Mother’s Day Reading
(with some editing, this is by Paramhansa Yogananda)
Truth is one and eternal. Realize oneness with it in your deathless Self, within.
In the Book of Luke, Chapter 2, Verses 4-7, we find these well-known phrases:
And Joseph went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the City of David, which is called Bethlehem with Mary his wife, who great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And Mary brought forth her firstborn son. . .
When God created this universe He revealed two aspects: the father or masculine aspect, and the mother or feminine aspect – represented here by Father Joseph and Mother Mary. In order to help us understand the masculine aspect of God, try this exercise:
. . . Close your eyes and visualize vast endless space all around you: above, below, to the left and right, in front and behind, endless space in all directions. Expanding your consciousness in space you may feel yourself overwhelmed and enthralled; you feel pure wisdom, naught but wisdom. That hidden, limitless sphere wherein there is no creation, no stars or planets —only pure wisdom — is the Father, or what can be called God beyond creation – the all-pervasive animating Spirit hidden behind all things . . .
Now, to get a sense of God as the feminine aspect we need but open our eyes and look at the natural world about us: “Mother nature,” with her diamond-dazzling stars, the Milky Way, flowers, birds, clouds, mountains, and sky — the countless beauties of creation — is the Divine Mother. In nature you behold the mother aspect of God, full of beauty, gentleness, tenderness, and kindness. The beauty in nature bespeaks the creative motherly instinct of God, and when we look upon all the good in nature we experience a feeling of tenderness within us; we can see and feel God in nature.
So taking these two – God beyond creation, and God as creation, we have an image of God as both Father and Mother.
In the 14th Chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, Verses 1-4 the Lord speaks to us with the voice of the Father, the impersonal expression of God:
I speak about the highest wisdom, which transcends all knowledge. With this wisdom all sages, at the end of life have attained the final perfection:
My womb is known as the Great Prakriti (Cosmic Mother Nature) into which I deposit the seed (of my intelligent awareness); this is the cause of birth of all beings.
O Arjuna, of all forms — produced from whatever wombs — Great Prakriti – Cosmic Mother Nature – is their original womb (or mother), and I am the seed-implanting Father.
The Divine or Spirit is here proclaimed as the Father-Mother of all phenomenal life. In Its transcendental aspect, Spirit is unified or uncreative.
Whereas reflecting Itself in the vibratory matrix of Cosmic Nature as Divine Intelligence, Spirit then starts the work of creation.
In “pure cosmic consciousness” or unity, no creation, that is, no variety, is possible. By bringing into being the cosmic storm of Prakriti – the natural world - God produces from His one ocean of formless Infinitude the endless waves of creation.
In a human sense we consider the common parents of all humanity to be Adam and Eve (or the “first couple,” a concept wherein these “first parents” of the human race are called by other names in various traditions). Ultimately, however, God the Father and His consort Prakriti — impregnated with His intelligent awareness to become the Mother principle, are the primal Parents of all life: whether animate or seemingly inanimate; whether angelic, demonic, human, animal, vegetable, or mineral.
Thus, through Holy Scripture, God has spoken to mankind.
A few note of Lorne's:
• In other words, just as each human being has a mother and a father, so all beings, as well as the entire creation, have two parents: the cosmic mother and father.
• Mother’s Day is celebrated at the height of the spring blooming time – to give us a tangible and vivid example of the creative power of the universal Divine Mother.
Reading from The Essence of Self-Realization
The following is a question that was addressed to Paramhansa Yoganada
"I have trouble visualizing God," complained a student of religious New Thought. "I've imagined Him as Infinite Intelligence, as the I AM principle, as my God-Self within, as the Cosmic Ground of Being. It all seems so abstract! But your relationship with the Lord is so loving. How can I achieve such a relationship?"
"The first step," replied the Master, "is not to imagine that He wants your definitions. He wants only your love.
"Why not," Yogananda then suggested, "worship the Infinite as your Divine Mother?"
"What a lovely idea!" exclaimed the visitor. "But is it valid? Is it true?"
"Indeed, yes!" replied Sri Yogananda emphatically. "God's love is already reflected in human relationships. His love, like the sunlight shining on countless pieces of glass, is reflected everywhere.
"The Infinite is the Mother behind all human mothers, the true Father behind all human fathers. He is the ever-loyal Friend behind all earthly friends. He is the eternal Beloved behind all human loves. He is all things to all men, because, you see, the Lord is everything.
"Through your parents He cares for you, supports you, and protects you. Through your friends He shows you that love is a free sharing, without any hint of compulsion. Through the beloved He helps one to find the selfless intensity of divine love. Through people's children He helps them to understand love as something precious, as a thing to be protected from harmful influences and nourished with devotion.
"Countless are the forms in which God comes to man. In each, He seeks to teach man something of His infinite nature. The lessons are there, for anyone whose heart is open to receive them.
"Thus, it isn't that the Lord wants you to deny your human nature. What He wants, rather, is for you to purify it: to expand whatever love you feel in your heart, and not to keep it locked up in ego-attachments.
"For the devotee, it is natural therefore to worship God in some human aspect: as his Divine Mother, for example, or as his Heavenly Father.
"I myself worship the Mother aspect, especially. For the Mother is closer than the Father. The Father aspect of God represents that part which is aloof from His creation. The Mother is creation itself. Even among mankind, the human father is more disposed than the mother to judge their erring children. The mother always forgives.
