N. San Juan, CA
Permit No. 9
F R O M A N A N D A S A N G H A
A Magazine of Spiritual Teachings & Practices for Everyday Living
The time for knowing God has come. Fall 2004
Dwapara Consciousness: Living Your Beliefs
Dealing with Fear The Devotee Who Tried Unsuccesfully to Change
Living Your Beliefs by Swami Kriyananda In India--less bigotry Dwapara Yuga will bring people the
WHEN PARAMHANSA YOGANANDA It always struck me as a sad testimony understanding that religion is about experi-
was a young monk in India, a skeptic once to religious bigotry that some Christian ment and personal experience. Many more
said to him, “Some day all you swamis will missionaries in India were outraged to see people will come to God in this age than
be very disappointed when you wake up and me in the orange robes of a swami. But all previously because they will understand that
discover that there is no God. Yogananda the Indian Christians I met were, without religion is a matter of individual effort, not
replied, "Well, you may be right, but mean- exception, gratified to see fixed and brittle concepts.
while we'll at least have had the satisfaction me. The Indian Christians In Kali Yuga there is the
of knowing that we've done some good." would say, "Oh, how
I feel so in love tendency to box things into
The importance of living your beliefs inspiring to see you in your with God. fixed definitions. A definition
That was a very Dwapara Yuga kind of ochre robes." is not the truth. I can say God
answer. The important thing is not how we They saw me not as an outrage to their is love and yet live a life totally contradicting
define our beliefs, but how we live them. beliefs but as someone who also loved God. this principle. It’s what we do that matters.
Giving lip service to the concept of God It is inbred in their culture that it doesn't We must all become Christ-like
Swami Kriyananda in India, June 2004 matter how you define truth. The important
isn't nearly as important as living in a way Our goal in life should be to become
that gives you inspiration and fulfillment. People used to say that the earth was flat, thing is how you live it and experience it. Christ-like. It's entirely false to say, "He
Definitions of sabikalpa and nirbikalpa but their belief didn’t make it so. People also It's wonderful in India to see Hindus was so great. We could never be like him."
samadhi, as I heard some pundit expound- used to say that the earth was the center of pass in front of a church and bow in rever- Jesus didn't come to show us how great he
ing on in a lecture in India, are simply beside the universe, but they eventually found that ence. They know that the same God they was, but to show us what we are. He kept
the point. Someday we'll all have samadhi, it wasn’t so. Again and again, experiment love is being loved and worshipped also in bringing it back to this truth and telling the
but meanwhile we must start where we are has proved that certain dogmas, beliefs, and that church. crowds, “Don’t your scriptures say, ‘You,
right now. suppositions simply weren’t valid. The religion of the future too, are gods?’”
We all want more happiness, less sorrow; Judge by your personal experience This is what religion in Dwapara Yuga But to reach that level of realization, we
more love, less meanness of heart; more And so it is in our search for truth. We is all about. It's a matter of living the prin- need to meditate. We need to practice Kriya
charity, less narrow-mindedness and self- must approach the search for truth experi- ciples and the teachings. And that always Yoga. We need to develop devotion to God.
ishness. These are universal desires. We all entially. When I meditate I feel great joy. I comes back to the individual. Yogananda It isn't enough merely to pass pamphlets out
want to find happiness and to avoid unhap- feel God's love. That's what makes it worth- used to say, “You have to individually make in the streets.
piness. It's really that simple. while to me. love to God." Spirituality is inward
Moreover, we learn by trial and error. If love were only an intellectual belief it In his discussions of Dwapara Yuga, In Dwapara Yuga there's going to be
Over time, as we experience the results of our would mean nothing. But I feel so in love Yogananda said, "The religion of the future more recognition in religion that church
actions, we begin to move in the direction of with God that I want to do whatever I will be Self-realization." He wasn’t talking authorities don't necessarily know truth.
avoiding those things that bring sorrow and can to know Him more fully. We all want about building an organization. He meant
seeking out those that produce happiness. to experience God's presence in ourselves. that in the future, every religion will under-
A new way of seeking truth When we experience His presence, others stand that the true purpose of religion is to
People sometimes worry that science can feel it, too. help you in your own personal relationship
has undermined faith in religion. In some This is the basis of spiritual teaching with God, in your private devotions.
ways, of course, it has. But basically what in India—to judge by your own personal Why do the great masters come? Not
science has done is wonderful. It has said experience. The Indian teachings rest not to create institutions like General Motors.
that without experiment, which in religious on an institution declaring what ought to No! They come to help us individually
terms would be experience, you can't claim be, but on people—the great masters—who to realize that what we're looking for is
to know anything. have actually experienced the truth. within ourselves. Dharmadas at Kriya initiation in New Delhi.
He alone knows who has experienced it. In the chapter, “An Experience in
Sometimes the most ignorant person will be Cosmic Consciousness,” in Autobiography Ananda India Update
the one who deserves the most respect. of a Yogi, Yogananda wrote, "I cognized the
There's a beautiful story in Autobiography center of the empyrean as a point of intui- Two thousand people attended Ananda’s
of a Yogi that shows how Yogananda saw tive perception in my own heart." Your real “launching” of the first Indian publication
spirituality as inward, not outward; as indi- center of being is in the heart. This is the of the original 1946 edition of Yogananda’s
vidual, not institutional. He told the story seat of intuition, and if you want to know Autobiography of a Yogi.
of three hermits on an island in Greece who whether anything is true, see whether it
Held on July 18th at the Siri Fort audi-
had a very unusual prayer. They would resonates with your heart.
