Yoganandine SRF lekcije

Self –Realization Fellowship
Founded in 1920 by Paramahansa Yogananda


We are happy that you have become a student of the incomparable teachings  of our Guru-Founder, Paramahansa Yogananda. Through application of the moral  and esoteric principles of original Christianity and of original Yoga presented in these teachings --especially the simple techniques of meditation handed down to us by the Gurus of Self-Realization Fellowship --you will discover a life divine. You will realize a spiritual fellowship with other truth seekers on this path; and the supreme joy of "satsanga" --fellowship with God, our one Father.

The real meaning of any scripture can be known only through direct experience. That inner knowledge is accessible to all men who attain
soul-perception or Self-realization. Followers of all creeds may apply
Self-Realization Fellowship teachings: basic spiritual truths that develop man's potentialities for living a godly life. Our humble desire is to help you, through these teachings, to expand your consciousness until you understand by your own Self-realization the eternal Truth behind all great religions, and to foster goodwill and universal brotherhood in the name of the one God.

The Self-Realization Fellowship principles and techniques will help you to
erase forever all doubts as to the existence, nature, and power of God. But
merely reading the words of our Guru, Paramahansa Yogananda, will not suffice to bring forth the inner illumination of Self-realization.
He often said: "Mahavatar Babaji and Lahiri Mahasaya have given to the world, through this work that they sent me here to establish, the scientific techniques by which real truth seekers can consciously follow the quickest route to the Infinite.
The Lessons you will receive are impregnated with the spirit of the great
masters of Self-Realization Fellowship: Jesus Christ, Bhagavan Krishna, Mahavatar Babaji, Lahiri Mahasaya, and Swami Sri Yukteswar. If you study the Lessons with reverence and deep attention, and, along with that, deeply practice meditation, you will be in touch with the divine link of these masters. When a student tunes in with the wisdom of a God-sent
guru-preceptor, then by his efforts to follow the guru's teaching, and by the inner guidance he receives from the guru, that student can find liberation. Those who are steadfast will ultimately be lifted into the kingdom of Cosmic Consciousness."

You should give some time to God. No person is really so busy that he is
unable to devote a part of each day to the most important of all man's
duties --seeking oneness with his Creator. Students who knock at the door of spiritual opportunity with their best efforts will find it swinging open, for God does indeed "help those who help themselves." As soon as the devotee begins to understand the ultimate Reality that sustains all things and all beings, he cries in joy: "Lord, nothing that I ever sought in the world is as wonderful as Thou art --Thou, the Giver of all gifts."

Paramahansaji again and again stressed that the universal precepts of the
scriptures are meant not only for followers of the monastic life but for all
mankind. He pointed out that attuning the limited human
consciousness to God's will is not otherworldly, but practical. "Have a partnership with the Lord in all your undertakings," he advised. Without God's support man inevitably fails; because strength and wisdom for success in the battle of life come from the Infinite Source. Ignoring God, man cuts his own lifeline. Those persons are closest to unraveling the mystery of life who are consciously seeking communion with God, the First Cause.

Regardless of religious affiliations, all persons who sincerely seek spiritual advancement are welcome to study the Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons.
These sacred teachings constitute the formal religion of students who make Self- Realization Fellowship their Church. Initiation in the highest technique of meditation, Kriya Yoga, is the spiritual baptism of this Church, and is given when students establish church-membership affiliation with Self-Realization Fellowship.

Application for Kriya Yoga may be made after completing Steps I and II
of the Lessons, a period of approximately one year if the Lessons are received without interruption on a biweekly basis, as is the case with the majority of students. Initiation in Kriya Yoga signifies acceptance of the holy guru-disciple relationship between the student and Paramahansa Yogananda. Kriya Yogis pledge their spiritual loyalty to the Gurus and to Self-Realization Fellowship.

You are welcome to write us any questions about the Lessons or about spiritual problems; or to request divine assistance through prayer. Your letters will receive sympathetic attention and will be treated confidentially. Such correspondence is looked after by monks and sisters of the Self-Realization Order. These renunciants have dedicated their lives to finding God by following this path, and to serving Him by helping others (insofar as it is within their power to do so) toward that highest of all achievements.

We pray that to the end you travel with us the Kriya Yoga highway to the
Inf inite.

* * *



Introduction to the Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons ……..1
The Way to a Higher Life .................................... 1
The Dynamic Power of Will ................................. 2
What is the Best Religion? .................................. 3
How to Meditate ............................................. 3-A
Friendship .................................................. 4
The Art of Energization .....................................5-9 incl .
Physical Body is Constantly Changing ............... 5
Power of Will ...................................... 6
Special Kinds of Relaxation ......................... 7
The Technique of Energization ………………………………8
 Explanat ion and Practice of Recharging Exercises (including routine) …..8-A
Scientific Tension and Relaxation ................... 9
The Phenomena of Dreams .................................. 10
Plain Living and God- Thinking ............................... 11
Control of Your Emotions is the
Key to Health and Happiness ............................ 12
Destroy Depression by Substituting Prosperity ….13
 Humbleness versus Egotism ................................. 14
Good and Bad Habits ........................................ 15
The Art of Concentration and Meditation ..................... 16
Popular Conceptions of Concentration ........................ 17
The Right Method of Concentration ................. 17
Definitions of Concentration ................................. 18
The Art of Concentration .................................... 19
Further Instructions on Concentration ....................... 20
The Technique of Concentration (Hong-Sau) ................. 21
Routine of Concentration ..................................... 22
Further Facts on Concentration ............................. 23
Delicate Art of Breath Control ...................... 23
Important Points Concerning the Hong-Sau Technique 23
SRF Hong-Sau Technique of Concentration ................... 23-A
How to Cure Nervousness ................................... 24
Cultivate Inner Soul Joy--The True Happiness ............... 25
Lesson Summaries
1 - 5 incl .......................................... 26/1
6 -11 incl .......................................... 26/2
12 19 incl .......................................... 26/3
20 -25 incl .......................................... 26/4

Volume 1


Two Frogs in Trouble ...................................2
Spreading the Ripples of Peace .......................... 9
The Mouse That Became a Tiger ........................10
The Discontented Man ................................... 11, 12
The Secret Way to Prosperity ........................... 13
Prayer for Divine Guidance and Prosperity …………13
Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God ....................... 13
A Saint Who Chose a King as His Spiritual Guide ........ 14
The Man Who Thought That He was Proof Against Temptatio.......15
Guru Nanak .............................................. 16
Madame Butterfly's Attempts at Concentration .......... 17
Four States of Consciousness ........................... 18
Portrait of an Unsuccessful Businessman ...............18
Monkey Consciousness .................................. 19
The Prodigal Son ........................................ 20
Hong-Sau--The Silent Kriya Yoga ....................... 2 1
The Man Who Refused Heaven ...........................22
The Saint Who Called a King a Beggar ................... 24
Ever New Joy ........................................... 25


"Thy Self-realization will blossom forth from thy soulful study"



An Interpretation by Paramahansa Yogananda:

0 Heavenly Father, Mother, Friend, Beloved God ! may our cease-
less silent utterance of Thy holy Name transform us to Thy likeness.

Inspire us, that our matter worship be changed to adoration of
Thee. Through our purified hearts may Thy perfect kingdom come on
earth, and a11 nations be liberated from misery. Let the soul freedom
within us be manifested outwardly.

May our wills grow strong in overcoming worldly desires and final-
ly be attuned to Thy faultless will.

Give us our daily bread: food, health, and prosperity for the body;
efficiency for the mind; and, above all, Thy love and wisdom for the

It is Thy law that "with the same measure ye mete, it shall be
measured to you. "**
May we forgive those who offend us, ever mindful of our own need for Thine unmerited mercy.

Leave us not in the pit of temptations into which we have fallen
through our misuse of Thy gift of reason. Shouldst Thou wish to test
us, 0 Spirit, may we realize Thou art enchanting beyond any earthly
Help us to deliver ourselves from the shadowy bonds of the sole
evil: ignorance of Thee

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.

--From "Whispers from Eternity"

* Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4.
**Luke 6:38.


SRF teachings are a special dispensation for the Atomic Age, sent forth from India, ancient land of spiritual wisdom, by a line of fully enlightened, Christlike Gurus --Babaji, Lahiri Mahasaya, Sri Yukte swar, and Paramahansa Yogananda.
Self-Realization Fellowship teachings fulfill Christ's
promise that he would send the "Comforter. I' "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said to you" (John 14:26).

Our Guru, Paramahansa Yogananda, has given the following explanation:
These Biblical words refer to the threefold nature of God as Father, Son,
and Holy Ghost (Sat, Tat, and Aum in the Hindu scriptures). God the Father
is the Absolute, the Unmanife sted, existing beyond vibratory creation. God
the Son is the Christ Consciousness (Brahma or Kutastha Chaitanya) existing
within vibratory creation; this Christ Consciousness is the "only
begotten" or sole reflection in creation of the Uncreated Infinite. The outer manifesta-tion of the omnipresent Christ Consciousness, its "witness"
(Revelation 3: 14), is Aum, the Word or Holy Ghost: invisible divine power, the only doer, the sole causative and activating force that upholds all creation through vibration.
Aum the blissful Comforter is heard in meditation and reveals to the devotee
the ultimate Truth, bringing "all things to. .. remembrance. "

The student receives in the 29th Lesson the Aum (Om) Technique of Med-
itation, through whose practice he may hear the cosmic sound of Aum, the
Holy Ghost. By deep attunement with Aurn he comes to feel the presence of
the Christ. It is thus that we may "receive himtt--i. e., consciously com-
mune with the Christ Consciousness that was manifest in Jesus and in all other illumined masters. This experience of receiving the Christ Consciousness within one's own consciousness is the real "second coming"
of Christ.

Devoted, regular practice of the Aurn (Om) Technique of Meditation (Les-
son 29) and of the Hong-Sau Technique of Concentration (Lesson 21) is essential in the daily life of every Self-Realizationist who is seriously seeking spiritual advancement. He should also faithfully practice the Recharging Exercises (Lesson 8-A), whose principles were discovered in 1916 by Paramahansa Yogananda.


The Lessons are grouped into "steps, each of which contains approximately twenty-five Lessons; at the end of each
step the student receives a summary of the preceding material, together with pertinent questions to help him in reviewing that step; and a brief questionnaire that may be completed and sent to Self-Realization
Fellowship as a progress report.

Many different subjects are covered, in some cases at length (by contin-
uation from Lesson to Lesson). There is something of interest for everyone,
young or old, busy or at leisure. And whether a subject is of immediate
interest to the student or not, the principles of Self-realization brought out
in each case are universally applicable.


 For a discriminative understanding of SRF teachings, the  following method of study has been found by most students
to give the best results:
Read over an entire SRF Lesson once, trying to grasp its main
purport. Do not break the continuity of thought to mull over points not immediately clear to you as you read.
Now begin reading again, but this time read only one paragraph
and, focusing your deepest attention on the subject matter, weigh
the meaning of the words in the balance of your mind. Proceed
to the next paragraph and continue in the same manner.
In this way you will grasp the full meaning of all important points without
fatiguing memorization and without loss of time owing to wandering thoughts.

Mother Center will be happy to help you with your questions concerning
the SRF teachings and techniques. But remember that understanding is a
process of growth. If you feel you are encountering some real problem or
obstacle, do not hesitate to write to Mother Center for guidance and help.
Otherwise, first give yourself time to study, apply, and assimilate the instruc-
tions in the SRF Lessons. More and more of your questions will be answered
with each successive SRF Lesson. All of your queries will be resolved as you
deepen your own intuitive, all-knowing soul faculty of perception and under-
standing by the regular practice of deep meditation.



Heavenly Father, Divine Mother, Jesus Christ, Bhagavan Krishna,
Babaji, Lahiri Mahasaya, Sri Yukte swarji, Guru-Preceptor Parama-
hansa Yogananda, saints of all religions, I bow to you all. May Thy
love shine forever on the sanctuary of my devotion, and may I be able
to awaken Thy love in all hearts.


Self-Realization Fellowship teaches the highest principle of spiritual liv-
ing: meditation combined with activity. Everywhere people are working, but
they have forgotten God. First meditate and feel the divine Presence; then do
your work saturated with the consciousness of God. If you do this you will
never become tired. If you work for your Divine Beloved, your life will be
filled with love and strength. SRF students are taught how to dedicate inwardly to God all the day's activities; and, when work is done, to commune with Him in the temple of silence.

Spirituality cannot be bought in a marketplace. God must be earnestly
sought. When you are very desirous of finding Him, the Lord sends a guru. A
true guru is a direct link with God. The guru has only one purpose: to intro-
duce you to the Heavenly Father. When you are in tune with a true guru you
are in tune with the Lord. The relationship is eternal. Even after death, a
guru continues to help his disciples (i. e. , those who recognize him as their
guru and who faithfully follow his teachings). This is a spiritual law.

Hence every SRF student should understand and respect the significance of
the link of SRF Gurus--Jesus Christ, Bhagavan Krishna, Mahavatar Babaji,
Lahir i Mahasaya, Sri Yukte swar, and Paramahansa Yogananda- -with whom all SRF students are connected by affiliation with Self-Realization Fellowship.
Those who desire the help of these Gurus in finding God should follow the way that the Gurus have shown. The re are students who do not follow the teachings, yet expect spiritual benefits just the same. Those benefits will not come! An SRF student should never go to bed without first giving his deepest attention to God. Those who practice the SRF techniques of meditation daily, with sincere devotion to the Lord, will find by their own Self-realization the validity of SRF teachings. SRF asks no one to believe blindly, but to practice the methods offered in these sacred teachings. By being loyal to the Gurus in this way, the student makes it possible for the Gurus to guide him surely to the Divine Goal.

SRF teaches control of the body until one is its master. Then when you
sit to meditate you will not nod. Practice these teachings and you will make
your body a fit temple to receive God. The human body has to be made ready
to receive the divine power. The state of consciousness has to be right. Then
God will come to you!

But the Lord may not respond right away. Only when He is convinced
that you seek Him not for the satisfaction of temporal desires or for spiritual
glamour and glory--but simply to be His, unconditionally, forever--will He
open the door. The devotees who are faithful to the end are those for whom
He will open the door. But only He can tell when that day of final beatitude
will come.

God does not always appear before us just because we have meditated
deeply for several years, or for whatever we consider a proper length of
time. If there is some flaw in their love, even saints who have meditated for
incarnations may be chastened by God's failure to appear. But to those who
make no demand, who just keep on striving, saying, "Lord, I will wait for you,
no matter how long it takes, I I He will come. The greatest factor for success
with God is to have that resolute desire. Lord Krishna said, "Out of one
thousand, one seeks Me; and out of one thousand that seek Me, one knows Me" (Bhagavad-Gita VII:3 ) .

God is caressing you through the breeze, in the sunshine. He is the food
that you eat. He is the One that nurtures you as father, mother, and relatives.
He is the only eternal relative. That is why Jesus said, "There is no man
that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife,
or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, but he shall receive an
hundredfold-now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers,andchildren,andlands,withpersecutions;andintheworldtocomeeternal life" (Mark 10:2?-30).

No one belongs to another person. We have all come from God. On earth
we are seemingly strangers; it is only when we love the Lord that we become
truly brothers and sisters of all. Salvation is for men and women who love
God, those who go on seeking Him to the end--not just to "stick it out, "
but because they love Him.

"Seek ye first the kingdom of God" was Jesus' advice to all people. Man
was not made merely for producing children and for selfish aggrandizement.
Millions of persons have thought those goals to be sufficient, but they were
mistaken. At death they left this world, bewildered and dissatisfied, their
soul hunger unappeased.

Jesus, Krishna, and the Masters are great reflections of God, perfect
examples for you to follow. Thus you may know you too are a potential child
of God. We are all sons of the one Father. But you have to realize that! May
that consciousness come to you! No one should call himself a sinner. What-
ever your errors, they belong to the past; they are not you. God is yours !
Christ, Krishna, and the great Masters are yours! Hold that truth in your
bosom, in every thought you have; and one day you will find that you have only dreamed you were a man; you will wake and know you are a god, an eternal reflection of the Infinite Spirit. The greatest sin is ignorance of our oneness with Him.

Self-Realization Fellowship teachings are a great dispensation sent forth
into the world by Jesus Christ and Mahavatar Babaji to unite the original
Christianity and the original Yoga, to bring real God-communion to people in
all lands. SRF has come to show people how to seek God. Self-Realization
is the new dispensation that was promised in the scriptures. Christ promised
to send the Holy Ghost after he had departed. "Holy Ghost" means the sacred
cosmic vibration that underlies the structure of all creation, the vibration you
can hear by practicing the "Om" (Aum) technique of meditation (Lesson 29).
SRF is bringing that teaching, that scientific method, which has never before
been given to the world. When you practice the technique and hear and com-
mune with the sacred vibration, the Aum (Om) or Amen, you will be one with
the Lord through the Christ Consciousness immanent in it.

If you sincerely follow this path of the Masters, Self-Realization Fellow-
ship will take you to your highest Goal, the Cosmic Beloved--God!

Anyone who receives this message with an open heart shall not go away
unfulfilled. His heart shall become a wonderful cup of realization that will
gradually expand to receive the ocean of Infinity, the power of the eternal


If you will study these Lessons for at least half an hour every day, you
will soon realize a new goal of happiness, inner awakening, and Self-realiza-
tion that will forever shed light upon you so that you may live according to the highest standards of existence. You will feel God; you will see Him smiling
in the stars and the blossoms; you will see Him templed within every human
being and in every good thought and every love that you have.

When you have understood by your own Self-realization the spiritual mes-sage given here you will also realize that within these pages is the best that
India has to offer. Self-Realization Fellowship brings you the universal tech-
nique of salvation, the royal highway to the Infinite.


This day shall be the be st day of my life. Today I will start with a new determination to dedicate my devotion forever at the feet of Omnipresence.



By Paramahansa Yogananda

Teach me, 0 Father, to seek the soul's
lasting happiness rather than temporary sense

Strengthen my will power, that I escape
from bad habits and reform myself by medita-
tion and the influence of spiritually minded

Give me the wisdom to follow happily the
ways of righteousness. May I develop the soul
faculty of disc rimination that detects evil, in
even its subtlest forms; and that guides me to
the humble paths of goodness.

I would direct my life by the God-given
power of free choice, not by the compulsions of
hardened habits.

--From "Whispers from Eternity"


Heavenly Father, teach me to contact Thee fir st and thus harness
my will and activity to the right goal.



Volition is the dynamo that feeds all our powers. It initiates and keeps in continuous operation all our physical, mental, and spiritual actions. Without the spring of volition, we cannot walk, talk, think, work, or feel. In order not to exercise volition, or will power, one would have to lie down and enter a state of suspended animation.
Even the slightest movement of the muscles (as in winking the eyelids) or any act of thinking is initiated by the use of volition.

A wish implies a helpless desire of the mind. A desire is a stronger wish;
it is often followed by fitful efforts to manifest itself into action. An intention,
or a determination, is a definite, strong desire expressed very forcefully once
or twice through action for the accomplishment of a certain purpose. Such a
determination, however strong, is often discouraged after one or perhaps sever al unsuccessful efforts. But a volition consists of a series of continuous, undiscourageable, unceasing determinations and acts revolving around a desire, until it becomes dynamic enough to produce the much-craved result. "Will and act until victory" is the slogan of all volitive activity. No matter how impossible of accomplishment his goal may seem, the man of volition never stops repeating conscious acts of determination to achieve it, as long as he lives.


Does not will power govern evolution? Coercion or compul sion never brings about growth. It is freedom that accele ates evolution. Too much dependence upon what is external or objective throttles the possibility of progress and nips in the bud the potent factors of evolution. Progress presupposes the existence of the power of growth from within; and that a subject will evolve by adjusting itself to its environment, or by adapting its environment to itself. Unless he trains his will by qpplication of scientific techniques such as Self-Realization Fellowship offers, man's power of volition atrophies.

The use of will power developed by the practice of SRF methods opens up limitless possibilities for all-round success. We must will tomove or think.
And we are almost continuously moving some part of the body and thinking.
Therefore the determined direction of physical activities and thought force by a developed, consciously exercised will power, can accomplish many things that might be considered impossible. Using the will does not necessitate physical or mental strain. Exertion of conscious will means a cool, calm, determined, increasingly steady and smooth-flowing effort of the attention and the whole being  toward attaining a definite goal.


SRF instructions combine the basic laws of physical well-being utilized by the ancient Hindu yogis and discoveries of modern physiological science.
Some Western athletes have learned to control certain muscles by will, but
have failed to see the scientific principles underlying such control. The yogis
of India have a large number of postures that they practice in order to strengthen and develop their will power. The will can be utilized to develop the body; and the will itself is developed in the process by the very exercising of it.
Physical and mental development are intertwined, and help each other. The SRF technique of recharging the body by will is distinctive in that it teaches one how to concentrate his attention upon the inner energy--direct giver of strength and vitality to all the tissues in the body. The faithful student will find that practice of the technique invariably and consciously develops his will power along with his bodily strength.


The evolution of this great force should be thoughtfully  studied. The newborn baby's first cry announced the birth of will power. The baby cries because it wants to remove the feeling of discomfort owing to the first painful opening and activity of the lungs. This is called llautomatic
physiological will. When the baby grows old enough to tilk, and unque stioningljr fblIo<s -the wishes of its mother, it is said to possess "unthinking
will. "
The mother calls the infant a "good boy" because he obeys her.
Then the baby grows older and begins to think for himself; and if the mother
denies something that the baby thinks he should have, he begins to manifest
obstinacy by offering resistance. The mother may become angry and call her
child "naughty. "
But, in the first act of obstinacy, the baby is only using the next phase of evolving will, "blind will.


Will at this stage is termed "blind" because it is not usually guided by wisdom. Most young people use this explosive blind will without any worthwhile purpose, wasting energy and higher po s sibilities on passions, temptations, brawls, fast driving, rash resolutions, ungoverned appetites, and so forth. In the East we give the following illustration of the folly of letting the senses go ungoverned: The bee, for love of fragrance settles in the lotus flower; the petals entomb it if the bee forgets to get out before they close. The fish loves the taste of water; it dies when taken out of it.
The moose loves music and is lured to its death by the flute of the hunter. The
wild male elephant loves the sense of touch and is lured by the tame she-elephant to captivity--behavior true to human beings too! The insect loves the sight of light and perishes trying to enjoy the white loveliness of the candle flame. So each of these creatures dies because it is addicted to a single sense. But man is attached to all five senses, and he must watch his step if he would save himself from his blind will, which urges him to jump into one of the yawning crevasses of the five sense lures.


 Realizing the futility of blind will--after experiencing its results--the youth learns what is meant by "thinking will. "
Even thinking will, however, is not an end in itself; for unless it is guided by
disc rimination, it becomes semiparalyzed by wrong activities. But if one '
s thinking will retains its normal power and is made to revolve around a definite purpose, it becomes "dynamic volition. "
When such volition is used for whole-some purposes --actions in tune with the universal harmony or good--the will is strengthened and leads to success. A wrongly used will weakens itself, owing to lack of encouragement from truth, as it is out of tune with the universal order. When one knows that his objective or the nature of his purpose is worthwhile, then the tenacity of his volition becomes greater. The man of volition says:

"I will use my dynamic power of volition to fight for the truth
until success comes. If death intervenes, I shall take up my activity
with renewed determination in another incarnation, until I have ful-
filled my good purpose. l'


 A strong will, by its own dynamic force, creates a way for fulfillment of its intention. By its very strength, the will sets into motion certain vibrations in the atmosphere; and nature, with its laws of order, system, and efficiency, thereupon responds by creating favorable circumstances. Will derives its greatest strength from an honest purpose, lofty motives, and a noble solicitude for doing good to the world at large. A strong will is never stifled; it always finds a way.


 God did not make us inert automatons, but instruments of His will, endowed with free choice to use that power as we please. God's will is not guided by whim or temptation. His will is guided by wisdom. God made us, His children, in His image, that we might guide our will with wisdom, even as He does. To teach people not to use their will is not only a ridiculous denial of the Divine Father's wish; indeed, it is an impossibility, since the will is involved in even the slightest movement of the muscle s or in thinking.


 All human craving and desire should be transmuted and turned toward God, instead of being allowed to delude the soul-image of God in man. Temptation is a delusive, compelling, conflicting, joy-expecting thought which should be used to pursue happiness-making truth and not misery-producing error. Although God is the Creator of consciousness, the vitiated consciousness in man turns away from Him and tries to lure the soul to concentrate upon temporary pleasures of the senses.


 When you want to accomplish something important, will and act after you have first contacted God. By contacting God first, you harness your will and activity to the right goal. As you cannot broadcast through a broken microphone, so must you remember that you cannot broadcast your
prayers through a mental microphone that is disordered by restlessness. Repair your mind microphone by practicing deep calmness. Then give God a real soul- call. Do not give up after only one or two broadcasts if He does not seem to respond. You cannot get an answer by just calling someone and then running away. Similarly, it is ineffective to pray once and then let the attention run away. Continuously broadcast your prayer to God through your calm mental microphone until you hear His answering voice. Most people pray in restlessness, and without the determination to receive a response.


If one uses his will ignorantly, it produces wrong or evil  actions. But if one guides his will with wisdom, his actions bring about good, for they are in tune with divine will, and divine will is guided by wisdom. Wisdom-guided, self -initiated human will, and human will guided by God's wisdom-guided will, are one and the same thing.


 Jesus found his will so completely guided by wisdom that he could say to a dead man, "Lazarus, come forth, " and bring him to life; or "0 my Father.. .Thy will be done, " and with full knowledge submit to the betrayal that led to his crucifixion (Matthew 26:42).
Many people misinterpret the real meaning of "Thy will be done, 'I and preach a most people are mentally lazy. They are unwilling even to initiate creative thinking, or self -emancipating thinking, lest they succeed.


The only savior of man is a constantly progressive dynamic will. Human will, however powerful, is still limited by the circumference of the body and the boundarie s of the physical universe. Man's will can initiate successful activities in the body, or on earth, or in finding out the mysteries of distant stars. But divine will has no boundaries; it works in all bodies, in all things. God said: "Let there be light, I' and there was light. God's will is working in everything. When by deep meditation and by wisdom-guided, unflinching, never discouraged determination we can successfully keep our volition revolving around all our noble desires, then our will becomes one with divine will.

