Swami Yogananda with four others arrived at 8.45 a.m . . . The group had lunch in the Asramam.
Mr. C. R. Wright, his secretary, asked: How shall I realise God?
M.: God is an unknown entity. Moreover He is external. Whereas, the Self is always with you and it is you. Why do you leave out what is intimate and go in for what is external?
D.: What is this Self again?
M.: The Self is known to everyone but not clearly. You always exist. The Be-ing is the Self. ‘I am’ is the name of God. Of all the definitions of God, none is indeed so well put as the Biblical statement “I AM THAT I AM” in EXODUS (Chap. 3). There are other statements, such as Brahmaivaham, Aham Brahmasmi and Soham. But none is so direct as the name JEHOVAH = I AM. The Absolute Being is what is – It is the Self. It is God. Knowing the Self, God is known. In fact God is none other than the Self.
D.: Why are there good and evil?
M.: They are relative terms. There must be a subject to know the good and evil. That subject is the ego. Trace the source of the ego. It ends in the Self. The source of the ego is God. This definition of God is probably more concrete and better understood by you.
D.: So it is. How to get Bliss?
M.: Bliss is not something to be got. On the other hand you are always Bliss. This desire is born of the sense of incompleteness. To whom is this sense of incompleteness? Enquire. In deep sleep you were blissful: Now you are not so. What has interposed between that Bliss and this non-bliss? It is the ego. Seek its source and find you are Bliss. There is nothing new to get. You have, on the other hand, to get rid of your ignorance which makes you think that you are other than Bliss. For whom is this ignorance? It is to the ego. Trace the source of the ego. Then the ego is lost and Bliss remains over. It is eternal. You are That, here and now . . . That is the master key for solving all doubts. The doubts arise in the mind. The mind is born of the ego. The ego rises from the Self. Search the source of the ego and the Self is revealed. That alone remains. The universe is only expanded Self. It is not different from the Self.
D.: What is the best way of living?
M.: It differs according as one is a Jnani [knower] or ajnani. A Jnani does not find anything different or separate from the Self. All are in the Self. It is wrong to imagine that there is the world, that there is a body in it and that you dwell in the body. If the Truth is known, the universe and what is beyond it will be found to be only in the Self. The outlook differs according to the sight of the person. The sight is from the eye. The eye must be located somewhere. If you are seeing with the gross eyes you find others gross. If with subtle eyes (i.e., the mind) others appear subtle. If the eye becomes the Self, the Self being infinite, the eye is infinite. There is nothing else to see different from the Self.
He thanked Maharshi. He was told that the best way of thanking is to remain always as the Self.
Later the yogi [Yogananda] asked : How is the spiritual uplift of the people to be effected? What are the instructions to be given them?
Maharshi: They differ according to the temperaments of the individuals and the spiritual ripeness of their minds. There cannot be any instruction en masse.
Yogananda: Why does God permit suffering in the world? Should He not with His omnipotence do away with it at one stroke and ordain the universal realisation of God?
Maharshi: Suffering is the way for Realisation of God.
Yogananda: Should He not ordain it differently?
Maharshi: It is the way.
Yogananda: Are yoga, religion, etc., antidotes to suffering?
Maharshi: Who suffers? What is suffering?
(No answer. Finally the Yogi rose up, prayed for Sri Bhagavan’s blessings for his own work and expressed great regret for his hasty return. He looked very sincere and devoted and even emotional.)