Hello! I would like to consult about lucid dreams and astral travel. There are authors who point out that these can be a valuable tool for spiritual work. Does Yogananda talk about them? Thank you very much.
—Daniel Ignacio Uribe Galaz, Chile
Paramhansa Yogananda mentions astral travel and lucid dreaming only in passing, as phenomenon that should not be sought out, as important goals in themselves. The may happen naturally as a part of one’s spiritual quest; otherwise, they can cause a spiritual seeker to place too much emphasis on the small, egoic self, instead of focusing our attention on the Higher Self (Self-realization), on God-realization, and most especially on meditation, as a means to attain union with the Divine.
Patanjali, the great exponent of the Eight-Fold Path of Yoga, lists the siddhis, or spiritual powers that may come to one who diligently follows the path of yoga and meditation, but he strongly cautions all sincere spiritual seeker to, “Beware the siddhis!” Yogananda quoted Patanjali frequently on this subject.
Think of it like this: Imagine that you meditating very deeply one day, and at the close of your meditation, you realize that you can fly (which is one of the many siddhis) Next, you step outside and begin to fly around the sky, enjoying yourself immensely. You probably would begin to think: “Isn’t this wonderful! Look at what I can do now, and no one else can!” Thus, your ego has entrapped you, yet again.
If you would like to know what Yogananda says specifically about lucid dreaming, which he called, “taking control of your dreams,” please see my book, The Meaning of Dreaming, available at www.crystalclarity.com, also available on Amazon.