Sri Yukteswar

Paramhansa Yogananda's Master

"My own path led to a Christlike sage; his beautiful life was chiseled for the ages.  He was one of the great masters who are India's truest wealth.  Emerging in every generation, they have bulwarked their land against the fate of ancient Egypt and Babylonia (...) Master ate little; often rice, colored with turmeric or juice of beets or spinach and lightly sprinkled with buffalo ghee or melted butter.  Another day he might have lentil dal or channa curry with vegetables.  For dessert, mangoes or oranges with rice pudding, or jackfruit juice. Quiet evening hours often brought one of my guru's discourses:  treasures aginst time.  His every utterance was chiseled by wisdom.  A sublime self-assurance was his mode of expression:  it was unique.  He spoke as none other in my experience ever spoke.  His thoughts were weighed in a delicate balance of discrimination before he permitted them the outward garb of speech.  The essence of truth, all-pervasive with even a physiological aspect, came from him like a fragrant exudation of the soul.  I was conscious always that I was in the presence of a living manifestation of God.  The weight of his divinity automatically bowed my head before him.  'All creation is governed by law,' Sri Yukteeswar concluded. 'The principles that operate in the outer universe, discoverable by scientists, are called natural laws.  But there are subtler laws that rule the hidden spiritual planes and the inner realm of consciousness; these principles are knowable through the science of yoga.  It is not the physicist but the Self-realized master who comprehends the true nature of matter.  By such knowledge Christ was able to restore the servant's ear after it had been severed by one of the disciples'. Sri Yukteswar was reserved and matter-of-fact in demeanor.  There was naught of the vague or daft visionary about him.  His feet were firm on the earth, his head in the haven of heaven.  Practical people aroused his admiration.  'Saintliness is not dumbness!  Divine perceptions are not incapacitating!' he would say. 'The active expression of virtue gives rise to the keenest intelligence'. My guru was reluctant to discuss the superphysical realms.  His only "marvelous" aura was that of perfect simplicity.  In conversation he avoided startling references; in action he was freely expressive.  Many teachers talked of miracles but could manifest nothing; Sri Yukteswar seldom mentioned the subtle laws but secretly operated them at will. Sri Yukteswar counseld his students to be living liaisons of Western and Eastern virtues.  Himself an executive Occidental in outer habits, inwardly he was the spiritual Oriental.  He praised the progressive, resourceful, and hygienic ways of the West, and the religious ideals that give a centuried halo to the East." Paramhansa Yogananda, Autobiography of a Yogi