I will live in the remembrance of what I am in truth: bliss infinite! eternal love!
–Affirmations for Self-Healing by Swami Kriyananda
They say there are no atheists in the fox-holes. Many people wait until they are in a crisis to remember God. Then they are willing to promise all kinds of amazing things, great and small, if God will please bail them out of the mess they have created. Then once the crisis is over they tend to forget Him until they find themselves in another crisis. God never turns his back on us but we often turn our back on Him or forget Him altogether. It’s a wonder God loves us as much as He does! We are blessed that His love is unconditional.
Paramhansa Yogananda said that we need to individually make love to God!
God is our truest love and hears our every thought; and He will respond—if we are ready to listen. Remember He is always with us. We are never alone—never!
Here are a few practices to help us remember God:
- Invite God to be with you in whatever you do—however mundane
- When you start your meditation, imagine yourself enveloped in God’s stillness
- Practice japa—repeat the name of God or invoke God: “Om Guru,” “Reveal Thyself.”
- Sing, out loud or silently, an inspiring chant
- Play the Game of Eight
- Take a walk with God and share everything with Him
- Ask God to help you find dharmic (righteous) solutions to every challenge, big or small
- If you want to feel closer to God try reading Yogananda’s poem “God, God, God” daily
Although we don’t always remember God, thankfully, God remembers us, as dramatically expressed in this excerpt from Yogananda’s poem, “God’s Boatman.”
“Oh! I will come back again and again!
Crossing a million crags of suffering,
With bleeding feet, I will come,
If need be, a trillion times,
As long as I know that
One stray brother is left behind.”
In divine friendship,
Nayaswami Pushpa for Thank you, God!
God!, God!, God!
Nayaswami Jyotish reads God!, God!, God! a beautiful poem by Paramhansa Yogananda during his inspiring Sunday Service at the new Temple of Light at Ananda Village.
A Case of Mistaken Identity
A Personal Reflection by Nayaswami Pushpa
There were long lines at the airport check-in counter, and the passenger was getting more and more irate as he envisioned missing his flight. He tried to jump the line, but the attendant told him he’d have to wait his turn like everyone else. The man, filled with self-importance and righteous indignation, shouted at her, “Don’t you know who I am?” Without missing a beat the attendant picked up her microphone and calmly addressed the entire airport, saying, “Your attention, please! Does anyone recognize this man? He doesn’t know who he is.”
Who am I? I received my spiritual name, Pushpa (flower), from Swami Kriyananda in India in 2005. However, in the late ‘90s I was still known by my birth name, Kathleen. One day during those years Swami gave Sunday service at Ananda Palo Alto. Afterwards, he was blessing people, and it finally came to be my turn. I knelt in front of him, we conversed briefly, and he blessed me. Then he said, quite suddenly with intensity, “Forget Kathleen Rainbow. Just be a child of God.”
I said, “Yes, Swamiji.” But I was confused and didn’t really understand what he meant. Over the years I have pondered and meditated on his message to me that day. What I have come to understand is that we each feel the need to create a persona made up of many self-definitions. Some of the self-definitions I harbored at that time were: I am a teacher; I was a corporate executive; I am a counselor; I am a healing practitioner; I am a woman. When I define who I am in any of those terms I am identifying with my ego. None of those definitions are truly who I am.
In tribute to Nayaswami Anandi, who had recently passed away, Nayaswami Jyotish said, “Anandi was always listening for God’s whispers drawing us back to the bliss of our true Self. Though she held many different jobs and roles and gave countless classes and talks, she never identified herself with what she did.”
Swami Kriyananda would point out that we need to rid ourselves of our self-definitions because they make us feel separate from God. You and I are so much more than those definitions, which hide our true identity. So let’s lose all those self-definitions and be free! God is our Spiritual Mother, our Father, our Divine Friend. So . . . who am I?
I am a child of God!