When Master used to arrive at Encinitas he usually would call each devotee in at some time and talk to them. Once he did not call Sister Vajoyananda (?). She went to the ocean and cried her eyes out. When the devotees went with Master to the car to see him off, he said to her, “Remember, what I do, I do intentionally.” She saw that he was teaching her to be less dependent on him in the body. Not long afterward he left his body.
Disciples around Master could often go long periods of time without sleep because of the energy emanating from him. Master showed appreciation for every little thing the disciples did for him.
Master had a great sense of humor. Even when he was scolding, some noticed that if you looked closely at his eyes and corners of his mouth he was not at all mad. Sometimes a devotee would smile and he would burst out laughing. He liked to flip his slippers at unsuspecting nuns and then look away and pretend he didn’t know anything about it. With a very young devotee (12 years old?) he would tell her to run to the end of the hallway and he would see if he could flip his slipper all the way down the hall. He loved to take devotees out in nature, to the beach, etc. for picnics.
He said that when we tune in with him he can take our karma. When we’re not in tune, he can’t. Some karma must be worked out by us.
The Guru guards the disciple with a jealous hand
The Guru guards the disciple with a jealous hand. A story was told of a Cuban named Juan who was thrown in prison with some very rough characters. Someone gave Juan a copy of AY which he read and he tried to meditate and tune in with Master as best he could. There was one really big, burly rough guy that gave everyone trouble, but he left Juan alone. When he was asked why, he said it was because there was always this big strong-looking guy with Juan (the description fit Master!). Juan himself never saw him.
Another story. There was a lady in Guatemala who lost all her family. She wanted very much to come to the US, but had no papers. She had a picture of Master in her wallet and someone told her to just chant “Om Guru!” She set out on the bus traveling north to the US. There was a rough-looking man sitting beside her, but she felt led to ask his advice about the bus station. He told her where it was, but said she wouldn’t make it in that neighborhood at night. When they got there, the man offered to walk her all the way to the bus station. Coming into the US from Mexico, the lady was in a long line where officials were tearing through everyone’s bags, etc. She had two battered suitcases. It was obvious she was coming in to live, but she still had no papers. She chanted “Om Guru.” They tore through the bags of the people in front of her, and behind her, but when it was her turn, they just waved her on through!
Master said even the thought of a saint can save you, because you are in tune with those who are in tune with God.
If you fall down, pick yourself up. If you fall down again, pick yourself up again…
If you fall down, pick yourself up. If you fall down again, pick yourself up again. If you fall again, pick yourself up again…We are like children learning to walk. God and Master are like perfect parents. (At this point Bro. Devananda did a wonderful imitation of a toddler walking like a drunk sailor). He says we are naturally going to fall down again and again. Can you imagine spanking a little child just because he falls down while learning to walk! No, God never spanks. He loves. And if we keep at it, soon we are like the toddler who couldn’t walk one day, and then one day he’s running all over!
God’s love is so unconditional, and so is Master’s. Once a drunk disciple came to see Master, and the monks did not want him to go up, sure that Master would disapprove. Master said let him come up. The man was having mental problems. Master embraced him and gave him all his love. He said, “I will be with you no matter how many times you fall.”
Another time an alcoholic wanted to follow the teachings. He meditated with a beer in one hand, and kriya beads in the other! But he kept at it, and eventually the beads won out. No one is a perfect fit—do your best and give it to God!
Daya Mata was once asked what it would be like when we die and we see Master. She thought about it for a long time, and then she said that it would be like you were a mighty warrior with your bashed in shield and your chipped sword. You know that you were not always successful, but you did the best you could. Master will open his arms and embrace you!
Some General Counsel
How to improve concentration: Prepare before sitting down, talk to God, read, listen to a tape, give yourself a pep talk, review techniques, say affirmations. If you are sleepy or distracted you can start with kriya because it is more ‘active.’
Anger is thwarted desire. Master said, “Don’t let anyone get your goat!” You attract what you love—and what you hate!
Deny karma, but if you have done what you can, give it to God.
Attune yourself to the guru for his protection, to take your karma.
Start a new trend—instead of dwelling on people’s weaknesses, dwell on their strengths. We can be (tolerantly) aware of weaknesses, but don’t dwell on them. Bro. Devananda said he works with the monks and he has started keeping lists of their strengths. It is good to encourage people.
It is weakness to look at weaknesses.
It is strength to look at strengths.
devotee notes, SRF Silent Retreat 1998—Bro. Devananda’s Sunday afternoon talk