“To be a conqueror of self is to be truly victorious — to conquer your circumscribed consciousness and expand your spiritual powers without limit. You can go as far as you want to go, past all limitations, and live a supremely victorious existence.”
— Paramahansa Yogananda
As we enter the new year, all of us in Gurudeva Paramahansa Yogananda’s ashrams are uplifted and inspired to think of the growing family of sincere souls who are practising the timeless truths in his teachings, which bring attunement with the Divine and happiness to oneself and others. We thank you for your dedication to those ideals, and for the divine friendship expressed in your holiday greetings and remembrances as well as in your thoughtfulness throughout the year. In our prayers each day we ask that God bless your noble resolves and everything you do to let His light and love flow through your life.
The momentum for positive change felt at this season of new beginnings invigorates our will and our faith in the boundless potential of our souls. It is a time to broaden our horizons, to rouse the “I can” consciousness — focusing not on our human imperfections, but on seeing ourselves as God sees us: a unique expression of His being, capable of manifesting His divine qualities. By keeping that perspective in our efforts to improve, we bring out the spiritual conqueror within us. God has endowed us with free will to take charge of our lives. Resolve from now on to use rightly that divine gift, and you will find there is no limit to what you can accomplish. Gurudeva told us: “It is within your power to choose how much purity, love, beauty, and spiritual joy you will express, not only through deeds, but in your thoughts, feelings, and desires.” As we become aware of what patterns we have created in the way we respond to people and situations, in how we set priorities and use our time, and in the subtler realm of thoughts and attitudes that affect our outlook on life — we can assert our God-given freedom to do better, to manifest more of His love and joy. If even in small, everyday matters we persistently guide our thinking and behaviour in a positive direction — not allowing habits, sense impulses, or emotional reactions to take over — we can make changes that greatly benefit ourselves and those around us, and expand our receptivity to God’s everpresent blessings.
The Divine intends us to play an active role in our own liberation, yet no one is more eager than He to help us remove the ego- and habit-barriers that limit our soul’s expression. It is our inner relationship with God, nourished by deep meditation and daily efforts to harmonise our lives with Him, that opens our consciousness fully to receive His transforming power. With the deepening of your trust in Him, you will recognise, even in circumstances that test your faith and equanimity, the opportunity He is giving you to progress. As a beautiful sculpture emerges from a block of marble when a master artist removes what does not belong, so will your pure soul-nature emerge from its covering of maya when you attune your will with God’s almighty will and cooperate with that Divine Sculptor who is molding your life.
Wishing you and your dear ones a happy new year filled with God’s blessings and love,
Sri Sri Mrinalini Mata
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