torium in New Delhi, the event included
pray, "We are three. Thou art three. Have In Dwapara Yuga the true expression of music and songs by Ananda staff, talks by
mercy upon us." religion will be that of the two Indian swamis, and an inspiring thirty-
It wasn't a sophisticated Your real center of individual’s love for God— five minute talk by Swami Kriyananda.
prayer, but the people living God first, God second, God
on the island reported that being is in the heart. all the time. Then with His Other Ananda events that are drawing
large numbers include three new medita-
many miracles took place in love you can love all.
tion class series taught by Ananda staff.
the presence of these hermits. Word of the But don't think that merely the feeling of Dharmadas Schuppe, Yogacharya of Ananda
hermits eventually reached the local bishop love is the answer. When you feel great love India, is also receiving numerous requests
who thought, "These hermits must be won- in your heart, that energy can go downward for speaking engagements.
derful souls. For their edification I would as well as upward. It’s good to love out-
Kriyananda’s daily TV program is now
like to give them the prescribed prayers of wardly, but unless that love is based in an
available on another cable outlet, Aastha
our liturgy and church." upward flow toward the Spirit it will take
TV, which is widely viewed throughout the
So he went to the island and taught them you into delusion.
the accepted, official prayers. The three “Do you love me?” In September, Ananda will be opening a
hermits were humble men, who gratefully We need to love all with God’s love, and store as an outlet for its books, recordings,
received his instruction, and the bishop left to love Him in all. In Dwapara Yuga people posters, and other products. Located in a
feeling he'd accomplished a good thing. will come to understand more and more western style mall near the Ananda ashram,
As he was on the boat leaving, however, that this is what life is about. the store will be an important new way of
he suddenly saw the three hermits running When you die, the question God will ask reaching thousands of people each day with
over the water hand-in-hand, crying out you will be, "Do you love me?" It couldn't Yogananda’s teachings.
to him, “Wait, wait, wait, your Excellency, matter less to God whether you've been a
please. We’ve forgotten the prayers you Baptist or a Protestant or a Jew or a Hindu,
taught us. Could you go over them once or whether you've even gone to church.
more?" He said, "My children, you don't The most important thing Yogananda
need those prayers." taught was how to love God. It isn’t a mat-
The simplicity of the heart ter of how long you meditate, or how many
The future of religion is going to go more prayers you do. It's a matter of the devo-
toward the simplicity of the heart and away tion, the energy, and the consciousness that
from official dogmas and creeds. When I you bring to your search for God. This is
was in college, people used to come to me the true religion of the future and for all
From top to bottom: Swami Kriyananda
with all sorts of learned theories wanting to eternity.
addressing Siri Fort audience on July 18th; a
know my opinion. I would say to them, “If it Excerpted from an August 2002 talk at
view of the audience; Ananda Sangha Singers;
doesn't feel right in your heart, don't accept Ananda Village.
Swami Kriyananda with Swami Nikhilananda
it.” There's great wisdom in the heart. and Swami Santosh Muni. Swami Kriyananda gazing at Siri Fort audience.
Sacred “Selfishness” The man of sacred selfishness takes on the suffering of others in
by Paramhansa Yogananda order to make them free from further suffering.
everyone into the circle of brotherhood. the range of his influence. When he does
Good selfishness yields many harvests— anything for himself, he can do only that
THE LAW OF SERVICE to others is return services from others, self-expansion, which is good for all.
secondary to, and born out of, the law of happiness, divine sympathy. The man of sacred selfishness becomes
self-interest and self-preservation. The real To avoid the pitfalls of evil selfishness, a the mind and feeling of all creatures and
reason behind the scriptural injunction person should first establish himself in the his “self” becomes the Self of all. He whose
to “Serve thy fellowmen” and “Love thy good forms of selfishness, where he thinks body and limbs consist of all humanity and
neighbor as thyself” is the law of service, of his family and those he serves, as part of all creatures finds the universal, all-pervad-
by which devotees expand the limits of their himself. From that attainment, he can then ing Spirit as himself.
own selves. advance to the practice of sacred selfishness The altar of all-expanding goodness
Gaining God’s favor (or unselfishness, as ordinary understand- Good selfishness and sacred selfishness put
To serve others by financial, mental, or ing would term it), where one sees the entire one in touch with God, resting on the altar of
moral help is to find self-satisfaction. If any- universe as oneself. all-expanding goodness. Those who realize
one knew beyond doubt that by service to Paramhansa Yogananda in a garden
Becoming the Self of all this truth work conscientiously only to please
others, his own soul would be lost, would The businessman who thinks and acts To be sacredly selfish is to seek happi- the ever-directing God-peace within.
he serve? If Jesus knew that by sacrificing his only for himself, thinking neither of his ness in the joy of others, and to try con- Excerpted from East-West Magazine,
life on the altar of ignorance he would dis- clients or customers, nor of those depen- stantly to remove the wants of larger and November-December 1929
please God, would he have acted as he did? dent on him for support, is engaged in evil larger groups of people. Using his best
No. Though Jesus had selfishness. Such a man is judgment and intuition, the man
to lose the body, he knew acting against his own best of sacred selfishness acts with-
he was gaining his Father’s The martyrs make selfish interests, for in time out expectation, and helps him-
favor. All the martyrs and a good investment. he will suffer. Evil selfish- self—as the many—with health,
Krishna to Arjuna:
saints make a good invest- ness hides its destructive food, work, success and spiritual
ment—they spend the little teeth of suffering beneath emancipation. He lives to love his
mortal body to gain immortal life. the seemingly innocent assurances of com- brethren, for he knows we are all One who beholds My presence everywhere,
Even the most self-sacrificing act of ser- fort and gain. children of the one God. And all things dwelling equally in Me,
vice to others is done with the thought of To delight in hurting others’ feelings The man of sacred selfishness
by carping criticism is another form of evil He never loses loving sight of Me,
self. It is logical, therefore, to say that the takes on the suffering of others
higher selfishness, or the good of the higher selfishness. This malignant pleasure is not in order to make them free from Nor I of him, through all eternity.
