A New Year's Message from Paramhansa Yogananda, January 1950 Resolve, this coming year, to appreciate the value of time. For how is it possible to solve all the mysteries of the Soul in one short life span unless we make the most of each year? Very few know how much can be accomplished when each day is used wisely and economically.
Vanished the veils of light and shade, Lifted every vapor of sorrow, Sailed away all dawns of fleeting joy, Gone the dim sensory mirage. Love, hate, health, disease, life, death, Perished these false shadows on the screen of duality. Waves of laughter, scyllas of sarcasm, melancholic whirlpools, Melting in the vast sea of bliss. The storm of maya stilled By magic wand of intuition deep. The universe, forgotten dream, subconsciously lurks, Ready to invade my newly wakened memory divine. I live without the cosmic shadow, But it is not, bereft of me; As the sea exists without the waves, But they breathe not without the sea. Dreams, wakings, states of deep turiya, sleep; Present, past, future, no more for me, But ever-present, all-flowing I, I, everywhere. Planets, stars, stardust, earth, Volcanic bursts of doomsday cataclysms, Creation’s molding furnace, Glaciers of silent x-rays, burning electron floods, Thoughts of all men, past, present, to come, Every blade of grass, myself, mankind, Each particle of universal dust, Anger, greed, good, bad, salvation, lust, I swallowed, transmuted all Into a vast ocean of blood of my own one Being! Smoldering joy, oft-puffed by meditation, Blinding my tearful eyes, Burst into immortal flames of bliss, Consumed my tears, my frame, my all. Thou art I, I am Thou, Knowing, Knower, Known, as One! Tranquilled, unbroken thrill, eternally living, ever new peace! Enjoyable beyond imagination of expectancy, samadhi bliss! Not a mental chloroform Or unconscious state without wilful return, Samadhi but extends my conscious realm Beyond limits of the mortal frame To farthest boundary of eternity Where I, the Cosmic Sea, Watch the little ego floating in me. The sparrow, each grain of sand, fall not without my sight. All space like an iceberg floats within my mental sea. Colossal Container, I, of all things made. By deeper, longer, thirsty, guru-given meditation Comes this celestial samadhi. Mobile murmurs of atoms are heard, The dark earth, mountains, vales, lo! molten liquid! Flowing seas change into vapors of nebulae! Aum blows upon vapors, opening wondrously their veils, Oceans stand revealed, shining electrons, Till, at last sound of the cosmic drum, Vanish the grosser lights into eternal rays Of all-pervading bliss. From joy I came, for joy I live, in sacred joy I melt. Ocean of mind, I drink all Creation’s waves. Four veils of solid, liquid, vapor, light, Lift aright. Myself, in everything, enters the Great Myself. Gone forever, fitful, flickering shadows of mortal memory. Spotless is my mental sky, below, ahead, and high above. Eternity and I, one united ray. A tiny bubble of laughter, I Am become the Sea of Mirth Itself.
By Paramhansa Yogananda
It was in the fall of 1966 that I found Autobiography of a Yogi, although in truth I think it found me. It was a time of great transition in my life. I had graduated from college and moved to San Francisco a few months earlier, and was just starting out as an independent adult. I was looking for a direction, having felt that my major in college, psychology, was simply not capable of answering the questions I had long been asking. I was interested in awareness, in the scope of human consciousness, and in happiness. More schooling was not going to give me what I was seeking. And yet, where was I to turn? I had long abandoned religion, at least the formalized “Churchianity” I was given in my youth.
Paramhansa Yogananda’s mission was to help usher the whole world, with greater understanding and spiritual insight, into Dwapara Yuga, the new Age of Energy in which we live. It was a world-changing mission, and therefore his teachings needed to be revolutionary. In some cases what he taught was well known in India but created a revolution in the West. Others of his teachings were completely new to this age. Let’s look at some of both.
“Surely this must be the cave itself! It matches every description given in Autobiography of a Yogi.” We were listening, enthralled, to a remarkable tale of the search for Babaji’s cave, the existence of which was revealed to the world by Paramhansa Yogananda in that book.
Once when Swami Kriyananda was a young monk, he was sitting quietly at the feet of his guru, Paramhansa Yoganandaji. Filled with devotion for his master, Swamiji silently prayed, “Teach me to love you as you love me.”
For many years Paramhansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi has been a source of inspiration and guidance for me. Not only because of the wisdom, love, and joy that radiate from every page, but also because it has repeatedly served as a living channel to answer specific questions in my life.