The love and friendship of the guru are something that is hard for us to understand, much less accept. We, who are limited in time and space, naturally relate to the guru in the same way. How often I’ve thought and heard others say, “If only I had been with Master.*” This thought, sweet though it is, actually ends up distancing us from him.
He is with us now as we read this. He said, “To those who think me near, I will be near.” If we open ourselves to him, if we invite him into our life, he will become a dynamic presence in our lives.
We recently received this beautiful letter by Paramhansa Yogananda. It is deeply touching and reassuring. We shared it with our friends here at Ananda Village and now, dear friend, we offer it to you.
A Letter from Paramhansa Yogananda, November 1933
To my friends, in all lands and in all worlds, greetings and good will! Wherever you are, whoever you are, of whatever color, race, or creed, I send you my love and the pledge of my loyalty. You, who for thousands of years, or for only a day, have worked and fought for justice, freedom, and Truth, receive my gratitude and devotion.
You who dwell in palaces or hovels, in cities or jungles, in mansions or dungeons—if in your hearts there is the urge toward higher, better living and loftier ideals, believe me when I say I am your friend and that I count you blessed friends of mine.
Many of you I have known in the past, and some of you I have never seen, but I think that in God’s appointed time I shall meet each one of you face to face and give you proof of my affection. However, it matters little that we are not together now, nor does it matter that time and space may separate us by almost infinite distances. The only thing that counts is that we are friends, working together in a common cause, the cause of righteousness and the expansion of the consciousness of the children of the Most High.
Although I see you not, I often feel your presence near, or thrill with the noble thoughts which you send out to find their home in minds attuned to yours. Although you may never read the words which I am penning now, I declare to you that you shall feel the vibrations of tenderness and kindliness which emanate from me to all of you.
Our work, our love, our purposes are One. March on, dear friends, to higher, brighter goals! Continue in your dreams of happier days and in your deeds of service to your kind. Protect the torch of faith from winds of doubt, and let no storm disturb your peace of mind. Farewell, dear friends of mine, until we meet.
—Paramhansa Yogananda, East-West magazine, November 1933
*Master, is another name for Paramhansa Yogananda, given to him by his loving disciples.