Now, when the rabbis took the body of the Lord and laid it in the tomb, the mother of the Lord, and Mary Magdalene, and Miriam were there. And when the body was entombed they went to Joseph’s home and there abode.
They did not know that Jewish soldiers had been sent to guard the tomb, nor that the Roman seal was placed upon the stone; so in the morning of the first day of the week they hastened to the tomb with spices to further embalm the Lord.
But when they reached the tomb they found the terror-stricken soldiers running frantically about. The women did not know the cause; but when they found an empty tomb they were excited and aggrieved. The soldiers did not know what had transpired; they could not tell who took the body of the Lord away.
And Mary Magdalene ran with haste toward Jerusalem to tell the news to Peter and the rest. She met, just by the gateway, Peter, James and John; she said, Some one has rolled away the stone and carried off the body of the Lord. And then the three disciples ran toward the tomb; but John was fleet of foot and was the first to reach the tomb; he found it empty; the body of his Lord was gone. When Peter came he went into the tomb, and found the grave clothes neatly folded up and laid aside.
Now, the disciples did not comprehend the scene. They did not know the meaning of their Lord when he informed them just before his death that he would rise from death upon the first day of the week. The three disciples went back to Jerusalem; the mother of the Lord and Miriam went not away. (Aquarian Gospel 173:1-13)
It is amazing that both the enemies and the followers of Jesus did not believe, though in differing ways.
The Risen Lord and the Mary Magdalene
And Mary looked within the tomb, and saw two masters sitting there; they said, Why do you weep? And Mary said, Because my Lord is gone; some one has carried off the body of my Lord; I know not where it is.
Then she arose and looked around; a man stood near and said, Why do you weep? whom do you seek?
And Mary thought it was the gardener and said, If you have borne away the body of my Lord, O tell me where it is that I may lay it in a sacred tomb. And then the man came near and said, My Mother! and Mary said, My Lord! The eyes of Miriam were opened up and she beheld the Lord.
And Jesus said, Behold, I told you as we walked along the way up to the cross that I would meet you at the sepulchre upon the first day of the week.
Now, Mary Magdalene was sitting not a great way off, and Jesus went to her and said, Why seek the living among the dead? Your Lord has risen as he said, Now, Mary, look! Behold my face! Then Mary knew it was the Lord; that he had risen from the dead.
And then Salome, and Mary (mother of the two disciples, James and John), Joanna, and the other women who had come out to the tomb, saw Jesus, and they talked with him. (Aquarian Gospel 173:14-24)
Mary looked within the tomb, and saw two masters sitting there. So it was not angels as generally supposed, but two members of the Silent Brotherhood.
And then the man came near and said, My Mother! and Mary said, My Lord! Further, Jesus speaks first to his ever-virgin mother, not to Mary; but she recognized him when he spoke.
The eyes of Miriam were opened up and she beheld the Lord. This is interesting; that Miriam could not see Jesus at first.
Now, Mary Magdalene was sitting not a great way off, and Jesus went to her and said, Why seek the living among the dead? Not an angel, but Jesus himself said these words to Saint Mary.
And Mary Magdalene was filled with joy. She sought again for Peter, James and John; she found them and she said, Lo, I have seen the Lord; and Miriam has seen the Lord; the mother of the Lord has seen the Lord; and many more have seen his face; for he has risen from the dead.
But the disciples thought that she had simply seen a vision of the Lord. They did not think that he had risen from the dead. Then Mary found the other members of the company and told them all about the risen Lord; but none of them believed. (Aquarian Gospel 173:25-28)
What Jesus said of his Risen body
Now, Peter, James and John were in the garden of Siloam; were talking with the gardener about the happenings of the day when John beheld a stranger coming up the walk. The stranger lifted up his hands and said, I am. Then the disciples knew it was the Lord.
And Jesus said, Behold, for human flesh can be transmuted into higher form, and then that higher form is master of things manifest, and can, at will, take any form. And so I come to you in form familiar unto you. Go speak to Thomas, and the other men whom I have called to be apostles unto men, and say to them, that he whom Jews and Romans thought was dead is walking in the garden of Siloam; will stand again before the priests and Pharisees within the temple in Jerusalem; and will appear unto the sages of the world. Tell them that I will go before them into Galilee. (Aquarian Gospel 173:29-37)
The stranger lifted up his hands and said, I am. Then the disciples knew it was the Lord. When Jesus was incarnated as Moses, “Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you” (Exodus 3:13, 14). And so now Jesus proclaims his oneness with God by saying I AM.
And Jesus said, Behold, for human flesh can be transmuted into higher form, and then that higher form is master of things manifest, and can, at will, take any form. This is the witness-experience of great saints throughout the ages, especially in India.
My friend, Durga Prasad Sahai, was present when his guru, Swami Keshavananda (written about in Autobiography of a Yogi), manifested to his disciple, Swami Satyananda. (In the photograph of Yogananda with Swami Keshavananda found in Autobiography of a Yogi, Swami Satyananda is standing to Keshavanandaji’s right.) Yogananda himself also appeared in living physical form after his mahasamadhi.
I read the account of a woman who was reading Autobiography of a Yogi. Closing her eyes she prayed: “O Yogananda, tell me if yoga is my path!” When she opened her eyes he was standing in front of her. He extended his hand and she took hold of it. Then he disappeared. But he had been physically there.
Once when a friend of mine was dangerously ill out alone in a forest, Yogananda materialized and led someone to find him.
If “the righteous live for evermore” (Wisdom of Solomon 5:15), what then of those who are perfectly one with God?
And so I come to you in form familiar unto you. Once after the passing Yogananda, Doctor Lewis, his first American disciple, saw a great Light. A voice came from that Light and said: “I came to you as Yogananda.” The Beloved Disciple wrote: “God is Light” (I John 1:5).