Once upon a time there was a remote monastery in the desert. The temple was carved out of the stone. There were a dozen simple monks who spent their days in prayer and meditation.
One evening they were having dinner in silence as usual. Suddenly the silence was shattered with a cry of agony from the head monk. His eyes were filled with tears. This was no physical pain but a cry from his heart.
He sighed, “Lord, what are we doing wrong? Please tell us how we can have more of your joy, love & harmony?”
Some of the other monks silently nodded in agreement. The older monks remembered a time when their monastery halls were filled with divine joy & laughter.
The following day the head monk told his brothers that he was travelling to the East. He was going to seek the counsel of a renowned and wise hermit saint.
After a journey of several days through the desert he arrived at the saint’s hermitage. He saw the saint inside his room, eyes uplifted with bliss radiating from his face. In the saint’s presence the monk forgot all of his problems. He was filled with peace.
He began to remember his God-filled enthusiasm when he first joined the monastery. His yearning for God was rekindled in the saint’s presence.
They spent many hours sitting in silent communion. The monk finally shared the reason for his visit, “How can we rekindle the deep love for God and the joyful harmony we used to have?”
The saint replied with just a few words, filled with meaning. He declared, “Rejoice my friend, one among you is the Messiah!”
Those were the saint’s only words during their encounter! They sat for many more hours in silence. The monk was very thoughtful as he meditated on the saint’s words. He touched the saint’s feet in gratitude and left on his long journey home through the desert.
When he arrived back at the monastery, his brother monks were full of expectancy to learn what the saint had said. The head monk was still very uplifted and interiorised. He finally said quietly, “The saint only spoke one sentence — ‘Rejoice my friend, one among you is the Messiah!’”
The youngest monk asked, “Who? Which one of us is the Messiah?”
“He didn’t say!”
Then all of the monks began looking around and wondering, Is he the Messiah? Is that one the Messiah?
And because they didn’t know, they began treating each other — each and every one of their brothers — as the next Messiah, the Son of God. With that single change of perspective, joy and harmony soon returned to the monastery.
Many years passed. With newly awakened love for God and the overwhelming joy it brings, they attracted many new monks. The light of God was indeed born amongst them!
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Monks after a brief meditation at the monastery site
We have found that when we live in our Ananda India monastery with this respect for the light of God in each other, there is growing harmony and love. Try this with your own family and amongst your friends. At your place of work, try to see the light of God in each of your co-workers. When you walk the streets, try to view all souls as having the light of God in them.
You might be surprised by how much you change with this practice, and perhaps those around you too.
Joy to you!
PS: Here is an update from the Monastery in India.
As you may already know, the Ananda India Monastery moved from Khandala to Chandigarh in October 2020. We took this next step from the inspiration received by Nayaswami Devarshi and Brahmachari Jemal. The plan is to build a monastery here on the principles and vision of Paramhansa Yogananda and Swami Kriyananda.
View from right in front of the Guru Kripa Forest Hermitage monastery
With Divine Mother’s blessings and generous support from Gurubhais, we have purchased the land for building the Guru Kripa Forest Hermitage monastery. The land size as of now is 4.5 acres. It is in the hills outside of Panchkula, Haryana.
Trees and vines are starting to be planted around the perimeter. We are trying to build the monastery in the way that Swami Kriyananda wrote and spoke about for many years. He wanted a very specific kind of Hermitage monastery, with monks serving together, meditating together every day, and having meals in silence, among other practices. The monk’s online seva will continue. This will not be a retreat for guests or visitors. In fact, there are no buildings yet. As we start developing it, we’ll share updates.
Thank you for keeping us in your prayers. Aum Guru!
And remember, “Rejoice my friend, one among you is the Messiah!”