We arrived in Delhi, India, a few days ago and have been simultaneously getting over jetlag, settling into a new apartment, and giving energy to an exciting project that Ananda is developing here. In case you haven’t heard, a dynamic team is working to create the Yogananda Institute, a learning hub open to people on all levels of spiritual interest to share the Master’s wisdom, techniques, and tools for daily life.
Eventually this Institute will become a Yoga University, where we’ll offer courses, not only on the yogic sciences, but also on their application in daily life. For now, we are developing a three-day signature course, called “Living the Gita,” based on Master’s explanation of the deeper meaning and symbolism of the Bhagavad Gita.
The excitement and energy surrounding this project are electric. After a meeting in which we discussed ideas for the Institute’s future growth, I began to feel its potential and realized its scope was greater than anything we’ve done before.
A shadow of doubt began to creep into my mind: “Can we really do this? Is it beyond our capabilities?” Then I looked up at a photo of Master on the wall opposite me and felt a calm reassurance flowing from his eyes. I understood that over and above all the efforts that we are exerting to create the Yogananda Institute, it is divine grace and joy that will carry it forward and bring it to fruition.
Over the years, we’ve been part of many new projects as Ananda has expanded globally. Some of these undertakings have succeeded and flourished, while others have not. In thinking about the factors that led to success or failure, an underlying principle began to emerge.
Yoganandaji expressed it perfectly: “In all things I let God guide me, and I can only do what He asks. If I try to force anything from the Divine, it would not work through me.”
Swami Kriyananda took it one step further: “Human effort is necessary, but that effort must be in cooperation with God’s will. Such effort is indeed necessary, as a means of removing any and every ego-created obstacle to the sunlight of God’s grace. Beyond that point, however, self-effort will only strengthen the ego.”
And my dear friend, Ofelia Sanchez, whom we wrote about in an earlier blog, put it this way: “When you do anything, do it with this thought: ‘Con Dios, por Dios, y para Dios’” (which means “With God, for God, and through the grace of God”).
Whatever your goals in life, remember first to align your will with God’s will. Then:
1) Feel He is acting through you.
2) Draw on His grace to infuse and sustain your efforts.
3) Whether you succeed or not, offer everything back to Him.
This world is a school. Through all of life’s classes, the most important lesson is to realize that God is both the Doer and the Doing. We must do our part, but His is the life that flows through us and helps us to achieve our goals.
May all your plans and those for the Yogananda Institute be blessed with His grace.
Your friend in God,