Obejctivity?! Dear friends. I love Yoganandaji. His teachings give me strength. But I doubt we all are objectiv. First off, I've never experienced samadhi or god. Thoughts are creative and powerful, aren't they? One gives his whole life to god. Focusing on HIS IMAGE of god. Then sometime he finds god. But is that real god or his imaginary god? Same with meditation! Where is the objective god behind the notion? Can we really get there by "becoming" something?
You are right that we all see life through our own lenses, colored by our expectations, karma, and level of consciousness.
Does that mean that experiences such as samadhi and God-contact might be products of our own imagination, not real at all? I can easily believe that such is the case for many people who say they have had high spiritual experiences. But is it the case for all people, as you suggest?
Yogananda's first American disciple, Dr. Lewis, once asked that same question. Paraphrasing: "I've been visualizing samadhi all these years. How will I know, when I attain it, whether or not it is just a product of my own imagination?"
Yogananda's answer was simple: "You will know, and you will know that you know."
That level of knowing does not come from the conscious or subconscious mind. It does not come from the level of consciousness that asks the question. It is direct, superconscious, intuitive perception. We cannot "prove" such things in the sense that physical science demands proof: showing irrefutable evidence to another person. It is personal, subjective. But that does not mean it is unreal. No, it is, rather, a higher level of reality.
That is why it is so important to follow the guidance of those who we believe have achieved that state. True, we cannot know for certain whether they have achieved it. Our belief is the best we can do. But belief will motivate us to try the experiment for ourselves, and eventually (so the great masters tell us) we will know for certain. But only for ourselves; it won't prove anything to others, except to the extent that they are able to resonate with us. Such is the subtlety of spiritual reality.
And by the way, I am not aware of Yogananda ever speaking of "becoming something." Quite the contrary, he emphasized that we need to stop being something: the little bundle of self-definitions that limit us, that keep us separate from our own God-nature, that keep us from perceiving who and what we really are.
I hope this helps.
What does it really take to achieve true spiritual success?
A great question, and very vast, as achieving true spiritual success encompasses the whole life of a spiritual aspirant. It is a goal not only you, but all of us are after.
There are two answers to consider: the personal answer, individual in nature; and the general answer, valid for everyone.
In the chapter "Ressurrection of Sri Yukteswar," from Autobiography of a Yogi, it says:
"The undeveloped man must undergo countless earthly and astral and causal incarnations in order to emerge from his three bodies. A master who achieves this final freedom may elect to return to earth as a prophet to bring other human beings back to God, or like myself he may choose to reside in the astral cosmos."
Is he saying that he has already achieved this final freedom and has merged with God? Same as Jesus?
Yogananda often used the phrase "Christlike masters" to refer to great souls like Sri Yuteswar who had acheived the same "final freedom" as Jesus.
Christlike masters are alike in their utter freedom from all karma and limited awareness, but unalike in their earthly roles. Jesus' role on earth was that of a Savior. His life was led (as we know) very publicly for the purpose of reaching millions with his message and his grace.
In the path of self realization or realization of Brahma, where is the place of God? I did several inquiries (self) and cannot find a place! Precisely my doubt is, is it necessary to have faith in God to realize the Self? And is it a prerequisite to leave normal life to seek the spiritual life?
It may be a matter of how you understand the term 'God'!
In the deepest sense, God is beyond any human description. But the teachings of yoga also emphasize that God is within every aspect of creation. The Self in Self-realization refers to the oneness in spirit that we come to experience as we go beyond ego attachment. In otherwords, the Self is the individualized expression of Spirit or God.
When an enlightened soul chooses to reincarnate on Earth in order to help humanity or for any other reason, does this being know he is enlightened since the moment he has consciousness after birth? Or, he is born ignorant of this and later in his life he realizes his true nature? How does this work?
The way Swami Kriyananda explained it is that, for the enlightened being, to incarnate in the material world is like going to a movie that he has seen before. He knows the whole plot already. Even as a baby his consciousness is free. Still, he allows himself to get caught up in the story, for the sake of setting an example for others.
Why is it that people keep asking. If God exist why does bad things happend ?
Why is it that they don`t understand that humans are behind most of the bad things that happens ?
True, human beings are the instrument through which things happen - bad and good.
The question is, then, what is a human being? Where do thoughts come from? Why are some people noble and others despicable? Do we act entirely on our own or are we subject to influences we may not be aware of?
I have read how we are more evolved than animals as we have free will, and we can use that will to choose what we do and how we live. But I have also read that none of what we do is our (individual) doing - its all god acting through us, even when we are creating bad karma. Do we make our own spiritual choices? or not? Thanks
What distinguishes human beings from lower forms of life - what makes the human a "higher" form - is self-awareness. A dog or cat may perform an amazing feat of intuition, crossing the country, for example, to find an owner who has moved from New York to California, and left the pet behind.
How can i find God again ?
Where do i look ?
The word "God" in English is a very unsatisfactory word, because it has no specific meaning. Many people who say they don't believe in God are rejecting only the dogmas associated with that word.
When it comes to spiritual matters, Sanskrit is much more satisfactory. There are literally hundreds of words that can all be translated into English as "God." Putting aside the gods and goddesses, which are a whole other subject, most of the words for "God" in Sanskrit describe specific experiences, such as peace (Shanti) or joy (Ananda).