We are just finishing our annual winter program, Inner Renewal Week. During this event we try to make our classes deeper than usual and tailor them to more serious truth seekers. The theme for this year has been Challenges and Solutions for Our Times. A central focus has been that only through changes in consciousness can permanent transformation take place.
We began the week by looking at challenges and solutions for society at large. It is helpful first to assess world consciousness in terms of our present level of spiritual development. According to Sri Yukteswar, we have transitioned from the lowest age, Kali Yoga—the age of form and matter—and are currently in early ascending Dwapara Yuga, the age of energy. Consciousness now is beginning to advance, but society’s overall level of maturity is still quite low. We have the increased energy that comes with Dwapara Yuga, but not yet the maturity to handle it responsibly.
In my opinion, the three biggest problems we face today are:
1) the polarization and tension between various political, religious, and national factions. Until people want to find common ground, neither solutions nor harmony can emerge.
2) a world still driven by greed. There is an increasing concentration of financial resources in a very small group of people and businesses for whom profit is more important than the welfare of others. Their never-ending thirst to possess more than they do is widely shared by others, however less well placed many of them are to attain it for themselves.
3) the economic disruptions we will face in the near future as we try to prop up a teetering economy in a world in conflict on so many different levels.
Unfortunately, world peace and harmony cannot be achieved given the current immaturity of world consciousness, and will have to await the slow wheel of time. Since we cannot expect solutions to come from outside, we must look within. Our task is first to change ourselves, and then to share our uplifted awareness with all those willing to accept it.
Fortunately for us, God is on our side. Every little effort we make is met by His grace. When we are really ready to change, He will draw us to the guidance of a guru.
In this excerpt from his autobiography, Paramhansa Yogananda described his first meeting with his guru, Sri Yukteswar:
“O my own, you have come to me!” My guru uttered the words again and again in Bengali, his voice tremulous with joy. “How many years I have waited for you!”
His eyes held unfathomable tenderness. “I give you my unconditional love. Will you give me the same unconditional love?”
“I will love you eternally, Gurudeva.”
Then, when Sri Yukteswar suggested that Yogananda return to his family in Calcutta, Yogananda balked. At this, Sri Yukteswar said, “The next time we meet, you will have to reawaken my interest: I won’t accept you as a disciple easily. There must be complete surrender by obedience to my strict training.”
Interestingly, when Swami Kriyananda met Yogananda and asked to become his disciple, a similar exchange took place. Swamiji wrote, “Gazing at me with deep love, he said, ‘I give you my unconditional love. Will you give me your unconditional love?’” When Swami replied “Yes!” Yogananda continued, “And will you also give me your unconditional obedience?”
This, then, is the pattern we too must eventually follow. After a deep search for solutions, our hearts and minds will be ready for inner transformation. As God guides us back to Him, He will ask of us two things: unconditional love and unconditional obedience. Though our egos may resist, we must come to the point where we offer these of our own free will. It is then that the true inner transformation can begin to take place.
This morning in meditation I repeated over and over to Yogananda, “I give you my unconditional love and obedience. Please guide me to God, to my own true Self.”
As I did so, I was filled with a deep sense of gratitude and joy, and the desire to serve as a channel of God’s unconditional love to all.
In the light,
Listen to Jyotish as he reads the blog, then expands on it, often adding special behind-the-inspiration stories and answers to common spiritual questions. Subscribe to the podcast or download the audio recording by right-clicking here. Or listen to it here (8:31):