Paramahansa Yogananda’s "The Great Lightland"

Updated on September 21, 2017
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After I fell in love with Walter de la Mare's "Silver" in Mrs. Edna Pickett's sophomore English class, circa 1962, poetry became my passion.

Paramahansa Yogananda

"Last Smile"
"Last Smile" | Source

Introduction: Creation as Light

The speaker in Paramahansa Yogananda’s “The Great Lightland” from Songs of the Soul offers his listeners/devotees a foretaste of Omnipresence.

As the speaker describes the Ineffable in terms of the physical plane of being, he reveals that such a description must be performed through metaphor.

In order to describe the superconscious level of being, the speaker must still employ the terms of the earthly plane.

The speaker, therefore, must describe his experience in terms of light; thus he calls it the great “Lightland.”

The higher plane of consciousness built of light remains more readily recognized as “light” than the gross thickness of the physical world would ordinarily allow.

First Movement: "I have been roaming in Endlessness"

The speaker reports that he has “been roaming in Endlessness.” He further describes this thing called “Endlessness” by saying it is the “fire-mist of the great Lightland.”

The human mind with its endless desires wishes to exist throughout eternity. And while the physical encasement is doomed to end along with that mind, each soul will remain in existence and does possess the delicious quality of endlessness which the mind craves.

Second Movement: "In that Luminosity"

The speaker then reports that on that level of consciousness with that high level of "Luminosity," he is able to “read the meaning of all mysteries.” All things become known to the soul that unites with the Over-Soul.

The speaker metaphorically locates that “meaning of all mysteries” on “the scrolls of time.” Through his union with the Divine, the speaker is able to receive answers to all the questions that puzzle every earth dweller.

The speaker then avers that despite his roaming in “Endlessness” in the Land of Light, he still retains his consciousness of his earth life: “I am half-awakenedly / Enjoying the dream of earth-life.”

However, the speaker is only half interested in earth-life because the beauty and allure of the land of higher level of consciousness is so much more charming and satisfying.

Third Movement: "And while I am dreaming"

Even as the speaker enjoys the “dream of earth-life,” he still “sip[s] the joys / From the cup of delicious meditations.”

The speaker has achieved the ability to travel to the great lightland by virtue of having meditated long and deep, yet even in his half-awake earth state, he continues to dip into the calmness and joy of meditation.

Fourth Movement: "O Blessedness"

The speaker then naturally moves from his description of his adventures in the “Great Lightland” to a prayer to the “Blessedness.”

This highly advanced speaker's connection with this Blessedness, while unbroken, may become tenuous on the earth level, so he asks the Divine to “[w]alk with me in my kingdom / Of royal happiness.”

The speaker also asks the Divine Blessedness to “keep me from the dream-nightmare of trialsome life.” Life on earth is, of course, full of trials and tribulations, some so severe as to be likened to nightmares.

Though the earth-life itself is a dream, its horrors may be metaphorically compared to nightmares. The speaker beseeches the Divine to be with him always as he remains half awake on the earth plane. But this speaker demonstrates his fortunate blessing that he is capable of realizing his unity with the higher planes of consciousness.

The Great Light of God

© 2017 Linda Sue Grimes


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