Autobiography of a Yogi (4)

Paramahansa Yogananda as depicted on the cover...
Paramahansa Yogananda as depicted on the cover of Autobiography of a Yogi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For the month of October, I would like to share with you some quotes and passages from the book Autobiography of a Yogi which shares the life of Paramahansa Yogananda ( January 5, 1893 – March 7, 1952). It was written by Paramahansa Yogananda and details his life long search of the Divine from childhood. As I type this, I’m only about slightly more than half done but felt it would be nice to share some of the passages which caught my attention (and that of my highlighter) πŸ˜‰

 

I’m planning to go through the parts to share in order of their appearance in the book.

From Chapter 13: The Sleepless Saint

“Masters are under no cosmic compulsion to live on mountains only.” My companion glanced at me quizzically. “The Himalayas in India and Tiber have no monopoly on saints. What one does not trouble to find within will not be discovered by transporting the body hither and yon….”Are you able to have a little room where you can close the door and be alone?” “Yes.” “That is your cave. That is your sacred mountain. That is where you will find the kingdom of God.”

From Chapter 14:An Experience in Cosmic Consciousness

“I want to know sir – when shall I find God?”

“You have found Him.”

“Oh no sir, I don’t think so!”

My guru was smiling. “I am sure you aren’t expecting a venerable Personage, adorning a throne in some antiseptic corner of the cosmos!…”

“How quickly we weary of earthly pleasures! Desire for material things is endless; man is never satisfied completely, and pursues one goal after another. The “something else” he seeks in the Lord, who alone can grant lasting joy.”

From Chapter 15: The Cauliflower Robbery

“Divine contemplation must not be made an excuse for material carelessness.

All thoughts vibrate eternally in the cosmos….Thoughts are universally and not individually rooted; a truth cannot be created, but only perceived. Any erroneous thought of man is a result of an imperfection, large or small, in his discernment…

From Chapter 24: I Become a Monk of the Swami Order

“If you don’t invite God to be your summer Guest, He won’t come in the winter of your life.”

Fulfilling one’s earthly responsibilities need not separate man from God, provided he maintains mental uninvolvement with egotistical desires and plays his part in life as a willing instrument of the Divine.There are a number of great men, living today in American or European or other non-Hindu bodies, who, though they may never have heard the words yogi and swami, are yet true exemplars of those terms. Through their disinterested service to mankind, or singlehearted love of God, or through their great powers of concentration, they are in a sense, yogis; they have set themselves the goal of yoga – self-control

18 thoughts on “Autobiography of a Yogi (4)

  1. The Cauliflower Robbery, how odd? I could write a book of short stories about Vegetable Crimes like The Mashed Potato Murders and The Asparagus Assault and The Beet Burglaries …..

    What do ya think ” hehe

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    1. Ahahahahaha!!! The book can be totally hilarious at times. Especially the story of the time Yogananda goes all the way to search for a guru in the Himalayas. Too funny that one!

      The title is funny isn’t it!! It’s a cute story about how he forgets to lock the Ashram door before going out with his teacher for a morning stroll along the Ganges. His teacher asks him if he is sure he locked up, and he’s like “of course!”. However, his teacher knows that he hadn’t. So to teach him the lesson of not ignoring the daily life though eager to search for the Divine, he sends out thought vibrations to a homeless vagrant man wandering the streets to enter the Ashram and to steal the cauliflower! Hehehehe.

      You must do your version of the Vegetable stories..it sounds brilliant!!!! πŸ˜€

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  2. “All thoughts vibrate eternally in the cosmos….Thoughts are universally and not individually rooted; a truth cannot be created, but only perceived. Any erroneous thought of man is a result of an imperfection, large or small, in his discernment…”

    Our thoughts are the first point in creating Energy so its kind of scary to think of them vibrating eternally in the cosmos… But then our thoughts are Energy so it follows…. I can relate to ” thoughts are universally and not individually rooted!” one only has to see how thoughts spread out consuming individuals who react without reason as we can witness mass hysteria, mass violent outbursts and massive outpourings of compassion…. each thought reaches out affecting the energy of another ” Like Attracts Like” …. [A truth can not be created, but only perceived] I totally Agree, our Truth is changing all the time,, What was once Truth is no longer that Truth…. We only have to take how once we viewed the world as flat…. and our truths will change daily as we grow and perceive differently as our perception alters to our reality… The last erroneous thought of man, we discern only with the knowledge we can perceive as Truth… with our perceptions of what we discern to be our present Truth…

    Fully enjoyed reading these insights Shree………. πŸ™‚

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    1. I totally loved your comment. And yes, yes, yes…that’s how I interpreted it too! It is not possible to keep thinking our thoughts are only confined to our own little world, because we can see it creating all around us! And more so now because everything seems to be moving faster. Whereas years before we may see what we thought of manifesting years later, now it is almost instantaneous!

      I get a little fearful too Sue. Sometimes my emotions can get the better of me…but more so that sneaky little goblin who loves drama..hmm, I think I shall call him, His Royal Assness the DQ (Drama Queen :P)..he slips in there and suddenly I have this drama playing out in my mind…like a “What if” situation!!
      However, today I learned that it’s not too bad because the intention from where it comes from isn’t dark…in fact there was no intention set as such AND the thing is I can now catch him before even Act 1 reaches the middle! So that’s a good thing! It does make us realize though that it is constant vigilance. And that comes with consciously practicing awareness…in ALL that we think, say and do πŸ™‚

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      1. We all I think have a little DQ within my own thoughts often run a muck LOL especially in the dead of night as I wake remembering something … Loved your indepth answers here Shree. What I think is this, if we were Perfect Shree we would not be here in the physical form as Humans learning about our emotional bodies within the physical material world of matter… we would be a sphere floating off somewhere content and oblivious at the same time.. πŸ™‚ I enjoy my physical being, with all its imperfections as I grow one lesson one step at a time πŸ™‚ xxxx

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        1. Hehe..I’m so glad that you feel everyone has their only little DQ , makes me feel much better..hehe
          I believe that too! If we were all perfect, then there really is no point being here is there! I’m learning to enjoy my physical being…actually I’m learning to appreciate it now…being aware of it…in progress as we speak πŸ˜‰

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  3. Love this exchange:

    ”Are you able to have a little room where you can close the door and be alone?”
    β€œYes.”
    β€œThat is your cave. That is your sacred mountain. That is where you will find the kingdom of God.”

    thanks, shree!

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    1. Me too! That was an awesome reassurance and also reinstates the truth that “It’s all in the simplicity of things”.
      The story leading up to that encounter was funny though! Kinda sad that the poor man had to get himself lost, walk for goodness knows how long and everything just to realize that he really didn’t have to travel so far..hehe.

      Then again, don’t we all start out that way too? And sometimes we even decide to go that way even when we know better..hehe

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  4. I really like that first quote. I think we often feel we need something we don’t have in order to do something, when in reality, we just need to apply ourselves and do it.

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    1. LOL…true. It’s always within us…it’s just that we have forgotten and our society isn’t really helping much either. The thing to do is to keep reminding ourselves that we are perfect for whatever job it is we are meant to be doing here. We can’t compare…that’s when the problems start.

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