A compilation of our blogs has just been released in India in book form, entitled Touch of Light: Living the Teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda. As we travel from city to city to offer programs here, we’ve been “launching” the book after our discourse with a simple ceremony: a copy is brought to us tied in a bright ribbon, which we cut or untie, and then present to a dignitary. At the end of the program, books are offered for sale, and many of the attendees ask us to sign their copy. We generally inscribe it, “In divine friendship,” above our signatures. This is also the closing that Swami Kriyananda would use to end his letters. Divine friendship is, in a very real sense, the core vibration of Ananda Sangha.
There are two main differences between divine and human friendship. The first is that the Divine, having no ego, has no boundaries. There is no “best friend,” nor anyone excluded from the warm embrace of love—not anyone. When our granddaughter, Riley, was about 10 years old, her two best friends got into an argument, and each of them demanded that Riley “unfriend” the other. This she refused to do. Unwilling to choose between them, she found herself eating lunch alone each day until their little tiff lost its steam.
Human love can be divisive, but the Divine never asks us to be exclusive. In fact, it’s quite the opposite, because God requires that we give love to all. As Paramhansa Yogananda wrote in his poem Samadhi, “The sparrow, each grain of sand, fall not without my sight.” We don’t need to love people’s ignorant deeds, but we still need to love them—the soul.
Secondly, divine friendship is impersonal. One time Swami Kriyananda told Devi, “No one is special to me. I’m not even special to myself.” At first this may seem a bit cold, but the deeper you go, the warmer it gets. Being “special” is a quality of the ego, which separates. When nothing is separate, everything becomes special: every person; every king or beggar; every flower, be it rose or weed. Because Swami Kriyananda had no boundaries to his friendship, many people, even those who saw him only on rare occasions, thought of him as their dearest friend.
“I see all of you as images of light,” Paramhansa Yogananda once said to a group of his disciples. “Everything—the grass, the trees, the bushes—everything I see is made of light. You’ve no idea how beautiful it all is!” Let’s hold this thought in our hearts. We have no idea how beautiful each one of us is to the Divine. And let’s share that precious gift as well as we can. Let’s see the innate beauty in everyone and everything. Then the whole world will become our friend.
In divine friendship,
Beautiful! Thank you! I had a chance to see “Awake” last night…also perfect timing….
Thank you! So beautiful… Blessings to all!
Thank You for the reminder…
I remember once myself having that experience of knowing that we are, everything, made of light.
And Master’s words are so true.
“Everything—the grass, the trees, the bushes—everything I see is made of light. You’ve no idea how beautiful it all is!”
Swamiji’s example of having no boundaries to his friendship is witness to our possibility.
Thank you for all that you and Devi do to be living examples of Master’s “Ray of Light”.
Thank you again, for this inspiring reminder.
Thank you for the inspiring words of Yogananda. I am currently going through a hardship in my life and appreciate this love and support.
Lovely Jyotish. This Divine feeling permeates all that is Ananda and is spreading throughout the world. Thank you for all you do in Divine Friendship. Mary Jo
Thanks, Jyotish, this is beautiful & very uplifting! Bless you.
Thanks for clarifying and reminding us of the importance of Divine Friendship. So many of us treasure the friendship that Swami extended to each of us. I sure hope your book will also come out in the US! In Gratitude, Prem-Shanti
Dear Nayaswami Jyotish Ji, Thank you for the Article and we are very blessed to have your divine friendship with us :).
“We don’t need to love people’s ignorant deeds, but we still need to love them—the soul.”. Thank you for this and I would like to follow it .
Thanks for your nice words. It is wonderful to witness how Swamiji, traveled all over the world, all over India, till the last days of his life in his fragile state of health to spread Gurus work. Same way it is wonderful to witness how untiringly you & Devi is travelling to continue the work of Swamiji. In Divine friendship one feels the comfort of unconditional love. Jai Guru
“Divine friendship is, in a very real sense, the core vibration of Ananda Sangha.”
That is a thought worth holding on the altar of our hearts. Thank you, Jyotish.
Many Blessings to you & Devi in your travels. You’re in our prayers and we look forward to your return to Ananda Village~
Dear Jyotish ji
Thank you for reminding.Beautiful article.