Are there any instances where one is trying to contact God, but instead encounters an astral being? How do I know whether I am contacting God and not any astral entity? Also who really are the astral beings, are they different from the personal forms of God we worship?
Astral beings can be of all sorts, just like human beings: from the darkest to the brightest. They are completely different from the personal forms of God we worship. God takes many such forms for the devotee, but it is always God. The high astral beings on the other hand are not God, not even the angels. Even Masters, Yogananda says, are higher than the angels, or high astral beings.
Your question, I assume, is about “bright” inner experiences: how do you know that they don’t come from a high astral entity, from an angel (deva)?
It is true, angels (devas) do come to us. They help us, inspire us, comfort us, elevate us, accompany us to the other world at death. Swami Kriyananda said that sometimes he had the feeling that an angel was sitting on his shoulder giving him inspired music.
So how can we know if an inspiration, experience, or inner contact is truly from God, or if it comes from a high astral entity?
The same could be asked about a true Master: might an inner contact come from him or her, or does it come straight from God?
God uses angels, Yogananda teaches. He also uses the Masters. I would say, if the experience is uplifting, pure, divine, don’t worry if it has come to you directly from God or through one of his instruments. We simply can’t know.
If however it is not a pure experience, being mixed with lower colors, unclean perceptions, maybe strange sounds, and if it is not deeply calm, disregard that experience. Don’t focus on it. It’s not from God, the angels, or superconsciousness.
I hope I answered your question. If not, please let me try again.
In divine friendship,