CAN WE HEAR THE VOICE OF GOD?
From a lecture delivered by Dr. Lewis on April 20, l952 at the Self-Realization
Fellowship Temple in San Diego
Can we hear the voice of God? Can God can speak to us?
Certainly. Under certain circumstances God can and does speak to us, sometimes
audibly to our physical ears, but more often inaudibly. To understand how
this is so we must first know something about what God is – what He
is to us from a physical standpoint. Paramahansa Yogananda defines God as
ever-conscious, ever-existing, ever-new bliss. Now we can try to subdivide
and reduce that definition further, but we cannot. Everything we want in
this life, we want because we feel it will bring us ever-conscious, blissful
eternal existence. That is what God is; therefore, what we really want is
oneness with Him.
To this end we need to know and understand what the voice of God is, and
how we may hear it and be guided by it. The voice of God is His divine omnipotent
consciousness, speaking to us through intuition. It is the Holy Ghost, the
Holy Vibration, the Om , the Amen, the Word, spoken of in the Bible. (“In
the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was
God.” – John 1:1)
First there was the one Spirit, God the Father, beyond creation, the supreme
Guru, the greatest Consciousness, not divided by anything. Then the Spirit
of God moved, vibrated as the Holy Vibration, the Holy Ghost, the Word,
with its manifestations of cosmic light and sound. In this vibration is
also God’s presence, His omniscience, as Christ consciousness. From
this vibration has come all manifestation. Yes, this Holy Vibration, the
Word, is the voice of God.
And so if we can somehow be one with the Holy Vibration, we shall know that
we are one with God’s consciousness and with His eternal existence.
Through the techniques taught by Self-Realization Fellowship we learn to
be one with Him, to contact His presence, to hear His voice.
The voice of God is spoken of many times in the Bible. It is referred to
in Revelations 3:14: “These things saith the Amen, the faithful and
true witness, the beginning of the creation of God.” This says in
effect that when God began to move, creation started with the Holy Vibration,
the Holy Ghost, the voice of God, the Om , the Amen and that everything
comes from the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s
creation. The voice of God is the intelligence in the Holy Vibration. It
is not a dry thing; it is a warm thing, full of life. It is the intelligence
of God speaking as intuition. This then is the voice of God.
We find many other references to the voice of God in the scriptures. In
Revelation 1:10 we read: “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s
day, and heard behind me a great voice, as a trumpet saying….”
Now, how can a trumpet “say?” “Saying” hear means
vibrating. In the Holy Vibration is the intelligence of God, and it is this
intelligence which speaks. The twelfth verse continues; “And I turned
to see the voice that spake with me,” and goes on to say how he saw
the seven centers of the spine, the “seven golden candlesticks.”
People construe the “voice” to be a physical sound but it is
a subtle vibration, the Holy Vibration, which sounds like a trumpet to our
inner perception. Since the intelligence of God is in this Holy Vibration,
all wisdom is in it; when we hear it, everything is there, everything we
should do, everything we must do for our highest welfare. Best of all, the
protection of God’s love is in it. That is the voice of God referred
to in the scriptures, the voice of intuition, speaking in the Holy Ghost,
the Holy Vibration.
Another reference to the voice of God is in Revelations 4:1: “A door
was opened in heaven and the first voice which I heard was as if it were
a trumpet talking to me.” This again is the voice of God, the Holy
Vibration, the Om Vibration, which sounds like a trumpet. It talks to us
through intuition, and when it does, it conveys its meaning more clearly
than could the spoken word. Intuition does not have to use the vocal cords
or organs of sense perception. It speaks directly from the intelligence
of God, which is omniscient.
In Isaiah 30:21 is another reference to the voice. “Thine ears shall
hear a word behind thee sayings, This is he way, walk ye in it when ye turn
to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” When we obey that
voice we are walking in the Divine Trend – we are acting in accord
with the will of God. The “word” is the trumpet sound, the Holy
Vibration. This is a most important reference because it shows we musn’t
sit down and expect God to do everything for us. We must walk in His way,
remembering Master’s words, “I will reason, I will will, I will
act, but guide Thou my reason, will and activity to the right thing I should
do in everything.” We must keep in the Divine Trend of God’s
will; that is all we have to do. Then when we hear the voice of God, perhaps
not audibly, we will know what to do for He will guide us. The only thing
we have to worry about is getting into His vibration and communing with
Him. That is what Self-Realization teaches us to do, and shows us how through
the Om technique. So remember this reference in Isaiah, and when you meditate
you will her the soft ocean roar of the Holy Vibration, coming from the
spinal region and the brain and saying to you, “This is the way to
walk.” It is the voice of God speaking, and everyone who meditates
even a little bit can hear it, and eventually be one with it. If we give
a little time and a little effort in the proper technique according to the
teachings of Self-Realization, we can do it.