Man's will ordinarily works within the boundaries of his own little circle
of family, environment, world conditions, destiny, and prenatal and postnatal
cause-and-effect governed actions. But divine dynamic volition can change
destiny, wake the dead, move mountains into the sea, and divert the course of planets.

For absolute control of your life and for destroying prenatal and postnatal
root-causes of failure, you must exercise your will in every undertaking, until
it shakes off its mortal delusion of being human will and becomes
all-powerful divine will. You do not need to acquire this dynamic divine will. You already possess it in the image of God within you.


Once a big fat frog and a lively little frog were hopping along together when
they had the misfortune to jump straight into a pail of fresh milk. They swam
for hours and hours, hoping to get out somehow; but the sides of the pail were steep and slippery, and death seemed certain.

When the big frog was exhausted he lost courage. There seemed no hope
of rescue. "Why keep struggling against the inevitable ? I can't swim any longer, " he moaned. "Keep on! Keep on! " urged the little frog, who
was still circling the pail. So they went on for awhile. But the big frog decided it was no use. "Little brother, we may as well give up, " he gasped, "I'm
going to quit struggling.
Now only the little frog was left. He thought to himself, "Well, to give up
is to be dead, so I will keep on swimming.
Two more hours passed and the tiny legs of the determined little frog were almost paralyzed with exhaustion.
It seemed as if he could not keep moving for another minute. But then he thought of his dead friend, and repeated, "To give up is to be meat for someone's table, so I'll keep on paddling until I die--if death is to come--but I will not cease trying--'while there is life, there's hope ! '"
Intoxicated with determination, the little frog kept on, around and around
and around the pail, chopping the milk into white waves. After awhile, just as
he felt completely numb and thought he was about to drown, he suddenly
felt something solid under him. To his astonishment, he saw that he was resting on a lump of butter which he had churned by his incessant paddling ! And so the successful little frog leaped out of the milk pail to freedom.


I shall tune my free will with the infinite will of God, and my only desire shall be to do the wisdom-guided will of Him who created me.



By Paramahansa Yogananda

Into the temple of peace come Thou, O Lord of Joy!
Enter m,y shrine of meditation, O Bliss God ! Sanctify me
with Thy presence.

Eternal Allah, hover over the lone minaret of my holy
aspiration. The mosque of my mind exudes a frankincense
of stillness.

On the altar of my inner vihara I place flowers of
desirelessness. Their chaste beauty is Thine, O Spirit!

In a tabernacle not made with hands, I bow before the
sacred ark and vow to keep Thy commandments.

Heavenly Father, in an invisible church built of
devotion granite, receive Thou my humble heart offerings,
daily renewed by prayer.

--From "Whispers from Eternity"


Heavenly Father, in Thy uni-
versal temple of silence we are singing
unto Thee a chorus of many-voiced
religions. Teach us to bow to Thee,
manifesting in all churches and temples
erected in Thine honor.


Most people who follow a variety of teachings stick to none. Their choices are usually influenced by curiosity and imitation, rather than by any
logical reason or necessity. Such students like to listen perpetually to new
ideas from new personalities, without ever making a personal effort to assimilate the ideas. They may be compared to one who sets out to reach a certain destination, but becomes so enamored with walking that he wanders here and there, forgetting all about his goal.

Some students are led by curiosity to adopt a particular spiritual path,
hoping to reach the destination of truth and wisdom; but they often become
sidetracked by their insatiable curiosity. As they keep trying new ways for
the thrill of a change, they never reach their goal. These people are inter-
ested in listening to spiritual truths, but not in making the effort to apply
those truths in actual life and to realize them through experience, within the

Superficial seekers fail to get anywhere because they do not separate the
kernel of truth from the chaff of untested beliefs. They imagine they under-
stand the truth of different teachings, without even trying to feel the joyous
experience that comes through Self-realization of truth.

Real students are satisfied only when they can realize truth within them-
selves as a direct, personal experience. The difference between curiosity
seekers and real seekers is that the former always seek new imaginary satis-
factions or "thrills" from their studies. This seeming thirst for knowledge
is an indication, more o.ften than not, that such persons are actually satisfied
with mere theories. Real seekers test and compare until they find applicable
truths that increase their realization.


What is the best way to find a true (and hence soul-satisfying) religion?
Let us draw our conclusions from the following illustration:
When a dietitian eloquently expounds the wonderful results a particular
system of diet will produce, Mr. John (who represents the average enthusi-
astic but changeable faddist) is inclined to be very much impressed. But if
Mr. John continually puts off trying out that system of diet, he naturally
loses interest in it as soon as the lecture series is over. But later on, when
another dietitian visits town, Mr. John is eager to listen to him, because he
remembers the sense of enthusiasm and imaginary stimulation he felt while
listening to the previous lectures about a system of dietetics.
The chances are that once the second dietitian leaves town, Mr. John
will not try out his system of diet either. Or perhaps Mr. John tries it for
a little while, and then falls back into his old habit of eating ham sandwiches
made with white bread, instead of cheese or egg sandwiches made with wholewheat bread, as might have been suggested by the dietitian. Mr. John, being impelled by the theoretical desire to live right, thus develops the habit of listening to all the new dietitians that come to town, without ever following any of their instructions.

Mr. John also develops the habit of going only to dietitians whose names
and teachings are new to him--no matter what their value. He, of course,
thinks he is smart and that he has "outgrown1' the best principles of dietetics
prescribed by the first dietitian--even though such principles may have been
better than the ones that have more recently aroused his enthusiasm. He
imagines he knows a great deal about the various systems of dietetics just
because he has listened to various disconnected lectures on the subject. So
long as listening to new principles of dietetics produces the desire and the
necessary action to work them out in daily life, so long is it good for a per-
son to listen to such lecturers; but every "Mr. John" should remember he
cannot follow all the systems of diet at the same time, and that he should not
discard a good system for a lesser system of food science just because the
latter happens to be new to him.


The foregoing principles also apply to religion. Some students who have
only theoretically tried different teachings are still seeking, instead of apply-
ing in their lives the best teachings they have found. They believe that they
"know" all the principles just because they have heard them once, or because
they put into practice a few of the principles for a little while. Such persons
may be classed as curiosity seekers, and so long as they maintain this shal-
low approach they will never taste the bliss of Self-realization. Accepting
the shadow for the substance, they are like persons who are satisfied merely
by listening to descriptions of orange blossom honey, given by different pro-
ducers of the product, without ever tasting the honey itself.

Some people want to swallow every variety of food that is at hand, with-
out giving the body a chance to assimilate any of it. This does not revitalize
the system, it merely produces indigestion. Likewise, there are scriptural
students who love to swallow good ideas without making them a part of their
lives. Naturally, they suffer from theoretical indigestion. One who has nothing to eat must seek anything at hand in order to satisfy his hunger; but
when one has access to various kinds of food, he should discriminate as to
what is the best kind of food.

Also, if you are spiritually hungry and you do not find the right teacher
--one who has attained Self-realization through true spiritual experience--
then you are justified, in the beginning, in trying to know truth through select
books and lectures. But when you have experienced a little awakening, you
will become increasingly hungry. At the same time you will find that your
sources of spiritual food have multiplied. Then you should select carefully,
from among the many teachings, that system best adapted to your needs--and stick to it.

Remember, if you are anxious to get to New York from Los Angeles, you
do not spend half a lifetime trying out different kinds of conveyances such as
bullock carts, horses and carriages, ships, automobiles, slow or fast air-
planes; and in investigating the different long and short routes. You select
the shortest route and pick the safest and fastest conveyance available, and
use these to reach your destination.

Is any business more urgent than that of reaching, through Self-realiza-
tion, the Source of all life? Then forsake habit-imposed theological beliefs
that have proven to be blind alleys leading nowhere. You cannot ride in the
fast airplane of Self-realization and in the old theological bullock cart at the
same time, any more than you could follow two contradictory, dogmatic,
theological routes at the same time. The best way lies in selecting the short-
e st route: the best technique of meditation. If you deeply, joyously, and con-
tinuously practice the techniques contained in these Lessons, without deviating from these methods of practice, you will be taking the fastest "airplane" to God.

Many seekers fail to find Truth because they lose themselves in the
forest of theology, moving from one thicket of theory to another until they
feel utterly bewildered. Prove that you are a true seeker by determining
now, from the very beginning, that you will give careful, practical attention
to the techniques and principles you have judiciously selected; and that with
the help of your chosen teacher, or guru, you will keep on learning and prac-
ticing until you are able to see the results in yourself. The guru's help is
important, for while you may find true religious principles expressed in good
books, you can never realize their full meaning until you see them manifested in the life of an enlightened teacher. Such a guru can help you when you are attuned to him, even though you are not in his presence.

Now you are just starting on your journey toward the goal of Self-realiza-
tion. Persevere; and when you feel a growing satisfaction, an ever increas-
ing peace, wisdom, and assurance from within, you will begin to realize that
the best religion consists in ,your continuousl~y progressing perception of your constantly growing inner happiness, felt in meditation.


Have you found Truth? True religion lies in conscious communion with
God. The practice of religion should give you the joy of feeling God-conscious-
ne ss. Concentrate on experiencing God's love, not on "miraculous" visions
or demonstrations. Merge your consciousness into God-consciousness.
Once you have found God, He will tell you all that you need to know.

The secret of true religion lies in the cave of stillness, in the cave of
wisdom, in the cave of the spiritual eye. By concentration on the point
between the eyebrows and by delving into the depths of silence, one can find
answers to all the religious queries of the heart.


I worship the one God honored
on the altars of all religious faiths.



(Basic instructions, with an exercise in visualization)


Meditation is the science of reuniting the soul with Spirit.
The soul, descending from God into flesh, manifests its consciousness
and life force through seven chakras, or centers of light, in man's cerebrospinal axis. (These are the "seven stars" and "seven churches"
spoken of by St. John in the little-understood book of Revelation in the Bible.)
Encased in the bodily prison, the soul consciousness and life force become
identified with the physical vehicle and its mortal limitations. Scientific med-
itation awakens the soul consciousness in the seven cerebrospinal centers. In
a state of divine recollectedness, the soul intuitively realizes its immortal
nature and origin. -The various progressive states of soul awakening are
accompanied by an ever increasing accession of inner peace and joy. In the
most exalted states, soul and Spirit become reunited in ecstatic, blissful
communion, or samadhi.

By meditation, then, we connect the little joy of the soul with the vast joy
of the Spirit. Meditation should not be confused with ordinary concentration.
Concentration consists in freeing the attention from distractions and in focusing it on any thought in which one may be interested. Meditation is that special form of concentration in which the attention has been liberated from restlessness and is focused on God. Meditation is concentration used to know God.


One of the first requisites for meditation is correct posture.
The spine should be erect. When the devotee is seeking to direct
his mind and life force upward through the cerebrospinal axis to the centers
of higher consciousness in the brain, he should avoid stricture or pinching of
the spinal nerves caused by improper posture.

Those persons whose legs are supple may prefer to meditate sitting cross-
legged on a cushion on the floor, or on a firm bed. However, Paramahansa
Yogananda recommended for most Westerners the following meditation pose:
Sit on a straight armless chair with the feet resting flat on the floor.
Hold spine erect, abdomen in, chest out, shoulders back, chin parallel to the
ground. The hands, with palms upturned, should rest on the legs at the
juncture of the thighs and the abdominal region to prevent the body from bending forward. The meditation chair shouldbe of comfortable height, otherwise there is a tendency to allow the torso to lean forward or backward.
 If the correct posture has been assumed, the body will be stable yet relaxed,
so that it is easily possible to remain completely still, without moving a mus-

Each of the foregoing details is a contributing factor toward the chief aim of the meditation posture--an erect spine, held stable without strain or
tension for the duration of the meditation period. If, because of bad habits
of posture or congenital defects of posture, you experience difficulty or dis-
comfort in maintaining the specified positions of feet, hands, shoulders,
chest, and abdomen, make whatever commonsense adjustments are necessary to your individual need; but strive always toward accomplishing the ideal posture recommended by Paramahansa Yogananda.

When you are established in the meditation pose, inhale slowly and deep-
ly (through the nostrils) to a count of 20; hold the breath to a count of 20;
exhale slowly (through the mouth )to a c ount of 20. Practice this six to
twelve times. (A shorter count may be used, provided it is the same count in
each of the three parts. ) Then inhale, tensing the whole body and clenching
the fists. Relax all the body parts at once and, as you do so, expel the breath
through the mouth in a double exhalation, "huh, huh. „
Repeat this practice six times. Then forget the breath. Let it flow in and out naturally, of its own accord, as in ordinary breathing.

With the eyelids half closed (or completely closed, if this is more com-
fortable to you), look upward, focusing the gaze and the attention as though
looking out through a point between the eyebrows. (A person deep in concentration often "knits" his brows at this spot. ) Do not cross the eyes or strain them; the upward gaze comes naturally when one is relaxed and calmly concentrated. What is important is fixing the whole attention at the point between the eyebrows. This is the Christ Consciousness center, the seat of the single eye spoken of by Christ: "The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light"
 (Matthew 6:22).
When the purpose of meditation is fulfilled, the devotee finds his consciousness automatically concentrated at the spiritual eye, and he experiences, according to his inner spiritual capacity, a state of joyous divine union with Spirit.

Making a steadfast effort, the beginner may in time perceive light, or
even see the spiritual eye of three colors--a reflection of the actual luminous
eye in the medulla oblongata (at the base of the skull where it joins the neck).
This single eye of light reflected in the forehead is the astral eye of intuitive
omnipresent perception. It takes deep concentration and calmness to behold
the spiritual eye; a golden halo surrounding a circle of blue, in the center of
which palpitates a five-pointed white star. Those who do see the spiritual eye
should strive to penetrate it by deeper concentration and by devoted prayer to God. The depth of calmness and concentration necessary for this are
naturally developed through steady practice of the scientific SRF techniques
of concentration and meditation (Lessons 21 and 29).

Whether you see the light of the spiritual eye or not, however, you should
continue to concentrate at the Christ Consciousness center between the eye-
brows, praying deeply to God and His great saints. In the language of your
heart invoke their presence and their blessings. A good practice is to take
an affirmation or a prayer from the Lessons, or from Paramahansa Yoga-
nandaji's "Whispers from Eternity" or "Metaphysical Meditations, " and
spiritualize it with your own devotional yearning. Silently chant and pray to
God, keeping the attention at the point between the eyebrows, until you feel
God's response as calm, deep peace and inner joy.


Divine consciousness is omnipre sent. In order to attune one's consciousness to it, it is necessary first to expand the mind by meditation on some aspect of God's infinite nature. Visualization is not realization; but visualization is an effective aid in deepening one's concentration, which is essential for the deep med itation that yields realization.
The following exercise in visualization and mental expansion given by Paramahansa Yogananda will be found helpful in preparing the mind to practice the scientific techniques of meditation that are given in later Lessons:

"Sit upright. Focus your gaze and your mind at the Christ Consciousness
center between the eyebrows. Fill your heart with joy. Behold! the sphere
of darkness that you see with closed eyes is becoming a sphere of light and
joy. This sphere is enlarging. Now it is bigger than your body. Go on
expanding the sphere of joy and light. Your home and everyone in it are pres-
ent in the sphere of light that you are beholding. Go on expanding it until you
see your whole city in this sphere of light and joy. Ever increasing, the
sphere of light and joy is encompassing the entire United States, and still it is
expanding, including Europe, Asia, the world! See the world bathed in the
light of this peaceful sphere of joy. The earth appears as a little ball moving
in the vast sphere of light and joy. The sphere is becoming even larger; see!
our planetary and stellar system, the Milky Way, and island galaxies, like
little bubbles, are floating in it.

'Expand the sphere of light and joy within you, in which all things are mov-
ing, glimmering like the lights of a city. Meditate on and try to be one with that joy. God is joy, and we must find Him through joy. The scriptures say:
'Thou art That.
Your Self is one with this vast sphere of light that is your Father. You are this sphere of light and joy! Meditate on that. You have no boundaries--eternity above, below, everywhere. In this eternal sphere of light and joy all things are moving. Mentally affirm: 'In me worlds are floating like bubbles. I and my Father are One.

"Now open your eyes. Look at the body and see how little it is! Close
your eyes and realize again that you are not the'body. You are the eternal
sphere of light and joy in which all things have their being. Go on meditating,
mentally affirming: 'I am the cosmic sphere of light, of joy, of love, in
which worlds and universes are floating like bubbles. My Father is this cos-
mic sphere of light; my Father and I are One. I am not the body; I am the
eternal sphere of light. Aum. Aum. Amen. '“

(Paramahansa Yogananda cautioned devotees against the erroneous
thought, „I am God. „One should realize, rather, "God has become myself. If
The soul is like a wave on the sea-bosom of Spirit. The soul wave is one
with the Sea, but the wave is not the Sea. )
Through daily practice of the foregoing instructions, you can prepare
yourself for the practice of the basic techniques of concentration and medita-
tion that are given in later Self-Realization Fellow ship Lessons. These
scientific techniques will enable you to dive ever more deeply in the great
ocean of God's presence. We all exist at this very moment in that ocean of
Spirit; but only by steadfast, devoted, scientific meditation may we conscious
ly perceive that we are individualized soul waves on the vast ocean of God's

The meditation period should last at least thirty minutes in the morning
and thirty minutes at night. The longer you sit, enjoying the state of medi-
tative calm, the faster you will progress spiritually. Carry into your daily
activities the calmness you feel in meditation; that calmness will help you to
bring harmony and happiness into every department of your life.

Unending joy awaits the sincere truth seeker who conscientiously
meditates each day. Through the grace of God, through the blessings of the Masters, and through your own devotional effort you can achieve the state of
divine joy experienced by all saints that have become established in the Lord
(that have become consciously aware of their soul unity with Spirit).

1. Set aside a regular time and place for your daily practices of the
spiritual techniques taught by Self-Realization Fellowship. Try to find a quiet
place where you can be free from outside distractions and thus be able to concentrate with more intensity. If possible, never use that place for any other purpose than meditation. Thus you will impregnate the spot with spiritual vibrations that will help you to make each day's meditation deeper than the meditation of the preceding day. You may have there a small altar with the pictures of Christ, Kr ishna, and the Gurus of Self-Realization Fellowship.

2. Always begin and end your meditation with a prayer, such as: "Heaven-
ly Father, Jesus Christ, Bhagavan Krishna, Babaji, Lahiri Mahasaya, Sri
Yukteswarji, Guru Preceptor Paramahansa Yogananda, saints of all religions,
I bow to you all. Free my life from all obstacles of delusion, and lead me to
Thy shores of fulfillment. „
Or, "May Thy love shine forever on the sanctuary of my devotion, and may I be able to awaken Thy love in all hearts.

3. Early morning, upon arising, and the period just before retiring at
night are excellent times for meditation. Do not try to meditate just after
eating. Wait at least an hour if possible. The kind of food one eats also has
a definite bearing on one's health or ill health, not only of the body but of the
mind. Be sure the diet includes an abundance of fresh vegetables and fruits.
Eat nuts, cheese, eggs, and vegetable proteins in preference to meat. Fruits
are the most spiritually beneficial of all foods.

4. It is good to use a woolen blanket or silk cloth (or both, with the silk
on top) to cover your meditation seat. Drape the cloth over the back of the
chair if a chair is used, and place one end of the cloth on the floor under your
feet. The cloth helps to insulate the body from subtle earth currents. Their
magnetic downward pull toward material perceptions is undesirable for the
meditating devotee. The yogis have found, also, that facing East (the direc-
tion from which subtle spiritual solar currents are always flowing) is helpful
in meditation.

5. Bathing has a cleansing effect not only on the body but also on the
mind, and is therefor a beneficial practise before meditation. Bathing opens
the pores allowing toxins to escape; it also helps to distribute life energy
evenly throughout the body, quieting the nerves and inducing calmness. One
should also take a "mental bath" before meditation: put aside all worries and
problems. Completely give to God the time you have set aside for meditation.
Concentrate on one of His infinite aspects--Peace, Joy, Wisdom, Love, Light,
Beauty--or on a personal aspect, such as that of the ever-loving, all-forgiving
Divine Mother. Many devotees find inspiration by meditating on divine incar-
nations of God such as Christ and the Masters. Reading a devotional passage
from "Whispers from Eternity" or "Metaphysical Meditations" or singing a
devotional song from "Cosmic Chants" helps to uplift the mind. Meditation
in itself is an unequaled "spiritual bath“--a cleansing and rejuvenation of
body, mind, and soul.

6. Practice of the Self-Realization Fellowship Energization Exercises--
and also certain yoga asanas (body postures) --is beneficial in preparing the
body for deep meditation. The life forces in the body are harmonized by these relaxing and calming methods, and one's attention is freed from aches and pains and from the drowsiness or restlessness that keep the mind sense bound and body conscious.

Be regular in your meditations (whether they be deep, or, in the begin-
ning, restless ). Be persistent if you would attract God's attention. Remem-
ber that meditation should be practiced with devotion, with real love for God.
Paramahansaji has said that love for God means craving for God. He cannot
resist the magnetic attraction of human soul yearning. Meditation techniques
help you to awaken and whet that divine craving which will take you to the
heights of realization, of soul union with God-Bliss. Resolve that you will
never give up until He comes to you. Whether you realize it or not, He is
listening to the cry of your heart. In His own time He will bestow the supreme gift of Himself.



By Paramahansa Yogananda

Is friendship the weaving of the red strings of two hearts?
Is it the blending of two minds into a spacious one-mind?
Is it the spouting of love founts together--
To strengthen the rush of love on droughty souls ?
Is it the one rose grown 'twixt twin mind-branchlets
Of one compassionate stem?
Is it the one thinking in two bodies?

Friendship is noble, fruitful, holy--
When two separate souls march in difference
Yet in harmony, agreeing and disagreeing,
Growing, improving diversely,
With one common longing to find solace in true pleasure.
When ne'er the lover seeks
Self-comfort at the cost of the one beloved,
Then, in that garden of selflessness
Fragrant friendship perfectly flowers.

Ah, friendship! Flowering, heaven-born plant!
Nurtured art thou in the soil of measureless love,
In the seeking of soul-progress together
By two who would smooth the way each for the other.
And thou art watered by attention of affection
And tender dews of inner and outer sweetness
Of the inmost, selfless heart's devotion.
Ah, friendship! Where thy soul-born flowers fall--
There on that sacred shrine of fragrance--
The Friend of all Friends craves to come and to remain!


Divine Mother, I behold Thee as the only Friend, helping me, encour-
aging me through all my friends.


Friendship is God's love shining through the eyes of your  loved ones, callingyou home to drink His nectar of eternal unity. Friendship is God's trumpet call, bidding the soul destroy the partitions of ego consciousness that separate it from all other souls and from Him. True friendship unites two souls so completely that they reflect the unity of Spirit and its divine qualities.

True friendship is broad and inclusive. Selfish attachment to a single indi-
vidual, excluding all others , inhibits the development of divine friendship.
Extend the boundaries of the glowing kingdom of your love, gradually including your family, your neighbors, your community, your country, all countries-all living sentient creatures. Be also a cosmic friend, imbued with kindness and affection for all God's creation, scattering love everywhere. Such is the example set by all avatars and saints. Such was the example set by Christ, by Swami Shankara, and by Babaji, Lahiri Mahasaya, and Swami Sri Yukteswar.

Consider no one a stranger. Learn to feel that everybody is akin to you.
Family love is merely one of the fir st exercises in the Divine Teacher's course
in friendliness, intended to prepare your heart for all-inclusive divine love.
Realize that the same lifeblood is circulating in the veins of all races. How
may anyone dare to hate any other human being, of whatever race, when God
lives and breathes in all? We are Americans or Hindus, or other nationalities,
for just a few years, but we are God's children forever. The soul cannot be
confined within man-made boundaries. Its nationality is Spirit; its country is


It is not necessary to know and love all human beings and other creatures per sonally and intimately. All you need do is to be ready at all times to shed the light of friendly service over all living creatures whom you happen to meet. This attitude requires constant mental effort and preparedness; in other words, unselfishness. The sun shines equally on diamond and charcoal, but the former has developed qualities that enable it to reflect the sunlight brilliantly, while the latter is unable to reflect the sunlight. Emulate the diamond in your dealings with people. Brightly reflect the light of God's love.

To have friends, you must manifest friendliness. If you open the door to
the magnetic power of friendship, souls of like vibrations will be attracted to
you. The more friendly you become toward all, the greater will be the number of your real friends. When perfect friendship exists either between two hearts or within a group of hearts in a spiritual relationship, such friendship perfects each individual. The heart purified by friendship provides an open door to unity. Tnrough it you should invite other souls to enter the temple of brotherhood--those who love you, and even those who love you not.

Friendship should not be influenced by the relative positions of people. It
may and should exist between lovers, employer and employee, teacher and pupil, parents and children, and others. God's effort to unite strife-torn humanity manifests itself within each heart as the friendship instinct.


 True friendship consists in being mutually useful in offering one's friend good cheer in distress, sympathy in sorrow, advice in trouble, and material help in times of real need. Friendship consists in rejoicing in the good fortune of one's friends and in sympathizing with them in adversity. One who has given his friendship to another gladly foregoes selfish pleasures or self-interest for the sake of his friend's happiness, without consciousness of 10s
s or sacrifice, and without counting the cost. Jealousy is self-love and death to friendship. Human love and friendship have their basis in service on the physical, or mental, or business plane. They are conditional and may be short -lived. Blind friendship between selfish and unthinking per sons may end suddenly in blind hatred. Divine love has its foundation in service on the spiritual and intuitional planes, and is unconditional and everlasting.

The greater the mutual service, the deeper the friendship. Why does Jesus
have such a wide following? Because he, like other great masters, excelled in
service to humanity. Hence to attract friends, one must possess the qualities
of a real friend.

Help your friend by being a mental, aesthetic, and spiritual inspiration to
him. Never be sarcastic to a friend. Do not flatter him unless it is to encour-
age him. Do not agree with him when he is wrong. One who feels real friend-
ship cannot witne ss with indifference his friend's indulgence in harmful pleasures. This does not mean one should pick a quarrel. Suggest mentally,
or if your advice is asked, give it gently and lovingly. Unwise persons argue.
Friends discuss their differences.


