“I first met Swami Kriyananda when he began teaching classes in San Francisco in the late 1960s,” David told me during one of the rare conversations we had together. An introverted, quiet man, David seldom spoke, but he needed no words to convey his deep, transparent devotion to God.
With childlike simplicity and joy, David went on to say, “Though Swamiji and I have only spoken a few times since I met him, he is my best friend.”
What is the nature of divine love that can evoke such a lifelong silent relationship? I believe it’s a beautiful blend of the personal and impersonal: touching the innermost part of our being, but at the same time dissolving our individuality.
In Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramhansa Yoganandaji describes his meeting with the great woman saint Ananda Moyi Ma in this way: “She seated herself with a childlike smile by my side. The closest of dear friends, she made one feel, yet an aura of remoteness was ever around her—the paradoxical isolation of Omnipresence.”
On April 21, 2017, we honored the fourth anniversary of Swami Kriyananda’s passing by holding a six-hour meditation at Crystal Hermitage, his home at Ananda Village. Many devotees meditating felt his living presence very powerfully that day.
One friend told me afterwards, “There was a particular way that I always felt blessed whenever I was around Swamiji. During the meditation, I felt that very strongly.”
As the hours passed during the meditation, I, too, felt the essence of how he related to me: It was mainly impersonal, but personal also in the sense that it touched my own soul nature. As I began to hold onto that feeling, I went deeper and deeper into stillness.
I began to understand that this is the gift of divine love: It is a love directed towards our soul, and by deepening our awareness of it we are guided towards the heart of God.
Yoganandaji ends his beautiful poem, “When I Am Only a Dream,” with these lines:
And yet when I am only a dream to you,
I will come to remind you that you too are naught
But a dream of my Heavenly Beloved;
And when you know you are a dream, as I know now,
We will be ever awake in Him.
In divine friendship,