The Path to God Is Not a Circus

A number of skeptics have asked me questions like, “If Christ-like masters are alive today, why don’t they use their powers to inspire more people to seek God?” In her book, Finding the Joy Within You, longtime Self-Realization Fellowship president Sri Daya Mata wrote of Paramahansa Yogananda:

Gurudeva had great spiritual powers, a natural manifestation in one who has God-realization. Paramahansiji explained such powers as simply the workings of higher laws. In the early days of his ministry he sometimes publicly demonstrated those laws to encourage the faith of a skeptical society. I was one of the many he healed instantaneously.

Gurudeva was to say in later years, “If I were to display the powers God has given me, I could draw thousands. But the path to God is not a circus. I gave the powers back to God, and I never use them unless He tells me to. My mission is to awaken love for God in the soul of man. I prefer a soul to a crowd, and I love crowds of souls.” Gurudeva withdrew from the masses and began to concentrate on qualitative rather than quantitative growth. He sought out in the crowds those “souls” who responded to the high ideals and spiritual goals of his teachings.

Swami Sri Yukteswar and Paramahansa Yogananda in India in 1935

To further drive home the point, Paramahansa Yogananda‘s guru, Swami Sri Yukteswar, had this to say in his book, The Holy Sicence:

A man of realization does not perform any miracle until he receives an inward sanction. God does not wish the secrets of His creation revealed promiscuously. Also, every individual in the world has an inalienable right to his free will. A saint will not encroach on that independence.

Click here to view all my posts about Paramahansa Yogananda and Self-Realization Fellowship.

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