Loving greetings and pranams, divine lions of God and Guru.
That's how I'm visualizing each one of you.
That's the consciousness that I'm sending to each of you because that's what all of us need in order to face these very difficult, very challenging times that our whole world is going through at present.
Our guru, Paramahansa Yogananda, would say to each of you, "Be a divine lion.
" Feel that right now.
Close your eyes.
Let the attention go within and say to yourself, "I will face everything that life brings to me with that divine inner strength, courage, power and with the unshakeable, regal calmness of the sovereign soul.
That is the message that our Gurudeva, Paramahansa Yogananda, would impress on each one of us during any times of difficulty or crisis in our individual lives or in the world at large.
Dear friends, when we heard that temporarily we would have to suspend the physical gatherings at our SRF and YSS centers and meditation groups and temples because of the worldwide spread of this coronavirus and the health crisis that is affecting all the areas of the world, in order to do what is best for the health and well-being of everyone we temporarily have put a halt to the physical gatherings, but I said, "All right, we have to do that, but we are not going to let that impinge on the feeling of divine fellowship, on the feeling of connectedness, that is our great spiritual blessing, our great spiritual treasure, in this worldwide sangham in this worldwide spiritual family of SRF and YSS.
" We still have the Online Meditation Center thanks to the wonderful souls in the Yogananda Seva.
It's many of you have been participating in those non-physical, you might say, meditations, day by day.
We still have that, we still have our website, we still have streaming videos.
And so I said, "I want to take this opportunity to connect with all of you, to reinforce that feeling of divine connection, divine fellowship, by means of this video today.
" I said, "Well, we're not going to let any health crisis take the fellowship out of Self-Realization Fellowship.
We're not going to let any health crisis take the satsanga out of Yogoda Satsanga Society.
" So I'm very happy, I'm very just delighted, actually, to feel and to know that so many thousands around the world are joining in on this special occasion to meditate, to have satsang together and, most of all, to feel our oneness, our unity, our divine connection with God and Guru.
First thing I want to say is how much all of you have been in my thoughts, my prayers, my meditations every morning and evening.
I think of all of you.
I visualize that great light of God surrounding you, protecting you, permeating all the cells of your being, all of your thoughts and feelings, uplifting you, energizing you, encouraging you.
And all of our monks and nuns In Guruji's ashrams are doing the same.
All of us are deeply praying and visualizing and sending out to all of you that light, those vibrations of healing, those vibrations of hope and faith and courage to each one of you.
And we know that your prayers and your goodwill equally flow back to us.
We feel that.
We're grateful for that.
And we're so grateful also for the time, for the energy, for the good effort that each of you puts into spreading that vibration of prayer, that vibration of healing out to all the world during these troubled times.
It's so encouraging that we are united as this divine family of Kriya Yogis this divine spiritual family of devotees of God and of our great lineage of Gurus in SRF and YSS knowing that we are facing these difficult times together in a spirit of divine fellowship, in a spirit of mutual helpfulness.
I often think how followers of this path are so blessed, so very much blessed, to have the spiritual tools, to have the wisdom, to have the understanding that they can draw upon during times of uncertainty, during times of crisis.
What we learn from the teachings of our Guru, and, most of all, from our practice of those teachings and practice of meditation, we develop the ability to show up on the battlefield of life as a fully equipped divine warrior.
Think about that.
You know, day by day, year by year, so many wonderful devotees around the world, all of you, all of the devotees of SRF and YSS, every day taking a little bit of time to internalize and tune in with the wonderful, liberating, uplifting teachings of our Guru and most of all to practice those techniques of meditation, to go into the stillness, to go into that presence of the Divine within our souls.
We don't realize until we come to a difficult situation, a crisis situation, like what we're facing now, we may not realize how much little by little, day by day, that spiritual treasure, that spiritual strength, that spiritual wisdom and power has been growing, has been building in the hearts and minds and souls of each of us who practices.
And there it is now, ready for us to look into, to tap into, and to pull out and to manifest and express during challenging times such as the world is facing, such as many of us individually are facing, many of you in your families, in your work, in your local areas.
Rely on that power, rely on that spiritual treasure, that spiritual wealth that you have built up during all of these past years of sadana, all of these past years of meditation.
It's there for you.
