A Climate of Fear: Don't Worry be Happy

by M. Govindan Satchidananda

The climate of fear which now fills the lives of so many parts of the world is a reminder to all of us that Yoga is not simply an individual practice, but a social movement. As Yogi's are you part of the solution or part of this problem? Are you contributing to this climate of fear, in the wake of September 11, the Tech-stock crash, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the specter of nuclear war between Pakistan and India, and the dire warnings of new terrorist attacks by President Bush and other American government officials?

Your thoughts, feelings and words have as much power as your actions. As Yogi's you should be aware of that. I invite all of our readers to remember that you have the power to change things, by focused thoughts, feelings, words and yes, action. Throughout the day you have the opportunity to let go of thoughts and feelings of fear, anger, frustration, judgment, depression and complaint, and to replace them with thoughts and feelings of confidence, acceptance, goodwill, enthusiasm, and patience. You have the power to visualize a better world for yourself and others. You have the power to manifest that vision, by determined, focused action, one step at a time. Allow yourself to be an instrument for That which is the Most High within you, that which is True.

I am reminded of the wall poster that hung on the wall of an office colleague's cubicle when I worked for the Cook County Department of Public Service in 1971. It was a smiling picture of the Indian holy man, Meher Baba, looking like Groucho Marx. Underneath was Meher Baba's motto "Don't worry, be happy." It was a fit greeting for the steady stream of welfare clients who were escorted by an armed guard to our desks in search of a meal allowance, food stamps, or their welfare check. Sometimes they came in barefoot in the middle of winter, half frozen, having sold their shoes to buy a pint of whiskey. Our office was situated in a former bank, with ornate marble columns, at Kedzie and Madison Streets, in the heart of the skid-row section of downtown Chicago. The average life of a caseworker was six months, so depressing were the tales of woe, and so little the resources to correct the problems of 500 families in our average caseload. The job was a step up for me however, from the previous one, where for six months, I loaded by hand cartons of closeout household merchandise onto huge trucks, an average of 45 tons per day, for $2.10 per hour. Working there during the day, and driving a taxicab in the means streets of Chicago during the night enabled me to save the $5,000 I needed to take on my first assignment to India. Chicago was the first place my teacher sent me. India was the second. Since then, I have never looked back. But what I learned about fear in Chicago, remains.

In February of 2001 I was invited to meet the home of an Indian businessman in New Jersey. He is the disciple of a Siddha Yogi, who is reported to be over 200 years old, and who had lived on Mt. Kailash for over 30 years. I was impressed by what I heard and saw about his master. His master had recently made some disturbing predictions about the world and in particular, war between Pakistan and India. This war would affect the whole world, including the Mt. Kailash area. On September 11, when we were camped at Gangotri, in the Himalayas, I remembered his predictions. In February of this year, this Siddha Yogi invited this disciple as well as myself to accompany him to Mt. Kailash to meet a group of Siddhas whom he left behind there. It was a call I could not refuse, even though it meant canceling nearly all of the events I had scheduled for the months of June and July, and much financial strain. I will be away June 22 to August 4, 2002 on this pilgrimage, which will take us overland from Katmandu, Nepal. I will hold all of you in my heart and prayers during this time of urgency and peril. Do pray for peace in the world. Do pray for the brotherhood of all men! Do pray for love and understanding between us all! Do put peace, love, understanding and brotherhood into place in all of your thoughts, words and actions.

Copyright June 2002 by Marshall Govindan. All rights reserved.


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