 The secret of Christ's strength lay in his love for all, even his enemies. Far better to conquer by love the heart of a person who hates you than to vanquish him by vindictive force. To the ordinary man such a doctrine seems absurd. His first impulse is to return two slaps for the one he has received--and to add a kick for good measure!

Why should you love your enemy? In order that you may bring the healing rays of your love into his dark, hatred-stricken heart. When friendship is so released, it can behold itself as pure golden love. Thus will the flame of your love burn away the partitions of hatred and misery that separate your soul from other sds, and that separate all unenlightened souls from the vast sea of Infinite Love.

Practice loving those who do not love you. Feel for those who do not feel
for you. Be generous to those who are generous only to themselves. If you heap hatred upon your enemy, neither he nor you will be able to perceive the inherent beauty of your soul. Avoid doing anything that brings harm to yourself or to another. If you are self-indulgent, or if you encourage a friend in his vices, you are an enemy disguised as a friend. Be true to yourself and to others, and you will gain the friendship of God. Once you make your love felt in other people, it will expand until it becomes the one Cosmic Love that flows through all hearts.

There are people who do not trust anyone, and who utterly doubt the possi-
bility of ever having true friends. Some, in fact, actually boast that they get
along without friends. But those who fail to be friendly disregard the divine law of Self-expansion, by which alone the soul evolves and returns to Spirit.

If humility and apologies on your part will bring out the good qualities of a
person who considers himself your enemy, by all means apologize when necessary. The person who this has attained a definite spiritual development, for it takes character to be able to apologize graciously and sincerely. It is the consciousness of his own inferiority that makes a man hide behind a display of pride. Do not, however, encourage a wrongdoer by being too humble and apologetic. You need not fawn on your enemy, just silently love him. Silently be of service to him whenever he is in need, for love is real only when it is useful and expresses itself through action. Thus man may rend the veils of hatred and of narrow-mindedness that hide God from his sight.

You may ask: "How can I learn to love my enemies? I am not strong
enough to do that. " My answer is this: "Constant communion with the Infinite by SRF methods of meditation fills one with divine love, which alone enables one to love one's enemies.

Always remember that you need the inspiration of better company--of those more highly evolved than your self --to keep constantly improving. And you should also share your own goodness with people of inferior qualities who need your help.. A saint once said: "Good company is of paramount importance, as it influences your reason and will, which, by repetitions of good thoughts and actions, form good habits.


Make every effort to rediscover your friends of past  incarnations, whom you may recognize through familiar physical, mental, and spiritual qualities. Try to resume such friendships, begun in a preceding incarnation, and perfect them into divine friendship.

One may come in daily contact with some people and yet not feel in sym-
pathy with them. You have to adapt yourself to such per sons and learn to love them. But there are others with whom you feel instantaneously sympathetic at first meeting; it seems as though you have always known them. This indicates that they are your friends of previous incarnations. Do not neglect them, but strengthen the friendship existing between you. Always be on the lookout for friends of past incarnations, by being calm within when you meet others; mental restlessness and inattention may prevent your recognizing such friends. Not infrequently such old friends are very near you, drawn into the orbit of your life by the friendship born in the dim, distant past. They constitute your shining collection of soul-stars. Add to it constantly and seek in these bright galaxies to behold the one Great Friend smiling at you radiantly and clearly. It is God who comes to you in the guise of a true and noble friend to serve, inspire, and guide you.

Each human being has his own conception of what constitutes physical and
mental beauty. What seems ugly to one may appear beautiful to another. Looking at a crowd, you like some faces instantly; others do not attract you. The immediate attraction of your mind to the inner and outer features of an individual is your first indication that you have found a friend of the past. Your dear ones whom you loved before are drawn toward you by a prenatal sense of friendship.

Do not be deceived by physical beauty. Ask yourself whether or not the ex-
pression of a face, the manner of walking, everything about a particular person appeals to you. Sometimes overeating and lack of exercise may sufficiently change the features of a friend of former lives so that he escapes your recognition. But an unattractive body may harbor the soul of a real friend. Sometimes a beautiful woman falls in love with a homely man, or a handsome man with a physically plain woman, owing to the loving friendship of a poet incarnation.Therefore to be sure that your eyes have not deceived you with regard to physical characteristics of a person whom you surmise may be a former friend, ascertain whether you a re mentally and spiritually congenial. Guard your self against being prejudiced by little peculiarities. Delve deeply into that person's mind in order to find out whether your tastes and inclinations essentially agree. Seek your friends of past incarnations in order that you may continue your friendship with them in this life, and perfect it into divine friendship. One lifetime is not always sufficient to achieve the perfection of unconditional divine love between friends.

Ugliness of disposition and selfishness drive away all friends of former
incarnations, whereas friendliness draws them toward you. Therefore be ready always to meet them half-way. Never mind if one or two friends prove false and deceive you, for others that are true will bring you many blessings.


Friendship is the universal spiritual attraction that unites souls in the bond of divine love. It may manifest itself either in two or in many persons. The Spirit was one. By the law of duality it became two--positive and negative. Then, by the law of infinity applied to the law of relativity, it became many. Now the One in the many is endeavoring to unite the many and make them One. This effort of Spirit to unify many souls into One works through our emotions, intelligence, intuition, and finds its greatest expression through friendship. When divine friendship reigns supreme in the temple of your heart, your soul will merge with the vast Cosmic Soul, leaving far behind the confining bonds that separated it from all of God's animate and inanimate creation.

When you behold--assembled all at once beneath the canopy of your perfected universal friendship--the souls of the past, present, and future, then the friendship-thir st of your heart will be quenched forever. Then God's creation will ring with the emancipating song of all-difference-dissolving celestial friendship. Then the Divine Friend will rejoice to see you come Home after your evolutional wanderings and roamings through the pathways of incarnations. Then He and you will merge in the bliss of eternal friendship.

Only mutual effort to build wisdom and spiritual and intuitive understanding
can bind two souls by the laws of everlasting, universal divine love. When true friendship exists between two souls and they seek spiritual love and God's love together, when their only wish is to be of service to each other, their friendship produces the flame of Spirit. Through perfected divine friendship, mutually seeking spiritual perfection, they find the one Great Friend.

No man who fails to inspire confidence in other hearts, and who is unable to
extend the kingdom of his love and friendliness into other soul-territories, can hope to expand his consciousness into Cosmic Consciousness. If you cannot conquer human hearts, you cannot conquer the Cosmic Heart of God. All this may seem very complicated, but when you touch the Infinite, your difficulties will melt away. Divine love will come to you. Beautiful intuitive experiences of universal friendliness will play like fountains in your mind.

Keep in mind this prayer:

"0 Divine Friend, let those who are my own come unto me. Finding
them, may I perfect our friendship, and find friendship with all; thus may
I find Thee. "


Making others happy, through kindness of speech and sincerity of right advice, is a sign of true greatness. To hurt another soul by sarcastic words, looks, or suggestions, is despicable. Sarcasm draws out the rebellious spirit and anger in the wrongdoer.
Loving suggestions bring out repentance in him. Repentance consists in thor-
oughly understanding one's own error and in abandoning it.

Friendship is pure by nature. When you have a lily in your hands, how can
you crush it? When you love a person dearly, how can you hurt him, even though he may be wrong? Divine love is unlimited and infinite. When two or more persons are friends always, no matter what happens, that is an expression 'of divine love, or divine friend ship.


Today I will forgive all those who ever offended me, and I
will give my love to all thirsty hearts--both to those who love me and to
those who do not love me.



By Paramahansa Yogananda

0 Spirit, we toss and dance on the waves of Thy cre-
ation. Make us realize Thy presence beneath the waves of
illusion. 0 Spirit, divert our eyes within to see the vast-
ness of Thy glory behind all appearances.

0 Beloved Immortality, teach us to behold Thy vastness,
Thy changelessness, behind all things, that we may perceive
ourselves, not as part of the change, but as part of Thy
changeless Being.

We shed our tears of light through the eyes of stars at
the feet of the blue. Father, receive our gathered tears of
light to wash Thy feet of immortality. We are Thy children;
Thou art ours: make us realize this truth. From the incense
vase of our hearts we offer unto Thee the fragrance of our
love. May we not become enthralled by passing desires, but
be awakened to Thy glory. May we dissolve this dream of
delusion and behold Thee: the only Reality. Make us immortal
stars in the firmament of Thy Being.

Good will unto all religions; peace unto all people;
peace unto all nations; peace unto all creatures; peace unto
all that lives. Father, Mother, Friend, Beloved God, re-
charge our beings with Thy power; recharge our minds with
Thine efficiency; recharge our souls with Thine everlasting
wisdom. May we cast away all feelings of identification with
the limitations of the body. In every cell of our being may
we feel Thy joy and the peace of meditation.


0 Spirit, teach me to heal the body by recharging it
with Thy cosmic energy; to heal the mind by concentration and
smiles; and to free the soul from ignorance by meditation-
born intuition.


PHYSICAL BODY  IS CONSTANTLY CHANGINGPhysical change, such as the body undergoes in disease  or death, does not mean annihilation. It means certain  changes of motion that we human beings sometimes fear
and dislike. The nature of matter is change. The nature of Spirit is changelessness.

The millions of tiny cells that make up our flesh and bones are
full of life and activity; the human body, which looks so compact and
solid, is in fact nothing but a bundle of motions, of forces whirling
together in ultrarapid motion. In order to keep the activities of the
bodily cells in motion certain external factors are necessary:

1. the ultraviolet rays in sunshine;
2. oxygen;
3. nourishing food;
4. pure liquids, such as water and fruit juices.

But, more important, the body's living cells are created and ener-
gized internally by thoughts and by biological forces. From an inner
spiritual source the various chemical, molecular, atomic, and other mo-
tions of the bodily cells are constantly flooded with subtler rejuvenat-
ing motions of consciousness, subconsciousness, superconsciousness,
Christ Consciousness, and Cosmic Consciousness. The vital sparks of
intelligent energy that constitute life are but condensed thoughts of
God. Without these vital sparks of life, the external sources of bodily
energy are of no avail in maintaining life in the body.

The importance of depending more and more upon the limitless supply
of energy available from the inner source of Cosmic Consciousness, and
less upon other sources of bodily energy, now becomes clear. Healthful
food is necessary, but eating all the time will only make the body grow
old more quickly. The only way to keep the body really rejuvenated is
to unite human consciousness and Cosmic Consciousness through medita-
tion. Avoid any suggestion to the mind of human limitations, sickness,
old age, death. Instead one should constantly impress the mind with
this truth:

"I am the Infinite that has become the body. The body,
as a manifestation of Spirit, is the ever-youthful Spirit."

The first process in energizing the body is to supply it with the
basic elements of food chemicals that it needs; plus sunshine from
regular sunbaths (a half-hour sunbath twice a week, or preferably ten
minutes every day), and sufficient oxygen from regular proper breathing.
The following exercise will be found beneficial:


While walking, as one should do every day, inhale, counting
one to twelve. Hold the breath twelve counts; then exhale,
counting one to twelve. Do this twenty-four times every time
you are out walking.

Ordinarily, people concentrate only upon food, air, and sunshine to
keep the body well, but a time may come when health fails in spite of an
abundant supply of these external sources of life. The realization then
comes that this body-battery must also be recharged by the inner source.

Bread (i.e., food) alone does not support life. If it did, one
could put food into the body of a dead man, lay him out in the sun, and
expect him to come to life. The Power that creates life, that enables
the body to convert food and air into energy --That is the direct
source of life.

The life of an automobile battery depends not merely upon distilled
water indirectly supplied from outside, but upon the vibrating electric
current flowing into it through the mouth of the wires from the engine.

Similarly, man's body-battery does not live solely by means of
 indirect outer sources --food, oxygen, liquids, sunshine --but by the
direct inner source of the will, which causes vibrating life current
from the invisible dynamo of Cosmic Energy to flow into the body through
the medulla oblongata, the "mouth of God." (The medulla is located at
the base of the brain, where the back of the skull joins the neck.)

It is electricity that changes the distilled water into the force
that recharges an automobile battery. It is the life energy that con-
verts oxygen, solids, and liquids into the force that keeps us alive.
It is the same life energy that made solids and liquids what they are;
when we put them into our stomachs they must again be converted into
energy before they are of any use to the body. And when the energy that
is in them is taken out, it is life energy that forces the residue of
this mass of waste material out of the body through the pores, intes-
tines, and kidneys. Just as distilled water (the outer source of sus-
tenance) alone will not sustain life in the automobile battery or bring
life back to the battery after it is dead, so oxygen, solids, liquids,
and sunshine alone will not help a dead body-battery. The body must
also have life energy.


The medulla oblongata is the original point of  intake of the life force as it comes from God. The medulla oblongata is called the "mouth of Godw
because that is where God "breathes" life force into man. Do not confuse this with the Bible passage that reads:

"God. ..breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul“(Genesis 2:7) .

An explanation of the foregoing verse is given in the Lessons on Genesis.

Of all the body parts only the medulla oblongata cannot be operated
upon by the surgeon. Why? Because it is the center of all the centers
of life in the brain and spine. It is the one center through which the
life force enters the body. The heart, brain, and cervical, dorsal,
lumbar, sacral, and coccygeal centers of the spine are minor centers,
acting merely as distributors of that life force they receive through
the medulla oblongata.


 Science has proved that everything is being constantly recharged by cosmic energy. The human body is surrounded by a halo of conscious
cosmic energy. The medulla oblongata is the antenna of the bodily re-
ceiving station that receives the radiographed cosmic energy from Cosmic
Consciousness through the bodily radio operator --will. Just as man
can use the invisible vibratory waves of radio to control far distant ships on the sea, so God, through vibrations of His intelligent cosmic energy, supplies our bodies with life force without any visible connection.

God created the original cosmic vibration or energy which, once
started, became perpetual; and by wireless will power we can draw upon
it and bring it into the body through the medulla oblongata. This
cosmic energy, the same energy out of which we and everything else in
the universe were created, surrounds and permeates all creation, all the
time. It enters the body through the „mouth of God" (medulla oblongata)
and is the invisible "word" that sustains all life.

We can learn to live more and more by that eternal supply of cosmic
energy which is always all about us, and thus ever available to us for
recharging the body with vitality. One may use the knowledge gained
from these instructions to make the body fit in every way. A body that
is free from disease and weakness presents less resistance to the med-
itation methods and practices by which Self-realization is attained, and
by which the human consciousness, as well as the body, is raised to the
fatigueless state.

Self-realization may be and sometimes is attained even by people
who are struggling with sick and otherwise imperfect bodies; but it
cannot be attained unless one can concentrate and meditate uninter-
ruptedly upon God. Since it is difficult to concentrate and meditate
while the aches and pains of the body continually have the attention of
the mind, the path to Self-realization is made much easier if the imper-
fections of the body are eliminated and if the operation of its func-
tions are so harmoniously arranged that the mind need not at any time
be interrupted in meditation because of the demands of the physical

By constantly holding the peaceful aftereffects of meditation in
mind; by believing in eternal life instead of the illusory changes we
behold in this life; and by feeling the ocean of immortal Bliss (God)
underlying the changeable waves of experiences of past lives, and the
waves of perceptions of childhood, youth, and age in this life, we can
bring about not only the perpetually youthful consciousness of the soul,
but also maintain youthfulness of body, if so desired. When the body is
found to be, not isolated from Spirit, but a number of rising and fall-
ing waves of vibrating currents in the ocean of Cosmic Consciousness, we
may implant in the body the perpetually rejuvenating power of Spirit.


Self-realization is the knowing --in body, mind, and soul --
that we are one with the omnipresence of God; that we do not
have to pray that it come to us, that we are not merely near
it at all times, but that God's omnipresence is our omnipres-
ence; that we are just as much a part of Him now as we ever
will be. All we have to do is improve our knowing.

Self-realization means knowledge of one's own soul and of its
oneness with the Father.

So long as it dwells on the material plane, human consciousness
cannot encompass the universal Christ Consciousness no matter how
desirous it may be of doing so. By practice of the scientific con-
centration and meditation techniques taught in the Self-Realization
Fellowship Lessons, the sincere student can increase and refine the
receptivity of his consciousness so that he may ultimately perceive the
Christ Consciousness universally present in every atom of creation.

St. John referred to this expansion of the human consciousness to
receive the divine when he declared of Christ:

"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to
become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his
name" (St. John 1:12) .

Thus, according to the Bible, all men may discover their actual
oneness with Christ Consciousness. By intuitive Self-realization, or
knowledge of his own soul, man becomes aware of his oneness with the
Christ Consciousness. Those who attain the highest Self-realization
know without any doubt that they are "the sons of God."


Health and strength are not synonymous terms. A person may have
cultivated great strength in his limbs or in certain muscles
by the use of mechanical appliances, but still he may not have good health. The healthy action of the lungs and stomach, for example, is far more impor-
tant than abnormal strength in the arms, legs, or back. Self-Realization
Fellowship Lessons faithfully practiced will be found to be a sure and
effective combatant against bodily diseases and inharmonious conditions
of the mind, acting as a healing balm for nervous afflictions and abnor-
malities. With the aid of these Lessons, the general vitality can be
definitely raised, resulting in a wonderful development of tissue strength
and nerve vigor, and thereby insuring longer life. Memory and brain power
may also be increased through greater blood supply. These Lessons also
teach how to send the curative energy consciously to any diseased body


0 Eternal Energy! awaken within me conscious
will, conscious vitality, conscious health, con-
scious realization. Good will to all, vitality to
all, good health to all, realization to all! 0
Eternal Youth of body and mind, abide in me for-
ever and forever.



By Paramahansa Yogananda

Divine Father, bless our thoughts that they may
remind us of Thy bliss, bless our feelings that they
may feel Thee alone, bless our desires that they may
seek Thee alone, and bless our ambitions that we
may be ambitious only for Thee. Thou art the nectar
which our souls seek.

May we feel Thy vibrations, and feeling them
may we remain awakened. We offer our humble
prayers for a new prosperity in Thee, a new con-
sciousness in Thee, a new mental power within.

Bless all who have helped to spread Thy message,
Thy living fire on earth. Be Thou manifest within
them. Receive the blossoms of our hearts, the fervor
of our souls. Thou art our One Father, seated on the
throne of our united hearts. Receive the offering of
our devotion. Bless us all, destroy all barriers.
Ignite our ignorance, establish Thy light evermore.


Help me, 0 Spirit, to learn to live more and more
by direct cosmic energy and less and less by food. Being
energy, burning in the bulb of the senses, I recharge my-
self with Thy cosmic energy.



 The physical body is a bundle of motions, a combination  of cells composed of moving molecules, which in turn are  made up of whirling atoms, composed of protons, electrons, neutrons, positrons, and mesons, whirling in the relatively immense space within each atom. The se minute, semi-intelligent forms are manifestations of sparks of thought from the Infinite Intelligence, God.

Underlying the chemical motion in cells are dancing waves of molecular
motion, beneath which surge waves of atomic motion. Below the atomic layer
are waves of electronic and protonic motion, hiding in turn bright waves of dancing sparks, the vital forces. Underlying these expressions of life energy are waves of sensation, and deeper still are waves of thought, feeling, and will force. Hidden at the very bottom of all these waves of varied motions of life is the ego.

is soul in the delusive state of being identified with the physical body.

Although the body appears to be a solid mass of limited proportions, occupy-
ing but a small area of space, the cells that compose the body are manifestations of a vast ocean of molecular waves. The molecular waves of the body are manifestations of the still greater ocean of atomic waves. Atomic waves are manifestations of the immense ocean of electrons, protons and other atomic particles. The waves of pzotons, electrons, etc.,are manifestations of vaster oceans of vital force. The vital force (or life energy) is a manifestation of the measureless powers of all forms of subconsciousness, superconsciousness, Christ Consciousness, and Cosmic Consciousness.

As a manifestation of chemical motion the body appears small, but since
these chemical motions of the bodily cells are actually condensed waves of Cosmic Consciousness, the body is potentially vast and omnipre

Tissue is the general name for all the different cellular groupings of which
body organs are composed. The same invisible force that makes tissues of some cells so arranges other cells as to form hard bones, wonderfully worked into a skeletal frame around which flesh can clq;and
others form the bloodstream.

It is strange that the body has to be kept alive by external forces of food,
chemicals, and sunshine, instead of simply being flooded with vitality from the inner source of Cosmic Consciousness. But the body, being a mass of cellular motion, cannot live without motion; its cells have to be kept stirred with life by external food forces, and kept dancing with vitality derived from the internal Source.


Concentration on the muscles, as in the practice of mechanical physical exercises, tends to make one think of himself as a physical being only. Self-Realization Fellowship instructions teach the science of concentrating on the inner life energy and will power and thus awakening one's c onsciousness of his subtle spiritual nature. Strength come s from within; not from the muscles. Life is sustained from the powers within; it does not depend solely upon food or exercise.

A dead man artifically made to exercise with dumbbells does not become strong; nor does stuffing his stomach with food bring him back to life, because life energy is absent.

Self-Realization Fellowship instructions teach one to spiritualize the body--
to perceive it as a reflection of Spirit and to think of oneself as the divine life
energy that sustains the body, rather than as a me re physical vehicle consisting of bones and muscles of a certain volume and weight. You will be shownhow energy can be made to permeate the body by tension, and how it can be withdrawn from the body by relaxation.

Life energy is expended in all processes of thought, feeling, and physical
activity. Self -Realization Fellowship technique s, when practiced correctly ,
replenish the energy by tapping its source, the medulla oblongata; life energy
can be continually supplied to the body from this source by stimulating the medulla oblongata center with conscious will. The power of will bridges the gulf between the life energy in the body and the Cosmic Energy surrounding it. By keeping in touch with the Cosmic Source of life energy it is possible to work without fatigue.

All our limbs and muscles are moved by the exercise of will and life energy.
The flow of life energy into the sensory nerves is caused by divine will and our own will together; the flow of life energy into the motor nerves is caused by our own will.


The greater the exertion of the will, the greater the flow of life energy into a particular body part.

When angry, human beings and animals manifest abnormal strength. No
physiological improvement of the muscle fibers is possible in such a short time. The sudden accession of strength comes from the will. Anger stimulates the will, and thus causes an extra flow of strength-giving energy into the muscles and other body parts.

Most physical culture systems are mechanical and do not take into account
the foregoing facts. Exercises that make use only of the unconscious mechanical will are merely "muscle bumping. " Such exercises do not cause a sufficient flow of life energy into the muscles and tissues to be more than temporarily beneficial. By following the teaching s of Self -Realization Fellowship you can learn how to vitalize every body cell.

Relaxation means the release of the energy and consciousness that have been
employed either by the body as a whole or by some of its parts during mental or physical activity. Man receive s sensations coming from out side stimulation through his eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin surface by means of impulses that travel through the sensory nerves. He responds to sensations by sending energy out through the motor nerves, which causes tension or contraction of the muscles.

Tension results when you willto send energy to any muscle. Lift your right
arm. What powers have you used in lifting the arm? "Will power, "
you say. But suppose your arm were paralyzed; your will
to lift it would still be present, but you would be unable to raise that arm. Why? Because the energy could not then flow freely through the nerves into the muscles of the arm, transmuting the command of your will into action. If the arm were healed, you would again be able to lift it by will power.

Now drop your right arm to your side again. Feel it throbbing with energy.
But can you lift it again without using will power? No! It is clear from this
simple experiment that both energy and will power are required in the movement of any part of the body.


Raise your right arm in front of you, with the palm of the hand turned upward, until it is shoulder high and parallel to the (Experiment) ground. Close your left hand in a fist and place it on the upturned palm of the right hand, pressing downward as if your left hand weighed five pounds. Resist this pressure by tensing the right arm.
Now increase the pressure of the left hand to ten pounds. Will to hold it with the right hand, and increase the tension in the right arm by willing to send more energy there. Now increase the pressure of the left hand to fifteen pounds. Relax and drop your arms at your sides.


 Now practice this weight-lifting exercise mentally
without any pressure of the hand or the use of weights: first lift your right arm, with palm of the hand upturned, parallel to the ground, as in the first experiment. Hold it there. Realize that a certain amount of will and energy is holding your arm in this position. If you take away the will power from the uplifted right arm, the arm will fall, drawn by gravity, and will hang at your side. The same thing would happen if the nerves of the arm were suddenly severed, or paralyzed, or if the energy in the arm were withdrawn. Now tense your upraised arm as much as would be required to hold an imaginary
weight of five pounds; tense more strongly, as if the imaginary weight were ten pounds; fifteen pounds. Relax the arm and let it drop to your side.

It is necessary to will to hold either an actual or an imaginary weight of
five pounds, and the amount of energy required to hold that weight increases
accordingly. When you will to hold an increased weight you automatically
increase your will power, and the amount of energy sent to the arm, in order to hold the greater weight.

Therefore we experience weight according to the degree of will power and
the amount of energy that we spend in lifting it. The experiment of lifting imaginary weights proves that an act of will produces actual energy in a body part, and, in so doing, produces tension (i. e. , contraction of the muscles) in that part.

If one touches the two poles of an electric battery, his hands will be ener-
gized and tensed. If one drinks milk or eats food when tired, he will feel some
energy in his body. In either case, one has produced this energy through some outward mate rial agency introduced into the body.

But in tensing or energizing the arm, or any body part, with will, as in the
foregoing experiments, one produces energy in that particular body part purely by the power of consciousness or will. By imagining that one is sending energy to his right arm he may succeed in sending a faint current there; but it is only by will power that one can send a perceptible amount of energy. By energizing through tension, the great link between consciousness, will, and the body is found. By willing to energize the right arm, for example we:

1) arouse energy felt as power,
2) create tension in the muscles.

This shows that consciousness (will) is the prime factor in creating changes in the flow of energy to muscles or to any body parts. Also, in lifting weights by will power, the important relation between will and energy is found.


The motion or energy or life force within you is that which heals. The only
purpose of external physical methods is to rouse this life energy. Self-Realiza-
tion Fellowship Lessons teach you how to rouse by will the life energy (life force) that creates every part, every organ, of the body.

