Saturday, April 7, 2012

A New Tomorrow Dawns Today! Easter 2012

Today, Easter Sunday, 2012, we honor and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and his relevance to our lives. As Easter and springtime signal a renewal of life and hope, so too we stand in the midst of the dawn of a new age, a new tomorrow.

Paramhansa Yogananda unhesitatingly affirmed the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He boldly claimed to have had many visions of Jesus Christ. In his autobiography he spoke of the resurrection of his own guru, Swami Sri Yukteswar who appeared to him in the flesh in a hotel room in Bombay some three months after his guru’s body was buried in the sands of Puri, on the eastern coast of India.

He came from the east as, in fact, did Jesus Christ, not “to destroy, but to fulfill the law and the prophets.” But he faced the dawn and spoke to the future of humanity of hope for a better world. That hope, which was vibrant in the first years of twentieth century was soon shattered by the "war to end all wars," which heralded only more and greater and unceasing  conflict ever since. That century saw two world wars and the deaths of untold millions of people, combatants and civilians alike amidst the appearance of a new and terrible weapon of death: the nuclear bomb. And yet in the hearts of millions, hope remains, progress is being made.

Jesus Christ, by contrast, was born amidst the dark age of ignorance, known as the Age of Kali. He spoke therefore only in parables. His disciples expressed their frustration but in time were instructed privately in matters direct and esoteric. The deeper teachings of Jesus were hidden from public view. His journey to the east as a young man was erased from the accounts of his life. His references to reincarnation were purposefully oblique because the consciousness of humanity could not see beyond the reality of physical form. In the centuries that followed his life humanity was to see the destruction of civilization and knowledge as it was known in his time. His teachings alone, though hopelessly crucified daily by ignorant self-styled representatives of it, to the extent embodied in the lives of his true disciples, were nonetheless the only light of civilization for centuries to come. Hope for a better world would await the future coming of another “son of God” for an age with “ears to hear.”

But the new age would not dawn peacefully because the institutions and consciousness of Kali Yuga are far from surrendering their claims willingly. During Yogananda’s life, the British empire which once ruled the waves (and Yogananda’s homeland of India) and upon which the sun never set was destroyed. Yogananda taught that the divine purpose behind that empire was to unite the world in preparation for the new age and to introduce the principle of rule of law, individual liberties, and even the English language as the future “lingua franca” of the world. This new era of consciousness, which we call the Age of Dwapara (meaning “second age”) was born, however inauspiciously, at the beginning of the twentieth century.

The pace of change ever since has been both exhilarating and frightening: both hopeful and fearful. Almost immediately at the dawn of the twentieth century came a lightning bolt of scientific (and philosophic) discovery: Einstein’s declaration that all matter is a form of energy. Thus Dwapara Yuga is an age of energy awareness and energy consciousness.

Thus we have seen in our lifetimes:
  1. 1.      an explosion in the search for and consumption of energy resources to power a whole new way of life and civilization; this is matched with a crises and concern for sustaining cheap energy resources and mitigating or eliminating the negative impact of our energy consumption;
  2. 2.      we see a rising and urgent interest in alternative medicine and energy healing as holistic illnesses surface in tandem with our awareness of our body as energy; we have become aware that health is the product of the quantity and quality of our energy;
  3. 3.      the vitality and cleanliness of food, water and air is of urgent concern; the need for locally based and sustainable food sources is spawning an entire new industry and inspiring a new generation of Dwapara pioneers;
  4. 4.      energy consciousness in society, business, and politics translates into the pressing need for cooperation rather than competition and exploitation on a global as well as local scale;
  5. 5.      in religion, strident sectarianism threatens the very foundation, source and value to humanity that religion should offer; the need to see the underlying harmony and unity among all faith traditions is as vital a concern as any environmental or political issue; the nonsectarian practice of meditation is steadily replacing dogmatic attachment to outward forms and beliefs into the expansive and joyful direct perception of one's higher Self, the Self of All.
  6. 6.      in behavior, morals and ethics, all is fair and all is game in the frenetic whirlpools of dissolving traditions and cultures; the expansion of consciousness of Dwapara Yuga is destroying the rigid boundaries of Kali Yuga; at first there seems unleashed not only freedom but license and licentiousness; the self-centeredness that seems to be emerging in Dwapara will be balanced by an expansion of self-awareness  and sympathies for the greater good of  all. 
  7. 7.   personal freedom of Dwapara will unleash the energy of self-initiative, creativity, and individual conscience. These will gradually overtake the power and dependence upon the centralized authority of tribe, culture, government or religion.

Fear of the rapid pace and consequences of change and the direction of civilization has halted the otherwise necessary and natural expansion of sympathies that Dwapara Yuga invites. In every country in the world, during the last ten or twenty years, two steps backward toward authoritarianism and violence is evident.

But the march of Dwapara continues. The internet, whose freedom and openness is under assault, nonetheless is spreading awareness like the light of dawn to all nations and all people. Nothing can stop the halt of progress through education and greater awareness of ourselves, our neighbors, our planet and our universe that is streaming toward us like a flood.

Hope for a Better World comes to us to with the rays of light from the new dawn of Dwapara. But Dwapara is an age of rapid change and unceasing instability. Its vitality can threaten destruction but those souls of goodwill can harness Dwapara's rising power for good by going within, to the calm and wise center of intuition. 

Individual liberties and freedoms are the outer form and leading edge of Dwapara. But its invisible inner counsel reminds us that true freedom is not doing merely what we want, but having the wisdom and courage to do what is right. No outward ruler or authority can contain the energy of Dwapara. Only individual conscience can do that now. Only conscience can stem the tide of misuse of personal, economic, military, or political power.

Thus it is that the overarching Intelligence of the One from whom the many have come has sent its sons, its children to be wayshowers: Jesus Christ said it even in the midst of Kali Yuga: the kingdom of heaven is within you! Jesus, in cooperation and communion with the rishis of India, and in attunement with the divine will, has sent to the West and to the world the sacred keys of awakening through yoga-union: the science of meditation and the technique of kriya yoga.

Kriya yoga is the energy medicine of the soul. As we learn to awaken and unite with the subtle but powerfully intelligent currents of energy and consciousness that create and sustain the human body, we are baptized in the river of life that brings to us the intuition, wisdom, vitality, and creativity with which to flow and adapt to the outward currents of Dwapara Yuga. 

Finding the unalloyed happiness of the soul within, we can shine and share the light of wisdom upon the earth as it is reborn into Dwapara Yuga. Ours is not only the privilege, not only the opportunity, but the obligation, for while the victory of Dwapara is assured, the extent of suffering which is resulting from the clash of consciousness between old forms and new energy can only be mitigated by soldiers of peace and messengers of mercy.

May this Easter resurrect in your heart the commitment to simple living and high ideals, of living in harmony and cooperation and in dedicated service to the flow of divine grace that can guide the boundless energies of a new age. Seek divine contact through the scientific techniques of meditation and express the divine will, wisdom, and love through selfless service to all. Be the hope for a better world that you seek for yourself, your family and for all.

A blessed Easter to you,

Nayaswami Hriman

[If you enjoyed this article, you will find more insights and wisdom for a new age in Swami Kriyananda's collection of essays, "Religion in the Age." See Available at Ananda in Bothell, WA or at your local East West Bookshop.