"Many Mansions"

Excerpts from The Second Coming of Christ by Paramahansa Yogananda

"Many Mansions"

"Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know"
(John 14:1-4)

What Jesus meant by this advice and these promises might be more fully expressed as follows: "Do not trouble your heart, the feeling aspect of your consciousness, no matter what trials come to you. Keep your meditation-born spiritual perception fixed on the imperturbability of Cosmic Consciousness beyond creation and Christ Consciousness present in all creation. Regardless of troubles, remain securely focused on the Divine Consciousness on both planes—in the cosmic vibratory region and in the quiescent realm beyond all vibrations."

"In the kingdom of Cosmic Consciousness and cosmic creation (the Father's house) there are many mansions, regions differing in their vibrations, where souls dwell according to their earth-acquired good or bad vibrations. If this were not so I would not have told you. As your guru-savior, divinely appointed to lead you to God, I will go ahead of you to merge with the Cosmic Consciousness and prepare a place for you in accordance with your spiritual attainments. And when the Christ Consciousness in me has thus merged in Cosmic Consciousness, I will try to bring you there. My Christ Consciousness, attracted by your devotion and ecstasy, will come again—be manifest a second time in your consciousness — and merge your body-born consciousness in Itself, that you, too, may become omnipresent. When this occurs, then you will know where my embodied Christ Consciousness has gone. It is going there soon—when I dissolve the body after resurrection. And once you know the abode of Christ Consciousness as omnipresence, you will know the way to commune consciously with that Universal Intelligence at any time." ...

Thus when Jesus says, "In my Father's house are many mansions," he warns his disciples that unless they attain Cosmic Consciousness, after death they would have to dwell on one of the variously graded planes of existence where unredeemed souls go according to their merits and demerits. His promise, "I go to prepare a place for you," refers to the fact that the blessings of a true guru can help his disciples to gain a better place in the many-mansioned vibratory spheres in the after-death state. In my autobiography I have recounted how, during my experience of the resurrection of my guru, Swami Sri Yukteswarji, he described his dwelling as a savior in a supernal region of the astral heaven inhabited by souls who have overcome earthly ties. His words were a wondrous assurance: "There you and your exalted loved ones shall someday come to be with me."

So when Jesus said he would prepare a place for his disciples, he signified his role as their guru who, even after his passing, would continue to help them toward their attainment of Cosmic Consciousness.

Thus he said, "I will come again"—not that he would have to reappear in person to his disciples in order to assist them toward liberation, but that through their communion with Christ Consciousness in spiritual ecstasy his consciousness would appear a second time in their consciousness. Thereby their consciousness would expand into the omnipresence of Christ Consciousness, "receive you unto myself," through which they would attain final liberation in Cosmic Consciousness.

When Jesus says, "Whither I go ye know, and the way ye know," he reminds his disciples that the abode of Christ Consciousness is omnipresence, and the way to that abode lies in the art of keeping the heart untroubled by earthly experiences, remaining settled in the omnipresent Christ Consciousness in the soul, and thereby uniting human consciousness with Cosmic Consciousness. (sc p.1370)


Importance of Calmness

"Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
(John 14:1)

When Jesus said, "Let not your heart be troubled," he voiced an exact parallel to a profound spiritual aphorism in the Yoga Sutras, the preeminent ancient treatise on Raja Yoga. There the illumined sage Patanjali says that yoga, union with God, is possible only by stilling the restlessness of the heart (chitta, the feeling faculty of consciousness). [Yoga Sutras 1:2] The restless disturbances of chitta that distort man's perception of his real Self, the soul-image of God within, are agitations born of the likes and dislikes of the body-bound ego, or pseudosoul. The mind made restless by the attractions and repulsions of the senses cloaks the soul in an appearance of imperfection; but the soul, being an individualized reflection of Spirit, is immutably ever perfect. The divine nature of that Self is clearly perceived as soon as the heart, the responses of feeling, becomes perfectly calm. This is what Jesus intended, advising his disciples to take the entirety of human experiences calmly, like the Oriental yogi, without forming egoistic likes and dislikes—attraction to what is pleasant, aversion to what is painful or difficult.

Souls are sent on earth by God to watch His cosmic motion picture with a calm, nonattached consciousness befitting souls made in His divine image. But when they respond to earthly experiences with the permutations of likes and dislikes, they lose their immortal consciousness. Any soul who forgets its spiritual status during its earthly sojourn forms mortal attachments, and thus has to reincarnate until the mundane desires are worked out and the lost divine consciousness is regained. That is why Jesus and Self-realized yogis advise all truth-seekers to pass through trials, fortunes and misfortunes, struggling for righteousness with an undisturbed state of heart, as the way of attaining salvation, Cosmic Consciousness." *

* "When the chitta (feeling) is absolutely subjugated and is calmly established in the Self, the yogi, thus devoid of attachment to all desires, is spoken of as the God-united....

"The state of complete tranquility of the feeling (chitta), attained by yoga meditation, in which the self (ego) perceives itself as the Self (soul) and is content (fixed) in the Self;

"The state in which the sense-transcendent immeasurable bliss becomes known to the awakened intuitive intelligence, and in which the yogi remains enthroned, never again to be removed;

"The state that, once found, the yogi considers as the treasure beyond all other treasures—anchored therein, he is immune to even the mightiest grief;

"That state is known as yoga—the pain-free state. The practice of yoga is therefore to be observed resolutely and with a stout heart" (God Talks With Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita VI:18, 20-23).

See also "Peace I leave with you"