Autobiography of a Yogi (5)

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 27: Founding a Yoga School in Ranchi

The ignorant man sees only the unsurmountable wall of death, hiding, seemingly forever, his cherished friends. But the man of unattachment, he who loves others as expressions of the Lord, understands that at death the dear ones have only returned for a breathing space of joy in Him

You know, however much I understand this there are times when confronting statement of truth such as this, I can’t help but imagine what or how I would feel if someone really near and dear to me were to pass on, and I feel the sadness which envelopes me, that feeling of wanting to have had protected them from death, of missing them, of feeling lost and of regret…regret that maybe they would have enjoyed a better life. Our human emotions are and will be there, however I much we realize or understand such truths. The thing of it is to know that it IS okay to feel the sadness, that it will pass and to always remember the truth, because it WILL act as a balm of comfort πŸ™‚

One of Lahiri Mahasaya‘s favourite remarks, with which he would encourage his students to persevere in meditation. It is literally: “Making, making, some day made” One may freely translate the thought as: “Striving, striving, one day behold! the Divine Goal.”

I’ve come across this in some blog posts, a way of positive affirmation and motivation. It really can be used for anything that we are striving for.

From Chapter 29: Rabindranath Tagore and I compare Schools

True education is not pumped and crammed in from outward sources, but aids in bringing to the surface the infinite hoard of wisdom within.”

Taken from the footnote:

“The soul having been often born, or, as the Hindus say, “traveling the path of existence through thousands of births’…there is nothing of which she has not gained the knowledge; no wonder that she is able to recollect…what formerly she knew…For inquiry and leaning is reminiscence all.” – Emerson, “Representative Men.”

From Chapter 34: Materializing a Palace in the Himalayas

The karmic law requires that every human wish find ultimate fulfillment. Non-spiritual desires are this the chain that binds man to the reincarnational wheel.

I personally loved this statement. It all at once gave an added dimension to my understanding of the Universal law of Karma.

It is easy to believe when one sees; no soul searchings are then necessary. Supersensual truth is deservedly discovered by those who overcome their natural materialistic skepticism.

This is where some questions cropped up…and not very nice ones, I might add. What is faith? Well, to me it is to believe even with no proof. It comes from this sense of knowing, deep within us. Do I have that? Do I believe without needing to have proof? ….You know, however uncomfortable it makes me feel, at this point in time I think I may be questioning myself on trust and faith. If I don’t trust doesn’t it then translate to not having faith? And what is it I don’t trust – only myself or even God? The infuriating part of this is that I *have* encountered many times what can be called Divine intervention. I know it. But there is still this part of me which constantly needs this reassurance, asking for proof. Not scientific proof…but proof on MY terms.

As I type this, I know I’m just going to let it be. I’m going to allow for these questions to come, I’m going to allow myself to feel uncomfortable, I’m going to just wrinkle my forehead at times…and I’m going to continue this journey…one step at a time…because isn’t there some wisdom out there which states that it is in the questioning that we find our inner guidance?

21 thoughts on “Autobiography of a Yogi (5)

  1. Here’s my favorite quote on death:

    β€œFor me the moment of death will be a moment of jubilation, not of fear. I cried when I was born and I shall die laughing.” ~ Nisargidatta Maharaj

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  2. I am tired of faith and believing without true KNOWING. Our friend Anita Moorjani says in her book that faith is not necessary, that we have outgrown it as a people. My pal Eckhart Tolle also discredits the need for belief in anything. I use the word sometimes out of habit, but tend to agree that we as humans cannot know or comprehend everything, we are not wired that way. Yet we can begin to base our ideology on our direct experience along with the knowledge from quantum physics.

    Excellent post dear one!

    love ya,
    Linda

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    1. Ah Linda…I remember Anita mentioning that in her book, about not needing faith. But at some point we do need to trust. Because without trust we will forever look outward for proof of everything..and we know that doesn’t work either. So I guess maybe not faith as such, because faith is something we don’t exactly feel…we put faith on something or someone…but to do so we would need to trust. And we would then learn to trust ..like you said, our direct experience along with the knowledge we gain…and that comes from within.

