“At present, mankind is like a growing child whose old clothes are bursting at the seams. Old attitudes and institutions, legacies from the dark age of Kali Yuga, are too narrow to accommodate the expansive spirit of Dwapara. Once we have learned to cast off our old mental ‘clothes,’ we shall know peace and true prosperity on every level of life.”
Last week, we witnessed some of the venerated immortal Saint Mahavatar Babaji’s predictions. While He still resides in Astral realms, helping directly and indirectly, there exists a physical world lineage of prominent disciples in India. This spiritual heritage was first passed to the great Master Lahiri Mahasaya, then Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri, and then to Paramhansa Yogananda (also spelled as Paramahansa). Their spiritual work and teachings have shone Divine light across the globe for almost two centuries.
As witness to the true nature of a Master, the Divine light will manifest in unique ways specific to the Master and the needs of the time and place. For example, in 1894 Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri wrote a book titled “Holy Science” or “Kaivalya Darsanam” in Hindi, as per the Great Guru Babaji’s request. In the introduction of this book, He explained that the Sun’s physical orbit around our galaxy is matched by another, less visible orbit, whose position relative to what is known as a “grand center” can expand humans’ ability to comprehend inner spiritual truths.
“[…] The sun also has another motion by which it revolves round a grand center called Vishnunabhi, which is the seat of the creative power, Brahma, the universal magnetism. Brahma regulates dharma, the mental virtue of the internal world. When the sun in its revolution round its dual comes to the place nearest to this grand center, the seat of Brahma, dharma, the mental virtue, becomes so much developed that man can easily comprehend all, even the mysteries of spirit. […]”
This cosmic cycle of our Earth’s Sun alternates and can be separated into two periods – 12,000 years of a descending period while the Sun is moving further away from the grand center, and, after passing through the furthermost point, a return path of 12,000 years known as the ascending period.
The two 12,000-year periods each contain four Yuga (era) cycles: the dark age of Kali Yuga lasting 1,200 years (also known as the iron age); the 2,400-year-long age where humans develop sensitivity to energy known as the Dwapara Yuga; the Treta Yuga of 3,600 years when we become aware that everything is created by thought; and finally, the 4,800-year-long Satya or Krita Yuga where humans develop the full realization of their mental dharma that all is Spirit.
In His explanation of the ancient Indian philosophies, Sri Yukteswar noted that our Sun is currently in its ascending period and, at the turn of the 20th century, had entered the stage of the Dwapara Yuga – dawning an imminent paradigm shift toward awakening consciousness. As if in acknowledgment, within a decade, the renowned German physicist Albert Einstein proposed three groundbreaking theories of atomic and quantum energy that opened humanity’s mind to a whole new concept of matter and time, while visionary Serbian inventor Nikola Tesla showed the world how this energy could be utilized for the peaceful benefit of all.
An excerpt from the book “The Road Ahead” by Swami Kriyananda – a prominent early American disciple of the Kriya Yoga lineage – provides a glimpse of what Sri Yukteswar’s words may mean for humanity:
“[…] The ancient prophecies of India, as explained by Sri Yukteswar, support the more hopeful view that the present state of world unrest presages not doom, but eventual adjustment to more spiritual values. At present, mankind is like a growing child whose old clothes are bursting at the seams. Old attitudes and institutions, legacies from the dark age of Kali Yuga, are too narrow to accommodate the expansive spirit of Dwapara. Once we have learned to cast off our old mental ‘clothes,’ we shall know peace and true prosperity on every level of life.”
The reference to “old attitudes and institutions as legacies from the dark age” helps us comprehend the unthinkable actions that modern people witness and participate in, such as war and violence; the habit of using animal-people for food; the destruction from this horrid practice on the environment; the enslavement of human races and animal-people species for capital gain; and many instances of corrupt religious and government leaders exploiting their followers and citizens for money, power and fame.
However, now, more than a century later, Sri Yukteswar’s words also bring us hope. Much like a caterpillar whose transformation yields a beautiful free-flowing butterfly-person, in the Dwapara Yuga, humans, too, have the capacity for a greatly expanded consciousness that would allow their perception and understanding to soar Heavenward.
Heralding this awakening new age of consciousness, our Beloved Supreme Master Ching Hai has frequently spoken on this topic.
“This planet is elevated (to a high) enough level to join into other planets of a higher developed galaxy. So, whenever you have a chance to meditate, be it in the center, be it on the bus, be it in the park, be it in the baby-sitting area, anywhere you meditate, OK? Especially in this time, the transitional period, where the planet Earth joins all the more developed galaxies. So everything is blessed and open for the faithful ones.”
“More and more people are doing virtuous deeds, practice deep meditation, spiritual disciplines, and adopting the compassionate, vegan lifestyle. Nowadays, because the communication is so advanced, so the vegan lifestyle or spiritual lifestyle spreads very easily, unlike the time of Jesus. So, nowadays, we don’t have those harassments from misunderstanding like the time of Jesus or the time of Prophet Muhammad, Peace Be Upon Him. Also, our human evolution has benefited from the spiritual Masters who have been gracing our Earth throughout history to bless us. So, the atmosphere of our world today has become more purified, despite the setbacks that we have also, at the same time, due to the uncompassionate way that we have been misled into living.”
