“Christmas is a thought of spiritual grandeur—a realization that our minds are an altar of Christ, the Universal Intelligence in all creation. ” Said ParamahansaYogananda
greetings to you, and to all of Paramahansa Yogananda’s spiritual family and
friends around the world. During this sacred season, may the universal Christ
Consciousness, born in Jesus and in all God-united souls, unfold within your
own devotion-prepared consciousness. Spiritual Christmas is more than just an outer
celebration; it is a time of hope and new beginnings, when light and joy flow
tangibly from the heavenly realms into receptive hearts. It brings a wonderful
sense of opportunity—a renewed zeal and enthusiasm to attune ourselves with the
Divine, to vitalize the stirrings of large-hearted goodness, helpfulness, and
outreaching generosity that are the angelic heralds of the nascent Christ
within us. May that true Christmas spirit rekindle in all humanity not just
hope for peace on earth but an active consciousness of goodwill to all.
The blessed Lord Jesus, and all the Great
Ones, incarnated on earth not to hold before us an unreachable goal but to
awaken us to our soul’s limitless potential—to show us that latent within us is
the Christ Consciousness (Kutastha Chaitanya) that sustains the
universe. Let this be a time to discover its indwelling power and light as a
gift of God’s grace. Expand the horizons of your opening mind and heart by
dwelling on the Christ universality exemplified by Jesus. He saw the Divine in
all, regardless of religious or social boundaries. In his compassion he reached
out even to those who had erred and forgave those who were his enemies. There
was no room for enmity in his heart, which encompassed all of God’s children.
And you too can expand the circle of your caring— creating day by day a heaven
of peace, harmony, and understanding within and without. Begin this Christmas.
Let it be a special time to reach out to others—not with material gifts alone,
but with the gifts of a magnanimous heart: gifts of your time and attention,
gifts of forgiveness and understanding. As our Guru said, “Whenever you do
something for someone else, without any selfish motive, you have stepped into
the sphere of Christ Consciousness.”
Deepest motivation to expand our consciousness beyond our own needs and wants comes from the natural overflowing of a heart filled with God’s infinite love. The Christ-love that permeated the life of Jesus came from that inexhaustible Source. That is why Paramahansaji urged us to take time to meditate longer and deeper in this holy season. In the sacred silence of the wall-less temple within your soul, God will come to you as joy, peace, and boundless love; and with the touch of His all-inclusive consciousness, you will feel the barriers of separation dissolve, revealing your eternal bond with Him and with other souls. Each soul even slightly illumined by that inner awakening automatically contributes to a more harmonious world. Receive in our Guru’s own words his loving blessing: “May you have a very merry Christmas, and may you receive the greatest gift that anyone can wish for you—the perception of the Christ spirit in your own heart. May you feel his presence on Christmas Day and every day throughout the new year. Open your heart to receive the wonderful gift of Light.”
A joyous Christmas to you and all of your loved ones, Br Chidananda, President of SRF/YSS
“Truth is one… Divine incarnations do not come to bring a new or exclusive religion, but to restore the One Religion of God-realization. The great ones, like waves, all bathe in the same Eternal Sea… “
“They shall come from all parts of the world, thousands and thousands of them, just as you have, for Self-Realization is bringing the original Christianity of Christ and the original Yoga of India’s Krishna so that all people of all religions can follow one highway
to the Infinite.” \
Said Paramahansa Yogananda.
Comment at Self-Realization Fellowship annual convocation, c 1951, LA USA .
A Major part of Paramahansa Yogananda’s world mission/dispensation was to clearly demonstrate/encourage/clarify the basic unity and harmony of the primary elements and purposes of all true world religions. This is the nature of pluralism – the main concept that alone brings peace and cooperation among all religious communities! It’s opposite is “exclusivism” which is the main cause of stress, intolerance, and violence between religions and cultures world wide.
These conflicts are mainly caused by original teachings literary errors through time, and political manipulation of works by those in power, or by a false prophets pretending to have received his comments from some God.
One should examine all claims closely as there are many charlatans in the world of religion. Especially test and examine those teachings that you were raised in!
