Saints are almost invariably touchstones of mercy to people, seemingly in a mystical or magical way. They seem to spiritually change the hearts of others on a regular basis. Jayananda was such a mystical touchstone. He touched the hearts of so many common workaday people on a daily basis. Jayananda expressed no flowery beatitudes, no hackneyed religious catch-phrases, no rote sermon or scripture citing. He gave no soapbox pontifications or long-winded lectures or high-falutin theological excursions. No. There was only his pure heart and character and his simple sharing of the wonders and glories of God. And most importantly, Jayananda was real. Not contrived or forced or rote. His association and his loving conversations were real, from the heart. And since his heart was pure and unmotivated, everybody was moved and affected by his touchstone of love of God. He spoke in their language, on their level, telling simple stories or a reflective joke, and those few words laden with pure intent penetrated their hearts with lasting effect. His spirit stayed with them, remaining in their hearts, and took residence in their fond memories of him.
There are many great saints in history, both in the Eastern and Western traditions. The unique distinction of Saint Jayananda is that he was born in the Western world, yet he is virtually the first Western-born servant of God to have attained sainthood status within an Eastern spiritual discipline, namely the ancient tradition of bhakti or devotion to Lord Sri Krishna. And Jayananda’s sainthood has been clearly established by Krishna Conscious authorities.
Jayananda never got distracted by temporary setbacks and problems in this material world. He simply went ahead with his execution of Srila Prabhupada’s orders despite all the all pervasive negativity in the world. He persevered through all difficulties by being pro-active in spreading Krishna consciousness. He was the acharya of “doing.” He went out and did tangible feats of huge amounts of service while others talked. He could reverse any negative situation by his natural positive attitude. He was always turning negative energy into positive energy; he could turn the minus into a plus.
Jayananda’s great quality was that he seemed to see the Deity in everyone’s’ heart. He saw with equal vision – no matter who the person was, Jayananda only saw him as a good person, and Jayananda wanted to give him Krishna. He would never judge or criticize anyone, nor would he tolerate hearing criticism or anything bad about anyone. He understood the true meaning of bhakti, which is divine love, love for Krishna and His parts and parcels. Jayananda gave his love to everyone, he loved them for what they were, not making material distinctions about what this person is or is not. Jayananda only gave them love, and that is why everyone loved Jayananda. Jayananda loved Krishna and Srila Prabhupada, and therefore naturally he loved everyone else. He saw criticism as a hateful negative energy that curropts everyone it contacts. He was always very positive; even in seemingly unsuccessful events, he would only see the good in it, and never dwell on the bad. That is why everyone felt good around him and never depressed.
By following the life of Jayananda, who did all the right things, who simply believed in the words of Srila Prabhupada without complication or assumption or interpretation, and from this simple obedience and faith in his Guru-maharaja, Krishna empowered him to do superhuman activities. We have the example of one who has already crossed the insurmountable ocean of maya.