Asha Praver's Monthly Letter
March 2005

Dear Friends,Asha Praver photo

In a talk he gave in 1937, Master drew connections between different world events that most people thought were unrelated. As it happened, he was speaking of negative things, like epidemics and wars. But the underlying point is: Everything is interconnected.

His examples, though negative, were fascinating. During the last world war—World War One at the time he was speaking —he said the negative vibrations were so strong that in the areas where there wasn’t war, “influenza appeared.”

The suffering of people in the Spanish Civil War he said—a current event at the time he gave the talk—was causing “floods in America, storms in England and Portugal, and earthquakes in India.”

In the same way that these negative vibrations create havoc around the globe, so positive thoughts create a circle of light that mitigates the negativity. Master said when he chanted AUM, instantly that vibration went all around the world. And everyone in tune with it, he said, could receive it.

The uplifting vibrations of a Master endure forever. “To those who think me near,” Master said, “I will be near.” Even the apparently massive energy of an earthquake, or a world war, is limited. It is nothing compared to the infinite power of a Master. That’s the power that is available to us. As the Bible says, “To all who received Him, to them gave He the power to become the Sons of God.” That’s the divine promise.

The Masters come to show us that no matter what the outward conditions of our lives, the power of God’s love is greater.

One of the lessons for all of us right now is to break the habit of centuries that says “Spiritual growth comes only through suffering.”

Swamiji wrote The Festival of Light so that every week we would hear the same truths repeated. Gradually these truths make their way deeper and deeper into our subconscious, replacing the wrong ideas that have misguided us for lifetimes.

One of the most important is about suffering. “Whereas in the past, suffering and sorrow was the coin of man’s redemption, for us now that payment has been exchanged for calm acceptance and joy.” Every phrase of this statement can be discussed at length. In fact, in the classes I gave on The Festival of Light, we spent a long time on the single word, “redemption.” (Rather than repeating that here, I’ll refer you to the recording of those classes available at the Sangha.)

Now I’d like to focus on the words, “calm acceptance and joy” A woman once was lamenting to Swamiji about the seemingly unending difficulties she faced in her life. “I thought when I became a disciple,” she said, “life would get easier.”

“Your life may still be difficult,” Swamiji said, “but as a devotee at least you know why it is happening. Tests have only one purpose: to bring you closer to God.”

In one of his earliest books, Yours—the Universe! Swamiji said, “It is not that the things of the world are evil or wrong. It is just that they express so little of the absolute joy of God. The wrongness comes if we devote ourselves only to worldly pursuits. Then we end up with so little of that absolute joy.” Master defined suffering as the “absence of true joy.”

In The Festival of Light, Swamiji gives us a method for dealing with suffering. It is calm acceptance. What keeps us from calm acceptance is the likes and dislikes of the heart. We have so many preferences which we try to impose on reality. Reality, however, doesn’t care whether we like it or not. What is, simply is.

Swamiji said that we often talk about calming the mind, but in fact, restlessness originates in the heart. The secret of meditation is a calm heart. Reason follows feeling, Master said. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Purity means an absence of likes and dislikes. A calm acceptance of what is. Once we accept things as they are, joy naturally follows.

Many blessings,
Asha (& David)