What Are Angels?


Hi!I recently came across an article about how there are guardian angles above us who always want to love us and protect us, about how they constantly send signs through clouds, feathers, coins, music, flowers, and butterflies when asked for. They lovingly help us when we are lost, provided we have faith in them. If we miss out signs and ask for more, they gladly oblige. All these sound so comforting and soothing. Who are these angles? Are they representatives of God or our departed loved ones?

—Sangita, India


Dear Sangita,

Yes, Yogananda and Kriyananda both speak of angels. They primarily dwell in the Astral Worlds, but are able to help us out here on Earth. They are messengers of God and are spoken of in the Jewish-Christian Bible many times.

They are special creations and representatives of God, but they are not our departed loved ones — they are on a different evolutionary track from human beings.

Here’s a little bit of what Swami Kriyananda has said about angels: “Angels are beings through which God works to create, sustain, and guide this universe. There are mighty angels, lesser angels, guardian angels, and so on. It’s right and good to offer love to them, but at the same time we should pay attention to what Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita: ‘Those who worship the lessor Gods, go to their Gods. Those who worship me [which is to say the Cosmic, Infinite Consciousness], come to me’.”

He also says: “The best practice is to call to God in whatever aspect one finds most inspiring, but then also to invoke the help of a great master, saint, or angel in order that, by attuning oneself to their love for God, one come to understand pure love, and thereby deepen one’s own love for Him.

“Through great masters, and to a lesser degree through saints and the angels in heaven, God responds in a special way. For it is their mission, as conscious emissaries of His love, to help those who long for spiritual understanding. Visualizing God in any form is a means of activating His response. Through awakened or highly advanced souls [the great masters], however, God is already working for the salvation of mankind.”

I have heard Swamiji say that the great Masters, such as Yogananda, or Jesus, or Krishna, are much more highly spiritually advanced than the angels. And more important for human being, they can respond much more directly to our spiritual needs, having evolved through the same process that we are going through and found final liberation. After their own liberation, they were given a special mission from God to help struggling souls find liberation also.

To express this in a more personal or down-to-earth way, I’d put it like this: If I’ve lost my car keys, I might appeal to my guardian angel or a saint to help me out. But for spiritual help of any kind, I go to God through my Gurus!