in his bestselling “Autobiography of a Yogi” talks about visiting the saint he calls Master Mahasaya. He was referring to Mahendranath Gupta
, otherwise known simply as “M” and the author of “The Gospel Of Ramakrishna”. Here is one version of the encounter in Yogananda’s own words:
The first time I went to see him, I had to wait quietly, for he said, “I am talking to Divine Mother.”
He was so great and yet so gentle and childlike! His whole countenance shone with the love of the Divine Mother. When I was in his presence those vibrations were overwhelming. Whenever I saw him talking to Divine Mother I felt a thousand million times more Love in my heart than that which I felt for my earthly mother whom I dearly loved. The emotion is indescribable! I felt I could not exist another moment without my Divine Mother.
One day I went to this saint and said, “How is it you are communing with Divine Mother and I cannot? Please ask Her if She loves me. I must know. I do not feel the love of Divine Mother now. I must have Her. I must know if She loves me!”
I kept on insisting for a long time, until finally the saint said, “All right, I will ask Her.”
And you know, that night I had a great experience. I cherished it silently, within myself. The Divine mother said, “Always I have loved thee! Ever shall I love thee!”
One or two days afterward I went to the saint, and again I saw those upturned eyes wandering in the jungles of the Infinite. I bowed down at the feet of this gracious saint as I knew Divine Mother was smiling in him. Continue reading
Catalina Escobar is from a well-to-do business family in Bogota, Columbia. She did her undergraduate degree in the US and participated in the study-abroad program to spend a semester in Japan. Soon she came to adopt the values of discipline and hard work she imbibed from Japanese culture. After finishing her undergraduate studies she returned home to Colombia to pursue her MBA. After graduating she turned down offers from her father to join the family business, choosing instead to start her own. It was her desire to be “self-made” rather than rely on family generosity. She moved to Cartagena with her husband where she started a flouring business in international trading.
Then in October 2000, when she was 42 years old, her life changed in one week. One day she found herself in the maternity ward of the largest hospital in Cartagena as a volunteer. In her arm was a terribly sick 12-year-old boy. The boy soon died in her arms. To her shock she learnt later that the death was completely preventable.
“His mother needed $30 that I had in my pocket. I will never forget that,” she said. “It was a preventable death.” Continue reading
When Hayden Carlo was pulled over for an expired registration sticker he was down on his luck. He had been struggling to support his wife and two children. He told the officer he had no excuse for having an expired sticker, except that he had no money.
“You get paid, pay your bills and there is your money. Its gone.” He told the officer.
Then an unexpected thing happened. When the officer handed him over the citation, folded inside was a hundred dollar bill! Seeing this so overwhelmed 25 year old Carlo that he broke down. With the money he was not only able to renew the registration of his car but also that of his wife’s car.
The officer did not tell anybody and insists to this day that he remain anonymous. The only thing we know about him is that he told his fellow officer, “He needed the money more than I do, and it was the right thing to do.”
The story came to light when Carlo’s grandfather heard about it. He was so moved by the gesture that he wrote a letter of appreciation to the police department.
The much needed helping hand came in at the right time for Carlo. He has since renewed his car registration and is now driving to a better paying new job. “He helped me out when I needed it and I appreciate that. I’ll never forget that man,” Carlo says. “It definitely restored my faith in God.”
Plano Police Officer Wraps A $100 Bill In Traffic Ticket
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With my 47th b-day fast approaching & 26 years of cardiac nursing under my belt, I found I had not learned to take care of myself. The rigors of caring for thousands of patients with a wide variety of critical cardiac problems had taken its toll. Caring so fully & deeply for the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of others had left me with chronic low back pain & a myriad of other stress related complaints, emotionally off-centered & spiritually voided. In short, I was a real mess!
Then I was given the good fortune of finding Peter Sklivas and Yoga Passion. With loving-kindness and a nurturing hand, Peter has taught me to respect & appreciate my body. My chronic low back pain has all but vanished. For the first time in years, I feel confident that I can give my patients the demanding physical care they require without the previously ever-present fear of injuring myself. I am better able to enjoy my time off, because I spend less of it, trying with anti-inflammatory drugs & heating pads to recover from the rages of patient care without a fit strong body. My physician and I were thrilled to find at my last physical in November that my total cholesterol had dropped 30 points to the upper limit of normal, and that I had reversed my HDL/LDL ratio also to normal levels. She had to agree that “the yoga clearly was working.” Continue reading
Dancer Alokananda Roy
visited a jail for the first time in 2007. She was invited by the Inspector General of Prisons, who was in the process of ushering in reforms in the jail. He wanted Alokananda to see if she could do something for the women inmates. However it was the men inmates that caught her eye, “They shook me.” She says. “Their body language — it was as though they had no future, nothing to look forward to.” She felt an urgent need to involve the men in whatever she did and almost on a whim she offered to teach all inmates to dance.
Since she was not sure how the men would accept dancing she offered to train them in Kalaripayattu, an ancient martial arts form of South India. Even then there was deep skepticism. “My first reaction seeing her was that I thought that maybe this woman is, you know, she’s gone off her head,” Akkara, one of the inmates, said. “Because, otherwise, why’s she coming to the prison to teach 50 prisoners who are either rapists or murderers?”
Akkara and other inmates watched from the sideline as Alokananda persisted, starting with a small group of inmates at first. Slowly the group grew and it evolved from martial art forms to performing a dance drama. They focused on the story of the sage Valmiki who was a bandit and murderer turned saint. This story resonated with the convicts and art turned into healing therapy. Continue reading