excerpts from “Experiencing Our Divine Potential,” Brother Achalananda, 2006, devotee notes
REINCARNATION – Mineral, Plant, Animal, Human
Master said, “God did not want matter to become something different from Himself, so He had imbued it with a dreaming intelligence which, by a process of evolution, would gradually awaken and realize that matter and mind (the idea vibrations of God) are one.” …
Locked in the elements and minerals of inert matter, intelligence and consciousness sleep – it can’t express. Then what had looked like inert matter begins to take living form – in plants we see a semblance of life, a hint of life. In animals we find consciousness, but not self-consciousness, or only a hint of it. In humanity we find both consciousness and self-consciousness and the potential for God-realization. Think of what a gift we have received!!
As the lower forms of life go about their drama in nature, we see the law is survival of the fittest…It seems to us to be a cruel and terrible law, but in the final analysis it’s not, because it’s only a dream form. When the animal dies, its soul dissolves back into God’s consciousness, and then the individualized spark of God within it comes back in a higher form.
In the Autobiography, Master tells the story of his beloved baby deer, which, after being overfed by one of the young boys at the school in India, lay dying. Master prayed fervently to God to spare its life. But then the deer appeared to Master in a dream and made its plea: “You are holding me back. Please let me go!” “All right,” Master answered in the dream, and the fawn passed on quickly, because it was ready for a higher form. …
Death is another aspect of life. Birth and death are doors by which we pass from one dream to another dream aspect of life – the means for us to go from the gross physical dream of God to the finer, more evolved dream of God in the astral world.
Paramahansaji with deer statue, Hollywood Temple
“Where do you think you are now?”
One time there was a woman who came to Master and asked, “Is there really such a thing as hell?” Master’s eyes were twinkling as he said, “Where do you think you are now?” (Laughter)
This place is our hell. Reincarnation of these individualized bodies is a series of dreams within a dream. Reincarnation is the soul’s individualized dream within God’s greater dream. We arrive at last and become reunited with the Dreamer who has dreamed it all. A man is born in Denmark to poor parents, goes off to war and dies in battle. Next time he may be born in Italy to rich parents and become a priest or monk who spends his life in prayer. Then he takes rebirth in Asia, and after many struggles becomes a powerful king. And when he dreams death again, he is reborn a poor man in India; he finds his guru and finds God.
So hate no one and be attached to no nationality, because we’ve been all of those nationalities. Sometimes we have dark skin, sometimes light skin, but in each case it’s you each time. Each race, each nationality, thinks they are correct – they think their ways are justified, its customs the best. Until one gains wisdom, reincarnation is troublesome, a painful process of events that are full of shattered hopes.
Someone said, “Why is it old age comes so fast and smartness comes so slow?” (Laughter)
There is hope for us – KRIYA YOGA
I was fascinated by the concept of reincarnation. Then I got to thinking, “I wonder – how many human incarnations do we go through until we get freedom?” Then I thought, “Probably thousands.” As I thought about it more I upped the ante, “No, tens of thousands!” Then as I continued to observe humanity … (Laughter) I thought, “No, hundreds of thousands!!”
Then I saw something in Guruji writings. He said it takes millions of incarnations for the average person to gain freedom!! It’s shocking! But there’s a happy side – there is hope for us – and that is Kriya Yoga. Master said that you do not gain a great technique such as Kriya Yoga at the beginning of your spiritual evolution; you get it at the end of your search for God. With practice of Kriya you can find God in one lifetime, or if you are a little bit lagging, a few lifetimes. Master encourages us – he’s telling us, “Hey, keep at it! You’re almost there.” Just stay with it and that divine potential will begin to express more and more in our lives.
These are interesting times we live in. Suppose a man is struck by a bomb and killed instantly. On the battle field he was filled with fear; but after death he joyously realizes he is free from fear and from the tomb of the body. One need not go through some ordeal to attain this knowledge. It is better to acquire wisdom through conscious spiritual effort in your life now. You can evolve through spiritual practice rather than by having to go through every experience.
Meditate. Love God. Find God. – Break Free!
But the world trains our minds in a different way. This world gets us caught up in materiality – it gets us accustomed to having too many things, and then we think we can’t be happy without them. “Make your life more simple,” Master said. “If you don’t do it, life’s experiences will teach you through bitter disillusionment.” ….
Bring up your children in this philosophy. Don’t pamper them. Give them good training. Keep their lives simple. Teach them not to cater too much to the body. Why enslave them in delusion? Give them true freedom by keeping their lives simple and cultivating in them inner peace and happiness. Do the same with your own life. Don’t be bound by anything. “That philosophy will save you,” Master said. Don’t be attached to things, because then when you can’t have it anymore that attachment will only lead to unhappiness, pain, and sorrow. ….
We have to learn to accept the experiences of life that come and try to learn what they are trying to teach us. Master said, “God’s dream creation was not meant to frighten you, but to prod you to realize finally that it has no reality. Refuse to be intimidated by this dream. Affirm: “I will not be frightened by ill health, poverty, and accidents. Bless me, O Lord, that when You put me through trials, I realize their delusive nature…. You can break down the ramparts of ignorance that have enclosed you for incarnations. You will know that as an immortal child of God, death cannot kill you, nor can birth in this fleshly cage completely inhibit the transcendent power within you. By the soul, you must redeem the soul…” ….
So let’s not be lazy. Let’s get on with the show. Remember all those millions of incarnations? Haven’t you had enough of them? (Laughter, along with a long whispered “Yessssss!” from the audience)
The world is a mess. Who made it the big mess? We did. Don’t we want to break the mold and be free from these forced incarnations? Break free. Meditate. Love God. Seek God. Find God … and you will be free.