We’re living in a very important time. Not only do we have the new millennium but also, very recently, the change from Kali Yuga, the age of materialism, to Dwapara Yoga, the age of energy and fluidity. If you’ve built your consciousness on material security you’re in trouble because as the ages change, so also must your consciousness.

Many people define their happiness by the fulfillment of their desires. There’s a very interesting study in which a group of people who had been working toward some goal—job, relationship, finances—measured their level of happiness before they achieved their desire, and again afterwards. Their happiness level rose a little when they achieved their goal. Then gradually it began to decline until six months later they were right back where they started!

Prepare for possible disasters?

Dwapara Yuga is challenging the old thought forms of Kali Yuga. Our challenge, if we want to be happy, is to align ourselves with what God now wants for the planet. We could approach this subject outwardly from the standpoint of preparing for possible disasters by stockpiling food, medical supplies, etc. But if we approach it from an inner sense, by learning how to align ourselves with Spirit, we’ll be lead to make those changes that are necessary.

The first and most important step in this direction is greater acceptance and gratitude for what’s right in front of us. Most of the unhappiness that people carry comes from rejecting what life gives them. It is very, very important that we learn to develop an attitude of gratitude for our life just as it is. If we constantly reject what’s right in front of us, we’ll meet the challenges of Dwapara Yuga with that same attitude of rejection.

God breaks our attachments

We have seen in our community that people are tested in ways that seem unfair from an outside viewpoint. They run out of money. They have difficult diseases. Their loved ones go through difficulties or their families reject them.  We may be tempted to think, “Why, God? We’re nice guys. Why does this have to happen?” It’s happening because God is breaking our attachment to having the things in this world be our fulfillment. As long as we want the things of this world, we are not aligned with Spirit.

Outward events don’t matter

As we align ourselves more deeply with Spirit and, if you’ve accepted a guru, more deeply with the guru’s consciousness, we find that our happiness comes completely from inside; what happens in this world doesn’t matter at all. Then, not only do we live by the will of God, we also become instruments of God to help other people so that they, too, can be expanded and fulfilled in God’s plan.

Be grateful for what you have right now. Accept your responsibility for having drawn exactly these lessons, and thank God for everything that comes into your life.

Sister Gyanamata, Yogananda’s most advanced woman disciple, said that we make too much of how we feel about life’s challenges. How we feel has nothing to do with the life of the Spirit. Our joy comes by attuning our will with the will of God.

Excerpted from talks during Spiritual Renewal Week 1999.

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