Premananda to Yogananda 6

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February 23, 1974

Dear Glenn,

Once again I’m writing by lantern light from the hallway behind the Kali temple where I sleep at Baba’s ashram. Very small temple, very small hallway, but very wonderful days.

I am passing learning to make sadhana my very life. It is not easy by any means - it has been death, pure and simple, but God’s grace is so obviously evident in this unfolding of destiny that I do not despair even though my aching heart occasionally weeps bitterly. So many doubts come, then Baba dispels them with a smile.

The village life is utterly peaceful and Baba is utterly humble, teaching by his example to keep the fruits of sadhana hidden in the chamber of the heart. That is primarily why I have written so little. I do not want the ego to describe what the heart has been feeling - it’s just too messy every time. Face to face I can communicate much more. But I am very happy to hear from you and hope you continue to write. I’ve been thinking about you lately and hoping your sadhana s getting stronger day by day. Sadhana is how you live - the very quality and substance of the daily events.

I ‘m happy to hear of your new song. The Baba (Meher Baba) people used to sing that song but I always hated the tune. They had a "folk"-type tune and the words are just too high for that. I’ll be glad to hear it when I return. My little brothers at Chandan Nagore are always wanting me to sing "Black Bee" and though they don’t know hardly any English they are learning it. I’m also glad to hear of your pot efforts. Baba has very strongly impressed on me that pot and sadhana don’t mix. He has allowed me 5 cigarettes a day which he calls "choto ganja" or "little ganja". He smokes bidis himself. One day he showed me an ashram near a burial ground where he used to meditate. They smoke ganja there. This guy saw us walking and came up and threw himself at Baba’s feet, weeping. Baba bawled him out sternly but tenderly. It seemed he was suffering what the translator called brain disease from overindulgence in ganja and his family affairs were in a state of ruins. Baba, as we were walking back, asked me if I wanted to smoke some. I told him I had done so in America but that I had faith that by his power I could be done with it. He was pleased and said "right".

So I’m hoping that strength will come. Pot just is more and more maya. Baba and I are having fun lately calling everything maya. When he told me to control the sex instinct he mimicked vomiting with great intensity - "Kama - maya! Blechh!" I think with his love and strength behind me I shall be able to leave those things behind - money, pot, sex and alcohol. As long as desire for God grows, other desires get weakened. The best thing we can do is earnestly pray with real tears for God to take these distractions away. God is the only goal, all else is escape from sadhana.

Keep seeing Hilda - she sounds like a fountain of love.

How can the heart melt with tenderness when the ego is always stomping around? Love is the end and love is the means. Baba says, "I am nothing" and means it. Mother’s child. No ego. So love is flowing there. Ah, how difficult to do away with the ego! Through Vimala we learn to watch the ego and see its tricks, and through Ramakrishna we learn to be humble enough to be open to the higher power of divine love to come and help efface the damn thing.

Baba says the calamity and disaster will come worldwide and be very intense about six years from now. Therefore, get free of maya; be attached to God. Be with non-dope smoking sadhus. Not a single moment’s regret. The Lord will help. Premananda says: "Who can describe the infailing invisible flow of His love? Does the bee know from where the flower gets its honey? Does he need to know?"

Love, Bill