Samadhi

Question

HOW MANY OF THE INSTRUCTORS AND LEADERS OF ANANDA HAVE ACHIEVED SAMADHI?

—S.Berry, USA

Answer

Paramhansa Yogananda counseled devotees not to discuss or parade one’s spiritual experiences. One should treasure whatever experience of God’s presence has been bestowed. To take a gift and measure and analyze and categorize it, is to lessen it. If one is inwardly prompted to do so for the edification of others than of course to refuse is to hide the lamp under the bushel! So your question is unanswerable.

Perhaps you may also be asking what the qualifications for teaching and leadership are (in relation to such inner experiences). There are at least two levels of samadhi but neither of them are the general standard of spiritual leadership. Indeed to achieve final liberation requires, as Paramhansa Yogananda taught and endorsed the general teaching, that one free at least six others.

Rather, spiritual instruction is one way (of an infinity) some souls serve to achieve their own salvation, while also helping others. It’s a question of dharma and in the case of most spiritual works, including Ananda, the invitation and authorization to do so by appropriate authority (which at Ananda has historically been through Swami Kriyananda, the founder of Ananda and direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda). In this way the lineage and transmission of spiritual vibration remains, generally, intact and one can better avoid any unnecessary karma when such a role is asked of one by another empowered to do so, rather than to take on the role by only one’s own initiative or desire. This is only a general statement however, but it is considered spiritually a safer way.

Some great devotees, in fact, are barred from high, inner experiences perhaps until the end of life, or even later, so they can stay focused on serving God and working out their own karma more quickly.

Blessings,

Hriman, at Ananda in Seattle