Paramahansa Yogananda (January 5, 1893 – March 7, 1952), born Mukunda Lal Ghosh, was an Indian yogi and guru who introduced millions of westerners to the teachings of meditation and Kriya Yoga through his book, Autobiography of a Yogi.
The science of Kriya Yoga is the foundation of Yogananda’s teachings. Kriya Yoga is “union (yoga) with the Infinite through a certain action or rite (kriya). The Sanskrit root of kriya is kri, to do, to act and react.” Kriya Yoga was passed down through Yogananda’s guru lineage – Mahavatar Babaji taught Kriya Yoga to Lahiri Mahasaya, who taught it to his disciple, Yukteswar Giri, Yogananda’s Guru.
A SCRIPTURE OF LOVE
I sought love in many lives. I shed bitter tears of separation and repentance to know what love is. I sacrificed everything, all attachment and delusion, to learn at last that I am in love with Love – with God – alone. Then I drank love through all true hearts. I saw that He is the One Cosmic Lover, the One Fragrance that permeates all the variegated blossoms of love in the garden of life.
The sun and moon and earth and all things are held together by the love of God. If we want to know God, we must not isolate our love, but join it to Divine Love. In spite of the sorrowful dance of life and death we know that God is Love. Therefore the only purpose of life should be to find God.
Love is the song of the soul, singing to God. Love comes from the Lord. It is the panacea for all our human sufferings. There is noting greater than love, for it is a quality of God Himself within our beings. When we manifest this love under all circumstances, it expands to greater, universal love. Such love is divine. When you have that kind of love, then and then only are you One with God.
Many souls wonder wistfully, helplessly, why love flees from one heart to another; awakened souls realize that the heart is not fickle in loving different ones, but is loving the one God-Love that is present in all hearts.
The Lord ever silently whispers to you: I am Love. But to experience the giving and the gift of love, I divided Myself into three: love, lover, and beloved. My love is beautiful, pure, eternally joyous; and I taste it in many ways, through many forms.
As father I drink reverential love from the spring of my child’s heart. As mother I drink the nectar of unconditional love from the soul-cup of the tiny baby. As child I imbibe the protecting love of the father’s righteous reason. As infant I drink causeless love from the holy grail of maternal attraction. As master I drink sympathetic love from the flask of the servant’s thoughtfulness. As servant I sip respectful love from the goblet of the master’s appreciation. As guru-preceptor I enjoy purest love from the chalice of the disciple’s all-surrendering devotion. As friend I drink from the self-bubbling fountains of spontaneous love. As a divine friend, I quaff crystal waters of cosmic love from the reservoir of God-adoring hearts.
I am in love with Love alone, but I allow myself to be deluded when as father or mother I think and feel only for the child; when as lover I care only for the beloved; when as servant I live only for the master. But because I love Love alone, I ultimately break this delusion of My myriad human Selves. It is for this reason that I transfer the father into the astral land when he forgets that it is My love, not his, that protects the child. I lift the babe from the mother’s breast, that she might learn it is My love she adored in him. I spirit away the beloved from the lover who imagines it is she whom he loves, rather than My love responding in her.
So My love is playing hide-and-seek in all human hearts, that each might learn to discover and worship, not the temporal human receptacles of My love, but My love itself, dancing from one heart to another.
Human beings importune one another, “Love me alone,” and so I make cold their lips and seal them forever, that they utter this untruth no more. Because they are all My children, I want them to learn to speak the ultimate truth: “Love the One Love in all of us.” To tell another, “I love you,” is false until you realize the truth: “God as the love in me is in love with His love in you.”
The moon laughs at millions of well-meaning lovers who have unknowingly lied to their beloved ones: “I love you forever.” Their skulls are strewn over the windswept sands of eternity. They can no longer use their breath to say, “I love you.” They can neither remember nor redeem their promise to love each other forever.
Without speaking a word, I have loved you always. I alone can truly say, “I love you”; for I loved you before you were born; My love gives you life and sustains you even at this moment; and I alone can love you after the gates of death imprison you where none, not even your greatest human lover, can reach you.
I am the love that dances human puppets on strings of emotions and instincts, to play the drama of love on the stage of life. My love is beautiful and endlessly enjoyable when you love it alone; but the lifeline of your peace and joy is cut when instead you become entangled in human emotion and attachment. Realize, My children, it is My love for which you yearn!
Those who love Me as only one person, or who imperfectly love Me in one person, do not know what Love is. Only they can know Love who love Me wisely, faultlessly, completely, all-surrenderingly – who love Me perfectly and equally in all, and who love Me perfectly and equally as all. (‘The Divine Romance’ p.445)