Last night I had a dream where I am with Paramahansa Yogananda. He wants to re-establish the original church according to prophesy. We must go back in time to a world called Pakistan. Without hesitation and fully devoted to my guru, I follow him. In preparation for the trip back, I’m told that his heart must be transplanted into the body of another man. I witness the entire transplantation process. As if through x-ray glasses, I can see his beating heart reconnecting with all the major organs and systems of the man’s body. His heart is now in the body of a man I do not fully recognize. If I had not been allowed to witness the process I might not have been able to believe it, yet I feel his presence. I know it is him. I am amazed that his essence moves with him through this other man.
We now embark upon our journey to go back in time. I’m a bit confused however. So I ask him, Guru, is it not India where you’d like to go? He replies, “No, Pakistan is the seat of the original church, as told by prophesies.” When we arrive I am in culture shock. I feel estranged. The civilization here is so primative. You can’t even get a cup of coffee here. The place is a region near the boarder of both worlds. I feel so out of place. I can’t adjust to this environment. It is so foreign to me. I want to go home.
The ordeal seems unending and at times I wonder if I am not enslaved here in this foreign land. At times, my faith in my Guru slips me because I don’t understand all that is in his plan. I wonder if I will ever see the day when I will reconnect with my homeland. I miss my home. I want to go home but I know this mission is very important and for that I am willing to stay in this foreign land.
Then the day finally comes. I had almost come to the point when I had forgotten about my homeland. The day has come to go home.
Yogananda taught his students the need for direct experience of truth, as opposed to blind belief. He said that “The true basis of religion is not belief, but intuitive experience. Intuition is the soul’s power of knowing God. To know what religion is really all about, one must know God.”
Echoing traditional Hindu teachings, he taught that the entire universe is God’s cosmic motion picture, and that individuals are merely actors in the divine play who change roles through reincarnation. He taught that mankind’s deep suffering is rooted in identifying too closely with one’s current role, rather than with the movie’s director, or God.
He taught Kriya Yoga and other meditation practices to help people achieve that understanding, which he called self-realization:
Self-realization is the knowing in all parts of body, mind, and soul that you are now in possession of the kingdom of God; that you do not have to pray that it come to you; that God’s omnipresence is your omnipresence; and that all that you need to do is improve your knowing.
The Sacred Heart is a religious devotion to Jesus’ physical heart as the representation of the divine love for humanity. Christ, in his appearances to Margaret Mary, allegedly promised these blessings to those who practice devotion to his Sacred Heart. This tabular form of promises was not made by St. Margaret Mary or her contemporaries. It first appeared at 1863. In 1882, an American businessman spread the tabular form of the promises profusely throughout the world, the twelve promises appearing in 238 languages. In 1890, Cardinal Adolph Perraud deplored this circulation of the promises in the tabular form which were different from the words and even from the meaning of the expressions used by St. Margaret Mary, and wanted the promises to be published in the full, authentic texts as found in the writings of St. Margaret Mary.
1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
2. I will give peace in their families.
3. I will console them in all their troubles.
4. I will be their refuge in life and especially in death.
5. I will abundantly bless all their undertakings.
6. Sinners shall find in my Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.
8. Fervent souls shall rise speedily to great perfection.
9. I will bless those places wherein the image of My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and venerated.
10. I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.
11. Persons who propagate this devotion shall have their names eternally written in my Heart.
12. In the excess of the mercy of my Heart, I promise you that my all powerful love will grant to all those who will receive Communion on the First Fridays, for nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance: they will not die in my displeasure, nor without receiving the sacraments; and my Heart will be their secure refuge in that last hour.
The last promise has given rise to the pious Roman Catholic practice of making an effort to attend Mass and receive Communion on the first Friday of each month.
Great efficacy of converting people has been attached to the use of the image of the Sacred Heart.
“Even at the hour of death, incredulous, indifferent, hardened souls have been converted by simply showing them a picture of the Sacred Heart, which sufficed to restore these sinners to the life of hope and love, in a word, to touch the most hardened. It would, indeed, be a great misfortune to any apostolic man to neglect so powerful a means of conversion, and in proof of this I will mention a single fact which will need no comment. A religious of the Company of Jesus had been requested by the Blessed Margaret Mary to make a careful engraving of the Sacred Heart. Being often hindered by other occupations, there was much delay in preparing this plate. ‘ This good father,’ writes the saint, ‘is so much occupied by Mon- signor d’Autun in the conversion of heretics, that he has neither time nor leisure to give to the work so ardently desired by the Heart of our Divine Master. You cannot imagine, my much-loved mother, how greatly this delay afflicts and pains me. I must avow confidently to you my belief that it is the cause of his converting so few infidels in this town. I seem constantly to hear these words : ‘ That if this good father had acquitted himself at once of his promise to the Sacred Heart, Jesus would have changed and converted the hearts of these infidels, on account of the joy He would have felt at seeing Himself honoured in the picture He so much wishes for. As, however, he prefers other work, even though to the glory of God, to that of giving Him this satisfaction, He will harden the hearts of these infidels, and the labours of this mission will not be crowned with much fruit.’