I envy nature photographers—their eye for beauty and that their job is taking gorgeous pictures. My mom gifts me a wall calendar every year that is filled with breathtaking photos from nature and inspirational quotes from the Bible. Every time I look at it, it is a gift from the hearts of the manufacturer and my mom.
I think the most beautiful American calendar, though, is the one published every year by the Self-Realization Fellowship, which was founded by Paramahansa Yogananda soon after he came to America in 1920 (to share his timeless teachings on India’s ancient practices: the philosophy of Yoga and its tradition of meditation. He blended teachings of the East with the teachings of Jesus Christ from the New Testament, to demonstrate that God’s Love is the basis of everyone and everything.)
The SRF’s annual calendar is a desktop version; each page is seven inches by nine inches, with the date-pages divided into seven days. Each week’s page is paired with a beautiful photograph from nature and sayings from the writings of Paramahansa Yogananda. The quotation for the cover picture (shown above) is:
“The scenery of mountains painted on the ever-changing azure canvas of the sky, the mysterious mechanism of the human body, the rose, the green grass carpet, the magnanimity of souls, the loftiness of minds, the depth of Love—all these things remind us of a God who is beautiful and noble.” ~P.Y.
Another saying paired with a scene of wildflowers in California is:
“Underlying all life is the silent voice of God, ever calling to us through flowers, through scriptures, and through our conscience—through all things that are beautiful and that make life worth living.” ~P.Y.
There is something special about this calendar. As I write appointments or notes on the pages next to striking photographs and the wisdom of P.Y., things seem quieter, deeper, more real—as though touching the pages somehow links me with universal peace. I can’t think of a better gift to give to ourselves or those we love—something for the soul, for hope, for encouragement in these difficult times.
Even though he crossed to the other side in 1952, Paramahansa Yogananda still changes lives with his endearing book, AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A YOGI, and with the INNER REFLECTIONS calendar. The calendar costs $13.95 (a true bargain) and can be purchased at bookstores, and from the Self-Realization Fellowship at (323) 225-2471 or at the link above.