The Light of the Universal Christ & the World Today!

Dear Friends,

We do, indeed, live in “interesting times” as the oft-quoted Chinese blessing suggests. We have much to celebrate in this holy season, but celebrating only the good things of life which are, by their nature, evanescent, is not enough to satisfy our soul’s state of joy. The challenges of our lives and our times, while not cause for celebration, are necessary to remind us that “joy is within you.” “Joy is within you” is the Ananda motto that goes with the Joy symbol Ananda logo. Jesus Christ, long ago, put it this way: “The kingdom of heaven is within you.”

The joy of the Christmas season re-affirms the primacy of universal spiritual values and states of consciousness over material comforts. Whether our “stocks” are up or whether they are down, the important things in life are friendship, compassion, self-giving, a joyful attitude, a positive attitude, and faith and devotion to God. The path of meditation teaches us to seek inner communion with the living Christ, the only reflection (or “son”) of God which is to be found within ourselves and in every atom of creation. This is our highest duty and our greatest reward, for as Jesus counseled us, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and its righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” Thus God, in the form of the Christ intelligence, lives in this world at the still center of all things and in our own heart.

For this purpose was Paramhansa Yogananda born and sent to the West. It was Jesus himself, Yogananda proclaimed, who came to the peerless master, Babaji, in the Himalaya, to ask that Babaji send to the west a messenger to bring the science of meditation and kriya yoga to resurrect the living Christ in all true hearts from the tomb of sectarian dogmas, creeds, and religious rivalries.

We mustn’t succumb to discouragement or cynicism when see our ideals so oft trampled upon by the ignorance or greed of people in power. This world, created by God, operates through the law of “maya,” a confusing and ever-changing blend of positive and negative qualities and consciousness. We see the spring shoots of democracy in other lands even as we fear our democratic values are being eroded bit by bit in the name of security, or slowly sinking in a miasma of partisan politics. Ordinary Americans are beginning to wake up to why other nations have equated our form of democracy with exploitation of their resources. We have seen that in our country, too, “the rich get richer” as scandal after scandal reveals greed, corruption, and complicity in high places.

We yearn to “occupy” once again our own nation and re-affirm the ideals upon which it was founded. For now we find confusing, even disturbing, how a totalitarian nation rises in wealth, power, and influence as our democratic one appears to diminish. We of goodwill must pledge to adopt sustainable lifestyles of body, mind, and spirit that the changes so desperately needed may sweep the globe by example rather than by force, legislation, or economic sanctions.

It is right for each of us to be part of solutions and the impetus for positive changes. But we must strive to do so with peace in our hearts and nonattachment to the results in our souls. For this world is His, not ours alone!

Thus it is that we should heed the soul’s call to go within. For in God can we find the strength and courage to affirm hope for a better world. We believe that the years to come may be challenging for our nation and for many nations of the world. The divine purpose of this period of testing will be to use the karma of the past actions of nations to purify and uplift the consciousness of humanity. The devotee’s response to challenge must be one of faith in God’s wisdom, goodness, and love. For those who will unite in heart and hands to serve a higher ideal and the divine Will, it is a great opportunity for spiritual growth.

Let us therefore take the message of Christmas — that the divine Light resides in all hearts— into our prayers and meditations, and into our daily life. Let every day in the New Year be a celebration of our Oneness in God.

Joy to you,

Nayaswamis Hriman and Padma McGilloway

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