Self, is the goal of life rather than service to conducive to any lasting good. further suffering. He counts all That yogi finds security in Me,
others without thought of self. Good selfishness leads to self-expansion his earthly losses as deliberately Who, though his days be rushed and action-filled,
The cause of modern depressions The businessman who, by honest, chosen by himself for the good of
Is anchored inwardly, at rest in Me,
We must, however, clearly distinguish wholesome, constructive actions looks after others, and for his own and ulti-
mate gain. And worships Me in every living form.
between three kinds of selfishness—evil, his own and his family’s needs is engaged
good, and sacred. The evil kind is that which in good selfishness. Good selfishness causes His entire selfishness is That one, Arjuna, is the best of men,
actuates a man to seek his own comfort a man to seek his own comfort, prosperity, sacred, for whenever he thinks And truest he, of yogis, whose heart feels
by destroying the comfort of others. To and happiness by also making others more of himself, he thinks, not of the The joys of all, their pains, their searing griefs,
become rich at the cost of others’ loss is a prosperous and happy. small body and mind of ordinary
With equal care as though they were his own.
sin. Modern depressions are caused by evil Unlike evil selfishness, which isolates a understanding, but of the needs
selfishness, which leads to unequal prosper- person and shuts out the rest of humanity, of all bodies and minds within
ity amidst plenty. Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 6, stanzas 30-32
good selfishness reaches out and brings
Spirituality and Science
We know that the man in the Shroud was a Jew approximately 5’9”
The Miracle of the Shroud in height, and that he was crucified.
by Ken Atwell We know that this man was prepared where for the first time it was displayed, full
hurriedly for burial by Jewish custom and length, as the burial cloth of Jesus.
placed in the Shroud in the Jewish manner. By 1578, the Shroud was sequestered in
We know that he was allowed to be buried Turin by the Savoys, the first royal family of
alone, (unusual for a Jewish crucifixion vic- Italy, where it resides to this day. At the time,
THE SHROUD tim), rather than in a mass grave. Traces of most men of science generally accepted that
of Turin is possibly limestone on the Shroud indicate that the the Shroud was fraudulent, merely a paint-
the most remark- body was probably placed in a limestone ing.
able relic in human cave near Jerusalem.
history. Presented The first glimmerings of scientific interest
We know that while the Shroud and body in the relic emerged in 1898 when Seconda
as the burial cloth
were in the cave the body did not decay, and Pia, a respected photographer of his time,
of Jesus Christ, it
that the body did not remain in the Shroud was allowed to photograph the Shroud.
has been studied by
for more than 2-3 days. We know that the Seen with the naked eye, the straw-yellow
some of the most
body was not manually moved from the image on the Shroud lacks clarity and tends
Shroud, or the bloodstains would have to blend into the background linen, espe-
on the globe. An
smeared. cially when viewed close up.
ter million hours Yet within that time, the body in the
The Shroud is a “negative!”
Jesus being placed in the shroud Shroud vanished and in the process imprinted
have been put into Upon developing his film, Pia, who had
its examination, not a 3-dimensional negative image in a manner
We know that he was beaten about the face expected to see a negative, was startled to see
including the work of archeologists, his- and head, and that he sustained some thirty never before created in human history.
a detailed positive image, and one so distinct
torians, pathologists, botanists, and physi- blood staining wounds, similar to what might The “Mandylion” that the crucified man’s features, posture and
cians working outside the main group. have been left by a crown of thorns. Until very recently, the Shroud’s history wounds were clearly visible. Since it is an
Confirmation of the Gospels We know that a spike was driven through was only partly known. It is now strongly accepted scientific principle that a negative
What does the scientific evidence tell us both feet and into the cross, and also through suspected that an ancient picture of Christ, of a negative always results in a positive, it
about the Shroud? each of the wrists. We know that, like all know as the “Mandylion,” or “Image of became apparent that the body image seen
crucifixion victims, it was impossible for him Edessa,” was actually the Shroud folded with the unaided eye was itself a “negative.”
We know that the man in the Shroud
to exhale unless he repeatedly straightened into eighth’s and placed in a rectangular These developments undermined the idea
was a Jew approximately 5’9” in height, and
himself upwards to release the stress on his frame showing only the head.
that he was crucified. Judging from the clear
abrasions left on his shoulders, we know arms, resulting in the image’s over-enlarged It is believed that Thaddeus, one of
that he probably carried a beam of nearly chest area. the apostles of Jesus, took the Mandylion
one hundred pounds. We know that he was We know that the man in the Shroud died, to Edessa, (now Urfa, Turkey), and with
scourged by two Roman soldiers using fla- and that rigor mortis set in, while he was still it cured King Abgar between 13-50AD.
grums that left over one hundreds wounds on the cross. Contrary to other crucifixion In 944 the Byzantines took it to
on his front and back, and that he fell numer- victims, this man’s legs were not broken to Constantinople, where it was captured in
ous times, leaving dirt and abrasions on his stop his upward movements and hasten his the Fourth Crusade.
nose, knees, and feet. death. We know that after his death, his Accusations of fraud
The pollen and flower imprints on the side was pierced by something similar to Three different theories have the Shroud
Shroud tell us that he lived in Palestine, and a Roman lancet, and that blood and water finally making its way to Livey, France
The Shroud seen with The Shroud seen as a
that his crucifixion occurred in April or flowed from this wound. sometime between 1204 and the 1350s,
the unaided eye. positiive image.
