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Yoga and Islam

Kristian
Norway

Question

A great strength of Yogananda's teachings is the possible unity with all of the major religions, although this requires a considerable amount of slightly unobvious or esoteric interpretations of the lore and creed of these religions. Some of the religions, like Christianity, have been directly addressed by Yogananda and Swami Kriyananda in their writings (e.g., Revelations of Christ). However, are there any teachings or writings directly concerning Islam, the Koran, or the masters of that branch?

Nayaswami Anandi

Answer

Dear Kristian,

Thank you for your question. The masters of India say that there is only one religion, the Eternal Religion, or the soul's quest for union with the Divine. Each religion will foster that in a special way. Another way of saying this is "Many paths, one goal."

Yogananda was specifically sent to the United States, a primarily Christian country, with the mission to show the underlying unity of the "original Christianity" of Jesus and the "original yoga" of Krishna. He may have made some reference to Islam, but it was not the "assignment" given to him by God.

In Whispers from Eternity Yogananda offers prayers to great Masters of different religions. He offers the following prayer to Mohammed:

Come to me as Mohammed

O Mohammed, thou flaming Child of God! in the bright luster of thy martial, celestial song many found courage for their chivalrous souls, eager as they were to rescue the damsel, knowledge, from the tyrant of soul-darkness.

None but divine warriors could ever win the battle between inner peace and the outer weaknesses of lustful pleasure. Therefore alone have thy soldiers dipped rapiers of shining goodness into the heart of poisonous evil, enlightening its inner, soul life.

Mohammed, iconoclast of all matter-reminding idols, thou didst teach the worship of the One Formless God, beyond all distorting dreams of symbols and forms.

Mohammed, thy teachings warned men not to stray into dry pastures of earthly sense-lusts, but to graze in rich fields of the immortal mind.

Thy followers are drawn to thee as the mortal enemy of sense-drugging, thought-devastating, God-banishing liquors and opiates. Thou didst teach that the lust for wine of the grape is man's misguided craving for the real Wine extracted from the winepress of sincere, regular Namaz, bowing before God.

Mohammed, thy lighthouse, the Koran, has guided many stray soul-ships safely past underwater rocks of sin, and led them, undamaged, to His shore.

Thou didst teach by thy example, through occasional fasting and through eliminating the grosser foods, inviting the Spirit to descend onto the altar of refinement and soul-nectar.

Mohammed, with the beat of war-drums saying Allah Ho Akbar, “God is Supreme,” help me to drive away from my life the Satan of matter-immersion.

May thy war-songs of spiritual power overcome the forces of frailty and all limitation when they invade our hearts.

In divine friendship,

Anandi

 

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From Paramhansa Yogananda