“Make your heart an altar of Christ-love…so that you may love all people, seeing in their body-temples the dwelling place of omnipresent Christ.“
Joyous Christmas greetings and goodwill of the holiday season from the ashrams of Paramahansa Yogananda! May your heart be filled with the celestial joy and peace felt by receptive souls at this auspicious time when so many around the world celebrate the birth of the beloved Lord Jesus.
In the incarnation of Jesus the infinitude and magnificence of God’s universe-sustaining consciousness — Kutastha Chaitanya — was fully manifest; yet perhaps what touches us most personally is the way he lived and moved among the populace of his time in humility and boundless compassion for every soul. He looked upon all persons as God’s children, with the empathy and understanding of one who has shared our human experience and knows our struggles. In sending His God-realized souls to earth, God asks us to follow their example of living the heart-enlightening universal precepts, so that we too can realize in our souls and express in Christlike actions the all-loving, all-giving divine consciousness.
Our gurudeva, Paramahansaji, emphasized that spiritually auspicious occasions are a call to our own soul’s awakening — a favourable opportunity for a new birth of the latent power of God’s universal love. That transforms our own lives and thereby blesses all those with whom we come in contact.
“Arise from dreams of littleness,” Guruji urged us, “to the realization of the vastness within you.” To that end he invited us all to celebrate the real Christmas with a day set aside for soul-expanding devotional meditation on God and His universal Kutastha Chaitanya omnipresent in every atom of being.
Our consciousness sheds its selfish boundaries proportionately as we reach out in empathetic support of others, whether materially or by giving gifts of our time, attention, and caring. With every effort we make to hold kindness in our hearts even toward those with whom we have had difficulties, to harmonize and heal with the patience of understanding and the sweetness of forgiveness, we draw upon the all-embracing consciousness that we honour in Jesus during this holy season. Recognizing as he did the divine kinship of all humanity as souls, free of the constraints of social, national, and religious boundaries, is the ultimate answer to so many of the challenges of our times.
In communion with God’s omnipresence in meditation, we experience in the deepest way the Heavenly Father that Jesus knew. The heart’s feeling bursts its boundaries and feels for all as its very own; you cannot bear to exclude anyone from that love. May that expanded consciousness be the divine gift you receive this Christmas, to carry with you into the new year. Gurudeva told us, “If everyone lived the ideals exemplified in the life of Jesus, having made those qualities a part of their own selves through meditation, a millennium of peace and brotherhood would come on earth.”
Wishing you and your dear ones all joy, peace, and blessings,
Sri Sri Mrinalini Mata
Sanghamata and President, Yogoda Satsanga Society of India/Self-Realization Fellowship
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