A palace is materialized.. The World Beyond (16) East meets West
No science or religion needs to explain the philosophy of life since the spiritual life is naturally self-regulating. Whatever we do or believe, each one of us will eventually find ourselves alive and well in the spirit world, once our time here is up. If religion and science are to merge successfully, the ideas of heresy and of knowledge being in any way forbidden or heretical must be banished. There need be no more secrets, codes, expensive or lengthy initiations and privileged hierarchies of bureaucrats which plague all administrations, political or religious, academic or commercial. Life is ultimately governed by spiritual law, sometimes misnamed destiny, predestination or karma.
The so-called forbidden knowledge was kept secret not because it was dangerous in itself, but because there was danger of death from the established church or government if a free-thinker, too openly challenging the prevailing worldview, was accused of being a heretic, not accepting the current traditional beliefs. Giordano Bruno was not the only mystic to be burned at the stake, and it is still dangerous, and illegal, in some parts of the world to openly display mediumistic abilities. The laity was not allowed to read the scriptures for themselves, and even some of the translators of the Bible from Latin into English, French or German were put to death by the Church and State. So much for freedom of thought. In contrast, the ancient Hindu scriptures taught self-awareness, and although part of the education of the higher castes in India, and of Muslims worldwide, is to learn their scriptures by heart, there has always been a freedom of interpretation, except for the literal-mindedness of some fundamentalists. Modern Spiritualists allow freedom of interpretation of their Principles in the same way.
So in that spirit of independence from dogmatic belief, I will continue this series with glimpses of the Life Beyond, taken from communications received at different times and places around the world. Here is a brief excerpt of an account of the mental construction of a palace in the World Beyond, taken from the autobiography of a the spiritual teacher, Paramahansa Yogananda,. * He was a Hindu yoga philosopher and medium from Bengal who came to the USA in 1920 and founded in Los Angeles the spiritual organization which came to be called The Self-Realization Fellowship. Lahiri Mahasaya, the teacher of Yoganda’s own spiritual instructor, Sri Yukteswar, was taken on a mystical trip by a guide to visit a palace constructed with thought-power by the spiritual master Babaji, believed to be an ageless mystical being, like the legendary St. Germain. It is an excellent illustration of how thought power is used by any inhabitant of the spirit world to create a house, a garden or any environment which he or she may wish to settle in for a while.
The experience took place in 1861 at the foothills of the Himalayas, over a hundred years before A. D. Mattson’s visit to the grotto mentioned in the previous article. Both accounts, however, show remarkable similarities, and are duplicated by other mediums, such as Stephen Ward coming through Leslie Flint to talk of attending concerts in the Life Beyond (listen to the recorded direct voice sessions at www.leslieflint.com , or the spirit of Sir Hubert Wilkins meeting with Harold Sherman, and Harold’s visit to a vast choral concert over there conducted by Harry Barnhart ( see my previous articles or Harold Sherman’s book, “The Dead are Alive.”) Now, here is a brief review of the account from India. Another pupil of Lahari Mahasaya, his Sanskrit teacher Swami Kebalananda, related this story to Yogananada about what Lahari told him of his experience.
He described a vast palace of dancing gold. Ornamented with countless jewels, set amid landscaped gardens, reflected in tranquil pools – it was a spectacle of unparalleled grandeur. Towering archways were intricately inlaid with great diamonds, sapphires, and emeralds. Men with angelic countenance were stationed by gates redly resplendent with rubies.
He followed his guide into a spacious reception hall. The odours of incense and roses wafted through the air; dim lamps shed a multi-coloured glow. Small groups of devotees, some fair, some dark-skinned, chanted softly or sat silently in the meditative posture, immersed in inner peace. A vibrant joy pervaded the atmosphere.
His guide explained that there was nothing inexplicable about this materialization. The whole cosmos is a projected thought of the Creator. The heavy clod of the earth, floating in space, is a dream of God’s. He made all things out of His mind, even as man in his dream consciousness reproduces and vivifies a creation with its creatures.
The Lord first formed the earth as an idea. He quickened it; atomic energy, and then matter, came into being. He coordinated earth atoms into a solid sphere. All its molecules are held together by the will of God. When He withdraws his will, all earth atoms will be transformed into energy. Atomic energy will return to its source: consciousness. The earth idea will disappear from objectivity.
The substance of a dream is held in materialization by the subconscious thought of the dreamer. When that cohesive thought is withdrawn in wakefulness, the dream and its elements dissolve. A man closes his eyes and erects a dream creation, which, on awakening, he effortlessly dematerializes. He follows the divine archetypal pattern. Similarly, when he awakens in cosmic consciousness, he effortlessly dematerializes the illusion of a cosmic-dream universe.
