By Narayan Romano
April 11, 2017
A few weeks ago a friend of mine lent me a number of books to read. She is a reading enthusiast. Well, that’s putting it lightly. She is on two library boards and she’s pretty much memorized the library of congress classification system. Not to mention she’s taken a speed reading course twice!
After she lent me the books, she was joining us for our Raja Yoga class. I joked to her during the class that you could have all the books in the world and still not know God. As Sri Yukteswar said, “One might have the whole universe, and find the Lord elusive still!”
Since this was right after she gave me the books, I may have come across as ungrateful. I apologized to her afterwards if my comment seemed flippant as that was not my intent. What I was trying to say was one cannot realize divinity through books.
She’s a bright person and I enjoy her open-mindedness and perspicacity (the first big word I learned as a youngster and happens to work quite well in describing my friend!). We discussed how scriptures can inspire us to receive Him. They are wonderful reminders of Spirit. But in order to fill our chalice at His fountain, the regular practice of meditation and inner communion is necessary. Words and scripture are a lower function of consciousness. That is why in higher ages there are no books. Sages in ancient India did not read the Bhagavad Gita (“The Song of Spirit”), they were living melodies of God’s love and bliss.
I’m reminded of a story of Saint Francis. He had no possessions save his small Bible that he carried. He came upon a poor man who asked him for a gift. Francis gave him his Bible. Afterwards he prayed to God, “Father, I’ve given away your Word! Forgive me…” The Lord responded, “Francis, how could you give away my Word for it is written upon your heart.”
The next week I was to return the books to my friend. I hadn’t had time to read through any of them except a few pages of one called The Psychic Side of Sports. It’s a fun book discussing spiritual experiences in, you guessed it, sports. Things like being “in the zone” and martial artists jumping from rock to rock without making a sound and running up walls. I’ve always wanted to run up a wall (that is overcome the barriers of delusion!) so I asked her if I could hang on to it for another week.
A few days later I opened this book up to a random page. I couldn’t believe my eyes. The subject was “Incorruptibility at Death.” Who did the author reference? My guru, Paramhansa Yogananda! He talked about how there was no physical disintegration visible even twenty days after Yogananda’s death. Here my friend had lent me this books to show me the parallels of different cultures to Yogananda and Self-realization, and lo, he appeared in the book! It reminded me of Krishna saying to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita:
“He who perceives Me everywhere and beholds everything in Me never loses sight of Me, nor do I ever lose sight of him.”
This experience inspired me to try to remember Him all the time. Though I forget more than I remember, it’s a joy to try to remember never to forget!
May the light of Christ/Krishna (the Infinite consciousness) shine upon you this Easter and always!
Love & Blessings,
Oh, my remembrance of Thee!
Is Thy glimmer
The sublime pink sunrise–
Your awe-inspired painting through natural brush strokes of beauty?
Is Thy reminder
the river’s roar running through me in distant closeness?
Is Thy glimmer
Thy light reflected in the smile of soul friends?
Is Thy glimmer
The fragrant flower–
Not a trap of beauty
But a reminder of Thee,
The God of all beauty behind…
reminding me in the midst of my forgetting,
“Oh, my remembrance of Thee!”