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Non-Violence, the Eclipse, Dwapara Yuga & You

For many reasons, Florence, Italy has been viewed as holding a vortex of energy that helped usher in the Ascending Dwapara Yuga.  We’ll examine some of these manifestations during classes prior to this September’s Italy tour, which is open to all ages, including families.  Includes free classes on the Yuga Cycles of Time, travel with purpose, an Italian opera, visit to the saints, a one-day art retreat, time at Europe’s foremost yoga meditation retreat, lots of walking and sight-seeing in Italy’s beautiful cities, visits to the highlights of Umbria and Tuscany, optional daily led-meditation and the heart-opening experience of traveling together with like-minded people for spiritual upliftment. Itinerary | Sign up


With so many wars and violence swirling around this planet, what are we to do?

I think about this every morning and evening when I finish my meditation.  Who do I pray for now?  Which country needs the most prayers?  And on and on….

On April 8th, there will be a major eclipse. Right now, our planet is encountering the uneasy transition from Kali Yuga (age of Darkness) to full-on Dwapara Yuga (age of Energy).  

From Darkness to Increasing Light Energy

To give you an example, Christ appeared on earth during the throes of Kali Yuga, approximately 2,000 years ago, during the lowest consciousness on the planet.  It was a time of intense darkness.  There were wars, fighting, and, yes, things were much worse than they are now.

Avatars like Christ appear on earth when they are most needed—to bring spirituality back into balance, bring more light into the world, give people hope, and also to remind us who we really are—children of God.

Yogananda with Gandhi

Yogananda with Gandhi in Warda in 1935, during one of Gandhi’s periods of silence. The Mahatma had given a note for Yogananda to read.  Later, Gandhi asked Yogananda to initiate him into Kriya Yoga, which Yogananda did. 

Like Christ, Yogananda (1893-1952) was an avatar as well.  His mission was to bring the ancient science of Kriya Yoga meditation to the west.  With Kriya, Yogananda would help instill in humans a way to create a portable paradise of happiness within.  When practiced deeply Kriya dissolves breath into mind, mind into intuition and intuition into the joyous perception of the soul, and the soul into the cosmic bliss of Spirit.

We Can Still Learn from Gandhi

Gandhi is one saint who played a vital role in helping to further the consciousness of this planet, in Dwapara Yuga. 

pronom to gandhi

An Ananda College student offers a “pronam” to Mahatma Gandhi in 2008 at the Gandhi Smriti, a museum dedicated to the “father of India” in New Delhi, India.  This is the location where Gandhi spent the last 144 days of his life, and where he was assassinated on January 30, 1948.

Gandhi was a master of non-violence.  His practice of the word Ahimsa went beyond non-violence in physical actions, verbal actions, even one’s own internal thoughts.   His unyielding dedication to compassion applied to everyone, and every living thing.

He came from a family of Jains, known for their practice of ahimsa.  The Jain diet is anchored in the principles of non-violence.  They eat a plant-based diet of vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.  

When visiting a Jain Temple in South India with a group, the priest told us that Jains also abstain from root vegetables, onions, and garlic.  In the 76 years since Gandhi was assassinated, what have we learned about non-violence in our own lives?  As a vegetarian, I myself have found it difficult to remove root vegetables from my diet.  

student with cow in india

Ananda College student encountering a young cow, roaming the streets of India like a pet.

Said Gandhi: “Why the ancient rishis selected the cow for apotheosis is obvious to me. The cow in India was the best comparison; she was the giver of plenty.  The cow is a poem of pity; one reads pity in the gentle animal.  She is the second mother to millions of mankind.  Protection of the cow means protection of the whole dumb creation of God. The appeal to the lower order of creation is all the more forceful because it is speechless.”

Documentaries exist on the intense cruelty done to cows and other animals, in the name of upholding a societal ill that reaches beyond nutrition.  Animals, especially cows, are higher beings.  The cow shows intense fear and can be heard bellowing for their life at their time of slaughter.  This fear goes into the animal’s blood, and thus into those who consume it.  If we cannot restrain from eating meat because of habit, at least eat fish or fowl, which Yogananda said are of lower consciousness.  Better yet, try a plant-based diet.  

Habits, Yogananda encouraged, can be changed in a day.

All Children of God

Since Dwapara Yuga is the age of energy, our thoughts and actions go a long way in helping to instill the consciousness of non-violence in this planet. 

Limiting exposure to watching news or violent movies will bring us closer to non-violence.  

A friend of mine, a woman who founded a very progressive school, shared with me her approach to keeping her mind clear of negativity, one of the things that can lower our consciousness.  Whenever she reads a news headline about the actions or sayings of a negative or inflammatory person, she quickly deletes the article and says to herself, “Child of God”. 

Swami Kriyananda, founder of Ananda

Swami Kriyananda, founder of Ananda, meditating beside a photo of his guru, Yogananda.

Aren’t we all children of God?  

Swami Kriyananda had a very interesting reaction to the extreme violence toward America that occurred on September 11, 2001 when passenger airlines were used by terrorists to attack New York City. This is what he said in his book, In Divine Friendship: “No scripture councils spinelessness. It is sufficient not to be drawn into hating others. There is no need to love those terrorists.  It is enough that we love God. We must love them [terrorists] as his children, but their pardon and salvation lies between their souls and God.  Our concern must be for the threat imposed on the rest of humanity.  I cannot honestly spare my heart’s love for the perpetrators that caused this suffering.”

