The star of Bethlehem that guided the Wise Men to Jesus, was the Divinity that flowed through him. The magnetism and energy that flowed through Jesus can be found in everyone, after all, God is everywhere.
Ananda weekly services are centered on weekly commentaries from the book “Rays of the One Light (Week 51)” written by Swami Kriyananda. The topic for this Sunday was called “What was the Star of Bethlehem?”
For those who may not be familiar, this reading talks about seeing life through the divine versus worldly eyes. A distinction is made, between seeing the great masters of this world as merely men with a great attitude, versus, as the scriptures strive to convey, the divine consciousness they are. Of course it is this divine consciousness that drew the wise men to Jesus as represented by the star of Bethlehem.
The specific and relevant passage that struck me, was …
“To seek the presence of Divinity behind the life of a great master is to prepare oneself to recognize that same Divinity also in lower manifestations until at last one beholds God everywhere.”
This made an impression to me on two levels. First, recognizing and acknowledging that divinity in everyone around us. Second, the benefit of relating to others at this conscious level.
My first experience recognizing the Divine in others sprung from the question around my own awareness of the Divine … “If I was passed on the street by a saint, would I have the presence / consciousness / awareness to notice?”
If I had met Paramhansa Yogananda when he first arrived in this country, would I recognize and be affected by his divine consciousness? What would it be like to be one of his first disciples? To be in the presence of this great Master
In answering this question, I have challenged myself to see everyone (body) around me at the soul level. Most of the time I see people socially engaged, on their phones, or otherwise moving with a sense of purpose. Looking past their clothes, hair, cars, and all other material expressions, I strove to see and acknowledge the divinity within. I once passed what appeared to be, a homeless gentleman on the streets of the city, of course there were others, but the presence of this man, his calmness, and the clarity in his eyes gave me pause. We made eye contact and quietly acknowledged each other’s place in this world and the shared awareness we had of each other. I saw divinity in this man. I saw God.
I had similar experience with a men’s group I was a part of. As the beginning of each meeting we silently sat in a circle and made eye contact with each man before moving onto the next. The purpose of this ritual was to ask ourselves if there were any issues between the two of us that would hinder our sharing at a heart level. For myself, acknowledging each man on the soul level and as a spiritual beings having a human experience (with all its challenges), I could only see light and love. For the years I spent with these men we never had a cause for discomfort.
The following story reflects the peace and harmony in everyday life that can be found by acknowledging the light of God in everyone we meet …
Word spread across the countryside about a wise Holy Man who lived in a small house atop a mountain. A man from the village decided to make the long and difficult journey to visit him. When he arrived at the house, he saw an old servant inside who greeted him at the door. “I would like to see the wise Holy Man,” he said to the servant. The servant smiled and led him inside. As they walked through the house, the man from the village looked eagerly around anticipating his encounter with the Holy Man. Before he knew it, he had been led to the back door and escorted outside. He stopped and turned to the servant,
“But I want to see the Holy Man!”
“You already have,” said the old man. “Everyone you may meet in life, even if they appear plain and insignificant… see each of them as a wise Holy Man. If you do this, then whatever problem you brought here today will be solved.”
Second, the attitude that is Ananda, illustrates the benefits of striving to live always with divine consciousness. If you have had the opportunity to be in the presence of a true guru or other great soul, you may have recognized the Joy that comes from immersion in the Divine and the fading of your worries into the background. For me these moments brought a great awareness of the Present. The Now. Every time we can be present for another it is a gift for both of us. I was also fortunate enough to have meet Swami Kriyananda several times before he passed away and for me all the worries I had and the questions I would have loved to ask him were forgotten.
Having said this I recall the act of service helps one get out of ones ego and to share the light and love that flows through each and every one of use. It is very easy for me to get wrapped up in my own little world when I am alone, but when I am with others, whether sending energy or in service, I find it easier to be present.
The story below helps to illustrate the magnetic energy of the saints and sages of all religions. We all have the ability to increase our own magnetism, through the work we do as individuals (meditation, chanting, Kriya Yoga, service), through the people we chose to surround or selves with, our environment, and the through the ray of light and love that are the lineage of the great Kriya Masters and God.
There was once a monastery that was a vibrant and integral part of a neighboring village. Over time as the monks of the monastery and the members of the village grew older there was a subtle contraction of energy as the challenges of daily living took their attention away from God. The villagers also had the added responsibilities of raising children, who, through the examples of their parents were not as conscious of and drawn to the love that is God.
At the same time as the monks were growing older. They continued their practices, meditation, prayer, and the tending of the beautiful gardens, but there was little if any interest by the youth growing up in the village to pursue a life of contemplation and service and to bring that youthful exuberance to the monastery and lead the life of a monk.
Until one day, a traveler asked if he could stay a while with the monks, at least until he was rested and prepared to continue his way. In quiet reverence for the monks and their beautiful gardens he participated in the maintenance of the grounds, preparation of meals, and prayer.
One day he had the opportunity to talk alone with one of the monks. He said “You are so fortunate to be in the presence of such a great soul. His energy is so magnetic and is present in this monastery and village. I can see why you were attracted to this place.” The monk humbly nodded his head in agreement with a simple smile. Inwardly however, he wondered to whom the traveler was referring. He did not want to ask as this may show his own ignorance. Was the traveler referring to another monk? Or perhaps someone in the village? But, from that moment on he went through his day inwardly looking for this great soul and acknowledging the divinity within everyone he met in the off chance he did not see this great soul for who they are.
Now the traveler shared this same sentiment with each and every one of the monks. None of the monks shared these conversations with one another and the result was a community that quietly acknowledged the divinity within each and every person. The result of this acknowledgement in turn increased the magnetism, vibration, and joy at this monastery and for all the villagers who were drawn back to the gardens and the joy within themselves.
Acknowledging the divine within part of the Hindu and Yoga communities is represented by the greeting “Namaste” (loosely translated) which represents the belief that there is a Divine spark within each of use that is located in the heart chakra.
So we have the opportunity to practice the acknowledgement of this spark not just through our greeting but in everything we do with everyone we meet.