Paramahansa Yogananda     412 posts


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You cannot make steel until you have made the iron white-hot in fire. It is not meant for harm. Trouble and disease have a lesson for us. Our painful experiences are not meant to destroy us, but to burn out our dross, to hurry us back Home. No one is more anxious for our release than God.

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FROM MILLIONAIRE TO SAINT

Yogananda describing his disciple Rajarsi Janakananda - “ You are the Hindu yogi of Himalayan hermitages of the past who was sent in this life as an American prince, a Western Maharaja Yogi, to light the lamp of yoga in many groping hearts. “ and “ I gave Kriya Yoga initiation to Rajarsi Janakananda shortly after I had met him; and since then I have never seen him when he was not inwardly communing with God. A Westerner has stepped forth to show the world the worth in daily life of yoga training. Through him the lives of many will be profoundly changed and turned toward God.” When James J. Lynn first met Paramahansa Yogananda in 1932, he was a self-made millionaire who had risen from a poverty-stricken boyhood to become one of the most successful businessmen in America. Yet, as he later recounted: “I was a totally frustrated man. I had thought money could give me happiness, but nothing seemed to satisfy me. I lived in a state of nervousness, a state of strain, an inward state of uncertainty.” That meeting with Yogananda transformed the life of this great American disciple, later known as Rajarsi Janakananda. Rajarsi is a spiritual title meaning royal rishi; Janakananda means the bliss of Janaka. Janaka was a great king as well as a fully Self-realized master of ancient India. Janakananda began practicing Kriya Yoga under the Master’s direction, and his rise to spiritual eminence was as meteoric as his material advancement had been. “I have learned to live by inward joy,” he declared. Paramahansa Yogananda often spoke of his exalted spiritual stature, and would say to the other disciples, “I hope you will all follow his saintly example.” Yogananda wrote in his Autobiography of a Yogi: "An American businessman of endless responsibilities (as head of a company with vast oil interests ) he nevertheless finds time daily for long and deep Kriya Yoga meditation. Leading thus a balanced life, he has attained in samadhi the grace of unshakable peace. His role in this life just as Lahiri Mahasaya had demonstrated, was to be in the world but not of it: to show the effect that Kriya can have in those who carry worldly responsibilities as householders." Such was Janakananda’s receptivity that at that very first meeting the Guru was able to transmit to him the experience of samadhi, ecstatic union with God. Yogananda explained that his soul was ripe for the experience. When Janakananda received the Kriya technique he said “ Life boils within my spine, I have found God. “ After practicing the Kriya techniques for a while he also said “ I became aware that I was able to sit very still; I was motionless; I didn't seem to be breathing. I wondered about it and looked up at Paramahansaji. A deep white light appeared, seeming to fill the entire room. I became a part of that wondrous light. Since that time I have been free from nervousness. Not until my experience of the healing light did I realize that I had found entrance into a spiritual realm previously unknown to me. Ordinarily man is conscious only of his thoughts and of the material world that he can smell, taste, touch, see, and hear. But he is not conscious of the soul deep within him. He doesn't know anything about That which is behind the scenes, just behind the thoughts and senses. One should learn to realize the presence of this Life, the real Life; and attain the union of his own consciousness with that Life. On the path of Self-Realization one becomes alive again. He actually lives. He feels the divine Life within him. He experiences the union of his individual soul with the universal Spirit. The Self-Realization path as taught by Paramahansaji is scientific. It is a combination of yoga and devotion to God. Together, yoga and devotion will bring man to a realization of his own divinity. Religion can have but one purpose: knowledge of one's own life as the omnipresent Life. That attainment is Heaven. Two things stay with us when the body goes: life and consciousness. We can get rid of everything except life and consciousness. Those are eternally with us. Self-Realization teachings show one how to develop a proper consciousness — an awareness and inner experience of Spirit. Practice Kriya Yoga and discover for yourself the glories of the soul within." Janakananda says about the Guru “ A master is like an angel of God, one who is the very embodiment of love and unselfishness. He is the possessor of divine joy. How heavenly it is to enjoy the company of a saint! Of all the things that have come to me in life, I treasure more than all else the blessings my Guru has bestowed on me.” Known for his humility and simplicity Janakananda was once talking of the experience of Cosmic Consciousness to a group of devotees and he said: “ One can never know all of God, he is ever new, always expanding. He just keep on expanding throughout eternity, ever new Joy. “

