The energy in Swami Kriyananda’s Moksha Mandir, where his physical body now resides, was vibrant with the tangible presence of his love and joy. It was April 21, 2016, the third anniversary of Swamiji’s passing, and residents of Ananda Village were honoring him with our annual observance of a six-hour meditation.
Paramhansa Yogananda said, “I once met a very successful and wealthy man, who said to me, ‘I’m disgustingly healthy, and disgustingly wealthy.’ ‘However,’ I replied, ‘you are not “disgustingly happy,” are you?’ He admitted he was not. Soon afterward, he became a student of this path.”
There is a story about a rich man who consulted a psychic to find out who he’d be in his next life. Planning to make out his will, he wanted to know about his future incarnation so that he could leave all his wealth to himself.
The goal of the spiritual path is to shift one’s self-definition from the ego to the soul. The soul is our true nature, and is aware of its unity with God. But our soul nature is usually hidden from us by the ego.
A friend shared with me a delightful remark she’d heard recently. She was reading the Bhagavad Gita when another devotee walked by and commented, “That’s a really good book. It’s a mystery, you know, but I’ll tell you how it ends: God did it!”
Ananda started as a retreat rather than a community. It was 1969, and the first few residents had moved to what we now call the “Meditation Retreat.” Among them were Swami Kriyananda and I. And Sisi.
This evening we’ll begin our journey back from India to the United States after an intense five weeks of travel and sharing with devotees here. Every spiritual seeker needs to come to India at least once in their lifetime, for it’s here that enlightened sages perceived the soul’s path back to union with God. This awareness lies beneath the surface of every aspect of life.
We’ve just finished a program in honor of Paramhansa Yogananda’s mahasamadhi, which occurred on March 7, 1952. There is a powerful current of energy that is released on special holy days, especially the birthday of a great master and the anniversary of his passing. Like a surfer riding a giant wave, we can make rapid progress if we make a sincere spiritual effort at these sacred times.
In The New Path, Swami Kriyananda writes: “I once had an interesting dream; indeed, it seemed to me more than a dream. I saw myself in another life, deeply devoted to a particular friend. He took advantage of my love for him, and treated me with an unkindness that fluctuated between condescension and outright contempt. In time, there arose in me a feeling of deep bitterness toward him. As I approached the end of that incarnation, I realized that if I died with this attitude my bitterness would, like a magnet, draw both of us back to similar, but reversed, circumstances.
During our first visit to Brindaban, we were told not to wear sunglasses. When we asked why, our guide explained that the monkeys might steal them.