Kriya Yoga Logo
75th Anniversary Celebration
of Gurudev's Arrival in Puri
Gurudev at Karar Ashram

Dear Divine Kriyavans,

 

This month we celebrate two auspicious occasions: the birthday of our beloved Gurudev on May 27, and the continuing celebration of the 75th anniversary of Paramahamsa Hariharananda's arrival in Puri.

   

During the 36 years Gurudev spent living, growing, and serving at the Karar Ashram, he was often surrounded by realized masters, saints, sages, and other divine personalities who helped and guided him on his spiritual journey. Gurudev always emphasized the value of being in the presence of good company; he would often say, "Good company will make you good and bad company will make you bad."

 

As we will discuss later in this email, good company is not only the people with whom we associate, but also the scriptures that we read, our thoughts, our positive qualities, our breath, and our own soul consciousness. Even during times of seclusion, while being God conscious in every moment, Gurudev was in the presence of good company.

 

This month we will contemplate and practice
being in the presence of good company.


Excerpt from River of Compassion -  
The Value of Good Company

The emblem (logo) of Shriyukteshwarji's Karar Ashram and his Kriya Yoga organization carries a deep spiritual message for the spiritual seeker. It is a diagram of two eyebrows, and above the midpoint of the eyebrows is the third eye. There are two Sanskrit sayings on the logo. Inscribed on the eyebrows is mahajano yenah gatah sa pantha, which translated means: '"That is the path directed by the realized," from the epic Mahabharata by Maharshi Vyasa. The second inscription, below the logo, is kshanamiha sajjana sangatireka, bhavati bhavarnava tarane nauka, and this translated means:

"A moment's good company will enable one to cross the ocean of the world," from the famous song, "Bhaja Govindam" by Acharya Shankara. All saints and sages enrich their lives through good company. There are many opportunities to be in bad company; no special effort is needed. To be in good company, one's own effort and God's grace are equally important.




Along the path of spirituality and God-realization, we require the guidance of a realized master to direct us.

During his time in Puri, Gurudev had the good fortune of being in the presence of many realized masters and divine beings and benefited from their instruction.
 

 

  

From his childhood, Swami Hariharananda was a seeker of Truth and at every step in life God provided him plentiful opportunities for good company, from which he learnt many lessons directly and indirectly. In childhood, his holy and divine parents molded his life in the path of love, service, and realization. In his early teens, he had practical training in spiritual life from guru Shri Bijoy Krishna and, later, the direct guidance of Shriyukteshwarji on the path of Kriya Yoga. Paramahamsa Yoganandaji, Swami Satyanandaji, and Shri Sanyal Mahashaya helped him to progress rapidly towards enlightenment and, above all, he received the grace of Babaji Maharaj. The scriptural knowledge of Swami Bharati Krishna Teertha, who at that time was Jagadguru Shankaracharya of Puri, directed him on the path of renunciation. There were many other spiritual luminaries who encouraged and inspired him. Later on, many monks and holy men in turn approached him to benefit from his company. Good company acts like fire that lights the incense stick, filling the entire house with a beautiful fragrance. 

Excerpt from The Divine Quest 

 

Good company has many different meanings. The first meaning is to be in the company of good people who will give you inspiration and a good environment through which you will desire to be a better person. Human life is just like good soil: if you want to cultivate it well, you should take all the stones and pebbles out, take out all the weeds, plough it, sow the seed, and irrigate it; then you will have healthy plants and a good harvest. 



As a lump of clay is molded and shaped by the hands of the artist, so also, the person we become is shaped by the company we keep and the people that touch our lives.
Similarly, good company, the company of noble, like-minded, spiritual, humble, and honest people, helps us to be good people. Spiritual teachers are also good company. They guide us on the path of devotion and spirituality. Parents are also good company. For children, parents are the best well-wishers. They always want their child to grow to become a nice person with a good education, no bad habit, and to be humble and noble. Good books are also good company. When one studies good books such as the Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads, the Bible, or other books, of high spiritual value, one gets more inner strength to lead a good life.

 

This is the meaning of good company. If one is careful and intelligent, one can avail oneself of good company every day.
Daily Reflections - The Company
of the Master

 

The realized Master is a true friend. A true Master guides, not misguides. Those who misguide are not Masters.

 

The Self-realized Master helps us to realize our own "Self"' within. Once we have achieved this step, we become aware that the soul is the real "Master" within.  

