Over the past month or so Ananda Village has played host to disciples from all over the world. They came on several pilgrimages from 15 different countries. Words are escaping me as I try to describe the joy! The depth of the friendship that devotees can have is amazing. As the European pilgrimage left I was giving long heartfelt goodbyes and hugging people I had not known 2 weeks earlier. God’s love and joy permeated the air as we shared in this last farewell. I was almost in tears as they piled into their touring bus and pulled away. They felt blessed to be here and we were blessed to have them as our guests.

from L to R: Lorenzo (Italy), Rose (Ananda Village), Myself, Filippo (Italy), and Christian (Ananda Sacramento).

Having Fun on the 4th of July

How is such a depth of friendship possible so quickly? We all share something that runs much deeper than language, nationality, and race. We share a Guru. Sharing that devotion to one guru creates a deep bond and understanding among fellow devotees. This is especially true when devotees are so focused on finding their true Selves within them. That Self is one, and the more we identify with that, the less important the outer form becomes. We are able to dive into divine friendship.

Swami Kriyananda with pilgrims from Europe and Mexico.

International pilgrims with Swamiji

Seeing all these new, yet dear, friends come and go, I started to think about Paramhansa Yogananda’s ideal of world brotherhood. Looking at world events one could think it would be impossible. There is far too much selfishness, anger and bitterness for there to be any sort of world brotherhood. Yet standing there that morning watching these European pilgrims drive away, I was convinced it can happen. In my lifetime? Maybe. I sure hope so. If enough people are sharing love instead of fear and hatred, and if enough people are willing to give instead of hoard in selfishness, then it will happen.

Will it happen soon? Well, probably not. It won’t happen suddenly. Gradually as we of Ananda Worldwide, and others like us, inspire people to seek inner joy, and identify more with the infinite Soul within them, then, person by person, we will see a change. Am I just a dreamer? No way. It’s happening already.