Self-Realization Fellowship Blog

“How Yogis Contact the Source of Self-Esteem” by Brother Chidananda

May 31, 2023


This blog post is taken from the article “Maintaining Our Divine Connection While Living in the Material World” by Brother Chidananda, president and spiritual head of SRF/YSS. The full article can be read in the 2022 annual issue of Self-Realization magazine.

The primary mode by which we get information is through the senses: We see things, we hear things, we taste, we touch, we feel — that’s the interchange between our inner consciousness and the outer world.

This can be either a passive or a conscious process. The yogi wants to make it conscious, because the yogi — the devotee — knows the very sad and actually tragic results of not taking control, of letting the world rule our consciousness.

In so many, there is such a sense of loneliness, a sense of being unworthy or unloved. What is the reason for such great loneliness? Why is there such a great empty “vacuum” in all these people?

The answer is very simple. People are lonely because they have never taken the time to become friends with themselves.

Of course, I’m referring to the higher Self — not the little ego with all of its idiosyncrasies and habits and limitations, but the real Self, the soul.

The Source of Our Strength and Self-Esteem

When there has been no cultivation of a relationship with our real Self, what is the result? The soul is the source of real love, the source of our strength and of our self-esteem. If we are divorced from that, and make no effort to have a relationship or connection with that higher Self, the result is that all of those basic human needs and desires — for love, for validation, for somebody to tell us that we’re worth something — remain unfulfilled. It is tragic.

In the absence of awareness of those beautiful divine qualities that dwell within every human being, people are driven to run after fulfillment in a million different outer ways.

Really, it all amounts to a few very primal, emotional cries: “Won’t somebody love me? Won’t somebody make me feel that I am worthwhile? Won’t somebody give me the sense that I’m loved, that I’m liked, that I’m valued?” As long as individuals are chasing after that validation from outer sources, it will always remain elusive; there will always be that loneliness and that emptiness within.

The Great Change (and Hope!) That Comes From Meditation

But the good news is that this can change from the time that one starts a serious, disciplined, methodical, and scientific practice of meditation — and thereby begins to get to know the true Self. That is where real self-esteem comes from.

We hear in the media and from our educators and leaders in society about the problem of self-esteem, especially in younger people who haven’t yet found their footing or their direction in life. If they don’t know that the source of love and divinity is within them, there is going to be an emptiness, and that emptiness is going to propel an endless search — an endless engagement with social media, with entertainment, with this distraction or that outer pursuit.

It is not that those activities are wrong in themselves; it’s just that they are useless in themselves — useless in filling that vacuum of inner emptiness.

To me those of you who are undertaking a practice of meditation are such a source of hope for the world, because everyone who takes the time on a regular basis to use those techniques of meditation to get some contact with the soul, with that Divine Presence within, is powerfully exemplifying the alternative to the emptiness and the negativity and the loneliness and the alienation that is such an epidemic in the world today.

Spiritual consciousness is the solution; meditation is the solution.

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Thank you for reminding me to balance my worldly interaction with much deep meditation. God must be our main source or we will not be spiritually sustained to overcome all difficulties and challenges
Thank you Brother Chidananda for your service to us all by faithfully carrying on Guruji’s work 🙏🕉️


This is such an encouraging message for everyone. My prayer is that this message will be communicated to everyone who has ears to hear.


Thank you brother Chidananda Swami jee maharaj… you are delivering the message of Gurujee in such a profound way it always fills my heart with gratitude and awe… 🙏🏻🕉

Naneen Agosti

Jai Guru! Thank you Sri Chidananda, for your divinely comforting, inspiring, healing, purifying, spiritually awakening, pure, wholehearted vibrant transmission of Paramahansa Yogananda's God-ordained wisdom. Know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free: Only Love is Real---God is Love. The God-ordained Kriya Yoga meditation practices and how-to-live universal principles of moral behavior for daily living taught by Guruji teach a person how to commune directly with God, to become fully consciously aware of our eternal, immortal, indestructible divine Nature, oneness with Spirit. Jai Guru!

John YNaneen Agosti

A striking realization hit me today: What is love, but attention? How can we expect others to pay us attention when we fail to first live/attend to our own Self/self relationship.
Perfectly loving ourselves, with perfect attention, is the primary step in Loving God. Going within, we reach Christ Consciousness when we perfect that attention/love connection with Spirit, awakening us to Spirit existing in Everything. In loving the One, we love loving all, we love the One.
It starts with loving your self, to know the Self.
Thank you, Swamiji! Jai Guru!

Bindu Menon

Swami Chidanandaji's words are so inspiring to me always. Swamiji expressed the powerful knowledge so simply. Thank you Swamiji, Jai Guru


Beautiful words. The self realization teachings (and the course) are the most beautiful teachings I know and I have been on the spiritual path already for years. If you are feeling depressed and disconnected from your true Self, I can only recommend PY teachings to strengthen this connection again. Namasté 🙏🏻❤️

David Joyce

Such wise words. Thank you. I’ve done many years of therapy and found and used lots of other tools which have been helpful, but ultimately it all comes back to the same thing… Find the true Source of fulfillment, joy and love… Deep within. In the Self.

Virgil Algee

Behold, the kingdom of GOD is within you. I need to practice the techniques attentively and regularly. PRAY for me.


This is such an important message for today. Thank you for sharing this.

Anita Neilson

Thank you Brother Chidananda for these comforting words which resonate so strongly with me. Before I found this path, I had turned my back on God but I soon found a very deep loss within, a loneliness which could never be fulfilled by any human love. Now I know love within and without. I love you Lord, I love you Guru.


Una gran lección nos dá nuestro hermano y presidente, Chidananda. Practicando estas técnicas y meditando no debemos sentirnos sólos, todo lo contrario, cuando tomamos contacto con el alma nos recargamos de paz y dicha. Este es nuestro verdadero y eterno hogar.


I loved the message, so simple yet so effective. Meditation is so important.

Vincent Berepele

Truly, learning to contact the Divine Presence within is the key to joyous, fulfilling living.
This lesson is uplifting. I feel fed at the soul level.

Duane Tucker



Soumen Samanta

The only path to evolve into higher Self and Possibility is to turn inwards through regular practice of meditation with intense devotion and perseverance !

Jyoti Dabholkar

Excellent suggestion for remedying
Psychological problems of low self esteem

Shirley Jordan

Dear brothers and sisters

Thank you so much for sharing the love and wisdom of our beloved Guru.

Every time I read something, I feel as though it has been written specifically with me in mind and it is always what my soul is longing to hear and that particular moment.

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you 🙏

Lou Dubnow

Such a powerful message and so eloquently expressed! Thank you! Master always seems to direct me to exactly what I need to be reminded of! It is so easy to get caught up in the "movie"! Thank you for the reminder!


Very interesting to know that through meditation we can communicate with our soul

John Conkling

I would like to hear more live streaming from Brother Chidananda. It is so inspiring for me. I wish he would speak to us more often. Thank you

Pearl Clair

I feel like I have just received a wonder filled gift. May I have within me what it takes to bring these words of knowledge and wisdom to be as cells of light to my mind, soul and higher self. I pray from every cell of my heart and soul that this wisdom and knowledge will be consumed never to leave my being. Thank you for the gift. Utilize the gift, don't lose it, don't blink it may disappear. May it be me.

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