Autobiography of a Yogi (7)

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) 😉

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

Chapter 38: Luther Burbank – A Saint Amid the Roses

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Chapter 41: The Idyl in South India

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Chapter 42: Last Days With My Guru

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In India there are holy men who go around exactly as described above. There wear no clothes, the eat only at certain times, they have no actual place to stay…totally detached. I chose this passage, not because I think or feel that everyone of us should be like this. When reading it, I just imagined how wonderfully liberating it would be to not be as attached to the external world as most of us are. We so often use the external stuff and even people as means of escape from looking within, we have completely forgotten that the path to joy and peace and that happiness which so often eludes us, is actually within.

Those of us who are just starting with this new path, this journey of becoming more aware will definitely feel the fear of detachment. I mean, we depend on our laptops, our internet, our jobs (so much that even if it’s draining us AND we know we could afford to move, we don’t…because of the fear of the unknown)…even I get scared at times. Being born into this three dimensional world and depending only on our 5 senses and just how we’ve evolved into this race of human inhabiting this Earth…to think of just trusting God / Universe / Life and not stressing out or anything sounds crazy…but that’s the thing isn’t it. It’s not to give up everything and become a wandering “holy person” (well, unless you are inclined to do so)…it’s just to relax and realize that the outer things like stuff and positions, wealth and all does not define us and if we were to lose everything today…you know, we’d be okay…because we still have us 🙂

Chapter 44: With Mahatma Gandhi at Wardha

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23 thoughts on “Autobiography of a Yogi (7)

  1. I really loved your take on this material. I have become so attached to my laptop, more now than ever as a ” real writer”! This past week has been excruciating and I am mostly to blame as i allowed myself to become beholden to a mere machine. Attachments to any one thing is really about any and all attachments in the space time continuum. The paradox is to live here and become immersed in material reality, but not of it. Your quote : I mean, we depend on our laptops, our internet, our jobs (so much that even if it’s draining us AND we know we could afford to move, we don’t…because of the fear of the unknown)…even I get scared at times. Being born into this three dimensional world and depending only on our 5 senses and just how we’ve evolved into this race of human inhabiting this Earth…to think of just trusting God / Universe / Life and not stressing out or anything sounds crazy…but that’s the thing isn’t it. It’s not to give up everything and become a wandering “holy person” (well, unless you are inclined to do so)…it’s just to relax and realize that the outer things like stuff and positions, wealth and all does not define us and if we were to lose everything today…you know, we’d be okay…because we still have us 🙂

    This is brilliant Shree, you really capture the crux of the human experience,, bravo 🙂

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    1. Aww..thanks Linda!

      And yup… me and the laptop have the same attachment problem too! When my newer Mac got ill and had to go into the hospital I was pretty surprised at myself for being so calm about it! I was congratulating myself when a voice told me that maybe it was because I had my older, still functioning Dell around 😛
      That put a damper on the feeling good part! LOL!!

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  2. Oh, I like this one – great post! Letting go of attachment without becoming “detached” is one of the concepts I found most fascinating when I was studying Buddhism, and I frequently remind myself of it when things start to get too crazy. And I particularly loved that first quote: “It is the barren tree that lifts its head high in an empty boast”. Thanks, Shree! 🙂

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    1. You’re welcome Diane and glad you like the quotes!

      I liked the first quote too…so apt when I thought of all the “Little Napoleons” one tends to meet at times.
      It is also a reminder to me to not get too smug 😉

      Hit the nail on the letting go of attachments without being detached. That’s something I am learning to do. Detachment doesn’t mean not caring, it doesn’t mean you are never affected by anything, I guess it just means that we are able to let go of the emotions quicker!

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  3. I think what you have said is very true.I think often when people buy things, for instance, it’s not because of a true need, but because they’re needy. Needy in some sort of emotional way that can be temporarily satisfied by getting some new toy. But such things only quell our needs temporarily, and ultimately are not satisfying at all. In some ways, the less you have, the less you need, and the more satisfied you are.

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    1. And with that you have so eloquently said it! Loved the way you put it, Peter! Thank you!!

      When Jesus said Blessed be the poor for theirs’ is the kingdom of God…he could have meant this too. When we are “poor” of stuff, when we don’t need it, we truly are free-er to explore ourselves, within and invite joy into our lives.

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  4. I think that we would not be here in the Material Realm of reality on Earth, were we not wanting to experience the World of matter… and we have created via our existing senses those gadgets which we play with and help us create our living world around us…
    So for me although I often think I would like to detach and let go of things which no longer serve, and often chastise myself for those materialistic things we all crave..
    We have to be softer on ourselves to understand that we are in the process of experience…
    We are now however at the edge of seeing that no amount of material brings happiness, This is the Transformation to the next level of our progression…
    Loved this post Shree and all the quotes
    Sue

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    1. So wonderfully put Sue!!
      It’s true that we are here to experience this three dimensional world but I feel that we have forgotten that we don’t need to depend solely on these materialistic things. That’s the danger when we get so enraptured by it and our 5 sense, we completely let go of remembering who we are!

      Love reading your comments Sue!

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      1. Yes, we do, I remember one of my Spiritual guides saying though me in a trance session that the Wheel was full.. My group and myself after listening back to the short message didnt understand what was meant by that…
        several months later during another trance session it was explained… I will see if I can find you the transcript about Karma, and how we are sort of trapped within the wheel of it … This is why this cycle of change is so important as it will teach us to let go of many material things…

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