Yogananda as a God-realized soul



I read this conversation in Autobiography of a Yogi between Sri Yukteshwar and Yogananda where Yogananda accepts his discipline on the condition that his guru reveal God to him. After a long verbal tussle, he accepts it. I want to ask that when Sri Yukteshwar knew that Yogananda was a God realized soul, why did this conversation take place? This leads to the question that do God-realized ones have to go through everything again in every life to get that first experience of Samadhi again?

—Vinay, India


God-realized souls don’t neccessarily have to go through it all again in every life to experience samadhi. They generally do so, however, as an example to others. The life of a great Master is also a teaching, in and of itself.

That explains why Christ was baptized by John the Baptist – to show others that one must follow the spiritual law of the Guru-Disciple relationship. When Christ sought baptism, John said, “I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?”

Christ responded by saying, “Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.” In other words, it was important to fulfill the spiritual law, even outwardly, to demonstrate the need for a Guru in order to find God-realization.

Swami Kriyananda once asked Paramhansa Yogananda,
“Is it possible, Sir, for a liberated master not to live in a state of samadhi [the highest state of ecstasy]?” He replied: “One never loses the awareness that he is inwardly free.”

Kriyananda went on to explain:

Indeed, when I reflect on avatars like Lahiri Mahasaya, I see that, in order to fulfill their earthly roles – in Lahiri Mahasaya’s case it was to marry, to work like other householders, and to raise a family, and at the same time to be, inwardly, an exalted yogi – they had to accept a certain veil of delusion. It was only when Lahiri Mahasaya met Babaji in the Himalayas that he fully recalled his true spiritual stature.

A liberated master, however, though assigned even the task of walking among worldly people as a worldly person himself, never loses his awareness that nothing in this world can touch him, inwardly.

-From Conversations with Yogananda, by Swami Kriyananda