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"This heart's natural love is the principal thing to attain a holy life... It is impossible for man to advance a step [towards salvation] without it." said Swami Sri Yukteswar, in The Holy Science.
The present society affords little encouragement for the development of that all-surrendering love of which the saints have ever spoken. "Mawkish sentimentalism" has been the common judgment on deep feeling of any kind. An unfeeling heart has even been admired by many, as evidence of a "scientific outlook".
Pure Love Clarifies the Mind
The truth is that without love no one can penetrate deeply into the heart of things. For while emotions can cloud the mind, calm pure love clarifies it, and makes possible the subtlest intuitions.
One of the traits that impressed me about Yogananda most deeply was his quality of universal respect. It was a respect born of the deepest concern for others' welfare. Any stranger was, I'm convinced, as dear to him as his own disciples were.
Yogananda's Love: The Key to Happiness
A young monk from India told me of an example he had seen of the universality of Yogananda's love.
Yogananda had invited him out for a drive one afternoon. They were on their way home, near sundown. "Stop the car!" Yogananda cried suddenly.
They parked by the curb. He got out and walked back several doors to a small, rather shoddy-looking variety shop. There, to the monk's astonishment, he selected a number of items, none of them useful. "What on earth can he want with all that junk?" my friend marveled.
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At the front counter the owner, an elderly woman, added up the price. When Yogananda paid it, she burst into tears.
"I very badly needed just this sum of money today!" she cried. "It's near closing time, and I'd almost given up hope of getting it. Bless you, Sir. God Himself must have sent you to me in my hour of need!"
His quiet smile alone betrayed his knowledge of her difficulty. He offered no word of explanation. The purchases, as my friend had suspected, served no practical purpose thereafter.
Yogananda wore his wisdom without the slightest affectation, like a comfortable old jacket that one has been wearing for years. I had always supposed that deep truths must be spoken portentously, in measured cadences, almost in the style of Emerson's essays. But Yogananda lectured in a manner so totally natural that I was quite taken aback.
Was this the way to convince people of the importance of divine truths? He made no attempt to impress us with the depth of his insights. Frequently, rather, he sent us into gales of merriment. Only gradually did I observe that his flashes of humor invariably preceded some very sound spiritual advice.
You Are a Child of God
"Never say that you are a sinner," he went on to tell us. "You are a child of God! Gold, though covered over with mud for centuries, remains gold. Even so, the pure gold of the soul, though covered for eons of time with the mud of delusion, remains forever pure 'gold'. To call yourself a sinner is to identify yourself with your sins, instead of trying to overcome them. To call yourself a sinner is the greatest sin before God!"
There was a man who, for years, out of intense jealousy, slandered him. One day, less than a week before the end of Yogananda's life, the two of them met at a formal gathering. "Remember," Yogananda said, gazing into the man's eyes with deep forgiveness, "I will always love you!" I saw the man later, gazing at him with deep love and admiration.
Counsel Born of Love
Yogananda's counsel to people, born as it was of that love, was always particular to their needs. Seeing me one day on the grounds, he advised me, "Do not get excited or impatient, Walter. Go with slow speed." Only one who knew my private thoughts in meditation could have perceived the galloping zeal with which I'd entered the spiritual path. It was not an attitude that I displayed outwardly.
He was my friend; ever quietly and firmly on my side, anxious only to help me toward the highest understanding, even when I erred. Moreover, he was exactly the same to all, no matter what they did, nor how they treated him.
Once he needed to scold one of the ministers. "But please, Sir," the minister pleaded, "you will forgive me, won't you?" "Well," Yogananda replied in astonishment, "what else can I do?'
©2004. Excerpted from the book: "The Path".
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Crystal Clarity Publishers. http://www.crystalclarity.com.
The Path: One Man's Quest on the Only Path There is
by J. Donald Walters (Swami Kriyananda).
Here, with over 400 stories and sayings of Paramhansa Yogananda, is the inspiring story of onemans search for truth that led him to the great masters door, where he learned to live thespiritual life more perfectly through his teachers training and example. A vitally useful guidefor sincere seekers on any path. Filled with insightful stories and mystical adventures, ThePath is considered by many as a companion to Yoganandas Autobiography of a Yogi.
About The Author
J. Donald Walters, 1926-2013, (Swami Kriyananda) has written more than forty-five books on education, relationships, the arts, business, and meditation. For information about books and tapes, please write or call Crystal Clarity Publishers, 14618 Tyler Foote Road, Nevada City, CA 95959 (1-800-424-1055. http://www.crystalclarity.com. To visit the website of Ananda, founded by J. Donald Walters, visit www.ananda.org.