yogananda paramhansa (1893 – 1952) revived the kriya yoga tradition which was started by ageless yogi babaji. he was also of those eastern yogi who introduced yoga to west. after yogananda took mahasamadhi (died), his body didn’t show any sign of deterioration for 20 days.
yogananda book “autobiography of a yogi” is one of the most read book in spiritual section. i came across this book during my college days. i used to see this book often in book stores or in small shops selling books in railway platforms. many times i ignored my inner voice to read this book. but when i used to look at the yogananda photo in the book cover and his deep penetrating eyes. then i used to feel certain attraction to read this book. as if yogananda is asking to buy the book. finally one day i gave in and purchased the book. i think that is one of my good decision in life. reading the book and doing kriya yoga for few weeks certainly gave a right direction to my life at a young age.
in this book, yogananda shares his spiritual journey, his time spend with his enlightened master sri yukteswar giri and how he was send by babaji to west for spreading the message of sages. you can also read this book online.
according to yogananda, kriya yoga is a quick method to grow inwardly and realize your true nature. kriya yoga is a set of breathing technique done with awareness. he also gave lot of emphasis on doing meditation, yoga, remembering god and living a honest and pious life. for more info, check the official website.
yogananda paramhansa quotes:
1. whenever something bothers you, meditate.
2. as long as you are making the effort, god will ‘never’ let you down.
3. cosmic law cannot be stayed or changed, and man would do well to put himself in harmony with it.
4. the consciousness of a perfected yogi is effortlessly identified, not with a narrow body, but with the universal structure.
5. to rise above the duality of creation and perceive the unity of the creator was conceived of as man’s highest goal.
6. to find freedom, we must calm the waves of emotion, and dwell ever calmly in the consciousness of love and joy.
7. in meditation, try to go beyond thinking. as long as thoughts enter the mind, you are functioning on the conscious level.
8. once you’ve convinced your mind that you really want to meet god in the inner silence, it will be easy for you to sit still and to meditate deeply.
9. try to feel, when walking out of doors, that everything around you is part of your own expanded awareness.
10. the true basis of religion is not belief, but intuitive experience. intuition is the soul’s power of knowing god. to know what religion is really all about, one must know god.
11. never count your faults. just see that your love for god is deeply sincere. for god doesn’t mind your imperfections: he minds your indifference.
12. shankara the great monist has written. “where there is duality by virtue of ignorance, one sees all things as distinct from the self. when everything is seen as the self, then there is not even an atom other than the self.
13. do not get excited or impatient in your efforts to find God. be wholehearted, but not anxious about getting results. be patient. move toward your divine goal ever calmly, with tranquility.
14. a very strong mind, however, can transcend all physical difficulties and attain to god-realization. many saints have ignored illness and succeeded in their divine quest. st. francis of assisi, severely afflicted with ailments, healed others and even raised the dead.
15. a bent spine is the enemy of realization. in meditation, always hold your spine straight, that the life force may flow through it unobstructed.
16. love is the song of the soul, singing to god.
17. the monastic regulations do not allow a swami to retain connection with worldly ties after their formal severance. he cannot perform the ceremonial family rites which are obligatory on the householder.
18. a yogi who through perfect meditation has merged his consciousness with the creator perceives the cosmical essence as light; to him there is no difference between the light rays composing water and the light rays composing land.
19. train your mind to say instantly, ‘i will!’ only then think how to accomplish what has been asked of you.
20. never pray for anything of this world until you have first prayed successfully to know god. pray until you have attained god; then your prayers will be guided by wisdom, not by the inclinations of habits.
21. men of god-realization like trailanga allow the divine law to operate instantaneously; they have banished forever all thwarting crosscurrents of ego.
22. praise cannot make me any better. blame cannot make me any worse. i am what i am before my conscience and god.
23. after meditation, the longer and more deeply you enjoy the peace within, the more quickly will your intuition develop.
24. lord buddha was once asked why a man should love all persons equally. “because,” the great teacher replied, “in the very numerous and varied lifespans of each man, every other being has at one time or another been dear to him.
25. for the devotee, it is natural to worship god in some human aspect:as his divine mother, for example, or as his heavenly father… of course, in the highest sense god is none of the forms in which people worship him. but it is helpful to use human concepts as a means of deepening our devotion to him. beyond devotion comes divine love.
26. the entire phenomenal world is under the inexorable sway of polarity; no law of physics, chemistry, or any other science is ever found free from inherent opposite or contrasted principles.
27. in waking, eating, working, dreaming, sleeping,
serving, meditating, chanting, divinely loving,
my soul constantly hums, unheard by any;
god, god, god!
28. when traveling on the ocean, one comes upon areas, here or there, where the sea is calm. even so, on the great ocean of delusion one finds, occasionally, areas of exceptional calmness. this happens when an avatar, or divine incarnation, is sent to earth with a special dispensation. all who come to him and tune in to his spirit find it relatively easy to escape delusion’s power.