The link between the mind and flesh is supplied by the life force. When, by will power, you can contact that dynamic power, a steady current will go through your hands and eyes, and you will say:

"Oh, I thought that this little body contained only a fragile
little life, easily crushed by storm or accident; but now I realize
that beneath this life is the Cosmic Life. „

These SRF Lessons teach you how to contact Cosmic Life; when you are
attuned to the Cosmic Life you will never tire because you will feel, beneath
your energy, the ocean of God's cosmic energy. The greatest method is to
tap that energy directly from the inner source and not through the artificial
stimuli of medicines, emotion and so on. Then you can say:

"Right beneath the flesh is a tremendous current. I forgot
it, but now, by digging with the pickax of Self-realization, I have
discovered that life force again. I and my Father are One. I
am not the flesh. I am the charge of divine electricity that
permeates this body. "


I am youthful; I am youth.
I am healthy; I am health.
I am strong; I am strength.
I am immortal; I am immortality.



By Paramahansa Yogananda

Heavenly Father, Thou art our cosmic house of supply.
Bless us all that we may manifest Thy blessings in our
health, in our mental aspirations, and in our soul expres-
sions. Thou art the life in the stars, Thou art the energy
in the atom. Heavenly Father, teach us to charge our-
selves with Thine unlimited power, with Thine unlimited
wisdom, and with Thine unlimited or iginality.
Forgive us our transgressions, our willful wanderings in the land of
error. Bring us to the right path. Show us that Thou art
the supreme source of health; show us that Thou art the
ocean of life; show us that Thou art the fountainhead of all
wisdom. Shake away our ignorance; shake away our diseases;
shake away all our suffering. Let the flood of Thy wisdom
carry away the dross that is within us.

Tear away the veil that hides Thy face from us. Come
as a burning light, come as the glory in the stars, come as
the immortal power of our thoughts. Father, we will never
be satisfied with anything except Thee. We want Thy guid-
ance, Thy strength, Thy counsel in everything. As often as
we think wrongly, let Thy whisper in the temple of silence
guide us to the right path, which leads to Thee.

Come, Father, come! Initiate us in Thy creative power
of eternal abundance.


O conscious Cosmic Energy, it is Thou who dost directly sustain
my body. Solid, liquid, and gaseous foods are converted and spiritual-
ized into energy by Thy cosmic energy. Therefore it is Thy cosmic
energy that supports my body.


All true scriptures have a threefold meaning, because they are intended to
benefit mankind on the three planes of human existence: the material, the mental, and the spiritual. The scriptures are indeed divine wells whose wisdomwaters man may draw to quench his threefold thirst for material, mental, and spiritual fulfillment.

Physical well-being is not necessarily a prerequisite for spiritual perfec-
tion. It is desirable, however, because it is more difficult to makethe effort to
achieve spiritual perfection when physical inharmonies are present. The aspiring devotee who is not well physically may become discouraged, because it is not easy to concentrate or to meditate uninterruptedly upon God when bodily aches and pains are clamoring for attention.

A body that is relaxed and calm conduces to mental peace, which is neces-
sary for meditation, the spiritual art of communing with God. Therefore one of the first steps in a balanced program of spiritual development is relaxation of the mind and body--that is, the calming of the activities of the heart, lungs, circulatory system; and of the restless movements of the muscles stimulated by nerve impulses from the brain. By reducing the amount of energy expended in restless (and often unproductive ) muscular and mental activity, relaxation frees energy to be used for the highest and most constructive purpose: concentration on the Divine Indweller.


Sometime when you are sitting or lying down and feeling completely relaxed, with the breath expelled make  this test: Have someone lift your hands or feet a little way and then drop them. If your limbs fall with a thud,
without even an involuntary effort on your part to lower them gradually, you are relaxed. If any muscle is unconsciously willed to become
energized or tensed, you do not have perfect relaxation.

Relaxation of the muscles and limbs helps to reduce motion--and hence to
reduce the normal processes of cell decay in the physical body. When by tension the bodily cells are kept active, that is, in motion, the cells deteriorate with wear and must be replaced. By perfect relaxation, cessation of motion in the bodily cells is achieved. When there is no activity there is no wear; the cells remain in a state of suspended animation, sustained directly by the cosmic energy flowing into the body through the medulla oblongata.


You have attained mental relaxation when you can control the  flow of thought for any length of time desired; and when you  can at will free the consciousness from awareness of the body, and at will resume body consciousness. When you can remain calm at all times in spite of severe trials, and when you are secure in undying faith in God and guru, you are truly mentally relaxed.

1. Most people are so restless all the time that they cannot close their
eyes and hold the eyeballs still, or keep the body motionless, or con-
centrate upon one thing at a time even for a little while; yet peace and
calm concentration are attributes of man's soul, of his true nature.
Most people have developed a second nature, which is "restless all the
time without ever being restful; " This is the first stage.

2. By practice of meditation, the foregoing person who is all the time men-
tally restless succeeds in becoming "once in a great while restful,
although restless most of the time." This is the second stage.

3. Further practice of concentration and meditation enables the student to
develop calmness to a point where he is "able to attain restfulness
easily but is still easily made restless b,y events or environment. "

4. By deeper practice of concentration and meditation and by higher lessons
such as can be learned only fro m a true guru-preceptor, the student
reaches the fourth stage, in which he is "restful most of the time, and
restless only once in a while. " This is the opposite of the second stage.
By scientific meditation, it is possible to reverse one's nature from
re s tle s sne s s to calmness.

5. By the practice of the highest meditation methods given by a true guru-
preceptor or God-realized teacher,* the student at last becomes one
with God in samadhi, a state of pure bliss in which the devotee feels
that he, his act of meditation, and God--the Object of meditation--have
become One. This is the fifth and last stage of relaxation and Self-
realization, in which the devotee is "restful all the time without ever
becoming restless. " It is the reverse of the first stage, and can be
attained only by being able to enter the state of samadhi at will, any
time, anywhere.

*i.e., methods such as are taught in these Lessons by Paramahansa Yogananda.


1. Imperfect Muscular Relaxation.

Most people are partially tensed even during periods of seeming
relaxation. The energy and consciousness are partly, or imperfectly, withdrawn from certain muscles, limbs, and organs, but not from the five senses of touch, taste, smell, hearing, and sight. This may be termed imperfect muscular relaxation. The body cannot thrive in such a state of continual partial tension because it is fatiguing.

2. Partial Muscular Relaxation.

Throwing the breath out (exhaling completely ) and remaining with-
out breath as long as one can do so comfortably, calms the action
of the lungs and diaphragm and slows the heart action, thereby
helping to remove the greater amount of motion and deterioration
from the active internal organs of the body. When the limbs, lungs,
and diaphragm are inactive, and the heart is partially calm, the
body is in a state of almost perfect muscular and motor relaxation.

3. Unconscious Sensorv-Motor Relaxation.

In sleep the consciousness and life energy are involuntarily
switched off from the muscles and the inner organs; from the bulbs
of the five senses; from the motor nerves; and partially from the
heart, lungs, and diaphragm. This is called unconscious sensory-
motor relaxation.

4. Conscious Sensory-Motor Relaxation.

By studious practice of meditation and concentration techniques for
a number of years, one can voluntarily withdraw energy and mind
from the senses and muscles while still remaining conscious.

5. Unconscious Perfect Sensory-Motor-Organic Relaxation.

Death is unconscious, perfect, sensory-motor-organic relaxation.
It is the forced switching off of the consciousness and life current
from the entire body: limbs, muscles, senses, organs, heart,
spine, and so forth. Just as the electricity retires into the dynamo
when a bulb is broken, so when the body completely stops activity,
the life current and consciousness return to the dynamo of Cosmic
Energy and Cosmic Consciousness. As long as the wires to a cer-
tain point are not destroyed, a broken bulb at the end of them can
be replaced by a new bulb, and the light can be switched on again. In the same way, as long as the wires of earthly desire running out of the dynamo of Spirit remain undestroyed and connected with the earth and its attractions, as often as one body bulb breaks (goes of the dynamo of Spirit remain undestroyed and connected with the earth and its attractions, as often as one body bulb breaks (goes out at death), it is necessary to replace it with a new body bulb. But when all the wires of earthly desire are cut, then reincarna-
tion of the spiritual cu~rent in a bulb of flesh ceases, even as the destruction of certain electrical wires would cause all current to withdraw into the dynamo and would prevent the current's flowing again into a bulb. Death signifies the complete destruction of the body bulb, but not of the desire wires behind it.

6. Conscious Sensory-Motor-Organic Relaxation.

Conscious sensory-motor-organic relaxation consists in the switch-
ing off and on at will of the life current and the consciousness in
the limbs, muscles, inner organs, lungs, diaphragm, and especial-
ly in the heart and spine. This superior, conscious relaxation,
govern e d by the brake of calmness, is to be taught soon in another
SRF Lesson.

The six forms of relaxation just described can be illustrated by the various
stages of light that may be produced in a bulb attached to a dimming apparatus--bright, less bright, dim, more dim, barely visible. The various stages of relaxation represent the withdrawing, or dimming, of the consciousness and life current from the bulb oft he body. In full bodily activity, as in running, the body bulb is fully and brightly ablaze with life. In imperfect relaxation, it is semiillumined with life. In perfect muscular relaxation the life light is less bright.
In sleep the life light is dim and calm. In meditation, the life light is a faint
glow. In conscious trance, the life energy retires from the body bulb, but is
ready to be switched on again at will. In death the body bulb is broken, but in
conscious sensory-motor relaxation one learns to switch off consciousness and life current from the body bulb and to switch them on again at will. This power gives victory over death.


The body is sustained by will power and energy. If they were taken away you would die. Will power brings energy from the outer cosmic source into the
inner storage battery of the body--the medulla oblongata. By will that energy
may be directed to any part of the body. The greater the will, the greater the
flow of energy into a body part. Energy is the "missing link" between the body and the mind.

A nervous will is a mechanical will, drawing energy from the bodily store-
house in the brain and dissipating it without conscious direction. SRF students are taught to visualize the body as divided into twenty parts (as each part has a different set of tissues); and to direct energy, by will, to each part individually.
The alternating tension called for in SRF exercises is not muscular control, but a recharging of the muscles with the energy drawn from the outer cosmic source by the power of will. If you learn to utilize this energy that is constantly flowing in you, you will never feel tired. SRF exercises help you to feel and control that energy in the body.

Too often we write out checks of energy and do not replace energy funds.
If we write out checks and keep on putting money in the bank, our account will always show a balance in our favor, and we will not miss what we spend. But if we keep on writing checks and do not deposit more funds in our bank account, it will soon be overdrawn. So it is with the body. If we write out checks of energy and do not put back any more energy, we will become weak. But if we replenish our bodies with energy, we will never feel tired. Nothing can heal but life force. The whole purpose of true exercise is to awaken the inner source of energy which we have ignored throughout our lives. How to awaken that inner source? By sending life energy into the body by will power.


Daily I will try to realize that
Thou, 0 God, art the power that keeps
me healthy, prosperous, and seeking
spiritual truth.



By Paramahansa Yogananda

Heavenly Christ, resurrect us in Thy consciousness.
May we realize Thy vastness within and without. As Thou
didst resurrect Thyself into the infinity of Spirit, may we
arise from the tomb of ignorance into the vast light of wis-
dom. May our souls awaken in Thee. Thou art present in
the lilies and the stars. Awaken, Thou, our aspirations.
0 Christ! be Thou the polestar of our shipwrecked thoughts.

Teach us to dive deeper and deeper in the ocean of medi-
tation. If by one or two or many divings we do not find the
pearls of Thy contact, may we not say that the ocean of medi-
tation does not contain Thee; may we find fault with the lack
of depth and persistence in our meditations. Teach us to
dive deeper and deeper in the ecstasy of meditation until we
find Thee.

0 Spirit, templed in the skies, templed in our souls and
in our thoughts, receive the joy of our souls ! Open the gates
of wisdom. Destroy the darkness that veils our vision. Make
us realize that Thou art ever ours. Recharge our bodies with
Thy power and our souls with Thy bliss !


Divine Mother, teach me to recharge my body, mind and
soul with Thine unlimited, all-healing light which is within me.


(Review Lessons 5, 6 and 7 to pick up again the thread of thought on this
important subject and to improve your understanding of the principles of the
Technique of Energization to be given in this Lesson. )


Food contains a limited amount of life energy; hence the body can extract from it some strength. But if the internal bodily supply of life energy is exhausted, food is of no use. A certain amount of energy is stored in the muscles, bones, marrow, blood, and tissues of the body, as in a storage battery. The supply of energy in the body parts depends upon the oxygen and food chemicals taken into the body, and upon the amount of energy drawn in through the medulla oblongata. We want healthy muscles, blood, tissues, and so on, but good health does not result from the exercise and energization of muscles alone.
The cells in every body part must be energized. Therefore we should daily
apply scientific methods of recharging the body with energy from the inexhaustible inner source. To teach a method of recharging all the bodily cells by tapping this inner source is the purpose of the present series of lessons on the art of energization.

To refresh your mind regarding the principle of energization of the bodily
cells, perform this little experiment: lift up your arm, then drop it. What
lifted your arm? Will power and energy. You cannot lift your arm by will
power alone. It requires both will and energy. The arm can be lifted only
when will power causes sufficient energy to flow into that bodily part to lift
its weight.

Lift your arm again. What is holding it up ? Will power and energy. If
you do not use will power to keep it up, it will drop. Or, if the energy is
somehow cut off, the arm will drop to your side again. Will power and ener-
gy are both necessary. Will power is the switch that controls the flow of
energy. The greater the concentration of will, the greater the flow of ener-
gy to a particular body part. The following exercise will further illustrate
the connection between will power and energy.


Example A

1. Extend the right arm in front of you.
2. Place the left hand upon the biceps muscle of the right arm.
3. Bend the right arm at the elbow, observing the automatic contraction
of the biceps through the mechanical movement. Note that the
action of the will is in the bending of the arm and not in the contraction of the muscle.

Ekample B

1. Relax the right arm, so that it hangs loosely at the side.
2. With the left hand lightly grasp the biceps muscle of the right arm.
3. Close the eyes.
4. Then, without bending the right arm at the elbow, contract the biceps
slowly to the maximum, using your will.
5. Sense the tensing of the biceps muscle as a result of the exertion of
your will, but permit no mechanical movement of the arm.
6. Relax slowly.

Note that this contraction of the biceps muscle (if done successfully)
results from direct action of the will on the muscle. (If you are not able to
contract this muscle of the upper arm, make the experimant with the forearm, whose muscles some people find easier to tense at will. )


Tension results when energy is sent by will power to any muscle. There are varying degrees of tension, depending upon the amount of energy direct-
ed to the muscle. For the purpose of explaining Self-Realization Fellowship
recharging techniques, we shall refer broadly to three degrees of tension: low, medium, and high.

LOW indicates a small amount of energy;
MEDIUM, more energy; and
HIGH means a.s much energy as possible.

The withdrawal of energy from the muscles is called relaxation. This too may
be considered to have three states or degrees, from partial to complete relax-

In order to tense one must first be relaxed. However, a popular conception
of relaxation involves movement. A person who is asked to relax usually shifts his limbs about--in effect, tenses them--and then thinks he is physically relaxed. But even as an automobile standing with the engine running
burns energy, so also many persons, even though they may be sleeping, sitting, or lying down, are actually partly tensed (low, medium, or high)
according to the degree of their mental nervousness; they are thus burning
energy even when their bodies are apparently at rest. When we move our
arm or any part of the body to relax it, and keep on moving it, we are not
relaxing (i. e. , withdrawing energy from it), but are really tensing
(i. e. , sending energy to) it instead.


Sit on a chair. Tense the whole body, then relax, taking  care to keep the body motionless. Bend forward with arms  down and, clasping your hands together, hold an imaginary cord tied to an imaginary weight of 25 pounds. Will to lift the 25 pounds, sending enough energy and will power to
raise it one inch from the floor; tense the hands first and then add to their
strength that of the tensed forearms. Add the power of the tensed upper arms, then that of the tensed chest, abdomen, buttocks, thighs, legs, and feet. The "weightt1 feels very heavy, but gradually tense harder and continue lifting it higher--two inches, six inches, twelve inches. Now lower the imaginary weight to the floor, feeling the tension leave all the body parts. Sit back on your chair, relaxed and motionless.

The best way to know the exact amount of energy required to lift an imag-
inary weight of 25 pounds (or any amount) is actually to lift some thing that
weighs that much. Relax after doing so; then try to employ the same amount
of tension to lift an imaginary object of equal weight. Try increasing the
weight to 30, then to 40 pounds; thus increasing the amount of tension, and
hence the amount of energy in the body parts used in lifting.


Dogs and cats stretch and relax upon awakening, but man strips his muscle gears by jumping out of bed, suddenly throwing the body into action in response to an alarm clock or telephone bell.
At whatever hour of the morning the consciousness first awakens in the body, remain lying on the back, with eyes closed, and practice the following exercise:


1. Left foot            
2. Right foot          
3. Left calf            
4. Right calf
5. Left thigh
6. Right thigh        
7. Left buttock
8. Right buttock
9. Lower abdomen
10. Upper abdomen and stomach
11. Left forearm        
12. Right forearm
13. Left upper arm
14. Right upper arm
15. Left chest
16. Right chest stomach
17. Left of neck
18. Right of neck
19. Front of neck
20. Back of neck

Tense simultaneously all these twenty body parts. Hold the tension for
a count of three; then quickly relax and exhale. Feel the energy and will
power slipping away from the body as you relax. Remain perfectly still,
without moving any muscles; and, for as long as you can comfortably do so,
without taking another breath. Feel as relaxed as a jellyfish--without any
awareness of bones and flesh--as long as you like.

We now come to the technique of recharging the body-battery, by which
one may draw more and more life-sustaining energy from the ether, and thus
depend less and less upon solids, liquids, sunshine, and gases, for susten-



Gently and individually tense and relax each of the twenty body
parts, mentally saying, "My children, wake up! "


1. Place the attention on the instep of the left foot.

2. Slowly tense the left fom--low, memum, and high--drawing the toes under.

3. Continuing to hold the tension at high in the left foot, tense the right foot in the same manner; proceed upward until each of the twenty body parts has been tensed from low to medium to high. Hold the tension in each body part as you move on in slow, rhythmic succession to the next part.

left foot
right foot
left calf
right calf
left thigh
right thigh
left buttock
right buttock
lower abdomen (contract below navel)
upper abdomen and stomach (contract above the navel)
left forearm
right forearm
left upper arm
right upper arm
left chest
right chest
left of neck
right of neck
front of neck
back of neck

4. Gently and simultaneously increase the tension in all twenty body
parts and then vibrate the whole body, holding the breath for a
count of six and maintaining high tension in all twenty body parts.
Observe whether all the parts are tensed.

5. Exhale, and slowly relax the entire chain of tensed parts, moving
in reverse order from the neck to the feet. When performing this
exercise in sitting or standing position, upon exhalation simultane-
ously drop the chin to the chest and relax the front, back, left and
right sides of the neck. Then go on relaxing, one part at a time;
maintain the tension in each body part until its "turn"tobe
relaxed. If, while relaxing the parts above the waist, you find that you have
also unintentionally relaxed the parts below the waist, then simul-
taneously tense these parts again and then relax them one by one.


1. You can do this exercise in a sitting, reclining, or standing position.
When standing, of course, you have to keep certain muscles of the
feet, calves, thighs, spine, and neck engaged and tensed in order to
hold the body upright. Therefore it is good to practice this exercise
at least once before rising in the morning, as the tensing of the parts while in a supine position is accomplished entirely as a conscious act of will. Then practice it twice in a standing position.

2. Always practice very slowly, with closed eyes.

3. Do not tense or relax quickly and jerkily, but gradually.

4. Tense low only, any diseased or weak body part.

5. By exhaling or throwing the breath out--with a short, then a long
exhalation, "huh, huhhh“-you relax the lungs, diaphragm, and

6. Any time you feel tired or nervous, tense the whole body gently;
then quickly exhale and relax--that is, withdraw the energy, con-
sciousness, and active will power from the body; then remain still,
enjoying the calmness of the body.

7. To heal any body part, gently tense and relax that part. Then tense
low and hold that tension, counting one to ten mentally, electrocuting
the disease by bombarding and recharging that body part with energy.
Then relax. Repeat ten times, three times a day, or as often as you
desire. Practice healing of any body part while lying down.
Master by faithful and regular practice this highly practical Technique
of Energization, for your own knowledge and benefit. Each step of the Self-
Realization Fellowship exercises will give definite, satisfactory, and invig-
orating results in body and mind that you can experience for yourself if you
are regular, faithful, attentive, and correct in your practice.

In a supplement to this Lesson, 8-A, you will be given an outline of
thirty-eight Recharging Exercises, including the foregoing Technique of Ener-
gization, to be practiced night and morning. It is possible to perform the
entire routine in approximately fifteen minutes, allowing up to five unhurried practices of each exercise. This routine is practiced morning and evening by all disciples of SRF headquarters and other colonies, prior to meditation.


God is infinite omnipresence. He is present equally in wisdom-sparkling diamond souls and in charcoal mentalities dark with ignorance. It is because
God has given men independence to choose between error and truth that some people keep their minds transparent with the purity of knowledge and love, while others keep their mental houses dark with dogma and inharmony. God has endowed man with His own power of liberty: we may shut God out, or through meditation, logic, and right actions in the struggle of lik, receive Him.

That some people know less about God than others is not due to God's
Limiting the flow of His power through man, but to man's not allowing the
Lord's light to pass through him. People who are stricken with the disease
of ignorance--the cosmic delusion of separateness from God--may be healed
by contacting the Christ Consciousness (the Son or Intelligence of the Father
present in every atom of creation) by scientific meditation, devotion, and


O Prodigious Power, I am renewed
and strengthened by Thine inexhaustible
life-giving energy.



The principles of the Energization Exercises were discovered in 1916 by
Paramahansa Yogananda. He then developed this series of exercises for the
all-round well-being of the body, instructing all Self-Realizationists to
practice them faithfully every morning and night as a part of their regular
spiritual routine.

The primary purpose of these exercises is to recharge the body battery
with cosmic energy. This exercises the body, strengthens the muscles, and
purifies the bloodstream. These are not ordinary physical exercises. They
are a spiritual technique --a form of pranayama, or life-force control.
These exercises are important to your spiritual routine of meditation, for
they not only help to keep the body in a state of health and calmness that
is conducive to meditation, but they also help you to attain conscious
control of the life force. When you have mastered the technique of con-
scious life-force control, the restlessness and sense perceptions of the
body will cease to be obstacles to the attainment of the higher meditative

To obtain maximum results, each exercise should be performed with
deepest attention and will power. Keep the eyes closed and focused upward
at the Christ Consciousness center between the eyebrows. This center is the
polar opposite of the medulla center at the base of the brain. The Christ
center is the center of will in man. The medulla is the principal point of
entry of cosmic energy into the body. Will is the power that operates the
floodgate of the medulla. By keeping the eyes focused at the Christ center,
and visualizing the cosmic energy flowing into the body through the medulla,
a direct connection is maintained between the will and the flow of life

Visualize the cosmic energy entering the body through the medulla
oblongata, and direct it, by the power of your will, to the body part that
you are exercising. Concentrate the energy on the central portion of that
body part.

The Energization Exercises should be practiced outside in the fresh
air, or at least before an open window. Do these exercises slowly with deep
concentration! It is far more beneficial to practice each exercise cor-
rectly a few times in this manner than to practice it many times quickly and

It is also important that the exercises be practiced in the order
given. Paramahansa Yogananda's instruction was unequivocal on these three
points concerning the exercises: Practice them unhurriedly, with concentration, and in the correct order.

Any of these exercises may be practiced more than the number of times
specified. In increasing the number of practices, however, take care not to
lapse into hurried performance. You may also practice any or all of the
exercises more than twice a day, if desired, to help relieve fatigue or
other bodily inharmonies.

Once you have memorized the routine, it should not take more than fifteen minutes to perform all thirty-eight exercises, allowing the suggested number of practices of each one. By this timing you will know if you are performing them too fast or too slow.

In tensing a body part, always remember to start with a low degree of
tension, progressing to medium, and finally to high tension; relax from high
to medium to low.

Never tense with a quick or jerky motion.

Never exert tension to the point of strain or discomfort.

It is not necessary to hold "highn tension longer than three seconds at
a time. Use only tension on any diseased or weak body part.

Any instruction to "inhale twice“signifies inhalation, through the
nostrils, of one short and one long breath. Instruction to "exhale
twice“ signifies exhalation, through the mouth, of one short and one long breath, thus: "huh, huhhhhh."
„Huh“ is not a spoken word but an aspirate sound, like a sigh but with more force. The expression "double breathingn“ means to inhale and exhale continuously in the manner just described.

Where no special instruction is given for breathing, one should breathe
calmly and naturally, without any attempt to synchronize the breathing with
the tension and relaxation.

It is recommended that, starting with Exercise 1 and proceeding in the
order given, you learn and practice as many exercises as you can within
fifteen to twenty minutes. Each day add one or a few new exercises to those
already learned (keeping the period of study and practice to fifteen or
twenty minutes) until all exercises have been learned and included in your
morning and evening routine.

SPECIAL NOTE: If for any reason you cannot perform the actual movements
of an exercise, you should, nevertheless, with closed eyes,
mentally practice the exercise. Feel that you are sending the energy to
that body part just as though you were actually going through the physical
motions of doing so.

Always begin with one of Paramahansa Yogananda's prayers for recharging
body, mind, and soul, such as the following:

 "Heavenly Father, it is Thou who dosb directly sustain my body. Awaken
within me conscious will, conscious health, conscious vitality, conscious
realization. 0 Eternal Youth of body and mind, abide in me forever and forever ."

1. Double-Breathing Exercise (With Tension) (repeat 3-5 times)

Stand erect. Raise arms until they are stretched out horizontally at
the sides, parallel to the ground. Keeping arms straight and at shoulder
height, bring them forward in an arc until the palms touch in front of you.
During this forward motion of the arms, exhale the breath twice through the
mouth ("huh, huhhhhhtl) in a slow, relaxed manner, and slightly bend the
knees. The body should feel relaxed. Hold to a count of three.

