How to live in the presence of saints


In Christianity (Jesus) as well as Babaji... it is common to have the idea of helping all and being around all — good, bad, etc... — and yet at the same time, it is suggested to spend time with Saints — there is contradiction here that, I get some insights into when meditating, but for clarification and healthy bouncing-back of ideas — can you elaborate on this topic too?!

—Melissa Bunt, USA


Dear Melissa,

Swami Kriyananda was once asked, “How should we love people?” He answered (paraphrase): We should fill our hearts with the love of God and let that love overflow to others.

When we say: Spend time with the saints, we mean that we should practice God’s presence within ourselves always. Our hearts and minds should be directed toward the love of God, wherever we are, whomever we’re with.

There are not many saints around that one can just “spend time with,” so we must do this internally. We read the writings of saints, or listen to their recordings, and try to tune in to their vibration. That vibration should be with us as we relate to others, whoever they may be.

We have to be very honest with ourselves about how strong we are spiritually. Yogananda reminded us often: “Environment is stronger than will power.” In theory, it would be great to give divine love to all as Jesus and all the Masters have always done. But most of us are not strong enough spiritually to spend lots of time with people who are — say — very critical and complaining, or very materialistic, or cynical and not find ourselves influenced by their thoughts in a way that pulls our minds down.

Pay attention as you try to mix with everyone, good and bad, and see if you can tell the difference in how you feel after you’ve been around joyful and devotional people versus being around sarcastic and cynical people. I think you will notice a difference.

You might be a good and spiritual person and feel you should help others, but another person may have a stronger magnetism of being negative than your magnetism for being positive. In such a case, you are not uplifting him. Instead, he is pulling you down.

This is really a fascinating subject and a great opportunity for learning from your own experience.

In our hearts we want to accept ALL people, and to see them as fellow children of God on a journey toward greater joy. But we may find that, though we do not judge others, we can use our discrimination about those with whom we want to socialize or not socialize.

In divine friendship,