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If you love God and therefore love everybody, that does not mean that you love the faults in people. If one loves the Father of all, and if he has the slightest thought of revenge toward anyone or desire to punish anyone, he falls a million miles away from God. One who loves God dares not entertain thoughts of doing injury to anyone. It would be wrong, of course, to support anyone blindly. But nonsupport of the wrongdoing in others does not mean that anyone should vengefully hurt others. A philosopher once said: "The best sort of revenge is not to be like him who did the injury." We should have respect for others' opinions as we wish others to respect our opinions,- there is no room for ugliness. We should lovingly disagree as well as lovingly agree. I am working for God alone. Earth has no illusion for me; I have seen through them all. You too should realize that you are visiting this earth only temporarily; you are here solely to learn necessary lessons and to help all who cross your path. You do not know why you have been cast in a particular role, so you must learn what God expects of you. Don't harbor personal desires; your only desire should be to follow the Lord's will and to live and work for Him. We are here today, tomorrow we are gone: mere shadows in a cosmic dream. But behind the unreality of these fleeting pictures is the immortal reality of Spirit. Life here on earth appears futile and chaotic until we are anchored in the Divine.

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From Metaphysical Meditations:

Divine love is the magnet that attracts all blessedness.

This day shall be the best day of my life. Today I will start with a new determination to dedicate my devotion forever at the feet of Omnipresence.

O Heavenly Father, I will extol Thy glory, the beauties of Thy paradise within us. May I live in the garden of soul-hapiness and noble thoughts and be filled with the aroma of Thy love evermore.

What is this life coursing in my veins? Could it be other then divine?

Teach me to think of Thee until Thou dost become my only thought.

A true yogi feels the throb of his heart in all hearts; his mind in all minds his presence in all motion, I will be a true yogi.

My earthly experiences serve as a process of destruction of my limiting mortal delusions. In God even the most “impossible” dreams are realized.

The reality of my life cannot die, for I am indestructible consciousness.

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The whispers of mind are different from the whispers of conscience; and different from both is the Voice of Spirit. The mental voice is nothing but the vibrations of an undecided sense mind. The voice of conscience is that of discrimination and inner wisdom. But the Voice of God, from which prophecies come forth, is the Presence of an Infallible Intuition. Striving yogis should pragmatically view this world as a school. The highest lesson set for each man is the realization that he is not a mortal, beset by pain and mutability, but a free son of God. The good student who is successful in the tests of earthly life and who passes the "final examination" has no need to return for further instruction. He has earned the divine Ph.D.

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God is beyond comprehension
by mind and intellect. Powerful as
they are, their scope is insufficient
to contain Him, which has neither
beginning nor end. The cosmic
delusion of finitude prevents
the mind from conceiving
such vastness ..

Originless, Immeasurable is God.
Omnipresent in the farthest reaches
of space, He is in the distant stars,
and in you and in me; and He is
conscious every moment of
every place He is.

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Man lives in the body as a prisoner;
when his term is over, he suffers the
indignity of being thrown out. Love
of the body is therefore nothing
more than love of jail.

Learn how to die daily in God.

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As you dive more deeply into the ocean of meditation, and forget the wave of your own little body, your consciousness expands, until the realization comes to you of your Oneness with all Nature and with God. The bliss of God-Consciousness merges into universal Love. God is omnipresent and you are One with the Father.

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Why shouldn't you strengthen your own vibrations through fellowship with people seeking Self-realization, and by group meditation with them? This practice will fortify your own spiritual convictions; you will find that many seemingly insuperable barriers in your life will crumble and dissolve in the waters of meditation. Your devotion and love for God will commingle with the devotion and love of others. Divine bliss will radiate from you, helping all persons you meet.

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From time immemorial in India, seekers who were truly eager to realize God have sought association with saints, or have meditated on their pictures in the company of other spiritual aspirants. There is a deep spiritual reason for this practice, which has been endorsed by the masters for centuries.

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A common cause of spiritual discouragement is the devotee’s expectation that God’s response will come in a great blaze of awe-inspiring inner illumination. This erroneous notion dulls the devotee’s perception of the subtle divine responses that are present from the very beginning of one’s meditative practices.

God responds to the devotee’s every effort, every devotional call. Even as a novice, you will realize this in your own seeking if you learn to recognize Him as the quiet, inner peace that steals over your consciousness. This peace is the first proof of God’s presence within. You will know it is He who has guided and inspired you to some right decision in your life.

You will feel His strength empowering you to overcome bad habits and nurture spiritual qualities. You will know Him as the ever-increasing joy and love that surges deep within, overflowing into your everyday life and relationships.

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I am submerged in Thine eternal light;
it permeates every particle of my being.
I am living in that light.
Divine Spirit, I behold only Thee,
within and without.