Now close the fists and inhale twice while slowly drawing the raised
arms out to the sides as in the beginning position. Simultaneously with the
opening out of the arms, tense consecutively these body parts: feet,
calves, thighs, buttocks, lower abdomen, upper abdomen and stomach, arms,
chest, neck, and head, in a continuous upward wave of tension, until the
inhalation is complete, the arms are fully extended sideways, and the entire
body is tensed. Hold to the count of three.

Sweep arms forward until the palms touch, exhaling twice as before,
relaxing all tensed body parts in reverse order from head to feet, and
bending the knees slightly.

SPECIAL NOTE: In this exercise, tense and relax body parts on both left
and right sides together, as both feet, both calves, and so
forth. Do not bend the elbows; keep the arms straight.

2. Leg Recharging (repeat 3-5 times with each leg)

Balance the weight on the right foot. Bend left knee so that left foot
is raised off the floor. Tense the left leg, concentrating tension particu-
larly in the calf. Then swing leg (from knee down only) slowly forward and
backward. Relax the muscle tension momentarily at the forward and backward end of each swing, retaining only enough tension in the backward swing to hold the leg up. After practicing three to five times, practice the suc-
ceeding exercise (Ankle Rotation). Then with the right leg repeat the Leg
Recharging Exercise, followed by ankle rotation.

3. Ankle Rotation (rotate 5 times in each direction)

Balancing the weight on the right foot, tense the left ankle and rotate
that foot slowly in a circular motion, five times in one direction, then
five times in the other. Do the same with right ankle after practicing
Exercise 2 with that leg,

4. Calf and Forearm, Thigh and Upper Arm Recharginq
(3 times with left arm and leg; 3 times with right arm and leg; 3 times with both arms and legs)

Place the weight of the body on the right foot with the left foot
lightly resting on the floor, extended a little forward and to the left.
Tense the left forearm and the left calf together; then relax. Tense the
left thigh and the upper arm together; then relax. This counts as one
practice. After three practices, shift the weight to the left foot and
tense the right calf and the forearm; relax. Tense the right thigh and the
upper arm; relax. Repeat three times. Then tense both calves and both
forearms simultaneously; relax. Tense both thighs and both upper arms
simultaneously; relax. Repeat three times.

5. Chest and .&lttock Rechar~ing(repeat 3 times, each side)

Tense the left chest and the left buttock together; relax. Tense the
right chest and the right buttock together; relax. Continue, alternating
right and left sides, until you have practiced three times on each side.

6. Three-Part Pack Recharging (repeat 3-5 times)

Tense and relax the muscles of the back along the spine: first those of
the lumbar region, opposite the navel; then those between the shoulder
blades; then those on top of the shoulders. In this consecutive order,
tense and relax first the left, then the right side of each set of muscles.
To do this you may have to move the body and shoulders slightly to isolate
the muscles on each side of the spine.

7. Shoulder Rotation (3-5 times in each direction)

Place the fingers of the left hand on the left shoulder, right fingers on the right shoulder, elbows extended out to the sides. Starting from this
position, simultaneously move arms, shoulders, and shoulder blades upward,
forward, and around in as wide a circle as possible, three to five times
forward and three to five times backward.

8. Throat Recharging (repeat 3 times)

Without raising the chin, tense simultaneously all the muscles of the
throat: the front, the left and right sides; relax. Tense simultaneously the left-front and the left-side muscles of the throat; relax. Tense simultaneously the right-front and the right-side muscles; relax. Repeat in this consecutive order until you have performed each phase of the exercise three times. Conclude with an additional performance of phase one.

9. Neck Rechargin(repeat 3-5 times)

Lower the head so that the chin rests on the chest. Then, tensing neck
and throat muscles, pull the chin upward against the tension until the head
is tilted back. Completely relax the tension so that the head falls forward
of its own weight and the chin drops quickly back to the chest. The falling
motion of the head will culminate in a slight jerk as the neck reaches
maximum forward position.

10. Neck Adjustment (rotate 3-5 times each way)

Exert low tension in the muscles of the throat and neck. While maintaining this tension, slowly rotate the head on the neck three to five times in one direction, then three to five times in the other. Relax the tension and rotate the head a couple of times in each direction.

11. Spinal Adjustment (6-8 times)

Bend the elbows so forearms are almost parallel to the ground, keeping
the upper arms close to the body. With a quick jerk, twist the upper part
of the body to the 'left and the hips to the right. Then twist the upper
trunk to the right, hips to the left. (A twist in one direction counts as
one time.)

12. Spinal Rotation (5 times in each direction)

Stand with the legs slightly tensed and the feet twelve to fourteen inches apart. Place the hands at the waist. Concentrate on tensing the muscles of the back along the spine. Now bend the trunk slightly forward, maintaining the tension along the spine, and rotate the torso above the waist five times in one direction, five times in the other. Do not move hips; rotate spine from the waist up only; keep the spine above the waist straight.

13. Spinal Stretching (Side to Side) (3-5 times)

In the same position as the Spinal Rotation Exercise, with muscles along
the spine tensed, hands at waist, slowly sway the torso above the waist,
first to one side then to the other side. Bend the spine as far as you can  without moving the hips.

14. Spinal Adjustment (Forward and bckward)

Stand with the feet slightly apart. With the fingers of the left hand
placed on the left side of the spine near the base or coccyx, and the
fingers of the right hand similarly placed on the right side, incline the
trunk forward slightly. Now bend the trunk gently backward, simultaneously
pushing the lower spine forward with the fingers, arching the back and
rising slightly off the heels. Repeat, moving the fingers a little higher
up the back. Continue until you have gone as far up the spine as you can reach.

15. Spinal Twistinq (6-8 times)

Stand with feet apart, legs straight, and spine tensed. Raise the arms
forward to shoulder level. Clench the fists; tense the arms; and slowly
swing them first to the left and then to the right, pivoting at the waist,
so that you twist the trunk above the waist only. The movement should be
smooth and rhythmical, not jerky. Palms of the fist face downward through-
out this exercise.

As the left arm sweeps backward, the right arm should follow the arc,
bending at the elbow so that the right fist touches the left shoulder when
the left arm reaches the end of its backward swing. Relax tension momen-
tarily; then tense and twist to the right, the left fist touching the right
shoulder. Relax again momentarily. The head should turn, following the arc of the outstretched arm in its backward sweep. (A twist in one direction counts as one time.)

16. Memory Stimulating Exercise (several times)

Briskly rap the entire skull with the knuckles. Concentrate deeply on
each rap and feel that it is stimulating and awakening the brain cells.
Excellent for improving the mental and nerve responses.

17. Scalp Massaging

Holding the fingertips firmly on the scalp so that the fingers do not
slip on the hair, move the scalp with a rotary motion. Do this over the
entire scalp. This exercise will loosen muscular tension in the scalp and
stimulate blood circulation there.

18. Medulla Oblongata Massaging (repeat 2-3 times)
Place the first three fingers of each hand on the medulla oblongata, at
the base of the skull. Pressing firmly against the medulla, move the fingers in a small circle, three times in one direction, then three times in the opposite direction. With the throat and head tensed as in the Neck Recharging Exercise, draw the head backward. Then relax and push the head forward with the fingers so that the chin drops quickly (but gently) to the chest.

19. Biceps re charging(each arm, alternately, 3 times)

Clasp the hands over the head --you may let them rest on top of the
head if you wish --and alternately tense and relax the biceps in each arm.

20. Four-Part Body Recharging (all four steps 1 or 2 times)

Refer to Lesson 8 for Technique of Energization of the twenty body parts
and variations in its practice.

(1) Inhale deeply one short and one long breath, and simultaneously and
slowly exert tension from low to high degree in all body parts. Vibrate
with energy for three seconds. Throw the breath out in one short and
one long exhalation and simultaneously and slowly relax. Feel the energy
coursing through the entire body.

(2) Tense and relax each of the twenty body parts individually. Take about
four seconds to tense and relax each individual part, in the following order:
1,2 --left foot, right foot
3,4 --left calf, right calf
5,6 --left thigh, right thigh
7,8 --left buttock, right buttock
9,10 -lower abdomen, upper side of neck abdomen and stomach
11,12 --left forearm, right forearm
13,14 --left upper arm, right upper arm
15,16 --left chest, right chest
17,18 --left side of neck, right side of neck
19,20 --front of neck, back of neck

(3) Tense consecutively each of the twenty body parts
 (from number 1 to 20),holding the tension in each one as you progress, until the whole body is tensed. (This should take about ten seconds.) As you begin the tension, simultaneously begin a slow inhalation. If you have not taken in all the air your lungs can hold, without undue strain, by the time all parts are tensed, continue to inhale to capacity. The body should be tensed so that it literally vibrates with energy. Hold tension and breath, and vibrate for three seconds. Proceed at once to step four.

(4) Exhale the breath quickly, and simultaneously relax the four parts of
the neck and drop the chin to the chest. But continue to maintain
tension throughout the rest of the body. Then relax the other body
parts individually, in reverse sequence (from 16 to 11, until the whole
body is relaxed. Remember to relax one part at a time: Maintain the
tension in each body part until its "turnw“ to be relaxed. If, while
relaxing the parts above the waist, you find that you have also unin-
tentionally relaxed the parts below the waist, then simultaneously tense
these parts again, and then relax them one by one. The entire relaxa-
tion should be complete in ten seconds. After the upper body parts have
been relaxed, the head may be slowly lifted to normal upright position
as the lower body parts are relaxed.

(Additional note: This exercise can be practiced any additional number
of times throughout the day, in a sitting, reclining, or standing posi-
tion. When standing, of course, you have to keep certain muscles of the
feet, calves, thighs, spine, and neck engaged and tensed in order to
hold the body upright. Therefore, it is also good to practice this
exercise at least once before rising in the morning, as the tensing of
the parts while in a supine position is accomplished entirely as a con-
scious act of will. This is the best way to awaken your body in the
morning and set it in ''gear“ for the day's activity.)
21. Arm Recharging ( Up and Down) ( 3-5 times)

Keeping elbows at sides, raise both forearms with tension as though
lifting weights, until fists are at shoulder level. Relax momentarily;
tense again; and let the imaginary weights down. Relax and repeat. The
exercise is performed as though rhythmically lifting and lowering weights.
Palms of fists should face each other.

22. Double-Breathing Exercise (Elbows Touching) (3-5 times)

With arms outstretched sideways at shoulder level, and with elbows bent
so that the forearms are perpendicular to the ground, bring arms forward
with a sweeping motion so that elbows, forearms, and fists meet. At the
same time, exhale twice, relaxing the body and slightly bending the knees.
Hold to the count of three. Inhale twice and tense the twenty body parts in
upward order (as in Exercise 1), at the same time bringing the bent arms to
the starting position. Hold to the count of three. Exhale twice and relax
the twenty body parts in reverse order while bringing forearms together in
the front again, and slightly bending the knees. Hold to the count of
three. Remember to keep the spine straight, the elbows at shoulder level,
and the forearms perpendicular to the floor at all times during this exer-
cise. Palms of fists are toward sides of head in tensing position of this
exercise. Palms of fists face forehead when in the relaxing position.

23. Arm Recharging (From Shoulders) (3-5 times)

From a starting position in which the arms are extended sideways at
shoulder level, with the elbows bent so that the fists are at either side of
the head, extend the forearms outward to the side, with tension, keeping the
upper arms at shoulder level. Relax tension momentarily. Then tense arms
and draw them back to starting position; relax tension. This exercise
should be done as though the arms were alternately pulling and pushing heavy
weights toward and away from the sides of the head. Palms of fists face up-
ward in the extended position, and downward when at,
the sides of the head.

24. Arm Rotation (Small Circles) (several times in each direction)

Extend the arms fully to the sides at shoulder level. Clench the fists
tightly, and tense the whole arm. Fists should be turned so that the palms are upward. Continuously add to this tension as you rotate the arms from the shoulder in small circles several times. Relax tension momentarily. Then rotate in the opposite direction several times, with increasing tension.

25. Arm Recharging (From Forehead1 ( 3-5 times)

With upper arms outstretched in front of the body at shoulder level, and
elbows bent so that the fists are lightly touching the forehead, tense the
arms and extend them forward. Relax momentarily; then tense and bring them back to the head as in the starting position. Relax momentarily; then
repeat. This is done as though alternately pulling and pushing a heavy
weight to and from the forehead. Palms of fists should be facing each other
throughout this exercise.

26. Four-Part Fin~er Rechar~inq(several times in each position)

With arms straight down at sides, tense the fingers and, keeping the
tension, rapidly open and close the fists. Repeat same with arms extended
to the sides at shoulder level, palms turned downward. Repeat with arms
straight out in front at shoulder level, palms turned downward. Repeat with
arms raised above the head, palms facing forward.

27. Four-Part Arm Recharging (3-5 times)

Start with arms down at sides. With tension in the arms, bend at elbows
so that fists come up to the chest; reduce tension; then increase again,
extending arms to the side at shoulder height; reduce tension; exert tension
again to draw fists back to the chest; reduce tension; then exert tension
again and thrust arms forward at chest height; reduce tension; exert tension
again as you bring fists back to the chest, and reduce tension; finally,
extend the arms upward over the.head, stretching up on the toes and tensing
the whole body, and simultaneously inhaling twice. Relax tension and exhale
twice as fists are lowered first to chest and then to starting position at
the sides. Palms of fists face downward when arms extended from sides and
in front, forward when arms extended over head.

28. Arm Raising with Double Weathing (3-5 times each arm, alternately)

Without bending the elbows, tense the arm and swing it forward and up
until perpendicular to the floor, inhaling twice and rising on the toes at
the same time. Exhale in a double exhalation and put heels back on floor as
arm is relaxed and brought down in a forward motion. Alternate with the
left and the right arm.

29. Lateral Stretchinp, (3-5 times each side, alternately)

Stretch trunk to the left as far as possible, bringing right arm
straight up to the side of the head and stretching left arm down as far as
possible at the side of the left knee as you bend in that direction. Then
stretch to the right side in the same manner, with the left arm up by the
head and the right hand down by the right knee. Alternate the left and
right stretch.

30. Walking-in-Place (repeat 25-50 times)

Lift the feet alternately, as in marching (only greatly exaggerated),
tensing the whole leg, including the thigh muscles in back. At the same
time, tense the arm on the opposite side and bring the fist up to the chest.
Then extend the arm straight down and relax as the leg is relaxed and set
down again. This exercise is to be done in one place, as in "marking time."

31. Running-in-Place (repeat 25-50 times)

Run in place with a light, springy step but exaggerate the motion by
bringing the heels up in back so as to strike the buttocks. Run on the
balls of the feet so as to avoid jarring the body. Try to maintain a
natural rhythm. Arms, with elbows bent, should remain in stationary

32. Fencing Exercise (3-5 times each side, alternately)

Bend arms at the elbows so fists are on the chest. Tense left leg and
step forward with it about ten to fourteen inches ahead of the right foot;
the left knee should be slightly bent. Keep the right leg straight andtensed with the heel flat on the floor. Simultaneously, clench the first ofthe right hand and tense the right arm and extend the arm straight out from
the chest, exhaling twice. There should also be a great amount of tension
in the chest. Slowly relax tension as the foot and arm are brought back to
the starting position, and inhale twice. Repeat alternately with the op-
posite foot and arm. At all times during this exercise the spine and head
should be erect, perpendicular to the floor. When the arm is thrust for-
ward, the wrist and arm should be in a straight line, not bent; and the palm of the right fist should be turned toward the left, and the palm of the left fist toward the right. In other words, the fist should be turned neither up nor down.

33. Arm Rotation (Large Circles) (3 times in each direction)

With arms hanging straight down at the sides, clench fists, tense arms,
and rotate arms in a circular motion. First bring them forward and up, as
if making the first part of a large circle, increasing the tension till they
are directly overhead. Then begin to relax them slowly as they are brought
down as far behind the trunk as possible, completing the circle. After
three times, rotate in the opposite direction.

34. Stomach Exercise (5-10 times)

This exercise offers aid in stomach troubles of a general nature, such
as indigestion and constipation. Place feet about ten inches apart. In-
cline the trunk forward, keeping the spine straight but at an angle. Bend
the knees slightly. Place most of the weight of the torso on the hands,
which should be resting with the palmb flat on the thighs, at or a little below the junction of the thigh and abdomen. Exhale breath twice and, without inhaling, draw the abdomen and stomach in and upward (this motion is
assisted by the partial vacuum in the chest cavity). Force the abdomen and
stomach out gently and slowly. Draw in and force out again. Take another
breath; exhale and repeat. With practice, you may increase from two to ten
the number of times the abdomen and stomach are drawn slowly in and pushed out without taking another breath. Butdo not hold the breath to the point of discomfort !

Never practice this exercise with a full stomach. Always wait two hours
or more after eating, or practice before eating. Women should not practice
this exercise during pregnancy.

35. Repeat Exercise One: Double-Breathing Exercise (With Tension) (3-5 times )

36. Repeat Exercise Two and Three: Leg Recharging and Ankle Rotation (3-5
times each)

37. Leg Rotation (3-5 times in each direction with each leg)

Stand with the weight on the right foot. Keeping the left leg straight,
swing it out in front, to the left, to the rear, and back to the starting
position, in a counterclockwise circle, three to five times. Then rotate
the same leg three to five times in a large clockwise circle. Shift the
weight to the left foot. Holding the right leg straight, swing it in a
large clockwise circle; then reverse direction to a counterclockwise

38. Double-Breathing Exercise (Without Tension) (3-5 times)

Exhaling twice to expel all the breath, extend the arms (without tension) straight forward from shoulders, hands open and fingers extended.
Hold the breath out to the count of twelve, or for as long as is comfort-
able. Concentrate the mind on calmness and on freedom from breath. Then
inhale twice, taking in all the breath you can hold without straining;
simultaneously, bend arms at the elbows to bring hands back to the shoul-
ders. Hold again to the count of twelve, or for as long as is comfortable,
again feeling the great calmness that comes with cessation of breath. Nei-
ther the torso nor the limbs should be tensed in this exercise, except in-
sofar as it is necessary to maintain an erect posture with the arms extended.

These Exercises should be practiced every morning and night, preferably just
before your meditation period.



By Paramahansa Yogananda

As winter came with its garment of cold lily flakes,
My desires for summer joys were dulled
And I was told to seek the warmth of Thy heart.
As spring came dancing, decked with myriad flowers
And sprinkled with wild perfumes,
It told me to love Thee.

Summer came singing through leaves and swishing through pines,
Urging me to singof Thee.
Even the soft-hearted sod caressed my hasty footsteps
And cautioned them tenderly to approach Tny temple everywhere.

And the fragrance told me to follow its trail
To Thy secret cloister in the forest of pollen.
And the birds told me I should try to sing of Thee as they were doing.
And the breeze, blowing over the lake,
Roused the ripples of my devotion to play over Thy bosom.
And with the bowed blades of grass I learned to bow my head to Thee.
The incense told me how fragrant Thou art
And that I should make my heart perpetually burn with sweet-scented goodness Before Thy throne everywhere.

The mute, downtrodden, uncomplaining little stone s
Told me to behold Thee in those people
Who try to tread upon my happiness.
And the foolish forgotten years told me
To send a message of love encased in every second.
And every thought told me to seek Thy hiding place in their hearts.

And my love told me to love all things in Thee,
And my love whispered to me to love Thee alone.


0 Spirit, teach me to relax and cast aside all mental
burdens, allowing Thee to express through me as perfect
health, peace, love, and wisdom.



Mental relaxation should signify complete mental rest. One may achieve this by practicing going to sleep at will. Relax the body and think of the drowsiness you usually feel just before you fall asleep. Then try actually to reproduce that state. Use imagination, not will, to do this. Most people do not relax even while they sleep. Their minds are restless; hence they dream. Therefore conscious mental relaxation is better than relaxation that is the byproduct of passive physical relaxation, or sleep. In conscious mental relaxation one can either dream or keep dreams off his mental moving picture screen, as he chooses.

No matter how busy we are, we should not forget now and then to free our
minds c ompletely from worries and all duties. They should simply be dis-
missed from the mind. We were not made for them; they were made by us. We should not allow them to torture us. When beset by overwhelming mental trials or worries one should try to fall asleep. If he can do that, he will find upon awakening that the mental tension has been relieved, and that the worry has loosened its grip. We need to remind ourselves at such times that even if we died, the earth would continue to follow its orbit, and business would be carried on as usual; so why worry? When we take ourselves too seriously, death comes along to mock us and remind us of the brevity of material life and its dutie s.

Mental relaxation consists in the ability to free the attention at will from
nagging worries over past and present difficulties; from constant consciousness of duty, dread of acc;dents, and other haunting fears; from greed, passion, evil or disturbing thoughts and attachments. Mastery in mental relaxation come s with faithful practice in freeing the mind of all thoughts at will and then keeping the attention fixed on the peace and contentment within. One can then divert the attention from worry to peace through meditation.

Hence, the devotee who aspires to develop uniformly and steadily in spiri-
tuality should always calm the mind with the practice of concentration, keep the breath quiet by proper breathing exercises, preserve the vital essence by selfcontrol, avoid temptation by mixing only with good company, and keep the body quiet and not in perpetual motion and restlessness.

Everyone needs to let go of his worries and enter into absolute silence every
morning and night. At such times one should first try to remain for one minute at a time without thinking negatively, fixing the mind on the peace within, especially if worried. Then try to remain for several minutes with a quiet mind. Following that, think of some happy incident; dwell on it and visualize it; mentally go through some pleasant experience over and over again until you have forgotten your worries entirely.

Just as there are degrees of physical relaxation, so there are degrees of
mental and metaphysical relaxation. The term "metaphysical" is used here to
indicate those states which go beyond the physical and mental realms.
Metaphysical or super-relaxation c onsists in freeing the human consciousness entirely from its identification with the physical body, money, possessions, name, fame, family, country, the world, and the human race and its habits.
Metaphysical relaxation means disengaging your attention by degrees from consciousnes s, subconsciousness, the semisuperconscious state felt after meditation, and Christ Consciousness; and in identifying yourself completely with Cosmic Consciousness.

Metaphysical relaxation therefore consists in releasing consciousness from
the delusion of duality and truly resting the mind by keeping it identified with one's own real nature: unity with Spirit. Man has hypnotized himself into thinking that he is a human being, whereas in reality he is one with God.


 When practicing the energization techniques one may feel, perhaps for the first time, the difference between flesh and energy. With the tension of all body parts, energy is furnished to every body part. In the subsequent relaxation, simultaneous with the throwing out of the breath, relaxation is given to every body part.

When, after tensing the whole body, one relaxes and exhales the breath, he
should cast away all restless thoughts, concentrating the attention on God-peace; he should remain without negative thought as long as possible, and without inhaling as long as no discomfort is experienced.

We should not jump out of bed suddenly upon awakening in the morning, but
rather go through the routine of energizing the body while still in bed;

Close the eyes. Tense the whole body slowly and then relax, giving all the body parts a breakfast of energy. Tense and relax gradually; do not jerk. Then get up and repeat the routine twice in a standing position.

After one has learned how to concentrate, he will be able to withdraw ener-
gy from the body in this way and to consciously direct it toward the higher centers in the spine and brain where awareness of God's presence may be realized.

There is no greater method of relaxation than that which is taught in these
Lessons. Whenever one is tired or worried, he should tense and relax the whole body; throw the breath out; remain without either breath or restless
thought for a few moments; and he will soon become calm. However, when
there is only slight cont raction of the muscles, tension is not completely
removed upon the release of contraction. It is important to tense Ifhigh"
and then relax in order to have perfect relaxation.


It is possible to distinguish three degrees of tension by trying the following

Raise the right arm forward, parallel to the floor; gently grasp the
right forearm just below the elbow with the fingers of the left hand.
Then slightly tense and relax the right forearm by closing the right
hand into a fist and then opening the fingers again. Now, hold the
right forearm still, with drooping palm and fingers, and sense the
following degrees of tension:

1. LOW TENSION. Partly close the fingers of the right hand; note the low tension of the muscles in the forearm.

2. MEDIUM TENSION. Close the fingers half way. This creates medium tension.

3. HIGH TENSION. Close the fingers tightly. This creates high tension.

(It is possible, but more difficult, to tense the forearm or the upper arm without closing the fingers. It is also possible to tense almost any muscle in the body individually, by application of Self -Realization Fellowship methods.)

Now drop the right arm to the side. Tense it with will (as in point three
above), and keep the eyes closed. Open the fingers a little; then open
the fingers halfway; then open the hand and let the fingers relax; when
completely relaxed let the hand droop.

In this experiment one can experience three degrees of relaxation, ending
with complete relaxation of those muscles. Feel the gradual withdrawal of
energy and the loosening of the muscles during relaxation.

While one is relaxing the forearm or upper arm, he should be sure to let the arm hang loosely by his side, and not lift it up. Should one tense and then
relax with the arm raised, he does not achieve perfect muscular relaxation,
because in lifting the arm he has had to tense, or contract, the muscles that
raise the arm.

Try the foregoing exercise with any part of the body, while lying on one's
back on a firm bed, or on a blanket on the floor. These exercises may be
practiced either standing up or lying down, to become calm and to gain great
strength. Strength is valuable, of course, but above all, calmness is neces-
sary to enable us to learn concentration and meditation. Without concentration and meditation, Self-realization is impossible.

Physical and mental relaxation may be very successfully accomplished by
practicing the above exercises while lying on a blanket on the floor, early in
the morning after the bath.

When performing such exercises, keep the mird
on the medulla oblongata, and imagine the energy flowing into the body through the medulla and from thence to every part of the body. The medulla oblongata or "mouth of God" is located at the base of the brain. By keeping one's mind thus fixed upon the medulla, he will soon learn to draw in energy from the ether and send it to all parts of his body at will, without the physical process of tensing and relaxing.


Fix your mind at the point between the eye brows where the
spiritual eye glows like a shoreless lake of peace. Watch the eternal
circle of rippling peace around you. The more intently you watch, the
more you will feel the wavelets of peace extending from your eyebrows
to your forehead, from your forehead to your heart, and on to every
cell in your body. Now the ripples of peace have left the banks of your
body and peace is flooding over the vast territory of your mind. Now
the flood of peace overflows the boundaries of your mind and moves
on in infinite directions all around you, everywhere. Meditate, dwell
on this and feel it.