Upon developing the film, the crucified man’s features, posture and
wounds were clearly visible.
that the Shroud image was the work of means of draping a cloth over a human According to her theory, the energy that
a medieval forger: photo-negativity was body, statue, or bas-relief. held the atoms of the Shroud body together
unknown before the 19th century. was somehow released, causing a dispersal
It was found also that the Shroud image
of radiation and atomic particles (electrons,
A perfect contour map was imprinted only on the uppermost sur-
neutrons, protons, etc.) Some of these par-
Then, in 1976, a breakthrough occurred. face fibers of the threads in the fabric. Were
ticles turned the linen fibers a straw yellow
Two scientists decided to process a photo the image a painting or drawing, the materi-
and created the image of the crucified man.
of the Shroud with a VP-8 Image Analyzer, als would have penetrated more deeply and
Little’s theory may account for another
What Is a Miracle?
a device used in space probes to acquire caused the fibers to mat and bind. By Swami Kriyananda
Shroud feature—its durability. The neu-
accurate 3-dimensional images of celestial Evidence from bloodstains trons, electrons, and gamma rays would act
objects. The analysis of the blood on the Shroud, What is a miracle? It is simply a
as a kind of preservative, making the Shroud
If the VP-8 is used on a normal photo- its flows and staining characteristics, chemi- more supple and resilient. Researchers have phenomenon waiting to be explained.
graph, or on a drawing by an artist versed cal composition, and anatomical positioning found the Shroud to be in amazingly good Television would have been a miracle
in how the VP-8 works, the resulting image were all as they would have been on the cru- condition. to the people in medieval times. For
lacks true 3-dimensionality. To the scien- cified Jesus. The analysis showed that the that matter, the fact that it doesn’t
Antonacci’s overall theory also seriously
tists’ utter astonishment, the VP-8 image blood was that of a human, that it flowed seem miraculous to us now isn’t
challenges the 1988 carbon-dating tests,
of the Shroud was a perfect, 3-dimensional “downward” as it would on an upright cross because most of us understand it. We
which suggested that the Shroud dated to
rendering—a contour map of the body. victim, then “back-wards” as it would on accept it because it is commonplace.
1260-1380 AD. These findings are now
Respect for the Shroud deepens someone later lain in a supine position, and There is no such thing, really, as a
repudiated by most scientists because of
Intrigued, the scientific community took that the stains were on the Shroud before bona fide miracle. There are only dif-
fatal errors in the testing process, and the
action and in 1978 organized the Shroud of the image was created. ferent workings of cosmic law.
use of a fabric sample contaminated by
Turin Research Project (STURP). Members STURP member John Heller expressed smoke, wax, and patching. Science will never be able to trace
of the team—world-renowned scientists, his own frustration and that of his fellow the genesis of the universe to its ulti-
B u t o b j e c t i o n s t o A n t o n a c c i ’s
physicists, and pathologists from highly scientists when he stated, “If you were to mate source, for it is obliged by its
“Historically Consistent Method” continue
prestigious institutions—were given per- give me a budget of $10 million, and told me own disciplines to approach real-
to be voiced, so the controversy continues.
mission to examine the Shroud scientifi- to make a replica of [the Shroud], I would ity from its periphery, not from its
Perhaps the planet must move more fully
cally. For the first time in history there was not know how to do it.” center. Creation, on the other hand,
into Dwapara Yuga before science will be
unprecedented access to the relic. Still, the image looks back at us. How capable of understanding exactly how the is like a living tree: It is a radiation
Most scientists thought that, under this did it get there? Shroud image came into existence. outward from its center in Pure
scrutiny, the cloth would not live up to its The dematerialization of the body Ken Atwell
traditional claims. But as the 1980s pro- Mark Antonacci, in his book, The lives with his The mysteries of cosmic creation
gressed, and mountains of findings were Resurrection of the Shroud, puts forth his wife, Hridaya, at can be solved only by people who,
published in scientific journals, respect for “Historically Consistent Method,” which Ananda Village in deep meditation, succeed in pen-
the Shroud deepened. comes closest to matching all the evidence and oversees the etrating to the core of their own
The researchers concluded that the gleaned thus far. A key component of Village water being—which, they find, is the center
system. of Being everywhere.
Shroud was not a painting, vapograph, this approach is the idea that the Shroud
block print, or scorch. Nor was it an imprint might have undergone something similar E x c e r p t e d f r o m Aw a k e n t o
of body heat or funeral anointing. It was to “nuclear disintegration,” a theory first Superconsciousness by Swami
not produced by the rubbing of dry com- proposed by Dr. Kitty Little, a retired Kriyananda, Crystal Clarity, Publishers.
pounds. Nor was it formed by any known nuclear physicist.
