Soon after he moved to India in 2004, Swami Kriyananda held a satsang at the Ananda ashram in Gurgaon, a suburb of New Delhi.
Afterwards, a group of devotees asked questions.
One woman said, “Why did you decide to settle in Gurgaon?”
“I didn’t,” Swamiji said. “Friends came to India ahead of me to set things up, and they decided that this was the place to be.”
“Good!” she said. “Then I can stick with my own explanation. I live very near and I believe you came to Gurgaon for me!”
Her response was so endearing that everyone laughed in appreciation, including Swami.
When Swamiji was in India forty years earlier, he spent a great deal of time with a great woman saint, Anandamayee Ma. From the moment he met her, Ma showed a special interest in Swamiji, inviting him to spend long hours with her. It was most unusual for her to give so much time to anyone.
She told him, “Many thousands have come to this body. (That is how she referred to herself.) None have attracted me as you have. There are people who have been with me for twenty-five years and more, but they haven’t taken from me what you have.”
To others, she explained, “Here is a lotus in a pond. Many frogs sit under the lotus, croaking. Then the bee flies in, takes the honey, and flies away. Kriyananda is that bee.”
Later, Swamiji said to her, “I feel selfish taking so much of your time.”
She answered, “There is no selfishness in that which destroys the ego.”
Paramhansa Yogananda’s most advanced woman disciple, Sister Gyanamata, often meditated on the blissful thought, “Master came for me.” She knew that there were other disciples, and a large work, but none of it diminished his love for her.
This is the great mystery of omnipresence. It is not only infinite – it is also infinitesimal – not only infinitely large but also infinitely small. Every speck of creation, what to speak of each human heart, contains divinity itself.
In the life of Krishna, we learn the story of the Rasa Lila. A group of women devotees, the gopis, accompany Krishna into the forest on the night of the full moon. They dance together, and even though Krishna is only one and the gopis are many, in the Rasa Lila — the Sweet Dance — every gopi feels that Krishna is dancing with her. In paintings that celebrate the event, we see a circle of gopis, and next to each is the image of Krishna.
God is infinite and infinitesimal. He dwells in each of us. His presence is constant. The only thing that wavers is our awareness of Him.
Let us not be like the frogs croaking under the lotus. Let us be the ones who drink the honey of God’s presence within.