Namaste. I believe PYji has described experiencing the state of oneness with God as infinite & eternal, but also as ever-expanding, unending, ever-new; the latter seems to suggest the notion of space/time; but I'm also under the impression that God as Spirit/Absolute/Sat-Chit-Ananda is beyond space/time? Perhaps related: Are all spiritual Masters/Gurus (such as of PY's lineage) in exactly the same state & differences such as Guru-disciple relationships exist only in maya for benefit of mankind?
—John C, USA
It just so happens that I very recently wrote a lengthy article on just this subject.
Describing such states with words and using the intellect has inherent limitations, but of course we use our God-given intellect to attempt to comprehend what is true – even that which is beyond the intellect! So let’s give it a try.
Paramhansa Yoganandaji is attempting to say that the state of Oneness is not a static or idle state. How can one circumscribe Infinity itself? At the same time God is unchanging and eternal. It is difficult for our intellects to put these two together but intuitively it makes “perfect” sense. For the first statement (static) implies limitation while the second implies change. But there you have it!
Another point Yoganandaji is attempting to convey is that the state of Oneness is forever satisfying, beguiling, and relishable. The Christian image of sitting up in heaven for an eternity strumming a harp or chanting Alleluia doesn’t sound very appealing (to me, at least).
God is both within creation (space/time), yet untouched by it, and, at the same time, transcendent (beyond His creation). How can we comprehend this? Again, intuitively it seems, how could God be anything less than this?
Yogananda taught that once the soul has achieved liberation it is on the same level of realization as all other such souls. Their subsequent roles, should they re-incarnate, may vary widely on the stage of human affairs. (See my blog article on this last point).
And yes, it seems the avatars play out a kind of human drama that suggests they are not always in the state of omnipresence, or even, of awareness of their own state (of omnipresence).
Evidently, the masters willingly accept the duality and limitations imposed upon the body by the duality of God’s creation. This doesn’t mean they fall karmic victim to maya (delusion), so much as it means that cosmic consciousness is often veiled from their “eyes” as they perform their God-directed duties.
This is unimportant to them because they are free in God.
They willingly accept the task given to them and relinquish, for a time or at times, the bliss of their God-contact for the sake of their duties to help struggling souls. This helps them, too, to better relate to their circumstances and the souls they come to help.