Paramahansa Yogananda was an Indian yogi who played a significant role in spreading the Kriya yoga in the West. In his famous book “Autobiography of a Yogi”, Yogananda describes the life of a yogi who has devoted himself to the service of God and humanity. This book has been highly acclaimed as a spiritual classic including being designated by Philip Zaleski, while he was under the auspices of HarperCollins Publishers, as one of the “100 Most Important Spiritual Books of the 20th Century.”
Among the famous people, inspired by Yogananda lessons and ideas, was The Beatles guitarist George Harrison, the famous American plant breeder Luther Burbank, and a founder of Apple Inc. Steve Jobs. The author of Jobs’ biography, Walter Isaacson, claims that “Autobiography of a Yogi” was the only book on Steve’s iPad.
Yogananda lessons for a better and happier life can be found in each of his books. But, in this article, we want to share with you eight of them that we find very important and inspiring.
Yogananda Lessons We All Need to Learn
Lesson #1: Use the Power of Affirmations
“Nothing is greater than Cosmic Consciousness, or God. His power far surpasses that of the human mind. Seek His aid alone. But this counsel does not mean that you should make yourself passive, inert, or credulous; or that you should minimize the power of your own mind. The Lord helps those who help themselves. He gave you willpower, concentration, faith, reason, and common sense to use when trying to rid yourself of bodily and mental afflictions; you should employ all those powers while simultaneously appealing to Him.”
Lesson #2: Focus on the Infinite Powers of Your Mind
“During the physical curing process, the attention should be not on the disease, lest one’s faith be dampened, but on the infinite powers of the mind. During the mental overcoming of fear, anger, bad habits, and so on, one’s concentration should be on the opposite quality; that is, the cure for fear is the consciousness of bravery; for anger, peace; for weakness, strength; for sickness, health.”
Lesson #3: Obey the Divine and the Material Laws
“Success comes be obeying the divine and the material laws. Both material and spiritual success should be attained. Material success consists in possessing the necessities of life.
Ambition for money-making should include a desire to help others. Acquire all the money you can by improving in some way your community or country or the world, but never seek financial gain by acting against their interests.”
Lesson #4: Banish Soul Ignorance
“Spiritual success is consciously attuning yourself with the Cosmic Mind, and in maintaining your peace and poise no matter what irremediable events occur in your life, such as the death of relatives or other losses. When you are separated from one of your dear ones by the law of Nature, you should not sorrow. Instead, thank God humbly that for a time He gave you the privilege of tending and befriending and keeping in your charge one of His children.
Spiritual success comes by understanding the mystery of life; and by looking at all things cheerfully and courageously, realizing that events proceed according to a beautiful divine plan.
For the disease of ignorance, the only cure is knowledge.”
Lesson #5: Find the Joy Within
“Even if life gave you at one time everything you wanted — wealth, power, friends — after a while you would again become dissatisfied and need something more. But there is one thing that can never become stale to you — joy itself. Happiness that is delightfully varied, though its essence is changeless, it’s the inner experience everyone is seeking. Lasting, ever new joy is God. Finding this Joy within, you will find it in everything without. In God, you will tap the Reservoir of perennial, unending bliss.”
Lesson #6: Put God First
“Most people reason that if they first have prosperity, then they can think of God, but you must have God first because He is what you need. If that consciousness comes, then you will have real happiness. God must be with you always. If you once have that great contact with God, then the prosperity of the universe will absolutely be at your feet.”
Lesson #7: Keep in Mind the Cosmic Plan
“You must do something every day that will satisfy the Cosmic Plan for which you were sent here. Most people are unhappy because they forget to harmonize their earthly, learned duty with the duties demanded by the Cosmic Plan. The Cosmic Plan demands that you satisfy your soul by including in your own happiness the happiness of the most needy ones.”
Lesson #8: Wake Up!
“Wake up! It is never too late to analyze what you are what your deep-secret tasks are so that you can make yourself into what you should be. You have talents and power that you have not used. You have all the power you need.”