Monday, October 25, 2010

Swamiji in LA

Dear Friends:

We encourage you to keep foremost in your consciousness a prayer for Swamiji and for the “great work” he is doing for Master in Southern California.

A great deal of tapasya is needed to launch this work. The same was true when Swamiji went to India. Tapasya is austerity accepted with devotion to gather energy and grace for a noble cause.

God is blessing Swamiji with the opportunity to serve in this way.

It is not surprising. Los Angeles is a huge metropolitan area with powerful crosscurrents of both spiritual and worldly vibrations. To bring to a focus in that environment the single ray of Master’s light through Swamiji and Ananda takes great will power and concentration. Plus, there are those in Los Angeles who would prefer to see Swamiji fail. Those vibrations are yet another obstacle to be overcome.

Often Swamiji’s physical body is the battleground where the forces of light and darkness collide. Almost every great success in his life has been preceded, or accompanied, by great physical trials.

You remember just a few weeks ago, on the eve of coming to Los Angeles, Swamiji suffered a serious fall in the living room of his home at Crystal Hermitage. He had to delay his trip till the last possible moment, and came to the inaugural event at the Ford Theater in a wheelchair.

Gradually he has recovered, until he could walk on his own, without even a cane. But the tapasya continues, manifesting above all as chronic sleeplessness, which gives rise, as you can well imagine, to a host of other difficulties.

A week ago, Swamiji fell again, but apparently the injury was slight. The very next day (October 17) he gave a beautiful satsang (which you can see on the internet—click here). In the following days, however, there was some concern that there might be a “slow bleed” in his brain from the impact of the fall. Three times he had to go to the hospital to be tested. At first they thought there was a bleed, then there wasn’t, then maybe there had been. In any case, it is over now; that is certain.

In the process, however, of dealing with what would have been very serious, Swamiji was given strong medications which threw his system out of balance. Now he has developed an adverse reaction to another medication he was taking. Unfortunately, that one is slow-acting, and it will be several days before it is cleared from his system.

Lest you wonder, Swamiji is being cared for by excellent physicians. His case, however, even in purely physical terms, is extremely complex. Add to it, all the intangible factors, and, well, you see the result: tapasya, given by God to Swamiji as part of the “great work” Master asked him to do.

So, as we said in the beginning: Keep Swamiji always in your prayers. Perhaps put a photograph of him not only on your altar, but also around your home, workplace, car, garden--anywhere you spend time and will see him often. Each time you notice his picture, offer a prayer to God and Gurus for his divine well-being.

Pray also for the success of Master’s work in Los Angeles. Someone’s effort brought Master to us, through a book, a class, a word from a friend. We can return the favor by praying that our brother and sister devotees in Los Angeles also be touched by Master’s ray.

Many of you have come to Ananda through doorways other than Swami Kriyananda himself; devotion to Master being the widest and most inviting. Because Ananda is now so far-flung, only a few devotees at any time are in physical proximity to Swamiji. And even then, he is far less available than he was in the founding years.

For all these reasons, you may not be aware of the extent to which everything you enjoy about Ananda, every benefit you receive from it, is the direct result of Swamiji’s devoted service to Master.

To use a very mundane way of explaining it, you may never meet Steve Jobs, and if you do, you might not even like him! But if you have an iPhone or an Apple computer, or a knock-off from any of these or the countless other technologies that came from Steve’s fertile imagination, you owe him a great debt of gratitude!

And much as we love our electronic toys, we can’t take them with us (as Swamiji was telling us just yesterday in the satsang from Los Angeles). But our consciousness is with us forever!

Imagine if there were no Ananda, and your only access to Master was through SRF. That means no community, no non-monastic spiritual leaders, no Living Wisdom School, no Conversations with Yogananda, no Festival of Light, no Oratorio, no music other than chants, no Expanding Light--well, the list goes on and on.

Master’s ray--transmitted through Swamiji, manifesting as Ananda--has been for so many of us the reason why we have a spiritual life. How can we ever express our gratitude? A constant prayer for Swamiji’s divine well-being, and for the success of the work in Los Angeles, is one small way.

David and Asha