As if by Divine arrangement, in the year preceding Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri’s 1894 book, the spiritually gifted child Mukunda Lal Ghosh was born. At the age of eight, Mukunda witnessed God as Light and had multiple visions of the Swami who would become His Master throughout His early years. After meeting Master Sri Yukteswar in person, Mukunda eventually became His chief disciple and later achieved enlightenment. He became known as Paramhansa Yogananda. Paramhansa – which translates to “Supreme Swan” – was an honorary title given by His Master Sri Yukteswar.
As the young Paramhansa Yogananda prepared to travel to preach in the West, He also received a visit from Venerated Enlightened Master Babaji: “As I went about my preparations to leave Master and my native land for the unknown shores of America, […] one early morning I began to pray, with an adamant determination to continue, to even die praying, until I heard the voice of God. I wanted His blessing and assurance that I would not lose myself in the fogs of modern utilitarianism. […] I prayed and prayed, muffling my sobs. No answer came. My silent petition increased in excruciating crescendo until, at noon, […] I felt as though my brain would split. At that moment there came a knock outside the […] room in which I was sitting. Opening the door, I saw a young man in the scanty garb of a renunciate. […] ‘He must be Babaji!’ I thought, dazed, because the man before me had the features of a younger Lahiri Mahasaya. He answered my thought. ‘Yes, I am Babaji.’ […] ‘Our Heavenly Father has heard your prayer. He commands me to tell you: Follow the behests of your guru and go to America. Fear not; you will be protected.’ After a vibrant pause, Babaji addressed me again. ‘You are the one I have chosen to spread the message of Kriya Yoga in the West. Long ago I met your guru Yukteswar at a Kumbha Mela; I told him then I would send you to him for training.’”
Paramhansa Yogananda arrived in the United States of America in 1920 and began to introduce Kriya Yoga: the spiritual practice of action yoga revived by Lord Babaji from Lord Patanjali’s teachings. Reaching millions of people around the globe with this ancient gift over the ensuing years, Paramhansa Yogananda earned the title “Father of Yoga in the West.”
The published book – “Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramhansa Yogananda in 1946 has now become one of the world’s most acclaimed spiritual classics, and His uplifting legacy continues to inspire people into spiritual awakening today.
In 2019 at the New Land Ashram, Taiwan (also known as Formosa), Supreme Master Ching Hai explained the origins of this purehearted Yogi’s name.
“Paramhansa Yogananda, that's His title. We have to say the whole thing. Means He's a Great Swan; means liberated Saint. So, His Master knew that He was already great and liberated, so He gave Him this title: Paramhansa Yogananda. ‘Hansa’ means swan; Hansa is a symbol of purity and freedom. Because the swans, normally, the real swans, they live only in the very high-altitude lakes. They drink only from the pure water. And legend says that they even eat only pearls. Some substance of purity like that. They're not normal. Some swans are like that. From celestial abodes, they come down to become swans for a while. ‘Param’ means not ordinary swan. Means… (Supreme.) supreme. Yeah, yeah. ‘Param.’ In India, some Masters, like some Masters of the (inner Heavenly) Light and Sound Method, they call them ‘Param Saint,’ means ‘Supreme Saint.’ Supreme. So, ‘Paramhansa.’”
Along with His many teachings encompassing vast aspects of human life, Paramhansa Yogananda’s prophetic abilities were well known to His followers. His devoted American monastic disciple, Swami Kriyananda, shared two incidents that demonstrated his Master’s clairvoyant abilities.
“India will be freed during my lifetime by spiritual means.” This phrase was uttered by Paramhansa Yogananda when He was asked to lead a revolutionary movement for the liberation of India from the British Empire. Having foresight, He warned those who were actively involved with these violent means, to cease and desist. He predicted that the weapon-bearing shipment traveling from Germany to India, would be discovered by the British. True to His words, the British intercepted the ship, and the revolutionaries were imprisoned. Not long after, Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violent “revolution” to free India came to the forefront, and the succession transitioned in peace.
A second story comes from when Paramhansa Yogananda was in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. An anonymous letter expressed the writer’s discontent over Master Paramhansa Yogananda’s “sponsoring” of Lord Jesus Christ in the West during one of His lectures. The letter read, “Don’t you know that Jesus never lived? He was a myth invented only to deceive people.”
Approximately one week after receiving the letter, Paramhansa Yogananda encountered this same anonymous writer at the Boston Public Library. Paramhansa Yogananda approached the man and politely inquired:
“Why did you write me that letter?”
Startled, the man exclaimed,
“What do You mean? What letter?”
“The one in which you claimed that Jesus Christ was a myth.”
“But – how did You know I wrote You that?”
“I have my ways, but I wanted you to know that the same power which enabled me to find you enables me also to know that Jesus did live, and that He was indeed what the Bible says He was: a great Master, a true Christ.”
In the true nature of an Enlightened Master walking the Earth, Paramhansa Yogananda represented the unified and noble teachings of God. From His numerous enlightening publications and the notes of many of His disciples, we look forward to sharing inspiring prophecies from this venerated Saint in our coming episodes.