Monday, August 29, 2011

The Holy Science - The Last Chapter

This is my final blog post on Swami Sri Yukteswar's (only) book, The Holy Science. I've never encountered a book so abstruse (meaning deep but requiring depth to plumb) by one who I accept as Self-realized. Many a book can be found that seems abstruse or deep but only by obfuscation imitating realization. This is not one such book. While Sri Yukteswar's greatest disciple, Paramhansa Yogananda wrote and lectured in ways more transparent and attuned to modern culture and hence I recommend those writings (and those of his direct disciple, Swami Kriyananda), I can still appreciate the timelessness and the culturally transcendent vibration of The Holy Science. One can glean from its reading, therefore, a wisdom that touches the "cells" and the higher Self, bypassing the intellect's obvious inability to rationalize his writings into a "system."

In the last chapter of the book, Chapter 4, THE REVELATION, Sri Yukteswar pulls the veil from the eternal truth ("Sanaatan Dharma). He begins by describing three stages of "adeptship." The publisher's English translation uses this term "adeptship" which is rarely employed these days but which we can assume as "mastery" (self-mastery or becoming a "master").

The three stages are aligned with the physical body, the subtle (astral) body, and the causal body of the mind. Natural living can help purify the body. "Penance" (another somewhat out of date term) describes the purification of our feeling sense, or astral / electrical body. Patience is the way to purify the astral body. It is the art of remaining even-minded and cheerful under all circumstances. A yogi might say it is the calming of the chitta (the emotional and reactive processes). Sri Yukteswar uses the term "magnetic body" to describe the causal body and says that purification of the mind comes through the power of mantra. Wow: how are we going to understand these simple but incredibly deep solutions? Mantra is not just repeating a word formula. It is a vibration of consciousness. Mantras as we know them are portals to higher consciousness and should be used intelligently, with will power and devotion. True mantra is not merely recited but actually heard in meditation. A great of reverence and sacred tradition accompanies the giving of mantras from the guur or teacher to the chela, or disciple. Indeed, Sri Yukteswar says simply that one must learn these practices from one's guru.

This purification process is greatly aided by control of the breath and through techniques that would reveal to one the inner sound of Aum. Aum can, he writes, even arrest the decay of body cells. He says that the Aum sounds appears in different forms as we progress spiritually.

Through the development of the heart's natural love one magentically draws the blessing of a true guru. By practice of the do's and don'ts (yama and niyama of Patanjali), the eight meanesses of the human heart. He uses several terms for different stages: "pravartaka" is one who has begun his sadhana (spiritual disciplines) under the guidance of his guru. As the heart opens one becomes a "sadhaka" and becomes fit for ascetic posture and other practices given to him by his guru. As the devotee progresses and hears the Aum sound and grows in advancement he becomes a divine personage, a "siddha."

After this he passes through the seven centers of the spine (the chakras). In time and with depth one achieves supremacy over the seven "swargas" (or heavens) or spheres. By dissolving the four original ideas (see first blog) or the four manus, one achieves self-mastery and achieves oneness with God.

Certain powers may manifest in a master: the power of making the body (or anything else) small, or large, or light, or heavy, or achieving any object sought.

Swami Sri Yukteswar, the cold, calculating sage of wisdom, then concludes love is the ruling principle of spiritual growth and without out it, no progress on the spiritual path can be made.

I invite you to our four-part class series (4 Wednesdays) beginning September 7. We expect to have a streaming option for those at a distance. Please contact us right away if you would like to attend whether in person or virtually.


Nayaswami Hriman

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


We come now to Chapter 3 - The Procedure in our overview of Swami Sri Yukteswar's (only) book, THE HOLY SCIENCE. Swami Sri Yukteswar is best known as the guru of Paramhansa Yogananda who is the author of the world famous spiritual classic, "Autobiography of a Yogi."

Sri Yukteswar's (SY) book was written at the behest of the deathless avatar, Babaji and it shows the underlying universal themes of spirituality especially as between the Christian bible and the teachings of Sanaatan Dharma (the revelations of the rishis of India). Throughout the text he proffers quotations from the Old and New Testaments in juxtaposition to the sutras that he quotes.

