In this talk, given on March 22, 1995 at the dedication ceremony of the Paramahansa Yogananda Smriti Mandir (Memorial Shrine), Brother Anandamoy speaks on Paramahansa Yogananda’s mission to spread worldwide the teachings of Kriya Yoga—illuminating for this age the universal aspect of religion. He explains that practice of the meditation techniques taught by the Guru, including Kriya Yoga, leads one “steadily and surely to the perception of divinity within.” [EXCERPTS]
Finally this day has come where we can dedicate this beautiful mandir. I remember about three years ago when I was here, the workers had just started chiseling on those crude marble blocks and it was very difficult at that time to visualize this delicate jewel of a mandir. It is really, truly a beautiful piece of art…and I do not have to tell you that there will be great blessings going to all of you who have helped.
BROTHER ANANADAMOY performing aarti during Smriti Mandir dedication, March 22, 1995
This is Smriti Mandir–smriti means memory–and it is in memory of this great Guru who brought these teachings to us. As most of you know, he was sent by Mahavatar Babaji and his Guru Swami Sri Yukteswarji, to the west to bring the ancient sacred teachings of yoga, of India, to the West.
He lectured throughout the United States in all the major cities. He established an organization Self-Realization Fellowship as the instrument to preserve the purity of the teaching and to spread it worldwide. Just as we have here in India the Yogoda Satsanga Society of India.
He wrote books, he trained disciples, he interpreted the scriptures, especially as commissioned by Mahavatar Babaji, the Bhagavad Gita and the Bible.
I want to dwell on this point a little bit. Even though he interpreted the scriptures throughout his active years in America, in 1950 in order to concentrate once more on the interpretations he withdrew, he went to the desert so he would be free to concentrate on that work. And I, I don’t know why, it must have been my special karma, I had the privilege that I was out there with him. I wasn’t working on that particular project, I did other kinds of work, but in 1950 several months I was there and had the opportunity several times in the room where Guruji was giving the interpretations.
And I wish I could convey to you what that experience was to me, but human language cannot describe spiritual experience. I can only say, just to step into the room where he was working, that room was vibrant with the very tangible presence of God. And I saw that Guruji was in a deep state of inner God-communion.
And one of the disciples was at the typewriter, typing the dictation which Guruji gave. And one remarkable thing, it went on hour after hour after hour without interruption, without pause. When one monastic secretary was worn out, he called another one to take the place, it went almost day and night.
And the remarkable thing was, there were no pauses to think, to reflect, never a pause. And I knew that he did not give that interpretation through intellect. It came through his spirit communion with God.
And I want to read to you what Guruji said,
“In your search for God in previous incarnations, you may have passed through states of worshiping idols or other material symbols and may have pursued many paths of blind belief. But now you have come to that point in your spiritual evolution where you realize that the highest truth is to be found within yourself. At last you have been led to a spiritual path, and a sacred Yoga technique through which you can find God within yourself. In the centers of life force,” that is the chakras and consciousness in the spine and brain, “the great initiation of Kriya Yoga is given to you that you may awaken the spiritual consciousness within you, and there you find, you realize the divine altar of God perception.”
See also~~The Teaching of Kriya Yoga
And so now, we are honoring our Guru through the opening of this Mandir. And I would like to say something here. The greatest way of honoring the Guru is by practice of his teaching.
And so I would like to urge you, those of you who are following these teachings, practice the teachings. It is a special dispenstion. The sacred techniques which have been lost have been given again. This is the essence of the teaching, the techniques of hong sau and aum technique and kriya yoga and energization excercises, they all lead you gradually but surely, to the perception of the divinity within, and then gradually after that into Oneness with God.
And now we are going to open this mandir, and there inside is an image of Guruji, a picture, and I bow as you do, you bow to the Guru. But keep in mind the principle. He is not confined, he is not limited to a photograph, or an image. He used to say to us, “The Guru is always present in the kutastha center of his disciple.” Another time he would say, “The Guru is always present in the heart of his disciple.” Another time I heard him say, “When you practice kriya yoga, I come into your spine and do the work there.” Obviously he doesn’t come in physically, right? He’s omnipresent!
And so when you bow before the picture, don’t limit him because that would be contrary to his teaching. And in your meditations and whenever you want to, you can be in that divine presence because he is right within you and around you, everywhere.
And I would like to encourage you. With this understanding of these principles of the Guru’s teaching–practice, practice. It is not in vain. You may go on for some time and you may thing I’m not getting anywhere. You will get there because you cannot make a spiritual effort without advancing toward your goal. Impossible! But there is a purification which is very subtle which is going on every time you practice the techniques, every time you meditate. You’re going forward toward your divine goal, leading eventually to oneness with the Infinite, that absolute Infinite Eternal Bliss Consciousness.
You will never be satisfied, you will never have peace until you have that realization. You can look in the world, seek it in the things of the world, in all people. You will not find it there because you are the soul, you are divine yourself. And you will not be at rest until you know that, and you are One with the Infinite, bliss consciousness of God.