Dear Friends, So much has happened since we last wrote you that it will be a challenge not to let this letter get too long. We arrived in our Pune Community a week ago on Oct. 13. Prior to that we were based in our Indian home in the Gurgaon ashram, but traveling often to and from Delhi in northeast … Read More
The little boy was probably about eight years old. We saw him for only a moment as we were driving back along the busy four-lane road from Ananda’s center in Noida to our ashram in Gurgaon. With cars, motorcycles, bicycles, and motor rickshaws whizzing by in both directions, the boy was hanging his family’s laundry on the metal guardrail of the center meridian between the lanes.
Wherever we teach, one of the first questions we are asked is, “How can I control restless thoughts?” This universal problem was even addressed over 2,000 years ago in the Bhagavad Gita, when Arjuna lamented, “Owing to my restlessness, I’ve achieved no lasting results in the attempts You’ve taught me to steady the mind. Verily the mind is restless, tumultuous, madly stubborn! O Krishna, I consider it to be as difficult to master as the wind.” (Chapter 6:33,34)
Once when Swami Kriyananda was a young monk, he was sitting quietly at the feet of his guru, Paramhansa Yoganandaji. Filled with devotion for his master, Swamiji silently prayed, “Teach me to love you as you love me.”
Dear Friends, Greetings from India! We hope that you are well. Our time here thus far has been immensely inspiring and enjoyable on all levels. If we could characterize our experience in a few words: it feels like coming home. It’s really helpful having our own rooms in the ashram in Gurgaon. These include a sitting room/office overlooking the beautiful … Read More
We recently held a Kriya Yoga Initiation in the boyhood home of Paramhansa Yogananda at 4 Gurpar Road in Kolkata. This site is made holy, not only by the many years that Master lived here, but also because of uniquely sacred events that took place at this spot. It was here that Babaji appeared and blessed Yoganandaji before his mission to America.
For many years Paramhansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi has been a source of inspiration and guidance for me. Not only because of the wisdom, love, and joy that radiate from every page, but also because it has repeatedly served as a living channel to answer specific questions in my life. When I’m at a loss for the proper course … Read More
eptember 12 marks the anniversary of the day when, in 1948, Swami Kriyananda met Paramhansa Yogananda and became his disciple. From then on, in spite of his amazing accomplishments, Swami Kriyananda’s self-definition was simply, “I want to be known as a good disciple.”
Dear Friends, We send you our love and want to share some news about our time in Ananda Assisi. We arrived here on August 28, which was at the end of their busiest month for the Retreat. Although the Italian economy is in bad shape (reports say that 1000 people lose their jobs every day), we have never seen the … Read More
As a child, I was fascinated by the story from the Old Testament of the Tower of Babel. If you recall, it tells of the time shortly after the creation of mankind, when everyone in the world spoke only one language. With the presumption of youth, people began to build a tower that would reach all the way up to God.
Is it possible to love everyone? The more we feel God’s presence, the more impossible it becomes not to love everyone.
There is a story of a woman with two pots. Each morning she fetched water from a well and carried it to her small hut. One of the pots was new and whole, but the other was old, worn, and cracked. A day came when the old pot began to weep, feeling like a failure in even the simple task of carrying water. The new pot, on the other hand, was proud and scornful. The woman knelt and whispered to them, “Come with me. I wish to show you something.”
A few years ago Swami Kriyananda asked us if we could spend more time in India to help with Ananda’s work there. We replied, “Yes, Swamiji. During the past year we’ve been training others in many of our responsibilities. Now we can be gone, and everything will continue to run smoothly.”
God, of course, knows that impersonal love is difficult — after all He created this drama in the first place. He knows that loving the saints, His awakened sons and daughters, is the first step in devotion. At first the spiritual masters accept, even encourage, personal love.
We heard an inspiring story about a revered Tibetan lama whom the Chinese Communists had held in prison for many years. Eventually the lama was released and later met with the Dalai Lama, who asked him, “It must have been difficult to be a prisoner for all those years. Were you ever afraid?”
A number of well-known Indian yogis visited Ananda during the 1970s. One of these great souls was Swami Chidananda, the head of Sivananda’s ashram after the master passed.
The elderly nun quietly entered the refectory of the convent. Clasping her hands together and looking heavenward, she exclaimed, “Ah, the economy of God! If there are three people in a room, they are all teaching each other a lesson.” A friend who was at the convent just then on retreat shared this story with me.
My first Kriya Initiation was on December 22, 1967. It was a Friday evening, and Swami Kriyananda felt that those of us who would be attending the all-day Christmas meditation the next day could benefit from having this sacred technique. The ceremony took place in Swamiji’s small San Francisco apartment and was attended by about a dozen people.
I first met Swami Kriyananda shortly after I came to Ananda Village in California, in 1969. As I watched him from a distance, I found myself in awe of him—of his spiritual wisdom, his inspiration as a teacher, and the fact that he was a direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda. I also labored under the thought that everyone around him … Read More
Earlier this week we were having lunch with a group of friends, and the conversation took an interesting turn. The seven of us passed around the question, “When did you begin to know what you were supposed to do in this life? Why were you born?” For me, I knew early on that I was supposed to be a teacher. … Read More