I assure you it's there for you.
So, again, what our Guru gives us is the ability to show up in the battlefield of life as a fully equipped divine warrior.
Remember what he said to us.
He said, "You should be prepared to face all problems of health, mind, and soul by common sense methods and by faith in God knowing that in life or death your soul remains unconquered.
" By common sense methods and faith in God each of us will know that – that we are unconquerable.
Let me say first about, just for a moment, about these common-sense methods.
Of course, in a time like this, what that refers to, what that means for each of us is to follow the practical precautions that all of us have been made aware of through the news, through the advice of our governments, through the local health authorities, those common-sense practical precautions that we can take to ensure that we do not contract that virus and that we don't spread it to others.
Of course, this is why we took the step of temporarily stopping the physical gatherings at our centers and groups.
But each of us has that responsibility to our world family.
Take those precautions seriously.
This is not contrary in any way.
As our Guru said here, it's not contrary in any way to manifesting and expressing that utter total faith in God, in that connection with God.
As he said, "By common sense methods and by faith in God we will conquer.
" In our ashrams we are diligently following all of these measures, and we urge all of you to do so as well.
But beyond that, what I really want to convey and share with all of you today is not a lecture, is not a class.
We'll have more streaming classes and services to be shared with all of you for the duration of this time when we're not able to have physical gatherings.
We'll continue this through our website, through our streaming videos.
For all of you, you can watch our website, watch our newsletter for announcements of those But most of all today, I want to take the time for us to actually go within and meditate and forge together a stronger reinforced divine connection with the presence of God and Guru.
But before we begin our meditation, there is one thing that I want to talk about and that is this vibration of fear, this vibration of uncertainty that seems to have been sweeping around the world and can't help but also threaten to impinge on our own consciousness.
You know, our Guru had a wonderful way of understanding fear.
In his anthology of lectures, "Man's Eternal Quest, " you all remember that talk that he calls "Eliminating the Static of Fear From the Mind Radio.
" "Fear, " he said, "is a static in the mind.
" It's a noise, it's an interference that prevents us from tuning in, from clearly perceiving our soul and also our connection with that divine power, that divine protection.
It's a static, it's a fear, it's a noise, an interference.
And fear in itself is viral.
It's just as contagious, Guruji said, as any physical epidemic that causes that fear outwardly.
Fear itself is a virus and at times like this, I want to speak realistically, I want to speak candidly to all of this so we can be prepared and we can take the proper steps.
At times like this, when the mass consciousness of humanity at large, is vibrating with that doubt, with that uncertainty, with those vibrations of fear, even sometimes with vibrations of near panic, and not only that, when that same vibration of fear is being broadcast through the mass media with which we are barraged hour after hour, day after day.
It can't help but also have the potential of impinging on our own consciousness.
So we have to learn, as our Guru said, to combat that, first to acknowledge it and then take the positive steps to replace that vibration of fear, that vibration of uncertainty, of insecurity with a positive affirmation of our inseverable connection with the divine principle, with the divine power, with the Divine Presence.
We do that by substituting in our minds, using our minds to create a stronger pattern by affirmation, by statements of truth and, most of all, by actually going within in meditation and connecting our minds, connecting our feelings, connecting our hearts with that Divine Presence.
Meditation is the panacea.
Meditation is our greatest weapon, our greatest security, our greatest assurance of getting through these difficult times with our soul unconquered and untouched.
Right now take a little time to feel this.
Close your eyes.
Turn the attention within.
Feel and visualize that great light of God, that great presence of God surrounding you like a shield of light, like a shield of positive good vibrations, holy, uplifting divine vibrations, and then repeat with utter conviction in your mind, Lord, I am ever safe in the fortress of Thy loving care.
Feel the truth in that because that is a statement of truth.
Lord, I am ever safe in the fortress of Thy loving care.
I am ever safe in the fortress of Thy loving care.
I am ever safe in the fortress of Thy loving care.
My dear friends, I say these things because I know, I feel how many of you are struggling to come to grips with this disruption caused by this coronavirus which seemingly has come so swiftly and disrupted life in so many ways in all parts of the world.
