“By sensitivity to others’ realities, I keep myself in readiness to perceive the truth no matter what garb it wears.”
(from Affirmations for Self-Healing by Swami Kriyananda)
Our Constant Companion, Mrs. Bedonebyasyoudid!
by Nayaswami Pushpa
I recently read a book in the public domain titled The Water-Babies. The book—a fairy tale, really—was written by Charles Kingsley* for his young son. Many years ago my school teacher in Wales, Mrs. Williams, read this book to my class when we were around seven or eight years old. The book alludes to reincarnation and makes numerous references to the law of cause and effect, or what we call karma. While reading it I was amused to think of Mrs. Williams sharing such esoteric material with eager young minds.
This oft-humorous story is about Tom, an orphan chimney sweep who one day, aided by an Irishwoman and a fairy, escapes from Grimes, his cruel master. Exhausted after running many miles, he reaches Mother Carey’s house, where he is so unfortunate as to fall into a river and drown. But that is not the end of the story, because the water-babies revive him and give him special gills so that he can survive on land and under water. Unfortunately, he is rather naughty and mean to the other water creatures—putting rocks in the mouths of poor sea anemones and teasing and bullying the fish. But then enters Mrs. Bedonebyasyoudid, who is rather plain and strict; she endeavors to teach Tom the consequences of being unkind. Still, Tom rebels and continues to be naughty, which makes him very lonely, because none of the water-babies or water creatures wish to play with him.
Mrs. Bedonebyasyoudid then puts a large rock in Tom’s mouth so he can experience how the sea anemones felt. He finds that he doesn’t like it at all, and now is very sorry he did it. Tom is then introduced to Mrs. Bedonebyasyoudid’s sister, Mrs. Doasyouwouldbedoneby, who is very beautiful and compassionate. Tom wants to please her and is eager to learn her lessons about being kind and considerate to others.
By now Tom is a young man in love with Ellie, a girl from a wealthy family, whom he met when he was a chimney sweep. He wants to be worthy of her friendship; and he also wants to save his old master, Grimes, who is suffering greatly because his karma has caught up with him. Tom is now aware of what such suffering is like and he feels deeply for Grimes. Tom goes off on a very long, dangerous journey to prove himself. He finds Grimes and assures him of his forgiveness. Grimes, after a time, sees the error of his ways and reforms, and Tom returns triumphant to Ellie. At this point the fairy appears and tells Tom and Ellie to look at her. They are dazzled by a great light emanating from her eyes. They can now see that the fairy was the Irishwoman, Mother Carey, Mrs. Bedonebyasyoudid, and Mrs. Doasyouwouldbedoneby. And yet she was none of them—in truth, she was pure Light!
And the moral of the story? Be kind and considerate to all and Mrs. Bedonebyasyoudid will be a constant source of joy in your life.
* Kingsley (1819–1875) was a priest of the Church of England, a university professor, social reformer, historian, novelist, and poet.
Original Writing of Paramhansa Yogananda
An Attitude of Universality
Nayaswami Padma shares in a short video what Yogananda wrote and expands on it.
Consideration for Others
By Nayaswami Pushpa
“People are more important than things” is one of the principles upon which Ananda was founded. Considering another person’s reality is a sign of self-expansion. Respect and consideration are the simple kindnesses in human relationships that, like oil, keep the machinery of life flowing smoothly.
In the Indian Scriptures we read, “One moment in the company of a saint can be your raft over the ocean of delusion.” Being in Swami Kriyananda’s presence was for many an experience of being transported to a higher consciousness. He always reflected back to us our highest potential. We may not be saints yet, but we can endeavor to offer this same service in consideration for others.
When talking with someone, instead of looking into their physical eyes, gaze in a relaxed manner at their spiritual eye—at the point between the eyebrows. This practice affirms and respects our connection as souls. Also, when we see others in pain or suffering, we can send prayers or surround them with Light which will then be administered according to their karma and divine will.
Universal/cosmic law, set into motion by God, is the ultimate in consideration for others. It guarantees each human will be presented with the circumstances and people, in this life or another, to complete any lingering karma. Let us not forget that our ultimate goal is to become free—free of this limited, false perception of who we are. This can only happen when we are willing to expand our awareness to consider everyone as part of our Highest Self.