Paramhansa Yogananda’s Spiritual Family
Devotees sometimes ask, “Do souls that have been born on this earth keep reincarnating here?” Master’s reply, when I once posed this question to him, was, “No, there are innumerable planets to go to.” He added, “If they returned always to the same one, they might find out too quickly!
Divine perception must be earned, in other words. It is not the “plot” of this cosmic drama for wisdom to be thrust upon anyone, uninvited; one must employ personally the sword of discrimination. The house of mirrors must lose its fascination because one has seen through its tricks, rather than merely because, by constant repetition, the reflections have ceased to interest him.
In one respect, however, the soul does tend toward a long repetition of outward associations: in its relationships with other souls. An example may help here.
In the nebulous gasses of infinite space, the atoms drift about at great distances from one another; the average, so I have read, may be as much as seventeen miles: much too far for their gravitational fields to attract one another. But if two atoms happen to drift together, their combined field makes it easier for them to attract a third atom. For three it is still easier to attract a fourth.
Thus, an occasional ball of matter keeps on growing until its gravitational field encompasses at last a radius of many millions of miles. At some point in this process a mighty implosion occurs, as nebulous gasses are sucked inward from vast distances. The gravitational force of this huge mass becomes so great that changes occur within the structure of the atoms themselves: A shining star is born.
The soul, similarly, in its gradual progress toward divine wisdom, develops the “gravitational” power by which it attracts and holds the understanding it needs for enlightenment, until at last, in the firmament of living beings, it becomes a veritable “star.”
In the same way, too, the soul develops the gravitational pull to form meaningful and lasting relationships with other souls. Gradually, in its outer life, it, and others with whom it is spiritually compatible, form great families of souls that return to earth, or to other planets, to work out their salvation — not only inwardly on themselves, but by interaction with one another. To achieve divine emancipation, it is necessary to spiritualize one’s relations with the objective world and with other human beings, as well as with God.
The stronger the family, spiritually speaking, the greater its attractive pull on new souls that may still be wandering in search of an identity of their own. A family evolves with its individual members; at last it, too, becomes a “star” in the firmament of humanity, and begins to produce great souls of Self-realization.
As spiritual “stars,” such great families become powerful for the general upliftment of mankind. Like stars, too, they then draw “planets” of less-evolved families into their beneficial auras, vitalizing them with rays of divine truth. Such families are like mighty nations. To them is given the real task of guiding the human race — not in the way governments do, by official ordinances, but by subtler, spiritual influence.
Yogananda’s is one such spiritual family. His forms part of a greater spiritual “nation” of which Jesus Christ and Sri Krishna (in this age, Babaji) are also leaders. Yogananda, like William the Conqueror at Hastings, came to America to establish a beachhead — not, in this case, of worldly conquest, but of divine communion. Many have been born and are being born in the West to assist him in his mission. Many others are being attracted to it for the first time by the radiant magnetic influence, the spiritual “gravitational field,” it has created.
From: Swami Kriyananda – A Life in God. Available Fall 2013 from Crystal Clarity Publishers