In Ezekiel, 43:2 we are told how the voice of God usually speaks to us and
how we hear it through our intuition: “The glory of the God of Israel
came from the way of the east and His voice was like a noise of many waters.”
His voice, the voice of God, the Om vibration sounds like many waters although
it becomes clearer and clearer to us as we meditate more deeply. In time
it will seem to speak right out, as an audible voice. Again in Ezekiel,
3:12 we read, “Then the spirit took me up, and I heard behind me a
voice of a great rushing saying, Blessed be the glory of the Lord from His
place.” “His place” is the heavenly region; the great
rushing is God’s voice, like the sound of the ocean, the sound of
many waters, the voice of the multitude. This is the cosmic energy rushing
into us from Heaven.
The next verse in Ezekiel, 3:13 , continues, “I have heard also the
noise of the wings of the living creatures that touched one another, and
the noise of the wheels over against them, and a noise of a great rushing.”
Ezekiel here refers to the sounds of the different centers of the spine,
which many have heard. All these sounds are in the Holy Vibration, and they
are all the voice of God. In them, in the ocean’s roar and the other
sounds of the spine, is the intelligence of God. When we become one with
those sounds, we become one with His intelligence which has created us,
and we are therefore hearing, and being guided by the voice of God. These
communications from God related in the scriptures refer to the power of
the Holy Ghost that speaks to us through our inner realization. When we
listen to it, we know in a far better way what to do that if an audible
voice spoke, for in that inner intuition is the power and strength of God.
As an illustration of how God speaks to us through this inner realization,
I can relate an incident which happened many years ago when Master first
came to America . I started off to work one day from my home where Master
was staying at the time and had not gone far, when suddenly I felt I must
go back and give Master some financial aid. This was just as clear to me
as if an audible voice had said, “Turn around and go back home and
help.” I felt through intuition that Lahiri Mahasaya and Sri Yukteswarji
were both asking me to do something. So strong was the feeling, I turned
right around and went back and gave the assistance he needed. When I did,
his eyes filled with tears because he knew that God had responded to his
needs and that the voice of God had spoken to me. Being in the Divine Trend
through regular, deep meditation, I realized when God spoke, although no
sound came. I knew Master needed help, and I knew the saints had asked me
to give it. God speaks to us in this way through our deep meditations and
realization. When we do not hear His voice, it is because we do not meditate
enough and therefore do not have sufficient realization.
The Divine consciousness speaks to us most frequently through our increasing
realization, but God can also speak to us in more tangible ways. He can
produce from the Holy Ghost, or Holy Vibration, any force, in any form or
manifestation for from the Holy Vibration comes all physical manifestations.
An instance of His manifesting a force occurred one winter night in Boston
when I was driving over a narrow icy bridge, hurrying to a meeting. I came
onto the bridge very fast and suddenly saw directly ahead of me a car that
had skidded half way across the street. There was no possibility of my stopping
in time to prevent a collision. It was then that the Divine Consciousness
manifested its control of the cosmic forces. My car came to an abrupt stop
just as if a great giant had put his hands up and said, “All right,
let’s stop.” I did not even touch the other car. There were
two others with me, and they both testified to the inexplicable way our
car was stopped and a serious accident prevented.
How did this force stop the car? It is not difficult to understand for when
we see we are going to step on something we can alter the direction of the
forces in the body and step aside. We can do so because the body is a unit,
and we have control of the prana, the energy in it. Divine Consciousness
is a greater unit, and is likewise in the body, as it is everywhere else.
The Divine Consciousness controls all the forces in the universe, and does
not have to use the wire of nerves as we do to control our bodies. God can,
and does, directly manifest and control any force, under certain conditions
as He did in stopping our car. Since He has created universe upon universe,
and produced all forces, perceptible and imperceptible, why should we doubt?
He can, and does produce specific forces to protect an individual or individuals.