In Chapter 3 (this is our fourth blog article), SY gives the necessary attitudes and practices that lead to the goal (see prior blog article). In sutras 1 - 4, SY enumerates the basics: even-mindedness under all circumstances, the study and intuitive contemplation of truth, and inner communion with the Holy Spirit in the form of the AUM vibration.

In sutras 5 and 6, SY states that Aum is heard through the cultivation of the heart's natural love. (There are specific meditation techniques that can hasten and deepen one's experience of Aum.) To commune with Aum takes courage, concentration, and devotion (and self-offering: an aspect of devotion).

It is most curious that a sage of "cold, calculating" wisdom would aver that the heart's natural love is the "principal requisite" to salvation. This divine and unconditional state of consciousness removes the fluctuations of desire and emotions, including giving strength and vitality, and expelling germs and viruses! The heart's natural love allows one to achieve true understanding and, most importantly, it magnetically draws to one the Godlike company of "divine personages."

Without the heart's natural love, one cannot live in harmony with nature or with God, SY counsels. This love gives to us courage to follow the directives and counsel of the "sat" (or true) guru. We can recognize, honor, cherish, and love those who dispel our doubts and avoid those who increase our doubts.

While others seek God in images, stones, in the heavens above, or in nature below, the Yogi seeks God within his own Self. To keep company with a true guru goes beyond physical proximity. More important is to hold the guru's presence in one's heart.

Moral courage is also strengthen by observances of the do's and don'ts of spirituality (taught by Patanjali as the "yamas" and the "niyamas").

SY then launches into a discussion of "What is Natural Living?" In this analysis he examines the teeth of humans and concludes that man is a frugivor, or fruit-eating species. This is confirmed by the relationship of the length of human bowels in relation to the length of the human body (as measured from mouth to anus). Frugivor includes vegetables, nuts, and grains.

He writes then of the calming lifestyle that brings the power of sexual desire into natural balance, and which then engenders, in turn, vitality and health. He speaks of the health value and natural instinct for fresh air in our dwelling places.

SY moves then to Sutras 12-18 in which he describes the eight bondages, or meannesses, of the heart. He lists them as hatred, shame, fear, grief, condemnation, race prejudice, pride of family, and smugness. Their removal leads, he writes, to "magnanimity of heart." This allows one to move to the next stages of the 8-Fold Path (of Patanjali): asana, pranayama, and pratyahara.

Asana is that pleasant and health filled state of the body induced by good posture and that, as a result, we can feel and think clearly.

Pranayama is described in way that far transcends the usual descriptions given in raja yoga: control over death. When we can consciously rest the involuntary nerves we can stop the decay of the material body (heart, lungs etc.).

In Pratyahara, SY describes how sense fulfillment never satisfies us. We are left hungry for more. By contrast, when we withdraw our attention from the senses inward toward the Self, we satisfy the heart's natural inclinations immediately.

SY goes on to address the 3 highest stages of the 8-Fold Path which, together, are described by Patanjali as "Samyama." By this latter term, SY means "restraint" or overcoming the egoistic self and the exchange of individuality for universality. This process includes the intuition of the heart to perceive truth, the steady concentration which results in merging with the object of contemplation and the inner communion with God as the Word (or Aum). He calls the latter "baptism" and "Bhakti yoga."

Next is described the castes, or different states of consciousness, of humankind. The dark heart, or sudra (servant) class, thinks the physical world is the only reality. This state is expressed in the evolution of human consciousness in the Kali Yuga (or dark) cycle of evolution. Interestingly, SY skips now to the Kshatriya (or warrior) class as the stage in which man struggles to know the truth and in which he is caught between the higher and lower states.

Next SY describes the states of consciousness prevalent during each of the four cycles of the yugas (described in his Introduction and in an earlier blog). He says that the consciousness of the second age, Dwapara Yuga, includes an appreciation of the finer, subtler forces of creation. In the Dwapara state the heart becomes steady and devoted to the inner world of these finer forces.

