In many of his past lives Paramhansa Yogananda had been a great warrior and spiritual leader of humanity. He told his disciples that he had been William the Conqueror, who stormed the beach at Hastings, England, in 1066 to establish one of the oldest continuous governments in history.
In another former life, he indicated, he was King Ferdinand III of Spain, who unified the country and drove out the invading Moors, who were a threat to Spain’s Christian roots. Known for his deep piety and faith in God, Ferdinand was canonized by the Catholic Church in 1671.
Yoganandaji also said he had been the great warrior-prince Arjuna, whose battle against an evil leader and his vast armies is recounted in the Bhagavad Gita. This great scripture is an allegory of the soul’s battle against, and ultimate victory over, the darkening pull of materialism that has usurped the kingdom of our consciousness. In Master’s explanation of the Gita he says that Arjuna is “devotee everyman,” and his battle is one that each of us must fight to achieve soul freedom.
In his incarnation in the twentieth century as Paramhansa Yogananda, Master was once again a courageous warrior—this time confronting the forces of spiritual indifference and materialism rampant in the West. Arriving on the shores of America in 1920, he soon began his “spiritual campaigns,” traveling tirelessly back and forth across the country lecturing, healing, and transforming untold thousands with the shining power of his soul’s magnetism.
One of my favorite poems of Master’s is called “My Soul Is Marching On.” In the introduction he writes, “Never be discouraged by this motion picture of life. Salvation is for all. Just remember that no matter what happens to you, still your soul is marching on. No matter where you go, your wandering footsteps will lead you back to God. There is no other way to go.”
As this year, with all of its difficulties, draws to a close, and we face the uncertain prospects of 2022, take heart by following in the footsteps of our great warrior-guru. Draw from his courage, strength, and deep faith and surrender to God.
Here are some ways to face whatever may lie ahead:
Are you worried and anxious about the future? Overcome the assaults of worry with calmness. Visualize yourself fighting by Yogananda’s side, infused with his strength and courage—and with the certainty that nothing and no one can defeat you. Create your own affirmation to use when “worries howl at you.”
Do you find yourself judging or condemning others whose opinions differ from your own? See yourself standing by Master’s side as he reaches out to help each person as his very own. See no one as a stranger, but each and every one as your brother or sister. Treat them with acceptance and respect.
Are you troubled by political conditions and trends in the world? Look into Master’s eyes and see the knowledge that God—not man—is ultimately in charge, and that His Divine Plan rooted in love will prevail in the end. Carry this understanding in your heart always.
I’ll close with the last verses of Master’s powerful poem:
The flowers bloomed, then hid in gloom,
The bounty of the trees did cease;
Colossal men have come and gone,
But still my soul is marching on!
The aeons one by one are flying,
My arrows one by one are gone;
Dimly, slowly, life is fading,
But still my soul is marching on!
Darkness, death, and failures vied;
To block my path they fiercely tried.
My fight with jealous Nature’s strong,
But still my soul is marching on!
Your comrade-in-arms in the forces of light,
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Dear Devi! Thank you for the inspiring words of the great spiritual master Yogananda, because these messages are essential for victory, happiness and enthusiasm in the next 2022 with the continuation of the Covid Pandemic challenge around the world. Happy New Year 2022. and many greetings from Croatia.
Thanks once again
Thank you dear Devi, for your inspiring words and thoughts. I wish you blessings and a Happy 2022!
Aum. What I need going forth with Master by my side! Thank you warrior Deviji. Aum
To begin my Thursday evening sadhana, I had a heartfelt conversation with the five pictures above my altar. “Becoming a yogi is not easy,” I told them. “I can see now that this is warfare, hand-to-hand combat with my ego.” Of course, I asked for Master’s help with the battle that is ahead. Then I opened my email, and here was Master’s reply to me. Week after week I receive a special message from Him, and always exactly what I need to hear. Miracles happen every day, but always on Friday.
I am grateful beyond words for your wisdom and the deeply loving way you share it with all of us.
You, the Mother of us all.
Just what my heart & soul needed to hear today.
Thank you for the wise words and for highlighting steps we can do to win the battle.
Thank you for sharing Yogananda’s words of courage to keep in tune and step forward no matter the uncertainties.
We are so very blessed to have Yogananda and the Masters of this path and your leadership to keep us growing and glowing. 😊🌟🙏🏼🕉🎶🎉
Look at any of his pictures and you can feel something.
Divine Gratitude dear ‘comrade of arms’. My heart is filled with Gratitude for this life and for all the friends and family that God and Guru have provided, you and Jyotish included. I am finding my heart more open as my prayers for such are being answered. Reminding me and all our Spiritual Family of the priceless gifts we have, of being on this path and fighting, loving and playing with God, Guru and each other, fills me with the greatest joy. In deep appreciation and Divine Friendship, Namaste
Thank you very much for writing such magnificent message to this blog and we feel blessed and get really inspired to see your writings.
When we find no way, no path in our life, the Almighty Himself appears to show us the actual path in our life. But we have to surrender our desires and keep faith on Him.
Thank you very much Mataji,
With best regards,
Kolkata, West Bengal
I often here chanting after I read your blog. “ Nothing on earth can hold me
Rise up my soul in freedom.
Thank you, Devi. Happy New Year!
A soul-stirring touch of Light, Devi! Thank you much 🙏💜
Joyful blessings in the New Year to one and all 🌟
Thank you so much for these inspiring thoughts about Yogananda and for us going forward in the new year. The lovely poem I’d never seen says it all…..our souls are marching on – no matter what happens.
In the spirit of Yogananda’s upcoming birthday celebration January 5th, below is a link to a talk by Swami Kriyananda from Treasures Along the Path to add to your inspiration in this blog!
Paramhansa Yogananda: Incarnation of Divine Love given on June 28, 1984.
Cut and paste this link into a browser.
Dear Nayaswami Devi Ji,
Thank you for this inspiring blog. Very powerful message.
One that to be remembered and practiced always.
And thank you for sharing the poem. Wonderful!