by Nayaswami Hanuman
In Swami Kriyananda’s book Paramhansa Yogananda, A Biography, in the chapter “The Beauty of Devotion” Swami writes “The oppositions of Nature are ineluctable. Everything must be cancelled out eventually,”
The only thing to which there is no opposite is inner Bliss. And because divine love is the outward expression of Bliss, there is no opposite to selfless, self-giving love.
Most of you may not know or remember Steven Covey. He was an author, speaker, and businessman who wrote “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” One of the cartoons he had in his book was that of a ladder leaning against a tall building with the caption something like, “and what happens if you are climbing the ladder up the wrong building?”
I feel like much of my life was spent doing just that. Climbing the ladder of material success only to find out I was climbing up the wrong ladder. I grew up in the 50s and 60s, and frankly, I had no idea what I was going to do with my life. I joined the army even before graduating from high school, ensuring that I would graduate (which was questionable at the time). It wasn’t until the 70’s that I realized if I wanted to “make something of myself” I’d better go back to school.
I studied hard and was grateful for a G.I bill that paid for my education. I graduated from college with my degree in nursing and spent much of my life in that field. I worked hard and I got paid well for my work. Did I feel entitled? Well yes!
It wasn’t until I realized that a good job, family, house, and even friends wasn’t enough. There was a part of me that wanted to achieve more, be more, experience more. I thought I would find it as a Doctor of Chiropractic. But I was wrong. The best thing that came out of getting my chiropractic degree was meeting Mari, who saw enough in me to accept my hand in marriage.
It was 1981. We had just found Ananda, and made a deep commitment to one another that our relationship would put God first and foremost in our lives. 40 years later we are still living that commitment.
I no longer believe that I am entitled to anything, other than the love of God which is unconditional. Mari recently said to me, about our work with Ananda over the past 40 years, “as soon as we think we are entitled to anything other than what God has given us, we are in the wrong business.” We are in the business of selfless service to God and guru. Are we always successful at it? No, but is there any other place we would rather be? No! Happiness is an inside job. The deeper we understand that and live that, the happier we will be, and the happier those around us will be.