About fifteen years ago, on a return trip from India, three American women were traveling with six tiny Indian infants. The women were volunteers taking the orphan babies to their new adopted homes in America.
I asked one of the women, “How will you be able to take care of two babies for all these hours?”
“Oh, no problem,” she assured me. “People will line up to help.” And they did.
That flight was characterized by a particular sweetness, as so many of us cared for the babies, participating in this extraordinary moment in their young lives.
Already their escorts were addressing them only by their new American names. The little, dark-skinned Haridases and Prakashes had become Edward James Robinsons or Henry Phillip Eddingtons.
Who can fathom the mystery of karma?
I was recently eavesdropping on a conversation at the swimming pool where I exercise. The subject was insomnia.
One woman said that she wakes up most nights after a few hours and begins to worry and can’t go back to sleep.
“What do you worry about?” someone asked.
“Oh, everything,” she replied. She went on to advocate the benefits of a midnight crossword puzzle to take the mind off one’s troubles.
My heart went out to her. Doesn’t that describe the times we live in? If we are fortunate enough not to have a personal crisis, we can always lie awake wondering when the next one will hit us. Or we can worry about earthquakes or the vanishing ozone layer. Earth life provides us so many choices to be anxious.
The uncertainty of our times is, in fact, a divine blessing. There are two motivations on the spiritual path. One is to be drawn forward by the blissful vision of God. The other is to catch fire from behind and run toward God in the hope of staying ahead of the flames!
Either method works. The beauty of the yoga path is that, as the Gita tells us, “Even a little practice of this inward religion will free one from dire fears and colossal sufferings.”
But yoga practice isn’t gambling on a heavenly reward after death. It is changing our consciousness right now. Once we begin to turn our attention inward, the positive results begin immediately.
Everything that our hearts seek is ours already. All we have to do is improve our knowing.
These are not concepts that one can grasp with the mind. We have to go inward, in meditation and prayer, and experience the bliss of our deepest nature, and the loving presence of the Divine Mother who eternally watches over us – like the little babies on the plane.
The circumstances of their conception must have seemed inauspicious, inasmuch as they ended up in an orphanage. In the womb, did those babies rest in the knowledge that the Divine Mother was in charge? Or were they troubled by “fetal insomnia” as they worried about the circumstances into which they would be born?
Did they know that Divine Mother’s loving hand was already guiding their future adoptive mothers and fathers to reach around the world to find them?
A particular myth of modern culture is that the ego is in charge of its destiny. Even those who give allegiance to this belief know intuitively that the ego’s power is limited. That is why so many wake up in the night and worry.
The thought of those babies has been a deep comfort to me. See how lovingly Divine Mother provides for each one of us!
A friend once put it simply. “No matter how complex our destiny may appear, no matter how many karmic bombs go off, or how much the plot twists and turns, in the midst of it all, we have only two choices: to think of God or not to think of God. Everything else is an illusion.”
Joy to you,