I Am Free in Thy Joy!

May 16, 2022

by Nayaswami Narayan

“Yogananda sent you to me. I will help you.”

Dr. George’s words came as spiritual solace to Sam’s soul. As a young man he had been searching for a “real yogi”, as he put it, to guide him on the spiritual path. Just before he was about to travel to India to search for his guru, through divine grace he met Dr. George in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (he couldn’t believe it as he joked that Milwaukee was the home of beer and baseball!).

But at first Dr. George would not accept him. “No, you have too much karma.” Sam persisted and pressed his advantage as a sincere soul seeker. Finally, Dr. George put his hand on Sam’s shoulder and said, “Yogananda sent you to me…I will help you.”

Sam felt a great weight lift from his shoulders. There’s an ancient Indian saying, “One moment in the presence of a saint can be your raft over the ocean of delusion.”

Sam was fortunate not to have just one moment but a number of years with Dr. George. Dr. George guided Sam’s life and he became a disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda. He experienced numerous miracles with Dr. George (one that included his own life being saved).

Our friendship with Sam was born through the pandemic. Self-realization is known as the “pearl of great price.” We consider our friendship with Sam a precious pearl from pandemic life! One of our community members discovered Sam online and introduced him to us. We all became fast friends who appreciated the natural unfolding growth of the soul together.

I so deeply admired how much Sam was, well, Sam. He was himself. There was not an air of pretense about him. There was no gravity of “I am a great spiritual teacher and you should listen to me.” Rather it was the fragrance of his soul joy and deep loving compassion that attracted us to him. I remember him saying, “No matter where you are in life you can silently radiate love and bliss to people around you. And you don’t have to make a big production out of it.“

Sam passed the “final exam” of death with flying colors. He was taken by a special ambulance to the Rocky Mountains which he loved. There in the Himalayas of the West he left the body. In the Nayaswami vow, Swami Kriyananda writes:

I am free in Thy joy, and will rejoice forever in Thy blissful presence.”

We rejoice with you Sam and will meet you on that mountain high!

A new mantra has been born:

Jai Sam Ram!