Param Para: Answers to Questions on the Spiritual Path  
by Swami Amar Jyoti
Would you tell us about the angels? I believe angels have helped me in the past, I just don’t know much about them.
According to the Vedas, angels are called devas, in Sanskrit: “shining beings.” The masculine term is deva; the feminine is devi. From there so many words are derived such as divya: “divine” and daivya: “astral beings.” Devas certainly help mankind but that is not their only purpose. I’m sure some of you have read books on various angels. We know that an angel brought good tidings to Mary. There are also many stories in the epics of India in which devas and devis come to give news or to help humanity.

There are two theories about the angels or the angelic realm. One is that they are beings that have performed many good works on earth with no trace of badness. As angels, they enjoy the fruit of their good actions and when these are exhausted they will come back again as human beings and start on the path of Liberation. Another belief, which is probably most current among the so-called “liberated” groups—and part of it is true, as I see it—is that God created the angels and fairies to look after the natural world: the flowers, trees, animals, land, oceans, sky, as well as human beings. They do this subtly, invisible to us. Just imagine one rose bush having angels or fairies interweaving the roots to make the plant remain intact and grow well, and then imagine how many rosebushes there are in the world. Magnify that to include all the plants and animals, the waters, the wind and fire, and all the angels caring for them—it is beyond description.

Angels happily do things for human beings but it depends upon what kind of communication we have established with them. They are beautiful and happy beings. They do not eat or drink, as we know it.  They live on our vibrational essence, actually. You might be surprised to know this. Therefore Vedic yagnas or fire rituals were performed to consciously send this essence to the devas. It is difficult to explain this without a lot of commentary because only mystics or great yogis experience these things. Therefore angels are eager to help us because part of their sustenance is dependent upon us, though they have their own ethereal soul. To give an example: when you burn wood, the smoke goes into the ether or space; space does not eat up the wood. The mind, out of its own combustion or various emotions, releases a subtle kind of vapor or essence that we do not need, just as we release carbon dioxide and trees and plants release oxygen. Neither is totally dependent upon the other, but partly so.

In the Golden Age or Satya Yuga in ancient India it was a daily occurrence for good people to offer something to the angels, just as nowadays we put out seeds for the birds. The relationship between animals and human beings and human beings and angels was more conscious and more existent in the Golden Age and we might come back to that in New Age Consciousness. During that period they knew methods and rituals to make offerings to the devic world. When these offerings are given, the devas rejoice and are eager to help us in return. They are never ungrateful. Even if we do not seek their help, they wait to help us.

The angels have only positive values. If you tell them to do something negative or harmful, they do not like it. They will not do anything against God’s will. Their contact with God, the Supreme Creator, is nearer than ours. Though we have the potential of being God-realized souls, on the human level, due to our ego, we are certainly further from God than the angels. It may also be our faculty of conscience, which angels do not have. That does not mean they are conscienceless. We need conscience to discriminate between good and bad. Angels do not have a bad or evil side, so they do not need a conscience. When you come in closer contact and they know that you are harmless, that you are acting according to God’s will, they will come and help you, otherwise not.

When the Prophets, sages and enlightened beings come on earth, angels help a lot during their lifetimes. If you had clairvoyance, your third eye open, you could see hosts of angels or devas and devis around the Prophets and enlightened beings, helping in their work. Many times when a Son of God is coming or has come, in heaven they decide, ”Let’s go with Him.” Some will be assigned certain duties during that Prophet’s life—archangels, guardian angels and others.

Now, because of our ignorance we have moved away from their help. We pollute the air, the water and the soil and angels are not happy about it. We think it doesn’t matter, that it will not react back on us. But we will have to find ways to dissolve radiation and atomic waste and other chemicals. We will have to learn to live upon solar energy in such a way that we do not create pollution. We have to be open and humble to get communication and help from the angels, not just by daydreaming or imagination. Then you will see in the hierarchy of creation, the birds, animals, humans and angels are just different compartments. We are all interconnected.

I have been reading books on Eastern philosophy and religion and my impression is that they mention various Hindu gods more often than you do.
Certain translators or scholars have mistakenly called them gods; the term according to Hindu scriptures is devas, “shining beings.” Whether you call them devas or angels, these are beings who are in charge of various areas of the universe and its elements. Each deva has a form and they could appear before you. When we talk about pure food, air and water, we are talking about the work of the devas. But when you come to the highest, Enlightenment and Self-Realization, you transcend these elementals. In India if I were to talk about devas, they would prefer me to speak about Moksha, Liberation, or surrender to God. This is not a rejection of angels and devas; it is transcendence. When you reach Enlightenment you arrive at universal Truth; you no longer preach orthodoxy. There are no Christian angels or Hindu gods; they are the same beings.

I respect them and actually they help me often. Angels or devas are invisible messengers, messengers of God. But they are only one aspect of creation. When they said, “Thou shalt worship only the highest God and not the lesser gods,” this is what they meant. There are many entities, many lesser gods, elementals and powerful agencies throughout the creation. If you are worshipping them, you will only reach that far. Krishna said it very clearly in the Bhagavad Gita: “Those who worship others go to them and ultimately come to Me. But those who worship Me directly come to Me.” The highest and ultimate is the God of gods. There are not many gods; there are different elements in various areas of creation. God is One. 

Edited from the Satsangs of Swami Amar Jyoti: Angels, Devas, Shining Beings (K-95) and Towards the Ultimate (Q-8). For further information on these and other Satsangs, please see