- From ' Metaphysical Meditations '

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The first step toward Christlike unselfishness is to expand your consciousness to include your neighbors' interests and well-being....Whenever you find a lonely heart, or a brother weeping by the wayside, and your heart goes out to that soul, your consciousness impinges on the Christ Consciousness.

The metaphysical way to Christ Consciousness is through meditation and holding on to the after-effects of meditation....Your present consciousness is limited by the body, but when you expand it by deep meditation, you will become aware of the feelings of all peoples. You will be able to know all things. Marvelous realizations will come to you.

In Christ Consciousness the whole world—everyone and everything in it—is your own. The whole of space and everything in it belongs to you....When you cultivate this consciousness and therein understand that everything is yours, you will have no prejudices about race or color. In that consciousness you feel the love of a million mothers in your heart, not just for a few but for everyone. You do not imagine it, you feel it—this love that Jesus, Krishna, all of the great ones manifested—this universal intelligence and love which is called Christ Consciousness.

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God loves you more than anybody else...As I progressed on the spiritual path, I received more love from God than I ever could have from any human being.

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You cannot make steel until you have made the iron white-hot in fire. It is not meant for harm. Trouble and disease have a lesson for us. Our painful experiences are not meant to destroy us, but to burn out our dross, to hurry us back Home. No one is more anxious for our release than God.

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Even the greatest masters listen humbly to their gurus, because it is the way of righteousness.

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The greatest of all happiness, next to divine happiness, is to be at peace with one's immediate relations, those with whom one must live every day in the year. When people try to handle the extremely complicated machinery of human feelings without any training whatsoever, the consequent results are often disastrous. Very few persons realize that most of our happiness lies in the art of understanding the law of human behavior. That is why so many people are often "in hot water" with their friends, and, worse yet, at constant war with their own best beloved ones at home.

If you want to be loved, start loving others who need your love....If you want others to sympathize with you, start showing sympathy to those around you. If you want to be respected, you must learn to be respectful to everyone, both young and old....Whatever you want others to be, first be that yourself; then you will find others responding in like manner to you.

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God has spun this eventful cosmic play on the stage of time to entertain us, but we take the shadows as serious realities! There is only one Serious Reality - and that is God.

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Whenever your mind wanders in the maze of myriad worldly thoughts, patiently lead it back to remembrance of the indwelling Lord. In time you will find Him ever with you - a God who talks with you in your own language, a God whose face peeps at you from every flower and shrub and blade of grass. Then you shall say: "I am free! I am clothed in the gossamer of Spirit; I fly from earth to heaven on wings of light." And what joy will consume your being!

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I know that if I offer my friendship to all, as Christ did, I shall begin to feel the cosmic love, which is God. Human friendship is the echo of God’s friendship. The greatest thing that Jesus Christ demonstrated was giving love in return for hatred. To give hatred for hatred is easy, but to give love for hatred is more difficult and far greater. Therefore I will consume hatred in the roaring conflagration of my spreading love.

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Every minute is eternity because eternity can be experienced in that minute. Every day and minute and hour is a window through which you may see eternity. Life is brief, yet it is unending. The soul is everlasting, but out of the short season of this life you should reap the most you can of immortality.

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I say my prayers on beads of love, strung together with everlasting threads of devotion. I hold to no single Name—God, Spirit, Brahma, Allah, Heavenly Father, Divine Mother, for All are Thine.
I invoke Thee sometimes as Christ, Krishna, Shankaracharya, Mohammed, Buddha, Moses and other prophets; for I know Thou hast delighted, and will ever delight, in revealing Thyself in different forms.
In Thy cosmic play on the stage of centuries, in Thy myriad appearances, Thou didst take many Names; but Thou hast only one nature: Perennial Joy.

From ' Whispers From Eternity '

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When we become filled with the joy of making others happy by giving them God-peace, then we shall know that God is expressing Himself through us.

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Only fools take life so seriously that they are constantly hurt. The wise look upon childhood, youth, old age, life and death as passing dramas, hence everything entertains them. When one become momentarily identified with tragic picture, he feels miserable but when he realizes that it is only a part of an entertaining variety show, he feels happy. God wants man to behold the changing pictures of personal and worldly life as a sort of variety entertainment.

From ' God talks with Arjuna:The Bhagavat Gita '

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Be honest with yourself. The world is not honest with you. The world loves hypocrisy. When you are honest with yourself you find the road to inner peace.

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You may be worried about the wrong you have committed, but God is not. What is past is past. You are His child, and whatever wrong you have done came about because you didn't know Him. He doesn't hold against evil done under the influence of ignorance. All He asks is that you not repeat your wrong actions. He wants only to find out whether or not you are sincere in your intention to be good.

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