Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Paramahansa Yogananda, born Mukunda Lal Ghosh

Indian Holy Man, Author, Spiritual and Kriya Yoga Teacher in United States, Founder of Self-Realization Fellowship, introduced many Westerners to Kriya Yoga through is book, "Autobiography of a Yogi"

"True freedom consists in performing all actions - eating, reading, working, and so forth - in accordance with right judgment and choice of will, not in being compelled by habits. Eat what you should eat and not necessarily what you are used to. Do what you ought to do, not what your bad habits dictate. It's only when you discard bad habits that you are really a free man."

"To be able to do whatever one pleases is not the real meaning of freedom of actions. You should understand to what degree you are free, and how much you are influenced by bad habits."

"Truths are not truths to you unless you realize them within yourself. Without realization, they are just ideas. For spiritual perception, spiritual consciousness lies not in vague theological ideas, but in the acquisition of Self-realization."

"Try again, no matter how many times you have failed. Always try once more."

"To be spiritual is to be broad, to understand and forgive, and to be a friend to all."

"Try to realize you are a divine traveler. You are here for only a little while; then depart for a dissimilar and fascinating world (astral worlds). Do not limit your thought to one brief life and one small earth. Remember the vastness of the Spirit that dwells within you."

"Unfulfilled desires are the root cause of reincarnation. You don’t have to be a king in order to have complete fulfillment. Nor do you end desires by giving up everything and becoming a poor man. You have your own self-created destiny with its lessons to be learned, and you must play well that part for which you were sent here. If everybody on the stage wants to be a king or queen, there will be no play. An actor with even a minor part can ruin the entire production by a poor performance. Every role is important; everyone should interact harmoniously for the success of the play."

"We should not seek death, but take life as it comes and death as it comes. Death is really beautiful; if it were bad thing, God would not let it happen to us. It is really freedom and entry into another, higher life. We must utilize this life in order to realize the life beyond this one."

"We don't become angels merely by the instrument of death. If we are angels now, we will be angels in the hereafter. If we are dark, negative personalities now, we will be the same after death."

"What is meditation? Becoming one with the soul. It means banishing the consciousness of being related to the body and to human limitations, and trying to remember that one is a soul."

"We have to return again and again to the school of life until all lessons have been learned. So long as we leave earth at death with desires unfulfilled we have to come back again in order to fulfill those desires."

"Whatever I do, I do with the greatest love that I have in me. Try this, and you will see that you do not become fatigued at all. Love is one of the greatest stimulants to the will. Under the influence of love the will can do almost anything."

"When modern science will discover how to go deep into the subtle electromagnetic constitution of man, it will be able to correct almost any medical condition in ways that would seem almost miraculous today. In the future, healing will be effected more and more by use of various types of light rays. Light is what we are made of—not gross physical light, but the finer spiritualized light of prana, intelligent life energy. That light is the real essence of everything. This earth is not "earth" as you see it; it is light. But you cannot perceive that until you know the underlying astral world."

"When you are talking to others, hold the eyes of the one you are talking to, and speak with all the force of truth and the love of God behind your words. And when you shake hands, do so consciously, so that you give the magnetism of your sincere friendship. Try to help that person. Be positive and develop your own spiritual magnetism, and you will have the power to change others. With the eyes you can convey that magnetism. Just look at the one you want to help, and think, "God's blessing is flowing through me." Never feel you are the doer."

"Which do you want: God’s eternal bliss, which may be yours by denying yourself a few pleasure now? Or worldly happiness now, which will not last? Convince your heart by comparison. Every effort that you make to climb upward will be recognized by God."

"When you forgive, you are in spiritual consciousness. Forgiving means to give your enemy a chance to gain better understanding. If you become vengeful or angry, you only make more enemies, for an angry person is the target of all."

"When you realize yourself as a child of God, what karma have you? God has no karma. And you have none, when you know you are His child. Every day you should affirm, "I am not a mortal being; I am not the body. I am a child of God.""

"Wisdom is a chisel, love is the sandpaper."

"You alone are responsible for yourself. No one else may answer for your deeds when the final reckoning comes. You work in the world - in the sphere where your karma, your own past activity, has placed you - can be performed only by one person: yourself."

"Why worry? Do your best and then relax. Let things go on in a natural way, rather than force them. Then everyone around you will be relaxed, too."

"You do not have to leave earth’s shores to put on wings; you must learn rather to be happy here and now, under all conditions; and consider others’ happiness as part of your own joy."

"You are in a cocoon of your own bad habits, and you must be freed to spread its wings of beautiful divine qualities."

"Worrying wastes time and energy. Use your mind instead to try to make some positive effort... Nothing is impossible, unless you think it is... Give your troubles to God. When you worry, it is your funeral, all arranged by yourself."

"You waste precious time each day. Every little moment you spent with God will be spent to your best advantage; and whatever you achieve with the desire to please God in your heart will stand unto eternity."

"Thinkers do not accept the inevitable; they turn their efforts toward changing it."

