A Path of Energy
There are many paths to God. Throughout history great masters are born to help us understand one or the other of them, according to the needs of the times. Yogananda placed great emphasis on energy, because the world has entered, he said, an age of energy, called Dwapara Yuga. Energy is the bridge between human and divine consciousness, a necessary bridge we need to cross in order to reach an ever-expanding realization. We can’t jump from one side of the chasm to the other. If a person doesn’t have energy, for example, even if he meditates, his mind will probably wander.
We are more aware of energy nowadays than in past times. Scientists have discovered that physical matter is not really something concrete, but a vibration of energy. When this energy vibrates at a certain level, it produces certain images which seem solid but which are not.
A New Age of Energy
In ancient times, man could not understand all this. It was necessary, therefore, to think in more fixed ways, in terms of structure, organization, and dogmas. Yogananda came to help us understand that it is a flow of energy that leads us to a consciousness that is even higher than energy, but that can only be reached through energy.
This is the true basis of Yogananda’s teachings. That’s why the Energization Exercises are so important: they are essential to understanding Kriya Yoga. You need to feel energy entering into the body and being distributed to the muscles. It is this energy that we then direct towards God in the spine, instead of merely offering Him our devotion in a sentimental way.
Every saint is a man or a woman of great energy. We too must be this way. Once we understand this, we truly understand Yogananda’s teachings.
At Ananda we have very few rules, because we know that a rule is made so that you don’t have to think. After you learn to tie your shoes, for example, you do it automatically, because it becomes a habit. Habits are good: They are a way that the mind has of giving us freedom to do other things. So it is good to have a certain amount of rules; but beyond these few guidelines, one must be free to understand, to invent, to go forward. This is why I think Ananda has an important mission, because it is based on this very principle of energy. Instead of creating forms and systems, Amanda encourages people to try to flow with energy. When you can do this, you discover that you can do much more, because each one of us has God and God can do everything through you.
Many times in my life I’ve had the thought, “This is something I can’t do, something I don’t know how to do.” Every time I responded by saying, “It may be true that I can’t, but He can.” I have called Him, and He has come. And many times I’ve been able to do easily things that were seemingly impossible, because He can do everything. It isn’t you who acts, it is He. It has happened this way many a time: God has given me what I needed. So never think, “I can’t.” Of course you can’t! It’s clear, it’s obvious. You shouldn’t think about it all the time, but rather think that He can do everything. I’ve done it hundreds of times in my life and it’s never failed. It’s a beautiful thing to try, because we all have moments in our lives when we don’t know what to do. But He knows, never forget that.
God Helps You If You Help Yourself
Asking for God’s help, too, is a matter of energy, because it’s not enough to say, “He can.” He can’t if you yourself don’t act. He helps you if you help yourself. You must engage your energy so as to create a magnetic field that will draw to you the inspiration and strength you need to do all that you wish to do. So we see again that everything we do in life is based on the principle that energy is the bridge toward a broader and higher realization. If a person meditates and prays with great energy: “I love You, Lord, I want You, I will reach You, I will know You,” He will respond. This is the way, Yogananda said, to reach God.
Yogananda was such a powerful man. I must honestly admit that living with him wasn’t always easy, for the very fact that he had so much energy. But those who followed him saw that they, too, had ever more energy. Being with him didn’t exhaust us; on the contrary, it recharged us.
In your life begin to think more of how you can serve God with all your energy, all your strength, all your soul. This is why Jesus said: “You must love God with all your mind, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” This strength is energy. When you feel a strong devotion in your heart, remember that this devotion is an energy that flows through the heart. If you direct it and offer it at the Christ center, you will see that it will take you to an ever- expanding state of consciousness.
Always remember this simple word: energy. Think of the future with faith and think with energy, because this energy is the secret of success in everything you do. Don’t get discouraged, don’t lose faith, but simply try to do what is right for you with ever increasing energy.