2. Avatar for the New Age, by Swami Kriyananda

December 23, Dwapara 294 [1994]

Dear Ones:

I’ve wanted to write you a note, first to say Happy Christmas!, and second to bring you a little up-to-date, from a personal angle, on my recuperation.

Thank all of you, first of all, for your prayers, love, and support. It was deeply meaningful to me to know that there were so many dear friends working with me and the surgeons, in God’s light, to make the operation a success. And I should tell you straight off that last Sunday, while I was still in the hospital, Dr. Sharma said to me, “I have to say this. The operation went wonderfully, as you already know. However, the actual chances of it going as very well as it did were, in all honesty, zero.” It was like telling me it was a miracle.

In eight days I had five invasions of my heart. For one of them, the operation itself, they made three “slashings” in the chest: the valve job (as I call it); the fuel line, or by-pass surgery, on the main artery; and the removing of a vein in the chest, instead of (as is usually done) from the leg, for the by-pass. So I guess you’d have to call this a major event in my life. But you wouldn’t believe how wonderful I feel now.

Last Sunday, Dr. Sharma asked me, “How do you feel?” “Better,” I replied, “than I’ve felt in years!” “Oh, come now!” he remonstrated. “You have to be experiencing a lot of pain.” “Well, that of course,” I replied, “but the pain is superficial. What I feel is that, after years of being a virtual cardiac cripple, I can live without obstruction from that organ.”

“I find that, also, difficult to believe,” he said, “when I read of all the things you’ve done these recent years.” “It’s true I’ve been active,” I said, “but I’ve had to function by will power. For years now, my heart has been my enemy. Now I feel it is my friend.”

And think how many things I’ve had to postpone, or even abandon, simply because my heart wouldn’t let me serve as I was trying to. This whole operation came as a result of the strain I underwent on the Warner tour. The heart beat very fast for many weeks, only rarely slowing down. Even the two appearances I made — at The Expanding Light and at the Odyssey Bookstore — were major tests for me. After that half-hour talk at The Expanding Light I was unable to function for two days. Before the Odyssey lecture I was so weak that I prayed for fifteen minutes in a back room just for the strength to stand up and speak. And all that is now over!

I’m doing very well. Some pain, yes, but a lot of joy. The doctors all told me the soonest I’d be able to leave the hospital would be 5-7 days. Instead, they let me out on the 4th day.

Last Sunday night in the hospital I became aware of an actual force trying to bring Yogananda’s work downward: to confine it in the pettiness of definitions and formal organization. And I felt a mighty force combating this pettiness, to open up his teachings and mission to be a doorway to the New Age of Dwapara. I prayed deeply until well after 1:00 a.m., trying to attune myself more deeply to this expansive power. And I felt that that expansiveness will win, must win. I also felt that it is quite impersonal, caring not a whit for forms, persons, positions, dogmas; that whoever tunes in to it, no matter what that person’s spiritual path, will serve as an instrument for this great wave of divine light and energy that is sweeping over the planet. It occurred to me to write an article for a magazine: Yogananda’s Mission, and Yours. His work, you see, isn’t personal at all. Yogananda wasn’t personal. As he put it repeatedly, “God is the Guru.” His teachings weren’t personal. God was using him as the avatar of a new age, to change an entire civilization.

Don’t let anyone tell you that one organization, one person, one statement can ever, even remotely, define what he brought to the world. The present legal tiffs are not between two organizations, but between two different “takes” on his cosmic mission. The dark forces (I definitely felt them as that) want to keep him small: a loving saintlet, the “beloved” founder of an organization, etc. The forces of light want to use his life mission to change, inspire, and guide all humanity. It is a glorious work, one so important, and so great, that we, as individuals, count for nothing at all except as we offer our lives to the service of Divine Love.

May that love fill you this holy season.

In selfless friendship,

Swami Kriyananda