Video and Audio

Does Satan Exist? (With Erin Vinacco)

Erin Vinacco
August 14, 2022

Sunday Service with Erin Vinacco and Nayaswami Ananta and Nayaswami Maria at Ananda Village, recorded August 14th 2022.

Delusion seems to be an obvious force in life, but it can catch us with its subtle ways: sometimes appearing to be good disguised as our likes and dislikes and desires.

In this Sunday Service, Erin talks about the two currents of consciousness: one that draws us downward and outward to attachment and another that brings us inward and upward back towards our true home in God and Spirit.

She raises the question many may ask themselves: if all is God, why would He create delusion? Erin continues to share solutions: now that I am here, what can I do to get out of delusion?

This week's reading from Swami Kriyananda's book "Rays of the One Light" is:

Does Satan Exist?

Truth is one and eternal. Realize oneness with it in your deathless Self, within.

The following commentary is based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda.

The Bible tells us in Chapter 4 of the Gospel of St. Matthew:

Then [after baptism] was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.

To most modern minds, this passage seems quaintly obsolete. Psychologists would say – have said, in fact – that the temptation of Jesus, if it occurred at all, was purely psychological. They call it a projection of desires lurking in his own subconscious mind.

The subconscious plays a strong part, certainly, even if not a unique one, in any testing the spiritual seeker must undergo.

The Bhagavad Gita, in dealing with this undeniable reality, quotes Arjuna in the third Chapter, and then Sri Krishna’s reply:

“Yet tell me, Teacher! [said Arjuna] by what force doth man

Go to his ill, unwilling; as if one

Pushed him in that path?”

[Krishna replied:]

“Desire it is!

Passion it is! born of the Darknesses,

Which pusheth him. Mighty of appetite,

Sinful, and strong is this! – man’s enemy!”

Yet even Krishna describes passion as “born of the Darknesses.” The fact is, as Paramhansa Yogananda wrote in Autobiography of a Yogi, “All thoughts vibrate eternally in the cosmos.…Thoughts are universally and not individually rooted; a truth cannot be created, but only perceived.” Psychology, yes, but psychology attuned to currents of consciousness that pervade the entire universe, attracted by each of us according to our own personal inclinations.

Yogananda, quoted in The Path, said, “I used to think Satan was only a human invention, but now I know, and add my testimony to that of others who lived before me, that Satan is a reality. He is a universal, conscious force whose sole aim is to keep all beings bound to the wheel of delusion.”

We should take pains, then, to attract uplifting currents of universal consciousness, and to avoid attracting the negative, which – disease that it is! – can infect our thoughts even while it leads us to believe that our thoughts are purely our own.

Thus, through holy Scripture, God has spoken to mankind.