In Treta Yuga, the third age, we can comprehend magnetism and the heart, or Chitta. Man is said then to belong to the Vipra, or nearly perfect, class or Treta. Lastly we reach the "great world," or Maharloka, where the heart is clean and we become "knowers of Brahma" or Brahmans in the age of Satya (truth) Yuga.

SY concludes his third chapter (The Procedure) with a description of the 3 highest spheres of consciousness and the achievement of final release, or Kaivalya.

Thus is described the universal path to freedom in God.

Don't forget: our 4-part class in the Holy Science begins Wednesday, September 7, 7:30 p.m. at the Ananda Meditation Temple Register online for a 10% discount at We are still working on streaming that class for those at a distance. If you are interested in the latter possibility, please contact us.



Saturday, August 13, 2011

Does Satan Exist? (Or, more depressing news?)

Last Sunday at the Ananda Meditation Temple, in Bothell, WA our subject was a peek at the dark side and one of humanity’s core ethical and existential issues: Does evil exist? What is the cause of suffering? Is there a cure for suffering? If there is evil, did God create evil? Is God evil therefore? Does Satan exist?

I’ve always had an interest in such musings. My mother used to tell me that as I child I pestered her with “the big questions of life.” But my response to that was that it was she who prodded me day in and day out, constantly urging me by shouting: KNOW KNOW KNOW. (Maybe I misunderstood the NO for KNOW - :)).
As you have perhaps heard it said here, the Indian scriptures proclaim that GOD CANNOT BE PROVED. Ishwar Ashiddha

I suppose therefore it must also be admitted that neither can evil be “proved,” only experienced and judged as such. Paramhansa Yogananda defined evil as that which obscures truth, or prevents us from knowing the divinity behind all forms of creation.
Relative to the bliss state of cosmic consciousness (out of which the creation has been manifested) we could say that any lesser state or any desire for a lesser state of consciousness or object of creation would take us away from our bliss nature.

There cannot be the great drama of creation, the great symphony of life if all life were harmonized with bliss alone. It takes the multifarious forms of creation each seeking their own existence and separate welfare to enact this drama. It is the duty and opportunity of awakened beings to pierce the veil of maya to see through the drama to the dramatist Himself behind it all but, as we are not its creator, it is not our duty, task, or ability to change the nature of creation itself. To exist it must perforce carry on the drama of dark and light.
We are all in a matrix, a spider web of false appearances. The game goes on only if we play it on its relative terms of survival, competition, conquest, pleasure, pain, health, disease, life and death. Once we begin to view it transcendently and to view these opposites as only a ceaseless flux can we begin the journey towards the goal of pure consciousness which is untainted by opposites and where we find our original state, our home in God, in Bliss.

Does this mean however that evil, being opposite of good, is, well, just as good? Well, of course not! On the scale of “distance” from bliss, evil (selfishness, e.g.) blinds us far more completely to the divine within than good. But good alone is not enough though it is better. Good remains only an opposite destined to reverse itself until we see it and use it as a stepping stone off the wheel of samsara, rebirth, and the opposites of life and death.
Though we exhibit self-awareness we cannot claim to have created it, no more than we can claim to have given birth to ourselves, or to the world around us. We come from and are part of something much greater. This, then, is as true for good and evil as it is for consciousness and life.

“Thoughts are universally, not individually, rooted” Paramhansa Yogananda wrote in his famous autobiography. What this means to us is two-fold: the power which darkens our life towards error, ignorance and suffering is greater than us, but the power which brings light is also greater than we. In each case, as we are not the origin of dark or light, we can consciously call upon the power of Light to uplift us from the darkness. Not passively, of course, for the Light vibrates on a higher level of energy, intelligence and bliss than we do on a merely conscious egoic level. We must attune ourselves to its level by thought, word, and deed.

The vast nature of that Light is such that we, confined as it were to the prison of ego and body, cannot comprehend that Light without a medium. It is its own language and we need an interpreter, a teacher, to instruct us in its syntax (that's a pun, actually). Just as a radio or cell phone is needed to capture the spoken words of one far away but attempting to speak to us, so too it is the guru who acts as a light-house that refracts, aims, and concentrates the universal but subtle and difficult-to-perceive beam of cosmic Light into human form that we can see, feel, and be transformed by it back into it!

