My Soul Is Marching On

How do we stay motivated to continue living the life of a spiritual person? Paramahansa Yogananda offered many uplifting and encouraging ways through his voluminous and varied writings. He was an influential spiritual leader, and also an accomplished poet– as his Songs of the Soul  and other volumes of meditative and mystical poems will testify.

After we find our spiritual path and start walking it, we feel exuberant, lighthearted, relieved to finally be on our way home. But after a mile or two we may get tired or discouraged. We look around us, and it seems that the landscape has not changed; we are still the same unimproved, uninspired person we always were. And we wonder, “What am I doing? Why have I not gotten closer to my spiritual goal than this?”

The great Guru knew that such letdowns would from time to time overcome the students of his teachings, so in addition to his Lessons containing the meditation and yoga techniques, he offered many other forms of writing such as poems in which he declared in dramatic ways that no matter how bogged down we may feel, there is no reason  to become discouraged.

One such reminder is the poem from Songs of the Soul  entitled “My Soul Is Marching On.”This poem dramatizes the dual nature of life: Even though the stars are bright, they are surrounded by darkness. The bright sunshine is not visible at night. The moon even fades as it wanes. But despite the darkness attached to all of these bright things, they still have their brightness.

Never be discouraged by this motion picture of life. Salvation is for all. Just remember that no matter what happens to you, still your soul is marching on. No matter where you go, your wandering footsteps will lead you back to God. There is no other way to go. 

The poem as follows:

The shining stars are sunk in darkness deep .

The weary sun is dead at night.

The moon’s soft smile doth fade anon;

But still my soul is marching on!

The grinding wheel of time hath crushed

Full many a life of moon and star,

And many a brightly smiling morn;

But still my soul is marching on!

The flowers bloomed, then hid in gloom,

The bounty of the trees did cease;

Colossal men have come and gone,

But still my soul is marching on!

The aeons one by one are flying,

My arrows one by one are gone;

Dimly, slowly, life is fading, But my soul is still marching on!

Darkness, death, and failures vied;

To block my path they fiercely tried.

My fight with jealous Nature’s strong,

But still my soul is marching on!

“grinding wheel” dramatizes the act of life fading from planets and even the lives of people. Flowers bloom and die; trees grow stately then are toppled; heroic figures are triumphant but for a short while.Time flies by, and each person’s life energies fade.

Yet as all of these dualities are in motion, because we exist in physical and mental bodies we falsely identify with the dying.The purpose of the spiritual path is to correct our vision, to help us understand that only on the physical level are these life- fading even occurring.

But the soul is not affected by any of these changes: not the stars, the moon, the flowers, the trees, the demise of heroic men, nor the passing of aeons of time– nothing diminishes the soul.

It is always so uplifting to remember that the soul is ever new joy, ever new bliss, ever one with the Divine Beloved. After a dip in that memory, we look around and start walking our path again knowing we are, in fact, headed home. And once again we feel exuberant, lighthearted, and relieved to be on the path.

In the Fore word to Meta physical Meditations, the  great yogi poet tells us the purpose of meditation is the attainment of the awareness of God and the soul’s eternal oneness with God.

———by Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda from His Songs of the Soul

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Author: vedvyash

Writing is something that helped me discover the creativity and the expressionism that was hidden under the deep layers of my soul. And me!

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