Ananda Family News

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Happy New Year!

Our New Year’s Eve service this (well, last) year started with a meditation and two sets of initiations. We welcomed Arthur, Amy, Debórah, and Ken as Pilgrims, and Biraj and Lahari as Nayaswamis. The Nayaswami initiation includes a fire ceremony, symbolically offering the ego up to God, and also making a nice prelude to the latter part of the service.

Some of you may remember our service a year ago, which turned out to be rather more exciting than expected due to a fire ceremony that developed into a blazing pool of wax. You will be relieved (or, in Asha’s case, disappointed) to hear that we have since developed what Master might coyly call “certain yogic techniques” to avoid conflagration, including fewer candles, and extra metal bowls to catch the burning paper. And so we were all able safely to offer our New Year’s resolutions and prayers into the fire of Divine Light.

New Year’s Eve service wraps up relatively early around here (after all, to paraphrase the Bhagavad Gita, what is 9pm to the worldly man is midnight to the yogi), but it’s not the end of our New Year festivities. On January 5th we celebrated Yogananda’s birthday, and by extension, the spiritual birthday of each one of us. In honor of the day we each had a chance to affirm or renew our commitment to the spiritual path, at whatever stage we’ve reached. The renewals even included a few new initiations: Judy as a Sadhaka, and Liz and D’Arcy as Sevakas.

We didn’t manage any photos of the evening, or of the lovely altar, but here’s one from last year, and Master hardly seems to have aged a day since then.

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