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75th Anniversary Celebration
of Gurudev's Arrival in Puri

Gurudev at Karar Ashram

Dear Divine Kriyavans,

 

The auspicious date of June 12th is just around the corner. It will be the 75th Anniversary of when Gurudev arrived in Puri, marking the departure from his worldly life with all its material pleasures, and a jump into the spiritual fire of renunciation. The next 36 years he would grow in spiritual wisdom, attain the highest goal of life, and prepare himself to bring the teachings of Kriya Yoga to the West.

 

To celebrate this anniversary and what Gurudev has given to each of us through his sacrifice, love, and dedication to serving God, we will be following in the footsteps of the Master by contemplating and practicing the disciplines he used to attain God-realization. Each month leading up to this anniversary will be dedicated to a different discipline that he exemplified so well during his years in Puri and throughout his life:

  • January - The Practice of Meditation (Disciplined, consistent, and longer meditations performed with deep desire, love & devotion)
  • February - Silence and Seclusion
  • March - Respect and Humility for all the Religions of the World
  • April - Compassionate Service
  • May - Being in the Presence of Good Company
  • June - Detachment
This month we will contemplate more deeply meditation for our spiritual sadhana and how it should be practiced. 
 
Even as a young man, Gurudev (then known as Rabindranath Bhattacharya) exhibited intense love for God and deep desire for Self-realization. At the age 12 he was initiated into the spiritual tradition of Jana Yoga by Shri Bijoy Krishna, a renowned realized master, who became Rabi's first guru after his father. At the age of 25, after expressing a deep desire to attain the state of nirvikalpa samadhi (state of cessation of all activities of the body, mind, thought, intellect, and ego - merged and absorbed in God), Shri Bijoy Krishna directed him to Swami Shriyukteshwar who had an ashram in Serampore, near Kolkata. Shriyukteshwarji initiated Rabi into Kriya Yoga. Later, Rabi found the opportunity to meet Paramahamsa Yogananda.
 
Excerpt from River of Compassion

 

In 1935, while staying in Kolkata in his parental house at Garpar Road, Rabi managed to meet Yoganandaji. Rabi bowed down and sat at his master's feet.

 

Yoganandaji said to Rabi, "only by seeing, one could neither get that divine power, nor fulfill one's life's desire."

 

Rabi replied with humility, "I want to experience the power of spiritual practice and to learn from you the advanced techniques of the higher form of Kriya Yoga."

 

Yoganandaji asked, "how many hours could you devote for spiritual practice?"

 

Rabi replied, "It is not a matter of hours, days, or years. In order to be in contact with such great power, I am prepared to sacrifice my whole life in spiritual practice in a hermitage, and I have taken a vow of lifelong celibacy and dedication for this purpose."  

 

 

   

This excerpt describes Rabi's meeting with Paramahamsa Yogananda and exemplifies the deep desire that would one day lead him to the highest attainment in life, that of God-realization.

 

To achieve the goal we must bring this same deep desire into our practice.

 

But still there is no substitute for doing the work... 

 

 

 

Discourse given by Paramahamsa Hariharananda in Washington, DC - July 23, 1983

 

Regularity in life is a key to success. If we look at nature we find there is regularity and harmony everywhere. The sun rises regularly, the seasons occur at the same time, most plants and animals are active in the daytime and rest at nighttime. In the similar manner, spiritual seekers should be regular and sincere in their own practices. It is a common experience that if students do not attend class for days, can they follow the class material? It will be difficult. If they attend the class daily and regularly, then they will grasp the continuity of the teachings...

 

Just as a farmer cultivates and takes care of the farm regularly, similarly, sincere meditators should prepare their body fields and mental functions carefully. Through regular practice of meditation, the body and mind get well prepared to perceive unmanifested divinity. So you should practice the techniques of meditation with love and faith to know God....

 

You should be consistent in your practice of meditation so that you will gradually advance in the spiritual path. The child grows gradually. A student learns daily. Through your sincere and regular practice you enter slowly into the field of knowledge. Go deep into the soul. You will see brilliant light, which is beyond imagination. Calmly remain inside. Be still and know that you are God. Penetrate deepest into it and calmly watch.

 

 

  

Paramahamsa Hariharananda Giri talks about the importance that consistency and discipline bring to the practice of meditation.

   

Sage Patanjali describes nicely, in Yoga Sutra 14 from Book 1 - The Samadhi Pada, the characteristics of practice consisting of prahara (longer practice), nairantarya (uninterrupted practice), satkara (devoted practice), and asevita (performed nicely).

 

Excerpt from The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali with  Metaphorical Explanation by Paramahamsa Prajnananandaji

 

O Seeker! Practice, practice, practice. It will give you perfection. It has been emphasized by the masters since time immemorial. Even in perfecting any worldly skills, for example, singing, dancing, cooking, and other such activities, one can easily see how repeated practice brings mastery and success. However, mechanical practice is not enough. There is a need for joyful practice. So practice the instructions of the guru preceptor with love and faith. It helps to be steadier in your evolution.

 

 

  

  

Let us contemplate the words of Paramahamsa Prajnanananda and bring more discipline, love and joy into our meditation.

 

 

 

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