Thoughts automatically arise: Will I be safe? Will my family be safe? If this financial downturn continues and gets worse, how will I get through? How will I provide for myself and my family? And sometimes, when the mass mentality and the mass media has been infected by this virus of fear, by this strong vibration of fear, it's hard, it can be hard to throw that off, to throw the influence of that out of our consciousness solely by an act of our own will.
Let's be realistic about this.
We've all at one time or another in our lives experienced the paralyzing or debilitating effects of fear.
There's no shame in it.
We acknowledge it and then we remind ourselves, "Yes, but I have the tools, I have the wisdom, I have the divine weapons against fear, against uncertainty, against insecurity.
I will apply them.
I will be victorious.
" So even though the will may be temporarily weakened or paralyzed by these mass vibrations of fear, there is a solution, and that's what I want to talk about right now.
First of all, when our own will, when our own thoughts don't seem to quite have the necessary vigor, the necessary strength to lift us out of that negative state, the first thing that we do, first thing that we can do, and you might call it spiritual first aid, is to turn to the powerful, liberating, uplifting thoughts that our Guru has given to us in his talks, in his writings, in all of his books.
I can't tell you how many times over the years I myself have done this.
And one of the great resources I want to share with you, I want to bring to your attention now, because this has been very helpful to me We have this wonderful book of Guruji's, powerful thoughts, "Where There Is Light.
" Let me show you how we can apply this principle that I'm talking about.
One of the chapters in this book, Chapter Two, is called "Strength in Times of Adversity.
" This is exactly the kind of thing that we need to jump-start, you might say, to re-energize our own will, our own inner strength What you do is you open to that book, open that book to the first page, and you start reading.
Read these powerful thoughts.
Here's the first one in this chapter.
Guruji says this, "Everything the Lord has created is to try us, to bring out the buried soul immortality within us.
That is the adventure of life, the one purpose of life.
And everyone's adventure is different, unique.
" And again he says, as I quoted earlier, "You should be prepared to deal with all problems of health, mind, and soul by commonsense methods and faith in God, knowing that in life or death your soul remains unconquered.
" So you start with a thought like that.
Then you go on to the next thought on the page and read that one.
Let it sink into the consciousness.
Listen with your inner ears.
Listen with your inner heart.
Guruji goes on, "Never let life beat you down.
Beat life! If you have a strong will you can overcome all difficulties.
Affirm, even in the midst of trials.
'Danger and I were born together, and I am more dangerous than danger.
' This is a truth you should always remember; apply it and you will see that it works.
Don't behave like a cringing mortal being.
You are a child of God.
" So you go on like that.
, paragraph after paragraph, page after page and it's remarkable, you'll see how quickly that produces the transformation in your consciousness you'll see how your consciousness recovers from that outward influence of fear, of negativity, of insecurity and is replaced by this upwelling of divine strength, this upwelling of divine assurance that comes from the Guru's consciousness into your consciousness Try it through his divinely charged words.
Again, make that your spiritual first aid in times of worry in times of great fear and crisis.
Now that's the first aid that leads to the second one, because You'll see if you take this suggestion and you take the thoughts in this book or any of the other books or writings of our Guru that you find helpful, and you go through it slowly, meditatively, deliberately, again, listen, listen with the inner ear, listen with the inner heart as you Absorb, those words off of the page and you go paragraph by paragraph page by page and then your consciousness becomes ready for meditation.
Your consciousness becomes ready for meditation.
Meditation of course is the most powerful way to restore that clear connection between the soul and the infinite divine Power the infinite presence of God So now let us practice meditation together.
And again, I want to draw your attention to this book.
I'm doing this on purpose.
I'm referring to what's in this book because After this satsanga is over after this if you're not sitting in front of your video screen.
I want you to have something that you can use that you can carry with you that you can refer to.
Again, and again over the coming days the coming weeks as long as it's needed After this chapter about strength in times of adversity The next chapter is called learn to meditate.
It's filled with wonderful guided meditations, affirmations and just very concise reminders that we can use to quickly enter into that state of divine connectedness that state of divine attunement.
So let us practice that together Sit upright in the meditation posture First we'll practice Guruji's breathing exercise together Throw the breath out in a double exhalation , “huh, huhhh.
” And now breathe in, inhale slowly and tense all the muscles of the body hold and vibrate that tension And then throw the breath out and relax the tension Do this several times.
