Yoga, Yogi!Dec 13, 2022
Did you know that before Paramhansa Yogananda published the Autobiography of a Yogi, he was going to name the book, “The Yogi Christs of Modern India”? Of course, he didn’t and now we know his seminal spiritual classic by its eternal name: Autobiography of a Yogi.
What does it mean to be a Yogi Christ? For that matter, what does it mean to be a yogi? It’s quite significant that Yogananda identified with being not a “Swami” or a “monk” but a “yogi.”
A friend of ours who is a long-time disciple of Yogananda (and a devout Kriya Yogi) is studying to become an Episcopalian priest. He was part of the Church some forty years ago and said that people at that time repeatedly asked him, “What is your state?” In other words, they wanted to know if he was “saved.” It was about static belief, not dynamic experience.
Now, his fellow ministers are asking him something quite different. They ask, “What is your spiritual practice?” He tells them all that he meditates through the practice of Kriya Yoga and inner communion with Christ consciousness.
To be a yogi means we practice and experience what Jesus Christ said in the first commandment: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, all thy mind, all thy soul, and all thy strength.”
A few years ago we watched a movie called Dangal. It’s about a former Indian wrestler and his two wrestler daughters who struggle towards glory at the Commonwealth Games in the face of societal oppression. One of the theme songs from the movie is simply, “Dangal, Dangal,” which means, “Wrestle, wrestler!”
To translate this song for us as spiritual aspirants, we can sing, “Yoga, Yogi!” That is, “Love God, Lover of God!”
This is why Yogananda inaugurated in America the all-day Christmas meditation. Rather than being “saved” by an outer Church, he wants us to experience the inner temple of Christ within. Rather than fleeting joys, he wants us to experience lasting divine joy through ecstatic communion with Christ consciousness.
Perhaps it's no coincidence that the anniversary month of the original edition of Autobiography of a Yogi is December.
May your own yogi Christ consciousness be born this holy season so that every day be a true celebration of Christ consciousness!
Then you shall become a “Yogi Christ,” indeed!
In Christ’s Love & Joy,