I spurn the tempting magic of this world, with its rainbow bubbles, ever ready to burst. See where I fly: high above the tall mountains. I am free! I am free!

(from Affirmations for Self-Healing by Swami Kriyananda)

The Most Important Decision of My Life

Personal Reflection by Nayaswami Pushpa


Dear Friend,

Even from a young age, I was very independent. I left home when I was sixteen: there was a whole world out there waiting to be explored! I supported myself financially from then on. When I was eighteen I hitchhiked around Europe alone. At eighteen I also moved to a country where I didn’t speak the language and knew no one. I had always felt very capable of looking after myself and making my own decisions.

So, fast forward to age forty-five—I had lived in six different countries, and in fourteen different US states, and had a successful corporate career. Then, through the Ananda Center in Dallas, I found an in-depth study of Paramhansa Yogananda’s teachings. Since I was very young I had wished I had a “special teacher” to instruct me. Now I felt the question nagging at me: Do I need a guru? I’d had various spiritual teachers along the way, but this was different. This was a life-changing commitment. 

Adi Shankaracharya said, ”In all the three worlds—the causal, astral, and material—there is no greater blessing than that of having a true guru.” A true guru could guide me across the ocean of delusion to spiritual freedom. I believed that Yogananda was a true guru: I had studied his writings, and had read his Autobiography of a Yogi. But was he my guru? Was I willing to make the commitment to be his true disciple? How could I make the vow of discipleship if I wasn’t 100 percent sure? I continued praying about this decision.

And yet, I reflected, hadn’t I secretly yearned for this unique relationship? Yes, of course. But what about the independent thinking I prized so much? Would I have to give that up? Hadn’t my life turned out pretty well so far? I had followed another spiritual path and been meditating for ten years, yet I knew there was more. But the price of the “more” seemed steep. It entailed surrendering my will to God and guru—that is how I interpreted it anyway, and I resisted. Didn’t I know what was best for me? Hadn’t I achieved most of what I had set out to do in life? However, as I reflected deeply on my life up to that point, I realized getting what I wanted hadn’t always brought me the happiness and fulfillment I’d sought or anticipated. 

Things started becoming clearer. I wasn’t renouncing my free will, I was renouncing the hold the ego had on me. My guru would reveal insights to wiser choices bringing greater happiness. I would now be able to harness my will to God’s will through attunement to my guru and make far better choices than my ego ever could.

I have never regretted the choice I made in 1996. My guru has changed my life in so many beautiful ways. When I am receptive to his counsel everything works out for the best and I can be free of any doubt about the rightness of what transpires. I cannot imagine what my life would be like without his guidance and unconditional love. I feel so blessed.

In divine friendship,

Nayaswami Pushpa for Thank you, God!

Prayer of Discipleship

Heavenly Father, Divine Mother, Friend, Beloved God, Jesus Christ, Babaji-Krishna, LahiriMahasaya, Swami Sri Yukteswar, Paramhansa Yogananda, I bow to you all.

Divine Mother, I come before Thee today, having long sought Thy eternal light, long pondered the eternal truths, long followed the winding path that leads to Thee. I have walked with my own strength, all too seldom with Thine. I have walked with the thought, “I want this from life; these answers; that guidance; this pathway, or that,” but I have seen that, as often as I made claims on life, it eluded me. As often as I presumed on Thy will, it turned away from me.

Ah, too long, Mother, have I sought Thee for myself, not for Thy love. I know now that, without Thy strength added to mine, infusing it, I shall never find Thee. Thine is the power, the grace, the infinite glory.

With loving faith now I seek Thee through the ray of Thy light that Thou hast offered me. I will ascend to Thee not by my power alone, but by the power of Thy infinite love. I am Thine, Mother, be Thou eternally mine.

Renunication
By Nayaswami Pushpa

 

Paramhansa Yogananda said that the ego is “the soul identified with the body.” The physical plane offers much in the way of entertainment, and it is easy to get caught up in it and attached to the drama. We humans love a good story! We constantly tell one another stories about ourselves, and about other people and situations—the majority of which were formed in our imagination! Unfortunately, these stories often stimulate negative reactions and lead to unhappiness.

The Sanskrit word smritti means divine remembering. On the spiritual path we are constantly seeking to push our way through the fog of duality and remember who we really are. Through regular deep meditation we will rediscover the truth that we are a spark of divine light, which appears dimmed due to our attachments, our likes and dislikes, and our stories and self-definitions.

So, what are we renouncing? We are renouncing the bundle of false self-definitions (provided effortlessly by the ego), so that we can fully receive God’s love!

Prayer

“Lord, help me to see that in no outward experience will I ever find fulfillment. All that my heart has ever sought awaits me in Thee.”

Sadhu, Beware: A New Apporach to Renunication

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