The goal of all yoga practice is to bring the life force into the spine, the altar of Spirit, where one worships God as ever-new joy. When we are fully in control of the mind, Paramhansa Yogananda said, “it will be like the coat you hang on a peg: it will stay there” in God consciousness.
Unfortunately, as every meditator knows, the mind during meditation often jumps around like a grasshopper. A story encouraging to every meditator took place one day in Sri Yukteswar’s sitting room, where the young Yogananda was trying to meditate. His thoughts, however, were “scattered like birds before the hunter.”
In Autobiography of a Yogi, Yogananda recounts how his guru kept calling him, using his childhood name:
“Mukunda!” Sri Yukteswar’s voice sounded from a distant inner balcony.
I felt as rebellious as my thoughts. “Master always urges me to meditate,” I muttered to myself. “He should not disturb me when he knows why I came to his room.”
He summoned me again; I remained obstinately silent. The third time his tone held rebuke.
“Sir, I am meditating,” I shouted protestingly.
“I know how you are meditating,” my guru called out, “with your mind distributed like leaves in a storm! Come here to me.”
Exposed, I made my way sadly to his side.
Sri Yukteswar then said, “Poor boy…. Your heart’s desire shall be fulfilled.” Then he struck Mukunda gently on his chest… his breath was drawn out of his lungs, and Mukunda was blessed with Cosmic Consciousness.
One might say, “But Yogananda was an avatar and he’d already achieved Cosmic Consciousness.” The avatars, however, incarnate to show us how we, too, can find God. The great Kriya Masters have given each of us a sacred promise. On their behalf, Yogananda conveyed their holy pledge:
You must be true to yourself and to us. We are in earnest and are resolved to show you that Cosmic Consciousness is attainable in one life, if you properly and continuously cooperate in this Divine endeavor.
The Masters have offered us their God-attuned power, and given us meditation practices that dynamically draw our consciousness toward Spirit. We’ve been blessed with everything we need to attain the divine goal. Let us continuously cooperate with the Great Ones and help them fulfill their promise.
Because the spiritual path is often potholed with challenges, one must be like a tractor that moves easily over the ups and downs of life. One doesn’t have to be outwardly perfect to be worthy of God; he just needs to keep moving toward Him. When you approach God with love and self-offering, He promises that “I will make good your deficiencies and render permanent your gains” (words of Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita.)
A few years ago in the Swedish Archipelago, I was giving a nature awareness program on an island nature preserve. My body was ill with a fever, and after a full day of teaching outdoors, I tried to meditate to prepare for the following day. However, due to the fever I could only meditate a few minutes.
During my short meditation, I prayed to God to help me be able to teach well the next day, because the program was an important one, with leaders coming from all over Sweden. That night while I was asleep, I tangibly felt God’s loving touch; it was so palpable and thrilling that I immediately woke up. I felt as if I had had a deep and long meditation.
Although my body was still unwell, the joy of God’s presence carried me throughout the day. He had made good my deficiency.
All that God and the Masters want from us—is that we try.
In divine friendship,