Yogananda and Early Christian Teachings



I am studying comparative religion, and I came accross a few definitions that I found very similar between the teachings of Master, and the early Christian Traditions:

The concept of "theosis" (attainment of likeness of God, union with God).

The concept of "hesychasm" ("stillness, rest, quiet, silence")

(Wikipedia has good information on both concepts).

Has Master ever mentioned anything about those things, or the Christian Orthodox Church methods of attaining Union (Yoga)?


—Otavio Pascarelli, USA


Dear Otavio,

Thank you for your note. Master was quite aware of the many saints in Christianity who strived for and some who achieved union with God. Yogananda was not so much interested in scholarship and researching the writings of such saints, less yet those of theologians, he was yet intuitively aware of the living presence of many saints, e.g., St. Francis, and of the universal path to God.

Thus such terms, though he never spoke of them directly, would have fit in perfectly with his teachings and his own inner experience of God. The term “yoga” itself is essentially “theosis” and stillness and silence are part and parcel of meditation.

There aren’t really “Christian” ways of achieving union with God. The path to God is universal: devotion, seeking, self-offering, and the upward movement of consciousness into perception and finally into union with God. Master knew that many Christian (and other) saints perceived and strived and achieved such high states of consciousness. ok?

Master called his mission in the West and in the world, “Second Coming of Christ.” That was no mere idle boast: he was teaching that the time had come for humanity (devotees, at least) to understand that what Jesus the Christ achieved, we, too, are promised to achieve if we will but make the effort. Christ consciousness is universal and is the indwelling presence of God at the heart of every atom of creation.

The “second” coming of Christ, then, is within us: as Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is within you!” The “first: coming is in the form of the guru to teach and uplift us; the second coming is the awakening of Christ consciousness in our consciousness. (Actually the first coming is in creation itself, but, then, why quibble?)



Nayaswami Hriman