This can be better understood with searching your history and your heart. Are today’s common beliefs followed by your faith what those prophets really intended or taught? Academia is seldom the best place to learn about comparative religion and true philosophy. Better to do your own personal searching and the truth of all this will become clearer as you go beyond your earlier programming. As a seeker of truth you owe that much to your personal integrity. We all have the same challenge, from birth we were mostly misled led by the spiritually blind in every religion.
This was the story of my own sadhana, when I was ready Yoganandaji introduced himself to me, and the rest is history. Many positive results eventually came since that amazing day of divine grace.
It was mainly India and the far east that has kept the truly ecumenical principal of global pluralism, tolerance, and the spiritual science of Kriya Yoga alive through countless millenniums. Such is the light giving nature of India’s “Sanatana Dharma.” This is what it takes to produce a Gandhi or a Paramahansa Yogananda.
Yoganandaji’s particular emphasis above re the historical words of Jesus and Krishna are for specific reasons as follows.
In today’s world of global communications, mobility, and sciences, those documents provide the clearest elements referencing the highest Yoga spiritual sciences. Which Yogananda has made transparent and available for the “man in the street.” Which He has fully demonstrated in His extraordinary life. The value of any claims by any authority/prophet lies in all the results and examples of that life and statements. That becomes a living proof! If you don’t know why you believe something, you are in a state of blind belief situation going nowhere. What does the record say?
This move away from the narrowness of dogma, academia, and the secrecy of ancient monastic traditions will restore real spirituality in the hearts of many true seekers of reality world wide. It will spark a healing revolution in the hearts of a humanity that is now experiencing an emptiness and psycho derangement from the pace and direction of today’s world.
Paramahansa Yogananda’s teachings via Self-Realization Fellowship are leading the way! Our first duty is to change ourselves!
Monuments to the World’s Major Religions, SRF Court of All Religions, Lake Shrine
from- Aims and ideals of Self-Realization Fellowship –
“To reveal the complete harmony and basic oneness of original Christianity as taught by JESUS CHRIST and original Yoga as taught by BHAGAVAN KRISHNA; and to show that these principles of truth are the common scientific foundation of all true religions.” Paramahansa Yogananda
“To point out the one divine highway to which all paths of true religious beliefs eventually lead: the highway of daily, scientific, devotional meditation on God.”
Everything published these days immediately goes world wide, especially in the English language. So the quality of any new spiritual message/dispensation must become more sensitive, advanced, esoteric, and universal, and pluralistic. Ir must also appeal to our reason.
The average person is also far more educated and literate than in centuries past. Peoples of many widespread cultures/religions are living side by side all over the globe, and even more interested in what is true in religion.
This is the “information age,” with the literature/history of most ancient and modern scriptures easily available, along with clearer, verifiable records of many more recent true and false prophets, available to all.
The essence of holy writs as historically recorded in the New Testament Gospels and the Bhagavad Gita of India are not only the purest and clearest statements of what is called “the perennial philosophy” (re A. Huxley c 1945). The life example and teachings of Jesus and Krishna are two of the most exalted examples of exemplary lives among the worlds Avatars. Extremely high on the human spiritual evolutionary consciousness scale! The message and the wisdom level are very similar and equal!
Before you can read those subtle messages and change your own life, you may have to do a lot of work on yourself! Just what are you really looking for, reinforcement of your emotionally based blind programming, or the truth that will demand serious changes in your behavior, attitudes, and your total way of understanding the world and consciousness?
Essentially, these 2 documents, at their esoteric level of interpretation are not only
the same direct teachings at the highest spiritual level of understanding and inspiration, they were parts of great dispensations to cultures that were at a very high level of human civilization. Societies relatively free of tribalism. Without taking anything away from all other true spiritual paths which were suited to other cultures. Yogananda will make this all very clear to the seeker who studies His other teachings. Yogananda’s legacy has cleared up a mountain of problems in the field of today’s religions/spirituality.
The quality, sophistication, and purity of a spiritual dispensation is seldom rated solely by the historical time period in which it was introduced, but rather by the wisdom of its content and the character of its deliverer. Which will ideally appeal to the local culture of the prophetic messenger of that culture.