Is God responsible for ignorance, suffering and evil? He created this world, didn’t He? God becomes this world as the playwright writes a play but in so writing becomes not villainous for making the villain evil. Without the villain the play would not play and no one would pay to see it.

Therefore His actors, who are manifestations of His intelligence and desire to create that His joy might be experienced in the play, are similarly endowed but by necessity separated by their forms. Our created separateness is a necessity for the drama but imposes upon us the urge to survive, to compete, to win, and to seek the natural objects of sensory fulfillments and ego affirmation. By degrees, therefore the actors of the play begin changing the script. We begin to be typecast as second rate actors who have forgetten that it's just a play. We have forgotten our lines in the script.

We come now to our red, horned, cloven-hoofed friend, Satan. As we are beings clothed in human form, endowed with intelligence and intention, and the power to act, so too does the divine creating Light manifest higher (astral and causal) beings with roles to act in the grand drama of creation. As we fall into ignorance by the hypnosis of the creation's seeming reality, so too some of these Beings fall into ignorance drunk with their own power and embolden by their duties to create and oversee.

As this world is itself a manifestation of consciousness, so too the forces that emerge to create and diversify and to sustain the creation are conscious. Whether seen as Beings or as Forces it matters not. There is a satanic force that impels and invites us into ego affirmation, into the delusion of sense satisfaction, security through material weath, and pride, just as there is an angelic force that invites us into the inner silence to commune with Her as Peace, Joy, and who invites us, as prodigal sons, to return to our Father's kingdom as Sons of God.

An example of such forces of darkness and suffering can be seen in a drama that is unfolding right now on our planet. Today our western world is on the brink of the greatest depression and economic collapse in recorded history. Will it happen? How can it not happen except by pretending it isn’t happening? Paramhansa Yogananda certainly is among the many who have predicted it. In his case, he did so over sixty years ago. But of course so have other seers of various persuasions seen through the fragile success of capitalism. Whether spiritually seeing the delusion of materialism fanned by capitalism or socially seeing the potential for the enrichment of a few at the expense of the many, or economically seeing the endless expansion of capital and wealth and consumption as the false foundation for its success, the end result is the same: collapse.

Not that the basic tenets of capitalism are somehow evil, at least not so far as giving individuals the freedom to earn a living. Rather the pursuit of wealth for its own sake and money (a non-productive, imaginary object) as the measure of that wealth: these are the false gods before us who are soon to betray our trust in them.

Life must be productive, harmonious and sustainable of life, health, and harmony. The western form of consumption and lifestyle is simply based on the untruth of himsa, injury to life. It cannot therefore last. Here we see evil pretending to be good: the good life (for some at the expense of others, and other life forms). Generation after generation this good life has lulled us, its beneficiaries, into increasing dis-ease with ourselves, one another, and the planet on which we live.

I doubt anyone can even explain or understand what this item called a “dollar” actually is, or represents, or is based on. It’s a fiction, a lie agreed upon. We must consume faster than we save in order to increase our wealth and pleasure. The interest on the debt we incur to do this rises exponentially like a tsunami which races across the trackless ocean and then suddenly rises to crash to shore leaving death and destruction in its wake.

The solution is to reject fear and despair and inaction and to embrace the Light of God's love within and with our fellow men and planet. We are invited to change our lifestyle to one of harmony and sustainability with our own souls, our bodies, and with the divine life which is this creation.



Imminent Collapse of the U.S. Dollar?

As I am preparing for a talk tomorrow at the Ananda Sunday Service (in Bothell, WA, USA) on the subject of the existence of evil, my friend and teacher, and founder of Ananda, Swami Kriyananda (direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda) forwarded a YouTube video on the subject of the dollar's imminent collapse. It's about 10 minutes long and if you're interested here's the link:

To students and members of Ananda worldwide this is hardly news. You know already that Swami Kriyananda has repeated this prediction which Paramhansa Yogananda gave repeatedly in the last years before his death in 1952. But we hardly need a yoga-master to tell us that the worldwide economy (dollar denominated) is in trouble and that the possibility of the collapse of the dollar isn't at least a threat!

