Sitting on my bed in the Bombay hotel at three o’clock in the afternoon of June 19, 1936 — one week after the vision of Krishna — I was roused from my meditation by a beatific light. Before my open and astonished eyes, the whole room was transformed into a strange world, the sunlight transmuted into supernal splendor.
Waves of rapture engulfed me as I beheld the flesh and blood form of Sri Yukteswar!
“My son!” Master spoke tenderly, on his face an angel-bewitching smile.
For the first time in my life I did not kneel at his feet in greeting, but instantly advanced to gather him hungrily in my arms. Moment of moments! The anguish of past months was toll I counted weightless against the torrential bliss now descending.
“Master mine, beloved of my heart, why did you leave me?” I was incoherent in an excess of joy. “Why did you let me go to the Kumbha Mela? How bitterly have I blamed myself for leaving you!”
“I did not want to interfere with your happy anticipation of seeing the pilgrimage spot where first I met Babaji. I left you only for a little while; am I not with you again?”
“But is it you, Master, the same Lion of God? Are you wearing a body like the one I buried beneath the cruel Puri sands?”
“Yes, my child, I am the same. This is a flesh and blood body. Though I see it as ethereal, to your sight it is physical. From cosmic atoms I created an entirely new body, exactly like that cosmic-dream physical body which you laid beneath the dream-sands at Puri in your dream-world. I am in truth resurrected — not on earth but on an astral planet. Its inhabitants are better able than earthly humanity to meet my lofty standards. There you and your exalted loved ones shall someday come to be with me.”
“Deathless guru, tell me more!”
Master gave a quick, mirthful chuckle. “Please, dear one,” he said, “won’t you relax your hold a little?”
“Only a little!” I had been embracing him with an octopus grip. I could detect the same faint, fragrant, natural odor that had been characteristic of his body before. The thrilling touch of his divine flesh still persists around the inner sides of my arms and in my palms whenever I recall those glorious hours. ….
“O Master, I was grieving so deeply about your death!”
“Ah, wherein did I die? Isn’t there some contradiction?” Sri Yukteswar’s eyes were twinkling with love and amusement.
“You were only dreaming on earth; on that earth you saw my dream-body,” he went on. “Later you buried that dream-image. Now my finer fleshly body — which you behold and are even now embracing rather closely! — is resurrected on another finer dream-planet of God. Someday that finer dream-body and finer dream-planet will pass away; they too are not forever. All dream-bubbles must eventually burst at a final wakeful touch. Differentiate, my son Yogananda, between dreams and Reality!”
This idea of Vedantic resurrection struck me with wonder. I was ashamed that I had pitied Master when I had seen his lifeless body at Puri. I comprehended at last that my guru had always been fully awake in God, perceiving his own life and passing on earth, and his present resurrection, as nothing more than relativities of divine ideas in the cosmic dream.
“I have now told you, Yogananda, the truths of my life, death, and resurrection. Grieve not for me; rather broadcast everywhere the story of my resurrection from the God-dreamed earth of men to another God-dreamed planet of astrally garbed souls! New hope will be infused into the hearts of misery-mad, death-fearing dreamers of the world.”
“Yes, Master!” How willingly would I share with others my joy at his resurrection!
Paramahansa Yogananda, Autobiography of a Yogi, Self-Realization Fellowship