"Smiling away your troubles requires a clear conscience that harbor no insincerity."

"Your face is a reflector—your heart is the foundation upon which the reflection is based—your face must be a sermon; your face must be a beacon light for others to follow; your face must be a lighthouse to show shipwrecked souls the way to the harbor of safety; your face must be an altar where peace reigns, where God reigns. "

"The soul loves to meditate, for in contact with the Spirit lies its greatest joy. If, then you experience mental resistance during meditation, remember that reluctance to meditate comes from the ego; it doesn't belong to the soul."

"Success should be measured by the yardstick of happiness; by your ability to remain in peaceful harmony with cosmic laws."

"Success is not rightly measured by the worldly standards of wealth, prestige and power. None of these bestow happiness unless they are rightly used. To use them rightly one must possess wisdom and love for God and man."

"Faithfulness in the performance of small duties gives us strength to adhere to difficult determinations that life will someday force us to make."

"The things you need in life are those that will help you to fulfill your dominant purpose. Things you may want but not need may lead you aside from that purpose. It is only by making everything serve your main objective that success is attained."

"Sing songs that none have sung."

"Love is the song of the soul singing to God. It is the balanced rhythmic dance of planets - sun and moon lit."

"It is blessedness for yourself and others if you are happy."

"If you possess happiness you possess everything: to be happy is to be in tune with God."

"He is the wisest who seeks God. He is the most successful who has found God."

"The happiness of one's own heart alone cannot satisfy the soul; one must try to include, as necessary to one's own happiness, the happiness of others."

"Release for constructive purposes the power you already have, and more will come. Move on your path with unflinching determination, using all the attributes of success. Tune yourself with the creative power of spirit."

"Wise guidance never violates people's Free Will. A superior who demands obedience of his subordinates should show respect for their capacity to understand, and also for their Innate Right to their own Free Will."

"From the depths of slumber, As I ascend the spiral stairway of wakefulness, I whisper: God! God! God! Thou art the food, and when I break my fast Of nightly separation from Thee, I taste Thee, and mentally say: God! God! God! No matter where I go, the spotlight of my mind Ever keeps turning on Thee, And in the battle din of activity my silent war-cry is ever: God! God! God! When boisterous storms of trials shriek And worries howl at me, I drown their noises, loudly chanting: God! God! God! When my mind weaves dreams With threads of memories, On that magic cloth I do emboss: God! God! God! Every night, in time of deepest sleep, My peace dreams and calls: Joy! Joy! Joy! And my joy comes singing evermore: God! God! God! In waking, eating, working, dreaming, sleeping, Serving, meditating, chanting, divinely loving, My soul constantly hums, unheard by any: God! God! God!"

"No matter what you are doing, keep the undercurrent of happiness. Learn to be secretly happy within your heart in spite of all circumstances."

"As God is omnipresent in the cosmos but is undisturbed by its variety, so man, who as a soul is individualized Spirit, must learn to participate in this cosmic drama with a perfectly poised and equilibrated mind."

"The sincere devotee loves God deeply whether he is nonactive and silently meditating on God, or in the midst of a whirl of outer activities. He is awake in God during all hours and in all walks of life. He does not become so deeply engrossed in material duties as to be oblivious to the inner state of divine bliss."

"I will be calmly active, actively calm. I am a prince of peace, sitting on the throne of poise, directing the kingdom of my activity."

"Fearlessness means faith in God: faith in his protection, His justice, His wisdom, His mercy, His love, and His Omnipresence... To be fit for Self-realization man must be fearless."

"All are waves on the same, one ocean, composed, as ocean water is, of the same substance: Spirit. Some of the waves are higher then others. Some waves don't even want to distance themselves from the ocean. All waves, no matter how high, are in essence one and the same. The difference between the Guru and the disciples, then, lies only in their respective closeness to the ocean: in how conscious each one is of his essential reality. The greater the sense of ego, the taller the wave, and the greater, in consequence, the ignorance. The greater one's awareness of the ocean as one's soul reality, the smaller the wave, and also the less his sense of having a separate individuality."

"May the heads of all countries and races be guided to understand that men of all nations are physically and spiritually one: physically one, be- cause we are the descendants of common parents --- the symbolic Adam and Eve; and spiritually one, because we are the immortal children of our Father, bound by eternal links of brotherhood. Let us pray in our hearts for a League of Souls and a United World. Though we may seem divided by race, creed, color, class, and political prejudices, still, as children of the one God we are able in our souls to feel brotherhood and world unity. May we work for the creation of a United World in which every nation will be a useful part, guided by God through man's enlightened conscience. In our hearts we can all learn to be free from hate and selfishness. Let us pray for harmony among the nations, that they march hand in hand through the gate of a fair new civilization."

"Truth is One: I have often said that if Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, and other true emissaries of God came together, they would not quarrel, but would drink from the same one cup of God-communion."

"The Spirit of God, I realized, is exhaustless Bliss; His body is countless tissues of light."