Edgar Cayce, the famous American seer,
said that he saw many people in his lifetime
who had been with Jesus. For all of them,
even those who didn’t have close contact,
that single experience shaped all of their subsequent
One contact with a master can take you
over the ocean of delusion to the shores of
infinity. And it is this loving soul contact
that Yogananda brought.
Placed in our hearts by God
Even disciples who turn away from the
guru can’t get him out of their hearts,
because it was God who placed him there.
Referring to a disciple who had rejected
him, Yogananda said, "He will never find
God except through this channel, sent to
him by God."
What the great Masters bring is a consciousness.
Yogananda’s reality is not something
that was born in 1893 and died in
1952—it’s within us. As his disciples, we
must try to be in tune with him in every act
of our lives.
The greatest thing that Yogananda has to
give us is that attunement. His teachings, his
organization, his mission—these are important
but secondary to that attunement.
A great master lives in omnipresence
A great master lives in omnipresence.
Jesus Christ said, "Where two or more are
gathered together in my name there am I."
It isn’t as if Jesus has to go rushing from
church to church every Sunday morning.
He’s there already because he’s omnipresent.
I’ll never forget an Indian who said to
me, "Oh yes, I roomed with Yogananda
once in a boarding house and he came down
early every morning and cooked in the
kitchen. He just loved to cook." What a limited
way to think about a great master.
What really animates a great master is not
his body or personality but a spirit that’s
infinite. Yogananda said, "When I see the
new body and personality that I’m supposed
to put on in order to come into this
world, it feels like putting on an overcoat on
a hot summer day—uncomfortable. I get
used to it, but I’m not that."
Who we really are
The masters come to help us see that
who we really are lies behind our bodies
There was an Italian man I knew who
was very sweet and humble, but nothing out
of the ordinary. When he died, I felt his
spirit, and there was such sweetness, almost
a saintly feeling. That’s who he really was.
His old man’s body and personality had
covered that up.
I had a similar experience with my father’s
passing. He was a great man in some ways but
not in a divine way. Toward the end of his life
he became very fixed and dogmatic.
But when I tuned into him after he died,
what I felt was not on the level of a body or
personality. It was the strong energy he had
put out to overcome the many obstacles he
encountered in life, the joyful courage, the
wonderful sense of humor.
We should try to live more on that level,
instead of defining ourselves in terms of our
personalities and little foibles.
Meditate on a single phrase
A great master comes to express a certain
aspect of an infinite truth. Each disciple must
go behind that truth, understand its essence,
and then use it creatively in daily life.
I doubt that Yogananda said anything
about how a banker should conduct himself
on the job. Does this mean that a banker can’t apply Yogananda’s teachings when
working? Of course not. We all have to
apply that truth.
You don’t deepen your understanding of
truth by reading what the masters of different
paths have said. Apart from the importance
of loyalty to your own path, you don’t
get knowledge that way. You don’t need to
read and read, and think and think.
St. Teresa of Avila said that in one instant of
ecstasy the soul understands things that it would take
years to learn with the intellect alone—reading, studying,
Yogananda opened up a particular part of the vast
ocean of truth and said, in effect, "If you come in here, then you’ll be able to go
deep." To meditate deeply on a single phrase of his that’s meaningful to you will change
Attunement is the real discipleship
When Yogananda put me in charge of
the monks, he never told me what he
wanted me to do. Why? Because he wanted
me to tune in.
Attunement is the real discipleship. What
Yogananda said to the disciples in person
was very different from what you find in his
writings. When he was with us he would say,"Be in tune! When
things get difficult, be more in tune."
He talked about attunement as the most important
thing he could give to us because through, that
attunement, he would be able to inspire us with the right understanding, and
the right decision, in every situation.
A very hard lesson
What Yogananda passed on to us was not
a body of knowledge to be learned by rote,
but an attunement
with a ray. And as
you tune in with
that ray, you will
You never want
to think, "Well, I’m
always right." As
soon as you have
that thought, Divine
Mother will say,
"Time for a lesson."
And it will be a very hard lesson.
You need to be tentative about the guidance
you feel, and to have the humility to
recognize that your likes and dislikes are
likely to prejudice a flow that is completely
impersonal. But approached tentatively,
with humility, that guidance will be with
you—first in little things, and eventually all
the time, sometimes in amazing ways.
God is always
ago, I had a kidney
shortly before I
was to give Sunday
service. My body
was shaking like a
leaf, but I didn’t
want to pray for
myself. I had given this body to God, and it
was God’s to take care of.
The pain became so intense, however,
that I thought I might faint. Fifteen minutes
before service was to start, I said, "Divine
Mother, if you want
me to give this service
you’re going to
have to take this
pain away." But I
wasn’t praying for
myself. I was praying
pain went away,
and was replaced
by a joy so intense
I could barely speak. It was a wonderful
experience and just one small proof of how
God is always listening to our needs and
Don’t look for human solutions
We waste too much time looking for
human solutions—thinking we should read
books on psychology to learn how to get
over our inferiority complex or how to be
successful. There are thousands of books on
every subject, but attunement is the answer.
Sometimes I would go to Yogananda
with questions, but after leaving his presence
I would realize that I hadn’t asked any of
them, because I had the answer. In other
words, the answer to your questions is not
an intellectual verbal formula.
Often your real question is, "How do I
get peace?" "How do I get that state of consciousness
where I have understanding?" In
his presence I experienced that state and
there was nothing to question.
Questioning comes when your mind is
on a lower level of functioning. When you’re
in tune, suddenly you see things in a new
way. You become a different person and can
handle things in new and different ways.
The power of God is in him
Try to tune in deeply to guidance from
Yogananda. He’s our real power. Once one
of the disciples wrote him and said, "When
I see you I only see Divine Mother."
Yogananda responded by tapping him
lightly with his cane and saying, "Then
That power of God is in him, and he can
give that to you, but only if you tune in.
How can you be in tune? By always keeping
his presence in your heart. By always
referring your thoughts, your needs, your
questions, your quest for guidance back to
that inner presence.
"To those who think me near,"
Yogananda said, "I will be near." He is with
you now, and he alone in our family has the
power to make you one with God.