By Norman Paulsen
Question: Is it possible to attain full God-realization through following the classical Christian beliefs, simply by studying the Bible and by prayer?
Norman Paulsen answers:
Jesus said, “These things I do, you can do also.” It doesn’t mean that everyone who goes to church and says, “Jesus is my savior,” will find total God-realization. You have to live it every day. You have to walk the walk, not just talk the talk—seven days a week, not just Sundays. You have to walk the same walk Jesus did, taking on his virtues, his works. That takes a lot of spiritual work. Surely some devout Christians accomplish this. They go into their closets to pray, as Jesus said. This is the form of meditation that we are talking about in Sunburst’s Kriya Yoga Meditation.
St. John lived a life of abstinence and deep prayer in the caves of Patmos, where he wrote Revelations. He wrote of seeing the rainbow round about the throne of God. What does this mean? St. John was experiencing the masculine and feminine currents (called “ida and pingala” by yogis) arching up over the crown of his head, and reuniting with the Christ light as it reentered the body at his crown center. He knew through deep prayer that the throne of God existed within him. St. John was a great yogi—as great as any of the yogis in India.
Those who sit down and sincerely pray for others, for the world and for themselves, perform a meditation of great magnitude. Souls who combine this practice with living a life that exemplifies Jesus’ teachings live a life of great spiritual merit, and can attain true God-realization by their own efforts and by Christ’s blessing.
Prayer is meditation when it’s done with an open heart, expressing one hundred percent of your love. Love is the key to God-realization. If we don’t have love for God, we have to find it. Love delivers us to God’s heart, to His face, to His presence. That’s why Yogananda was always saying to us monks, “Get devotion—get love—you’ve got to get devotion for God!”
Intellect keeps analyzing and trying to work concepts down to where there is only one concept, and still most don’t see God when they get there. This practice of seeking God through knowledge is called jnana yoga, and it’s a very difficult path to follow. It takes a long time to finally arrive at the original concept, which is the reality of God existing in the Light.
We are joined together with God when the love of the heart opens up like a flower to receive the light. Meditation develops love for God. That’s why meditation is so important—to be practiced alone, as well as in a group. That is why Jesus said, “Go into your closet and pray.” Go to a quiet place where you and God are alone—when you awaken in the morning, and before you go to sleep at night. It’s a great and wondrous mystery, and the more we meditate, the more it unfolds for us.
If you mentally chant to God long and hard enough, you will begin to hear your voice resounding within. Sometimes, you will be able to chant from the highest to the lowest note—soprano to baritone. When you can really feel and hear your own voice ringing in inner space, then you’re going to start hearing God talking to you, saying, “Keep it up; don’t stop; I love you.” You hear His voice the same way you are beginning to hear your own, as you attempt to project it within. It’s an absolute fact that you can accomplish this in your meditations.
God is going to start talking to you, giving you encouragement, messages, direction, and love. It’s wondrous. That’s true prayer, true conversation with God. That’s real meditation. Again, that is why meditation is so important. For the early Christians, the time that they spent sitting alone, opening their hearts to Christ, reflecting with great love upon the life and teachings of Jesus, led them into that closeness and illumination, that Christ consciousness.