My heartfelt prayers, and those of the other monks and nuns in Paramahansa Yogananda’s ashrams, reach out to all who have been affected by the series of violent and hate-filled acts that have occurred around the world in recent months.
At times like this, every nation and faith community — the entire world family of God’s children on this earth — needs a reinforcement of our connection with the eternal Divine Source of love, harmony, healing, and security. In the consciousness of our kinship with them all, let us especially concentrate on strengthening the unseen but supremely powerful flow of God’s grace into hearts and minds everywhere — grace that manifests as increased courage, as greater faith in the basic goodness of humanity, and as unshakable inner peace and wisdom with which to counter these threats to our individual and communal well-being.
By looking at current events through the lens of divine understanding — brought by actual experience of God’s presence in meditation and prayer — we automatically feel an upwelling of kindness, caring, and mutual support for each member of our global family. Whatever our national or religious affiliation, we are all God’s children, equally loved by Him, and our own well-being is interwoven with the welfare of all. I encourage the members of our Worldwide Prayer Circle, as well as people of goodwill everywhere, to unite in conscious prayerful effort to open new channels of love and wisdom to help and heal those who have suffered and those who have perpetrated that suffering.
Although we are in an ascending age, and know that ultimately God’s light will prevail over darkness, when we see innocent souls caught up in the storms of this unstable world, our human minds and emotions naturally react with feelings of vulnerability, fear, anger, and frustration at the seemingly limited options available to do something constructive. But as devotees of the Source of love, wisdom, and compassion, there is much we can do.
First, we need to remember that we are not alone. In the holy Bhagavad Gita, the Lord assures us: “Whenever virtue declines and vice predominates, I incarnate as an Avatar. In visible form I appear from age to age to protect the virtuous and to destroy evil-doing in order to reestablish righteousness.” Our own revered guru, Paramahansa Yogananda, reminds us again and again that the world-transforming teachings and techniques of God-realization bestowed on humanity in our current era are a direct manifestation of the Gita’s divine promise. It is up to us to make use of them.
So next, let us use the energy of our emotional reactions to re-energize our disciplined commitment to the path of light and upward evolution. By attuning our consciousness each day with the outpouring of truth and grace that has come to us through the SRF/YSS path (or whatever path we may be following) — especially by making extra effort in meditation and spending time in the embrace of God — we can transform fear into faith, and anger into calm courage and the desire to help those in need. And we will reconnect with the innate divine strength within our souls, which can lift us above feelings of helplessness and open the channel for God’s limitless power and love to flow through us.
Out of this overall approach to the global crisis of our times will emerge the specific solutions we so desperately need — individually, socially, politically, and certainly spiritually. My deep prayer for each of you is that you feel that assurance in your hearts. As Paramahansaji urged us: “We should try to be like the divine ones who have come on earth again and again to show us the way. By our loving each other and keeping our understanding clear, as they taught and exemplified, peace can come.”
May the lives of each of us reflect in this world God’s light and love,