- On March 7, 2016, we celebrated the mahasamadhi of our Master. By the altar were relics given the community by Yogananda’s loving family, relics that included the esraj he played, a cane he used, rose petals that came from a garland he wore on his last birthday (January 5, 1952), and a pocket watch. “Master is here,” the minister said. “He is in these relics, and in each one of you gathered here, shining through to all mankind.” One by one, the devotees approached the altar and held the watch, reverently absorbing Master’s vibration, then turned to share the blessing with the one behind—receiving God’s love, then giving that love to another, and so on to all His children.The spirit of divine sharing so touchingly expressed before that altar has expanded these past months among all those inwardly connected with our beloved sister in God Brindey, as she so freely and lovingly shared her own journey through her final illness.She moved toward her transition with joyful acceptance, welcoming her return home into the waiting arms of God and Guru. As she has shed, with heroic soul-expansion, layer after layer of this world’s clutter, all those connected, even indirectly, have been purified, their hearts awakened, their souls drawn into her Godward flow, uplifted into a realm glowing with Master’s joyful blessing.On the evening of March 8, a great old oak tree, one born in the time of Lahiri Mahasaya, fell across the road leading to Brindey’s little home, as if Nature herself, in the soul of the tree, was honoring our friend’s approaching freedom from the human body by surrendering that massive tree body into the cosmic cycle of life and death.Soon after midnight, very early on the morning of March 9, the day of Sri Yukteswar’s mahasamadhi, our friend entered her final struggle to remain consciously focused on God and Guru as her lungs disintegrated and her soul’s last hold on earthly life was torn away. Many of us awoke abruptly, wondering. Soon prayers were going up from all over the community, all over the world. One devotee awoke feeling inundated by divine love, tears pouring from his eyes. “Why, Master?” he prayed. “What have I done to deserve such love?” Then, intuitively he understood that his heart was feeling Master’s love rushing in upon our sister, and so touching us all.
Those working to clear the fallen tree from the road saw, just at the time of Brindey’s passing, three sandhill cranes—so close overhead that their legs and feet were clearly visible—circling, then heading north, toward our sister’s home, toward freedom. A mile away, in the parking lot of a country store, a devotee suddenly felt a bursting energy in his heart, then wept freely tears of joy and gratitude for he knew not what. Only on his return did he learn that his heart had overflowed at just the moment of her transition.
Kneeling at Brindey’s bedside, another devotee saw her in vision, radiantly smiling, holding hands with Swamiji on one side, Master on the other. Moments later, the hospice nurse spoke: “She’s gone.”
Driving down the final curve to Brindey’s home an hour and a half later, still another devotee beheld Yogananda in vision, clad in luminous robes, reaching out to take Brindey’s hand, then saw Swamiji take her other hand. Hand in hand they walked away, gradually merging into the light. With an inner surge of renewed spiritual devotion, the watching devotee seemed to hear, with great power, the admonition of Sukdeva, so often quoted by Swamiji: “All time is wasted that is not spent seeking God.”
Master and Swamiji have shown us, through the victorious struggle waged by this lovely soul, that they are always there, beckoning us onward, subtly guiding our footsteps on the path, infusing our journey with faith in the goal—that we can, like our sister Brindey, pass joyfully into freedom, into the company of our Masters. “Those disciples who stick it out to the end,” Master has promised us, “not for just ‘sticking it out’ but for the love of God—I myself, or one of the other gurus, will be waiting to welcome them on the other side.”