But what the heck can you or I do about this? How can we be prepared for the possibility, whether extreme (as portrayed in the YouTube video), whether partial, short-term or permanent? From years of living with this prediction and with the steps some members of the various Ananda Communities worldwide have done, here are some thoughts (taken to a wide range of extremes or just a few steps):

  1. Purchase a supply of food, but more than just 2 to 3 days of a power outage. Perhaps 6 months supply of canned or freeze dried food. I'm no expert but there's lots of information on the internet and places where this can be purchased. Don't forget water, too!
  2. Supplies like prescriptions, flashlights, batteries, toilet paper and all the bare necessities.
  3. Camping supplies and outdoor clothing: tent, blankets, sleeping bags, etc.
  4. Bicycle?
  5. Start a garden for food or at least have seeds and don't forget sprouting!
  6. If you can, buy land outside a city where food can be grown and shelter can be taken.
  7. Convert savings, at least partially, to exchangeable commodities. Obvious ones are gold and silver but there are many other bartable goods as well.
  8. Get out of debt: this is trickier because it's possible you can later pay off dollar-denominated debt with worthless inflated dollars later, but this is hard to predict. If you have excess cash that you cannot otherwise put into commodities including decent land then maybe this is good especially if it's your home.
  9. Get to know your neighbors or, if family, start planning with others who share your concerns.
  10. Get out of the inner or large cities if you can. Riots and looting will start almost immediately in the worst case scenarios and food will disappear immediately. Water supplies may be shut off if and assuming most government services shut down due to lack of funds and payroll. (Virtually every government entity in America is technically already insolvent or will easily be.)
  11. Buy land in the country with like minded people. Start a community with friends and family.
  12. Learn to meditate. Pray daily. Join in with others of prayerful inclination to reinforce each other's faith. Read spiritually minded books.
  13. Accumulate supplies not just for yourself but to help others, as you are able.
  14. Curtail your exposure to entertainment and news that is filled with gratuitious violence or is fear-inducing. It's easy to stay abreast of important news through other means that are less impactful on your subconscious.
  15. Don't panic and don't frighten others. Be calm and sensible. You'll sleep better at night helping yourself, your family, and being prepared to help others as well.
Well I'm sure I could go on but you get the general idea.

Oh, yes, evil DOES exist. Combat it with nobility of thoughts and actions and with the grace of God.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Holy Science - Part 3 - THE GOAL

Swami Sri Yukteswar now moves on to the second chapter.

Spiritual awakening is a process of remembrance (smriti is the term Patanjali uses in the Yoga Sutras). The guru awakens both a remembrance and the desire for liberation.  Hence: the goal! All desires must be fulfilled by the law of prana (energy) and creative visualization.

A deep habit can only be overcome with finality when we “know” from intuition it is no longer a desire or part of our true Self. Similarly when the soul awakens to the true nature of creation (see Part 1) and the power of maya (delusion), liberation becomes its prime goal.
To achieve final liberation the soul must transcend all influences of duality. In this state all desires are fulfilled and all suffering ceases. So long as we identify with the physical body and has not yet found the Self, suffering continues as all desires are yet to be fulfilled. Rebirth is necessary with its attendant disappointments and troubles.

Ignorance is the source of suffering and ignorance results from mistaking the unreal for the real. The unreal has apparent reality only by the flux of opposites and includes such qualities as egoism, attachment, aversion and (blind) tenacity.

Swami Sri Yukteswar then gives a more detailed analysis of this process. He starts with the statement that ignorance produces a sense of separateness of objects (egoism) and the consequent tenacious power (desire) of holding one's form separate and apart. From this comes the attraction to or repulsion away from other objects.

It is therefore from ignorance, egoism, attachment, aversion and tenacity that we suffer.
Our true Self seeks existence (Sat) (immortality), consciousness (Chit) (Self-awareness), and unending Bliss (Ananda). [Satchidanandam]. These have nothing to do with anything outside our Self, but are the innate properties of Self.