In tune with the infinite all-accomplishing Will, Babaji was able to command the elemental atoms to combine and manifest themselves in any form. This golden palace, instantaneously brought into being, was real – in the same sense that the earth is real. Babaji created this beautiful mansion out of his mind and is holding its atoms together by the power of his will, even as God’s thought created the earth and His will maintains it. When this structure has served its purpose, Babaji would dematerialize it.
This shimmering palace, superbly embellished with jewels, had not been built by human effort; its gold and gems were not laboriously mined. It stood solidly, a monumental challenge to man. Whoever realized himself as a son of God, [a spiritual being] even as Babaji has done, could reach any goal by the infinite powers hidden within him. A common tone secretly contains stupendous atomic energies; [The theory of the atomic structure of matter is expounded in ancient Indian Vaisesika and Nyaya treatises: -. ‘Vast worlds lie within the hollows of each atom, multifarious as the motes in a sunbeam.’ Yoga Vasishtha.
The guide picked up a vase with a handle blazing with diamondsand said that their great guru [Babaji] created this palace by solidifying myriads of free cosmic rays. If he touched that vase and its diamonds; they would pass all the tests of sensory experience. [In the same way some apports and materializations are brought into being at a séance and are quite real].
Lahiri continued his story and said that he examined the vase and found that its jewels were worthy of a king’s collection. He passed his hand over the walls of the room, thick with glistening gold. Deep satisfaction spread over his mind. A desire, hidden in his subconsciousness from lives now gone, seemed simultaneously gratified and extinguished. [A.D. Mattson also talks of seeing his connections with past lives at some point in his after death experiences].
His stately companion led him through ornate arches and corridors into a series of chambers richly furnished in the style of an emperor’s palace. They entered an immense hall. In the centre stood a golden throne, encrusted with jewels that shed a dazzling medley of colors. There, in lotus posture, sat the supreme Babaji. Lahari knelt on the shining floor at his feet. [Babaji then initiated Lahiri with the Kriya Yoga ceremony].
The rites were completed in the early dawn. In his ecstatic state Lahari felt no need for sleep. He wandered about the palace rooms, filled with treasures and exquisite objets d’art, and visited the gardens. He noticed, nearby, the caves and barren mountain ledges that he had seen the day before; but then they had not adjoined a great building and flowered terraces.
Reentering the palace, fabulously glistening in the cold Himalayan sunlight, he sought the presence of his master Babaji. He was still enthroned, surrounded by many quiet disciples. [He said to him:] ‘Lahiri, you are hungry. Close your eyes.’ When he reopened them, the enchanting palace and its gardens had disappeared. His own body and the forms of Babaji and his disciples were all now seated on the bare ground at the exact site of the vanished palace, not far from the sunlit entrance of the rocky grottoes. He recalled that his guide had remarked that the palace would be dematerialized, its captive atoms released into the thought essences from which they had sprung. Although stunned, he looked trustingly at his guru. He did not know what to expect next on that day of miracles.
‘The purpose for which the palace was created has now been served.’ Babaji explained. He lifted an earthen vessel from the ground. ‘Put your hand there and receive whatever food you desire.’ He touched the broad, empty bowl; hot buttered luchis, curry, and sweetmeats appeared. As he ate them he noticed that the bowl remained ever filled. At the end of the meal he looked around for water. His guru pointed to the bowl before him. The food had vanished; in its place was water. ‘Few mortals know that the kingdom of God includes the kingdom of mundane fulfillments.’ Babaji observed. ‘The divine realm extends to the earthly; but the latter, illusory in nature, does not contain the essence of Reality.’
Lahiri went into a meditative state for seven days, after which Babaji talked with him again, explaining that his task was now to go back to his wife and family and to his job, and to spread the spiritual teaching of Yoga philosophy, which in turn wsre passed on to Yogananda to bring to the West. As it has been seen, this same spiritual wisdom has been taught in the West since the advent of Modern Spiritualism in 1848. It originates in the same place, in the World Beyond.
* Reviewed from "Autobiography of a Yogi" by Paramahansa Yoganananda. Self-Realization Fellowship, Los Angeles, 1946, subsequently reprinted in many editions and translations and also issued as a Talking Book read by Ben Kingsley. Other general works by him about the life of the spirit, including all his spiritual teachings and public lectures are published by the SRF, and include: Journey to Self-Realization: Discovering the Gifts of the Soul (1997), Man's Eternal Quest (1975), and The Divine Romance (1986). Visit the SRF website for other works of his, talks on CD, and details of non-denominational lessons and courses in meditation and self-development.
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