Through Many Lives

Dec 01, 2023


The stairs go up and down at the same time, with people ascending and descending. There is no visual distinction between beginning and end. I stared at this picture by MC Esher for some time and it felt like it was talking to me about my spiritual journey and my perseverance. But something was missing. Isn’t it true that we have been journeying up and down the Divine Highway depending on our Karmic and material attachments through many incarnations? Does this illusion represent my state? No commencement and no conclusion? Do I not have a role in this instead of just observing? What was missing?


Our lives journey through the cosmic motion picture of creation ever yearning to turn to the light that creates the Maya or reality. We hold on to our desires, attachments as comfort yet cannot overcome the fear of death that we should be very familiar with by now having reincarnated so many times. Paramhansa Yogananda, our beloved Master explained that memories of pain from past lifetimes creates the fear of death. At the point when the breath leaves the body, the actual suffocation is between 1 and 3 seconds. The remainder of our lives we hide ourselves in the shades of our own ignorance, live in denial, that somehow death will not come to us.


In an allegorical story from the Mahabharata, when the Pandavas were completing their 12 years in exile, Yudhishthira, who represented Dharma, had to face a lot of questions from Bakasura, who was Yama (the lord of Death) in disguise. A fascinating 2 part question was 

Who is the happiest of all? What is the biggest wonder? To which Yudhisthira replied - One who has no debt is the happiest of all. We all know that we will die one day, but never seem to accept or acknowledge death. That is the greatest wonder. 


How do we break the cycle of debt and death and be happy all the time? The answer lies in deep attunement to God and Guru, and steadfast meditation offering our heart’s devotion, upwardly directed will with our mind’s focus and concentration. The path is in our spinal inner highway to superconsciousness, up the spiral staircase, one step, one thought, one action at a time. Recently in meditation I had this beautiful and vivid vision of a spiral staircase. The walls were made of brick, and the steps of cobbled stones. Up at the right corner a sliver of a window through which a mellow light reflected towards me. Below was darker though I could not see much above or below. A vibration over my right ear was encouraging me to keep moving. I reasoned this vision as a lifetime, this lifetime in particular as the vibration was none other than Master’s touch. Swami Yukteshwar, my Paramguru, had said that ‘The past lives of men is darkened with many shames”. That’s why we get a reset in every lifetime to reinvigorate our search for salvation. “There are no obstacles, only opportunities” Master said. So, God sends his emissaries, Avatars or self-realized souls to show us those opportunities. In this spiral window of our lifetime, we are blessed to have Master as our Guru, and Swami Kriyananda as our dear friend and guide who so lucidly brings Master’s teachings to us, and with it all the tools and techniques to deepen our spiritual journey in a practical way. Through steadfast meditation, withdrawing from the distressing signals of our sense-laced world into the inner silence, we experience divine joy, attune to Divine Mother, and feel her presence in everything, everyone, everywhere. That is what each step is about on our cobbled pathways. Meditation helps burn our Karma, so we pay off our past debt and in the deepest state of attunement we experience deathlessness in  breathlessness. Nothing else matters. Master said a Yogi with deep practice of this inner religion can practice death at will to overcome all fears. 


Through many lives we have ascended and descended this spiral highway. Very very very good Karma has brought many of us to Ananda, our path for spiritual progress. Let’s pray to Divine Mother for her grace that we persevere in our daily meditations to keep our consciousness uplifted, and intensely love her, dissolve in her bliss, know her, and share her joy with all to be free from this cycle of life and death. That is the state of Samadhi and there is no ascending or descending at that time. No commencement or conclusion. Just stillness, joy, and freedom.


May we all find inspiration through these uplifting words from Swami Kriyananda’s song “Through Many Lives”:

I long for You in summer and in winter,

Only for you my heart thirsts day and night!

I’ve learned that the sweetest songs

Ears ever heard was your echo.

 Lord, at last fill me completely;

For nevermore I’d wander far from you!

In Divine Friendship,