Peaceful Protester


By Nayaswami Narayan Romano
May 15, 2018

Have you ever been part of a protest? I haven’t, but I did walk through one that I recall. Years ago when I was working in New York City, I went out to get some lunch to bring back to the office. Actually, I should call it “lunch” because I was so hypnotized at that time by NYC’s fast pace it was closer to stuffing my face at my desk while staring at a computer. I digress…

While walking down Lexington Ave in Midtown on my lunch break, I happened upon a protest of some sort. There was a man with a megaphone screaming with his fist in the air. I have no idea why he was protesting and to whom he was directing his outrage. He screamed with amplification that blared in my ears, “We want peace!!!” Ironically, after I walked through the protest, I came out feeling much less peaceful! The only thing I remember is the anger from that protester. (This is not to say sometimes righteous war and protests are not necessary. Even in battle, though we can be free in our hearts.)

What, then, is the secret to right action? When Phil Goldberg gave his talk as part of the Be the Change panel at Yogananda Fest, he referenced one of his favorite quotes of Krishna from the Bhagavad Gita which gives us the answer: “Established in yoga, perform action.”

What does it mean to be established in yoga? Jesus Christ’s council comes to mind when he said, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” First, we need to commune with and love God so much so that we radiate peace, harmony, and goodwill to others. Then our actions will be in attunement with the Divine. As Swami Sri Yukteswar says:

“God is harmony; the devotee who attunes himself will never perform any action amiss. His activities will be correctly and naturally timed to accord with astrological law. After deep prayer and meditation he is in touch with his divine consciousness; there is no greater power than that inward protection.”

For example, one time there was a family driving in a car together on a vacation. A husband, wife, children, and mother-in-law. They were fighting in the car, bickering with one another over trivial matters. Then they happened to stop at the same hotel where Swami Kriyananda was staying. Swami Kriyananda had just finished a long seclusion (a period of meditation, prayer, and silent time alone with God). And to their good fortune they shared a lunch table with him. Their conversation was minimal and mostly an exchange of pleasantries.

Amazingly, after this family left the hotel to continue their road trip, the father noticed they were no longer arguing and were peacefully holding silence together. He realized it was from their “chance” encounter with Kriyananda’s magnetism.

Isn’t our message heard so much more clearly when it comes from a place of inner peace?

First let’s protest to God: “Come to me! Give me Yourself, Your Peace, Love, and Joy that I may share You with all!” This protest to our Heavenly Father should be unrelenting until we feel His response!

Then when we are established in yoga, we can engage and “protest” much more effectively in the world. Our shouts will be silent emanations of harmony. Joy will be our gun. As Paramhansa Yogananda said in his beautiful pray demand:

“In the battle din of activity my silent war cry will be: ‘God, God, God!’”

Peaceful Protester,
Nayaswami Narayan



Comments 8

  1. Thank you dear Narayan.
    Your eloquence speaks to me again and again!

    This week marked the beginning of my new job as a nurse in an adolescent residential facility. These young souls struggle with substsance abuse issues. More than ever do I want to be a person of peace and harmony.

    Peace to you

  2. That was great. And, for me, a long time coming. I get hung up on “But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. — Matthew 5:39 KJV ” Even justified anger can be informed, modified, and given Divine expression. Isn’t that what you’re saying, Narayan?

    1. Post

      I think what you mean about “justified anger”, Paul, is standing up against evil. Absolutely, yes, we have to stand up and fight for truth. If China were to invade India, Yogananda said it would be right for India to defend herself. The question I was trying to raise is what is the most effective way for us to go to battle. We should be angry only with anger itself. Even a soldier who goes to battle and dies in righteous war can die without anger and have freedom in his heart.

      1. That is quite a lot to think about. Inner freedom, you say; for though it may be our duty to go into battle for a righteous cause and be killed, yet are we God’s children; and, undeniably, He bids us leave this physical plane behind eventually. And, knowing God is with us, even a circumstance such as that shall not evoke our anger or fear. Lord, make me that strong in Thy love, I pray. Be in this world, but not of this world, you’re saying, I do believe. Thank you for your response, Narayan.

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