Once Paramhansa Yogananda was attending a wedding with some of his disciples, and at a certain point he began handing out different-colored roses to the women devotees. After receiving her rose from the Guru, one woman expressed disappointedly, “But I wanted a pink rose, not a red one.”
Yogananda looked at her, and with unexpected intensity replied, “What I give, you take.”
The human tendency to want to change the circumstances of our life to accord more closely with our desires is a deeply ingrained aspect of the ego. The Master was teaching the disciple the importance not only of accepting impartially whatever comes to us, but also of being totally open to God’s taking charge. Having little or no resistance to God’s will allows us to move beyond the bondage of likes and dislikes towards inner freedom.
In contrast to this story, we recently heard a remarkable tale about Anandamayee Ma, one of India’s great women saints who passed away in the early 1980s. In one of her ashrams there lives today a joyful, radiant monk who recently shared with some of the Ananda monks about his life.
When this monk was a little boy of about six years old, his mother, a devotee of Anandamayee Ma, brought him to Ma for her blessing. As Ma reached out her hand to bless him she paused, and then, looking directly into his mother’s eyes, asked, “Will you give me your son?” The mother nodded, and Ma invited the lad to come forward and sit close to her. And that was the beginning of his life in God.
Now a grown man, the monk shared that he never felt any separation from family: at one point he was cared for by one mother, and then by another, but he always felt surrounded by love.
What is the spiritual lesson this story demonstrates? What God asks, we give. Judged from the point of view of a traditional family, this incident may seem unsettling. But considered from the perspective of someone seeking freedom from ego attachments, it shows the power and blessing of overcoming all resistance to God’s will.
For years scientists have worked with something called “superconductors”: various materials that, when cooled to very low temperatures, conduct electricity with absolutely no resistance on an atomic level. Because of this, electrical current can flow perfectly through the conduit, and great magnetic power can be generated.
We, too, can become “superconscious superconductors” when we:
1) Cool down and stop struggling against God’s will,
2) Remove the resistances of the ego, and
3) Allow the power of divine current to flow through us unimpeded.
As the words in one of Master’s chants say, “Then joy is sweet, sorrow a dream, when Thy song flows through me, Lord.”
In divine friendship,