Even after acknowledging that a soul is part of the Supreme, what should a soul do in order to reunite with the Supreme?
A person having strong desire to meet GOD in THIS LIFE, and is willingly to give up everything to attain Him, what should such person do?
Meditation? Maybe... But then how many lives will it take to reach Him?
Yogananda too had a desire to unite, and in the end he had attained God.
How can we unite with God in THIS LIFE?
—Vaibhav Agarwal, India
You are asking the perfect question for this day, 5 January, which is Yogananda’s birthday! He took human birth just for that: to take us to God. And he loved sincere souls, devotees who truly wanted to find liberation.
I will tell you a number of things. Meditate on them all.
First, your mind must be absolutely convinced that you can do it. If there is any doubt, the door will remain closed. Yogananda encourages you: if you are deeply sincere, you CAN unite with God in this life.
Second: there needs to be great intensity. All those who achieve the goal have that high inner intensity, a total passion for their goal. Nobody with medium energy can find God.
Third, you need to be a bit of a “loner.” It is good to mix with other devotees, yes, but also spend much time by yourself, trying to do everything you can to reach your goal. “Seclusion is the price for greatness,” Yogananda taught.
The path to God consists of 50% His grace; 25% the help of the Guru; 25% your own effort. These three together give you a perfect map to follow:
The Grace of God: To reach Him, you need to love Him like the miser loves the money, like the drowning man loves air, like the lover who intensely loves the beloved. God has taken a vow of silence, Yogananda teaches, and only one thing can make Him break that silence: the pure LOVE of a devotee. Read Yogananda’s Whispers From Eternity, which is full of stimulating devotion. Chant. Pray. Be in love with Him.
The Help of a Guru: You need a true Guru, a Sat-Guru who knows God. He can be in the body, or in the subtle body. Attunement with Him will give you the inner power you need to overcome maya, or delusion. Become his utter devotee. Read The New Path by Swami Kriyananda, to understand true discipleship.
Your Own Effort: The 25% mentioned above mean 100% of your personal effort. That effort refers to both your outer life, and your inner life.
The Outer Life: You need to work on overcoming all ego. This is a tough job. Swami Kriyananda wrote a book on it, for sincere persons like you: Sadhu, Beware. Study it, apply it, work on yourself: attachment, sexual desire, pride etc. Both inferiority and superiority complexes must be overcome. Work on becoming what Yogananda called, a diamond which reflects the light of God perfectly, while others may have a charcoal consciousness, filled with ego, which doesn’t reflect much of God’s light.
The Inner Life: Yes, meditation is the way, especially advanced methods like Kriya Yoga. Basically you need to get into the spine, and move from ida and pingala, which represent duality, into the sushumna, which is the inner pathway to God. You also need to use your technique to awaken kundalini. There is no salvation, Yogananda teaches, without awakening kundalini. Intensity, again, is the key. But it must be a relaxed, calm, inward intensity.
The best book to read, I think, which covers all these points, is The Essence of Self-Realization: enlightening quotes from Yogananda, compiled by Swami Kriyananda.
Give it your all. Go for it. But don’t become impatient. Patience is the shortest path to God. “Go with slow speed,” Yogananda told Swami Kriyananda.
I wish you great God-speed,