To relax the body relax the mind inhale, tense the body Exhale, relax the tension and feel that great peace, that great calmness.
That can fill all the body cells Now with the gaze and attention gently lifted to the point between the eyebrows, the Kutastha, the Christ consciousness center Feel that you are entering in to that inner temple, that inner presence of God And as we pray, don't just say these words of these names of God in the Guru's Prayer is an invocation Prayer is an affirmation of our connection with the divine Heavenly Father Mother Friend Beloved God Father Mother Friend Beloved God Heavenly Father I am your child You are my protection I stand in your fatherly protecting presence I feel your blessing.
I feel your benediction, your strength, your assurance You are my Father.
I am your child.
Father, Mother, Friend, beloved God And now as we invoke the names of our great lineage of Gurus, same thing feel that each one is entering in and joining you, and blessing you in that inner temple That you can access through the Kutastha, through the Christ consciousness center At that point between the eyebrows feel their presence Jesus Christ Bhagavan Krishna Mahavatar Babaji Lahiri Mahasaya Swami Sri Yukteswarji Our divine gurudeva, Paramahansa Yogandandaji We bow to you all Beloved God, beloved Gurus Bless me that I ever remain conscious of your all protecting, all surrounding Living presence Let your strength Let your courage Let your divine fortitude Charge and uplift my soul, my heart, my mind Be with me always Bless me guide me, protect me, be with me always.
Om, peace, amen Now with the eyes closed again remaining established in that stillness of the meditation posture with the eyes uplifted Take to heart take within yourself these beautiful words of our Gurudeva He says the door to the kingdom of heaven is in the subtle center of Transcendent consciousness at the point between the two eyebrows If you focus your attention on that seat of concentration, you will find tremendous spiritual strength and help from within Feel that your consciousness is expanding in divine consciousness Feel that there are no barriers no attachments to the body But that you are moving on and on Into the kingdom of God, which can be entered through the spiritual eye Silently pray with Gurudeva in these words "Heavenly Father, open my spiritual eye so that I can enter into thy kingdom of omnipresence Father, do not leave me behind in this mortal world of misery Lead me from darkness to light, from death to immortality from ignorance to endless wisdom from sorrow to eternal joy.
" Fill your meditation deepening by the blessing by the power by the divine consciousness in those words.
As Guruji goes on to say, "remain calm Bid adieu to the world of sensations Sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch and go within where our soul expresses itself.
Dismiss all sensations of the body, dismiss all restless thoughts Concentrate on the thought of peace and joy.
" And now feeling that peace and joy Flowing into our thoughts, flowing into our feelings, flowing into all the cells of our body Let us chant With this wonderful recording of our Guru's voice Let us chant: In the temple of silence, in the temple of peace.
I will meet Thee, I will touch Thee, I will love Thee, and coax Thee to my altar of peace.
And coax Thee to my altar of bliss, altar of joy.
Feel the presence of Gurudeva As we chat together with him Then we will continue to meditate silently [Paramahansa Yogananda:] In the temple of silence come, sing with me and feel you are singing to his listening Presence right within you and around you, everywhere [Chanting] Dear ones, now in that deeping silence, in that deeping peace, and sense of wonderful recharging presence of God and the Great Ones Let's practice this guided meditation together Again from this powerful little book "Where There Is Light" With your eyes closed and holding on to that calmness and stillness that you have been cultivating Feel that you are charged with the creative life sustaining energy of God Feel that the everlasting consciousness of God is manifesting in your body Erasing the mortal consciousness of fear, disease, past failures, old age Repeat this thought with deep attention Father, Thou art present in my body In my mind, in my soul I am made a Thine image Bless my body, mind, and soul that they shine with Thine everlasting youth, power, immortality, and joy.
