At a recent gathering in Hansa Temple at Ananda Village, we listened to Somnath and Sarita Ghosh, Yogananda’s grand-nephew and his wife, as they spoke of Master’s (Yogananda’s) boyhood in the Ghosh ancestral home at 4 Gurpar Road (watch a video of the gathering). Sarita, as a young bride, would seek out her father-in-law, Hare Krishna Ghosh, to draw out tales of Mukunda’s (Yogananda’s) early life, scenes played out in the very rooms in which the Ghosh family still live.
As these two devoted and loving souls spoke – with warmth, joyful humor, and deep reverence for the one they always called “Guruji” – so powerfully did their words transmit their own devotion that we too felt welcomed and intimately included in the living, present, and eternal reality of our Master’s early years. Caretaking 4 Gurpar Road, Sarita and Somnath receive pilgrims year round, share stories handed down from grandfather to father (Sananda Lal Ghosh) of the living presence of the great ones in their family home, and so act as channels for the grace of our Masters endlessly flowing into the hearts of receptive seekers who come for the darshana (blessings) of places sanctified by Yogananda’s God-seeking and God-realization.
Yogananda’s mother, like Mary mother of Jesus before her, was charged with bringing into the world a son who would live only for God, who would use his own God-knowing to bring countless others to spiritual freedom. Master’s mother carried baby Mukunda to the Benares home of her guru, Lahiri Mahasaya, there to pray with increasing intensity that Lahiri take notice and bestow his blessing. The guru responded, placed Mukunda on his lap, and placed his hand on the tiny forehead in spiritual baptism. “Little mother,” Lahiri said, “thy son will be a yogi. As a spiritual engine, he will carry many souls to God’s kingdom.”
Sarita and Somnath spoke also of our Swamiji’s (Swami Kriyananda’s) last visit to 4 Gurpar Road – only a few months before his passing – of the two hours of blissful satsang they shared. Swamiji’s vibration blesses 4 Gurpar Road as surely as does that of our Master; of Sri Yukteswar, who visited each month during Mukunda’s boyhood; of Lahiri, guru of Mukunda’s mother and father; and of Mahavatar Babaji, who materialized on August 25, 1918 in Yogananda’s bedroom, to bless his mission to the West. Like Yogananda, Swamiji came into this world through a mother dedicated to God, so much so that even while carrying him in her womb, she promised to give her first-born to God.
Given to God by his mother, Swamiji has in turn given his own life, just as our Master did, and Christ and all the great ones, to open a channel through which all who listen and themselves act as channels may come into the Light. I like to think that Master and Swami see us all as their spiritual children, and so have given us each one to God, that we might carry on His blessed work in this world.
We have just passed through a time of intense spiritual expansion – from the second anniversary of Swamiji’s passing (April 21) into moksha, through the dedication of the Moksha Mandir and Swami’s birthday (May 19). People came from all around the world to honor Swamiji, our direct connection to Master and God. They came also to draw strength from and give strength to their gurubhais, to open themselves for Swami’s love and joy to flow through into the world, to do, each one according to his gifts, what our Master has taught us to do – to seek above all to know God, and to share that knowing with all mankind.
All through this time a power flowed through the community, a shared experience of service and devotion to the great light brought into our lives by Swamiji. One night midway between Swami’s moksha day and his birthday I dreamt that we were gathering around the Crystal Hermitage pool for the dedication ceremony (still two weeks in the future). There by the pool Swamiji appeared and began to speak, his voice imbued with the richness and resonance that entered whenever he would speak of Master. “Master’s Light,” Swami said, “is a torch that is passed from generation to generation. It is kept alive by the line of disciples. Each one of you is to be an instrument to carry that Light to others. What a great blessing it is for us to be able to serve that Light and to do our humble, little best to awaken that Light in others who want to be disciples.”
In divine friendship,
For Ananda’s “Thank You, God” Tithing