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Aug 31, 2020, 10:46 IST

Our greatest adventure is self-awakening

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Paramhansa Yogananda wrote in his ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’ that no insurmountable barrier exists between the human and divine states “save in man’s spiritual un-adventurousness”. What a surprising statement! One might expect that he’d have said lack of devotion, reverence, or knowledge of the scriptures. But Yogananda was a master of yoga who brought us revolutionary teachings on how to use energy and willpower to achieve our highest potential.

Since 1920, when he arrived in the US and his mission began, his teachings have spread globally, uplifting the lives of millions. These four tips could help us become spiritual adventurers:

Seek your highest potential: People often want to accomplish something in life, but lack the commitment it takes to achieve it. This is where willpower and concentration come into play. Yogananda defined willpower as “desire plus energy directed towards fulfilment”. Just as a mountain climber must decide which peak he wants to reach, choose an ascent path, and then put out the energy to attain his goal, we need to do the same with our life goals.


Decide what you really want to do, or more important, to become in this life, and plot a course to get there.

Leave behind whatever holds you back: Unnecessary baggage impedes our forward momentum, so look at what habits and attitudes are holding you back: procrastination, perhaps, or being irresponsible. Be honest with yourself. It takes courage to say, “There are parts of me that I need to change or leave behind.” Then direct that same energy that had been locked up in self-limiting patterns into new strategies for moving you forward. You’ll be surprised at how negative habits that you thought were integral parts of yourself can simply fade away.

Accept that personal change isn’t easy: Don’t be afraid to put out however much energy it takes to achieve your goals of self-transformation. I was never much of an athlete, but I enjoyed being outside and jogging with friends. One day a running buddy said to me, “Let’s try to run a marathon.” So, we started training for many hours a week, and after four months of sore muscles and blisters, we were able to complete the race. Though that was 30 years ago, I’ve carried that victory with me ever since, and it’s given me the courage and motivation to accomplish many other goals.

Experiment with the process of inner change: Yogananda told his followers to see for themselves if his teachings were improving their life. Try meditating and see if your peace of mind, happiness and ability to deal with challenges are strengthened. Look at your diet and exercise patterns, make? improvements, and see if your levels of health and energy increase. Analyse your daily life: Are you honest and fair? Are you selfish or are you considerate of others? Try changing negative behaviour patterns, and observe the quality of your life.

You don’t need to wait to get benefits till you reach the summit – every step along the way will open up greater vistas of inner joy, clarity of mind and deeper capacity to love. Wishing you a great climb!

Change: Transformation Awaits, two-day interactive online event, over 30 different sessions, ancient teachings made modern by Mahavatar Babaji and Paramhansa Yogananda. September 5, 6. Contact: change@anandaindia.org, 93244 62036.

DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author's own.

 

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