Ananda Family News

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Life of Krishna

This year was a milestone for the Living Wisdom School Theater: their 20th annual production! Sixty-one children and a handful of supporting teachers incarnated on stage for us in the lila — the divine play — of the life of Krishna. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna himself tells us that “in whatever way I am approached, in that way do I respond. All men come, by whatever path, to me.” This play was a delightful way to approach him. His story is said to uplift all those who even so much as hear it, and surely even more blessings come to us through the incredible care and dedication of this entire, remarkable school.

As usual, the hero of our play was portrayed in turns by several different actors, representing different stages of Krishna’s life. It’s always fun to watch the effect this has, as you can come to see behind the individual representations, the same Divine source animating them all. As Nirmoha put it, you see the actors playing Krishna on the stage, and once in a while you can even see Krishna as well. I was particularly taken with the itty-bitty blond girl playing baby Krishna. Her dramatic dance of vanquishing the demons sent to slay him, and then standing triumphantly on stage with arms outstretched victoriously, was adorable, powerful, and moving, all at once. Such an unexpected confluence of impressions and feelings can just surprise you into an uplifting shift of consciousness, and God slips right into the gaps.

You can find more photos of the play here, and Friday night’s performance was filmed if you want to get a recording from the school once it’s all been put together.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Mahasamadhi Celebration

Last Thursday, March 7, was the 61st anniversary of Paramhansa Yogananda’s mahasamadhi. Though he left his physical incarnation behind, as devotees we know that this hinders a true master not a bit, and we remember his words: “to those who think me near, I will be near.” Appropriately, the celebration was very deep and inward, with generous pauses for meditation, the better to tune in to Master’s quiet presence within us.

The framework of the evening was provided by Rammurti’s reading of excerpts from Yogananda’s maha-poem, Samadhi. Each segment of the poem branched off into a related reading from Autobiography of a Yogi, a chant, a slideshow of photographs, and a choir or solo song (performed from the sidelines for minimal interruptions). Speaking as someone who was only involved in one of those branches, there was something rather magical about how it all came together. Watching it unfold through, around, and beyond that little portion was just beautiful.

There are a few photos of the altar and the slideshow you can look through. For musical accompaniment, I might suggest reprising in your mind Dr. Lewis’ song that so perfectly summed up the evening:

So silently and sweetly the Master comes to me,
His love and joy enfold me in bliss and ecstasy.
My mind is calm and peaceful, all cares are swept away,
And in his omnipresence I know that I am free.

So sweet the sound of Aum, ’tis Master’s voice I hear,
In all pervading silence he whispers “I am here.”
My heart with joy is flowing, it sings eternally.
There is no other love like the Master’s love for me.

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