Once more, Father, Thou art present in my body in my mind in my soul I am made in Thine image Bless my body, mind, and soul that they shine with Thine everlasting youth power, immortality, and joy Om Om Om.
peace, amen Now go on continuing to meditate Continuing to go deeper into that feeling into that consciousness of the great Power the great uplifting blessing and consciousness of God, permeating all of your thoughts permeating body mind and soul with joy, with power Now before we end our meditation I want to invite all of you to join in together as a united spiritual family and let us practice the divine healing prayer technique that our Guru gave for the prayer council at the Mother Center and All of the SRF and YSS ashrams and also for the Worldwide Prayer Circle Which is made up of all of you divine devotees, divine souls around the world We've begun with a period of meditation to connect our consciousness To bathe it and attune it with that flow of divine power flow of divine blessings The next step is to send those positive vibrations out into the world Visualize the whole planet and all of its billions and billions of human beings all of the souls scattered around the entire vast human family Visualize that great light of God, that great healing vibration of God that great uplifting strength and reassurance and harmony Flowing out around the world Bathing and uplifting the hearts the minds the bodies and souls Of every human being on in our vast world family.
Feel that calmness that you have gathered within by this period of meditation Center yourself in that feeling of calmness and peace and well-being and then expand it.
Let it flow outward.
First encompassing all of your household All of your community Your city Your whole country The entire globe, the entire planet Wave after wave from that center of calmness, from that Center of divine contact With which you have been blessed by your own meditation Let it gradually expand in these outward flowing waves Your family Your community Your city, your whole country, the entire world Visualize the whole earth shining with that divine light the whole planet bathed And Purified and harmonized in that great light of God, in that great love, that great love, that great love of God.
Now let us pray together and then we'll practice the healing technique that you all know Heavenly Father Thou art omnipresent, Thou art in all Thy children Manifest Thy healing presence in their bodies Rub the hands together, feel that vibration Of divine life collecting in your palms And raise the hands upward and broadcast it out to all who need help Om Heavenly Father, Thou art omnipresent, Thou art in all Thy children, Manifest Thy healing presence in their minds Now rotate the hands over each other, creating a divine dynamo Feeling that divine life, that immortal life and power of God Collecting in your hands and then raise them and send it outward Om Heavenly Father Thou art omnipresent, Thou art in all Thy children, Manifest Thy healing presence in their souls Om And once more raise the hands Feel that divine light of God flowing out through your upraised hands and fingers spreading all over the world and Increasing the harmony, the feeling of love, the feeling of world peace and brotherhood in the divine family of humanity.
Om Very dear ones Always remember how much good that we can do By utilizing this divine technique of sending healing vibrations, healing consciousness, divine consciousness to all those who are in need Particularly at times when the world is going through periods of difficulty, of crisis, of fear, and uncertainty You don't know how much good that you are doing.
That your individual contribution united with the thousands and thousands of others in this Again, divine sangam, this divine family, spiritual family of SRF and YSS The countless other souls around the world who are contributing their thoughts their prayers their vibrations of goodness You don't know what a tremendous impact this has on stabilizing On balancing and harmonizing and healing the world at large And dear ones, I want you to know that at this moment My thoughts, my prayers, my love are with each one of you.
All of us are connected by these threads you might say these divine bonds of spirit these divine bonds of our mutual connection with God and Guru in this spiritual family of SRF and YSS Cast away all fear cast away all static Which creates that Interference and prevents you from tuning in with that divine presence Feel that light, feel that power Feel that sustaining presence of God And remember always these beautiful words of our Gurudeva He says, just behind the shadows of this life is God's wondrous light.
The universe is a vast temple of His presence When you meditate, you find doors opening to Him everywhere When you have communion with him Then not all the ravages of the world can take away that joy and peace Always affirm in life and death in disease, famine, pestilence, or poverty May I ever cling to Thee, oh Lord Help me to realize that I am immortal spirit untouched by the changes of childhood, youth, old age and world upheavals.
God bless you all Jai Guru Let us just close again with a moment of silence, a moment of prayer And feel the joy, the upliftment, the rediscovered strength That we have forged in this brief time together And may it remain with each of us in the days and months ahead Heavenly Father Mother Friend Beloved God Jesus Christ Bhagavan Krishna Mahavatar Babaji Lahiri Mahasaya Swami Sri Yukteswarji Our own gurudeva Paramahansa Yoganandaji Saints of all religions, we bow to you all Beloved God, beloved Gurus Remain with us As the consciously responding piece of our hearts As the consciously responding joy of our hearts Guide us.
Be with us.
Keep us ever strong and steadfast In the consciousness of your presence Heavenly Father May Thy love Shine forever on the sanctuary of our devotion and may we be able To awaken Thy love In all hearts Om Peace Amen God bless you all, dear ones.
Until we meet again.