The temple of God is within your soul. Enter into this quietness and sit
there in meditation with the light of intuition burning on the altar. There is no restlessness, no searching or striving there. Come into the silence of soli-
tude, and the vibration there will talk to you with the voice of God, and you will know that the invisible has become visible and the unreal has become real.

Realize that all power to think, to speak, and to act, comes from God, and
that He is with you now, guiding and inspiring you. As soon as you actually
realize that, a flash of illumination will come and fear will leave you. Some-
times that power of God comes like an ocean, and surges through your being
in great boundless waves, sweeping away all obstacles of doubt. There is a
Power that will light your way to health, happiness, peace, and success, if
you will but turn toward that Light.

You must always be guided by that divine power, which is unfailing. As I
perceive, so may you perceive; as I behold, so may you behold the ethereal
power that flows through you, through your speech, your brain, your cells,
your thoughts. Every thought is a tube, a channel through which the divine
light is passing. Open your heart, that the Divine Flood may pass through


I am calmly active. I am actively calm.
I am a Prince of Peace sitting on the throne
of poise, directing the kingdom of activity.



By Paramahansa Yogananda

In the nightly garden of my dreams grow many blossoms;
The rearest fkowers of my fancy.There, warmed by

the astral dream-light, unopened buds of earthly hopes
audaciously spread petals of fulfillment.

In the dream glow I spy specters of beloved forgotten
faces; and sprites of dear, dead feelings, long buried in the
soil of subconsciousness. All arise in shining robes. At
the trumpet call of dream angels I behold the resurrection
of all past experiences.

Lord, Thou hast given us freedom to forget our daily
troubles by nightly visits to dreamland. May we escape
from mortal sorrows forever by awakening in Thee.

--From "Whispers from Eternity"


0 Creator of All! in the garden of Thy dreams let me be a radiant
flower. Or may I be a tiny star, held on the timeless thread of Thy
love as a twinkling bead in the vast necklace of Thy heavens.

Or give me the highest honor: the humble st place within Thy heart.
There I would behold the creation of the noblest visions of life.


Most people dream at night, but few take their jumbled dreams seriously.
The greatest lesson dreamland has to offer is that we must not take our earthly experiences too seriously either, for they are nothing but a series of vast dream movies shown to us to entertain us. The Heavenly Father meant to entertain and educate us, His immortal children, with a variety of earthly movies. We must behold comedies, tragedies, and newsreels of life's movies with an entertained, joyous attitude, and learn from them without being overcome by their emotional impact.

In the dreamland we forget our names, bodies, nationalities, possessions,
and our frailties. We unconsciously enjoy the great freedom that is native to the soul. We must cultivate a similar but conscious awareness of soul freedom; we must realize the truth that the soul is not permanently attached to its present bodily and world environment, sex, or race, but is omnipresent, eternal, free of any limitation.

God "froze" His thoughts into substance, and by maya or cosmic illusion He causes us to perceive His dream of the cosmos, with its various sensations,
as tangible and real. It is maya that keeps us from realizing that the universe
is constructed of mind stuff and that it has no more reality than do our dreams, which we recognize, upon awakening from them, as creations of our own minds.

God has given the soul and mind the power to materialize thoughts in the
dreamland; to create, in the same way that He does, a miniature cosmos. The
phenomena of dreams show that we employ the instrument of the mind to reproduce an exact and realistic copy of this world and of the experiences of mundane life. God is showing us, in our dreams, that we, being His children, can create substance out of thought, even as He does.

In the dreamland the soul becomes free to create a cosmos after its own
fancy. It can move in a new body, in a new world; enjoy ice cream or hot tea;
live in the hot Sahara desert or in the bleak regions of Alaska, or in the heights of the Himalayas. In dreamland the soul can masquerade as a poor man or a king; it can satisfy all its unfulfilled earthly desires by materializing them into dream experiences. Here the soul can create, if it will, a perfect world, free from poverty, sickness, wickedness, and igno~ance.
Here it can be a part of anything it thinks it cannot be in its earthly life. Here the soul can perceive the birth of a baby or the death of a man. Here it can cry or smile, hear songs, smell flowers, touch, feel, think, reason, meditate, and perform every aciivity, even as it does in this earthly life.

Just as we find this variety-filled dream life interesting, without believing
in its actuality, so we must prove ourselves to be God's immortal children, who can learn from and be entertained by the cosmic movies, without forgetting that they are temporary and delusive. We must prove ourselves to be true sons of God by appreciating the lessons of the cosmic movies without losing the unchangeable joyous poise of our inner beings--our souls--which are true reflections of immortal, unchangeable God.


 All dreams have some significance even though all dreams  are not true. For even "meaningless" dreams are reflections of disordered, purposeless thinking. In fact, all dreams signify the state of one's consciousness. The worldly man has worldly dreams. The active man has dreams of activity. The evil man has dreams of evil. Imaginative people have fanciful dreams.
Matter-of -fact people have dreams of daily activities. The person who is filled with worry and fear has nightmares--which should warn him to change his attitude lest he attract the objects of his worry or fear, not only through his conscious thoughts; but also through the powerful vibrations  of his subconscious thoughts. The one whose thoughts dwell too much on
sexual matters has dreams of sex, which signify that he must make conscious
effort to dislodge these acquired conscious and subconscious sex impulses from the conscious and subconscious minds. Subconscious optimism brings forth comedy dreams. Subconscious pessimism turns out tragedy dream films. Do not try to decipher the meaning of every dream--just remember that it probably symbolizes your mental or physical state; hence you must adjust your waking thought and actions if you would clarify or improve your dreams.

You may ask: "What about prophetic and warning dreams? Many people
have had true dreams and visions. " This subject, as well as the meaning of some dream symbols that show one's state of spiritual development, will be dealt with at greater length in Step 2 of the SRF Lessons.


If you have faith in your relationship with the Infinite,  through contact in deep meditation, you will know that whether or not nature shatters your body, you are still on the lap of that Infinite Assurance. Resurrect yourself from the consciousness of useless human habits and changing human thoughts. Live every second in the consciousness that you are immortal; thoughts and habits change, only your soul will live forever. This is not said to frighten you, but to quicken your understanding, to quicken your efforts, so that you will not keep the ever new bliss of your soul buried under temporary false satisfactions.

We have no real existence as creatures made of matter. The body you see
is nothing but materialized electricity. How can electricity be sick? It is a
delusion of this dream world, but simply saying that it is a delusion is not enough. If, in a dream, you see a wall and you see your head strike the wall, you will have a broken skull.. .in your dream. Self-Realization Fellowship teaches that it is only by coming in contact with God that one sees that the universe and the body are nothing but condensed electricity, thoughts or vibrations of God "frozen" into various forms. Science has said that electricity is nothing but energy. That energy is frozen Cosmic Consciousness. We must not call it simply "Mind"; that term is too limited in its connotations. It is Cosmic Consciousness that makes us sense different things; which enables us to haye consciousness of matter as well as consciousness of Spirit.

Resurrect your soul from dreams of frailties. Resurrect your soul in eter-
nal wisdom. What is the method? It includes many things: relaxation,
self- control, right diet, fortitude, an undaunted attitude of mind, regular meditation with practice of scientific concentration and meditation principles. You may fail at first, but do not acknowledge defeat. To acknowledge defeat is greater defeat. You have unlimited power; you must cultivate that great power.

Meditation is the greatest way of resurrecting your soul from the bondage of
the body and from all your trials. Meditate at the feet of the Infinite. Learn to
saturate yourself with Him. Your trials may be heavy, may be great, but the
greatest enemy of yourself is yourself. You are immortal; your trials are mor-
tal. They are changeable; you are unchangeable. You can unleash infinite powers and shatter your finite trials. Resurrect yourself from weakness, ignorance, consciousness of disease, and above all, from the clutches of undesirable habits that be set your life.

Neither the dream of life nor the dream of death is lasting. Your last sleep
in this body will be dreamless; nightmares and your beautiful dreams of earthly life will bid farewell, at least for a time. Then, after a short rest on the downy bed of blissful oblivion, you will wake up in another dream of another life, in a new earthly setting, or even on another planet. Then again you will be deluded into thinking that you are awake when you are still dreaming. Alas, this delusive sleeping and waking in dreams will continue until man knows that he can really awaken only in God.

As in our dreaming we divide our minds into thoughts of many things, such as minds, mountains, souls, sky, and stars, and make every picture out of the tissue of fancy, so God has created in His dreaming mind a star-checkered savanna of the blue, a planetary family which includes the earth and its creatures, laughing, crying, living, dying.

May God make us fearless by letting us know that we are waking and dream-
ing in Him, and that we are His all-protected, ever happy Self. Let us unite our
evanescent lives with His imperishable Life. Let us blend our flickering happiness, which stales so quickly, into His enduring, ever new Bliss.


Dreams can be consc iously induced by relaxing and visualizing while looking
intently at the point between the eyebrows. Perhaps you do not know that there is anything beyond the state of darkness. You can never believe unless you have experienced it yourself.

Do not be discouraged if a dream does not come for a long time, for it will
finally come if you persist. Sometimes you dream things that later you do not
recall. The reason one does not remember dreams is that the process of awakening withdraws the life energy from the subconscious mind, where the dream has been going on, and errploys the life energy to vivify only the waking consciousness of the brain.

Many students on the spiritual path, striving to go from the conscious to the
superconscious state, become sidetracted in the subconscious. They get caught in the movieland of dreams, and become satisfied. As you take your attention away from the motion picture of sensory experiences, do not lose yourself in the movieland of dreams. Pass by and race toward the Infinite Spirit.


The holy city of Benares
in India is encompassed by a dark forest inhabited
by wild animals. In the depths of this deep jungle was a beautiful hermitage in which lived a God-knowing saint. This holy man, who possessed great wisdom and many miraculous powers, had no one near to him in this world except a little pet mouse.

Many pilgrims and disciples braved the dangers of ferocious tigers and other
wild beasts of the forest in order to visit the great master, bringing with them
offerings of fruits and flowers. (A disciple never goes empty-handed to his
master, who, as God's agent, gives him priceless spiritual treasures. ) Every-
one who came to visit the saint marvelled at the great friendship between him and the mouse, and enjoyed throwing tidbits to his pet.

One day while a group of students was visiting the great master in his seclud-
ed hermitage, the mouse, chased by a cat, ran squeaking to the feet of the sage for protection. Before the wondering gaze of his students, the saint changed the little trembling mouse into a huge, ferocious cat ! The metamorphosed mouse henceforth went fearlessly in the company of cats without being molested, and was quite happy in its new form except when one of the disciples "who knew him when" would refer to him as the saint's "glorified mouse-cat. "

Sometime later the same group of students was visiting the master again
when the mouse-cat was pursued by wild jungle dogs. Meowing loudly, it came at top speed to the feet of the sage who exclaimed: "Be thou a wild dog."
The astonished students saw the mouse-cat change into a dog before their eyes. And great was the bewilderment of the wild dogs, who made a disappointed retirement. The mouse -dog eventually became better acquainted and even friendly with other wild dogs, playing and eating with them with a scornful sense of superiority to lesser creatures.

On another occasion, students who had seen the two preceding miracles
were studying with the master. In the midst of the lesson they were dismayed to see a full-grown Royal Bengal tiger chasing the mouse-dog, who was racing as usual for shelter at the feet of the sage. But the master, once again using his miraculous powers, stopped the tiger in his tracks. Speaking to his pet, the saint said: "Mr. Mouse, it is foolish for me to go on constantly having to protect you from your enemies. Henceforth, be thou a tiger. " The students, once they had recovered from their first fear, began to laugh and exclaim, "Look at the saint's fierce tiger ! He is only a glorified mouse.

As time went by and visitors to the hermitage found out that the fear some
tiger patrolling the place was only a mouse uplifted to tigerhood through one of the saint's miracles, they frequently made disparaging remarks about the mouse- tiger. Newcomers would be told by older disciples, "Don't be nervous. That is not really a tiger. It is only a mouse glorified into a tiger by the Master."

The mouse that had become a tiger tired of this popular affront and he
thought: "If only I could kill the saint, then the cause of my discomfiture would be removed. Thinking this, the mouse-tiger sprang to kill the sage. Instantly perceiving the motive of his ungrateful pet, the sage loudly commanded: "Be thou a mouse again! " and lo, the roaring tiger became once more a squeaking mouse.

Dear friend, never forget that by using God-given power you may change
yourself from a little human mouse, squeaking with failure and fear, into a
brave tiger of material, mental, and spiritual success. But do not forget also that if you become antagonistic to that power you may change again from a tiger of success to a miserable mouse of failure. Concentrate well on the duties you are performing, but always, in the background of your mind, hum a silent devotional song of love to your beloved Heavenly Father,remembering that all your abilities are gifts from Him.


My dreams of perfection are bridges that carry me into the
realm of pure ideas.



By Paramahansa Yogananda

I will be a gypsy--
Roam, roam, and roam.
I will sing a song that none has sung !
I will sing to the sky,
I will sing to the winds,
I'll sing to my red clouds!
I'll roam, roam, and roam--
King of the lands through which 1 roam.

By day, the shady trees will be my tent,
At night, the stars shall be
My candles, twinkling in the firmament;
And I will call the moon to be my lamp
And light my silver, skyey camp.
I will be a gypsy--
Roam, roam, and roam.

I will eat the food that chance may bring;
I will drink from crystal sparkling spring;
I will doff my cap and off will go,
Like a wayward brook of long ago;
I will roll o'er the green
And scatter the joy of all my heart
To birds, leaves, winds, hills--then depart
To stranger and stranger lands, from East to West.
Oh! I will be a gypsy--
Roam, roam, and roam!

But always, when I lay me down to rest,
I'll sing to Thee my gypsy prayer,
And find Thee, always, everywhere.


0 Divine Mother, I often heard Thy gentle voice saying: "Come home, "
but it was drowned in the noises of the wild cravings of many lives. Now I have forsaken the jostling crowds of desires. In the solitude of my mind, my devotion is bursting to hear Thy voice again.


Do you realize how you spend your life? Very few of us know how much
we can put into life if we use it properly, wisely, and economically. First,
let us economize our time--lifetimes ebb away before we wake up, and that
is why we do not realize the value of the immortal time God has given us.
Too much time is spent in rushing, in getting nowhere. Very few of us stop,
think, and try to find out what life can give us. Most people do not think at
all--they just eat, sleep, and die.

It is important to differentiate between your needs and your wants. Your
needs are few, while your wants can be limitless. In order to find freedom
and Bliss, minister only to your needs. Stop creating limitless wants and
pursuing the will-o'-the-wisp of false happiness. The more you depend upon
conditions outside yourself for happiness, the less happiness you will experi-

Fostering desire for luxuries is a sure way to increase misery. Do not
be a slave of things or possessions. Boil down even your needs to a mini-
mum. Spend your time in search of lasting happiness or Bliss. The unchange-
able, immortal soul is hidden behind the screen of your consciousness, on
which are painted at various times dark pictures of disease, failure, death,
and so forth. Lift the veil of illusive change and be established in your
immortal nature. Enthrone your fickle consciousness on the changelessness and calmness within you, which is the throne of God; then let your soul manifest Bliss night and day.

Happiness can be secured by the exercise of self -control, by cultivating
habits of plain living and high thinking, and by spending less money, even
though earning more than enough to provide for extra things. Make an effort
to earn more so that you can be the means of helping others to help them-
selves: there is an unwritten law that he who helps others to abundance and
happiness always will be helped in return, and he will become more and more prosperous and happy. This is an infallible law of happiness. Is it not better to live simply and to grow really rich--in Spirit?


The soul's nature is Bliss, a lasting inner state of ever new, ever changing joy that eternally bestows Bliss that does not fade. One who has been made blissful by this joy of the soul, finds that the Bliss endures, even when he is passing through trials of physical suffering or death. Desirelessness is not a negation of joy, but the finding of fulfillment of all desires in the all-satisfying
joy of God.

You must attain self-control in order to regain the eternal heritage of
all-fulfillment !ying within your soul. First, by meditation, give your soul
the opportunity to manifest Bliss, and then, constantly living in this state,
do your duty to your body and mind and the world. You need not give up your ambitions and become negative; on the contrary,
let the everlasting joy, which is your real nature, help yo11 to realize all your noble ambitions. Enjoy noble experiences with the joy of God. Perform real duties with divine joy.

You are immortal and are endowed with eternal joy. Never forget this during
your play with changeable mortal life. This world is but astage on which you play your parts under the direction of the Divine Stage Manager. Play them well, whether they are tragic or comic, always remembering that your real nature is eternal Bliss, and nothing else. The one thing that will never leave you, once you transcend all unstable mental states, is the joy of your soul.


 The usual conception of God is that He is superhuman, infinite, omnipresent, and omniscient; but in this general conception there are many variations. Whatever conception we have of God, if it does not influence our daily conduct, if our everyday life does not find an inspiration from it, and if it is not found to be universally necessary, then that conception is useless. If God is not conceived in such a way that we cannot do without Him in the satisfaction of a want, in our dealings with people, when earning money, in reading a book, in passing an examination, in the doing of the most trifling or the highest duties, then it is plain that we have not felt any connection between God and life. God may be infinite, omnipresent, omniscient,personal, and merciful, but these conceptions are not sufficiently compelling to make us try to know God. We have no imtnediate and practical use for those conceptions in our busy lives.

We read about God in the various scr iptures. We hear of His presence
and listen to His praise in the sermons of religious men and saints. We
imagine Him behind the veils of the beauty of nature. We think about His
existence through the logic within us. But all of these windows, through
which we try to see God, are fitted with an opaque glass of uncertain inference drawn from untested, unscrutinized data.

We cannot have full or direct knowledge of God through the limited pow-
ers of the intellect, which give only a partial and indirect view of things. To
view a thing intellectually is to view it by being apart from it. Intuition is
the direct grasp of truth, seeing it by being one with it. It is by intuition
that God consciousness is realized. God is Bliss. He is ever existent. When
we wish for eternal Bliss, or God, we also wish for eternal, immortal,
unchangeable, ever conscious existence.

It must be remembered that to seek God does not give us any excuse to
neglect the various physical, mental, and spiritual battles of life. On the
other hand, the climbing spiritual aspirant must learn to conquer moods,
habits, desires, and so on, in order to free the temple of life from the dark-
ness of ignorance and the weakness of disease, so that God's perfect presence
may be perceived. As a houseful of jewels cannot be seen in the dark, so the
presence of God cannot be perceived while the darkness of ignorance, over-
powering disease, or mental inharmony prevails.


To know God is to love Him. Knowledge of God precedes the ability to love Him. At least, we must have some little conception of what He really is. We are told "He is love, " but we know only human love; how then can we conceive that wondrous divine love that makes all mankind free ? Wood, stones, animals--all things are but different manifestations of God with varying rates of vibration. Our own feelings may be an expression of God, but they are not God. The wave may be a manifestation of the ocean, but the wave cannot be called the ocean. Is
electricity God? No, for we cannot switch Him on or off. He is ever burn-
ing Cosmic Spirit.

Do you really know the Supreme Being? Have you seen Him? Some
people say: "He dwells in everything, I' others say: "He is omnipresent. "
Yet space alone is not God.

When my Master asked me: "What is God?" I said: "God is Spirit. I'
When he asked: "What is Spirit?" I answered: "Spirit is Infinite Intelligence.
"Yes, he said, "but Infinite Intelligence is God, so ,you
see you are talking and reasoning in circles, and in that way you will never get anywhere. " Substituting different names for God does not define Him. Similarly, the Bible says: "The Word was God. " But, what is the Word?

In the same way, when you are asked to define water, you may say: "It is H2O, or aqua, or rain, or ice,“ and try to define it that way. If you really
know what God is, then you can define Him satisfactorily to a new inquirer,
but when you try to analyze or define God without knowing Him, you only give your ideas about God. What is God? That was one of the questions I thought I was sure of until I found that I could not make
a satisfactory explanation. But from my Master's explanation I really learned about God, and found Him for myself. God has been a reality to me ever since.


There are two elemental factors in this universe: first, force, and second intelligence, controlling that fo rce. You cannot mention any one thing that does not have intelligence. The human body is simply a combination of elements that can be found almost anywhere in nature's realm. Unless intelligence is in it, it is only a combination of these elements, and nothing mo re. With intelligence added, it becomes a live and thinking being. Can intelligence come out of nothing? Is it not reasonable to suppose that somewhere there is some sort of factory that produces that intelligence? We humans are only one of the many products of that factory of Cosmic Intelligence.

God is that invisible factory of intelligence that creates, gives birth to,
and harmoniously develops all manifested things.

Why do the seasons come on time? Why do we have hunger in the body
and food sources on this earth to satisfy that hunger? If there were no Cosmic Intelligence, we might have hunger but no food. Throughout the universe --in spite of the many mischievous pranks of nature--there always seems to be
a rhythm, and all things are pruducts of the one factory of the One All-Ruling Intelligence. But even when we say this, still we do not define that Intelligence. Here is the explanation:

God is that Supreme Intelligence which governs evervthine!

Some people do not realize that there is a difference between force and
intelligence. Electricity is a force, but unless we put it into a lamp, it can-
not give a light that can be used. Intelligence puts it into the lamp. All the
forces of nature cannot satisfactorily work by themselves w ithout
the guidance of intelligence. The Cosmic Factory of Intelligence works in a coordinated way. Steam has power to make things move and fire converts water into steam. These are only two of nature's forces, but they, of themselves, in their unharnessed natural state, do not accomplish anything importantly useful; but when harnessed by intelligence, and directed rightly, they can be made of great service to mankind. The earth and the whole universe seemingly have been placed on a routine so that human life is made possible. This cosmic schedule, "The rhythm of the spheres,“ is the product of Divine Intelligence.

The surest sign that God exists is the increasing heart-bursting joy felt in meditation. When your mind is free from prejudice; when narrow-mindedness vanishes; when you unreservedly sympathize with everyone; when you hear the voice of God in the chorus of churches, temples,tabernacles, and mosques; when you realize that life is a joyous battle of duty but at the same time only a passing dream; and above all, when you become increasingly intoxicated with the joy of meditation, and in making others happy by bestowing on them your divine peace--then you will know that God is with you always and that you are in Him.


Let us live simply outside, and be supremely happy within. Let us learn to build inner mansions of wisdom in the unfading garden of peace that blooms with the million-hued blossoms of beautiful soul qualities.

Let us "get rich quick" by acquiring the incomparable wealth of soul-
peace, and become peace -millionaire s. Let us live in our Self-created
paradise, which lies buried in our fancy; and let us bring the living God of
pure joy onto the altar of our hearts and worship Him there with flowers of
deathless devotion.

Let us learn to love God as the joy felt in meditation. Let us choose
only good paths of action on which we can race to the goal of Self-realization.
Let us think of God as we travel on our life's path and finish all progressive

Let us ask God to be with us when we, by our own will, choose good
actions. We should think of God before we eat body-nourishing food; we
should think of Him while we are eating it. Then when we are finished eat-
ing, we should think of God.

We should change our center of consciousness from material desires to
a desire for God. We should ask God to make our peace, silence, joy and
meditation His altars, where our souls may meet and commune with Him in
the Holy of Holies.

Let our prayer be: make my understanding the temple of Thy guidance.


Once there was a devout, rich bachelor, by the name of John, who
thought he was free and happy in every way except for his indigestion. He
tried everything, but his money could not buy a remedy for his chronic ail-
ment. At the age of seventy, when John lay dying from an attack of acute
indigestion, he inwardly prayed: "Lord God, if I am to be born again, I
shall be a happy man in my next life if I am given a strong, healthy body free
from indigestion. I shall not care then whether I have riches or not.“

 An angel of God appeared in a vision while John was dying, and whispered: "In thy next incarnation thy prayer shall be granted according to the
sovereign command of the Most High.“

When John reincarnated, he was born in a very poor family. From
infancy his body was as strong as a Sandow's. The early death of his parents
added to the acuteness of his poverty. John's "inheritance" was a strong
body with a gnawing hunger; he did not have enough money to buy sufficient
food to appease its demands. However, according to the latent wishes of his
past incarnation, John often thought to himself: "Lord, I am thankful to have
a diseaseless, strong body; it doesn't matter that I have so little money. It
Years passed, but no matter what he did, he was never able to provide ade-
quate sustenance for his husky body.

At last, as John lay dying of starvation, he prayed: "Lord, I have had
enough of muscles! What use are they if I have no money to buy food to keep
them strong? Lord, if I must be born again, please give me moneyand
health and I shall be happy. "

The angel of the Lord again granted John's wishes, and in his third
incarnation he was born a wealthy, strong-bodied man. As the years passed,he often said to himself: "I have everything; I am happy. "
But later began to add: "Just the same, I feel that health and money are useless without someone to share them with. So as he lay dying of old age, brokenheartedly he prayed: "Lord, if I must be born again, do not make life so miserably lonely, but in addition to health and wealth give me a wife. "
The angel of the Lord, as usual, granted the wish of this devout, law-
abiding man. In the fourth incarnation he was born rich, very healthy, and
in due time came to marry a handsome but nagging, jealous wife. Our
friend passed his life virtually her prisoner. As he again lay dying, from
age and nervous debility caused by the constant nagging of his jealous wife,
John prayed: "Lord, in the next life I want, in addition to prosperity and
health, only a good wife. "

The angel of the Lord again granted John's wish; in the fifth incarnation
he was born healthy and wealthy, and finally came to wed a good, faithful,
meek wife, who agreed with him in everything. After two years, at the acme
of matrimonial happiness, his beloved wife died. John was grief-str icken
and passed his life like a monk, constantly worshiping the gloves, shoes,
and other possessions of his lost good wife.

(To be continued)


I will make a bonfire of all my desires for
material possessions and burn them in the one
great ever -increasing flame of desire that seeks
only to know Thee.

