s when you understand why they call football (soccer), “The beautiful game.” Maybe you’ve had a glass of fresh raw milk from Yogoata (not a blog about raw milk!). Either way you know you’ve experienced something sublime.
God’s beauty and perfection, however, are of another order altogether. As the “Hymn to Brahma” declares, He is “Triguna rahitam” - beyond all qualities. Words fail to capture even a fragment of His greatest of greatness.
Here’s the good news! Although we can never perfectly describe God’s perfection, we do have the potential to realize our own Christ-likeness. Being of practical nature many of us ask the natural question: How do I become like Christ, a perfect son of God?
In answer to our question Swami Kriyananda says in the Festival of Light, “Seek it [the source of all power] in the farthest depths of being, in your own Self.”
We may still ask how shall I seek Thee? Meditate, meditate, meditate! If you have not already experimented, try the all-day Christmas meditation with Ananda this Friday, December 23rd. Celebrate the formless presence of Christ consciousness in your own being by opening your heart and experiencing the divine light within.
Another way to recall our own greatness is to see it in others. The next time you scream ‘Goaaal!” when Messi scores, feel that he is reminding you of your own perfect shot — a bicycle kick of Divine joy spiraling upwards from within.
The next time you drink a glass of raw milk and say, “Aaahhh” (not a blog about raw milk!), know that it is the revitalizing power of God’s Spirit that is the real refreshment.
How do we get there? As they say in soccer, you have to shoot to score. Swami Kriyananda describes the step by step process of unfoldment beautifully in a song,
“Every effort we spend
Gives more strength in the end,
Till our gladness in life’s ever new!”
Remember shooting, shooter, and shot of divine joy are one!
When we merge into Oneness with God’s love and joy, we will realize the real GOAT—He who is the greatest of the great!
In Christ’s love & Joy,
I am Argentino and I’m living in Mar del Plata, Argentina. I’m very happy that our national team won the WW Foootbal Championship and of course as everybody I’m happy that Messi leads our team so well. At the same time I as most of my friends think that this is a very good example for all us. Hard work, seriousness, dedication, team work, humility and so.nany other virtues…
The Spiritual Path is not that easy neither, it requires devotion, willness, efforts and faith.
Mary Jo Cleaveland
Fun and wisdom filled blog. Loved the reference to soccer/futbol and Messi. Have been watching world cup over the years (soccer mom/grandma). This was the best! I think Master would have liked Messi..he in is himble
thank you very much, beautiful, very current the comparison. And above all because I am from ARGENTINA. Jai Guru