Our Gurudeva, Paramahansa Yogananda, is known as a Premavatar. Prem means “love,” and an avatar is a soul who has attained union with Spirit and then returns to help mankind. So, Premavatar signifies an incarnation of divine love.
Each one of us has our own unique personal story to tell about how Master came into our lives. One devotee told me a story: she was traveling somewhere and had a window seat in the airplane. She was hoping no one would sit in the seat next to her, and was dismayed when a large young man dressed all in black and covered in tattoos sat down next to her. She decided to just ignore him, and took out a Self-Realization magazine—it was one with a photograph of Master on the cover. The man happened to glance over, and when he saw the picture he said, “If you don’t mind, could you tell me, whose picture is that?” For some reason, instead of just saying “Paramahansa Yogananda,” she felt drawn to say, “He’s the most loving being in the whole world.”
“I know he is,” the man replied. “He came to me in a dream and put his arms around me and kept calling out my name over and over, so tenderly, ‘Michael, Michael, Michael.’ I thought I’d never know who he was. You don’t know the things I’ve done in my life, and you have no idea what it meant to me to know that someone loves me.”
The Guru’s love embraces every disciple, no matter what we have done. Never doubt your Guru’s love. We may not think he could possibly love us, but God and Guru know otherwise. Now, who do we think is right?
The Guru’s hand is always extended to the disciple. In order for the relationship to blossom, love and friendship need to flow both ways. The more we reach out by giving our love, appreciation, friendship, devotion, and service to the Guru, the more we open ourselves to receive his love—and the deeper the connection becomes.
excerpts from “The Guru’s Unconditional Love for Each Disciple,” by Sister Preeti (talk given at convocation in 2010)