"Pray, then, to the Divine Mother. Talk to Her like
a child: 'Divine Mother, naughty or good, I am Your own. You must release me from this delusion.' The Mother ever responds with compassion when the devotee prays to Her sincerely in this way.
"Of course, in the highest sense God is none of the forms in which people worship Him. But it is helpful to use human concepts as a means of deepening our devotion to Him.
"Beyond devotion comes divine love. In that perfection of love there is complete union. In that state the yogi realizes the supreme truth: 'I am That.'"
From the Ananda.org Website Question and Answer Section
Question from George in Europe:
Hi. I’m struggling with my love for God since I don’t know how to love Him/Her. If I think about Him in an abstract way I don’t know what to love. If I think about God in the form of, let’s say, Yogananda, I don’t know how to make this love impersonal. And I don’t know how to love God in any of His eight aspects (light, sound, peace, ...).
Because of this, I also don’t know how to love God in everyone (how to see beyond looks and personality).
Please help. Thank you!
Answer from Nayaswami Anandi:
Please forgive me for taking so long to answer your question. It is a very important question.
Swami Kriyananda writes that when he came on the spiritual path and heard about the importance of love for God as the Divine Mother, he found this difficult at first. But then he remembered his godmother. She was a very sweet and loving woman and yet more distant from him than his own mother. So, he began to focus on the Divine Mother by imagining Her in the form of his godmother. That helped to open his heart, and he was then able to direct that love to the Divine Mother, which is also AUM, the Creative Cosmic Vibration (a much more impersonal concept, yet one that is imbued with love.)
You could try something similar. Can you imagine someone in your life for whom you feel a great love and trust? It could be a relative who is no longer alive, someone you know only slightly but find deeply inspiring, or even a pet. Can you begin to focus on the love you feel when you hold their image up in meditation? Can you then, now, remove the image of that person and direct that same love to their Creator?
Whatever person you love is lovable because they are created by the Source of all love and are a tiny reflection of God.
One time Swamiji said to us that the love we feel for Yogananda is not really personal because we never knew him. When Yogananda was alive, it was easy for people to become attached to his lovable personality, attached to if he looked at them and smiled sweetly, and so on.
For us now, our relationship with Yogananda must be much more directed to his vibration. So, while you can try the exercise I mentioned above, I don’t think you really have to worry about becoming too personal in your relationship with Yogananda. When you read his books, tune in especially to the deep inspiration of God he transmits. When you listen to his recordings, try to attune to the vibration of joy and love coming through his voice. This will help you see him in his vaster nature.
The most important thing is to begin somewhere to focus on that love and not to worry too much about the details. Of course your love will not be perfectly pure when you begin. It will not be perfect until you are one with God. But better to start somewhere than to be overly careful about exactly how to love God. We cannot "figure out" love with our minds, but need to start where we feel even a taste of it, and develop that more and more.
In divine friendship,
Quotes from Paramhansa Yogananda on Divine Mother
I shall steal my way to heaven
We only increase the inner darkness of our spiritual ignorance when we think of ourselves as sinners. It is better for us to try to correct ourselves, appealing to the Divine Mother for help, beholding in Her the reflection of God's infinite love and forgiveness.
While I was meditating last night, I sang this love song to the Divine:
O Divine Mother, I am Thy little babe, Thy helpless babe, secretly sitting on
Thy lap of immortality. I shall steal my way to heaven sitting on Thy lap.
In the shelter of Thy lap I shall steal my way to
heaven. No karma can touch me, for I am Thy babe,
Thy little babe, Thy helpless babe. Secretly, on Thy lap,
I shall steal my way to heaven!
That is the relationship to have with God, for the love
of the Mother is the all-forgiving love of the Divine.
(Possible chant to follow: Receive Me On Thy Lap)
Trust in the Divine Mother
There are two kinds of seekers: those who are like the baby monkey, and those who are like the kitten. The baby monkey clings to the mother; but when the mother jumps, it may fall off. The little kitten, however, is carried about by the mother cat, content wherever she places it. The kitten has complete trust in its mother.
I am more like the kitten; I give all responsibility to the Divine Mother.
But to maintain that attitude takes great will. Under all circumstances—health or sickness, riches or poverty, sunshine or gray clouds—your feeling must remain unruffled. Even when you are in the coal bin of suffering you don't wonder why the Mother placed you there. You have faith that She knows best. Sometimes an apparent disaster turns into a blessing for you....
Gloom is but the shade of Divine Mother's hand outstretched caressingly. Don't forget that. Sometimes, when the Mother is going to caress you, a shadow is caused by Her hand before it touches you. So when trouble comes, don't think that She is punishing you; Her hand overshadowing you holds some blessing as it reaches out to bring you nearer to Her.
The Divine Mother is anxious to have you have you with Her
Like an insistent child, constantly call to the Divine Mother until She says: "All right, what is it you want?” She is so busy with creation, She doesn't reply at once; but to the naughty child who cries and cries for Her, She will come
The Divine Mother is most anxious to have you with Her, but first you must prove to her that you want Her alone. You must cry urgently and unceasingly; then She smiles and is with you instantly. Divine Spirit has no partiality; the mother loves all. But Her devotees appreciate Her love, and respond to Her love. I see the effect on people who have gained a little human love, or a little money— how happy they are! But if they could see what strength, what joy, what love is in the Divine Mother, they would fly away- from all else.