Paramhansa Yogananda Shares a Christmas Message

A Christmas Message from Paramhansa Yogananda, December 1950

My Christmas wish for you this year is twofold: that the consciousness of Christ be manifest in you through deep meditation, and that your exemplary actions will persuade others to abandon their evil or worldly ways and become spiritual.

Both meditation and action are necessary or the spiritual path, for they contribute toward individual and mass evolution.

It is not God’s will to develop spiritually in a selfish way, i.e., without extending help to others who are suffering. So remember always to render service to mass evolution, while seeking the Father through regular practices of deep meditation.

The more one develops spiritually, the deeper becomes his or her love and compassion for humanity. Accompanying love and compassion is the desire to uplift humanity from the throes of ignorance and war and the consequent suffering they bring. However, you must remember to make God first in your heart always.

The Father will not be content with second place!

He must reign first and foremost in the most tender center of your being—your heart. Through His blessings and grace alone are you able to develop and help humanity emerge from its ignorance.

Meditate regularly and practice Kriya Yoga faithfully with all the concentration of your mind and the intensity of your heart. On Christmas Eve meditate for many hours in the presence of other devotees. Dedicate this extended meditation to the achievement of the love of God and the attainment of World Peace and Brotherhood among all nations.

Share your gifts (material, mental and spiritual) with the less fortunate on Christmas. This will make your holiday a real one. The gifts need not be expensive but practical ones: durable clothing (new or used) for those who need it, canned and dried foods for people who find them difficult to obtain in their countries, a friendly visit to the physically afflicted, a word of comfort to the depressed, and spiritual manna to those who are seeking the love of God. You can help distant as well as local people in these ways.

Be ambitious for God.

Keep seeking Him through meditation and keep working for Him. This will give you the spiritual emancipation you are seeking. Christ and the great ones showed through exemplary living that it can be done. So follow their footsteps quietly and humbly. God bless you always. May your every day become a Christmas of ever-new joy, love, peace, and wisdom in God and the Gurus.

With deepest blessings, Paramahansa Yogananda

And from the Ananda Portland Temple and Teaching Center, its staff and ministry: We wish you a blessed Christmas. May the blessings you receive during this sacred time of year, reach far and deep. And continue throughout the upcoming year. May the Light of the Christ-consciousness shine upon you and yours. In Joy and peace.

Peace, A Running Theme

There is so much happening right now out and about; there are positive things, situations, events going on all over the globe. And yet there seems to be as many negatives happening too.

There is a broad feeling, for me at least, that is not settling. And it’s making me realize that I am going to have to dig a bit deeper to do my part in trying to redirect the negative to the positive. I am going to use the prayer to Paramhansa Yogananda, to guide my thoughts, will and action. Better Him than the little me!

Peace is key, inside and outside. With peace inside ourselves, we can share a more harmonious environment. A more harmonious state of being or consciousness.

Let’s start our days this year with a prayer for peace. (Paramhansa Yogananda’s Prayer for Peace and Harmony follows, shared by Nayaswamis Jyotish and Devi)

Visualize the person in question in the divine light, and then pray from your heart, “Lord, fill [him/her/a situation] with peace and harmony, peace and harmony.” Repeat this for about a minute. Then visualize yourself in divine light, and say, “Lord, fill me with peace and harmony, peace and harmony” for fifteen seconds. For maximum effect it’s recommended to say this prayer (both parts) five times daily.

We want to use this prayer now by saying, “Lord, fill this world with peace and harmony, peace and harmony” (for about ten repetitions), followed by, “Lord, fill me with peace and harmony, peace and harmony” (for three repetitions).

 

Peace is the treasure of a focused mind, the fruit of self-control, and the laurel earned by inner victories.
Peace comes from working with things as they are, not as we wish they were.
Peace, like a crystal stream, flows through hearts that are inspired by high ideals.
Peace is the rose-bud of kindness, spreading wide its petals in those who wish harm to no one, and mentally send their blessings to all.
Peace must be shared; never can it be hoarded.
Peace takes root in the soil of non-attachment; it flourishes when watered by daily libations of desirelessness.
Peace is, eternally, the wing-beat of inner freedom.
Peace and her sister, Humility, are sky and earth of the Garden of Paradise.
Peace is the dawn-cloud messenger of our Father’s love.
—Swami Kriyananda, poem written Christmas of 1991

Peace flows through my heart, and blows through me as a zephyr.
Peace fills me like a fragrance.
Peace runs through me like rays.
Peace stabs the heart of noise and worries.
Peace burns through my disquietude.
Peace, like a globe of fire, expands and fills my omnipresence.
Peace, like an ocean, rolls on in all space.
Peace, like red blood, vitalizes the veins of my thoughts.
Peace, like a boundless aureole, encircles my body of infinity.
Peace flames blow through the pores of my flesh, and through all space.
The perfume of peace flows over the gardens of blossoms.
The wine of peace runs perpetually through the winepress of all hearts.
Peace is the breath of stones, stars, and sages.
Peace is the ambrosial wine of Spirit flowing from the cask of silence,
Which I quaff with my countless mouths of atoms.
—Paramhansa Yogananda, Metaphysical Meditations

God Is What We Seek

Paramhansa Yogananda used to tell the story of a man who lived a disappointing life. When he passed, God appeared to him and asked if there was anything He could do for the man. In response, the man asked for his next life to have the blessings of health. He was born with extraordinary physical health, but lived and died in poverty.

Appearing again, at the end of life, God asked the man if there was anything he could do for him. The man asked for his next life to be filled with health and wealth. And so it was, but the man was lonely.

The next life he asked for health, wealth and a partner, but his wife was unkind, so he asked for health, wealth, a good wife—who then died early…and so on and so on…until at last he realized that there is no outer perfection, and simply asked to feel God’s presence no matter what came.

So, too, with us. When we decide what will make us happy, we set up for conditions that will always be short of the goal. What we can do instead, so we are told, is to decide to be happy under every circumstance. Tell life what we want, and we will get it, but until we decide we want the unconditioned joy that is God, we continue to wander from limited condition to limited condition and wonder why we still feel empty.

There is a prayer that can be offered when we realize that our own insistence on conditions is the very thing that blocks our happiness. And when we start to realize that we don’t have the wisdom to know how to navigate ourselves—we discover that we need wise friendship to help us figure it out along the way. Part of that prayer reads:

Divine Mother, I come before Thee today, having long sought Thy eternal light, long pondered the eternal truths, long followed the winding path that leads to Thee. I have walked with my own strength, all too seldom with Thine. I have walked with the thought,
“I want this from life; these answers; that guidance; this pathway, or that,” but I have seen that, as often as I made claims on life, it eluded me. As often as I presumed on Thy will,
it turned away from me.

Ah, too long, Mother, have I sought Thee for myself, not for Thy love. I know now that, without Thy strength added to mine, infusing it, I shall never find Thee.

God’s joy is what we seek—the unconditioned joy of our own nature—flowing through every circumstance. Thankfully, the teachings of great spiritual masters and their advanced students are available to us to help us along the way.