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. Some years earlier Divine Mother had appeared in his little attic meditation room, tenderly telling him, “Always have I loved thee, ever shall I love thee.”
It was in this room that Devi and I prepared ourselves for the Initiation. During my meditation the question came spontaneously to my mind, “Master, was I with you in a previous life?” Immediately came a resounding, “Yes,” but with no details of time or place.
It takes many lifetimes to acquire the good karma to be a sincere devotee of a great guru. Last November in Bangalore, India, we had a Nadhi reading, which is similar to the Brighu reading that Swami Kriyananda has written about. We were mesmerized as the pundit translated Sanskrit words written on ancient papyrus leaves. His soft voice gave intricate details about our health, family, and mental tendencies and events of this life. Their accuracy gave credence to the many unverifiable statements about our past and future.
Without any foreknowledge of who we were, the pundit told us that we had been together in many lifetimes as disciples of three great souls: Babaji, Paramhansa Yogananda, and Swami Kriyananda. I think many of us in our Ananda family have lived with each other before. Self-realization, or even the quest for it, is not the product of a few paltry lifetimes. As our soul nature slowly deepens, we are drawn again and again to those friends who share our search, our lives entwining in intricate patterns.
Yogananda begins his beautiful poem God! God! God! with these words:
From the depths of slumber,
As I ascend the spiral stairway of wakefulness,
God! God! God!
This verse speaks of both the waking from our nightly sleep and, more importantly, the slow emerging from the slumber of lifetimes. The dreams of maya are filled with countless ego-driven dramas. But freedom comes as we slowly climb the spiral (and spinal) stairway that leads to our eternal home. We are near, very near, when our heart constantly whispers, “God! God! God!”
In Master’s light,