Stories of Grace
The Man in Orange
by Happy Carol Winingham
between my eyebrows and I experienced a ing. I knew I had died and left the materialWho is my guide?
tremendous upward surge of energy, like world. My answer to the familiar presence My memories of leaving the body lent
bouncing in the air from a trampoline—a was, “I haven’t met the right people yet, and
urgency to the process of recovering and
WHEN I WAS 19 years old and living in I haven’t learned to serve.”
feeling of going up but not coming down embracing life. I knew I wouldn’t die again
Texas, I was critically injured in a 100-mile-
again. The realization dawned that I wasn’t The reply that came until I had learned the
an-hour collision with a drunk driver. What
breathing. back was, “If you go lessons my soul had
happened next isn’t something I could have
There was a liberating sense of relief in back, you will experi- In that moment, a man chosen. And I knew
explained in familiar terms at the time—in
the helicopter on the way to the hospital I
not being in the body, an almost amusing ence physical suffering. in orange handed Bobby a there was a loving guide
awareness of how heavy it had been. I felt It will not be easy for who watched over me,
had a heart attack and “died.”
like I was floating in a pool of warm water you physically.” And flashlight. who would help me
The last thing I remember before I died my soul said, “I need to find my way home.
with the sun shining on me, the warmth
was that my body began to convulse vio- go back because I need to do these things
absorbing me as I absorbed it. I was com- After I awoke from the coma my mother
lently and I felt exceptionally cold. But I before I can come home.”
fortable and relaxed. told me details of the accident, the first being
could still hear the loud, droning rhythm of
The only sound was like wind rushing Back in the body that my friend Joe, who had been with me in
the propellers overhead.
through trees. In front of me was a tunnel As soon as there was an understanding, the car, had survived and would be fine.
A tunnel of light of light. I could again hear the loud beat of the heli- Then she told me something that she had
A speck of light appeared at the point copter blades and then, a man’s voice yelling, learned from Bobbie and Jodie, two close
“Do you want to stay?”
I passed quickly through the tunnel and “Clear!” After a violent shock, I felt myself friends who had been in the car behind us.
came out into a big open space where I was thrust upward, and the heaviness of being in When Bobbie and Jodie pulled Joe and
surrounded by a powerful presence. This the body returned. The medical technician me out of the burning car, it was dark and
presence consisted of many souls and ema- had used defibrillation paddles and restored raining. I was choking on blood but Bobbie
nated pure light, pure golden warmth, pure my heartbeat. couldn’t see well enough to help me. Bobbie
nurturing comfort, and an overwhelming At the time, no books had been pub- yelled for Jodie to go to their car and get a
feeling of love. lished on the near-death experience, so I had flashlight so he could clear my air passage—
It seemed that I had merged with all these no reassuring explanation for what occurred. something he had learned in law enforce-
souls. We were all one and yet individual, But somewhere deep inside I understood ment training.
too. Nothing else existed; nothing else mat- that my soul had chosen a mission in life. Flashlight from an angel
tered. It felt like home. Who were these people I needed to meet? Jodie returned empty-handed and Bobby
Then, from the midst of these souls, a What did it mean to “learn to serve?” exclaimed, “God, I need a flashlight!” In that
loving, gentle presence spoke to me, not in For several days I was in a coma. The moment, Bobbie noticed a man behind him
words but through the medium of feelings. doctors said my survival was miraculous. I who handed him a flashlight. He said that the
The question asked was, “Do you want to had suffered a ruptured spleen, six broken man was short, rotund, olive-skinned, with
stay, or do you want to go back?” ribs, a collapsed lung, a deep laceration to long black hair and small hands, and was wear-
Somehow my soul knew exactly where it the head, and a contusion of the heart that ing what appeared to be an orange choir robe.
Happy and friends at Ananda Village was, why it was here, and what was happen- would have killed me instantly had it been a After clearing my passage, Bobby turned
fraction of an inch to either side.
I knew I would not die again until I had learned the lessons
my soul had chosen.
to thank the man but he had vanished, and
there were no car tracks. Bobby later discov- A Great Modern Channel
ered that there wasn’t a farm for two miles
in any direction. Mom said, “Bobby still has
that flashlight and calls it his flashlight from Paramhansa Yogananda spoke—from personal, visionary
heaven, delivered by an angel.” experience, and not from book learning—of countless mysteries
A second miracle occurred shortly after of the universe: of how it was made, and why. He told us of life on
the first. Two cars stopped within minutes other planets, and predicted a time of interstellar travel—which
of the collision. In the first car was a doc- he said was a reality, despite its seeming impossibility, according
tor on his way back to Mexico, who had to the known laws of modern physics.
decided to take this remote, scenic route to
He described—again, from direct experience—levels of real-
avoid the highways.
ity that are much too subtle to be perceived by the physical
In the second car was a couple return-
senses. He spoke of the ages of civilization on earth, and of the
ing to their farm two miles away. The doc-
implications for mankind of having entered, as we now have, a
tor attended to Joe and me while the couple
went to their farm to call an ambulance and new age.
Joe’s and my parents. He revealed to our imagination a divine creation so marvel-
Finding Ananda ous, so infinitely vast and complex, so inspiring in its beauty and
Over the years I continued to be puz- lofty purpose that I think not all the books in the world could
zled by what it meant to “meet the right equal what we heard from him in person.
people and learn to serve.” Eventually, I He could see people in the astral world, converse with them,
discovered the Autobiography of a Yogi by and receive messages from them. He could tune in to high souls
just when Bobby needed it. Bobby’s descrip-
Paramhansa Yogananda. Later, I found out and let them speak through him. From what he told us, and from
tion fit him perfectly.
about Ananda Village. what seemed to us truly our own experience with him, God
Excerpted from AIDS: Pathway of Miracles,
It wasn’t long before I understood that by Happy Carol Winingham. For a copy of the Himself used his voice to teach us and guide us.
