TRAGIC FLOODS IN KERALA
Message from Swami Chidananda Giri
My heart and thoughts are very much with all those who are suffering because of the devastating floods and landslides in Kerala. The monastics in the ashrams of Yogoda Satsanga Society/Self-Realization Fellowship, as well as the members of our Worldwide Prayer Circle, join me in deeply praying for those souls who have left this earth, and for the survivors—many of whom have lost loved ones, or their homes and livelihoods. Our monastics and devotees stepped into action immediately, helping to organize relief efforts for those affected. In my own meditations, I daily lay at the feet of Divine Mother the needs of all who are hurting physically and emotionally, knowing that She enfolds them in Her infinitely compassionate heart and inspires Her other children to reach out with loving care and helping hands to those in need.
If a catastrophe comes into one’s life, or the lives of others, it is natural to feel sadness and grief, and to ask, “Why?” Tragedies such as this one are part of the continuous battle between darkness and light in the realm of maya—but each of us can discover within ourselves the power to rise above them. In such circumstances it is vital that we not give in to fear or despair, but rather turn resolutely to the Source of all wisdom, all strength and love—to the Changeless One who is our haven of safety, and who is guiding our soul in every step of our journey back to Him. His omnipresent consciousness sees farther than we can, and if you cling to Him with trust, as a little child holds to its parent’s hand, He will sustain you. As you open your heart to His healing vibration of peace, solace, and renewed hope, He will give you courage to keep on – even when beset with dire conditions. In so doing you will discover resources within your soul that you did not know you possessed, for you are God’s free-born child, capable of facing any challenge of life; and by your example, you can encourage others as well.
When facing devastating circumstances, it is easy to see only darkness, but even then the power of God is at work. In Kerala, there have been many acts of kindness and selflessness. For those who receive that help and those who are instrumental in giving it—either materially or spiritually through meditation and prayer—such acts are a beacon light of God’s love that pierces the darkness and illumines the way forward. Never underestimate the part that your individual acts of caring—and your efforts to live in attunement with God—play in the spreading of His light. May your lives, and Guruji’s beloved homeland, be bathed in that all-embracing divine effulgence, now and always.
God and Guru’s blessings and love surround you always,
Swami Chidananda Giri