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Inspirational Article


The Power of Goodness

by Paramhansa Yogananda

From articles and lessons, 1926-1940

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In reality, there is more good than evil in the world. Although the evil people in the world outnumber the good, a few good people, by the power of their goodness, counterbalance their influence.

Just as one moon gives more light than all the stars, one good man, by his very presence in the world, emanates vibrations that counteract the vibrations of a myriad evil people. The inherently greater influence of good people is then augmented by the power of God's goodness.

Why people choose evil

People choose evil because they have not experienced the lasting satisfaction of virtue, and are unable to compare. Many people greatly magnify the supposed pain of acquiring self-control, thinking that through evil they will find happiness more easily. Evil promises great happiness but gives misery instead.

Because man is made in the image of God, evil cannot keep him under its influence forever. Sooner or later, people of bad habits become disillusioned and turn to God, who alone can offer true, ever-new happiness. As they develop good habits, they experience the luminous joy brought by practicing true ways of living.

The first drink never made a drunkard

Guard yourself against the first performance of evil actions. The first drink never made a drunkard, and the first act of sensuality never made a sensual slave. But what you do once, you are liable to do again.

If a bad habit bothers you, do two things. Negatively, try to avoid everything that occasioned or stimulated the habit. Then, positively divert your mind to a good habit, and keep your mind intensely engaged in cultivating it, until the good habit is established.

The time needed to form new habits is determined chiefly by the quality of your attention. Through the power of deeply concentrated attention, any habit can be installed in the brain almost instantaneously, by creating new brain-grooves.

Your occult soul soldiers

It is very consoling to know that no matter how strong the power of evil habits, if you meditate and pray, there are soldiers of good habits of this life and past incarnations ready to do battle.

In the beginning, the spiritual aspirant finds his soldiers of discrimination guided by a desire to be good. Later, as he meditates longer and prays ardently for inner help, the occult soul soldiers emerge from the superconsciousness to offer spiritual aid to his soldiers of discrimination. In this way, the spiritual aspirant is able to destroy all past bad habits and wrong desires.

Try from today onward to overcome the hidden enemy habits within you, garbed in your likes and dislikes. Become free to act from reason alone. Your habits are not you. Improve yourself and you will recover the lost image of God within you.

Elevate others around you

The more you improve yourself, the more you elevate others around you. The self-improving man is an increasingly happy man. The happier you become, the happier are the people around you

While doing your best to overcome wrong habits, don't forget to smile. There is no better panacea for sorrow, no better reviving tonic, and no greater beauty than a genuine smile.

When you are able to free yourself from all bad habits, and to do good because you want to do good, and not because doing evil will bring you sorrow, then you are truly free.