Soon after 9/11, a large Yoga conference was being held in the USA. The organizers asked Swami Satchidananda to send a message of comfort and inspiration to those attending the conference gathering. This was his message, which seems tremendously timely in current times.

I am very happy to see that Yoga is more and more appreciated and embraced by people of all faiths and in all walks of life. Why is it so applicable to so many people and in so many fields? Because the essential purpose of Yoga is to keep the mind calm and clean. With a calm, clean mind we can serve well.

Now, more than ever we need to have a steady mind, a calm and clean mind, and a loving and compassionate heart. So many people are in pain, so many have lost loved ones, and so many are overcome with fear. That is all true and we have to feel compassion and lovingkindness toward everyone. At the same time, let us remember that adversities are blessings in disguise. If we only look at the adversities, we will be consumed with sorrow, fear, and despair. But that will not help during these times. Rather, it is better to remember there is a purpose behind everything. God has given us a big wake‑up call. As yogis let us have a deeper understanding and broader perspective when viewing what is happening

in our world. Let’s not focus only on the negative side. That is what we see happening sometimes, and people become filled with fear and anxiety. A yogi, on the other hand, will look upon everything with equanimity and balance. Certainly, this is a very challenging time, but look at some of the benefits we can see right now. People of various faiths are coming together, holding hands, and praying together. In a way, this tragedy is bringing us together more. We are slowly raising above our differences and becoming united.

This is a time for us to remember that in the name of religion more people have died than in all the wars and natural calamities put together. Now more than ever we must understand that the purpose of religion is not to separate us. True faiths don’t preach hatred and killing, nor did any of the prophets. It is the people who interpret the scriptures who create the divisions. Division comes if we put our ego into the teachings of these religions. Let us strive to be free of that kind of egoism.

I don’t believe in all the doomsday predictions. I consider this a transitory period. We are witnessing a great change. I see a very bright future for humankind. The positive changes we are seeing are the proof of what is to come. I really feel we are going to see a better world. If you want to know why I feel this way, it is because I see more and more people wanting to know the truth, becoming interested in Yoga and spirituality, and leading more caring and compassionate lives.

The consciousness of people is changing, and they are wanting to know how to lead a better life. And that is what I want to tell all of you. Please, have that hope in your heart and that trust that we are building a better world.

I send you all my love and blessings, along with my prayers. My prayer is always that universal love will light our paths. Every day when you pray or meditate, visualize the whole world filled with peace and joy, love and light. You will be helping the whole world to find peace and joy. And you can carry this peaceful feeling from meditation all through the day, all through the week, all through your life. Even in the midst of a busy life, you can retain this peace. With this outlook, the whole world becomes a heaven on earth.

God bless each and every one of you. OM Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.