The Peace of God
Excerpts from works of Paramahansa Yogananda
The Peace of God, which Passeth all Understanding
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
The message of the "heavenly host" to the shepherds in the countryside of Bethlehem was "on earth peace, good will toward men."
Peace in the world starts with peace in individual hearts.
"The peace of God, which passeth all understanding" [Philippians 4:7] is the peace Jesus came to bring to man; it is the only sure foundation for world amity. It is found in the interiorized state of one's God-communion in meditation. Then, like an ever full reservoir, it pours out freely to one's family, friends, community, nation, and the world. If everyone lived the ideals exemplified in the life of Jesus, having made those qualities a part of their own selves through meditation, a millennium of peace and brotherhood would come on earth.
A person who is imbued with God's peace can feel naught but goodwill toward all. The crib of ordinary consciousness is very small, filled to capacity with self-love. The cradle of goodwill of Christ-love holds the Infinite Consciousness that includes all beings, all nations, all races and faiths as one. (sc)
Contact with God is evidenced in a holy life. The ego is diminished and replaced with an ever-increasing love for God and desire to follow His will alone. A truly holy person touches one's whole being with a "peace which passeth all understanding"* and radiates to all as kindness and goodwill. God-contact in deep meditation opens the channel of soul intuition and speaks through the inner guiding voice of conscience. (sc)
14. Peace (shanti) is a divine quality. A true yogi, one united to "the peace of God, which passeth all understanding," is like a lovely rose, spreading around him the fragrance of tranquility and harmony.
Everything in the phenomenal world displays activity and changefulness, but tranquility is the nature of God. Man as a soul has within himself that same nature of calmness. When in his consciousness he can level and still the three mental states of upheaval—the waves of sorrow and gladness and the dips of indifference between them—he perceives within himself the placid ocean of spiritual soul-calmness expanding into the boundless sea of tranquility in Spirit. (bg)
Why do you give up your divine nature? Why do you put on all kinds of moods and emotions, which distort the expression of what you really are? Practice evenminded calmness all the time. Become a king, an absolute monarch, of your own mental realm of calmness. In calmness, the mind is wholly free of emotional agitations. Unless the mind is calm, God will be obscured. So let nothing disturb your peaceable kingdom of calmness. Night and day carry with you the joy of "the peace of God, which passeth all understanding."* (Philippians 4:7)
Moods are your greatest enemy. Don't indulge in them; destroy them, for they are a formidable stumbling block in the path of your progress. With the relentless might of watchfulness guard yourself against moods. No matter what trials come, I never permit moods to enter my consciousness. And I prefer not to mix with anyone who is moody. I won't give heed to their moods, because they are very contagious. (jt)