Ananda Family News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Discipleship and Seva

On September 12, 1948, a young J. Donald Walters arrived in Los Angeles from New York and was initiated by his guru, Paramhansa Yogananda, as a new disciple. That moment was the foundation of discipleship for all of us who, as members of Ananda, would never have come to Master except through the life’s work of young “Walter,” later Swami Kriyananda.

Last Friday evening, 66 years later, we gathered to honor both that moment and also the example of perfect discipleship Swamiji embodied for us throughout his life. If you haven’t yet had a chance to see the beautiful video of Swamiji’s legacy that we shared, you can watch it here:

* * *

As it happens, this general time of year is a significant one in many ways for our Palo Alto colony here. So many anniversaries take place in September (the founding of East West, Living Wisdom School, the church, and more) that we decided to roll them all into one big “Celebrate Ananda” party on Saturday evening (photos here). Master’s shrine presided over our dinner on our gorgeous community lawn, and the choir sang several community-oriented favorites, including “Brave Were the People,” “A New Tomorrow,” and “Brothers.”

The theme of the evening was “Seva:” joyful, devotional service. Seva is more than just a convenience for organizations that depend on volunteers; it’s a powerful spiritual principle in its own right, and critical to our own development. Throughout the evening, six different community members got up and spoke for a few minutes about their own personal experiences with service, with living in community, and testified to what a powerful blessing it all is. It was delightful to hear from such a nice cross-section of our diverse community of friends and gurubhais.

At the end of the evening, we all gathered ourselves in around Master’s gazebo for a few sing-alongs, ending — by popular demand — with “Many Hands Make a Miracle.” And they always do, don’t they? If you ever want to see cleanup happen instantaneously, get folks to think about seva for an hour or two, sing “Many Hands,” then turn ’em loose. It’s a miracle.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Be nice, stay on topic, have fun!


Home · Calendar · Classes & Events · Meditation · Yoga · Sundays · Music · Audio/Video Talks · Donate/Support Ananda · Site Map · About Us · Signup for news · Contact/Find Us

Ananda Sangha, 2171 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA 94306, (650) 323-3363
Serving the San Francisco Bay Area, including the Peninsula, Silicon Valley, and San Jose, CA
© 2013 Ananda