Individual Efforts

“The fruits of ones spiritual awakening are a blessing not only on ones own life, but on the world at large. ‘One soweth and another reapeth’, a reference to mass karma. Every person sows good or bad actions in the soil of his life, and not only does he himself reap the karmic harvest of those actions, but he make others reap them as well. If a person writes a degrading novel, all who read it reap the evil effects of the authors thoughts. The law of cause and effect operates in even subtler ways as well. The actions of each individual leave electromagnetic etchings in his brain, influencing his future actions; and they also leave vibrational traces in the ether, which register in and influence the minds of others.

In Mysore I visited a sandalwood factory; each piece of shaving of sandalwood contributes to the atmosphere of the whole place, and anyone who enters enjoys the wonderful fragrance. Similarly, when I come to our Self-Realisation Fellowship temples, there are so many good souls earnestly seeking God that I feel the spiritual vibration emanating from their collective goodness.

The overall quality and character of any community, any civilisation, is produced by mass karma, the accumulated effects of actions left in the ether by the populace in general. Each individual is responsible for contributing to the mass karma, which in turn influences every individual.

The person who keeps himself cleansed of all wrong vibrations produces a powerful uplifting effect on his contemporaries. One moon gives more luster than all the stars; so a mooned soul- one who purely reflects the light of God- can influence the masses much more than the masses influence each other. Thus, individual efforts can be even more important than mass karma. one who in every way tries to uplift himself, harmonising body, mind and soul with the Divine, creates positive karma not only in his own life, but in his family, neighbourhood, country and world. Hence it is not justified to say, ‘Thousands of people are misbehaving, so what does it matter if I am, too?’ No! The goodness of one soul may effectively neutralise the mass karma of millions.

Such was the accomplishment of Mahatma Gandhi: he brought freedom to 400 million people by his spiritual influence. He was scoffed at and spent many years in prison, but he still went on. Ultimately, his spirit of righteousness triumphed, and he became instrumental in freeing India by peaceful means. His life stands as a monumental example of the practical application of Jesus Christ’s doctrines. Because ones individual sowed goodness, millions reaped that goodness and freedom.

Each drop of water contributes to the existence of the ocean. So even if each ones life seems no more than a droplet in the sea of humanity, that life can have a significant influence. One who makes himself god-like automatically uplifts countless others on the divine path. One who makes himself evil demotes others from the spiritual plane by a negative effect on their potential weakness. He who has reformed himself has reformed thousands; for what one sows in the ether, by the vibrations of his thoughts and character, others will surely reap.”

~ Paramhansa Yogananda.

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2 Comments

Filed under Gurdjieff, positivity, The Mind, Words, Yogananda

2 responses to “Individual Efforts

  1. It seems to me that true spiritual progress can not be selfish – the Master puts this clearly: when one is evolving all around him are evolving too, from the fruits of his efforts. The doctrine of the Archeus (ether as Yogananda puts it) in occult terms.

    The reference to Gandi struck me too. Last night I had the chance to listen to the Dalai Lama’s representative, on his job and the difficulties of those in Tibet.

    The message? It was simple: with so much armed and violent conflict at present, the world collectively cannot afford the price of failure of 53 years of non-violent protest. Atrocity breeds atrocity. Let us and our governments remember Gandhi’s victory and not be swayed by material inducements of international commerce. Otherwise we will all be responsible if the struggle turns violent.

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