We attain contentment, bliss, through the aid of the true guru who imparts the disciplines and ways by which the devotee achieves ananda. With a content heart it becomes possible to fix one’s attention on anything he chooses and so chit (consciousness) is followed to its source in its primal manifestation: Aum. In time and with deepening practice the sense of separateness is dissolved in the holy word and true baptism occurs as we repent of the sin of separateness.
Then immortality is achieved through power over delusion and realization of one’s indestructible and ever-existing reality. Now, at last, instead of merely reflecting the divine light, one is actively united with Spirit and has achieved Kaivalya, or Oneness.

Thus in his straightforward manner, Swami Sri Yukteswar describes for us the goal of life.
Next blog article is chapter 3, THE PROCEDURE. To enroll in this 4-week class series which begins Wednesday, September 7, 7:30 p.m. at Ananda Meditation Temple, go to the Ananda website:


Monday, August 8, 2011

Holy Science - Part 2 - Chapter 1 - THE GOSPEL

Holy Science – Part 1

Swami Sri Yukteswar (SY) was asked by Mahavatar Babaji to write a book showing the underlying essence of Jesus’ teachings and those of Krishna. By extension, this is to say to show the essential truth underlying all faith traditions.

Truth is called by many names by men but truth is one and eternal. “Hear O Israel, the Lord, the Lord our God is One.” By so many words, rituals, and symbols perhaps the most universal truth teaching is to say (in numerous ways) that God (by whatever name or no name) exists and is the sole (or essential) reality behind all appearances. Thus begins Chapter 1 (The Gospel) of The Holy Science.

Perception by man of this truth is thwarted by the hypnotic influence and stimuli of the five senses of the human body. We identify reality with their reports. Consequently, the divine presence remains hidden to us until we can stimulate and develop our inner (sixth) sense through the all-seeing “eye” of intuition.

The One, absolute and Self-contained began creation by become two. God so created the world by making himself dual: the power of his Shakti (joyful energy) and his omniscient feeling (consciousness or chit). These form God as nature, God as manifested. In the microcosm of the Self, we have our will power (with enjoyment underlying it) and we have self-awareness as that which enjoys. This dual power could also be described as the outgoing (repelling) force, and the inflowing (attractive or Love) power. This dual power has a sound which is called the Word (or the Aum, or Amen).

The creation through Aum has four elements: vibration (intelligent word), time, space, and particle (atom and individuality, or separateness of objects). (These are the four beasts of the Book of Revelation in the Bible who attend the throne of God.) The Holy Ghost vibration of Aum is God manifested and manifesting creation through the principle of dwaita, duality, and its spinning hypnotic effect, maya. Though made manifest through God’s Light, the divided parts of the creation do not comprehend their reality or source.

First, individuality must become self-aware. This is the human stage with our highly developed cerebrospinal centers (the chakras). Then we find the competition between the pull upwards toward Sat (truth or God) or downward toward avidya (ignorance). Separateness, as an idea which creates separate forms, is energized toward individuality and individual consciousness by the universal intelligence and feeling state of chit. From this develops the illusion of individuality (ahamkara-ego). Here we have the dual pull of Buddhi (Intelligence) toward ultimate reality (Sat), and the pull of Manas (blind sense-Mind) (ignorance-avidya) seeking enjoyment from and within the creation itself. Underlying all creation – whether the outgoing force or the inward force – is the impulse towards bliss (or Love, or Joy).

SY then embarks on a comprehensive (not necessarily readily comprehensible) dissection of the three bodies of man (and all creation): physical, astral, and causal. He describes the essential components of each. Chitta, the calm state of mind with its sense of separateness, has five pranas (aura electricities-Pancha Tattwa) which constitute the causal body. These five in contact with the three gunas (aspects of nature, being enlightening, energizing, or darkening) produce fifteen astral attributes plus four aspects of mind for the astral body. These nineteen are the five senses, the five powers of locomotion (hands, feet, excretion, procreation, and speech), the five natural objects of the senses, and four aspects of mind: intelligence, sense-mind, ego, and feeling.

