The Right Attitude
By Paramahansa Yogananda
There are two kinds of
seekers: those who are like the baby monkey and those who are like
the kitten. The baby monkey clings to the mother; but when she
jumps, it may fall off. The little kitten s carried about by the
mother cat, content wherever she places it. The kitten has complete
trust in its mother. I am more like that; I give all responsibility
to the Divine Mother. But to maintain that attitude takes great
will. Under all circumstances—health or sickness, riches or poverty,
sunshine or gray clouds—your feeling must remain unruffled. Even
when you are in the coal bin of suffering you don’t wonder why the
Mother placed you there. You have faith that She knows best.
Sometimes and apparent disaster turns into a blessing for you.
When the Golden Lotus
Temple went,* I at first thought it was a terrible catastrophe; but
it turned out otherwise, because it made me go on to found other
temples and ashram centers.
Gloom is but the shade
of Divine Mother’s hand outstretched caressingly. Don’t forget that.
Sometimes, when the Mother is going to caress you, a shadow is
caused by her Hand before it touches you. So when trouble comes,
don’t think that She is punishing you; Her hand overshadowing you
holds some blessing as it reaches out to bring you nearer to Her.
Suffering is a good
teacher to those who are quick and willing to learn from it. But it
becomes a tyrant to those who resist and resent. Suffering can teach
us almost everything. Its lessons urge us to develop discrimination,
self-control, non-attachment, morality, and transcendent spiritual
consciousness. For example, a stomachache tells us not to eat too
much and to watch what we eat. The pain from loss of possessions or
loved ones reminds us of the temporal nature of all things in this
world of delusion. The consequences of wrong actions impel us to
exercise discrimination. Why not learn through wisdom? Then you
won’t subject yourself to unnecessary painful discipline from the
hard taskmaster of suffering.
* The first Self-Realization Fellowship Temple, dedicated in 1938 on
the grounds of the SRF Hermitage in Encinitas, was on a bluff
overlooking the Pacific Ocean. This temple was lost to the gradual
erosion of the shoreline; it was later replaced by another SRF
temple in Encinitas.