On a global scale therefore, it may be more advanced or less advanced than previous spiritual dispensations. One may ask – how does one assess the value and level of a particular spiritual message and its claims? Certainty is the maintainer of blindness.
Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” ///////////
Such “prophets” and dispensations must also stand as true guides to remove ignorance and enhance mind awareness/expansion of consciousness for all sincere devotees who want to awaken from this dreamworld of relativity. This is the way to salvation. Jesus tells us that very few will ever find it! It may not happen after death.
This is the key to Self-Realization and world peace for the masses in today’s world!
This acclaimed avatar Paramahansa Yogananda, gave the world community updated, advanced, wisdom saturated, esoteric scientific commentary and living example of how to live a life of spiritual and material harmony and peace.
For the Christian world He clarified the true meaning of the Bibles Gospels.
“The Second Coming of Christ; Resurrecting the Christ Within You” 1994
For the Orientals He clarified the true meaning of the Holy Bhagavad Gita.
“God Talks With Arjuna” 2004
For the Muslim world He gave the higher teachings from one of their greatest
Saints – Omarr Khayyam’s “The Rubaiyat.” in “Wine of the Mystic.” 1996
All 3 above commentaries are published under Copyright by Self-Realization Fellowship Publishers LA USA.
The Master said ,” A new scripture is born,” upon the completed dictation
of these sacred commentaries of divine inspiration and wisdom.
The great question we are now faced with?
Why did Yogananda not give a commentary on the Koran, Hadiths, or Sira to share His spirituality advanced teachings with the Muslim world? He did use the key scriptures of other religious prophets to share their truths of esoteric spiritual wisdom. This is a major deviation that may rightly or wrongly maybe perceived as a slight by those who play the victim card.
The fact being, that all the worlds teachings/dispensations were presented at specific levels suitable for the culture into which they were introduced. On a global scale, this does not necessarily mean that the latest teaching is more advanced than previous revelations! This was more often true only on a local level for a specific culture.
If that culture was more primitive, nomadic, tribal, it would of course receive a less advanced teaching than previous dispensations given to more advanced cultures in a different geological location. For such a culture the first order would be to secure a firmer sociological structure often requiring many rules while maintaining the color of certain local elements. So, on a global scale there was not necessarily any “progressive revelation” going on by reason of historical timelines.
There are often false claims such as “this is God’s final revelation to mankind, and there will never be another new religion or prophet sent to earth,” said Mohammad in the seventh century. Or “the true gospel and priesthood has been restored for the world” said Joseph Smith. The wise know that it is the “priesthoods” (and Mullahs etc) of religions that serve the lower levels of all religions – not the higher more advanced levels. Time is the proof of all things in this world. ” You will know them by their fruits” said JC. There have been a number of greater prophets and new religions since the seventh century. And many vain claims have turned to dust!
Many of these great prophets have been from India alone since the seventh century!
This is revealed/evidenced in Yogananda’s spiritual classic “Autobiography of a Yogi,” from SRF Publishers LA USA.
Apparently, even though Yogananda had no condemnation re certain other
writings, by simply not using them in His great world wide spiritual dispensation, and breaking with His own pattern of literary usage for commentary, His actions made a clear statement on the truth of this whole subject of progressive revelations. Vive la difference!
The oft misunderstood concept of “progressive revelations” mostly applies only to the particular area / culture into which they were introduced. It may only be an
advanced timely teaching for that culture in that geographical area of the world.
There may be a possible exceptions in today’s advanced techno world, as with the increasing intermixing of the worlds cultures it is possible to introduce a religion that is globally more advanced, but not only because of the date of its delivery.
Content, quality, and living examples of truth are the determining factors of the greatness of a dispensation. Does it bring wisdom, harmony, and peace to the world, or is it just a plagiaristic rehashing of all the old ideas from the past?
If “you” think you have an opinion on this particular matter, there are a few things
you need to do before opposing my comments. First you must understand clearly what the Guru was doing and what changed in his presentations on certain subjects.
A beautiful ideal is one thing, yet the timing and practicality of promoting that ideal must sometimes by put on hold or be revised as further developments dictate. Yogananda, like Jesus had to redirect his promotion of some very important opinions.
