Choose the Highest
The King’s True Wealth: A Parable
In the realm of Light where the river AUM flows into the Cosmic Sea, King Darshan told his subjects, “In three days, I’m going to make an important announcement.” The kingdom buzzed with anticipation; their sovereign, who’d ruled for many years, had always been generous.
On the day of the king’s decree everyone in the kingdom came early to the Royal Palace. In the crowd stood Elisabeth, a quiet, beautiful seven-year-old girl. Elisabeth deeply loved the king and would always sit near him during his public appearances.
As the king entered the hall, everyone became quiet. Darshan said, “The time has come in my spiritual life for me to give away all my riches. I want you, my loyal subjects, to enjoy them. Please, take any of the treasures in the palace you desire.”
The people gasped, clapped their hands and shouted with delight. A mad scramble ensued; people were running everywhere. Some raced to collect the crown jewels, while others ran to grab the palace’s costly paintings and other treasures. Not everyone behaved in a correct manner — some were fighting over the most expensive items. In no time at all, the king’s wealth vanished into the arms of his happy subjects, each one carting off as much as he or she could carry.
During the commotion, Elisabeth remained sitting serenely before the king. He looked at her inquiringly and asked, “What do you desire, my child.” Elisabeth stood up, held the king’s hands, and replied, “I want you, my Lord. Only you.” The king’s face lit up like a thousand suns. King Darshan gazed at young Elisabeth with great love and radiance.
Except for Elisabeth and the king, the palace was deserted. The king’s generosity and benevolence were already forgotten. The citizens of the realm were engrossed in their newly acquired riches. Soon, however, a strange thing happened. People began to grow tired of their acquisitions; many sold their treasures and some had theirs stolen. Soon the people possessed few of the royal riches.
For Elisabeth, however, the king’s true wealth lived in her heart. Every moment of her life, afterwards, was blessed with his radiance and light, for King Darshan had given Elisabeth himself.
Renunciation: The Joyful PathSaint John of the Cross said, “To arrive at possessing everything, you must seek to possess nothing.” Renunciation is not a loss, but a blissful expansion into Infinity. Earnest devotees happily give up lesser things in order to free themselves for omnipresent consciousness.
Material desires confine one’s awareness of Cosmic Consciousness to a tiny portion of matter. Once Paramhansa Yogananda observed Dr. Lewis, a highly advanced disciple, gaze longingly at an expensive car. Immediately Yogananda said, “Doctor, watch your desires!”
Desire directs energy: devotional thoughts interiorize the consciousness, while worldly desires draw the consciousness outward.
The goal of meditation is to interiorize one’s consciousness. Practitioners of meditation often complain how difficult it is to calm the mind. Actually what meditators need to calm are the desires of the heart: the likes and dislikes. To still the mind one must quiet the heart.
Swami Rama Tirtha said that to find God, there are two things every devotee must do: affirm the Real Self and deny the little self. To cooperate with (and honor) meditation’s inward flow, the yogi must, as best he can, let go of those desires that sabotage his efforts.
Jesus said, “Love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength.” When the devotee renounces lesser desires, meditates faithfully, serves the Divine in others, and lovingly thinks of Him throughout the day, that devotee’s whole being — like a mighty river — flows rapidly towards God.
Swami Kriyananda said, “That which the ego relinquishes is reclaimed forever in cosmic consciousness.” The more we renounce lesser things and realities, the more we’ll soar in the skies of Spirit. In Autobiography of a Yogi, Yogananda tells of the levitating saint, Bhaduri Mahasaya, who was once praised by a disciple for renouncing family riches. Bhaduri mildly rebuked the disciple: “You are reversing the case…. I have left a few paltry rupees, a few petty pleasures, for a cosmic empire of endless bliss…. Shortsighted worldly folk are verily the real renunciates! They relinquish an unparalleled divine possession for a poor handful of earthly toys!”
A Renunciate Order for Everyone
Do you deeply love God? Is communion with Him your life’s defining goal and ambition? If you said yes, you might be interested in the new renunciate order inspired by Paramhansa Yogananda and founded by Swami Kriyananda. Although this Order originated at Ananda, it’s a universal order and disciples from many traditions have taken initiation. The Order is for every lover of God — whatever his or her religious affiliation and walk in life. It is for those who understand that seeking God energetically is life’s true purpose.
The Naya (new) Swami Order emphasizes the positive aspect of renunciation: soul expansion. Both single and married devotees can apply; there are four vow levels of renunciation. Here is the beautiful Pilgrim’s Vow of Intention.
The Nayaswami Order is infused with Paramhansa Yogananda’s power. Joining the Order unites you with over 1,000 souls who deeply desire God. Order initiates have universally commented on how taking vows in the Order has transformed their lives.
When he founded the Nayaswami Order in 2009, Swami Kriyananda felt tremendous bliss and said, “I have a soul-tingling feeling that this new Order is the watershed of a new era of spirituality on earth.”
To find out more about the Order and read Swami Kriyananda’s book, A Renunciate Order for the New Age visit www.nayaswami.org.
Blessings of light,