In that instance, the force itself was imperceptible, but the voice of God
can also manifest a force which is perceptible to the outward senses. This
was demonstrated to me once when I was first with Master and meditating
a great deal. I used to sit in meditation trying to understand how the energy
is withdrawn from the body, how the sense perceptions are withdrawn, and
how to leave the body conscious and get into the realm of spiritual things,
into the superconsciousness. I knew how in theory, and I was able to feel
I was not the body, but I had not experienced the withdrawing of the energy
from the involuntary nerves. Then one day when I was meditating hard, I
felt my body become as cold as ice, with perspiration all over it. I was
fully conscious. And then something prompted me to feel the top of my head.
I did so. It was almost as hot as a stove. This showed me beyond doubt that
on the top of the head is the place where the energy leaves the body and
mixes with the surrounding Cosmic Energy. Now I could have read about that
all my life without actually knowing it. But God answered my desire to know
by giving me that experience so I could realize the truth and not just theorize
about it. God does truly answer us if we make the effort and give our devotion
Another way in which God speaks to us is through our conscience. The conscience
is the all-knowing power of the soul. The soul knows the way to God. If
we keep in the Divine Trend, in the Holy Vibration, the Om , our conscience,
the intuition of the soul, will tell us which way to walk, whether to go
“to the left or to the right.”
Finally, the voice of God speaks to us through the Guru. The Guru is the
channel whereby we are taken to God, and he can carry the voice of God to
us. An instance of this in my own life was when I came to the Self-Realization
Fellowship center in Encinitas , California , leaving Boston and my profession
of thirty-five years, on what many of my patients thought was an extended
leave of absence. Many of them continued to write me asking when I was coming
back. That made me feel uncertain in my mind as to what I should do so I
went to Master and said, “Am I doing the right thing?” He said,
“Absolutely, God wants you here. You are doing a greater work here.”
From that moment I knew everything was all right and I felt no further restlessness
to return to Boston . God had spoken to me through the Guru.
Another instance of His doing this was when I once asked Master how I was
getting along, how I was progressing – a question all of us want to
have answered about our spiritual life. He said, “Oh, fine. But watch
out for your health next summer. You will be all right. But take care.”
And sure enough I went through quite a bodily disturbance the next summer,
but through it all I knew, because God had spoken to me through the Guru,
that I would be taken care of.
If we can understand how God speaks to us in these various ways, directly
and indirectly, it should not be too difficult for us to understand how
we can sometimes hear Him speak in a voice audible to our physical ears,
and even in words. In His consciousness are all the senses, sight, touch,
hearing, and all the others: everything is in His divine consciousness,
not in the physical body. The sense of hearing is not in the ear, it is
in the Divine consciousness of God, which projected the body. The same is
true of sight, touch, taste and smell. God can produce, through the Holy
Vibration, any .
manifestation, any sound, perceptible to our outward consciousness.
Sometimes such a sound is audible not only to our own ears, but can also
be heard by others. On one such occasion, when some of the disciples were
with Master at the Encinitas Hermitage, we heard the bee sound, which is
the sound of the lowest center of the spine, the coccyx. The sound was audible
to our ears clear across the room from where Master was sitting.
Another instance of hearing the bee sound quite audibly occurred when some
of us were in San Francisco attending the World’s Fair with Master.
We were reminiscing, one night, as we did quite often, way into the morning
hours. As we were sitting there, I suddenly heard the bee sound. Master
chuckled to himself and said, “Listen.” We could hear it quite
a few feet away, and we were hearing it with our ordinary ears; we weren’t
in meditation at all. God was speaking to us plainly through audible sound.
Sometimes He speaks to us in actual words. Once when I was a small boy about
eleven years old, a voice came out of the Divine Consciousness and spoke
to me in the upstairs hall of our home. I had been teasing my sisters and
my mother appealed to the Divine Consciousness to do something about it.
The voice said, “Go downstairs and be a good boy, and stop tearing
your sisters.” I heard it clearly and my mother heard it as did our
upstairs maid. Some thirty years later the Master walked through the upper
hall and saw a spiritual flash of light in his spiritual eye at the exact
spot where the voice of God had spoken so many years before. This show that
such spiritual manifestations leave their imprint in the ether for all time,
and are proof that God has spoken to us audibly.(Editor’s note. This
house still stands in the Somerville area of Boston at 44 Kidder Avenue
But whether God speaks to us through the outer senses or through the inner
voice of intuition makes little difference. The lesson we are to learn is
that to hear the voice of God we must keep in the Divine Trend of His will,
keep in His Infinite Light, which we can do through regular deep meditation
and devotion. Then God can guide us, and whether He speaks to us audibly
or through the voice of intuition is of secondary importance. When we have
made the Word, the Holy Vibration, dynamic to our consciousness through
meditation and devotion then we will be one with His omniscient consciousness
with its light, its love and its protection and we will then hear the voice
of God when he speaks to us.