      Oh boy…hope that made sense! hehe

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  3. Those are some interesting questions. I’m not sue faith has to be blind faith, though. I think for many there is something that makes them have faith. I think the Roman Catholic church investigates supposed miracles quite extensively. They don’t just have faith that these things are miracles, they try to find some sort of proof.

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    1. That’s an interesting thing you pointed out there Peter..about investigating miracles. I honestly don’t know what faith is and at the same time I do. Right at this very moment while typing this comment, faith to me is there when you trust. When you trust, you put faith in something or someone…so before you can faith, you need to trust..I meant me..I..you know..lol.

      So it’s not faith I need to “look for”…as Andra commented, faith just is because it is born from trust.

      Hopefully this will be the same thing I feel by the end of the day..lol

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  4. Super interesting post, Shree!! You, my favorite Colin Farrell fan! πŸ˜€
    It’s gonna be hard for me to comment because 1) I caught a big cold and I probably have a fever lol 2) I’m afraid of writing stupid things (and especially here since English’s not my mothertongue) lol But well, I’m gonna give it a shot.
    I’m not a “believer”… My religion is music. πŸ˜‰ I believe in Science, because of all the proofs we have. BUT I think everyone has faith… to keep going. I’ve been through some hard times like everyone else, and have always believed everything would be okay… I think it’s faith. You have to believe or you stop fighting for your life. I guess.
    VoilΓ !! Sorry if that doesn’t make sense at all. ahah

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    1. Your comment was awesome and I do hope you’ve gotten better since! πŸ™‚
      I understand what you mean and you know Einstein was scientist and he believed in some thing “greater” than science. Some don’t believe there is anything greater than science, that’s fine too…as long as we all believe in goodness and it doesn’t matter from what area, art, music, writing, science…as it contributes to the greater good of all, including our Mother Earth, that is believe πŸ™‚

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  5. Shree, I am loving that you are sharing this autobiography with us my friend,.. I relate to so much.. I especially loved this Quote

    ” It is easy to believe when one sees; no soul searchings are then necessary. Supersensual truth is deservedly discovered by those who overcome their natural materialistic skepticism.”…

    We have so grown up to believing only that which we SEE within our material vision, and have for the most part lost the senses we each have at a soul level, Senses which some call our sixth sense, our intuitive abilities .. Our Mediumistic skills..
    Humans seek through their various Faiths, as we each feel a sense of incompleteness within us, They each know intuitively there is something beyond, Bigger, So they seek to connect via a faith to that All Powerful and God/Goddess Presence, as they seek to connect back to that missing part of them. But in most faiths they have put limitations upon it.. For instance, saying only those who are without sin will enter the Kingdom of God etc,,, and to enter this kingdom, we much adhere to the rules of God laid down by Man,…

    For a long while I saw my own particular version of God within my minds eye, as the scriptures I had read and the Bible stories I had grown up with which were passed down via my religious teachings and via the thoughts passed from adults to child… Thinking I was unworthy, and needed in some way to be purer in order to go to Heaven when I was a child…

    What I have learned via those Mediumistic skills via speaking to those in the spirit realms, and unlocking my own indoctrinated thinking, is that we are each like the caterpillar… Death comes to us All, its the natural Transformation…. We come to experience and via our Free Will we were allowed to make the choices of that experiences…

    In my own understanding we are all of us still upon this journey of discovery.. Learning as we go.. Transcending back to the levels of attainment of those lessons. But we each of us return into our Spiritual forms at that time of passing… As to which level we travel back to, in my own opinion is to how much of the emotional body we hang onto… As we create our visual world of reality here via our collective Thinking, Do we not create the surroundings to which we ‘Believe’ ourselves to be in…

    We are all Eternal Beings, and it matters not what External Faith we have, but as we connect back to the source, its what we hold within our hearts our true essence that for me is the KNOWING… For I KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that I am looking forward to the next phase of my journey as I remember even deeper WHO I AM…. And I can only try within my knowledge to be the best I can..

    Loved that you got me thinking on this one Shree… and hope I have not offended anyone within their own Beliefs

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