Courage to Battle Indifference

“God doesn’t mind your faults, He only minds your indifference.”

–Paramhansa Yogananda

By Dharmadevi Romano
April 18, 2017

Have you ever been in a conversation with a friend or associate and found yourself talking in a way you didn’t like? When you find a fault within yourself, the tendency can be to think, “Well, that is just who I am, I can’t change my personality.”

Yoganandaji said, “You can change yourself in an instant.” He also taught to make every breath a new incarnation. He didn’t just mean we could change our bad habits. He was talking about changing our not-so-great personality traits as well.

It is our lack of courage to change, which keeps us bound to our bundle of self-definitions, or ego-identity. This lack of courage leads to pride, which shows up either as a superiority complex or inferiority complex. Pride leads to indifference and the inability (or unwillingness) to change.

How can we overcome this tendency toward pride and indifference? I was inspired this Easter by a song of Swami Kriyananda’s from his oratorio – Christ Lives! called, The Sorrow of Jesus.

“The sorrow of Jesus was not for himself. He grieved for God’s love, which eternally given, is spurned by God’s children lost in forests of pride.”

Jesus’ mission in this world was not to take away our sins through the crucifixion. Nor was his mission to show us how great he was. Rather, it was to show us how – not only to be great ourselves – but, in fact, how to perfect ourselves. One of Yogananda’s disciples complained to him about how difficult it was to overcome a flaw in his personality, “Well, you could do it – you’re a master.” Yogananda responded, “What do you think made me a master?”

We have to do the work! Mostly the work is being willing to change. It is a waste of time to chase after every fault we have with a stick – it is, like a friend related recently, the game of Whack-A-Mole. You find a fault and “whack” it and another fault pops up in its place.

What we need is light! Love God. Love everyone and everything as an expression of God. Before you know it, that love will conquer every last bit of fear in your heart and you will be able to “Meet everybody and every circumstance on the battlefield of life with the courage of a hero and the smile of a conqueror.”

Take inspiration from Jesus’ example of strength and courage in the face of such extreme persecution – to be nailed to a cross and exercise such perfect forgiveness – by praying, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Yogananda called that his greatest miracle. Practice this affirmation from Swami Kriyananda, day and night for the next week: “Strength and courage fill my body cells!”