Rays of the One Light

Weekly commentaries on the Bible and the Bhagavad Gita
by Swami Kriyananda (J. Donald Walters)

Truth is one and eternal. Realize oneness with it in your deathless Self, within. The following commentary is based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda.

 

Week 8: Can Man See God?

There is a saying in Chapter 1 of the Gospel of St. John that would seem to respond with a definite No to the question, Can man see God? The saying is:

“No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.”

Many great saints, however, claim to have seen God. If we ask, then, “Can God be seen?” rather than, “Can man see God?” the answer is, “Yes! Else those saints lied; and the Scriptures themselves lied.” For Jesus also said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

The point is, it is not man—this human body, these human eyes—that sees God. God can be seen only with spiritual vision—with the eye of the soul.
As the Bhagavad Gita puts it in the eleventh Chapter:

Thou canst not see Me with mortal eyes. Therefore I now give thee sight divine. Behold My supreme power of Yoga!”

With these words Hari, the exalted Lord of Yoga, revealed himself to Arjuna in His infinite form.

Paramhansa Yogananda, in Autobiography of a Yogi, describes the supernal experience in words more readily comprehensible to modern minds than the poetic phraseology of the Bhagavad Gita. The chapter “An Experience in Cosmic Consciousness” is one of the most inspiringly beautiful in all mystical literature. Here is a brief excerpt:

An oceanic joy broke upon calm endless shores of my soul. The Spirit of God, I realized, is exhaustless Bliss; His body is countless tissues of light.

[I saw] the divine dispersion of rays pour from an Eternal Source, blazing into galaxies, transfigured with ineffable auras. Again and again I saw the creative beams condense into constellations, then resolve into sheets of transparent flame. By rhythmic reversion, sextillion worlds passed into diaphanous luster; fire became firmament.

I cognized the center of the empyrean as a point of intuitive perception in my heart. Irradiating splendor issued from my nucleus to every part of the universal structure. . . . The creative voice of God I heard resounding as AUM, the vibration of the Cosmic Motor.”

This, so the great masters aver, is what God is. And this also, they insist, is what we are in our deepest reality.

Thus, through holy Scripture, God has spoken to mankind.

 

Copyright © 1996 by Hansa Trust