Janmashtami, the birth anniversary of the beloved Bhagavan Sri Krishna, is a time of great rejoicing among all of us around the world who have been touched by the light and glory of his sublime life. A divinely sent restorer of righteousness (dharma), Sri Krishna lives on in our hearts as an embodiment of God’s love and joy. As the gopis and gopas of Brindaban were irresistibly drawn by the melodies of Krishna’s flute, so let the celestial beauty of his eternal presence lead our souls ever Godward – guided by the timeless truths he conveyed to Arjuna, which speak to us even now through the sacred Bhagavad Gita.
For incarnations we have grasped after happiness and fulfilment in the ever-changing realm of duality, where it cannot be secured; but God does not intend us to live on the surface of life, tossed about by maya’s waves of alternating joy and sorrow, gain and loss. He wants us to dive deep within our being, to find the imperturbable peace and divinity of our soul. As He guided Arjuna through Krishna, so will He aid you in realizing your true nature.
That journey begins with cultivating self-awareness. Ask yourself, “Am I following my habits, sense desires, and the ego’s likes and dislikes? Or am I consciously striving to be guided by the wisdom of the soul?” You have within you greater strength than you may realize to take charge of your life and will. When Arjuna had moments of weakness, Krishna reminded him of his true, valiant self and his duty as a divine warrior not to give up in the battle against maya. If you, too, follow the wise guidance of your Guru and your own soul, you will increasingly feel peace and a joyous sense of freedom. Restlessness-creating thoughts and actions keep us bound; peace-giving thoughts and deeds are liberating. As our Guru, Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda, has said, “Peace emanates from the soul, and is the sacred inner environment in which true happiness unfolds.”
Krishna taught Arjuna that the full experience of God’s presence comes by practising guru-given methods of meditation faithfully and with devotion. As restlessness of body and mind subsides, you will feel in your own heart and soul Him who is the foundation of all joy, all love, all power to accomplish. Anchored in God, you will need no longer beg for a little happiness from an unpredictable world. Your joy will radiate an uplifting influence, giving encouragement to others. It takes time and effort to transform human consciousness into God-consciousness, but Guruji has assured us: “Every moment of deep meditation spent in seeking union with God, every effort to practice evenmindedness and renunciation of desire for the fruits of action, brings its reward – removing sorrow and establishing peace and joy, and mitigating karma and lessening error in decisive actions by greater attunement with God’s guiding wisdom.”
I pray that as Krishna guided Arjuna to victory, so may he bless your journey toward soul-liberation.
Jai Sri Krishna! Jai Guru!
Swami Chidananda Giri
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