The Guru’s Unconditional Love and Friendship Pt. 1 ~ Bro. Santoshananda

Master pranam srf crop2_Fotor

Brother Santoshananda pranamed to us and explained that the meaning of a pranam is, “I greet your soul.”  It is acknowledging the God in others.  Literally, pranam means ‘complete salutation.’   It is a complete greeting as a soul, in body and mind.   Richard Wright, (Daya Mata’s brother), used to always start his letters to Master with, “Pranams, Holy Dad”  (laughter from the audience)

‘Jai Guru’ means victory to the guru – victory over darkness — and the guru is always a victor!  (Laughter from the audience) –victor over us, over our ego, over our karma, delusion, maya.  “Gu” means darkness, and “ru” means that which overcomes.   So pranam mindfully to the guru, not out of habit.  Be present in what you do.  Pranam mindfully to the one who is going to create victory in your life. …

Bro. TuriyanandaThe Autobiography is a great awakener for many, including Brother, and he told the story of how he found the path:  One day he went to visit a friend at a restaurant which was owned by the friend’s parents.  (The friend later became Brother Turiyananda)  He found him seated in one of the booths, with a beer (laughter from the audience), smoking a cigar.  (More laughter)  He was reading a book, and Brother S. asked him about it.  Turiyananda answered, “Oh, it’s a very deep book.  When you’re ready, maybe I’ll lend it to you.”  “What do you mean, ‘when I’m ready’?” asked Brother S.   Brother T. answered, “Yes, I drink beer, I’m smoking a cigar…… but I just found my guru.  When the disciple is ready, the guru will come.” …

See~ How Disciples of Paramahansa Yogananda Found Autobiography of a Yogi

Master said the guru comes to awaken the sleeping God in his disciples…

Master wrote, “I came to arouse your sleeping memory of immortality.  I suffer for you.  I will do everything to help you realize that illumination is within.  Awake!  Sleep no more.  You are Bliss.”

We all go through ups and downs, we may feel discouraged, we may feel a lack of progress, we may feel, “Why am I not yet in samadhi?”  (laughter from the audience)  But Master said don’t worry.  You are already blessed because you are already on the path. …

Master said that if you have even a little conscious or unconscious wish to know God – you are far ahead of the crowd.  “So,” Brother said, “we are in good shape so far!”  (laughter from the audience)  That is a blessing by itself.  Krishna said, “Only one in one thousand seeks Me.”  Realize that you are the one in one thousand seeking Him.

When Master was in India, some of the disciples were complaining to him about their seeming lack of progress. Master told them, “Don’t worry, your head is already in the tiger’s mouth.”

“Banat, banat, ban jai”

The problem is with us – we are so conditioned in the West, so goal oriented.  We want instant satisfaction, instant success, instant samadhi.  We project our ideals so high, and then when we don’t achieve them we think we have failed.  We give too much attention to the goal, but the process is more important than the goal.  We need to focus in the moment – this is so important for reaching the goal.

Brother told a story:  One time he was riding his bicycle and he came to a big hill.  He looked way up to the top of the hill, and suddenly he felt very tired.  An inner dialogue began – the monkey mind was at work – and he began to wonder if he would ever make it to the top.  Then he realized he was too focused on the goal, and knew he needed to change his attitude.  So he just kept on pushing the pedals, left, right, left, right, not thinking about the faraway goal, and in no time he found himself on top of the hill.

So whenever we meditate, we need to remember to concentrate and focus on the process, not on the goal.  One of Lahiri Mahasaya’s favorite remarks, given as encouragement for his students’ perseverance, was “Banat, banat, ban jai”, which means “Striving, striving, one day behold.”  Brother added, “Notice that he didn’t say, ‘Striving, behold, behold’.”  (laughter from the audience)

from devotee notes

See also~  LAHIRI MAHASAYA, ‘Banat banat ban jai!’ ~ Sw. Smaranananda

Bro Santoshananda devotee hands_Fotor
Brother Santoshananda

See also~ Part 2 of “The Guru’s Unconditional Love and Friendship,” Brother Santoshananda:

A Letter Master Wrote to Ananda Mata ~ Bro. Santoshananda