by Swami Krishnananda
On this holy, most blessed Sri Guru Purnima, at this auspicious moment in the early morning, we place within our hearts the great Sri Nara-Narayan Bhagavan whose grace spreads through the whole earth as threads permeate a cloth, who is stationed in sacred Badrika Ashrama, as tradition goes, who is the original incarnation of Sriman Narayana – to these twin forces of Nara and Narayana we give our prostrations. Prostration to Bhagavan Sri Krishna Dvaipayana Vyasa, after whom this day is also known as Vyasa Purnima, the great Guru of all Gurus. Uninterrupted by the time process, this Guru blesses all creation, the original Guru of all Gurus. Salutations and prostrations to Worshipful Gurudev Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj who is our immediate Guru, whose presence is not merely in this ashram but everywhere in this country and in the world.
The Gurus form a fraternity of their own, and all those who have reached the apex of experience are termed the Gurus of humanity. A leadership of a cosmic cosmopolitan society is vested with this great organisation of the Gurus. In this realm of divine ordinance, blessing and compassion that is bestowed upon all mankind, the Gurus shine as resplendent stars in the firmament of spirit. They are not human beings, though we may concede that once upon a time they assumed the form of human nature. Now they are disembodied, therefore capable of performing more effective action. Because of the disembodied nature of these Gurus, they permeate all existence. Because of their subtlety of existence they can manifest themselves at any moment and at any place. It is believed, in our tradition, that the moment we think of them they are here in front of us, because to materialise that which is not really material in form, it does not take time. So if our prayers at this time arise from the deepest recesses of our heart, these Gurus' blessings will be upon us forever and ever.
They permeate us and do not stand above our heads and bless us. When divine beings want to protect us, they do not stand beside us with a stick like shepherds; they enter us and protect us. Standing near us with a stick and then guarding us is one thing, but entering us and permeating us and then guarding us is another thing altogether. This is a mystery in the operation of divine forces. They work internally, though they also can work externally. They can provide us with our daily bread externally; they also can give peace of mind internally. When Bhagavan Sri Krishna proclaimed the great ordinance of the constitution of the universe – ananyas cintayanto mam ye janah paryupasate tesham nityabhiyuktanam yoga-ksemam vahamy aham (B.G. 9.22): Those who are undividedly united with Me, I bring them succour, provide them with all their needs – when it was said in this manner, the meaning is external as well as internal protection. He will give us bags of rice and wheat, sugar and milk and honey externally, which He shall do instantaneously. He shall also live in our brains, which is a greater protection than rice and wheat.
Such power these Gurus have; they bless us from within and without, in every way and every form, completely. But it is necessary for us to learn the art of invoking them. Sunlight is energising, but if we are sitting inside a cave under the earth, the forces of sunlight will not benefit us anymore. We have to keep ourselves open to the influx of the forces of the sun openly in order that this blessing may be upon us.
We have gone into the cave of this physically bound egoistic existence and shut ourselves up so that the influx of the rays of the benedictions of these masters may not enter us at all. Nature's forces and God's forces are shut off by the affirmation of egoism, but they are compassionate enough even to lift this egoism up into a divine personality and make it a resplendent ambassador of God's performance.
How Worshipful Gurudev Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj's presence is felt, and he is operating everywhere in this ashram and in this divine organisation through the hearts and the minds of his devotees and admirers on this earth, is something well known to everybody. You are all devotees of Sri Gurudev, and your life is secure today, even in the midst of difficulties – countless, everywhere in the world. Do you believe that you are living a very safe and comfortable life? If this blessing has been bestowed upon you, it is due to the grace of these masters who know your weaknesses and also your requirements. The gratitude that we have to pay for this protection that has been bestowed upon us by these masters is our prayer to them permanently. This prayer has to arise from us, and not merely from our lips in the form of words and chantings. Prayer arises from the feelings. Whatever you feel deeply, that is your prayer, and each one has to know what are the feelings operating within. The feeling is the root of our personality. Our brain, our understanding, our rationality, our intellect is not our true person. The feelings are the real person. What do you feel at this moment? That is your prayer. And even if you do not utter a word, these feelings of prayer will get communicated through the atmosphere of spiritual forces.
Occupied as we are in our humdrum activities of factory life, office life and family life, we may not be able to appreciate the operation of these great divinities. We cannot even see with our eyes if God is not working through the eyes. We cannot hear, we cannot speak, we cannot taste, we cannot sense anything unless some divinity is operating through these sensations. In this sense it appears that we do not exist at all, but are a conglomeration of divinities. Every cell of our body is the abode of one god or the other. Millions of gods are operating through us to give a shape to this personality as we appear to be. If one cell does not operate, we have to go to the doctor for an operation. One cell is sufficient; it can set at naught your whole security. Such is the power of a single divinity operating through every one of us. There are gods in the heavens, we say – but there are gods inside also. Every particle of our nature is filled with gods operating – otherwise, we would not be alive. The sense of being alive is due to the presence of these forces within us. In a way, we may say all individuals have a borrowed existence. It is given to us; it does not belong to us. Such is the mystery behind these wondrous forces operating irrespective of our inability to pursue them. As our eyes are projected outward, we cannot behold the inward operations taking place even within our own stomachs.
But faith is a miracle; it can work wonders. If you really have the faith that such forces are operating even just now – indomitably, unremittingly, keeping us alive and keeping us breathing – then this grace will get accentuated in our own selves. We shall be kept healthy, wealthy and also wise. But the difficulty is, it is hard to bring to our feelings the sense of these divinities. I can feel that I am here, but I cannot feel that you are inside me. It requires a special effort to make such feelings actually workable. Can you feel that I am in your heart? It is not possible, generally speaking, because the projection power of the sense organs keeps us outward at all times, and this is also in the case of our difficulty in feeling the presence of these divinities which are pure subjectivities. Gods are not objects, they are pure subjects – just as we ourselves are not objects, we are pure subjects. Such masterly organisation of pure subjectivities control this cosmos and then make it appear as if it is one single, integrated compactness. Otherwise the whole world will fall into shreds of little bits and there will be only dust particles everywhere and there will be no place for us to sit upon. The gods are very gracious to us.
Therefore, may we recollect to our memories, bring our will to action, feelings to operate and our understanding to stand in unison with these feelings is our collective prayer before the great masters who are actually not different, one from the other, as rays of the sun are not different. It is a mass of radiance that constitutes this world of the Gurus who are present here, at this moment, in our deepest hearts, in our feelings, in our prayers for our blessings, ever and ever.