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by Susan Helene Kramer
It was May, 1976, and I had just finished reading Paramahansa Yogananda's Autobiography of a Yogi. In a reflective state, I closed the cover and set the book beside me, and was filled with the feeling of dedication for the spiritual path.
I said in my mind, "I don't care what it takes, I want self-realization in this lifetime." Immediately in my vision I was transported to an astral scene of a verdant country garden that was full of brilliant light. The sky and leaves and fruits stood out in splendor, and I felt uplifted. My first thought was that this was my reward for making the choice to go for self-realization.
I knew there would be tests coming ahead, but I felt fortified internally to face whatever came. And that is how it was. Over the ensuing 10 years I experienced the needed lessons and became strong in devotion, until I knew without a doubt the presence of my soul and Higher Self within.
In July, 1976, two months after being inspired to dedicate my life to experiencing Spirit, I was initiated in a dream by Paramahansa Yogananda. The master touched my forehead and gave me the mantra, Om Reveal. Sri Yogananda's book and the mantra initiation gave me the energy and incentive to seek out a teacher in the flesh, which I did six months later in the person of Swami Satchidananda.
In the early 1990s I was able to visit Self Realization Fellowship in Encinitas, California, and walking into the library that had once been Sri Yogananda's I experienced myself enveloped in the belly of this great soul. I was overcome with emotion which one of the Self Realization Fellowship nuns noticed, and she invited me to stay the day with the nuns and join them for dinner and kirtan, which I did.
I know it can be hard to believe that the presence of one supposedly gone from this world can inspire and guide an aspirant, but it is just as real an experience as sitting down to a meal, and becoming nourished in body by the unseen nutrients in the food.
Allow yourself to be inspired by saints here now, and who have come before. It is worth it to experience the joy of ever-present Spirit.
And how do you recognize an enlightened being? Consider how you feel in their presence, or by their writings, or artifacts. If you are uplifted into wanting to always do what is right, and you suddenly feel physically light, stick with their teachings, and gain the everlasting joy that is present for all of us to pursue.
~ Susan Helene Kramer
Everlasting Blessings from Paramahansa Yogananda copyright © 2013-2017 Susan Helene Kramer