A CHRISTMAS MESSAGE
(Recorded on December 23, l950, by Master from His apartment atop Mt. Washington)
Though I am not with you in the physical body, I am in tune with you as
I remain here in seclusion. Those who are filled with great devotions and
who are in tune with Christ and the Masters will have the vision of Jesus
Christ in his physical form; and those who go deep, and deeper still, will
today perceive the formless Christ who is everywhere. I hope you will all
go deep, forgetting the physical and entering the deep spiritual realm where
Behold the presence of the Father in Christ; see the delusion of war and
trouble melt by perceiving the formless Christ, and thou shalt have no fear.
Oh, Christ, thou great lover of error-torn brothers, an unseen monument
to the mightiest miracle of love was established in each heart when the
magic wand of Thy voice uttered, “Forgive them, for they know not
what they do.”
The only haven of happiness is in Christ, God, and the Masters. Practice
Kriya Yoga, follow Self-Realization to the very end, looking neither to
the left nor to the right and you shall find happiness though you live in
a world torn with fearful wars. This is God’s cinema; do not be worried.
Through Christ, Babaji, Lahiri Mahasaya, Sri Yukteswarji, and Guru, look
to the pure beam of God present everywhere. Dear ones, though my body is
not with you, my spirit beholds you in a deeper communion that if I were
present among you.
We in Self-Realization Fellowship have inaugurated on earth the worship
of the real Christ, the Christ of Spirit. You will know how near He is if
you go deep, not watching for the results but completely forgetting yourself,
praying and singing to Christ as never before. Then you will experience
Christ, either in vision as a great feeling of Infinitude or as the formless
Christ; and your experience will be a lasting reminder throughout life.
Pray and meditate, forgetting time and space; and I shall, with better advantage
be in ecstasy in seclusion, that I can in a greater way help you.
Remember, you all can attain God; poverty or riches, sickness or health;
difficulties or not difficulties – these cannot deter you from reaching
Him. But the path is not easy. So be interested chiefly in those who love
God; forget the rest of the world. Know Him first; then you can give divine
love to those who love Him, and can help all as your brothers. But first,
Love God! Jesus said in effect, “Who is my brother, sister and father,
but those who love God?” Remember there is no happiness except with
those who live in harmony. If you own home, perhaps there is disharmony.
You won’t find God there. Cultivate God in the happy family of Self-Realization.
The path has its hardships; but the worldly path is much more difficult
for it is fraught with unending fears and disappointments and fruitless
spending of effort. At the end of life you will see that all your time has
been wasted in pursuing the will-of-the wisp of material happiness. Money,
body and everything else you will have to leave behind. The only thing that
will go with you and stay with you as a permanent possession is the Bliss
of God. And how are you going to attain that Bliss? Not by mock prayer,
as when you utter the words but your mind is elsewhere roaming. When you
sing to God, do not let your thoughts run away. Let your words follow your
thoughts with the greatest devotion. We have started a fire of true devotion
to Christ that shall never be put out, that shall conflagrate this earth
with a new illumination and help to extinguish the baser fire of war and
misery in the one flame of Self-Realization.
This life is the movie of God. Don’t be frightened when He shows you
pictures of wars and troubles. Look to the pure beam of His Presence everywhere,
as the Masters have realized it. They have shown the true path of happiness.
Warriors and politicians have led people only to greater wars and troubles.
Follow the way of the Masters – that is the way of love, wherein knowing
God you can love all men with divine love, even as we feel that love among
Self-Realization devotees. Visit our Centers from the Lake Shrine to San
Diego. Live this truth – preach this truth. Do not be selfish. Those
who are lazy cannot find God. Work for Him. Spread Self-Realization everywhere
you go, and spread it with Spirit. When night comes, go so deep in meditation
that you feel the Presence of God. Mock worship will not do, for the Lord
watches the heart. If in your heart there is love for God, Christ and the
Gurus, you will find it easy to reach them. The Father is not hiding from
you, you are hiding from Him. Thinks out of 24 hours a portion is spent
in moods and in doing nothing. How then do you expect to find Him? Krishna
said, “Out of thousands, one seeks Me; and out of those thousands
who seek Me, only one knows Me.”
