Paramhansa Yogananda

Compassion’s Castle

While shots and shells of hate

Fall around thee

Remain castled in love.

While bombs of misunderstanding

Keep bursting

Remain hidden

‘Neath the deep caves of compassion.

While poisonous vapors of delusion

Seek to choke the life of thy wisdom

Mask thy soul with taintless love.

For the castle of love divine

Is a safe haven

From temptation’s armies.

Dig a moat of steadiness

And fill in with love’s waters

That selfishness may not swim across

To behead thy soul’s wisdom.

— From Inner Culture Magazine, March 1939

Paramhansa Yogananda Side
Stories of the Masters

Sweet Compassion

Andy Anderson worked as a foreman on several of Yogananda’s construction projects. Swami Kriyananda narrates the following story.

During the months while Andy supervised our work at India Center, he developed a deep love for Master. Master, in return, was touched by Andy’s devotion, and by his simple, kindly nature. As Christmas 1950 approached, Andy took pains to buy his guru an appropriate gift. During our luncheon break one day he made a special journey to Mt. Washington and, with great trepidation, went up to the third floor. Placing his gift by Master’s door, he fled.

‘Oh,’ he cried, upon his return to India Center, ‘what a fool I am! I forgot to put my name on that package. Now Master will never know who gave it to him!’

Just then the telephone rang. It was Master asking to speak with Andy. Andy returned a few minutes later, beaming from ear to ear.

‘Master just wanted to thank me for my present!’

Andy, like many in the construction trade, rather liked his beer. Sometimes, in fact, he came to work a little ‘under the influence.’ One day Master asked him to construct a concrete driveway at Mt. Washington.

‘Heavy trucks drive up here,’ Master explained, ‘with paper for the print shop. How thick do you suggest we make the driveway to bear all that weight?’

After a few moments’ thought, Andy replied, ‘Four inches would be quite enough, Master.’

‘Make it six,’ Master said with a sweet smile.

Andy was about to object, when he saw Master’s smile. ‘All right, Sir.’ He gulped, swallowing his professional knowledge.

I wondered at the time why two extra inches of concrete should have inspired Master to request them so sweetly. Later I understood. For when the day came for pouring the concrete, it was obvious from the look in Andy’s eyes that he was a little tipsy. Not fully conscious of what he was doing, he sprayed too much water on the new driveway, diluting the mixture. If it hadn’t been for those extra inches, the cement would have cracked. Master, out of loving respect for Andy, wouldn’t allow anyone to replace him. Indeed, it was to compensate for this problem, which he’d foreseen, that he’d requested those extra two inches of concrete. The sweetness of his smile had been due to his compassion for Andy.

Woman with Umbrella
Right Attitudes

Do Not Judge Others

Your individual happiness depends to large extent upon protecting yourself and your family from the evil results of gossiping. See no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil, think no evil, feel no evil. Most people can talk about other people for hours and thrive under the influence of gossip like the temporary influence of intoxicating poisonous wine. Isn’t it strange that people can smoothly, joyously, and with caustic criticism talk about the faults of others for hours but cannot endure reference to their own faults at all?

If you do not like to talk about your own faults, if it hurts you to do so, you certainly should feel more hurt when saying unkind, harmful things about other people. Train yourself and each member of your family to refrain from talking about others. “Judge not, that ye be not judged.”

By giving publicity to a man’s weakness, you do not help him. Instead, you either make him wrathful or discouraged, and you shame him, perhaps forever, so that he gives up trying to be good. When you take away the sense of dignity from a person by openly maligning him, you make him desperate.

When a man is down, he is too well aware of his own wickedness. By destructive criticism, you push him still farther down into the mire of despondency into which he is already sinking. Instead of gossiping about him, you should pull him out with loving, encouraging words. Only when aid is asked should spiritual and moral help be offered. To your own children or loved ones you may offer your friendly, humble suggestions at any time and thus remove their sense of secrecy or delicacy.

— November 1936