Many people, including myself at one point, believe that one who believes in God is one who devotes themselves to who they believe created them, with knowledge that they can never be as great as God, This is the most common stereotype on religion by many athiests and agnostics. In Yogananda‘s teachings, he brings to light the emphasis that Hinduism has on the recognizing of God within our own soul. In the autobiography’s chapter “An Experience in Cosmic Consciousness“, Sri Yukteswar tells Yogananda “‘The Lord has created all men from the illimitable joy oins beingt Though they are painfully cramped by the body, God nevertheless expects that men made in His image shall ultimately rise above all sense identifications and reunite with Him’ (Yogananda 128)’: These statements from Yukteswar resonate greatly with me.
It is essentially saying that God‘s true desire for us is not to worship like we are His servants, but to recognize His presence in ourselves and strive to fully unite ourselves with Him.
It has also made me realize that there is much more to realize beyond the bounds of life.
God is all that exists above this life, which is truly a maya, or illusion. If we fully realize this, we will be liberated from the cycle of samskara and at our deaths attain Mahasamadhi: the successful unification with Brahman, What insights on Christian teachings and/or practices did you gain from reading Autobiography ofA Yogi? In what ways did your reading of Autobiography ofA Yogi change your views about Christianity? Yogananda‘s autobiography gave much insight on Christian teachings as a key theme in most of the chapters involved analogies of Christianity and Hinduism In one of these chapters, Yogananda discusses the Christlike lifestyle of Lahiri Mahasaya He creates the analogy that John the Baptist was the Babaji for the Lahiri Mahasaya in Jesus, Lahiri Mahasaya was a yogi disciple of Babaji, who was at a point released from Babaji’s teaching for a world missionl When Mahasaya asked Babaji when he will return, Babaji replied “‘My son, I shall come whenever you need me‘(Yogananda 282)”.
Babaji never physically returned to Mahasaya, but his teachings existed through Mahasaya as he soon became a revered ﬁgure liberated from the bounds of maya, and who’s praise was similar to that ofa vessel for God. The guruedisciple bond that was shared between Babaji and Lahiri Mahasaya that existed beyond physical proximity was key in the realization of God and the spreading of his message. Lahiri Mahasaya became “divinely perfect”, as Yogananda describes, similar to Jesus Christ’s status once his guru Elijah John had released him. The comparisons in this chapter that Yogananda had made between Christianity and Hinduism have taught me that the concepts of religion are truly universal. As in Hinduism, Christian teachings imply the omnipresence of God. In the quest to become one with God, the significance of our efforts will be shown ifwe allow God to be shown through us, Mahasaya once stated “A Moslem should perform his namaj worship five times daily,” the master pointed out. ‘Several times daily a Hindu should sit in meditation.
A Christian should go down on his knees several times daily, praying to God and then reading the Bible'(Yogananda 284)”. Mahasaya is showing that all religions have the same goal of becoming one with God, and it is not significant which path, or speciﬁc religion, that we follow. They all have the same desired destination I initially had believed that Christianity could never be related to Hinduism, besides the fact that they are both religions The fact that they are both religions however, is the only relation that is necessary to recognize, Christianity has also had inﬂuence on Mahatma Gandhi, who was a Hindu His practice of Satyagraha and “accepting the bullet”, as he described in a situation of his death, symbolize the cruciﬁcation oersus Christ. No matter what religion we desire to follow, our full dedication and practice will signify not just devotion to God but to being a vessel of the God that exists in us. Only then will we be with God, whether in heaven or through attainment ofMahasamadhi.