Premananda to Yogananda 1

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January 1, 1974

Dear Glenn,

Happy New Year! from the Upper India Express! Oh Lord! Did I ever think that I would wake up on the first day of 1974 coasting across the misty morning plains of India?

My earlier discomfort and despair is passing away a bit. Bombay and Delhi are monstrous. I am still having some stomach trouble but the utter exhaustion is leaving me. I guess I reached a point in Delhi where I really didn’t care if I died or not so long as it was in trying to go toward Master.

Surrender seems to be the message of this trip, a putting of myself in His hands and a giving over of the whole life. And why not? Have I not known more ecstasy through Him than any other thing? Should it not be a natural outcome of the joy in His name? I don’t know, the whole thing is unexpected somehow.

I really thought I was dying in Delhi. And I didn’t care. I was sad, but the whole lyrical-mythological aura of this journey seemed an appropriate way to sound off my life. It also threw me into such a child state of consciousness. I can’t put any of it into words. Words will perhaps come later. It’s partly the whole "I am not the doer" thing that has been hitting me. Also the image comes to mind of a child sitting patiently in a waiting room, trusting, waiting...

This whole trip is so much more inward than the last one, I have no real comprehension of having come round the world, but am more aware of moving through inward countries. India is like a dream happening outside but doesn’t have that excitement of "weirdness" it had before. It all seems quite natural. And it doesn’t seem to bother me, all the hassle. I feel "programmed" to do the necessary, but no particular attractions to anything to either side of my line of direction. Saturn has been hitting its natal spot, retrograde now, I think, but will pass over again.

Saw the Ganges for the first time today pulling out of Varanasi and tears came to my eyes. Old. old, beautiful Samskaras. That form of the sweet mother really tugs at the old heart strings. Saluted Siva’s city and promised to come back. He understands. Even He longs for Hari’s love.

Master’s picture just seems to glow lately. India suits Him just fine. I am glad He let me accompany Him on this homecoming! That’s how it really is! The picture brought me! Am I crazy? Beautiful madness! What a funny universe. God sure knows how to play neat games! Makes his devotees follow a cardboard picture around the dream globe in pursuit of what is already inside their own hearts; what a silly boy! I just don’t care anymore. I love his beautiful glowing face. He wins every time! I always wind up at his feet saying, "I give up, Uncle, Uncle!" And he says let’s play again. I love him. He is my own. The more I can love Him, through His good grace, the more I cast myself to the winds. How terrible to get all stern and rough with willful austerity. How beautiful just to follow the heart’s ache and call to its love’s source. Do you know what is happening? Just what Marvin said - I’m starting to tune into this great wide open nuthouse for lovers called India.

It’s a miserable mess here - much worse than ‘71, but my love is starting to feel its freedom. master gets more and more real. And the earth’s end atmosphere of chaos and havoc allows the heart to take a leap into the gladness and abandonment of childlike affection. Glory to Ramakrishna! Glory to She whose love showed me his feet! Glory to that Love Universal whose children we are!

May we all meet the growing gloom of ‘74 with intensified love for truth and beauty. May we cast our lot with the rising wave of spiritual consciousness and grow into such a richness of love as will dissolve our selfishness forever.

In six hours I’ll be in Bengal knowing no more about my future than you. May Master bless you with heart melting love and guide your sadhana to Mother’s arms.