Photo, Google Images:  Swami Paramahansa Hariharananda Giri

Small of stature,
and calm of voice,
his demeanor sweet,
gentle and wise.
Long hair, thinning,
accepting, brown,
soft, eyes with
large bags underneath.
Fluffy, white beard
that smelled of
sandalwood, always
with a mala around his neck.
Ochre clothing he wore
like the swami he was,
with kumkum paste
denoting his third eye.
Initiating those
who were sincere,
he led them in the
ways of kriya yoga.
Continuing the
teachings as had
the lineage before,
with reverent devotion.

He addressed me
as ‘Mother’ or
‘Gayle Ma’, always
bestowing respect.
I was honored to
serve this man
of God, preparing his
dal and basmati rice.
Demonstrating the
“breathless state”, a
group of students
were left in awe.
He touched my
heart, he touched
my soul…I want
to bow a thousand times.

For several years, after I left the ashram life, I studied with Swami Paramanhansa Hariharananda Giri, affectionately known as, Baba, by his students.  He was a direct disciple of Paramahansa Yoganada, the founder of Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) and author of “Autobiography of a Yogi.”  They were teachers of kriya yoga, continuing on the lineage of those before them.  Baba had been initiated by Yogananda and lived in his ashram in Puri, Orissa, India.

Victoria invites us to describe character at dVerse Poets:

Sharing this with Souldipper Amy for Occupy Blogosphere:


Hindu Goddess Lakshmi sculpted in brass

Master sculptor
brings forth your
shining spirit
through molding,
lost-wax method.
Your sublime image
illustrated with
finesse; patina adding
splendor over time.

O, enchanting goddess
smooth, golden glow
mirrors your aura.
Qualities shine forth
of beauty, charm, grace.
Kamala, your beloved
face exhibits calm
acceptance, a
countenance of
favor for one and all.
Wealth, fortune
prosperity are your
selfless offerings.
Without your blessing,
no kundalini rises,
no siddhis shall
be imparted.
O, gracious Mother,
thy presence alone
is a boon to my life.

dVerse Poetics–Sculpting a Poem:

There Came A Day

pansy picture

There came a day

I took this way.

It changed my life profoundly.

Parents and teachers,

society and such

had taught me things

that didn’t resonate much.

I had been molded in a way

that wasn’t entirely me.

I wasn’t quite comfortable,

things didn’t make sense.

But I questioned and explored

and read books that awakened

and my mind increasingly

expanded with wisdom.

I came to reverberate with

a humming sound.

I was led to know things that were

identifiable to me that showed me a path

that more suited my vision.

A familiarity grew and comforted my soul.

A truth, an energy pulled me along–

I found my peaceful center.

I’ve let go of so much and

unlearned even more;

The less I cling to the higher I soar.

Entry for Thursday’s Poet’s Rally:

Beyond the Chakras

Channeling life force

Transcend beyond the chakras

Find eternal bliss

Day Twenty-One of Haiku Challenge:

Universal Mother


Image by Spirit-Fire via Flickr

Brilliant, bright light pierces my third eye

Awakening my vision as never before

Awareness is streaming,

There’s no longer separation;

I’m in a place of nirvana

And the world is at peace.

A luminous pale, blue light appeared

Dancing radiantly and enveloping me wholly

Its energy warmth raises my vibration

As I feel my kundalini uncoil

And blasts me to heaven.

But heaven isn’t a place somewhere “out there”.

It’s within us here at the blink of an eye.

We can guide ourselves to know this truth,

That we are all One–there is no division.

Pursue this light that resides in us all–

It’s our Universal Mother illuminating the dark.

My 108th posting!

Nothing’s impossible for the soul

“Never think there is anything impossible for the soul. It is the greatest heresy to think so. If there is sin, this is the only sin; to say that you are weak, or others are weak.”

Swami Vivekananda

Reading this quote by Swami Vivekananda changed my whole outlook on “sin”.

My Spiritual Guides



Image via Wikipedia


My first guide was Mother, who taught me to pray

then I learned about Jesus and the Christian way.

Years later, I discovered Yogananda and his

teachings of grace,

and many more mystical sages and saints.

I embraced Mahavatar Babaji, the Kriya guru,

who magically maintained his countenance of

about age twenty-two.

I’ve studied the Sikhs and their legacy of writings,

that I’ve read and reread and found so inspiring.

Yogi Bhajan was my teacher who taught me yoga, meditation and service

and doing right by our brothers by putting them before us.

I learned about Lakshmi, Saraswati, Sita and Rama,

Ganesha, Hanuman, Kali and Shakti–

these Hindu deities are always with me.

And now added to that are the Buddha’s forms–

there’s Mother Kwan Yin, bodhisattva of compassion,

who touches my heart deeply, never to be forgotten.

There’s Thich Nhat Hanh, Pema Chodron, the Dalai Lama

all whose inspirations help balance my karma.

I feel these guides near me,

encircling me with love,

supporting me when needed,

always enriching my soul.

The pure, clear white light

The following is one of my all time favorite passages from “The Tibetan Book of the Dead”.

“Remember the clear light, the pure clear white light from which everything in the universe comes, to which everything in the universe returns; the original nature of your own mind.  The natural state of the universe unmanifest.  Let go into the clear light, trust it, merge with it.  It is your own true nature, it is home.”

Tibetan Book of the Dead

It is so very comforting to me…

Safety Precautions

When I lived in Boston, during my ashram days in the 70s, I started carrying a police whistle and a small billy club with me.  While walking alone from my house to the main ashram (which was about two blocks away and around the corner) for our morning yoga and meditation sadhana, I had had a frightening experience.

It was very early, before dawn, and the streetlights were still lit.  There had been several inches of snowfall recently which the snowplows had piled neatly on either side of the road.  Apparently, everyone else from my house had already walked over, so I was on my own that morning.  So I’m walking along in the cleared street and ahead of me to my left, lying in a snow bank, I see a figure–this figure is a man–this figure has his pants down around his ankles, this figure is naked!!!.  As I approached him, (now at a much quickened pace) he spotted me and began getting to his feet and muttered something unintelligible; I started running and as I passed him, he staggered toward me (very slowly) and as I continued to run, all the while looking over my left shoulder to keep an eye on him, he stood in the middle of the road and just stared after me as I disappeared around the corner.  Whew!

I never did have to blow my whistle or bop anyone with my club but I did feel safer having them with me just in case.

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