Yogananda was my spiritual guide, and that book, e-mail London@mcn.org. He saw things in people’s past that even they had forgotten.
at Ananda I had found the “right people.”
Several years after moving to Ananda Village He saw far back in time, also, beyond the portals of this life,
In this family of friendly God-centered dev- in the 1980s, Happy was diagnosed with AIDS, and helped people thereby to understand problems in the pres-
otees, I knew I would “learn to serve.” and given 6-12 months to live. Despite ongo-
ent lifetime that, until then, had left them confused, perplexed,
When I prayed or meditated, I felt ing health challenges,
she lived ten more
or resentful. And he saw things in their future, as well. People
Yogananda’s presence all around me. I knew
I had spent many lifetimes as a disciple of years and was able couldn’t bring themselves to believe all the predictions he made,
this great teacher, and that he had been guid- to “serve” in many but they proved right nonetheless.
ing my life long before I found Ananda. ways—as a spiri- Excerpted from How to Be a True Channel by Swami Kriyananda,
tual teacher, actress Crystal Clarity, Publishers
In fact, it seems that Yogananda was and playwright, and
present at the scene of the accident—the AIDS activist.
“man in orange,” ready with the flashlight
Spiritualizing Daily Life
Dealing with Fear
by Jyotish and Devi Novak
Start with small steps. Concentrate first
on simply increasing the flow of physical
energy. Exercise daily, do some deep breath-
ing, and, best of all, be sure to practice the
Energization Exercises that Paramhansa
Then apply your increased energy to
overcoming fear. Think of fear like a wild-
fire in the brain. Stomp out the small sparks
right away before they have time to start a
conflagration. “I live protected by God’s infinite light. Giving love and security
WE’VE RECENTLY HAD several So long as I remain in the heart of it, noth- Here is a final tool to change thought
conversations with friends who mentioned ing and no one can harm me.” It is followed habits: Give to others that which you want
how prevalent fear is today in the general by this beautiful prayer: “I look to Thee for for yourself. In this case, give love and secu-
Most fear centers around losing some-
consciousness. “Fear of what?” we asked. my strength, Lord. Hold me closely in Thy rity to others. Look for at least two oppor-
thing you value. The more you develop
“Everything,” they said. “Losing jobs, arms of love. Then, whatever happens in my tunities each day to help allay fear in some-
non-attachment, the less vulnerable you will
going broke, violence, relationships. You life I shall accept with joy.” one else.
be. Every night, before you sleep, give all
name it. People are just filled with fear your possessions and all your desires back Use this affirmation just before you go to One of the opportunities should be for
these days.” to God. Make Him responsible for your sleep and immediately when you wake up. a friend or loved one. But the other, if pos-
Fear is a pernicious problem that shuts well-being and security. Say it several times with deep sincerity, driv- sible, should be for a stranger. This practice
down our life-force. Like depression or ing it into the subconsciousness, and then unleashes the infinite power of the law of
He won’t mind. In fact, He is much bet-
any other problem that inhibits the flow of finally lifting it into the superconsciousness. karma and the Golden Rule, which advises
ter at taking care of us than we are ourselves.
positive energy, fear starts a negative cycle It will become a powerful ally to help you us to give unto others that which we would
In the morning you can have the responsi-
that becomes self-reinforcing—decreased drive out fear whenever it tries to attack. like to receive ourselves.
bility back again if you want.
energy causes a decrease in will which, in Remember, that God’s infinite love and
Try especially to give Him negative
turn, reduces our energy even further. But, Visualization protection already surrounds you. Your
desires, the ones that contract your con-
fortunately, there are ways to reverse this Fear originates in parts of the primitive job is simply to recognize its presence
sciousness and cause you to emphasize your
cycle. Here, are some tools from our spiri- brain that are pre-verbal. Visualization helps and let it work its magic. As Paramhansa
ego or little self. They are the main source of
tual path. re-program reactive processes in these areas. Yogananda said, “To those who think me
our fears and anxiety. They include all the
Visualize yourself bathed in a golden light near, I will be near.”
ways we don’t say “yes” to life.
that both protects and strengthens you. Jyotish and Devi Novak are acharyas (spiri-
The law of opposites tual directors) for Ananda Sangha. Jyotish is
In theory at least, it is easy to overcome See the light especially bright in your
Affirmation also spiritual director of the Ananda Sevaka
any problem: Simply put out equal or heart center, radiating away all little dark
Replace fear thoughts through the use of Order, worldwide.
greater energy in the opposite direction. The clouds of attachment and anxiety. The more
affirmation. Here is an affirmation for cour-
best way to cancel a negative tendency is to clearly and powerfully you visualize, the
age that Swami Kriyananda suggests in his
develop its positive counterpart. To over- more quickly the light can change your very
book, Affirmations for Self-Healing:
come fear, develop faith or non-attachment. brain cells.
The Importance of Listening
By Swami Kriyananda
Yogananda came to teach us how to listen with our entire being.
silence. Disciples working around him were universe. We are all are part of that sound.
THERE’S A STORY of a Bengali man permitted to speak only when necessary. But because most people haven’t learned
who liked to talk a lot. One day he said to “Silence is the altar of God,” he often told to listen, they are deaf to the symphony of
a young man, “My boy, are you married?” us. He said that only in silence can you sounds in the world around them.
