Premananda to Yogananda 7

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(no date)

Dear Glenn,

Om Hari! I am in my room listening to the far off strains of a sarangi from a marriage ceremony somewhere. A lone cricket is chirping. There are drums somewhere else and the inevitable dog barking in the night. The lila of the Lord’s grace carries me on. I do not understand how it is all happening, yet I go into it.

The death in Delhi gave me freedom to move unencumbered into these experiences and adventures as a child, not knowing, wide-eyed, inwardly silent, and with great joy. If I sat with you for seven days speaking continually I could still not convey everything completely. I have seen that the Lord is the master of this maya, our lives, and by His grace the nightmare can give way to beautiful dawn. Out of the intense yearning in the bhakta’s heart the Lord is drawn, the maya shifts, and the deepest wishes of the devotee are fulfilled.

Blessed is he whose greatest delight is the great Lord Himself, for to him the Lord is bound to come. For him renunciation comes sweetly - he simply goes so mad for the sweetness of God’s beauty that the other attractions are forgotten - they slip away almost unnoticed. Yes, he is mad, but with a madness so strong and true that the great madness of Maya herself bows down and gives way. True devotion is unconditioned , experimental, intimately personal and must be powerful enough and so deeply rooted that very fabric of the life-hypnosis can get shattered. Who says there is no God? He has been holding my hand, as I begged Him to, like a good father. Again, she has been holding me to her breast, giving her milk. So great has been her love for me that I am hers forever. Soon there will be no more "my" life.

How can I speak?

I spent three days recently at Baba’s ashram. It was the festival of Saraswati and he has been feeding all and sundry who come on this time for the last 40 years or so. It commemorates a particular event in his life when the villagers got mad at him for offering cooked rice to Kali and told him to go to the temple and stay for seven days. He did just that - no food or water, no "calls of nature" - in fact, seven days absorbed in the vision of the mother. In a book about him it is written:

"Soberly I went inside the room and knelt down, with folded hands and tears in my eyes in front of the image of the Goddess Kali. Oh! What a solace! What a bright manifestation of the Goddess Kali! Instantaneously the Mother started emitting Her celestial light from Her own body and made the room flourescence lit. The Mother came Herself and lifted me over Her divine lap! All my consciousness was taken over by the Super-consciousness and I became one with that Big One for all the seven days of trial...It was decreed in 1930 that I should commerorate that particular date which led me to the region of the Bliss, and since then it is being observed every year."

For three days there was constant kirtan of "Hare Krishnas" by various groups - special pujas and ultimately the feeding of at least ten-thousand in waves of about a thousand or 1500 sitting at one time. Baba showed me great love and affection and gave me a mala in a special way: he dressed me up in a gerua and we went together posing as Chaitanya - Nityananda through the village while a friend took some pictures. It was insane. Divine madness. Is he God? I only know he is my guru, given by God.

One week later: I was very happy to get your letter. I did not go to Am Exp. yet. Blessing is heaped upon blessing here. Still I feel the restless desire to see God.

Love, Bill