Enter the Portals of the New Year with New Hope, A Guest Post from Paramahansa Yogananda

By Paramahansa Yogananda

This is my message to you for the New Year:

Your cup of life within and without is filled with the Divine Presence, but because of the lack of attention you do not perceive God’s immanence. When you are in tune, as one tunes in a radio, then you receive Spirit. It is as if you take a bottle of sea water, cork it, and put it in the ocean; although the bottle floats in the waters, its contents do not mix with its oceanic surroundings. But open the bottle, and the water inside merges with the sea. We must remove the cork of ignorance before we can come in contact with Spirit.

* * *

Infinity is our Home. We are just sojourning awhile in the caravanserai of the body. Those who are drunk with delusion have forgotten how to follow the trail that leads to God. But when in meditation the Divine gets hold of the prodigal child, there is no dallying anymore.

Enter the portals of the New Year with new hope. Remember you are a child of God. It lies with you as to what you are going to be. Be proud that you are a child of God. What have you to fear? No matter what comes, believe it is the Lord who is sending that to you; and you must succeed in conquering those daily challenges. Therein lies your victory. Do His will; nothing can hurt you then. He loves you everlastingly. Think that. Believe that. Know that. And suddenly one day you will find you are immortally alive in God.

Meditate more and believe in that strong consciousness that God is always with you regardless of what happens. Then you will see that the veil of delusion will be taken away and you will be one with That which is God. That is how I found my greatest happiness in life. I am not looking for anything now because I have everything in Him. Never would I part with That which is the richest of all possessions.

The excerpts above are from a talk given by Paramahansa Yogananda at the International Headquarters of the society he founded, Self-Realization Fellowship, on New Year’s Eve, 1934. The entire talk is published in Journey to Self-realization, Volume III of Paramahansa Yogananda’s Collected Talks and Essays. (Self-Realization Fellowship, copyright©1997, Los Angeles; reprinted with permission.) For more information about the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda, visit http://www.yogananda-srf.org.

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Make New Determinations: Be What You Want to Be! A Guest Post from Paramahansa Yogananda

Note: The inspiring guru from India, Paramahansa Yogananda, who lived from 1893 to 1952, and who established the Self-Realization Fellowship in Los Angeles in 1920, lived to share the ancient teachings of yoga with Westerners and promote understanding between people of differing religions. (An image of Jesus Christ appears with P.Y.’s line of gurus at all SRF centers.) 

by Paramahansa Yogananda

The following excerpts are from a talk given by Paramahansa Yogananda at the International Headquarters of the society he founded, Self-Realization Fellowship, on New Year’s Eve, 1934. The entire talk is published in Journey to Self- realization, Volume III of Paramahansa Yogananda’s Collected Talks and Essays. (Self-Realization Fellowship, copyright©1997, Los Angeles; reprinted with permission.)

Make new determinations as to what you are going to do and what you are going to be in this next year. Set a program for yourself; carry it through, and you will find how much happier you will be. Failure to keep to your schedule of improvement means you have paralyzed your will. You have no greater friend and no greater enemy than yourself. If you befriend yourself, you will find accomplishment. There is no law of God preventing you from being what you want to be and accomplishing what you want to accomplish. Nothing detrimental that happens can affect you unless you sanction it.

* * *

Let nothing weaken your conviction that you can be whatever you want to be. There is no one obstructing you unless it be yourself. Though my master Swami Sri Yukteswarji again and again told me that, it was hard to believe it at first. But as I used the God-given gift of will power in my life, I found it to be my savior. Not to use the will is to be inert like a stone, an inanimate object—an ineffectual human being.

* * *

Constructive thought will absolutely, like a great hidden searchlight, show you the pathway to success. There is always a way to be found if you think hard enough. People who give up after a little while bedim their power of thought. In order to gain your end, you must do your utmost to use thought until it is luminous enough to reveal to you the way to your goal.

Cast away all negative thoughts and fears. Remember that as a child of God you are endowed with the same potentialities as the most excellent among men. As souls, none is greater than another. Attune your will to be guided by the wisdom of God as expressed in the wisdom of the sages. If your will is yoked to wisdom, you can achieve anything.

Be Inspired All Year

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.