STORIES OF THE GURU ~ Bro. Bhaktananda, devotee notes

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Brother Bhaktananda told some stories

There was a devotee, a Hindu man who lived in Africa and one time he traveled to India.  He visited Anandamoy Ma’s ashram and spent two days there, after which he planned to visit SRF in Los Angeles.   He sat at Anandamoy Ma’s feet and asked for her blessing before he left for America.  Ma started to laugh and the man wondered why.  Then she said to him, “You don’t need my blessing. Your guru is with you all the time.”  Later this man told Brother that he didn’t realize it at the time, and that he needed to hear it.

Realize when you hear these stories that they pertain to you too.  Learn the lessons in these stories.  As you develop devotion you will see little miracles happening around you.  This is the guru notifying you, letting you know he is there.

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Master had divine contact with Divine Mother.  He had an intimate relationship with Her and sometimes he would tell of his experiences.  One time Master was invited to Phoenix to give a lecture.  But he didn’t have any money for the trip, so he talked to Divine Mother and asked to receive the needed funds.  Immediately Divine Mother answered, “Ask Mr. so-and-so for the money.”  Master emphatically answered, “You ask him.” (Laughter from the audience)  A few hours passed and then this man came and said, “God asked me to give you this money.”  So Master went to Phoenix and gave a lecture in a large hall.  Divine Mother was like a human mother, loving her son.  So offer God and guru your love after every meditation.

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Master knows us very well – we are an open book to him.   Nothing is hidden from him.   He knew our every thought, every feeling, every action and at times he would let the disciples know, but always in a very gentle, kind way.

Brother lived for a time in the ashram in Encinitas.  There was a greenhouse there at that time and Brother’s duty was to deliver the flowers to the florist.  One morning he looked in his drawer and saw that he was low on socks.  He thought to buy some but he was so busy with the holidays approaching that he didn’t have time.  The next week he traveled to Mother Center and when he arrived another monk said, “Master wants to see you.”  So Brother sat down in the room to wait for Master and closed his eyes to meditate for a few minutes.  Then he heard Master at the door.  Brother opened his eyes and saw Master swing his arm at him and the next thing he knew there were little black balls coming at him, hitting him on the face and chest – they were socks.  (This said, Brother hurled a couple of black balls of socks into the audience, which drew much laughter).  Brother took the dust of his feet, picked up the socks, thanked Master, and slowly left the room – no talking, no need for questions.

Master wanted Brother to practice silence.  Brother said he found out why after Master’s mahasamadhi – to get his guidance from within.

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Master had a great sense of humor.  And he has our thoughts – you too are in that position – and he will guide you if you have faith.  Master would sometimes do little things, like socks, or some other need a devotee might have.  Master lots of times gives us things, but unless we are attuned it may pass unnoticed – we may miss it.  He often uses others as instruments – as channels.

Brother said, “Now I want to tell you how Master held up a train.”  (Laughter from the audience)  Brother said this story was told to him by one of the devotees present at the time.  In 1935-36, Master attended the burial of Sri Yukteswar.  Just prior to that he was on a lecture tour in Hardwar and had visited some devotees.  They took him to the train station to say good-bye and Master was ready to board the train, but was still talking to the devotees.  The train whistle blew, and the wheels started to spin but the train wasn’t moving!  The conductor looked to see what the problem was, could see nothing wrong, and then proceeded to try again.  Again the wheels started spinning but the train didn’t move.  People were staring in awe.  Finally one man hollered, “Holy man, holy man, please let the train go! We want to go home.”  So then Master slowly and casually said good-by, boarded the train, and the train finally left.

Master always had a reason for any miracle he did. There was probably a skeptic in the group who needed a particular lesson – perhaps to remove a doubt from his consciousness.

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Master had five books to write: Autobiography of a Yogi, The Second Coming of Christ, and his interpretations of the Bhagavad Gita, Revelations , and the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.  At a time when Master was away in the desert, writing prolifically all day and through the night, Brother realized that it had been a month since he had seen Master, even though he always practiced the presence.  An urge came to Brother that he longed to see his guru, but then he put it out of his mind.  At that time, Brother drove a panel truck between Encinitas and Mother Center, transporting produce grown by SRF, and sometimes even to places to be sold.  A few days later Dr. Lewis called him in Encinitas and said, “Master wants you to drive out to the desert and take supplies out.”  Brother made the trip and when he arrived, there was his guru standing there.  Master held up his hands and said, “I’m not the body – I’m everywhere – I’m not the body – I’m everywhere!”  In a way, he was scolding Brother, trying to help him understand that you don’t have to be with the guru in the body.    Master asked him to sit at a picnic bench and lovingly prepared a sandwich and a drink for Brother, and then he said, “Now you’ll be going home?”  Brother said, “Yes.”  Master’s discipline was gentle, soft, caring, always with love.

Brother said that he hardly ever had conversations with Master, in all the years he was there; there was no need really, except when Master needed to give instructions or the like.  It was just enough to be in his Presence.  Master wanted to teach him and all the devotees to attune themselves to his spirit for inner guidance.  He said that he will be with us more when he is gone, not because he was with them less because of his physical body, but because people who limit him to his body limit his spiritual presence within them.

Brother continued to explain the story by saying that Master showed that he knows every thought we have and everything that we are going through and that he is always with us – that we don’t have to see him.  Brother further went on to explain that in the beginning Master sometimes ‘shows’ himself to some devotees to get them on the path, but that after that he does not show himself to us.  He does not want devotees to desire phenomena, but to seek the inner attunement with his consciousness, his joy and his love.

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Bro. Bhaktananda with Bro. Vishwananda (right)

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