Easter Messages from Yogananda: “Be a Fast-Footed Bunny!”
Easter has always been my favorite holiday. How about you? For me it always feels very inspiring — like a dynamic resurrection from the inertia brought on by the cold of winter. As the plants and animals all around me start to bud, grow, or awaken, I feel like leaping and dancing through the green meadows (and sometimes I do!).
At Ananda Village, we’ve had an especially long, wet, and very cold winter this year. But it’s slowly but surely turning into a glorious springtime. Hallelujah!
About a month or go, someone asked me to research what Master and Swamiji have had to say about the deeper meaning of the Easter season. So I spent a little time compiling this information, and in the process, finding some especially good sayings in Master’s older articles, lectures, etc., from the 1930’s and ’40’s. It turned out to be a fairly large document, but it is filled with great fun and joy.
Here are a few of my favorite HAPPY EASTER excerpts:
From Inner Culture magazine, April 1938
Easter may bring lilies, bunnies, and eggs for you to celebrate Christ’s resurrection; but I pray that the lily of Christ wisdom grow in the garden of your soul, that you taste the sweetness of Christ love in your heart, that you enjoy the infinitely colored egg of true happiness — and that, like the fast-footed bunny, may you quicken your pace towards your divine home.
From Inner Culture magazine, April 1935
Christ was resurrected not only on Easter morning, but He reanimates Himself in the dawn of each soul’s awakening. Our souls die every day, whenever we are buried in the tomb of ignorance, and we resurrect ourselves again in cosmic wisdom. Banish the death-consciousness perceived during the sleep of delusion, and resurrect your soul in the ever-reigning Light of immortality. Let this be your Easter awakening.
From: “Why Celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus?” Inner Culture magazine, April 1937
The anniversary of the resurrection is mechanically celebrated at Easter by a great many people, merely as a historical event in the life of Christ. Even this much is good, but if one is really in earnest and prays unceasingly with intensity, and if he gets inspiration, guidance, and advice from God-known saints, he too will be able to see Jesus Christ resurrected in the flesh.
As the invisible gas represented by the formula H2O can be condensed by cold into liquid water, and then can be further condensed into an iceberg, so also God, or Spirit, can be frozen into the forms of Jesus Christ or any other liberated or enlightened soul, by the condensing power of strong, unceasing devotion.
The celebration of the resurrection merely as a matter of form and custom, as a religious ceremony, is of some meager value, but to celebrate Easter with the supreme desire and determination to make an unceasing effort at meditation and spiritual development until the resurrection of Christ is witnessed in the flesh — this is really worth while.
From: East West magazine, April 1933
Just as sound may be caged in the mouth but when uttered travels all over the universe, ever expanding spherically in all directions, so the soul, caged in the body, when resurrected into the ether by right meditation, forgets the confinement of the little body and expands with the cosmic vibration into the Eternal Omnipresence.
The celebration of the resurrection of Jesus on the first Easter morn should not end only in gifts of colored eggs to the children, feasting, and new spring hats. One must learn to resurrect the soul from its long sleep and from its sense attachments.
From: The Promise of Immortality: Chapter 15, “Resurrection, and the Meaning of Divine Tests,” by Nayaswami Kriyananda
[On] the subject of the resurrection, not only have there been other great masters besides Jesus, including many who lived long before him: There have been masters, also, who resurrected their bodies after death.
The case of Jesus was extraordinary, certainly, but it was not unique. One marvelous account of physical resurrection is detailed in Paramhansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi, in the chapter titled, “The Resurrection of Sri Yukteswar.” Christian saints, also, have been known to appear in their physical bodies to disciples after death….
Christ’s resurrection was an outward act, but it symbolized a great inward truth: That person whose love remains firm through all trials finds himself resurrected at last into eternal bliss.
The teaching of the resurrection applies also to life generally. Resurrection signifies, as Paramhansa Yogananda put it, “any beneficial or uplifting change.” In this sense, resurrection can be experienced repeatedly throughout life.
Have a very blessed Easter and remember to do as Master tells us and be “…like the fast-footed bunny, quickening your pace towards your divine home.”