Dear SRF Student:

Paramahansa Yogananda often stressed the spiritual value of group endeavor in meditation. Such effort is helpful to all devotees, and is especially
important for beginners on the path of meditation. Paramahansaji said:
"The spiritual power gained from group meditation is like a hedge around
the tender plant of your spiritual realization, protecting it from its enemies:
laziness, doubt, procrastination, and worldliness. " He urged students to
attend SRF services as often as possible as a means of hastening and bol-
stering their spiritual progress.

You will find listed in the Directory of "Self-Realization Magazine"
complete information for Self -Realization Fellowship Temples in California
and Arizona. Also shown are cities throughout the world in which SRF
Centers and SRF Meditation Groups meet regularly for group activities.
If one of these temples or groups is near your home, you are cordially in-
vited to attend the meetings. For full information (not shown in the maga-
zine directory for groups), please write direct to SRF Mother Center.

The primary activity of SRF groups is silent meditation with practice
of SRF Yoga techniques learned in SRF Lessons study at home. Some groups
also offer services in which special readings for the week are presented
from selected writings of Paramahansa Yogananda, along with shorter peri-
ods of group meditation.

God bless you with steady threefold progress of body, mind, and soul.

In divine friendship,



By Paramahansa Yogananda

0 Love, thou art the mystic echo from the caverns of heart,
And the inaudible voice of feeling.
Thou art the unseen charmer of souls.
Thou art the fountain flowing from the bosom of friendship.
Thou art the Divine Cupid, enticing mystic souls
To pierce the heart of all living things.
Thou art the silent language of souls,
And the invisible ink that lovers use
To write letters on the pages of their hearts.
Thou art the mother of all affections,
And in Thy breast throbs the heart of God.
Love is the silent conversation between two hearts,
And it is the call of God to all creatures,
Animate and inanimate,
To return to His house of Oneness.
Love is the heartbeat of all life,
And the angel of incarnation.
Love is born in the garden of soul progress,
And it sleeps behind the darkness of outer attachments.
It is the oldest and the sweetest nectar,
Preserved in the bottles of hearts.
Love is the light that dissolves all walls
Between souls, families, and nations.
Love is the unfading blossom of pure friendship
In the garden of both young and mature souls.
Love is the door to heaven, the completed songs of souls.


I come to Thee with the song of my smiles.
Whatever treasures lie in the secret safe of my
soul, I have brought eagerly to Thee. I have
brought all the honey from the hive of my heart.
Whatsoever is mine, that also is Thine. The
taper of my happiness will merge with Thy blaze
of Bliss.


The teaching presented in the SRF Lessons is a comprehensive
system –a method to bring the individual into complete and balanced harmony with the great plan of the universe. There are many forces at work seeking to destroy this balance, to produce disease, fear, poverty, failure, and unhappiness. These forces attack the individual to upset his physical, mental, and spiritual balance. The great secret of mastering these forces was known for ages by the great Hindu saints, and it enabled them to live far beyond the
usual term of life in perfect youthfulness of body and mind, and in perfect
spiritual harmony.

The re are only two ways to travel in life: one leads to happiness and the
other to sorrow. There is no mystery about life; it is very simple in spite
of its apparent complexities. You should look at life unmasked, in the mi r -
ror of your experiences. View time and space as they come to you in the
form of problems, experiences, and relations. Look at the perpetual cur-
rent of emotions and thoughts that arise within you. Go into the heart of your
aspirations, dreams, hopes, and despairs. Dive deep into the mute cravings
of your inner self. Life is manifesting itself through all these channels and
demanding that you seek understanding with your highest intelligence, wis-
dom, love, and vision.

Sorrow has no being of its own. It has no objective existence, but arises
rather in the subjective nature of the sufferer. Constantly you affirm sorrow,
therefore it exists. Deny it in your mind and it will exist no longer. This
assertion of the Self is what I call the hero in man. It is his divine or essen-
tial nature. In order to acquire freedom from sorrow, man must assert his
heroic self in all his daily activities. Sorrow is not necessary for the pro-
gressive march of life, although the birth of joy seemingly comes out of pain.

In our relative existence it is evident that the conditions and circumstances
surrounding life are conducive either to sorrow or to happiness, as if in
their very nature they were either desirable or undesirable. The root of
sorrow lies in the dearth of heroism and courage in the character of the aver-
age man. When the heroic element is lacking in the mental makeup of a per-
son, his mind becomes susceptible to the threat of all passing sorrows.
Mental conquest brings happiness into life, but sorrow arises out of mental
defeat. As long as the conqueror in man is awake, no sorrow can cast its
shadow over the threshold of his heart.


 Tears and sighs on the battlefield of life are the liquid  cowardice of weakminds. Those who give up the fight become prisoners within the walls of their own ignorance. Life is worth nothing if it is not a continuous overcoming of problems. Each problem that waits for a solution at your hand is a religious duty imposed upon you by life itself. Any escape from problems, physical or mental, is an escape from life, as there can be no life that is not full of problems. Essentially, conditions are neither good nor bad; they are always neutral, seeming to be either depressing or encouraging because of the sad or bright attitude of the mind of the individual concerned with them. When a person mentally sinks below the level of circurnstancels,
he surrenders himself to the influence of bad times, ill luck, and sorrow. If he rises above circumstances by the heroic courage that is in him, all conditions of life, however dark and threatening, will be like a blanket of mist that will disappear with the warm glance of the sun. The sorrows of the ordinary person do not arise out of the conditions of life; they are not inherent in the conditions. They are born out of the weaknesses and infirmities of the human mind and the effects of human experiences.
Awaken the victor in yourself, arouse the sleeping hero in yourself, and lo !
no sorrow will ever again overwhelm you.

Ignorant people, like some animals, do not heed the lessons that accom-
pany pain and pleasure. Most people live a life checkered with sadness and
sorrow. They do not avoid the actions that lead to suffering, and do not fol-
low the ways that lead to happiness. Then there are people who are over-
sensitive to sorrow and happiness. Such persons are usually extremely
crushed by sorrow and overwhelmed by joy, thus losing their mental balance.
There are very few people who, even after burning their fingers in the fire of
ignorance, learn to avoid misery-making acts. People wish to be happy, and
yet most of them never make the effort to adopt the course of action that leads to happiness. Lacking imagination, they keep rolling down the hill of life, only mentally wishing to climb the peak of happiness, until something terrible happens to arouse them from their nightmare of folly. Usually it is only then, if their enthusiasm for happiness survives the crash to the bottom of unhappiness, that they wake up.


Anger defeats the very purpose for which it is aroused.  Anger is not an antidote for anger. A strong wrath may cause another to suppress his weaker wrath, but it will never kill that weaker Knowing it is a disease, like the
wrath. When you are angry, say nothing. coming of a cold, break it up by mental warm baths consisting of thinking of  those with whom you can never be angry, no matter how they behave. If youremotion is too violent, take a cold shower, or put a piece of ice on the medulla oblongata and the temples just above the ears, and on the forehead, especially between the eyebrows, and on the top of the head.

Anger gives birth to jealousy, hatred, spite, revengefulness, destructive
instinct, wild ideas, brain paralysis, and temporary insanity--any of which
may lead to horrible crimes. It is poison to peace and calmness. It is
poison to understanding. Anger is a manner of misunderstanding. To conquer others by anger is the meth6d of fools, for anger only rouses more wrath in the enemy and thus makes him a stronger and more powerful opponent. A righteous demonstration of anger to avert evil without causing harm is sometimes productive of good. Blind, uncontrolled anger is revengeful, spiteful; it only increases the evil that you wish to destroy. Be indifferent to those who seem to enjoy making you angry.

When anger comes, set your machinery of calmness in motion to manu-
facture the antidotes of peace, love, and forgiveness which banish anger.
Think of love, and reflect that even as you do not want others to be angry with you, neither do you wish others to feel your ugly anger. When you become Christ-like and look upon all humanity as little brothers hurting one another ("for they know not what they do"), you cannot feel angry with anyone. Ignorance is the mother of all anger.

Develop metaphysical reason and destroy anger. Look upon the anger-
arousing agent as a child of God; think of him as a little five-year-old baby
brother who perhaps has unwittingly stabbed you. You should not feel a desire to stab this little brother in return. Mentally destroy anger by saying: "I will not poison my peace with anger; I will not disturb my habitual joy-giving calmness with wrath. "


 Secret fear creates tension and anxiety, and brings ultimate collapse. We must have faith in our ability, and hope in the triumph of a righteous cause. If we do not possess these qualities, we must create them in our own minds through concentration. This can be accomplished by determined and long -continued practice. Fortunately, we can start practicing any time and any place, concentrating upon developing those good qualities in which we are defective. If we are lacking in will power, let us concentrate upon that, and through conscious effort we shall be able to create strong will power in ourselves. If we want to relieve ourselves of fear, we should meditate upon courage, and in due time we shall be freed from the bondage of fear. Through concentration and meditation we make ourselves powerful. This new power enables us to focus our attention upon one point at a time, and continual practice for an extended period will enable us to concentrate our energy upon a single problem or a single responsibility without any effort. It will become second nature to us. Possessed with this new quality, we shall succeed in our life's undertakings, whether spiritual or material.

As soon as the soldiers of wrong thoughts rally to attack your inner
peace, it is time to wake up the soul soldiers of light, honesty, self-control,
and desire for good things, and to wage furious battle. It rests with you
whether you want greed, sense slavery, anger, hatred, revengefulness,
worries, or inharmonies to rule your life, or whether you will let the divine
soldiers of self -control, calmness, love, forgiveness, peace, and harmony
govern your mental kingdom. Drive away those rebel sense habits that have
brought misery to the empire of your peace. Be king over yourself, letting
the soldiers of goodness and good habits rule the kingdom of your mind.
Then happiness will reign within you forever.

You must possess courage, faith, and hope. Courage is needed to fight
against dreaded fear. We have said before that fear destroys life. There
are many people who will not even attempt to work because they are desper-
ately afraid of not succeeding. They feel that they are not competent enough
to do the work, and thus meet failure even before starting. The Bhagavad-
Gita describes how Arjuna, at first overwhelmed with fear of losing courage
on the battlefield, braces up and performs his sacred duty.

Always know that every day is a fresh opportunity on the part of the
human ego to perform more and more exploits of heroism. Meet everybody
and every circumstance on the battlefield of life with the courage of a hero
and the smile of a conqueror. Whatever comes your way and needs attention
must be considered as a duty. Duty is not imposed upon man by some superi
or power. It is the inherent urge of life toward progression; therefore, duty
is action that needs care. Neglect of duty is a source of evil that can be
avoided by wisdom.


Avoid associating with those who are always complaining about life. They may ruin your newly awakened spirituality, which is like a tender plant growing within ,you. Avoid such people and try to be always happy, no matter how you are situated. God will never reveal Himself to you unless you are contented and happy. You must saturate everything with the thought of God. Realize that all that exists is centered in God.

Be silent and calm every night for at least half an hour, preferably much
longer, before you retire, and again in the morning before starting the day's
activity. This will produce an undaunted, unbreakable inner habit of happi-
ness that will make you able to meet all the trying situations of the everyday
battle of life. With that unchangeable happiness within, go about seeking to
fulfill the demands of your daily needs. Seek happiness more and more in your mind, and less and less in the desire to acquire things. Be so happy
in your mind that nothing that comes can possibly make you unhappy. Then
you can get along without things that you have been accustomed to. Be happy
because you know that you have acquired the power not to be negative, and
because you know, too, that you can acquire at will whatever you need, and
that you will never again become so material-minded that you will forget your inner happiness, even though you should become a millionaire.


Unselfishness draws everybody, including one's own self, into the circle
of brotherhood. It brings many harvests--return service from others, self-
expansion, divine sympathy, lasting happiness, and Self-realization.

Feeling the sorrows of others in order to help free them from further
suffering, seeking happiness in the joy of others, and constantly trying to
satisfy the needs of bigger and bigger groups of people, is what you might
call being "sacredly selfish. The man of sacred selfishness counts all his
earthly losses as deliberately brought about by himself for the good of others,
and for his own great and ultimate gain. He lives to love his brethren, for
he knows that they are all the children of the One God. His entire selfish-
ness is sacred for whenever he thinks, not of the small body and mind of
ordinary understanding, but of the needs of all bodies and minds within the
range of his acquaintance or influence, his self then becomes one with the
Self of all. He becomes the mind and feelings of all creatures. So when he
does anything for himself, he can only do that which is good for all. He who
considers himself as one whose body and limbs consist of all humanity and all creatures, he is the one who certainly finds the universal, all-pervading
Spirit in himself.


Finally, having reached a ripe old age, our friend John lay dying and he
prayed: "Lord, if I have to be born on earth again, do grant me, in addition
to health and wealth, a long-lived good wife. " An angel of the Lord appeared
in a vision and answered: "Your prayer will be granted.

In his sixth incarnation John was not only wealthy and healthy, but he had
a long-lived good wife. They celebrated their silver wedding anniversary in
happiness. One day John's male secretary died; John decided to engage a
pretty nineteen-year-old girl secretary.

John became madly infatuated with his new employee. He thought: "My
good wife must not know about this. I love her with all my heart, and I would
never dream of divorcing her; but alas, she has grown old and homely, and
the face of my young secretary is beautiful and fresh as a lily. "
Infatuation got the upper hand. Eventually he did divorce his wife in order to marry the young girl. His new bride lived with John until she had secured most of his fortune; then she left him for a younger man.

Broken in spirit, John prayed in deep meditation for a vision of the Lord,
who obliged him by appearing in a majestic form enveloped in golden light.
The Lord said: "John, at the end of the first incarnation in which you had
found your way to Me by prayer, you asked to be cured of indigestion; so in
the next incarnation I granted you a strong body, but not the wealth that you
had enjoyed in the previous life. Yo11 soon tired of health without the money
to buy plenty of food, so in the following incarnation I gave you both health
and wealth. Then, lonely, you prayed for a wife.

"The fourth incarnation brought you health, riches, and a wife; but she
nagged you, and so you prayed for a good wife next time. In the fifth incarna-
tion I granted you a good wife, and wealth, and health; but after two years of
marriage your good wife died. Then you said you would be happy if you could only have a good long-lived wife in addition to health and plenty of money. But what a nest of trouble you have made for yourself, trying by these different ways to make yourself happy in this delusion-ridden earth of Mine! Now tell Me, what do you want next? "

John reverently answered: "Lord, I want nothing but constant awareness
of Thee ! It doesn't matter whether I am rich o r poor, healthy or unhealthy,
married or single, on earth or in heaven, so long as Thou dost teach me Thy
way to be happy everywhere Thou dost place me, in any circumstance of life.
Henceforth I will use my own free will to do Thy will alone. „ God replied: "My son, your answer pleases Me. This earth is but a movie house to which I sent all my immortal children to be entertained and to entertain, to play in ever-changing dramas of life with a blissful attitude of divine detachment. It grieves Me to find that most of My children forget that the tragedies and comedies of life are only My unreal dream-plays; thus they tarnish their joy with earthly desires. You can never find changeless, immortal happiness in My mortal, ever-changing earthly land. Do not build the mansion of your happiness upon the treacherous quicksand of material existence. If you want to be perenially happy, look within; play your role in the world as I, theDirector, instruct you--not as you want to improvise, muddling up My drama! Then you will know that you only dreamed that you were unhappy and that you desired earthly things. Know now that you are My ever-happy, ever-perfect, ever-satisfied child, wanting naught of this imperfect, clissatisfying, delusive earth but to fulfill joyfully My plan for you here. "


Iam the resistless fire of smiles. I shall fan myself with the
breeze of God-Joy and shall blaze my way through the darkness of
all minds. My smiles will bear His smiles, and whoever meets
me will catch my divine joy. I shall strew fragrant purifying torches
of smiles in all hearts.



By Paramahansa Yogananda

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 will 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!


Teach me, 0 God, to sow the seeds of wisdom, health,
prosperity, and happiness in the garden of my life.


According to the law of God and of Christian brotherhood, this earth was
meant to provide the shelter and supply of all mankind; the wealth of mines
and other resources was to be distributed equally to those performing equal
labors. And God established the law of divine birthright: that all men and
women are made in His image, hence are essentially divine; and that all na-
tions are of one blood, being descendants of common parents, Adam and Eve.
Ifyou believe in this fundamental relationship, if you feel love for all the
world's inhabitants as for your own family, recognizing no inner difference
between any of the outwardly different nationalities, then you are establishing a legitimate astral right to your share of earth's capital.

Those who seek prosperity for themselves alone are in the end bound to
become poor, or to suffer from mental inharmony; but those who consider
the whole world as their home, and who really care and work for group or
world prosperity, activate astral forces that lead them ultimately to the place
where they can find the individual prosperity that is legitimately theirs. This
is a sure and secret law. Whether one prospers is not dependent solely upon
one's creative ability, but also upon his past actions, and on his present ef-
forts to activate the astral law of cause and effect. If mankind as a whole be-
haved unselfishly, the power of that law would distribute prosperity equally to all men, without exception. Those who by potent good thoughts and actions rouse this astral power to create positive prosperity succeed wherever they go, whether they are in prosperous or poverty-stricken environments. Therefore, seek prosperity not solely for your self and your family but for a wider group: your friends, your country, the whole world.

Eschew the desire for luxury. Learn to use less expensive things in an
artistic way, with faith in the truth that you are a child of God and that as such you have all the Father's riches, all the wealth of the earth behind you. When by meditation you release your consciousness from its preoccupation with human limitations and realize yourself to be truly a son of God, you will know also that whatever God has, you have.


Most people live almost mechanically, unconscious of any  ideal or plan of life. They come on earth, struggle for a living, then leave the shores of mortality without knowing why they came here or what their duties really were. No matter what one considers to be the goal of life, it is obvious that man's existence is so undermined with immediate material needs that he must struggle to satisfy them. The believer and the disbeliever in God mustwork hard to provide food. Therefore it is important that man should concentrate upon taking care of his real needs and not create additional burdens for himself by trying to fulfill useless desires for extra things.

Do not wander aimlessly, lost in the jungle of life, your happiness contin-
uously bleeding away from thorn pricks of new desires. You must determine
the goal of your life, and find the shortest road that can lead you there. Do
not travel unknown roads, picking up new troubles. Too much ambition of
the wrong kind is just as bad as too much passive contentment. As human
beings, we have been endowed with needs and we must meet their demands.
As man is a physical, mental, and spiritual being, he must look after his all-
round welfare, avoiding overdevelopment of one side. To possess wonderful
health and good appetite, with no money to maintain that health and to satisfy that hunger is agonizing. To have plenty of money and chronic indigestion is deplorable. To have robust health, and abundant wealth, and endless trouble with oneself and others, is pitiable. To have health, wealth, and mental efficiency, but lack peace and a knowledge of the ultimate truth is useless, disturbing, and dissatisfying.


Assuming that the goal of material life is maximum efficiency, peace, health, and success, what is the surest way to prosperity? Prosperity does not consist just in making money; it also consists in acquiring the mental
efficiency by which one may uniformly acquire health, wealth, wisdom, and
peace, at will. Great wealth does not necessarily bring health, peace or
efficiency; but acquirement of efficiency and peace are bound to bring a properly balanced material success. Most people develop mental efficiency as a by-product of their efforts for material success; but very few people realize that although money is made to give happiness, happiness cannot be found if in order to acquire it one develops an insatiable, soul-corroding desire for

Mental efficiency depends upon development of concentration. One should
know the scientific method of concentration by which he may disengage his
attention from objects of distraction and focus it upon one thing at a time. By
the power of concentration, man can use the untold power of mind to accom-
plish that which he desires, and he can guard all doors through which failure
may enter. All men of success have been men of great concentration, men
who could dive deeply into their problems and come up with the pearls of right solutions. Most people are suffocated by distraction and are unable to fish out the pearls of success.

In concentrating upon his little physical needs man often forgets his greater need of developing mental efficiency in everything, and of acquiring divine
contentment. Man is so busy multiplying the conditions of his physical comfort that he considers many unnecessary things as an essential part of his existence.

The man of powerful concentration should ask God to direct his focused
mind to the right place for success that is rightfully his. Passive people
want God to do all the work; egotists ascribe all their success to themselves.
Passive people do not use the power of God residing in their intelligence.
Egotists, although they may use their God-given intelligence, fail to ask, and
receive, God's direction as to where and how the intelligence should be used.
I can blame inertia as the cause of failure in the first instance; but it hurts
me to see intelligent egotists fail after making a real and well-thought-out

However, even a man of concentration and power may dive deep into the
sea of problems and still not find the pearl of success. There are many per-
sons of powerful concentration, who do not know where to strike success; and many brilliant people with efficient minds have starved, or have had only meager success. This is where another factor in acquiring prosperity comes into consideration.

All prosperity is measured out to man according to the law of cause and
effect, which governs not only this life but all past lives. That is why intelli-
gent people may be born poor or unhealthy, and a mentally mediocre person
may be born healthy and wealthy. All men were originally sons of God made
in His image having free choice and equal power of accomplishment. But by
misuse of his God-given reason and will power, man has fallen under the con-
trol of the natural law of cause and effect of action (karma) and has thereby
limited his freedom to make a success of life. A man's success depends not
only upon his intelligence and efficiency but upon the nature of his past actions. However, there is a way to overcome the unfavorable results of past actions. The causes of failure must be destroyed and a new cause for success set in motion.


Mentally broadcast this truth: "My Father and I are One" --until you feel His overpowering, all-solacing bliss. When this happens, you have made the contact. Then affirm your celestial right by praying: "Father, I am Thy child. I will reason, I will will, I will act, but guide Thou my reason, will and activity to the right thing that I should do in order to acquire health, wealth, peace, and wisdom. „

Feel the presence of God first; then use your will and act. With His guidance you will be sure to harness your will and activity to the right goal.


God is the secret source of all mental power, peace,  and prosperity. Why use the limited impractical human method of gaining prosperity? By visualizing prosperity or by affirmatibn, you may strengthen your subconscious mind, which in turn may encourage your conscious mind; but that is all that visualization alone can do. The conscious mind still has to achieve
the succe ss, and may be hindered by the unfavorable working of the law of
cause and effect. The conscious mind alone cannot initiate a new cause that
will bring positive success in any direction; but when the human mind attunes itself to God, in the state of superconsciousness, it can be sure of success; for the superconscious mind is in tune with the unlimited power of God, and is therefore able to create a new cause of success.


The surest way to prosperity lies in establishing first your oneness with
God and afterward claiming a divine son's share. You must make the blissful
union with God fir st by regular, ever deepening meditation each day, accord-
ing to the Self-Realization Fellowship techniques. When you achieve that at-
tunement, your status will be changed from that of a mortal beggar to that of
a divine son and you will automatically gain what you need. The omnipresent
Father knows all the needs of a true son.

If in this way the poor win victories in the struggle to satisfy the demands
of real necessities, they receive c ontentment and may live and die rich. That
is real prosperity. But to live without contentment and die spiritually poor in
spite of material riches is real poverty. Maintain a prosperous attitude by
smiling, no matter what happens. Do not be afraid to sell the bonds of smiles when the market of happines is low. Keep smiling while planning and acting for  success, and your smiles will fetch priceless treasure in the end. Wise,
persevering activity with unfading smiles brings sure success.


Many persons have dived into the ocean of Thine abundance again and
again to seek the pearls of opulence, power, and wisdom; but only a few divers have found them. These few persons have praised the wondrous riches of Thy sea because they dived well and found the secret treasure nook. Those who dived in the wrong places blamed Thy blue brine of abundance for being devoid of the most desired treasures. Many persons perish diving in Thy treasure sea, being devoured by monsters of selfishness, greed, faithlessness, doubt, idleness, and skepticism.

Heavenly Father, I will not say that Thine ocean of everything is empty,
for Thou wilt show me that the fault is with my diving. I will put on the diving
apparel of faith, power, and fortitude, and Thou wilt direct my mind to dive
in the right place, where Thy bounty is hidden.


Real success does not perish with this earthly life. Your success is conditioned by the law of cause and effect and by your environment. Jesus said: "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all things shall be added unto you.
When you seek success by the material way, you are governed by the law of
cause and effect, but when you have communion with God first, then success
is given to you in innumerable ways both subtle and material. Compare the
lives of saints and others who have lived with God, to the lives of nonspiritual
people. The saints have everything because they have God.

Do not cry because of lowly position while you are on earth, nor beg for
an improvement in it. In the last analysis everybody will go to sleep in the
cold earth. Every cent must be left behind by the millionaire. All children
of God are equal. Don't desire things just because your friends have them.
If it is money or health you are seeking, depending upon God is the sure st way to obtain them. When you deserve them, you will get them.

Success must always come from God. The world can give you just so
much and no more. But God can give you health, prosperity, and wisdom
without limit. Gold is not made by man, but by God. Man only makes the
stamp. All things come from God. Not a grain of corn or wheat, or a dollar,
is made by man, but by God. Why should you look to man for prosperity and
health and happiness. Why not go to the Source of life, without whose power
you cannot live.

Everything else has limited power, but God has unlimited power. Seek success from the Source that can give to you unfailingly. For fifty years you
may try to make a million dollars, and then lose it. Do not go that way. Why
go the way of limitation? Seek the way that can never fail.

God may take away something from you so that you will cease being im-
mersed in matter and seek Him; then when you seek Him, you will find that
which you lost. Isn't it greater to sweep the streets with God in your heart--
working through you--than to be a millionaire riding in a Rolls Royce, with a
cancer gnawing at your stomach and your entire being centered on your wealth?

The conscious state is marked by restlessness and attachment. When you
are greedy, your ego is centered on the palate, and it is the same with the
other senses. That is why the saints say: "Possession is not a sin, but to be
possessed by possessions is wrong. „ You have to detach your ego from its "
attachment to the senses: "I miss my coffee; I feel nervous. That is what
attachment does.


Since our thoughts and words are the seeds that will
bring forth our harvest of the future, I will begin today to
fill my consciousness with the ideas of abundance.



By Paramahansa Yogananda

I was made for Thee alone. I was made for dropping flowers
of devotion gently at Thy feet on the altar of the morning.

My hands were made to serve Thee willingly; to remain folded
in adoration, waiting for Thy coming; and when Thou comest,
to bathe Thy feet with my tears.

My voice was made to sing Thy glory.

My feet were made to seek Thy temples everywhere.

My eyes were made a chalice to hold Thy burning love and the
wisdom falling from Thy nature's hands.

