Karma and the Guru’s Grace


Want to ask 2 questions:

1.If sister gyanamata had no sins of her own,then why she had taken so much sins of others that she had to suffer so intensely for 20 years?

2.Why Yogananda had begged her life knowing that doing so,she will suffer for 20 years.Why he had not freed her soul(as God himself said that she willnot go until yogananda says so).Seeing Gyanamata in so much pain,whyhe had not allowed her soul to be freed into God?

Had Yogananda Intentionally allowed sister to undergo pain?

—Vaibhav, India


Dear Friend,

Sister Gyanamata was, or so our guru, Paramhansa Yogananda said, without stain of sin in her life as Gyanamata. That doesn’t mean, however, that there wasn’t PAST karma to release.

She was one of the most spiritually advanced disciples of Yogananda. Please understand that “enlightenment” precedes “liberation.” Enlightenment would be the stage of one who has achieved nirbikalpa samadhi: a state of union of soul with God from which there is no “falling back.” (This does NOT mean that such a soul is perpetually in such a state; only that such state is accessible according to grace and karma of the egoless soul.)

Though I cannot state with certainty, it would seem very possible that Gyanamata was enlightened, if not yet liberated. To be liberated one must free at least six other souls. (So Yogananda taught.) When young Swami Kriyananda mentally asked Master (Yogananda) whether Gyanamata had disciples, he responded, “Yes, she would have had to.”

At that stage of consciousness, it is both right and natural to help others. At that stage one has the power to take on the karma of others, willingly upon one’s body, that they might be freed sooner. Why not? To paraphrase the saying, “Once the dinner plate (of the body) has rendered the feast of soul joy, why hold on to it?”

Gyanamata’s guru, therefore, held her in her body for 20 years of suffering in order that she might 1) help others, and by doing so, 2) help herself to achieve final liberation. Why not? Did not Jesus willingly “suffer” on the cross to take on the karma of his disciples? Surely he had no such karma himself? His suffering was not due to his own karma!

As Gyanamata herself wrote once to a disciple, the guru is not afraid to allow the disciple to suffer if it will help him advance spiritually. Our abhorence of physical pain stems from our attachment to the body: this, a function of ego, not the soul. The soul willingly offers its physical life if, in accordance with divine law of karma or inner guidance, it is asked of it.

Fear not, however—we only receive that karma for which we are prepared. Our effort is, in the end, only 25% of what it takes to achieve final liberation. The rest is grace: God and Guru! As Jesus put it: “Sufficient unto the day is the evil (challenges) thereof.” Don’t go looking for trouble! Do your best, for the minutes are more important than the hours!

Joy to you,
Nayaswami Hriman