A friend of mine recently told me about a big turning point in her life. She’d been going through a period of discouragement over some deep-seated self-critical attitudes.
Finally she ended up crying for days, feeling that she was hopeless, and helpless to change. Then the phone rang. Forcing herself to answer, my friend heard the voice of an acquaintance who’d never called her before. The caller simply said, “You have to know that you can change.”
It was as though God were speaking to her through this casual friend. Those few words gave her both hope and the power to work through her inner problem. Eventually she was able to change and be free of the self-defeating attitudes.
Paramhansa Yogananda said, “Malignant seeds of past karma can be roasted and destroyed only by the fire of persistent effort. Most people give up hope just when the balance of good karma is slowly stooping toward them to give its fruit, and thus they miss their reward.”
We are now in the Easter season, a symbol of hope and of transformation in the face of difficulties. The miracle of Christ’s resurrection showed the potential that each of us has: to rise above the frailties of our physical bodies, and above our negative thoughts and habits. We all have the power to realize our true soul nature, which is an eternal spark of God.
The words of Krishna to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita echo this truth: “This Self is not born, nor does it perish. Self-existent, it continues its existence forever. It is birthless, eternal, changeless, and ever the same. The Self is not slain when the body dies. . . .
“Weapons cannot cut the soul; fire cannot burn it; water cannot drown it; wind cannot wither it away! The soul is never touched; it is immutable, all-pervading, calm, unshakable; its existence is eternal.”
In Master’s unique explanation of the Gita, he tells us that all the characters in this epic battle symbolize aspects of our own self. They are our own positive and negative attitudes and habits: our “mental citizens.” Drona, one of the characters in the enemy army, represents the power of entrenched habit. He is eventually defeated by Arjuna, representing the power of self-control.
Remember, Easter is symbolic of our enduring power to transcend all limitations. In this time of social disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, use outer circumstances to your advantage. Since we are being forced to alter our usual habit patterns, it’s an opportunity to take stock of what we want to leave behind; of who we want to become after this crisis is over. And then to put out the energy to make it happen.
This can be a season of change, of inner transformation, and potentially of great blessings. As Master said, “The more you improve yourself, the more you will elevate others around you. The self-improving person is an increasingly happy one.”
Wishing you the joy of inner change,
P.S. If you want to learn more about how to bring about inner change, please join Jyotish and me for a live two-part webinar called “Creating and Destroying Habits at Will.” We’ll be offering it on April 17 and 24 from 6:00–7:30 p.m. Pacific time through Online with Ananda.