And the young man said, “What do you really feel God’s presence. If you go to a quiet place in the country-
mean, am I married? I’m married to your I once told him I was having trouble side where there’s complete silence, behind
own daughter!” calming my breath in meditation. “That,” that silence you can sometimes hear a
“Oh, yes, yes. I know that. I just wanted he replied, “is because you used to talk a lot. sound—a soft hum or a gentle murmur like
something to say and couldn’t think of any- The influence has carried over.” Gradually, the whisper of wind in the trees, sometimes
thing else.” inspired by his example, I learned to speak a deep roar. The sound emerges from no dis-
Spiritual Renewal Week, Ananda Village, less, and to listen more to God’s soundless cernible point in space but seems, rather, to
Well, when you’re so busy wanting August 2004 whispers in my soul. come from everywhere.
something to say, even if it makes no sense,
then you’re not going to hear what’s going Listening is receptivity If you could eliminate every sound of the
Having felt God’s presence in the silence
on in life. Listening involves a mental attitude of world around you, you would still hear that
within, you see all things, and all people
receptivity. The great scientists, to a large sound. It underlies everything. By closing
Why most people don’t listen everywhere, as opportunities for commun-
extent, are yogis—because they listen. They your ears and listening quietly in deep med-
Most people talk from their own reality, ing with that Presence without. don’t try to create what the world ought to itation, you can begin to hear that sound.
their own point of view. They’re always talk- When you speak, it’s from a conscious-
be. They try to observe what it really is. The most important teaching of yoga
ing about what they think, what you ought ness of inner silence. You refrain from
to do, and why can’t speaking when speech A true yogi is even better than that. The most important teaching in yoga is
you see their point is likely to become A true yogi calms his mind and simply to attune to that AUM sound. As you com-
of view? They don’t When a person has achieved chatter. perceives. mune with AUM, you begin to perceive
even communicate. We saw this in This is the secret of human living, also. If that there are many different levels of real-
a certain level of maturity, he Rajarsi Janakananda, you want to know what the world is, you’ve ity, of which we are all a part. You begin to
They’re like peo- understand your connection to all life.
ple living on two dis- is able to listen to others. Yogananda’s chief got to calm your mind. You can’t be making
tant islands shouting disciple and successor. a loud noise all the time. The more quiet you By communing deeply with AUM, you
at each other. No He was humble, com- are, the more ready you are to listen. become conscious of God as the underlying
matter how long pletely dispassionate, Yoga helps people to eliminate the agita- reality of everything in existence. You enter
they shout, the islands remain separated and always centered in the Self within. He took tion in their own minds and, in the calmness into the stream of vibration that proceeded
they can't hear each other. almost no interest in small talk. that ensues, to begin to perceive the higher out from Spirit and that merges back into
Though a self-made man of considerable realities in the world around them. Spirit at creation’s end.
When a person has achieved a certain
level of maturity, he is able to listen to worldly means, he referred hardly ever to This is what Yogananda came to teach us. God’s voice is silence. If you really
others. He is able to absorb what they're his outer life. For all we heard from him per- He came to teach us how to meditate. And want to commune with Him, it must be
saying and relate it to what he already sonally, he might have been a man of few he came to teach us how to listen—how to done first in the silence of your own mind,
understands, and often come up with new achievements. listen, first of all, to God, not with the ear and then in the silence of the Infinite. In
insights. Virtually his sole topics of conversation only, but with our entire being. that silence, you will hear the voice of the
were God, Guru, and meditation. His mind Infinite booming with the great power of
A consciousness of inner silence. The sound of God’s voice AUM all through creation.
was always focused inwardly on God. God has a sound. It’s not as if He were
The more deeply you meditate, the more Excerpted from talks and books.
you lose the worldly habit of “small talk,”of Yogananda’s habitual silence up there speaking in the clouds, but there
talking just to have something to say. Yogananda placed great importance on is an AUM sound, the infinite vibration of
The 5-Minute Experiment
by Jyotish Novak of the Pilgrim, by an anonymous Russian Not an “I and Thou” relationship
writer, about a man who, while in church, This is an extraordinary state to reach
heard the priest say that one should pray and one we should all strive for. But,
SWAMI KRIYANANDA recently Now we don’t have to produce that continuously. That idea stayed with him extraordinary as it is, even that isn’t practic-
challenged Ananda members to practice the desire, thank goodness. It resides in our and he began to wonder how he could do ing the presence of God on the deepest level.
presence of God for five minutes a day. It souls. In fact, the most powerful force in it. There’s still an “I-Thou” relationship with
doesn’t sound like much, but it’s a bit like the universe is the soul trying to recover its God, a bit of separation.
He began asking people how one could
challenging someone to dunk a basketball unity with God. We need to bring to the We should strive for the state where
pray continuously, and was led from teacher
once a day. You have to fore this dynamic desire there’s no separation
to teacher until he
rise to a certain level just to reunite with God, between us and God.
met one who knew
to do it once. Practicing and nourish it so that
the presence of God for it becomes more and
how. The teacher The most powerful force in This is the deeper
said to him, “I want aspect of practicing
even five minutes a day more powerful. you to repeat five
the universe is the soul trying the presence of God.
takes a certain elevation Practice outwardly to recover its unity with God. But how do we get
hundred times a day
of consciousness. there?
first this simple prayer,
A life-transforming So how do we get ‘Lord, Jesus Christ, On our spiritual
practice there? Well, it takes have mercy upon me,’ and come back in path we have the techniques of yoga. By
But if we really do a lot of energy to get a week.” When he came back, his teacher practicing Hong Sau and Kriya Yoga we
it, this practice has the there. On the deep- doubled the number. can withdraw the life force from the senses
potential to transform est level practicing Week after week the man returned and and calm the mind in meditation. When the
our lives. Practicing the presence of God the teacher kept increasing the number until mind is calm we begin to feel God’s pres-
the presence of God is means to feel Him in the man’s lips and tongue became numb ence.