The way to God is like a razor’s edge. We are the waves of life in
the ocean of Spirit. The wave has come out of the ocean and into the ocean
once more it has to go. So long as you play with the storm of delusion the
wave of your life will be shattered with misery, troubles and the muffled
hopes of delusion. That’s why more and more I am devoting myself to
the great communion with Spirit. You will feel my soul in tune with Christ
and the Master if you go deep, knowing the true way of communion with the
Meditate like that every morning, and especially at night in these days
of troubles and a difficult material existence. Lessen your worldly burden.
Meditate deeply, practice Self-Realization studies and Kriya Yoga. Just
taking Kriya initiation is not enough.
God tests your love for Him. His test of delusion is very strong. Millions
in the world are not interested in Him. That’s why they are suffering
the ravages of war, famines and natural calamities. The Lord did not create
this world for material happiness. That is why history shows the sad pages
of misery, the terrors of enemies trampling the innocent, the devastation
by fire and flood. God does not want us to build a temple of happiness here.
Our home is with Him. As the wave’s home is in the ocean’s bosom,
so our home is in the Spirit.
As you watch television, seeing those ethereal waves, remember that behind
them is the astral world, and behind that is God. I see Him every minute,
every day. Remember God. Forget the world. Do the best you can, but find
the best shelter from all harm in the Divine bosom. This world will always
have turmoil and trouble. What are you worried about? Go to shelter of God
where the Masters have gone; where they are watching and helping the world
and you shall have safety forever, not only for yourself, but for all those
you love and who have been entrusted to you by our Lord and Father.
There is a right way of prayer. To illustrate, when you eat you don’t
think of the world and its troubles for your whole mind is on eating. So
in the right way of prayer you whole mind should be on God. I used to see
in my Master’s hermitage that when meditation time came, most of the
boys would giggle and I would say, “Why do you do this and then expect
to reach God?” They would reply, “Holy man, don’t be too
holy. We are dead tired from working and we can’t meditate.”
I would answer, “When Master gives you food, I see you are all devotion
and you don’t giggle then for you eat with great devotion. But now
is the time for God, for eating the Divine Manna of Kriya Yoga. Why don’t
you have greater devotion for Him?”
Those boys were not in earnest about the search for Divinity. They soon
left my Master. He didn’t care. He said, “The door is open.
If anyone wishes to go, let him go.”
In the same way there are multitudes everywhere who have forsaken God. Millions
in Asia and Europe have forsaken Him, and look at the pounding they are
getting! It isn’t true that God wants only a few devotees. God wants
all, but all do not want Him.
The successful path to God is not going a little way, or half way, or in
noticing who is flying away – but in reaching and entering the door
to God. Then you are safe. Some men reach the door and then fall asleep.
Those who last to the end will be the first to enter His Kingdom. And that
can be done not by mock prayer but by Kriya Yoga practice and the way of
deep meditation. Tune in with me, and with the great God and learn the way.
The shadow of delusion creating the cinema of horror and war are nothing.
God can change the world in a second if He wants to. But he won’t
because most people have forgotten Him. They don’t want to go back
home. They want to play with the storm of delusion. They must inevitably
suffer for this reason. The only way to happiness is to return to our home
in God. To do that you should practice Self-Realization techniques that
alone bring harmony to the body, mind and soul. I want here only those who
are wholly dedicating their lives to God. They are my brothers and sisters
who love God and who do not mind giving their bodies in the flame of sacrifice
– in the flame of eternal wakefulness in God.
Meditate so deeply that you forget time and space and all the illusions
of the world; and even in this one day if you pray unceasingly with all
your heart and mind not what the person next to you is doing, some of you
will have the vision of Christ, and all of you will feel the Presence of
the Formless Christ. I am in tune with you in my ecstasy. In every blade
of grass, in every pore of the sky, in your bodies, your minds, everywhere,
I feel God and the Masters and Christ. And with them my spirit is rapt.
So shall I feel you in God.
