The Underlying Principle of the Universe and All Miracles

In his famous equation outlining the equivalence of mass and energy, Einstein proved that the energy in any particle of matter is equal to its mass or weight multiplied by the square of the velocity of light.

Light-velocity is a mathematical standard or constant not because there is an absolute value in 186,000 miles a second, but because no material body, whose mass increases with its velocity, can ever attain the velocity of light. Stated another way: only a material body whose mass is infinite could equal the velocity of light.

This conception brings us to the law of miracles.

The masters who are able to materialize and dematerialize their bodies or any other object, and to move with the velocity of light, and to utilize the creative light-rays in bringing  into instant visibility any physical manifestation, have fulfilled the necessary Einsteinian condition: their mass is infinite.

The consciousness of a perfected yogi is effortlessly identified, not with a narrow body, but with the universal structure.

Gravitation, whether the “force” of Newton or the Einsteinian “manifestation of inertia,” is powerless to compel a master to exhibit the property of “weight” which is the distinguishing gravitational condition of all material objects. he who knows himself as the omnipresent Spirit is subject no longer to the rigidities of a body in time and space. Their imprisoning “rings-pass-not” have yielded to the solvent: “I am he.”

All Divine Manifestations Come from Light

“Fiat lux! And there was light.” God’s first command to his ordered creation (Genesis) brought into being the only atomic reality: Light. On the beams of this immaterial medium occur all divine manifestations.

Devotees of every age testify to the appearance of God as flame and light. “The King of kings, and lord of lords; who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto.”

A yogi who through perfect meditation has merged his consciousness with the Creator perceives the cosmical essence as light; to him there is no difference between the light rays composing water and the light rays composing land.

Free from matter-consciousness, free from the three dimensions of space and the fourth dimension of time, a master transfers his body of light with equal ease over the light rays of earth, water, fire, or air.

Long concentration on the liberating spiritual eye has enabled the yogi to destroy all delusions concerning matter and its gravitational weight; thenceforth he sees the universe as an essentially undifferentiated mass of light.

Through a master’s divine knowledge of light phenomena, he can instantly project into perceptible manifestation the ubiquitous light atoms. The actual form of the projection—whether it be a tree, a medicine, a human body—is in conformance with a yogi’s powers of will and of visualization.

With that free and unconditioned consciousness, known to all men in the phenomena of dreams, the God-tuned master has forged a never-severed link. Innocent of all personal motives, and employing the creative will bestowed on him by the Creator, a yogi rearranges the light atoms of the universe to satisfy any sincere prayer of a devotee. For this purpose were man and creation made: that he should rise up as master of maya, knowing his dominion over the cosmos.

“And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”

Our Forms Are Made of Light

As I finished writing this chapter, I sat on my bed in the lotus posture. My room was dimly lit by two shaded lamps. lifting my gaze, I noticed that the ceiling was dotted with  colored lights, scintillating and quivering with a radiumlike luster. Myriads of pencilled rays, like sheets of rain, gathered into a transparent shaft and poured silently upon me.

At once my physical body lost its grossness and became metamorphosed into astral texture. I felt a floating sensation  as, barely touching the bed, the weightless body shifted slightly and alternately to left and right.

I looked around the room; the furniture and walls were as usual, but the little mass of light had so multiplied that the ceiling was invisible. I was wonder-struck.

“This is the cosmic motion picture mechanism.” A voice spoke as though from within the light. “Shedding its beam on the white screen of your bed sheets, it is producing the picture of your body. Behold, your form is nothing but light!”

I gazed at my arms and moved them back and forth, yet  could not feel their weight. An ecstatic joy overwhelmed me.

This cosmic stem of light, blossoming as my body, seemed a divine replica of the light beams streaming out of the projection booth in a cinema house and manifesting as pictures on the screen.

For a long time I experienced this motion picture of my  body in the dimly lighted theater of my own bedroom. Despite the many visions I have had, none was ever more singular.

As my illusion of a solid body was completely dissipated, and my realization deepened that the essence of all objects is light, I looked up to the throbbing stream of lifetrons and spoke entreatingly.

“Divine light, please withdraw this, my humble bodily picture, into Thyself.”

This prayer was evidently startling; the beam disappeared.

My body resumed its normal weight and sank on the bed; the swarm of dazzling ceiling lights flickered and vanished. My time to leave this world had apparently not arrived.

The Eternal Light Behind Maya

In 1915, shortly after I had entered the Swami Order, I witnessed a vision of violent contrasts. In it the relativity of human consciousness was vividly established; I clearly perceived the unity of the eternal light behind the painful dualities of maya. The vision descended on me as I sat one morning in my little attic room in Father’s Gurpar Road home.

For months World War I had been raging in Europe; I reflected sadly on the vast toll of death. As I closed my eyes in meditation, my consciousness was suddenly transferred to the body of a captain in command of  a battleship. The thunder of guns split the air as shots were exchanged between shore batteries and the ship’s cannons. A huge shell hit the powder magazine and tore my ship asunder.

I jumped into the water, together with the few sailors who had survived the explosion. Heart pounding, I reached the shore safely. But alas! a stray bullet ended its furious flight in my chest. I fell groaning to  the ground. My whole body was paralyzed, yet I was aware of possessing it as one is conscious of a leg gone to sleep.

“At last the mysterious footstep of Death has caught up with me,” I thought. With a final sigh, I was about to sink into unconsciousness when lo! I found myself seated in the lotus posture in my Gurpar Road room.

Hysterical tears poured forth as I joyfully stroked and pinched my regained possession—a body free from any bullet hole in the breast. I rocked to and fro, inhaling and exhaling to assure myself that I was alive. Amidst these self-congratulations, again I found my consciousness transferred to the captain’s dead body by the gory shore. Utter confusion of mind came upon me.

“Lord,” I prayed, “am I dead or alive?”

A dazzling play of light filled the whole horizon. A soft rumbling vibration formed itself into words:

“What has life or death to do with light? In the image of my light I have made you. The relativities of life and death belong to the cosmic dream. Behold your dreamless being! Awake, my child, awake!”

Excerpted from Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda.

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