We visited the Emergency Room for the third time in four weeks. Dharmadevi’s body has been going through some type of karmic cleansing period. A week ago, her fever began to spike (yet again) and she was having severe abdominal pains. Out of precaution we went back to the ER. 

One of the nurses said to her, “Oh, I remember you…you were so kind the last time you visited.” Apparently, ER nurses are part of Dharmadevi’s new ministry! Even though she felt like she had nothing to give, this man tuned into her spiritual nature. 

Similarly, I’ve noticed that even though her body is going through physical pain her spiritual state has remained the same. Swami Kriyananda once said of Dharmadevi, “She has kind eyes.” Her smile, sweetness, and inner strength have remained constant reminders for me of our deathless soul nature within.

Because of the pandemic, I could not enter the hospital with her. Since it was our third trip to the ER during the pandemic (who does that?!), we were prepared for the unnatural separation. Intuitively, I knew she would be okay so I wasn’t worried about her.

But after many hours of waiting, late at night my faith waned momentarily. I was (seemingly) alone without my beloved. A shred of doubt entered my mind. Would I see her again? I knew the thought was delusional and her life was not in danger. Yet, tears welled up in my eyes. 

“Where has my love gone?” These words from one of Swami Kriyananda’s song expressed my experience:

Where has my love gone?

Long are the nights,

Now that she’s left me,

Dimmed my delights.

Where is my love, friend?

Passed she this way?

Saw you her smile?

Ah! What did she say?

Ah! Passed she here?

My sweetheart, passed she here?

To calm myself, I meditated and offered the emotion inward and upward at the point between the eyebrows. In a few moments my mind became centered and clear. As the emotion stabilized into a deeper feeling of devotion and yearning for God, a realization dawned upon me.  

The separation from Dharmadevi had triggered the painful reminder of being separated from Divine Mother. I suspect the real pain we all feel on a deeper level is spiritual anguish. Pain is a “prod to remembrance” as Paramhansa Yogananda said. 

Remembrance of what? 

God’s eternal love and joy. The song continues:

Sweet was her promise

When first we met;

Whispers of heaven

Made me forget

Heartaches and labors,

Earth-searing pain.

“Rest now,” she said,

“You’ve found love again.”

Ah! Passed she here?

My sweetheart, passed she here?

The way out of delusion is not to suppress our feelings but to offer them more deeply to God for transmutation through divine grace. When we do that, we can rest because we’ve found our true love again.

And Dharmadevi made it home too. Every day and in every way she’s getting better and better!

In Joy,

Nayaswami Narayan

Where Has My Love Gone from Songs of Divine Joy