A MESSAGE FROM PARMAHANSA YOGANANDA IN MARCH
(FROM THE ARCHIVES OF DOCTOR LEWIS) (The Power of Thought)
All things that you behold in this life are the result of the different
processes of God’s thought, and you are made in His image. You must
cultivate the power of thought. Be kind to all and then you will know the
mysteries of the mind. It is only when you become kind that God will give
you His power.
Your thought will bring you either failure or success, whichever thought
is strongest. You must first thoroughly believe in your own plans and then
let the Infinite work though you. You must do your best, but at the same
time full believe that God is helping you. You must realize the power of
your own consciousness. You can be your own greatest enemy or your best
friend. When trials come you must strengthen your determination to overcome
them. If you steadfastly refuse to give up and you go on continuously trying
to materialize success, you will suddenly find that mysterious forces have
come to your aid and you wish is granted.
Live in the magic factor of mind, where all things are made, and discard
all fears. It is the change of thought from bad to good that is important,
but often the change of thought is difficult because of the wrong habits
of thought. Don’t limit yourself, but use reason of course. If you
form that bad habit of giving up in despair, then you have limited yourself.
It is your consciousness, your habits and your thoughts that limit you.
You are spirit and really unlimited you know.
Will power is also important. You must never entertain the consciousness
of impossibility. Use your will power and thought to accomplish little things
first to make a start; then gradually go from that to greater things. You
will know the mind works in little things and you will also know it works
in bigger thing. Associate with successfully people. They have refused to
be defeated so you will learn much from them. But before you decide anything
you must first use logic. If you don’t you convictions will be washed
away at the first invasion of trials.
First be sure your purpose is right; then all the power of God will be with
you. Realize the Presence of the Infinite. Behold God behind the shadows.
He is your Father, your own Spirit.
With unceasing blessings,
It seems that angels are more prominent now than ever,
especially at Christmastime where they are seen atop trees and in Biblical
displays and in packaging and in tv shows and movies, such as Angels in
the Outfield, ad infinitum. Several years ago there was a tv special on
angels and our beloved president, Sri Daya Mata was interviewed on the show
and spoke of the SRF approach to angels.
George Washington was visited by a band of angels and told about the future
of his new country.
The Sistine Chapel, built by order of Pope Sixtus IV, has angels painted
by Michelangelo and other artists. The other great cathedrals of Europe
have many statues and paintings and frescoes of angels.
The birth of Jesus was foretold to Mary by an angel of the Lord. Angels
heralded his nativity. He was protected from the death decree of King Herod
by an angel warning Joseph. When Jesus fasted for forty days in the wilderness,
the angels came and ministered to him. During his crucifixion, an angel
came and strengthened him. And when he was on the cross, Jesus said, “Thinketh
thou that that I cannot now pray to my Father and He shall presently give
me more than 12 legions of angels.”
When Christ’s disciples were imprisoned, “The angel of the Lord
by night opened the door and brought them forth.”
In the Old Testament, too, there were many references to angels. When Abraham
was commanded to sacrifice his son, “The angel of the Lord called
out to him.” Elijah was ministered to by an angel of the Lord as he
lay and slept under a juniper tree. Behold, then an angel touched him, and
said, unto him, “Arise and eat.”
Over and over again angels are referred to in the Bible as “angels
And how many times have we heard a person say he or she was protected and
must have had an angel on their shoulder.
Yes, it is God Himself who takes the form of these angels. Our Master has
said that eventually, by contact with spiritual forces, the devotees comes
into harmony with the Supreme Creator, Organizer of all higher and lower
And how do we do this? Through spiritual living and meditation and by practicing
the techniques of Yoga that our Master has left for us.
Isn’t it interesting that the Self-Realization headquarters is in
Los Angeles , the city of the angels.
One of the DVD’s available in our book room is entitled
the early years in America from l920 to 1928. In it we see Boston when our
Master lived and worked there and excellent photographs of the halls, churches
and auditoriums where he spoke as well as the houses where he lived, such
as 24 Electric Avenue where he stayed for three years with Dr. Lewis and
his family. It also features beautiful archival photographs of Master as
well as rare motion picture footage of him during those days. If you don’t
live near a center or temple you can order it directly from Mt. Washington,
toll-free at 818-549-5151 during regular business hours.
One of the reasons Master arrived in Boston rather than in any other city
is that he had seen in vision before he left India the faces of disciples
waiting for him in America. The early disciples lived in Boston.
