East And West Can Learn To Strike A Balance

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Paramahansa Yogananda teaches that, in the ancient past, India had the optimal balance of inner and outer development: material riches and great spiritual wealth. During the colonial period that balance eroded: wealth declined; there was great poverty and difficulty for many, while the spiritual wisdom was maintained and even thrived. During the same interval in the West, there was an aggressive explosion of technology and material wealth, with very little inner spiritual development to keep pace with it. As a result, the West began to suffer from moral, social and spiritual decline. The great Masters of India foretold of a time when the East would regain its optimal balance through the accumulation of wealth and advances in technology, and the West would attain balance for the first time through inner spiritual development. That time is now. Today, India is succeeding masterfully in technological and scientific prowess, and material well-being, consistent with its destiny. During the same period, the West was given two of India’s greatest teachers: Vivekananda and Yogananda. Just as now in India there is a new generation of technologically savvy people and a burgeoning middle class, there is in the West a new generation of modern-day yogis — people accomplished in worldly ways who have a deep familiarity with eastern spirituality. As the East is rushing to imitate the West and the West is rushing to imitate the East, it is possible we could pass by one another, like two ships passing in the night without knowing it and without the benefit of exchange.


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