Recently we had a wonderful satsang with Nayaswamis Devarshi and Dhyana, who shared many inspiring stories about the work in Ananda India. Devarshi is the head of a small but growing monastery near Chandigarh in northern India. In talking about what’s making their life together so uplifting, he spoke of their “dynamic harmony”: a shared spirit of joy, service, and dedication.
Through this unifying energy, they’ve created a magnetic vortex that’s drawing to them the wherewithal to accomplish amazing things. A handful of monks are sharing Yoganandaji’s teachings with thousands of others throughout the world—and changing their lives. This spirit of dynamic harmony, Devarshi added, is helping the monks create an environment in which they too are growing spiritually.
What is this kind of harmony, and how can we develop it in our own life? It is not a passive state, but an active, conscious way of being with others—be they marriage partners, family members, friends, or co-workers. It begins by fostering a sense of mutual trust in which we offer unconditional support to others under all circumstances. Then we must strive to see the highest potential in others so that they feel our sincere respect for them.
By sensitively listening to those around us, we can know them better and develop a “common language” that leads to mutual understanding. Shared higher aspirations and goals are also important parts of this kind of harmony, because through them we build “bridges of light” that unite us.
When we develop this kind of harmony with others, several things happen. If it’s a working group, new ideas emerge and much more is accomplished. If it’s a family group, problems are more easily resolved and a deeper love begins to blossom.
Swami Kriyananda spoke frequently about the need for harmony in our spiritual search. There was a woman in the early years of Ananda Village who had a hard time getting along with others. Once, after a big blowup with someone, she came to Swamiji in tears and asked, “Why can’t I get along with people? Am I not in tune?”
He replied simply: “Attunement is harmony.” In other words, living in harmony with others leads to deeper attunement with God. The woman began working with this concept, and her life improved.
Swamiji also said that living in community is like being in a rock tumbler. Into it go unpolished stones, whose rough contours he likened to our own, so long as our consciousness is of egoic separateness from others. The stones bump and tumble against one another, until in the end they come out shiny and polished, with beautiful shapes and colors. This process of smoothing out our rough edges isn’t easy for any of us, but it helps us to achieve a spirit of harmony and unity which is a great boon on the spiritual path.
Swami Kriyananda, whose birth date we celebrate on May 19, was a wonderful example of how to live in dynamic harmony. Every book he wrote, every piece of music he composed was filled with an underlying spirit of harmony. The clothes he wore, the home he lived in, his voice, the way he walked—all reflected a harmony born of deep meditation and attunement with his guru.
In the way he related to others, Swamiji made everyone around him feel that they were an important part of his life and work. And yet, he was basically impersonal. His expanded awareness enabled him to feel a harmony with everyone he met, with all people, all life.
I’ll close with this prayer-demand of Paramhansa Yogananda, which reflects the true source of dynamic harmony:
“Love is our souls’ birthright! We demand, now, that all the rivers of our cravings be redirected through valleys of humility, eager self-sacrifice, and concern for others until, reinforced by Thy torrential blessings, they merge in the ocean of all fulfillment in Thee.”
With gratitude to those who have shown us the way,
Listen to Devi as she reads the blog, then expands on it, often adding special behind-the-inspiration stories and answers to common spiritual questions. Subscribe to the podcast or download the audio recording by right-clicking here. Or listen to it here (8:27):