By Nayaswami Dharmadevi
September 17, 2019

We had the blessing of hosting Nayaswamis Dharmadas and Nirmala at Ananda LA this past Sunday. They were leading a pilgrimage to Paramhansa Yogananda’s shrines in Los Angeles and, to our delight, made Sunday Service at our center a part of their pilgrimage. 

Dharmadas shared about a space probe, New Horizons, that was sent to take pictures of Pluto. It was traveling at the incredible speed of 51,000 miles per hour. Even at that speed, it passed close to Jupiter in order to gain more momentum. Jupiter, with its massive size and magnetism, propelled the probe at even greater speeds, decreasing its arrival time to Pluto by five and a half years!

Dharmadas used this close encounter of the probe to Jupiter as an analogy for when we, as devotees, come in close proximity with the guru. Interestingly, in astrology, Jupiter represents the guru. The pilgrims visiting Yoganandaji’s shrines were coming in close proximity with the vibration of the guru. And now it was their task to maintain their closeness when going back to their normal routines. 

I couldn’t help but think about how my own life (as well as other disciples I know) has been propelled at a rapid rate through close encounters with the guru. 

At the end of my first pilgrimage to India in 2007, the leaders made an important announcement to everyone during our closing circle. “Your life has been changed by the experiences you’ve had here. Take time to integrate those changes in your life. Don’t make any dramatic decisions right when you get home.” 

My life had already changed but it wasn’t because of the visits to all of the sacred temples and shrines. It was the five minutes I spent with Swami Kriyananda just a few hours before our closing circle. The conversation we had, though outwardly insignificant, penetrated my consciousness and propelled me forward at a much faster rate. 

When I got back from the pilgrimage, my inner consciousness had already shifted but I still had significant things to deal with on the physical plane, like selling my house. Something that usually takes time, especially for someone with no experience, became a Divinely-accelerated experience. 

I didn’t know if I should call a real estate agent or what. So, I bought a cheap “For Sale By Owner” sign at Walmart. I wrote my phone number on the sign, and hammered it into the ground next to my mailbox. As I drove down the fairly short driveway, I received a phone call. That person bought my house within a week or so.

Time and time again, as I consciously make close encounters with my guru and his representatives in my life, I feel accelerated on my spiritual path. God and Guru are beyond astrological influences and they can handle the physical plane too!

Swami Kriyananda was told by an astrologer near the end of his life, “You have done even more than your guru has asked of you. And he is greatly pleased with you.” 

Let us all propel ourselves, not by our ego’s ambition, but by the “desireless desires,” as Yoganandaji called them, to find God and share Him with everyone we come in contact with. “Give me Thyself, oh Divine Mother, that I may share Thee with all.”