The physical body then is manifested through five elemental forms of space, gas, fire, liquid and solid. The nineteen astral attributes added to the five of the body constitute the twenty-four elders of creation mentioned in the Book of Revelations. These are the building blocks of individuality that set into motion the drama of creation.

On the macrocosm of creation, SY describes seven spheres (swargas) of creation, with seven centers (chakras or Sapta Patalas) in the human microcosmic universe. Together these fourteen stages of creation are called the Bhuvanas. The Spirit in creation is hidden by five sheaths, or koshas: feeling, intelligence, mind (as focused upon and limited by the senses), life force (prana), and matter.

As the twenty-four elders of creation are in place, the power of Attraction (Divine Love) begins to manifest, first attracting all atoms toward each other to form the five elemental forms of creation (space, gaseous, fire, liquid, and solid) and then evolving each stage of creation beginning with the minerals, then vegetables, animals, human, astral (angelic), and lastly emancipated from all koshas. As each stage emerges, one kosha is shed to reveal more and more intelligence and feeling then at last divinity (Oneness).

Introspection reveals our dream-like and idea-based sense-bound perception of reality and individuality. It is through the power of the sat-guru (savior or preceptor) that the divinity behind all forms is revealed to truth-seeking souls. Baptism, or rebirth in the sacred river of Aum, is symbolized by holy water and rivers whose sound, like many waters, is heard in deep guru-given meditative states. Thus the universal meaning and significance of rivers and of water. In merging into the inner Light, by degrees, do we reclaim our eternal birthright as sons of God.

Thus is a summary of Chapter 1, the Gospel, showing the nature and process of creation and of salvation. Don’t forget about the class series on this subject: it begins Wednesday, September 7, 7:30 p.m. at Ananda Meditation Temple. We are working on a streaming video presentation for those at a distance, but this latter promise is not yet a reality as of this date. Either way, you can register on line at

Blessings, Hriman

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

O Holy Science of Yoga - Introduction

Beginning Wednesday, September 7 at the Ananda Meditation Temple, we will hold a 4-week series on the book that started it all: "The Holy Science," by Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri. Sri Yukteswar was the first in the line of Self-realization to write and publish a book. It was published at the request of the deathless guru, Mahavatar Babaji. Babaji asked Sri Yukteswar 'Will you not write a short book on the underlying basic unity between the Christian and Hindu scriptures? Show by parallel references that the inspired sons of God have spoken the same truths, now obscured by men's sectarian differences.'

Sri Yuktewar was a man of few words and a soul of not merely wisdom but God-realization.  Our exploration of his brief but deep tome will open up vistas unto eternity. In this series of blogs, I will offer hints of those vistas as teasers to that class.

In the Foreward to the Holy Science, Paramhansa Yogannada reminds us that the great Ones of East and West achieved their wisdom by realizing the Supreme Reality behind all creation. While their words may have taken different forms and employed different symbols ("some open and clear, others hidden or symbolic") - all spoke from the truth of Spirit.

INTRODUCTION.  Swami Sri Yukteswar ("SY") has divided his book into four sections, according to the four stages in the development of knowledge. To attain Self-knowledge one must have knowledge of the world around us. Therefore the first part of the book is a description of the truths and purposes of creation. The second part concerns the goal of life: immortality, consciousness & bliss. The third section is how to realize those goals and the fourth is the revelations of those who have achieved these goals.

It is in his introduction that SY reveals his profound and intuitive understanding of the history of our planet and the mechanism which accounts for the changes in human consciousness over a 24,000 year cycle. I would recommend the just published book, "The Yugas," by Joseph Selbie and David Steinmetz (Crystal Clarity Publishers, Nevada City) for a more complete description of this seemingly abstruse theory and SY's insightful but complex explanation.

The "yuga theory" provides the objective basis for why humankind is ready and needful of this new and deeper understanding of the universal truths of creation and of all faiths.

So join me next blog post, for Chapter 1.