Sister Parvati ~ Stories of Paramahansaji


“Master is in and around you all the time. Hold onto him.”

When she was 13, Sister Parvati’s father told her that she was going to go to a girl’s school. He took her to the Encinitas Hermitage. Her name was Rosemary. At that time, Master was not planning on receiving young teenagers into the ashram, but there was a group of them and (as Sister Parvati said in Glimpses of a Life Divine) Master asked God if he could take them, and God said yes. ….

Master’s eyelashes were long and straight, so when he closed his eyes they touched his cheeks. His eyes were black. When Sister first saw Master, she had been asked to bring him something. He was sitting at his desk. It was not facing west as it is now; it was turned so that he could face the south and watch the waves roll into the coast.

He was looking down and writing. She stood waiting for him to be ready to acknowledge her. He didn’t even move his head, he just looked up at her through his eyelashes and she thought, “He is divinely beautiful!”

When Sister first came, everyone was calling Paramahansaji “Master.” Because Sister had Christian training she was uncomfortable with that, because she was taught that Jesus was the only one you would refer to as “Master.” He asked Sister a question and she wanted to answer him, but she struggled in her mind with what to call him, so she was silent for a time. Then Master said, “You can call me “Little Sir.”

Master would sometimes talk with non-residents at length, even for hours. But with the ashram residents, he would speak only just briefly. Afterward there would come many images and wisdom into Sister’s mind that would spring from the brief teachings which Master had given. The more spiritually receptive you were, the more of those expanded inner teachings you could receive.


Sister Parvati, Direct Disciple

Sister observed people and learned what not to do. For instance: Master would sometimes stay up all night. Once he asked someone to go and fetch a certain woman. He told the messenger to tell the woman to get dressed and come out, that he wanted to talk with her about something. When the woman was given the message she said, “In the middle of the night? Tell him I’ll see him in the morning.” She left the ashram soon after.

Whenever Master played games or did something unusual, there was always a teaching in it.

One evening, Master asked them all to come to a room, but to come in one at a time. As they stood in line outside the door they could hear the people inside laughing. Sister thought, “He’s up to something!” As Sister entered the room, everyone was watching her to see how she would react, then everyone laughed. Sister laughed too. Sister watched each person’s reaction as they entered the room, and each person entering the room would laugh too, with the others. Everyone in the room was joyous! Being made fun of was training to get rid of the ego. But in the room Sister noticed one woman who was upset. That woman left the ashram about two months later.

An ashram resident had a beautiful fluffy gray Persian cat. She would not let anyone touch that cat. Now Master used to take group of young ones for a swim in the pool for about a half an hour in the afternoons. They had so much fun. He’d say, “Put your suits on,” and they would all meet and walk to the pool together. One day, while they were all standing in a group together to go to the pool, there was The cat, relaxing on the stair. Master got this look on his face: his mouth went slightly up into a smile on one side of his mouth, and three teeth appeared on that side. That’s the way Master would look before he would do something naughty. Sister thought, “Uh oh, something’s going to happen!”

Master took one of the inflated beach balls and dropped it on the gray cat. The cat shot straight up with its hair standing on end, back arched and its tail straight up in the air. Then it came down and lay down on the step, as if nothing had ever happened. Then Master said, “Pick up the ball.” The teenager who picked it up gave it to Master. He then dropped the ball again on the gray cat and the same thing happened. Then The cat’s owner appeared. Master said to her, “Pick up the ball.” She did. He dropped the ball again on the gray cat and the same thing happened. Then Master said, “Mrs. _____, your cat is levitating!” She slowly got a slight smile on her face. Master was trying to teach her that she was too attached to the cat.


MonasticsLkShAnniv - Copy
(l-r) Sister Parvati, Mukti Mata, Uma Mata, Bros. Anandamoy, Bhaktananda, Bimalananda – August 20, 2000, 50th Anniversary of Lake Shrine Dedication

SRF Lake Shrine 50th Anniversary Celebration, Stories of Paramahansa Yogananda by Direct Disciples, DVD

Sister was troubled by some thoughts. She didn’t want to be thinking them and she didn’t know how to stop. She went to Master and said, “I am having bad thoughts.” He looked into her eyes for a minute* and then said, “Don’t give them any notice.” Sister had to search for the deeper meaning of this. Then she realized that Master meant that to pay attention would give those thoughts importance, which would strengthen them. *When Master looked into your eyes he changed your brain cells. When you visualize the Masters in your spiritual eye they are changing your brain’s cells.

Sometimes Master would scold to get a point across. But once he thought that you understood, even if you couldn’t change, but as long as you were trying, he never brought it up again. On the day after a scolding, sometimes Sister would think, “Is he speaking to me today?” Then Master would act like nothing had ever happened.

Master would do things in a unique way, like the way he held his cane sideways.
There was a glow of light in Master’s face. Sometimes it was subtle and sometimes it was unmistakable. Once Sister saw it in a dark hallway. When she saw the radiance, she thought, “Oh, he’s all light! He’s made of light!”

First edition of Autobiography of a Yogi arrives at Mother Center, December 10, 1956


 On December 10, 1946 there was a crowbar and Master asked Ananda Ma to fetch his fountain pen. Then he began using the crowbar to open a crate. When it was open he took out the AY’s [Autobiography of a Yogi] one at a time and wrote, “December 10, 1946 Unceasing Blessings, Paramahansa Yogananda.” A few weeks later, Sister asked Master to write something in her book. He wrote, “Find eternity on the altar of these pages.”

The AY is a scripture. We can apply every story in the AY to our own life. An example of that is Babaji following Lahiri Mahasaya  through his last life in his cave, and then through his astral life, and again through his life as Lahiri Mahasaya, watching over him all the time just like a mother bird guarding her young. And that is exactly how Master watches over you. He is always with us.

You are all angels. Just because you are an angel, doesn’t mean you are perfect. You may still have things to work on. Being hard on ourselves will not make us change. Love yourself during introspection.

Master is in and around you all the time. Hold onto him.

Talk given February 6, 2016 Glendale Temple Volunteer Appreciation Dinner, devotee notes from a devotee email list


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