What was the reason that God picked Mary to be the mother of Jesus ?
This is going to be a long answer to a short question. There is so much theological confusion behind what you ask that even in a long answer I can only begin to unravel it. For the "rest of the story," I urge you to read Swamiji's book, Revelations of Christ as Proclaimed by Paramhansa Yogananda.
Master talked about great saints from all religion. But I never found anywhere Master taking about Mahavira or any other Jain Saints. Was there any special reason for this? In Jainism the main emphasis is on liberation thru meditation and right living. As per Jain principles as far as I heard and read, liberation is not possible without leaving all inner as well as outer belongings and it claims that even Ram and 3 Pandavas became Jain muni and became Siddha. They had to leave even their clothes...
You are right, Yogananda taught to revere the saints of all religions, he strongly advocated unity amongst religions, and even called his various temples "Church of All Religions."
Each day, in every group prayer we say at Ananda, we humbly pray to the "saints of all religions."
For Self Realization we hav to reach a stage where our brain is perfect.Does it mean that we have to achieve a level where our intellect becomes strong&does all kinds of reasoning.I sort of hav a lazy attitude toward reasoning.I'm more devotionally inclined.But I realize that some of my friends have better reasoning ability&do math questions quickly.I'm not stupid but I'm not that intelligent either.So in order to perfect my brain should I start using those brain cells which I had been avoiding?
Reason is only one of many abilities our brains are capable of providing us. Though important, reason is perhaps the least important of the mental abilities we can develop. The most important abilities our minds can provide us are higher awareness and discrimination.
Can you describe in more detailed manner the CHRIST CONSCIOUSNESS that PY talks about.
Is there an analogy in Hinduism to Christ Consciousness?
It is interesting that you would ask the question in just this way. Perhaps the reason the question arises is because "Christianity," by its very name, and "Christ" as the focus of that religion, seems to have claimed "Christ Consciousness" as its unique property. Jesus didn't do that, but the church that followed has.
When one attains nirbikalpa samadhi, it is said they then realize their oneness with God and drop their individual egos. My question is: When thousands all over the world tune into Yogananda and the other masters, can they be with every one of them simultaneously? Are their personalities still intact or are they more of a "force of God" at that point? It seems contradictory to be an individual and yet be omnipresent.
Yes, dear Friend. When a soul achieves cosmic consciousness this is to achieve oneness with Infinity. Just as every atom of creation is a manifestation of God's dream and vibration, so a liberated master can be in contact with as many devotees who seek him simultaneously.
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.