Private Misery

[Listen to Asha read this story]

(Told by an Ananda devotee) 

I was on pilgrimage with a group from Ananda. The inspiration of the event was marred for me by grief over personal difficulties I was facing at the time. One bus ride, I was sitting alone, staring sadly out the window. I tried not to be conspicuous, but others must have sensed the cloud of misery around me. Perhaps not knowing how to console me or thinking I wanted to be left alone, no one sat next to me.

No one, that is, except Swamiji. He took the seat next to mine, pulled out a harmonium, and began to show me some new chords he had worked out for one of Master’s chants. I could barely speak, but I knew on a subtle level he was helping me redirect my energy upward rather than let it sink into a quagmire of pain. Just being in his presence lifted the energy in my spine.

“One of the purposes of Ananda,” Swamiji has said, “is to show the world examples of true friendship. Cooperation doesn’t have to be coerced. It is the natural result of that friendship.”

A woman in the community sent Swamiji a note that could have been written by any one of us.

“A friend came to me for spiritual counsel,” she wrote to Swamiji. “He was tormented by the fear that God does not love him. I did what I could to reassure him and in the process came to an important realization of my own. I never doubt that God loves me for one simple reason: I have experienced unconditional love from you, Swamiji, as God’s instrument. That has given me unshakeable faith in Him.”

“The relationship with God as Friend is in some ways the sweetest,” Swamiji writes in his commentary on the Bhagavad Gita. “When one… thinks of God as Friend, there steals into the heart that sweet confidence by which one feels, ‘But of course You love me! I am Yours; You are mine. How could either of us ever turn away from the other? We are one!’”

No comments:

Post a Comment