Asha Praver's Monthly Letter
January 2008

Remembrance of things eternal

Dear Friends,Asha Praver photo

An old friend sent us a real treasure: some comments from Rajarsi Janakananda (James J. Lynn), Master’s most advanced male disciple, written down by one who was with him.

When Master died, it was to Rajarsi that he gave his spiritual mantle and his position as leader of Self-Realization Fellowship. Rajarsi lived only a few years after Master’s passing in 1952, and for much of that time was ill with a brain tumor. He seldom lectured and didn’t write books, so he is less well known than those who came after him. He was fully Self-realized, Master said. His consciousness will be a blessing for all eternity.

Rajarsi was a self-made millionaire, a man of great influence and importance in his many business enterprises. But whenever he would come to visit Master, Swamiji tells us Rajarsi would leave all of that behind. He seldom spoke, Swamiji said, and when he did speak, he would talk about almost nothing but Master. Sometimes his only response would be “AUM Guru, AUM Guru.”

At our Christmas meditation this year, we played a recently released recording of Master from 1949. On that occasion, Master first asked Rajarsi to say a few words. 

In a simple, almost homespun style (Rajarsi was from Missouri), he reminded those present, and through the recording, future generations as well, that following the path of Self-realization as Master as taught it, will give us everything our hearts long to receive.

Truth Is Already Ours
Because we live in a material world, we think of progress in terms of acquisition. “I lack. I want. I acquire.” This is how success is measured.

Even when the goal is spiritual, we tend to think in materialistic ways. “I lack happiness or peace of mind, but soon I will acquire it.”

In truth, spiritual progress is not a matter of acquiring anything. Rather it is removing from our consciousness those false ideas that keep us from knowing our true nature.

For this reason, Rajarsi says:

“Throw out your fears. God and Guru are with you. You are Their child and They know your heart. My blessings are also with you. Relax from your fears and worries. Where there is faith there is relaxation, for there is trust and love. Fear is a terrible and paralyzing emotion, which we must supplant with love and joy through faith.  Feel easy! Just feel easy! Be relaxed. Don’t feel tense. Trust, love, and know that He is with you.”

Joy Is Within You
In the physical body, our senses face outward. This enhances the delusion that satisfaction comes from the world outside. Only slowly do we realize that happiness is an inner response. Conditions are always neutral, Master said. Whether we perceive them as happy or sad depends entirely on the predisposition of our own consciousness.

At my favorite Chinese restaurant, I always order the same three dishes. The memory of past pleasure draws me to the restaurant to experience that pleasure again. In a nutshell, this is the law of karma and reincarnation. We are drawn to experience that which we remember, or imagine, as pleasurable.

In truth, the memory we pursue is not of this world. And nothing we find on the material plane will truly satisfy us. It will entertain for a while, but, as St. Augustine said, “Thou has made us for Thyself and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee.”

In Sanskrit, there is a beautiful word for this: Smriti. It means divine recollection -- the soul’s knowledge of its true nature.

All spiritual effort is a process of awakening smriti. Remembering again what we have always known. All the external joys we seek are a (vain) attempt to replicate the soul’s memory of eternal bliss. We are one with the Infinite spirit. Bliss is our true nature.

Where Two or More Are Gathered Together....
This is the purpose of all our spiritual gatherings: To impress divine truth so deeply on our consciousness that we will never forget again. The collective energy of many souls focused on the same divine reality gives power to our individual perception.

Rajarsi testifies that the celebrations in this world take place also on higher spheres. One of the birthdays after Master’s passing, Rajarsi was included in that astral event.

A disciple lovingly made a birthday cake for Master, even though he was no longer in the body to enjoy it. She sent a piece to Rajarsi, as Master’s living representative. With great devotion, in Master’s name, Rajarsi ate the cake, which lifted him into a superconscious state. Later, he explained to others what he had experienced.

“Master has completely absorbed me. He is pleased that I ate the cake in his name. The night of Master’s birthday, after I lay down, I went into a deep meditation. I found myself in a large hall where a big group of people were gathered.

“You know Babaji created a gold castle for Lahiri Mahasaya. Well Babaji created one like if for Master’s birthday.

“I was standing a little to one side with a few other people, when our little Master walked in. [It was a custom among some of the direct disciples to refer affectionately to him as ‘Little Master.’] You have never seen, nor will you ever see, a more beautiful youth. He is so young looking. His face and smile was radiant with joy. He was so happy. His walk was light, vigorous, and full of life and joy.

“He had a robe on --- I suppose to represent his earthly birth. It was like the robe he used to wear, and yet so different. It fitted skin-tight. When he walked it did not flutter or move like a robe does. It was as though it was part of his body. It had many colors, with the most beautiful blue you have ever seen. And a gold band about three inches wide that draped spiral-like around him. It was very brilliant, but not blinding to look at.

“He was walking toward a throne. As he passed by, he would stop and greet and talk with this one or that. I have never seen him so radiant and happy. Everyone and everything was full of joy. Joy was everywhere. I was absorbed in the joy.”

We may not be able to see these astral celebrations as Rajasi did, but we feel them around us. When we gather in our Temple to celebrate holy occasions, as we did so often this holiday season, it feels as if Master himself is walking among us, and the space between our physical bodies is filled by the light bodies of celestial beings.

This is smriti. God is always with us. All we have to do, as Master said, is to improve our knowing.

In divine friendship,