His Holiness the Dalai Lama

His Holiness the Dalai Lama blessing one of our group during a private audience with him in March of 2005.  The Dalai Lama has expressed great non-violence towards the Chinese government, who ousted him, slaughtered many Tibetans, including monks and nuns, and usurped him of his power.  During our private meeting with him he confided that he does not hate the Chinese, and only wishes them peace. 

The Face Violence Wears

Media, unfortunately, can keep you entertained with violent, sensationalized blather.  When that blather creeps into your nightly dreams or thoughts, it’s time to reverse bad habits and replace them with good habits.   Walks in nature, calming music, meditation, uplifting videos, a simple vegetarian diet, mantras, and positive thought discussions can be helpful.  I have found I sleep better at night since avoiding all media that is violent.

According to Yogananda, “Saints like Gandhi have made not only tangible material sacrifices, but also the more difficult renunciation of selfish motive and private goal, merging their inmost being in the stream of humanity as a whole. The non-violent voice of Gandhi appeals to our highest conscience.  Let nations ally themselves no longer with death, but with life; not with destruction, but with construction; not with the Annihilator, but with the Creator…”

In The Autobiography of a Yogi, Yogananda recants the words of President Roosevelt who once lamented, “Resort to force in the Great War, (I) failed to bring tranquility.  Victory and defeat were alike sterile.  That lesson the world should have learned.”

“The more weapons of violence, the more misery to mankind,” Lao-tzu taught.

When it comes to war, there’s the time-honored saying—”those that live by the sword, die by the sword”.

Colosseum in Rome, Italy

At the Colosseum in Rome, Italy, Ananda College students reflect on the energy emitted by the darkness extolled by Kali Yuga.  When our son was 5 years-old, he refused to go into the Colosseum, intuiting on some level it’s inherent consciousness.  Later, I read in his diary, along with a post-card of the Colosseum, these words: “It’s a killing place”. 

The Eclipse on April 8th and You

The total solar eclipse occurring on April 8th can bring ominous times for our planet.  The Vedic New Year and New Moon in Pisces also occurring on this date has not happened in centuries.  While the main solar eclipse can be seen from Texas to Maine, a partial eclipse can be seen in the entire US. So, the US will somehow be affected by this eclipse.  The effects may not occur on the exact day of the eclipse, or, something could already have occurred, as effects of an eclipse can be felt before and after.

Solar eclipses can negatively affect governments and leaders.  America has already seen government discord this year.

However, eclipses are a good time for performing spiritual practices, such as chanting, meditation or doing mantras.  There is the positive side of eclipses—once we go through an eclipse we can never go back to the way things were, as the universe wants us to progress.  My hope is that the old “Kali Yuga” ways of darkness, wars, and hatred towards others will somehow be stilled.

What can we do during an eclipse? According to David Frawley of the American Vedic Institute, “if one does 100 repetitions of a mantra during an eclipse it’s like doing 1,00,000 japas on an ordinary day.”  On April 8th, I am taking a friend to her chemotherapy treatment and will be there for her, doing Gayatri mantras while I hold her hand or meditate for her. 

Eclipses are times to consciously release old aspects of your life, bad patterns or habits and beliefs, or things that no longer serve one’s highest good.   

members of the Ananda Pune meditation community

A few members of the Ananda Pune meditation community in India.

Remember, it is unsafe to look at the sun anytime during the partial eclipse of the sun. Some Native Americans warn about looking at the sun, as watching an eclipse could lead to health problems and misfortune.  Many Navajo observe the eclipse by staying indoors and fasting.

One mantra for the sun is “Hreem Suryana Namah” (salutations to the great Sun God) or you could do the “Gayatri Mantra”, which is a powerful mantra for enlightenment:

Gayatri Mantra
AUM Bhur Bhuvaha swaha
AUM tat savitur varernyam
Bhargo devasya dhimahi
Dhiyo yo naha prachodayat.
AUM

English Translation
We meditate on the Supreme Effulgence
of the three universes. May It enlighten
our consciousness.
OM

“Children of Light” painting by Ashleigh Dyan Bayer

“Children of Light” painting by Ashleigh Dyan Bayer of the Ananda Village community.

Bring Peace Yourself

What if there were an army of people who wanted to create peace and non-violence on this planet?  It could be an invisible army of millions.  

After a lifetime of practicing non-violence, meditation, prayer and other noble qualities, the army’s light would carry love and peace throughout the ether.  Quiet, daily acts would join together to create higher consciousness that was beyond imagination of all expectancy. 

This army would, through their hidden, powerful actions, help usher in the Dwapara Yuga age of energy for the next generation.  This is what many of us can do. 


woman with earth in hands

Here are just a few qualities we can try incorporating into our daily lives.  These soul qualities will help us all to defeat non-violence and bring peace to our planet: Fearlessness; Peace; Purity of Heart; Absence of Fault-Finding; Steadfastness; Compassion to All Beings; Straightforwardness; Absence of Greed; Almsgiving; Gentleness; Self-Restraint; Modesty; Absence of Restlessness; Self-Discipline; Forgiveness; Patience; Fortitude; Radiance of Character; Non-Injury; Truth; Purity of Body & Mind; Absence of Wrath; Non-Hatred; Lack of Conceit; Renunciation; Right Study of Scripture; Religious Rites.


group meditating in temple
young man meditating in forest

“Every day, try to help uplift, as you would help yourself or your family, whoever in your environment may be physically, mentally, or spiritually sick.  Then no matter what your part is on the stage of life, you will know that you have been playing it rightly, directed by the Stage Manager of all destinies.”

—Yogananda

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