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Date Posted: 11:12
Author: ketch_24 - 2 Jun 2001
Subject: Re: Yogananda, Error, and the "Absolute Truth"
In reply to: Mike - 1 Jun 2001 's message, "Yogananda, Error, and the "Absolute Truth"" on 11:11

If we can take first of all the astronomical theory of a twin star. This theory does not come from Yogananda, but from Sri Yukteswar in “The Holy Science”. This book was written by Sri Yukteswar when he was still fairly new to the practise of Yoga. It is not claimed that he had achieved the highest goal of Yoga at this time, and it is not claimed that he was infallible (at least when “The Holy Science” was written). It should also be borne in mind that Sri Yukteswar may simply have been writing in terms which were understandable to his time and culture. I do not know where Sri Yukteswar learned astrology, or what the Indian astrologers theories were regarding the procession of the equinox, but it is possible that Sri Yukteswar was simply repeating what he had learned. This seems to be the way that great saints work, for example Jesus, preaching to the Jews in the first century made use of the existing scriptures, and the Jewish theories of creation in Genesis, even though they may well be considered untrue in the light of modern science. It seems that even if great saints do have a deeper understanding of the laws which govern the universe they do not teach them all to us. It may be that the divine plan is that these things are discovered by scientists at the appropriate time.

Concerning the statements of Luther Burbank, we should bear in mind that he said these things in the aftermath of a famous trial in the USA where someone was convicted of teaching Darwins theories as opposed to biblical theories. (I think this was called “The Monkey trial” or similar – my knowledge of American history is very little). It could be therefore that Burbank went much further than he would have in private. It is also possible that Burbank had simply changed his views after his meeting with Yogananda.

Let us suppose for a moment that Yogananda had made a mistake in his account of the meeting. So what? It is very clear from Yogananda’s autobiography that he was not infallible and omniscient all his life. He was a disciple of Sri Yukteswar, and he had things to learn and spiritual achievements to attain. He made mistakes, and was disciplined by his guru to help him improve. Even after he had left India he tells us clearly that he needed to meditate still. He was still travelling the path. Durga Mata tells of his great samadhi, in the last years of his life, when he spoke with the Divine Mothers voice and She answered the disciples’ questions through him. The point is that he was also a man treading the spiritual path most of his life, although he had gone a great deal further than most of us.

There are also other mistakes which you could mention. For example on of the early SRF sites was soon lost to coastal erosion, which it could be argued an omniscient master should have foreseen. But this also has to be balanced against his many achievements, both spiritual and material. The fact that he was human, and able to make mistakes like the rest of us surely makes his achievements all the greater.

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