“In this new year I am a new person. And I shall change my consciousness again and again until I have driven away all the darkness of ignorance and manifested the shining light of Spirit in whose image I am made.”
— Paramahansa Yogananda
As we enter the new year, filled with the joy and upliftment of the holiday season, I want to thank our spiritual family and friends for enhancing the Christmas joy felt in Gurudeva Paramahansa Yogananda’s ashrams with your loving greetings from around the world. We are deeply touched by your many expressions of kindness during the holidays and throughout the year, and cherish these heartwarming reminders of the spiritual bond we share in God and Guru’s love. Know that my prayers reach out to all of you, that God may bless your efforts to attain the noble goals closest to your hearts and to manifest increasingly the divine image within you.
Each year brings to us anew a wonderful opportunity to liberate within us the God-given freedom to be masters of our own destiny. We need not follow automatically the well-worn paths of ingrained, unproductive habits and trends of thinking, nor be diverted from our spiritual ideals by impulses of the senses, ego, and worldly environment. Through the power of discrimination and a will recharged by the invigorating thought of a fresh beginning in this new year, we can reset our focus and blaze new trails that will reveal the hidden potentials of our soul. Know that the past cannot hold you back nor the future intimidate you. You can choose to live consciously in the present and to go forward with trust that infinite resources are at your command.
Guruji encouraged us to set our course for the new year by introspecting and meditating to attune our consciousness with God’s vast supporting consciousness, and then use His divine gifts of the power of thought and will to take charge of our lives. Clearing the mind of self-doubt, sadness over past mistakes, and any other form of negative thinking is a vital first step. Having cast out those obstacles, affirm and imprint upon your uncluttered consciousness the positive quality or goal you want to manifest or achieve. Gurudeva has told us, “You can instill any trend in your consciousness right now, provided you inject a strong thought in your mind; then your actions and whole being will obey that thought.” By applying with calm, patient perseverance the activating power of the will — finding ways each day to remind yourself of the specific goal you are striving for — you will see that what you have affirmed becomes a reality.
Remember, too, that you are not alone in your efforts. When in the stillness of daily meditation you contact Him who is the Source of all power to accomplish, you will increasingly feel His power pulsing beneath your thoughts, His mighty will reinforcing your will, and His wisdom and love guiding you. Guruji has told us, “Every minute is a link between you and God.” By living in that awareness, you will find a silent river of peace flowing beneath the surface of your consciousness, nourishing your whole being and your noble aspirations. Through your own inner transformation and the unfolding of your soul qualities, you will bring out the good in others and encourage them also to discover and manifest their true divine Self.
A happy new year to you and your dear ones, filled with God’s love and unceasing blessings,
Swami Chidananda Giri