Society will Evolve As More and More Live A Spiritual Life: Swami Chidananda Giri

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Society will Evolve As More and More Live A Spiritual Life: Swami Chidananda Giri

Sunday, 04 June 2023 | PNS

Society will Evolve As More and More Live A Spiritual Life: Swami Chidananda Giri

Swami Chidananda Giri, president and spiritual head of Yogoda Satsanga Society of India/Self-Realization Fellowship (YSS/SRF), recently visited India and gave inspirational talks on the Kriya Yoga teachings of Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda (author of the Autobiography of a Yogi and founder-Guru of YSS/SRF). During his stay in India, Swami Chidanandaji was interviewed on matters of import affecting different strata of society and the world. Here are some excerpts:

Q: “The simplest way to know God is the way of love,” says Yoganandaji. How is the path of meditation “the way of love?” Can yoga lead us to the experience of and expression of this “unconditional” love?

Swami Chidanandaji: “Yes! Yes! and Yes! Meditation makes us ultimately of all beings, because we feel the presence of God in ourselves, and then as that consciousness expands, we also become aware, first on a subconscious or subtle level and later on a more overt and conscious level, of that presence of God in other people. God is the most lovable being in the universe. If only everybody knew what God was… God is beauty, and joy, and happiness, and service-fullness, and all of those wonderful qualities that automatically command our respect and affection. So, the key to experiencing that love in oneself is to go to the source of love as Daya Mataji said over and over again. That was her whole life theme.  said, “I wanted love, I wanted to experience the love that was not flawed by human imperfections.” She said, “I made up my mind early on that I was going to go to God to find that love.” And how does one go to God? By meditation! Her whole book, Only Love, is about this. 

Q: Swamiji, how can we counter sectarian violence and hatred?

Swami Chidanandaji: “Well, number one is to model and exemplify the kind of universality and understanding, and respect for other religious traditions that we find in our Guru’s (Yoganandaji’s) traditions and in our Guru’s teachings. 

“It is a little bit of an ambitious project for individual devotees to feel that they're going to all of a sudden stop sectarian violence on their own. This is an evolutionary thing. But each of us can contribute to that by – number one, modeling the type of respect and understanding and sharing with as many people as possible the different writings or books of our Guru that really focus on the underlying commonality among religions.  For example, Guruji’s book: Science of Religion, certain chapters in Man’s Eternal Quest or other books like that so that more and more of these ideas filter out into society. And then, of course, when one finds himself or herself in a situation where somebody is speaking in a degrading or derogatory way about followers of another path, and if there is an opportunity to respectfully and gently pushback, then just say that there’s enough hate in this world, and if it is really going to help to add even more to it. It is not like we have to become correctors and or disciplinarians of other people, but you can push back when somebody is behaving in that way around you. But most of all, the answer to that question is really a matter of more and more devotees living the life and living the universal outlook that we learn in the YSS Lessons. And you know, over time there'll be an evolutionary change in society.  But I wouldn't encourage individual devotees to feel like they have to go out and directly confront sectarian violence, unless they have the means to do. Further info.:

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