A room may be in darkness for thousands of years, but if a light is brought into it, in that very instant the darkness vanishes. So is it with sin. You cannot drive sin out of the mind any more than you can beat darkness out of a room with a stick. By concentration on delusion, indeed, you may only increase its hold on your mind. Bring in the light of God, however, through deep meditation and devotion, and the darkness will vanish as though it had never been.

If one thinks of sin as breaking God’s commandments, the thought then arises of God’s anger and stern judgment. But the Lord is our very own! We are His children. Why should He judge us? It is we, rather, who judge ourselves when we imagine that anything we do is beyond forgiveness. But if we understand sin as error, we realize that our errors can be rectified.

Never be afraid of God. Tell Him the things you’ve done wrong. Remind Him that you are His child. That is much better than whining, “Lord, I am a sinner! I am a sinner!” You are made in His image. Pray, then, Well, Lord, I have made mistakes, but once I know You, there can be no more temptation for me.”

Give to God not only the good that you do, but also the bad. I do not mean that you should deliberately do things that are wrong. But when you cannot help yourself, because of habits that are too strong, tell your mind that God is performing those actions through you.

It is He, after all, who has dreamed your existence. You have merely hypnotized yourself with the thought of your weaknesses. If you make the Lord responsible for them, it will help you to break the false hold they have on your imagination. You’ll find it easier, then, to recognize in yourself the perfect image of God.

Never count your faults. Just see that your love for God is deeply sincere. For God doesn’t mind your imperfections: He minds your indifference.

Excerpted from The Essence of Self-Realization, by Paramhansa Yogananda, recorded and compiled by Kriyananda.

The Essence of Clarity

Sharing the Teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda