I was somehow led to this wonderful post from the Fish and Wildlife Service, where they ask you to locate the hidden mountain lion.
I couldn’t locate it until I received a hint or two (or more!), and then, there it was! Once I saw it, I wondered how I’d missed it.
It reminded me of the spiritual quest, where we try and try to see the One Hidden Power which throbs in everything. It almost seems like such a Power doesn’t exist, yet the Self-realized masters tell us that it is there. And then one day we see It, after heeding the many hints they (and the guru) provide. And having once learned how to look for it, we can’t but see It everywhere.
When Sri Yukteswar once visited Lahiri Mahasaya, he, too, couldn’t see Babaji standing right next to him, until Lahiri Mahasaya interceded for him:
“A few months later I visited Lahiri Mahasaya in Benares. As I entered his little parlor, my guru smiled in greeting.
“‘Welcome, Yukteswar,’ he said. ‘Did you just meet Babaji at the threshold of my room?’
“‘Why, no,’ I answered in surprise.
“‘Come here.’ Lahiri Mahasaya touched me gently on the forehead; at once I beheld, near the door, the form of Babaji, blooming like a perfect lotus. . ..
“‘Child, you must meditate more,’ he said. ‘Your gaze is not yet faultless—you could not see me hiding behind the sunlight.’ With these words in the voice of a celestial flute, Babaji disappeared into the hidden radiance.
It seems that even great Masters such as Sri Yukteswar play these little games to show us that a hidden reality exists right around us, waiting but for our “gaze” to become faultless. As our gaze becomes faultless through our deepening attunement with the guru and through our deepening Kriya/meditation practice, we naturally start seeing the Diving Hand actively working everywhere, no matter where we are.
I have always enjoyed the following advice Yogananda gave a disciple, and through her, all of us:
Cultivate God’s Friendship; meditate on Him and feel Him. Be a stubborn child and knock at the door until He opens it. . .. Look steadily at the Polestar of His Presence. He knows you are trying to reach Him, only keep trying. Once you convince Him, you will be there. Without any side-tracks, let’s hurry to His place.
Toward developing a faultless gaze,