Following on from uesterday’s discussion of Jesus, Christianity and Hinduism, Julie writes to mention that today, which is the first day of the Ninth Wave, is also the 75th anniversary of the mahasamadhi, or transition, of Sri Yukteswar Giri, guru of Paramahansa Yogananda.
Sri Yukteswar and Yogananda were important sources on the connections between Christianity and Hinduism. Both of them seemed to have taken on the mission of bringing the world’s religions together.
Sri Yukteswar was himself a supremely-wise synthesizer of cross-cultural religious truth, as his book The Holy Science demonstrates.
At the behest of the marvellous spiritual adept known as Mahavatar Babaji, Sri Yukteswar sent Paramahansa Yogananda to the West to continue the work of Swami Vivekananda in spreading Vedanta but also to help make the relationship between Christianity and Hinduism plain to Westerners.
Yogananda did that in a multitude of books, the best known being Autobiography of a Yogi, but a lesser known one being The Second Coming of Christ.
I think you know that I asked Archangel Michael in my most recent reading whether I was correct in what I had said about the Trinity and he said I was. Well, a lot of that material derives from Yogananda, Sri Yukteswar, and similar Hindu teachers.
I asked Julie if I could publish her tribute to Sri Yukteswar and she said I could. So I’m happy to present that to you.
Julie on Sri Yukteswar and the Holy Science
My latest light on the path has been Swami Sri Yukteswar’s The Holy Science. I only very recently read Autobiography of a Yogi, but as Yogananda’s utterly captivating guru wrapped such light around me, I sought out his book.
For me, it has been perfectly placed now and so I thought it might be for others.
I feel it lays spiritual complexities out so simply, quietly and beautifully (though Yukteswar is bound somewhat to language itself, one is able to see easily the truths he attempts to convey).
I also loved the chapter in AY where Sri Yukteswar returns resurrected to Yogananda to explain to him the ‘worlds.’ I had to read it out loud to myself a second time. This chapter is a lovely pairing with The Holy Science — sort of ‘before’ and ‘after’ accounts, dare I say?
Since the anniversary of Yukteswar’s mahasamadhi is tomorrow, the 9th and also the beginning of the final and 9th wave of the Mayan calendar, which he addresses in his language in his introduction, perhaps there is even greater reason to bring this forth. Also, there are some living yogis who say that he will be one of the masters returning (1) during this last cycle.
Wikipedia had this to say about Sri Yukteswar’s view of the coming age:
“Sri Yukteswar was especially skilled in Jyotiṣa (Indian astrology). He also studied astronomy and science, as evidenced in the formulation of his Yuga theory in The Holy Science.The work introduced many ideas that were revolutionary for the time — for instance Sri Yukteswar broke from Hindu tradition in stating that the earth is not in the age of Kali Yuga, but has advanced to Dwapara Yuga. His proof was based on a new perspective of the precession of the equinoxes. He also introduced the idea that the sun takes a ‘star for its dual’, and revolves around it in a period of 24,000 years, which accounts for the precession of the equinox.”
I recently went to a satsang of our local Self Realization Fellowship. I had never been one before. I was struck and very moved by the altar in this converted small church. Under a softly-lit, understated alcove were the portraits of Lahiri Mahasaya, Babaji, Jesus, Krishna, Yogananda and Yukteswar. I know this is not an unusual array of personalities, but seeing them all together, illuminated in such a way, was so profound for me in the moment.
Here is what Yogananda says of Sri Yukteswar in the foreword of The Holy Science:
“Prophets of all lands and ages have succeeded in their God-quest. Entering a state of true illumination, nirbikalpa samadhi, these saints have realized the Supreme Reality behind all names and forms. Their wisdom and spiritual counsel have become the scriptures of the world. These, although outwardly differing by reason of the variegated cloaks of words, are all expressions –some open and clear, others hidden or symbolic — of the same basic truths of Spirit.
“My gurudeva, [divine teacher] Jnanavatar (incarnation of wisdom), Swami Sri Yukteswar (1855-1936) of Serampore, was eminently fitted to discern the underlying unity between the scriptures of Christianity and of Sanatana Dharma [Hinduism]. Placing the holy texts on the spotless table of his mind, he was able to dissect them with the scalpel of intuitive reasoning, and to separate interpolations and wrong interpretations of scholars from the truths as originally given by the prophets.
“It is owing to Jnanavatar Swami Sri Yukteswar’s unerring spiritual insight that it now becomes possible, through this book, to establish a fundamental harmony between the difficult biblical book, Revelation, and the Sankhya philosophy of India.
As my gurudeva has explained in his introduction, these pages were written by him in obedience to a request made by Babaji, the holy gurudeva of Lahiri Mahasayac [founder of Kriya Yoga], who in turn was the gurudeva of Sri Yukteswar.”
(1) On the Return of the Masters, see