In celebrating Janmashtami, the birth anniversary of Bhagavan Sri Krishna, we are united with souls around the world who have been uplifted by his divine love, the example of his life, and the eternal wisdom he conveyed to his disciple Arjuna, passed on through the ages in the sacred scripture of the Bhagavad Gita. In his role as restorer of dharma and protector of the virtuous, Krishna brought assurance to God’s maya-beleaguered children that they are ever in His care, and that with His aid and our cooperation, each of us can gain soul freedom.
As Krishna guided Arjuna during the battle of Kurukshetra, so will God show us the way through His great ones. But to discover the divine power within us and be victorious, we must also exercise our own initiative to free ourselves from the pull of the senses and the material habits and tendencies that bind us. The first step is to recognize those obstacles. Gurudeva often used ordinary circumstances to show those of us around him the traits that were impeding our progress. He will do the same for you if you look fearlessly in the mirror he holds before you. Acknowledging our shortcomings is not demeaning. In fact, Guruji told us that just to realize that we live in a state of cosmic delusion is our “first precious glimpse of truth.” Identifying what we need to change is the beginning of soul-liberation, for it enables us to focus our inner resources on a definite goal, and to actively use the power of thought and will to make those changes.
The science of yoga is a priceless aid in bringing forth our soul’s noblest qualities. As Gurudeva has said: “To learn and practice yoga—the method of deliverance from delusion—is to possess an incomparable treasure.” The principles of right behaviour in Guruji’s teachings, when faithfully applied, guide us to do what is for the highest well-being of ourselves and others. And dedicated practice of the meditation techniques he has given transforms our consciousness on the deepest level through communion with the Source of all truth.
Self-discipline and willingness to do battle with maya are part of the path of yoga, but another essential is love. When we think of Krishna with the gopis and gopas in Brindaban, and the joy they felt in his presence, our hearts are stirred anew by the beauty and irresistible nature of God which Sri Krishna embodied so purely. It is that magnetic pull of the Divine that draws us to seek Him and gives life to our spiritual practices, as well as the strength to persevere. If you approach your daily meditations with the same eagerness that inspired Krishna’s young companions to drop all else to follow the call of his flute, your heart and mind will open to experience the sweet personal relationship each one of us can have with God.
May God bless you with an ever-increasing desire to know and love Him,
Sri Sri Mrinalini Mata
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