This is an excerpt from a 2016 letter to SRF members and friends from Sri Mrinalini Mata, fourth president and Sanghamata (“Mother of the Society”) of Self-Realization Fellowship/Yogoda Satsanga Society of India. Mrinalini Mata, who served as SRF/YSS president from 2011 until her passing in 2017, encourages us to develop a positive spirit and to have faith in the Divine and in ourselves. This timeless advice is perfect for whenever we are looking to transform our challenges into opportunities.
Daily events often remind us of the turmoil the world is going through as it strives to cast off the spiritual and material ignorance of past ages. But Paramahansa Yogananda assured us that we are in an era of upward evolution, and held before us a vision of ultimate hope and optimism amid the temporary ups and downs.
You can infuse your own life with that positive spirit by refusing to become apprehensive or discouraged — by daily tapping into the freedom and divine strength with which God has endowed all souls.
We are made in His image, and within us is the capacity to anchor ourselves in a reality higher than the troubling drama of duality — to be free as God is free; to unite with His transcendent consciousness, love, and joy. To discover that truth is the purpose of our lives and the ultimate solution to the suffering and inharmony in this world.
Maya tries to keep us bound to the material world, making us feel small and vulnerable to outer circumstances. It causes the ego to become oversensitively reactive with fear, worry, or other negative emotions that weaken the will and narrow one’s vision. But Paramahansaji urges us not to accept that illusion of helplessness; to affirm instead that our minds and wills are portals to God’s omniscient mind and His almighty will. If we keep those inner portals open by using the mind and will rightly, even challenging outer conditions become opportunities to bring out our soul’s innate courage and capabilities. Thus we become a positive influence on our daily environment rather than helplessly reacting to it.
“The world will change as the hearts of individuals change,” Paramahansaji told us. That change begins with control of our own consciousness. Meditate daily; and daily absorb some of the encouraging, revitalizing truths in his teachings. You will thereby strengthen your faith in God and in yourself, and reinforce your incentive to attune your life with His eternal laws.
When you choose to give the Divine Harmony first place in your heart — to live a life of integrity, and to treat others with kindness, understanding, and thoughtfulness — know that you are removing a major cause of suffering and discord in this world: selfishness, and the isolation and strife it fosters.
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