Of course, the city was fertile ground for the ancient teachings of yoga
for the transcendentalist such as Emerson and Thoreau had spoken of the
Vedas and their worth. There is a meditation bench behind Emerson’s
house where he spent many hours in Divine communion.
From a historical perspective Boston was known as the cradle of liberty;
the Declaration of Independence had been read there at the Old State House
Many of the men who started the march for freedom were from Boston. Daniel
Webster held forth in Ye Old Oyster House, which still stands as it was
then. He is quoted in the old SRF magazines.
Boston is one of the oldest and most historic cities in America, founded
in l630 by the Puritans under John Winthrop, who had originally wanted to
call it the Bible Commonwealth so deep were his religious convictions
Boston was named after a town in England with the same name from where many
of the immigrants originated. The Puritan ladies were so serious about their
religious convictions that they would not cook on Sunday so baked Boston
baked beans on Saturday for dinner on Sunday – thus the appellation
94% of the founding fathers in their dissertations and speeches quoted directly
from the Bible
The Framers were positive their newly formed government would succeed because
of their religious convictions and abiding faith. And they were right for
since America was founded France has had 5 different forms of government
and Italy 55.
Boston is also the site of America’s first public school and first
public library. The Nations’ first subway was in Boston.
Benjamin Franklin was born there and was the most famous dropout of the
nation’s first Latin school. The nation’s oldest institution
of learning, Harvard, founded in l636 is located along the banks of the
Charles River. Our Master spoke to the students there.
George Washington worshipped in King’s Chapel, located in downtown
Boston. The first lady off the Mayflower is buried in that church’s
burial ground. The Navy’s oldest, indeed the world’s oldest
commissioned ship, the Constitution, Old Ironsides, is moored there.
The first Kriya initiation was given in Unity House on Park Square. The
first SRF meditation group was started in Boston. The first SRF books were
printed in distributed in Boston from the kitchen table of Mrs. Lewis on
Electric Avenue. At this season of the year it is interesting to note that
across the street from Unity House is a Unitarian Church where Master played
the organ. A statute out in front is from a former minister who wrote “Little
Town in Bethlehem.”
Of course, it wasn’t long before the center of SRF activity was transferred
to Los Angeles when Mt. Washington was founded in l925.
“CHANTING IS FIFTY PERCENT OF THE
BATTLE ”, PY
Throughout our Master’s teachings he has emphasized
the importance of chanting for spiritual progress. As you know, almost every
service begins with a prayer, a chant and then the meditation.
In the Fall, 1991, issue of the Self-Realization magazine, there is an article
on the importance of chanting. A doctor had been summoned to a Benedictine
monastery in the French Alps. Incidentally, St. Benedict founded the first
Catholic monastery around 500 A.D. The doctor had been asked to diagnose
a peculiar ailment that was afflicting seventy of the ninety monks living
there. They were physically weak and mentally sluggish, but after extensive
examination the doctor could find no apparent reason for their condition.
It wasn’t long, however, before he discovered that the new abbot,
thinking that Gregorian chanting did not serve much of a purpose, eliminated
the many hours of singing that had been part of the monk’s daily regimen.
On hearing this, the doctor had a suggestion. He recommended to the abbot
that the centuries-old practice be reinstated. The abbot, very anxious to
have a healthy group of monks, did what the doctor ordered. The monks resumed
their Gregorian chanting. It wasn’t long before all of them were cured
of their malady.
Carl Jung, the renowned Swiss psychologist, said of music, “It reaches
deep archetypal material…”
Scientists have found that the entire body, not just the ear, is sensitive
to and responds to sound vibrations. All cells have vibratory properties
at levels far deeper than that of conscious awareness. The developed yogi,
however, becomes aware of the Cosmic sound of Om in every cell of his body.
Paramahansa Yogananda commented that “Sound, or vibration, is the
most powerful force in the universe and that in many ancient cultures, especially
in India , music was considered a divine art.” We have all seen how
certain opera singers can shatter a drinking goblet. How much stronger is
the vibration of a yogi who is ensconced in God.
The Sanskrit word for musician, Bhagavahar, means “One who sings God’s
praises.” The healing properties of music were well known in ancient
India and Tibet .
Master concludes that because man himself is an expression of the Creative
Word (Aum), sound exercises a potent and immediate affect on him.
Ramakrishna said the yogi cannot stand noise and uproar. Why? Because he
has become sensitized to the higher vibrations of the spiritual realms.
