Thought For The Day #3

Go within the Self, closing the door of the senses and their involvement with the restless world, and God will reveal to you all his wonders.

Paramahansa Yogananda

Thought For The Day #2

Paramahansa Yogananda explains to us how having steadfast faith in God sustains us throughout our lives.  Extract from The Self-Realization Fellowship book, Living Fearlessly

In San Fransisco (in 1925), I had only $200 in the bank and was about to begin a lecture campaign.  I had not enough money even to make a start; and many large bills had to be paid.  I said “God is with me.  He has given me this trouble and He will look after me.  I am doing His work; I know he will help me.”  If the whole world forsakes you, but you know that He is with you, His law will work its wonders for you.

When my secretary came to me and I told him how much money we had in the bank, he literally colapsed on the floor.  I said “get up.”  He was shaking: “We are going to jail for not paying our bills!”  I said “we are not going to jail.  In seven days we will have all the money we need for the campaign.”

He was a doubting Thomas, but I had faith.  I was not in need of money for any gain of my own, but to spread God’s work.  I had no fear, even for the enormity of my troubles.  Fear is afraid of me.  What is there to fear?  Nothing should give you fear.  Face all troubles with faith in God and you will conquer.

Bhagavad Gita says: “With heart absorbed in Me, and by My grace, thou shalt overcome all impediments.  And think of it!  I was walking in front of the Palace Hotel when an elderly woman came up to me and said, “Can I talk with you?”  We exchanged a few words then out of the blue she said, “I have money to burn, Can I help you?”

I replied, “I don’t need your money.  Why should you offer money to me when you don’t know me?”  She answered, “But I do know you; I have heard so much about you.”  And right there she wrote out a cheque for $27,000.  I saw in that the hand of God.

I live by faith in God.  My power is God.  I do not believe in any other power.  As I concentrate on that Power, it works through me.  That power of God is working with you also.  You will see it is so if you have faith and know that prosperity comes not from material sources but from God.

One Who Thinks Rationally

Have you ever wondered why, that in spiritual texts and scriptures the word “man” is always used to describe the human race, with no mention of “woman”?  Also, have you ever wondered why there is a tendency to always describe something that could either be male or female in the masculine; as though one half of the human race is being completely ignored?

Well, I have often wondered why this is so, and simply put it down to the fact that in the old days there was some very archaic ideas as to the role of women in society, and therefore anything and everything that could be either male or female was described as being male as a matter of course.  Well, things certainly seem to have evolved in that way, for example, God is always deemed to be male, but believe it or not, that’s not how it was actually meant when the ancient scriptures were originally written.

In his book, The Yoga of Jesus, Paramahansa Yogananda gives a wonderful explanation of how the word “man” came to be used as a generalisation.  He explains that the use of “man” in more modern-day translations of spiritual scriptures came from the Sanskrit word manas, meaning “one who thinks rationally”, and I would like to offer my own humble interpretation of why this word would have been used.  The term “one who thinks rationally” applies to any human soul who has taken birth into flesh.  The reason being that “rational thinking” only applies here within the earthly dimension; the realm of the relative.  As humans we rationalize everything, we apply logic to everything; everything must be “hot or cold”, “sweet or sour”, “up or down”, “in or out”.  We always think in terms of “I am happy” or “I am sad”, “I am feeling pleasure” or “I am feeling pain”.  Everything has to have a label and everything belongs in its own box, therefore the term “one who thinks rationally” applies to any individualised being of spirit who has incarnated into the realm of rational thinking.  In our Divine form we are neither male nor female, yet we are both, so manus does not refer to male or female but rather to any individual soul.

Yogananda went on to say that it made things so complicated having to differentiate between male and female all the time, that in the end, the word “man” was adopted as a generalisation.  And that, my friends, is why, that in this modern age, where women are much more appreciated and have careers of their own and positions of power in society, spiritual texts and scriptures can appear to be so sexist and outdated.

Living Without Fear

Do not be afraid of anything.  Even when tossing on a wave in a storm, you are still on the bosom of the ocean.  Always hold on to the consciousness of God’s underlying presence, be of even mind, and say:  “I am fearless; I am made of the substance of God.  I am a spark of the Fire of Spirit.  I am an atom of the cosmic flame.  I am a cell of the vast universal body of the Father.  ‘I and my Father are One’.”

Paramahansa Yogananda