Last April Ananda Sangha Delhi ashram hosted their bi-annual Spiritual Fair, “Tools and Techniques to for Self-Transformation.” We host two Spiritual Fairs per year, but this one was our very best ever. We offered 43 classes in eight hours!
What a joy it was to observe members of the Sangha presenting the teachings of our guru, Paramhansa Yogananda for the first time! During the weeks leading up to the Fair, the presenters studied their topics, prepared outlines, then made special trips to the ashram before and after work, to practice presenting their topics on: how to spiritualize relationships, change your thoughts and change your life, overcoming challenges, transcending karma, raising kundalini energy, enjoying true prosperity, drawing inner guidance, and many more. Most asserted in their talks that it would difficult to put these teachings into practice unless one has energy, concentration, will power and calmness – the fruits of a daily meditation.
One of the first-time presenters told the story about how, when she first read Autobiography of A Yogi, she’d found some of the miracles early in the book hard to believe, but that she’d put those on a shelf in her mind, and remained open minded. When she read the chapter where Yogananda ji meets his guru, Swami Sri Yukteswar, she suddenly felt all the joy and possibility of a guru and his –disciple’s first encounter, and thought, “if it can happen to him, it can happen to me!” From that moment on she accepted everything Yogananda ji shared in that beloved book.
Another presenter who in the past had been hesitant and very nervous while speaking, this Fair spoke with great confidence and personal conviction. He said the secret of his success was keeping conscious mental contact with God and Guru during his talk. His was one of the most popular classes at the Fair.
Our presenters shared all their topics with humility and the quality of spiritual friendship. After their classes they seemed to be floating in joy, saying that while presenting they’d felt Yoganandaji’s and Swamiji’s vibrations flowing through them.
Throughout the day the halls and classrooms were packed with attendees. People attending for the first time could see how a dedicated spiritual path including meditation, service and satsang can transform the lives of ordinary people. Many seemed surprised that people just like themselves, (i.e. business men, housewives, students) were capably and joyfully sharing the teachings of self-realization. Perhaps more than anything the attendees were surprised and impressed at the vibration of divine friendship and harmony that they witnessed as so many devotees served so efficiently and joyfully together.
Several years ago during our first Spiritual Fair, my husband, Keshava, and I, along with a few others, organized and oversaw almost every aspect of putting it on. This time we enjoyed watching the teams gather after Sunday Satsang for several weeks in a row to plan for their area of service, be it for the registration table, greeters, information booths, prasad, or decorations. One of the blessings of Ananda is that there are so many opportunities for devotees to serve and share with others. It helps them to gradually overcome their limited sense of self, and expand their awareness to embrace a greater reality that includes many others.
Swami Kriyananda wrote a song long ago, “Many Hands Make a Miracle!” It so beautifully expresses the spirit and joy we feel when we join together to share energy, light and divine vibrations with others.