The saint responded, “I am not your guru; Yogananda is your guru.” The devotee, taken aback, said, “But Yogananda is dead.” Ramdas gave a classic reply: “No, Yogananda is alive. It is you who are dead.” The great ones are not limited by time and space the way we are.
But how can we connect with them after they’ve entered the “gulf after death”? This question is in the hearts and minds of many of us at Ananda, since it is just a year since Swami Kriyananda’s passing. Many have told me that Swamiji has come to them spontaneously, without conscious effort on their part, sometimes in a dream or by a strong feeling of his presence. I, personally, feel him most strongly during meditation, or when I simply remember to ask him for his blessing or guidance.
The insight came recently that I have a subtle veil in my consciousness that hinders a deeper connection to the Divine. It is the habit-born tendency to say, “I can do this by myself.” Sometimes this is due to a bit of pride, but more often it is simply forgetfulness. In the battle din of activity, I fail to remember that God alone is the Doer.
One needs, however, to avoid the pitfalls of passivity on one hand and arrogance on the other, both of which cause trouble. I found two especially helpful tools:
The first is Yoganandaji’s prayer, “I will reason, I will will, I will act. But, guide Thou my reason, will, and activity to the right path in everything.” This establishes the perfect balance between self-effort and reliance on God.
The second is simply to open my heart to Master so he can enter and take charge of my life. When I turn to Divine Mother, as a child turns to his mother, I find that She is there with open arms.
Ananda Moyee Ma gave a touching and reassuring answer to a question put to her: “You ask me whether you are within my ken when I am in my all-comprehensive Self. My answer is, not only you, but even those who have never seen me or heard of me swim into my vision the moment they need me. Then I do the needful for them. Yes, when you think of me, your form flashes across my vision just as objects become visible when the torchlight is focused on them.”
This perfectly reflects Master’s statement, “For those who think me near, I will be near.”
We would all do well to open our hearts to the great ones, keep them near, and accept their ever-willing help.
In love and joy,