In this case of not using Islamic sources to share higher teachings with the Islamic world,
what kept Yogananda away from this situation? He claimed that his method of commenting on ancient holy writ was to actually time travel to the time and place where these prophets lived and taught, and ascertained their true meanings. When we read his revelations, this claim becomes very believable. So, what did He see to warn Him away from Islamic writ? This was back in the last century. Since that time a lot of questions have arisen about the way in which these so called holy writs of Islam came about. So our present day knowledge of these matters gives great credibility to the Master conduct in this matter. He never got caught up in that hornets nest.
The problem most devotees experience is a form of cognitive dissonance, they become too attached to the old idea and are unable to see the Gurus redirection.
Most of all, unless you have spent a few years serious study of Islam and its prophet, you will probably have little idea what you are talking about. First take a few years to do this – then we can talk. Remember that in most religions very few of it adherents know what it is all about, and even fewer study the global picture of history and scripture. That is the bigger picture. The avoiding of commentary on the Koran has serious implications.
You will clearly know why He did it this way when you do your own research!
Originality especially, with true inspiration is a great indicator of divine creativity!
There are also many other dubious aspects of the historical Koran that renders it unsuitable to have a comparative association or inclination with certain more advanced scriptures of other prophets (already mentioned by Yogananda).
Here are the addresses of some videos that partially reveal why the Koran could
Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” ….end
Why do so many people ignore the serious simple wisdom
in these Biblical comments? They do not take time to read!
This is some of the wisdom that Jesus suggests as a way to test true souls;
Another aspect to Yogananda’s comment above; “Truth is one… Divine incarnations do not come to bring a new or exclusive religion, but to restore the One Religion of God-realization.”
Few persons in history claiming prophet hood tried more loudly and brutally to create a new, most exclusive, intolerant religion than Mohammad. If anyone finds this statement untrue – then you must figure out what went wrong, when and by whom. Because something is seriously out or whack with that ideology! fp
If someone attempts to introduce a new spiritual dispensation and make
any claims of superiority and exclusivism, or of being the “true church”, or the only true church it will have to stand the tests of time and comparison. We now know too much about such vain claims! We now have too much info available at any moment to test such claims. Remember one who makes many claims may have many schemes.
Examine and test all claims made by those who attract a lot of ego attention!
“There never was only One Way!
There never was only One holy Writ of truth.
There never was only One exclusive Prophet/Savior/Guru!”….. by PYislove
eg. Krishna’s date in the Holy Land [India] was circa 3000 BC, yet spiritually, sociologically, scientifically, and politically, Krishna’s teaching
is far more condensed clarity and consciousness enhancing directives than that of the Hebrew prophets of later dates which follow the timeline. not from any lack therein of the profound wisdom of life, but there are missing pieces of that ancient picture. Much of this may have been deliberate. India’s spiritual and civilizational heritage predates the Mediterranean areas perhaps by thousands of years. Vedic holy scriptures of the Sanatana Dharma also contain esoteric locked up wisdom. Some great seers of modern times have unlocked from them the worlds most advanced mathematics and psychophysical exercises for human development.
Archaeological findings from the Mohenjo-Daro civilization has uncovered
an intact skeleton of a Yogi sitting in Lotus posture meditating, dated at 7,200 BC. How many millennia before that date was the spiritual science of Yoga perfected?
After the Hebrews had practiced their religious traditions for a few millennia, only
then did Jeshua return from His long sojourn in India to give them the highest ways to live and worship Brahman. Brahman(That) is the name given to the nameless reality in the wisdom of the Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism).
Again, their history shows politics of the Hebrew priesthood generally rejected Christ’s message and attempting to shut down his personal ministry.
Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well;
John 4:21, “Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
Yogananda concludes with this far reaching statement;
Paramahansa Yogananda said;
“We in Self-Realization Fellowship have not come to bring a new religion, or a new cult or new interpretation. We have come to teach practical methods, the exact technique of widening the channel of human consciousness, so that truth may flow in ceaselessly, endlessly, without obstructions of dogma or unproved beliefs. We seek to point out the path of concentration on a practical system of realization as well as words and personality of saints and prophets. We teach step by step progress to individual personal realization and attainment of divinity.”
///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// to be continued by fp