In the Second Coming of Christ Master writes a codicil to chanting when
he says that when the yogi becomes enraptured in Divine Bliss he cannot
go into outward consciousness and chant. Ramakrishna substantiates this
by saying that when deep in meditation he could not even chant Om.
Chanting is more than the music for in SRF many of the chants have been
written by the Master and so singing the words not only gives one the upliftment
of the music but the power of the affirmation in chanting Master’s
CHURCH OF ALL RELIGIONS
In his Autobiography of a Yogi Paramahansa Yogananda quotes
saints and wise men throughout the ages, pointing out the universality of
truth. And he speaks to the truth that they do not conflict with one another
but substantiate one another such as when Moses appeared with Jesus on the
Mount of Transfiguration.
Ralph Waldo Emerson is quoted on ten different occasions in the Autobiography
and his description of the law of karma is clear and concise as he wrote,
“The world looks like a mathematical equation, which, turn it how
you will, balances itself. Every secret is told, every crime is punished,
every virtue rewarded, every wrong redressed, in silence and certainty.”
Emerson knew the truth of religion for he said that if the noblest Mohammedan,
the highest stoic of Athens, the purest and wisest Christian, Confucius
China and Spinoza in Holland could get together they would conclude that
there is only one religion and that is God-Realization.
In his Second Coming of Christ, Master refers to Emerson as the American
transcendentalist who sought personal experience of immanent spiritual reality
And what do the Hindus think of Emerson? Written in one of their chronicles
are these words: “Emerson has all the wisdom and spirituality of the
Brahmins. Brahmanism is an acquirement, a state of being, rather than a
creed. In whomsoever the Eternal Brahma breathes his unquenchable fire,
he is a Brahmin and so in that sense Emerson was the best of Brahmins.”
Emerson wrote in his journal on the Vedas: “The East is grand and
makes Europe appear a land of trifles. In the sleep of the great heat there
is nothing for me but to read the Vedas, the Bible of the Tropics. It is
as sublime as heat and night and a breathless ocean. It contains every religious
sentiment, all the grand ethics which visit in turn each noble poetic mind.”
The parallels between Transcendentalism and Hinduism are not accidental.
Is it any wonder that our Master landed first in Boston where the seeds
had been planted to break out of orthodoxy and realize the oneness of all
As we know our Master often spoke of Self-Realization as a Church of All
So when you go to Boston, take a stroll down Newbury Street where they maintain
some of the original Boston Brahmin houses. But to get a sense of the real
Boston Brahmin, visit Emerson’s house. In the back there is a little
bench where he spent hours communing with God.
Of course, no one should visit Boston without seeing the places where our
Master lived worked and meditated. There is a wonderful DVD available in
the book room that gives a pictorial guide to the city and Master’s
The essence of the Vedas is in the Self-Realization two volume work, “God
Talks to Arjuna – the Bhagavad Gita, the Royal Science of Religion,”
also available in our book room.
The secret, however, to understanding the Vedas, and indeed, any religion,
is acquired through long, patient, God-hungry meditation as taught by Self-Realization.
Sister Gynamata: "It is not so much the quality of your meditations
that indicate your spiritual progress, but your endurance in the cold light
SANTA CLAUS AND THE CHRISTMAS TREE
The Christmas Tree was one of the first aspects of our
modern celebration of Christmas to come to light. In Germany , a yule log
was brought in at the winter solstice in late December. But it wasn’t
until the King of Norway sent Prince Albert a tree during his marriage to
Queen Victoria that a Christmas Tree was set up and decorated.
Actually, the tradition started centuries earlier when William the Conqueror
had his coronation on Christmas Day. Shortly thereafter the Catholic Church
initiated a Christ Mass on that day from which we get the word Christmas.
In 1842 an English shopkeeper sent out a card with a likeness of the Christmas
Tree on it and the tradition of the Christmas card was born.
It was about this time that Charles Dickens wrote “The Christmas Carol.”
As we all know it is the tale of Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim that established
a Christmas legacy that has been carried on to this day of gift giving,
love and friendship
Ebeneezer Scrooge was the one who really displayed the true Christmas Spirit
by changing from a mean and hard-hearted businessman to an altruistic, joyful
participant in the Christmas Spirit. The ghost of Christmas past was the
force that changed him.
In America , in l862, a cartoonist for Harper’s Weekly drew a picture
of Saint Nick coming down a chimney with his bundle of toys and thus the
tradition was started.