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What We Saw

Nayaswami Devi
November 23, 2017

There’s a story about a young boy whose spirituality was so deep that he left his family to enter his guru’s ashram at the age of seven. After some months had passed, his guru told him to go back to his village for a short visit to see his family and friends.

After the boy returned, his guru asked him about his stay: “Did you see your father and mother?”

“No, Baba, I saw only you.”

Again the guru asked, “Well, did you see your brothers and sisters?”

“No, Baba, I saw only you.”

Finally, with a gentle sweetness, the guru asked, “Didn’t you see your playmates?”

“Don’t tease me anymore, Baba, I saw only you.”

Jyotish and I just returned from a three-month visit to Ananda communities and centers in Assisi, throughout India, and finally in New York City. It was an incredible experience, and here are some of the things we saw:

A true European Union of souls serving God together and creating a spiritual community in Assisi.

A beautiful new “Temple of Joy” being built there to serve the increasing number of devotees coming.

Hundreds of Kriyabans from all over the world gathering together to deepen their Kriya practice.

In India we saw shining faces of devotees sharing Master’s teachings and running centers.

Deep gratitude and peace shining forth from the hundreds of formerly homeless widows in Brindaban who are now being housed, fed, and loved by Ananda’s Charitable Trust.

Enthusiasm and joy in new devotees as they begin to experience God’s presence within.

Increased inner strength and purpose in longer-term devotees as they continue on the spiritual path.

Beautiful, deep friends who helped us in our travels along the way.

Stillness and power in the Himalayas, and especially in the serene beauty of Nandadevi.

Glorious flowers everywhere—in garlands, bouquets, hair adornments, floor decorations, and gardens.

Innate dignity and divinity in the people of India.

Hope for world peace and harmony expressed at the United Nations in New York City.

Global Ambassador Peace Award

And finally, the “Global Ambassador Peace Award” given to Ananda at the United Nations in recognition of being emissaries of Paramhansa Yogananda.

But what did we see behind it all? Just like the little boy in his guru’s ashram, what we saw was the glorious, loving presence of God smiling through all of these experiences.

Now as we celebrate Thanksgiving here at Ananda Village, we are grateful beyond words for what we saw. We’ll close with this gift to you: a note that Swami Kriyananda wrote during his last years while in India:

Dear Ones:

Happy Thanksgiving Day. Today is a big day in America, but what it stands for would be good for everyone on earth to celebrate: a day of thanks to God for His many gifts.

My undying love,

swami kriyananda

With gratitude,

Nayaswami Devi

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