I am profoundly drawn to Yogananda as my Guru (since 1984), but have great difficulty reconciling my Jewish heritage with the Christian focus in the teachings. (Years ago, I stopped Kriya, but still do Hong Sau). I felt drawn back again and found Ananda-just ordered the courses. But can I truly be a Devotee if I cannot accept Christ or Christian celebrations like Christmas? After more than two decades wrestling with this issue, I hope you can provide guidance to help me resolve it. Thx
Yogananda called his places of worship, “Churches of All Religions,” because the teachings he brought, and especially Kriya Yoga, are a universal path to God. The practice of meditation and Kriya are not limited by any religious creed or affiliation, but are based on the Yogic Sciences which deal with the evolution of consciousness.
When Yogananda speaks of Jesus, he explains in great depth that he is speaking of a liberated Master, who has attained “Christ consciousness,” or oneness with God. This is the goal of all yogic practices. He is not referring to him as Christians typically do in a sectarian sense.
The outward celebrations of Easter or Christmas are not at all central to the teachings of this path. They are symbolic of honoring one of our line of gurus who is helping to unite the best of East and West.
Yogananda said that part of his mission was to bring back the original teachings of Christianity as taught by Jesus and the original teachings of India as taught by Krishna. And after all, Jesus was a Jew, so with your Jewish heritage you are more prepared to understand them as they were originally taught. As Jesus said, “I come not to destroy the law and the prophets but to fulfill them.”