The Paradox of Omnipresence

Sep 26, 2022

by Nayaswami Narayan

I was on a zoom call with some friends from Ananda India this past week. We were discussing uploading audio files to be able to share different talks of Swami Kriyananda through the internet.

At one point Aryavan, who happened to be at the Delhi airport, was telling us about the noise cancellation features of an audio recording and editing software application. The irony of his setting ran rich with humor.

It was so loud in his background because he was at the airport (a very crowded Indian airport!) that we could barely hear what he was saying. In other words, as he was describing the noise cancellation software, his own voice was canceled out by background noise! Divine Mother’s sense of humor played through loud and (not so) clear. :)

This paradoxical experience reminded me of how Paramhansa Yogananda described Ananda Moi Ma in Autobiography of a Yogi:

“The closest of dear friends, she made one feel, yet an aura of remoteness was ever around her—the paradoxical isolation of Omnipresence.”

The divine paradox is expressed beautifully by Swami Kriyananda in a song about Divine Mother called “Farther Away than the Stars”:

I have a Love Who’s far away,
Far away, far away;
I have a Love Who’s far away,
Farther away than the stars.
And yet, She’s stolen my heart away,
Heart away! heart away;
And yet, She’s stolen my heart away,
Farther away than the stars.
Keep me not bound, no! teach me to fly,
Far from earth’s madness—free ere I die!
Keep me not bound here, teach me to fly,
Farther away than the stars.
There’s nothing here nearly so dear,
Nearly so dear, nearly so dear.
There’s nothing here nearly so dear
As Her laughter away in the stars.

How can God be “farther away than the stars” and “nearly so dear” at the same time?

“Leave a few mysteries to explore in Eternity,” Sri Yukteswar used to say with a smile. “How could man’s limited reasoning powers comprehend the inconceivable motives of the Uncreated Absolute? The rational faculty in man, tethered by the cause-effect principle of the phenomenal world, is baffled before the enigma of God, the Beginningless, the Uncaused. Nevertheless, though man’s reason cannot fathom the riddles of creation, every mystery will ultimately be solved for the devotee by God Himself.” – Autobiography of a Yogi

Divine Mother is playing an exquisite hide and seek game with us. Ma is far, and yet nearly so dear!

Let’s fall in love with Her through the sweet paradox of her Omnipresence.

In Distant Closeness,
Nayaswami Narayan