Be a Cosmic Friend

Sep 05, 2022

by Nayaswami Narayan

A touching experience happened between some of our retreat guests during our recent Awaken the Chakras retreat at the Ananda Temecula Farm.

For their sleeping quarters four women were sharing one large room with two bunk beds. Only two of the women knew each other before the retreat. The other two were brand new guests and had not met anyone at Ananda before the retreat.

During our closing circle one of the women from this shared room told us how moved she was by her roommates' kindness. She recounted how her roommates were all offering to take her top bunk and make it easier for her to use the bottom bunk.

Although this may seem like a simple gesture of kindness with no grand fate in the balance, it deeply touched her (and all of us when we heard the story). Paramhansa Yogananda said, “In a village of a thousand people, if you are unkind and uncooperative toward others, you will have 999 enemies. But if you hold an attitude of kindness and cooperation, you will have 999 friends.”

After experiencing the thoughtfulness of her new friends, the woman said, “How beautiful the world would be if everyone acted with such kindness.”

This act of kindness reminded me of a story that Swami Kriyananda shared about his time with Paramhansa Yogananda. It was during a Christmas Banquet (I think the year was 1950) at Mt. Washington. Swami tells this story in The New Path:

Before the banquet, place cards had been set out on the tables; the affair had been planned as a restricted family gathering. At the last moment, however, numbers arrived uninvited. Room was courteously made for them, some of the renunciates offering their own seats.

In the office afterwards, a few of us were discussing with Master the inconvenience that had been caused by that sudden influx of people. A monk expressed his distress at their presumption. But I had been fortunate to observe another aspect of the episode.

‘Sir,’ I said, ‘the disciples were vying with one another for the privilege of giving up their seats.’

‘Ah!’ Master smiled blissfully. ‘Those are the things that please me!’

As Yogananda said, “Be a cosmic friend, imbued with kindness and affection for all of God’s creation, scattering love everywhere.”