a central aspect of this ourselves and in the from repeating the prayer, and his fingers Yogananda said that when we meditate,
spiritual path and an world around us. became calloused from moving the rosary. we should try to feel the presence of God in
enormously powerful Because our minds But gradually the prayer began to go certain ways—as joy, love, or peace. Choose
practice. To be able to are habituated to outward deeper and deeper into his conscious and one of these divine qualities and try to feel
hold onto the conscious- expression, the first level subconscious mind until the day came when that vibration deeply in the heart. Try to
Ram Smith plays the tamboura at
ness of God’s presence of practicing the pres- his teacher said he no longer needed to count, become so connected with it that you iden-
Spiritual Renewal Week,
in daily activity is a very ence of God is to have a and that he should continually practice the tify yourself as that quality.
Ananda Village 2004
high spiritual state. If we more continual relation- prayer during his waking hours. Become identified with God
were able to do it throughout the day, even ship with Him in an outward sense. We should As he did this, he found that the prayer When you can identify yourself as joy,
the hard times would seem like wonderful try to think of God in a form that attracts us—
took on a life of its own. He would wake love, peace or any of the other divine quali-
times. Yogananda, Divine Mother or perhaps another. up in the middle of the night and the prayer ties, you are identified with God. You are
Practicing the presence of God begins But whatever the form, try to think more was still going on. It was as if his heart were actually practicing the presence of God.
with the desire in the heart to be closer to of God. Connect your life with Him in an repeating that prayer. Then, if you can stay in that vibration after
God. As Sri Yukteswar put it, “We can’t attitude of self-offering. Carry on a conver- you leave meditation, and project it as you
Finally, he achieved the state of being
take a single step on the spiritual path with- sation with Him throughout the day. go about your work, you will be practicing
able to pray continuously. And the remain-
out love.” In this context, Sri Yukteswar’s the presence of God on the deepest level.
The ability to pray continuously der of the book is about the remarkable
meaning is love for God, the desire to be
There’s that beautiful story in The Way things that happened as he walked through Unless we can feel God’s presence when
close to Him.
the countryside in such an uplifted state.
To be able to hold onto the consciousness of God’s presence in daily When You Can’t Meditate
activity is a very high spiritual state. by Nicole DeAvilla-Whiting
we’re most quiet and centered, we aren’t accepting of ourselves because it’s not easy
going to feel it when our minds are engaged to do. So don’t get down on yourself or on
in the turmoil of phones ringing, people others. It doesn’t help the process at all.
upset at us, and all the events of daily life. Just put intense love, devotion, and self-
Maybe we can remember to think of Him a offering into your meditation. Offer up to
few minutes a day here and there. Or we can God every thought, every attachment— thoughts were judgmental: “I would never
set our watches on a beeper so that once an everything that keeps you from practicing be like that!”
hour it reminds us to say a little prayer. But the presence of God. Then, after you feel I visualized myself not only as the dedi-
it’s mainly affirmation. God’s presence, go out and try to practice it cated and loving mother, but also the prac-
To practice the presence of God success- for five minutes a day. ticing yogi, and resolved to be teaching yoga
fully throughout the day, you first need to Excerpted from a 1999 talk. Jyotish Novak classes six weeks after giving birth, as slen-
do it deeply in an inner way. It’s a rare per- is spiritual director of the Ananda Sevaka Order, der as I was before pregnancy.
son who can repeat a prayer so deeply and worldwide.
I was slow to accept that the birth of my
continuously that the mind spontaneously first child was changing my life more pro-
goes into a meditative state. foundly than I had expected. My attempts
A slow process to get my spiritual practices back on track
Each day in meditation we should try to Nicole with her son Schuyler, teaching a ended in frustration. I was also gaining
reach the state where the life force and con- mother/child yoga class.
sciousness are withdrawn. We should try to SWAMI KRIYANANDA WRITES Reality slowly sank in. Late one night
go deep enough in meditation to feel God’s that what we judge in others we will have as I was up once again rocking my beloved
presence. If we can feel God’s love or joy to experience ourselves. This is how God child, my body and mind tired from lack of
deeply in our hearts, and then stay in that teaches us compassion. sleep, I made a decision that changed my
vibration for five minutes outside of medita- Before becoming pregnant, I was medi- life.
tion, it will transform our lives and the lives tating at least two hours a day and teaching Dealing with guilt
of those around us 12 – 15 yoga postures classes a week. I was
Jyotish conducting an Ananda wedding First I had to come to terms with my
This is a slow process. We need to be very the San Francisco Ananda meditation group guilt over having judged the other yoga
leader. Now, with two young children, I teacher, and to let go of trying to live up to an
was doing none of that. impossible standard. I realized that holding
Nothing Can Steal My Love for Thee on to preconceptions about what I should
By Paramhansa Yogananda Before my first pregnancy I ran into a be doing was making it harder for me to deal
yoga teacher who told me that since the with the challenges of the moment.
No loud or whispered words of prayer shall steal my love for Thee. birth of her first child, she had given up I was then able to accept that life was not
With the soul’s unspoken language I will express my urge for Thee. teaching. I noticed she had also gained the way it used to be, and would never be
Thy voice is silence, and through my silence, Thou must speak to me weight. My words were consoling, but again. Period. For me, this was a huge and
and tell me Thou didst love me always, but that I knew it not.
I decided that each day I would always find ways to deepen my
From Whispers from Eternity, 1958 edition.
attunement with God and Guru, no matter how modest.