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HOMAGE TO THE MASTER

YOGACHARYA MR. SERGE VALLADE

 

Let me tell you a twenty-year old story concerning a first meeting with Kriya Yoga in this life.

 

At that time, I was living in the 18th arrondissement of Paris-an area I knew well!

 

One day, whilst walking in a street I used to frequent at least twice each day, I noticed a small Chinese food shop only 200 meters away from my house which I hadn’t seen before.

As  I was looking for Chinese food for my lunch, I stopped just in front of the shop and looked through the windows. I saw a shelf and, hung up on the wall, pictures of four people sitting in the lotus posture. I was stupefied, completely dumbfounded. Who would imagine that I would see yogis from India in such a place instead of the traditional Buddha statues or Taoist immortal representations? Amazingly I didn’t dare to enter into the shop, or I forgot, and I carried on my way completely disconcerted. As I recalled what I had seen at home later I could feel a dream-like sensation of complete unreality come over me. This made me decide to return to the shop and this time to go inside in order to know why I could feel such a magnetic presence emanating from the pictures of these people.

I went back to the street and the Chinese shop and this time I opened the door and walked in. I found a very atypical place and in fact there were very few things to sell. A very skinny man sitting cross-legged on a stool stared at me with a look on his face that said, “What do you want?” My eyes looked towards the pictures:”I would like to know who these yogis are…” I said. He raised his head to look (I noticed then they were photos), he looked at them a long time and answered with few words:”Ah! The Masters!”

I stood quietly waiting for him to say something else, but he spoke nothing more.

The photos were portraits of Babaji Maharaj, Sri Shyanam Lahiri Mahasaya, Sri Yukteswarjee and Paramahansa Yogananda. I didn’t know then who they were but I felt very drawn to them.

I had to leave the place after a quick “Thank you! Good bye!”

Yes! I wanted to meet them again. I felt so magnetized by their silent presence.

A few days after, I wanted to see the pictures again and try to speak with this Chinese man. So I returned to the place but I was surprised to find nothing, Nothingness, Emptiness. Of course the shop was there but it looked abandoned, empty, very old and dirty. There was no sign the shop had been there-no Chinese man, no pictures on the shelves, not even a sign of Chinese staff. All was gone…

I stood a long moment on the pavement contemplating this deserted place. Had I dreamt it all?

I know I didn’t of course but this way was my very first meeting with the Kriya Yoga Masters.

This was not the end of the story. A few weeks after I had a dream: I was living in the mountains and I say two monks standing on a path, like immortals. One of them was Paramahansa Yogananda and the second looked the same but with a black beard. As often in dreams I heard a voice telling me things that I will have to do around the age of sixty.

How I discovered that it was Paramahansa Yogananda in my dream is another story. A few months after the episode of the shop that disappeared I had the opportunity to have Autobiography of a Yogi given to me. A friend of mine had received the book for his birthday. He placed it in my hands telling me, “You are a yogi, this book is for you!” I felt very thankful when I then discovered the photos and the names of the Masters.

Now let me tell you my first meeting with Swami Shankarananda Giri-It was simple but magic like it often is for many Kriya yogis…

I used to go frequently to a big bookshop to look at books on Hatha Yoga (as I am a yoga teacher). Then once I came across a book on Kriya Yoga. The book seemed strangely luminous to me: I glanced through it and felt very attracted to it. Inside I found a picture of an old yogi and nearby, very close to him, a younger yogi in a deep devotional state. This was my second meeting with this monk, because the young yogi looked very much like the monk in my dream but I didn’t know yet. I just had ka strange feeling. I closed the book and put it back on the stand, and left without buying anything.

When I came back to the bookshop another day I wanted to find the book again. It was still there…I held it in my hands, reading a few pages and looking at some of the pictures. I was so attracted to it but I was still hesitant. I felt instinctively that this particular book was significant, and also that I was not yet ready to buy it. The third time I went to the bookshop I went directly to the department to find the book. With a little fear inside my heart I thought was the book still there? Yes! Without hesitating this time I picked up the book and went directly to pay for it and took it back home. I think I read the book with my consciousness in my eyes. At the end of the book where was a contact name and telephone number to get more information concerning Kriya Yoga. I called and asked how to meet the old Swami in the book, and she answered he was not in France for the moment but there was a lecture being held by another Swami, Shankarananda Giri, the day after.

The day after, for the first time, I meet Swamiji physically. When Swamiji began to speak it was for me, as if an ancient memory had come back. I immediately realized the connection with my dream and I felt I had found my real spiritual family, and I have had no doubt at all from that moment up to today.

Baba opened his speech with a question:” Why aren’t you happy?” There was a big silence in the hall. Then he spoke about breath, self knowledge through Kriya Yoga, and the opportunity of inner life realization in order to put an end to our psychic wandering, a cause of many kinds of sufferings.

It is such a blessing to practice Kriya Yoga, to have a connection with a Master who safely shows you the way. You are lucky to get the possibility to achieve the matter you have been spoken to about. You obtain the results of very good karma: to realize the reality by withdrawing the thick coat of ignorance, or rather the very thin veil, which holds us far from what we are fundamentally.

All begins with an inner calling, with the thirst of Soul manifestation, with the intuition that we are not complete.

Then the time will come to make the decision to take a way, to accept a guide, to trust the Master with whom you had the feeling that “it’s that!” You cannot invent this feeling. It’s a fact!

Following a spiritual way cannot be the result of a sudden and momentary impulse. When you receive a teaching from your Master, you have the duty to practice it immediately and not to stop before getting an understanding of its real value through a realization.

The presence of your Master is essential, physically or mentally, through your practice or through your devotion. You have the opportunity to deposit all your doubt, your suffering, your confusion, your fear, but also your stupidity, at his divine feet. You empty your mind. You surrender. You don’t have to fear a negative judgment from the being who has accepted hey will take care of you up to the day you are able to walk by yourself. The Master always has compassion for his disciple. He is there to steer you to the other side of the river of yourself.

With his guidance and teachings we have practiced sincerely since then. We were in very close contact to serve him in our old apartment. Once he said you are sent to me by Masters. I think you have the potential to hold the responsibility of the group here, especially in Paris. One day he said now it is high time that you have to register a Kriya Yoga Society in Paris. Then it was not surprised to me because I knew all these events would come to me as these had already been manifested to me many times in dreams or in a real vision. The moment he said this I was very happy but also a little cautious to immediately jump to the situation. I always take my time, calmly and quietly, I think of my past actions, how to make things materialize in reality. After a little while, reluctantly I answered, “Anything you say, I will do. But do you think I am fit to hold such responsibilities?”

Presently the Kriya Yoga Sharanam is working in Paris and we took a bigger house, Baba’s Ashram, from where Kriya Yoga Sharanam is being operated.

And now we have the Hiranyagarbha Temple. It is not only a holy building; it is the realization of Swamiji’s vision; an impulse to achieve this creation in memory of Sri Yukteswarji. And now the dream has come true. It is the end of all our wanderings. Our inner Hiranyagarbha has been manifested in the material world with representations of all the symbolic qualities of the soul.

I bow down to the feet of my Master and Gurus.

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