Can We Rise Above the Yuga in Which We Live?


Regarding the yugas, is it not a personal and consequently a cultural choice as to what era one is living in? Karmically as well as physically and spiritually? Should not we all make a grander assumption for ourselves and just live in our own present time—not project antiquated notions on our societies and other persons? There are so many illumined masters about choosing to live life simply, making as little karmic and adharmic an imprint on the world at this time. Be the change in the world.

—, Usa


Dear Joann,

I agree with you in spirit. We should all seek to realize, and express, our own highest potential — regardless of our unfolding karma, astrological chart, or the yugic age in which we live. Yogananda said that all conditions are neutral and that we make them good or bad by our own reactions to them. Yogananda challenged astrologers to pick his worst periods — then went out and accomplished difficult tasks during those periods — just to show that we should not be slaves to outer influences. Our spiritual destiny is to see through the dream-nature of this seeming reality around us and to manifest our Divinity.

On the other hand, Yogananda said that when we hit our dream head against a dream wall, our dream head will hurt. Until we rise above all influence, until we truly know that the seeming reality around us is indeed a dream, it will influence us. It’s important to note that Yogananda did not discount astrology. He merely demonstrated that, with will power, we can rise above it’s negative influence — and use the positive influences to our advantage.

Dwapara Yuga’s influence can be used for good or bad — used badly it encourages people to seek their happiness through self-interest and the building personal power. It’s not hard to see the results of its influence all around us. But that same influence, taken inwardly, can lead to powerful experiences of our life force (prana) and, controlling our life force (pranayama), can take us deep into communion with Spirit.

The potential of pranayama is Dwapara’s gift.

I like to compare this way of accepting and adapting to outer influences to the martial art of Aikido. In Aikido, one is trained to take the motion of one’s opponent and use it against them. To take, say, the energy of an opponent’s forward strike, to move them past one and then put him in an arm lock. In this way, one doesn’t have to generate all the energy oneself.

I urge you to flow with the influence of Dwapara, ride the energy like a surfer rides a wave. Use it to help you manifest the highest within you — which will make it possible to rise above it’s very influence.

Warm regards,
Puru (Joseph) Selbie