 

With a pure mind and a sincere heart, we should listen to the encouraging voice of the soul.


If, at every moment and in every breath we cultivate soul awareness, we will surely progress in the spiritual path and overcome difficulties along the way.

 

 

The road of life can be filled with obstacles that extrovert the mind and senses, and take us from our goal. For those desiring God-realization, especially in the beginning, the company and guidance of a good teacher helps the student to introvert his mind and keep him focused on God. Read in Practical Guidance in Spiritual Life what Gurudev says about the role of a good teacher to help the devotee learn and grow.

Baba Prajnananandaji also talks about the value of the Self-realized master and his role in making us aware of the true "Master" that lies within.


 Read more from The Beauty of Scriptural Wisdom how Paramahamsa Hariharananda describes that good company is more than good-natured and spiritual people, but also the soul within.
A Collection of Instructions on Kriya Yoga

There Is No Other Way - Good and Bad Company

 

Every day, at every moment, I feel that I am not the body, and that I could breathe my last breath at any time. I am always prepared. There is a saying in Chanakya Niti: smara nityam anityatam - always feel that impermanence; that you could die right now. Always feel that the body is like a glass plate that you are carrying very carefully, but which despite all your efforts, could fall and break into pieces at any time. So make the best use of your time. If you feel it, kurupunyam ahoratram: do good day and night - always keep your attention on the pituitary or in the fontanel. Be alert at all times.

 

Tyaja durjana sansargam: avoid bad company since this is death to you. Where is this bad company? It is within you. You are your best friend, but you are also your worst enemy. So, be careful. Many people are becoming addicted to alcohol and drugs because of bad company. Anger, pride, viciousness, cruelty, insincerity, suspicion, and doubt are the bad company within us. These were the relatives of Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita, and he did not want to kill them. Passion, anger, pride, cruelty, and insincerity - all these are our closes relatives within the body. 

 

Gurudev reminds us about the bad qualities within each one of us; these are also considered bad company.   

  

Through the help of a realized master and listening to the Master that is within, we can remove ourselves of this bad company.   

  

Along with the bad company each of us also has good qualities and good company; such as restraint, patience, compassion, detachment, knowledge, consciousness, super-consciousness, and cosmic consciousness that can help us to fight and overcome the bad company.  

Lord Krishna taught Arjuna how to kill and eliminate them completely. Krishna means "good company," which is your indwelling Self. He knows the difference between good and bad. Your conscience will always tell you what is good and what is bad, yet even when you do your utmost to avoid the bad, many times you fail. If you are in good company, if you follow your friend, you cannot fail. Your best friend is Christ, or Krishna. Follow Him, and you will be assured of success. The name, Krishna, consists of krishi and na. Krishi bhuvachaka means cultivation of the land, the body, and nan cha nirguna vachaka is the land, and you are the farmer, you must cultivate the land. If you follow the directions of an experienced farmer, then the land will be cultivated very well. It depends on the depth of your desire and also requires a very strong master. Every teacher is a strong master who guides the mind of the disciples, giving them education and direction. So the teacher is also good company. With the help of the teacher you are to remove all your bad qualities. Although he later succeeded, at first, Arjuna tried and failed. Arjuna represents all worldly people. Lord Krishna's teachings are recorded in the eighteen chapters of the Bhagavad Gita.  
Mystical Songs of Rabindranath Tagore - Through Your Company

 

People love company. No one wants to be alone. While many people love the company of the world and worldly people, a devotee sincerely tries to receive the company of God. Through prayer and meditation, one develops this quality to be closer to the Divine. The body and mind become sanctified. The heart is enlightened.

 

"O God, O beautiful One, You have already blessed me with Your love and forgiveness. Remembering You, and meditating upon Your love and beauty, my mind and body, my eyes and my heart, are filled with divine sensation. Even my breath has slowed down."

 

"O beautiful One, Your touch brought a complete transformation in me. My heart is filled with Your grace. My life, like a small tributary, has merged with the ocean of bliss. It is a new life to me. The life of union has given me fulfillment of the dream of my lives."

 



Gurudev Hariharanandaji was a beautiful singer. In the later part of his life, the songs of Tagore and the Vedic hymns or the verses of the Bhagavad Gita or the Bible became his good company.

In "Songs of the Mystics" Gurudev gives an explanation of one of Rabindranath Tagore's songs.

The ultimate good company is that of God. This month, and always, let us try to follow the example of our beloved Gurudev and keep God ever on our minds and in our hearts.
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