I, of course, believe Yoganandaji to be an avatar. However, it brings up several questions in my mind.
When Yogananda met Sri Yukteswar, he made him promise that he would reach God realization within this lifetime. But if he was an avatar, did he not already reach this state?
Also, after his guru died, he said that a blackness had polluted the river of bliss that had been flowing in him. How could this be so? I do not understand, though of course I still believe it to be so.
—Brandon Olivares, United States
This is a very good question, one which I’m sure a number of people have wondered about. Yogananda, as an avatar, played a particular role in this lifetime, one that would help many truthseekers to better understand the process involved in finding God. To accomplish this he portrayed himself as a humble seeker and describes going through what anyone would who engages seriously in the search for God. This is also how he portrays himself in his very well-known book, Autobiography of a Yogi.
For this reason he asks his guru the questions any serious seeker might ask (such as will he give him God-realization), and describes going through a dark time when his guru dies. These things would be natural for most devotees and yet they might think them unspiritual. Yogananda, by describing going through this himself, acknowledges that such feelings are natural. But he also shows how to respond to them and how to move forward, even when faced with the darkness of death.
By going through these things Yogananda portrays himself, as what he actually is: a soul who has indeed been where we are and has had to go through all the sorrows and suffering that human life entails, but one who has evolved beyond that level of consciousness, as we also will do, as we grow spiritually.
I would suggest that you re-read the Autobiography of a Yogi with these thoughts in mind. I think you will find this both inspiring and deepening to your own spiritual life.
Each one of us goes through this spiritual evolution until we attain what Yogananda has attained and merge completely, and permanently, into superconsciousness and into God’s light.