Yogananda

An Outpouring of Devotion,
written to celebrate his birthday on January 5th

Paramhansa Yogananda at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco

Oh Master!

We bow to you again and again.

We little ones might not fully understand your glory, your greatness, your life,
for who can perceive the countless facets of a divine diamond?
But we touch your feet with love, and we praise you,
who are blissfully established in the Realm beyond duality.
The ancient verse we sing to you: “Sat Gurum Tuam Namami!”

Oh Christ-like Master,
Your earthly life was a rare song of glory.
Your Light was of one who knows his Eternal Home,
and you came to speak to us of
“how to encase Him in Your bosom.”

You were overflowing with divine love,
loving everyone equally, even your enemies.
As Christ, you teach us to do the same.

You could be bubbling with joy and enthusiasm.
You loved humor, too, and at times told the funniest jokes,
shaking with laughter.
And you showed us where we can find that joy:
“I Myself am the Joy which I so sought.”
But you were serious and silent at other times,
for “Silence is the altar of Spirit.”

You loved God more than anything else,
and you communed with Him or Her ecstatically.
Us too you urge: “Love God! Love God! Love God!”

Sharing divine teachings and practices
were your mission on earth.
You magically changed and blessed
the lives of hundreds of thousands.
Your divine spark was irresistible:
“The time of knowing God has come.”

And you brought us the ancient Kriya Yoga,
“an airplane route to God.”
Through your grace we walk in the heavenly footsteps
of Bhagavan Krishna and the great Pandavas,
of Christ and his apostles,
of Patanjali and Adi Shankaracharya,
of Kabir and Mahatma Gandhi.

You stressed personal inner experience,
not dry belief or dogma.
Dusty and rusty religion
became fresh, free and alive again, under your guidance!
“You must individually make love to God.”

Once, with your own hands,
you fed a disciple some sweets,
as if he were your own child.
At other times you scolded strictly
like a stern father.
You had to, for you knew everyone’s thoughts.

You were a uniquely colorful poet,
and your poems are overflowing
with beauty, creativity, and love for God.

You also were a gifted composer and musician.
Music was a great love for you.
And us too, you urge to sing:
“Chanting is half the battle,” you tell us.

You performed miracles,
and even raised the dead.
But such things you rarely did openly,
since “the spiritual path is no circus.”

You were spontaneous, free in spirit,
often unpredictable.
“The Spirit blows where it wills…”

You were deeply respectful of everyone’s innate divinity.
You were a true friend to all.
So many loved you, and love you.
And you had a wild side, too!
You sang, “I will be a gypsy.”

You were an inventor, even-
your inventions are numerous!
Unknown to many, you built the first mobile home!

You were an extremely fast runner,
played tennis at Mount Washington,
and were incredibly strong,
to the surprise of all who witnessed it.

You loved to cook
and delighted in creating many new, delicious recipes.
They linger with us, as a special spark
of your divine diamond Light.

You were gracious as a host,
and a true gentleman.

You were ecstatic-
“all drunk with Thy name!”

You were broadminded and universal in outlook.
The world you declared to be your homeland,
and God to be the world’s president.

Anchored in God,
you were inwardly always completely detached
from the world’s dream: “I came liberated.”
But still you wept when your friends died or suffered.
You wept tears of love
for you dearest friend, Rajarsi, your “little one,”
and said: “I am divinely attached to all!”

You were childlike and spontaneous,
and could play the greatest jokes on your disciples.
Your water pistol once was used
for Rajarsi’s poor bald head…

You were different with everyone,
you taught them all differently,
according to their needs and natures.
You even looked different with everybody –
like a divine mirror you were!
Hardly could one put you in a little box,
saying “this is how he was!”

Your heart was enormous,
ever forgiving and magnanimous.
“What else can I do?” you once asked.
Compassion was your hallmark,
and the will to help us all.

You knew how to be most practical
and even made beautiful architectural designs.
You opened a goat dairy,
a vegetable garden, a flower garden,
and a vegetarian restaurant and cafe.

You were a schoolteacher, and a good one-
you loved children!
Spiritual schools were most dear to your heart,
and, since nothing could stop you, you started one.

You were full of fire, zest, and mighty will –
a true warrior of God.
You roared: “Danger and I were born together,
but I am more dangerous than danger!”

And, at the same time,
you were totally humble, sweet, and devoted.
“Receive me on Thy lap, oh Mother… “

You were fully yourself, never a copy of anyone.
“I will sing a song that none has sung… “

You believed in everyone’s divine goodness and greatness,
and you sang a song to us, with your Guru,
“Oh my saint, wake, yet wake… “

In scriptural commentary you were wise,
fresh and amazingly deep,
for your wisdom came to you
like a mystical cascade from the Infinite.

You were deeply non-sectarian and disliked “Churchianity,”
but you loved divine friendship in God.
You loved the monastic life, and also loved World-Brotherhood Colonies.
“Environment,” you told people, “is stronger than will-power”!

Oh Master, and you never left.
You promised us:
“To those who think me near, I will be near!”
Some disciples even say
that you appeared to them in flesh and blood
after your miraculous passing.
How blessed we all are!

And you live in our hearts.
From there, ever you keep calling us
to the heavenly bliss of our own being-
to Self-realization in God;
to the “opal pool of iridescent joy
where my Father distributes
His all-desire-quenching liquid peace.”

And – what incredible blessing!
You have promised to come again and again,
“if need be, a trillion times,”
until even the last of us
has found his way to his home in God.

Again and again, beloved Master, we bow to you!
May your blessed birthday be
a glorious astral feast in the highest regions,
with luminous angels, with your Masters and Christ,
and with God Himself!