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.”
Later, as Yoganandaji stood up to leave the room, he looked deeply at Swamiji and said in response to his unspoken prayer, “How can the little cup hold the whole ocean?”
His meaning was clear: The ocean of God’s love is infinite, but until we’ve expanded our heart, we’re only able to give and receive a tiny portion of that love.
Recently we had the blessing of visiting Yoganandaji’s boyhood home in Kolkata. In a little attic room there, Master used to spend hours in deep meditation and communion with God. In fact, on a photo of this room that was taken later, he wrote, “My attic room where I found God.”
As we were meditating there, I felt Master’s presence very strongly calling to me to open my heart more fully to receive his blessings. Aching to do this, yet realizing that I didn’t know how, I began praying, “Show me how to increase the size of my heart’s cup that you may fill it with your love.”
These are some thoughts that have come to me in response to my prayer. First, invite God to share with you every experience in your life—the pleasant and the painful. Think of Him as being very near throughout the day, and let Him know that you are grateful for everything that happens, because it comes from Him, whom you love and trust.
Next, feel God’s love flowing through you to everyone you meet. Swami Kriyananda was such a remarkable example of this. To him, all he met were divine friends, and no one was a stranger.
Currently Jyotish, Dhyana and I are spending a few days at a beautiful hotel in Delhi, the Leela Palace, as the gift of some friends. Swami Kriyananda also stayed here for a few days in 2011 and 2012. During our stay, members of the staff have been coming up to us asking about Swamiji, remembering the table where he sat, and how kind he was. Though he was here only briefly two and three years ago, Swamiji left a deep impression on the staff because of his ability to channel God’s love to everyone.
Finally, and most important, to expand your heart’s capacity to love, call on the guru for his help. Recently I came upon this passage in Autobiography of a Yogi, in which Master is speaking of his guru, Swami Sri Yukteswar: “We looked into each other’s eyes, where tears were shining. A blissful wave engulfed me; I was conscious that the Lord, in the form of my guru, was expanding the small ardors of my heart into the incompressible reaches of cosmic love.”
This is the ultimate gift of God and Guru—to open our heart to hold the whole ocean of Divine Love.
With blessings in God and Guru,