My ears were made to catch the music of Thy footsteps echoing
through the halls of space, and to hear Thy divine melodies
flowing through all heart-tracts of devotion.

My lips were made to breathe forth Thy praises and Thine
intoxicating inspirations.

My love was made to throw incandescent searchlight flames to
find Thee hidden in the forest of my desires.

My heart was made to respond to Thy call alone.

My soul was made to be the channel through which Thy love
might flow uninterruptedly into all thirsty souls.


0 Divine Sculptor, chisel
Thou my life to Thy design.


Analyze your thoughts and see on what throne of consciousness your ego
is seated; what kind of consciousness is predominant in your mind. Are your
thoughts centered around yourself, or on others ? If the former, your selfish
egotism drives wise men and truth away from you. Try to be humble instead
of egotistical and through the magnetism of humbleness attract the protecting presence of friends, saints, and God.

Humbleness is a fertile valley of consciousness where the rain of God's
wisdom falls fruitfully. As on a mountain peak no rain can gather, so also
on an upthrust ego no waters of knowledge can collect. Egotism shuts the door of recipience through which knowledge enters. Humbleness opens the portals wide and bids all wisdom come within. Egotism is an obvious ugliness written on the face of the egotist, and repels people; whereas humbleness is a
fragrance that makes the bearer sweetly attractive to all. Egotism is born
of an inferiority complex, which may appear as a so-called superiority com-
plex, whereas humbleness is born of wisdom or knowledge of one's true Self.

Egotism refuses to investigate truth, whereas humbleness is always
ready to learn. Egotism slaps wisdom in the face; humbleness entreats the
lotus feet of truth to enter the innermost sanctum of the soul. Egotism
reveals its smallness by ineffectually trying to make others feel small. Hum-
bleness is the manifestation of an understanding heart, and sets an example
of greatness for others to follow. Egotism is the brittle imitation armor of
deluded souls, while humbleness is the inner costume of saints. Egotism
repels friends and truth; humbleness attracts friends and understanding. The
egotist, like an empty vessel, makes much noise, whereas the humble man
is like a cask filled with the precious wine of wisdom.

Man in his egotism reveals a limitation of knowledge; whereas God, who
is all wisdom, is humble and never egotistical, because He knows everything.
Humbleness is magnetic and is a distributor of happiness, and invites the all-
protecting wisdom of true friends and God. The egotist shuts God out, daring
to think much of himself while ignoring the omnipresence of God. The humble person knows that there can be no one greater than God, and therefore he draws God to himself through the fragrance of his humility.

The egotistical man has plenty of time to speak to others of his impor-
tance because he is not busy performing outstanding deeds, but the really
great man is humble because he is so busy doing remarkable things that he
has no time to speak of his greatness. The egotistical man watches some of
his qualities so gloatingly that he forgets to acquire more good qualities; in
fact he manages to be satisfied with his small attainments by making them
look big to himself. Consequently he does not progress. Humbleness belongs
to the great, who do not stand apart and exultingly watch over their greatness. Jesus said that the least, or the most humble one, is the greatest in the kingdom of God.


If you want to be loved, start loving others who need  your love. If you expect others to be honest with you, then start being honest yourself. If you do not want others to be wicked, then you must avoid doing evil yourself. If you want others to sympathize with you, start showing sympathy to those
around you. If you want to be respected, you must learn to be respectful to everyone, both young and old. If you want a display of peace from others, you must be peaceful yourself. If you want others to be religious, start being spiritual yourself. Remember, whatever you want others to be, first be that yourself, then you will find others responding in like manner to you.

If you can discover and face your own faults without developing an inferi-
ority complex, and if you can keep busy correcting yourself, then you will be
using your time more profitably than if you spent it in just wishing others to
be better. Your good example will do more to change others than your wish-
ing, your wrath, or your words.

As a rule only the small-minded persons, and men and women who are
ostentatious over just a little knowledge,are offensively and dangerously ego-
tistical. Such pride not only offends wiser people, it leads the egotist himself to his doom; through his own shortsightedness he becomes entangled in
difficulties and failures.


The law of service to others is secondary and corollary to the law of self-interest or selfpreservation, which may be termed "selfishness. " No sane man ever does anything without a reason. No action is performed without reference to a direct or indirect thought which is selfish. Giving service is indispensable to receiving service; therefore, to serve others by giving financial, mental, or moral help is to find self-satisfaction. You can prove that
service is not wholly unselfish by asking yourself this question: If you knew
beyond a doubt that by service to others your own soul would be lost rather
than strengthened, would you serve? If Jesus had felt that by sacrificing his
life on the altar of ignorance he would displease God, would he have acted as
he did? No! He knew that although he had to lose the body he was gaining his
Father's favor and emancipating his own soul. Such immortal sons of God,
and all martyrs and saints, make a good inves tment--they spend the little
mortal body to gain immortal life.


One important thing you have to do is resurrect your consciousness from the environment of ignorance. You must blame yourself for environmental troubles which you have been creating, consciously or unconsciously, some -
where, sometime in the past. Free yourself from all neuroses or complexes.
What are you afraid of? You are neither a man nor a woman. You are not
what you think you are; you are an immortal. But be not immortally identified with human habits, because they are your deadliest enemies. Even in crucifixion Jesus could keep his loving attitude and say: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. "
So must you forgive your trials and say: "My soul is being resurrected; my power to overcome is greater than all the oppression of my trials, because I am a child of God."

Resurrect your soul from dreams of frailties into the light of eternal wis-
dom. What is the method? Meditation, exercise, relaxation, self-control,
right diet, fortitude, and an undaunted attitude of mind. Do not acknowledge
defeat. To acknowledge it brings greater defeat. You have unlimited power;
you must cultivate that power--that is all, Meditation is the way to resurrect
your soul from the bondage of the body and all your trials. Meditate at the feet of the Infinite. Learn to saturate yourself with God. Your trials may be great, but your greatest enemy is yourself--your ego. Your real Self is immortal; your trials are mortal. They are changeable, but you are unchangeable. You can unleash eternal powers to shatter your trials. When you receive, or realize by meditation the omnipresence of God, you can develop your mental powers by serious application. Your mental powers will then expand and your cup of realization will be big enough to hold the ocean of knowledge.


Man's attachment to matter keeps the soul confined to the body prison and prevents it from finding freedom in God--in the realm of eternal Bliss. The ego attempts to satisfy through material channels the soul's constant, insatiable longing for Cod. Far from accomplishing its objective, ego-driven sense gratification only increases man's misery. The soul's hunger can never be appeased by indulging the senses. When man realizes this and masters his ego--that is, when he achieves self-control--life becomes glorified by God-Bliss while he is still in the flesh. Then instead of being enslaved by material desires and appetites, his attention is transferred to the heart ofOmnipresence, resting There forever in the hidden joy in everything.


An inferiority complex is born of a secret awareness of real or imagined
weaknesses. In trying to compensate for such weaknesses, a person may
build an armor of false pride, and exhibit an inflated ego. Then those who do
not understand the real cause of such an attitude may say the person has a
superiority complex. Both manifestations of his inner inharmony are destruc-
tive to Self-development. Both are fostered by imagination and by ignoring facts, while neither belongs to the true, all-powerful nature of the soul.
Found your self-confidence upon actual achievements plus the knowledge that your real Self (the soul) can never be "inferior" in any way, then you will be free from all complexes.


Long ago there lived a great sage named Byasa. He was the writer of
the greatest Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita. By his great spiritual
power he invoked a saintly soul to enter the womb of his wife. As the baby
grew within the womb, he taught-the unhornxhild the secrets of the scriptures through the subconscious mind of the mother. This baby, when born, was named Shuka Deva. Because of his prenatal training he proved to be a most unusual child. At the age of seven he was already versed in the difficult Hindu scriptures and was ready to renounce the world and seek a true master.

In India it is customary for a devotee to seek out spiritual teachers until
he finds the one whom he recognizes as his own God-chosen master or guru.
The novice, through inner fitful urgings, receives lessons from various
sources; but when his spiritual ardor becomes very great, God sends him a
guru. God uses the divine soul-vehicle of the guru as His messenger or
instrument to bring the novice back to his spiritual home in Omnipresence.

When Shuka Deva decided to go in search of his guru, his father advised
him to go to King Janaka, the ruler of the province. As Shuka Deva entered
the royal palace he saw the king sitting on an emerald-and diamond-studded
golden throne surrounded by courtiers and by scantily clad women who were fanning him with big palm leaves (as is the custom in India during the hot season), King Janaka was smoking a big oriental pipe. This sight shocked
Shuka Deva; he turned back and started walking briskly out of the palace. He
muttered: "Shame on my father for sending me to that matter-soaked king!
How could such a worldly man be my teacher? "

But King Janaka was both a king and a saint. He was in the world, but
not of the world. Highly advanced spiritually, he could telepathically sense
the thoughts of the fleeing Shuka Deva. The saint-king sent a messenger after
the boy, commanding him to come back. Thus the master and the devotee met. The king sent his attendants away and at once entered an absorbing discourse on God. Four hours passed; Shuka Deva was getting restless and hungry, but he dared not disturb the God-intoxicated King Janaka.

Amther hour had passed when two messengers arrived, exclaiming:
"Your Majesty, the whole city is on fire ! The flames threaten to spread
toward the palace. Won't you come and supervise the efforts to extinguish
the flames ? The king replied: "I am too busy discussing the all-protecting
God with my friend Shuka Deva. I have no time for anything else. Go and
help others to put out the fire. "

When another hour had passed, the same two messengers came running
to King Janaka and cried: "Your Majesty, please flee ! The flames have
caught the palace and are fast approaching your chamber. "
The king answend: "Never mind! Don't disturb me, for I am drinking the wine of God with my friend. Go ! do the best you can.“

Shuka Deva was puzzled by the King's attitude, but he tried to remain likewise unaffected by the excitement. A short time later two scorched rnessengers leaped in front of King Janaka, shouting: "Mighty King, behold the flames approaching your throne! Run! before both of you are burned to
death. The king replied: "You both run and save yourselves. I feel too
peaceful in the arms of the all-pr otecting God to fear the audacity of destruc-
tive flames. " The messengers fled. The flames leaped toward the pile of
books that Shuka Deva had by his side; but the king sat motionless, indifferent.

The alarmed Shuka Deva lost his poise, he half rose from his seat and
began slapping at the flames in order to save his precious books. King Jana-
ka then smilingly waved his hand and the fire miraculously disappeared.
Shuka Deva, in great awe, sank back to his seat.

The king said calmly: "0 young Shuka Deva, you thought of me as a
matter-drenched king--but look at yourself! You forsook the all-protecting
thought of God to protect a pile of books, while I paid no attention to my burning kingdom and palace. God worked this miracle to show you that although you are a renunciant, you are more attached to your books than to God, or than I am to my kingdom, even though I live in the world instead of a hermitage. " Humbled, the young Shuka Deva then recognized the saint-king to be his guru-preceptor.

. King Janaka put Shuka Deva through a process of discipline to teach him
the art of living in the world without acquiring misery-making attachment to
it. One day the king gave his new disciple two cup-shaped lamps, filled to
the brim with oil. Janaka said: "Hold a lamp on the palm of each hand, and enter all the gorgeously furnished rooms of the palace. Gome
back to me after you have seen everything; but remember, I will refuse to train you further if you spill a single drop of oil on the carpets. "

King Janaka instructed two messengers to accompany Shuka Deva and to
refill the two lamps with oil as quickly as they burned down. It was a hard
test; but, after two hours, Shuka Deva returned triumphantly without having
dropped any oil from the lamps in his hands.

The king said: Young Shuka Deva, tell me in detail what you saw in each
chamber of my palace. " To this Shuka Deva replied: "Royal Preceptor, my
only accomplishment was that I did not spill any oil on your carpets. My
mind was so concentrated on the thought of not dripping oil that I did not
notice anything in the rooms. „
King Janaka then declared: "I am disappointed! You have not completely
passed my test. My injunctions were that you should see everything in all the
chambers of my palace and that you should nut drip any oil from the lamps.
Go back with the lamps, and remember, no spilling of the oil while you are
looking carefully at everything about the palace.

After ten hours, Shuka Deva calmly returned. He had not allowed any oil
to drip, nor was he sweating with excitement as before. He could answer all the king's questions about the contents, however minute, of all the palace

King Janaka was pleased. „My son,“ he said gently, "attachment to
possessions, and not possession itself, is the source of misery. In this
world we do not own anything; we are only given the use of things. Some have more to use than others; but remember, the millionaire and the poor man alike have to leave everything, all possessions, when death comes. One
should not live a one-sided life thinking only of God and neglecting one's
duties in the world--like your concentrating on the oil lamps and not seeing
my palace. But on the second trip you kept your attention principally on the
lamps without spilling oil, and at the same time thoroughly and minutely saw
everything in the palace. So should you keep your attention on God, not let-
ting a drop of your desire slip away from the lamp of God-revealing wisdom;
and yet devote part of your attention to thoroughly performing the God-given duties of maintaining yoursell and others given into your charge. „

This instructive story shows the basis of the world's troubles. Indifference to spiritual matters leads to selfishness and unequal prosperity admidst
plenty, and finally to widespread economic depressions. Hence those who
want the unlimited Divine Power to work for them in business and family
affairs ought to be as earnest about meditation as they are about earning
money. He who makes it his business to have communion with God first will
find imperishable inner happiness as well as outer material comforts. We
must not be too busy to try to realize the presence of God. If God stops our
hearts from beating, we will not have any chance for business success. Since
all our success depends upon powers borrowed from God, we should give
enough time to God-communion.

SRF does not wish to make theological phonographs of its students by conb
stantly repeating beautiful phrases. We want to teach you to attain, by the
quickest method, Cosmic Power that you can use in every department of life.
One hour's deep meditation will give you far more power and peace than would one month's reading of holy books for six hours a day. Try meditation!


All my powers are but powers borrowed from Thee.
No one is greater than Thou, O my Father. I cease to
live and express without Thy wisdom and strength. Thou
art so big; I am so little. Teach me not to be proud.



B.y Paramahansa Yogananda

Make my eyes behold what Thou dost see.
Make my ears catch the bursting of Thy voice
In the billows of all creation.
Make my speech the fountain of nectared words
Showered over souls scorched with bitterness.
Make my lips utter naught but the songs
Of Thy love and joy.

Beloved, work through me the work of truth.
Keep my hands busy serving all my brothers.
Keep my voice forever casting seeds of love
For Thee on the soil of seeking souls.
Keep my feet ever moving on the pathway
Of right action.
Lead me from dark ignorance to Thy light of wisdom,
Lead me from temporary pleasures
To Thine ever new joy within.
Make my love Thy love,
That I may know all thing s as mine.

Father, throb through my heart and make me feel
Sympathy for all living creatures.
Kindle in me the flame of Thy wisdom
And burn the dark forest of my mundane desires.
Let Thy reason be the preceptor of my reason.
Think through my thoughts,
For it is Thy magic power
Which uses my mind as Thy mind,
My hands as Thy hands,
My feet as Thy feet,
My soul as Thy spirit to perform Thy holy works.


Divine Mother, teach me to till
the soil of my mind with discipline,
and sow the seeds of good habits.



 The power of habit rules the day-to-day actions of the average person. A good many people let their whole life go by, making repeated good re solutions to improve, without ever succeeding in establishing and following new patterns of action that are wholesome. More often than not we find ourselves doing, not what we wish to do, but what we are accustomed to doing. That is why materially minded people find it difficult to be spiritually minded even when they try hard. Spiritual people find it similarly difficult to be material even when associating with worldly persons. It is difficult for vicious people to be good and kind; it is just as unthinkable for noble persons to behave meanly.

Habits are automatic mental machines installed by man to exercise econ-
omy in the initial use of willpower and effort required to perform specific
actions. Habits make the performance of such actions easier. Friendly good
habits are very helpful in making the performance of difficult good deeds eas-
ier. Evil habits,howc!ver sympathetic, are deadly, inasmuch as they are die-
hards and keep on disturbing the senses even when strongly commanded to
cease doing so. Bad habits and sin are temporary misery-making grafts on
the soul. They must be thrown out some time, as they are not a part of man's
free nature and therefore cannot be tolerated indefinitely by his soul.

Very seldom do we realize that the health, success, and wisdom outlook
of our life entirely depends upon the issue of the battle between our good and bad habits. Henceforth we should not allow our bodily kingdom to be occupied by bad habits. We should put bad habits to flight by training all our diverse good habits in the art of victorious psychological warfare.

The soldiers of bad habits and of ill health and negation are invigorated
by specific bad actions; whereas the soldiers of good habits become stimulated by specific good actions. Do not feed bad habits with bad actions. Starve them out by self-control. Feed good habits with good actions.


The habits that were formed earliest in your life have  kept you quite busy until now; unwelcome habits have perhaps crowded out many worthwhile activities. The social world moves on the wheels of certain habits. Few people notice whether it is headed for the mire of petty engagements that choke the progressive activities of life, or if it perchance is rolling recklessly toward the chasm of spiritual ignorance.

People should be taught from childhood to develop discrimination by med-
itative contact with the superior pleasures of peace, harmony, and joy, and
should form spiritual habits early. Since we are ruled by habits--which form
our tendencies, moods, and desires--if bad habits are in the lead our moods
and actions become evil. So, the precedence of good habits is desirable, as
they can guide our actions and moods to a happy goal.

Wrong habits may promise a little temporary happiness, but ultimately
they bring misery and destroy happiness. People who yield to the temptation
of harmful habits do not fully realize this. Eventually they become so used
to these habits that they helplessly drift on, becoming more and more inured
to the subtle tortures of continuing their wrong habits. Finally they reach a
state wher the thought of forsaking the poisonous comfort of their wrong
habits is actually shocking. persons used to the darkness of bad habits natu-
rally hate the light and comfort of good habits.


Undiscriminating association with the world creates  bad habits in you, but the world will not be responsible for your wrong actions springing from those habits. Then why give all your time to the world? Reserve at least an hour a day for actual soul-inspiring God-realization. Doesn't the Giver of the
world itself--of your family, money, everything--deserve one twenty-fourth
part of your day?

Material habits keep millions of people away from God. People of bad
habits seek bad company. People of worldly habits seek materially minded
companions. People of meditative, peaceful habits seek the company of
Christlike saints. There is one thing very good about bad habits: seldom do
they keep their promises. Bad habits are easily found to be habitual liars and
deceivers. That is why souls can never remain perpetually in bondage. Nev-
er condemn the sinner, for he knows too well the fears and tortures of sin. Do
not drown him in your hatred, but give him a chance to have his own knocks;
then he will be only too willing to be lifted up.

People do not intentionally turn to evil, nor do they really enjoy being
evil. They are evil because they do not know the greater charm of good
habits, and are unable to compare and select the best. Or 'they fall under the
influence of others' opinions, and unconsciously are led to evil. Some people
are evil owing to the precedence of evil in their environment in early life;
and some people are evil because they do not know any better. People who
are evil behave so because they wrongly think that through evil they will get
happiness easily. People cling to evil because they falsely magnify the dread
and torture supposed to be involved in self-control. People are evil because
they think they are compelled to be so by the powerful influence of evil instincts, or wrong determinations.


If you are a slave to your senses, you cannot be happy. If you are a master of your desires and appetites, you can be a really happy person. If you overeat against your will; if you wish anything contrary to your conscience; if you act wrongly, forced by your senses, against the wish of your inner Self; then you cannot be happy. People who are slaves to the senses find that their evil habits compel them to do things which will hurt them. Stubborn bad habits bludgeon your will power every time it tries to take the lead and guide your thoughts to the kingdom of right action. The remedy lies in rescuing your will power from the imprisoning power of the senses.

Almost every soul is a prisoner of the senses. The soul's attention is
lured away from its inner kingdom in the medulla oblongata, the spiritual eye, and the spinal plexuses, to the outer regions of the body, where greed, temptation, and attachment have their strongholds. The devotee who wants to lead King Soul away from the misery-making slums of the senses finds that he cannot do so without a severe clash between the lurking robbers of sense attachment and the soul's divine soldiers of wisdom and self-control.


You must cure yourself of evil habits by cauterizing  them with the opposite good habits. For instance, if you have a bad habit of telling lies and by so doing have lost many friends, start the opposite good habit of telling the truth. It takes time to form either a good habit or a bad one. It is difficult for a bad person to be good, or for a good person to be bad; yet, remember that once you become good, it will be natural and easy for you to be good. Likewise, if you cultivate an evil habit, you will be compelled eventually to be evil, in spite of your desire, and you will have to pray: "Father, my spirit is willing, but my flesh is weak. That is why it is worthwhile to cultivate the habit of being good and happy. People seeking happiness must avoid the influence of bad habits which lead to evil actions. Evil actions produce misery sooner or later. Misery corrodes body, mind, and soul like a burning acid, and cannot be endured long.

I do not believe that any human being really means to be evil. The criminal does wrong because the re is no realization, deep in his consciousness, of
the true joy of right living. He is unable to see how he hurts himself through
his errors; he would not want to commit error if he could really understand
the miseryhis errors will bring. The sin of all sins is ignorance. That is why Jesus said: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. "
If the criminal could compare his evil way with the right way of living--by actual experience--would he still continue to follow evil ? No. We are all seeking happiness.

Evil cannot keep man under the influence of error forever, because he is
made in the image of God. In the beginning, the spiritual aspirant finds his
soldiers of discrimination guided by the desire to be good. Later, as he meditates longer and prays ardently for inner help, he finds that a veteran occult general--the calm conviction of inborn intuition, or awakening inner light-- emerges from the superconscious to guide the forces of discrimination. The emergence of this awakening inner light is the result of good habits of the past


The power of habit can be especially advantageous on the  spiritual path. If one is accustomed to meditating and contacting God, one will greatly desire to meditate longer and more often in order to contact God more frequently. Those who meditate little, and vaguely feel they may someday contact God, find that their desire to do so vanishes when they are invaded by the powerful habit of restlessness. Likewise, those who are accustomed to being calm attract more calmness and serenity, while those who are seldom calm find their precarious calmness easily disturbed when restlessness invades. Deep-seated  unspiritual habits can entirely destroy the power of weak spiritual habits.

Habits of thought are mental magnets that attract specific things relative
to their kind and quality. Material habits will always bring material results,
and spiritual habits attract spiritual results.

Don't let unhealthful ideas float down the stream of your habit-forming
thoughts. Watch the quality of the books you read. Watch the kind and quali-
ty of the people with whom you associate. Watch the influence upon yourself
of family, business associates, and close friends who constantly associate
with you. Many people are unsuccessful because their families have infected
them and their subconscious minds with habit-forming, progress-paralyzing,
discouraging thoughts.

When one meditates often and cultivates the taste for peace and content-
ment, and gradually forsakes indulgence in sense pleasures, he has a better
chance for spiritual emancipation. The best way of all is to cultivate the
habit of contacting superior soul pleasures through med itation, immediately upon awakening. Then, while filled with the superior joy of the soul, you may
enjoy such innocent, harmless pleasures of the senses as eating, meeting
friends, and so on, without any sense attachment. In this way the soul will
spiritualize, or change the quality of, all material enjoyments.

The beginner on the spiritual path may take courage from this thought:
no matter how many times one suffers from powerful attacks of sense attrac-
tions and restlessness-producing material desires, he finds the meditation-
born, occult soldiers of his life, and of past lives, coming to his aid. A person who is always restless, and never meditates, thinks that he is all right
because he has become accustomed to being a slave of restlessness. However, as soon as he tries to meditate and be calm, he finds resistance fromthe bad habit of mental fickleness. But after he has formed the habit of meditation, he learns that when the habit of restlessness tries to usurp the throne of his consciousness, it finds the new meditation-guard and the awakened occult soldiers of past lives offering resistance.


You are the sole creator of good or bad habits. Therefore till the soil of
your mind with discipline, and sow the seeds of good habits. To replenish
your mind thoroughly with good habits you must be patient in cultivating them, while you continuously keep weeding out the bad habits.

Distinguish between the soul's lasting happiness and the temporary plea-
sures of the senses. Strengthen your willpower. Do not be enslaved by bad
habits, but be guided by good habits, formed through cultivating good company and practicing meditation. Above all, be guided by wisdom. Stay away from evil by exercising good judgment and discrimination; do not allow yourself to be compelled by habits. Exercise your power of free choice to adopt the good in everything.


Mr. J. was a confirmed drunkard, a nuisance to his family and to his
neighbors. One day he met a saint. The experience was so uplifting that he
took a vow to abstain from drinking. He asked his servants to hide his costly
wines in locked boxes and to keep the key, instructing them to serve the wine
only to his friends. Everything went along all right with Mr. J. for some time because of his joy in the power of his new resolution against drink. For
a while he did not feel at all the gripping lure of the liquor habit.

As time went on, he began to feel wholly proof against temptation to
drink. He asked his servants to leave the key to the wine room with him so
that he could serve the red liquid to his friends himself,
Feeling more and more mental security, he came to the conclusion that it was too much to bother to go to the cellar to get liquor for his friends; he would keep a few bottles upstairs in a cupboard.

Several days passed without mishap, and Mr. J. thought: „Since I am proof against the temptation to drink, let me look at thesparkling red wine int he bottle,“ So he had the wine decenter filled and placed on a table.Every day he looked at the bottle. Then he thought: „Since I am absolutely proof against the temptation, I may just as well enjoy the smell oft he wine.“

A few more days passed by. Then he thought: „Since I am no longer bound by the sense of taste and therefore no longer care for wine, I will prowe it to myself by taking a mouthful, tasting it, and then spitting it out.“ He did this. Then he thought: „Since I am now so strong, I am surely proof against liquor. There can be no harm if I drink once and swallow a little.“ He tried this. Then he thought: „Since I have conquered the wine habit, let me take only one swallow at a time, as many times as my unenslawed will desires.“ In no time at all he was drunk—and he helplessly kept on drinking every day, just as he had done before.

The preceding story shows how the liquor-drinking habit of Mr. J. was
put down temporarily by the strong resolution to conquer. But success was
not lasting because Mr. J. failed to realize that his resolution against drink-
ing liquor had not had enough time to ripen into a good habit.

It takes from five to eight years to substitute a good habit for a strong  bad habit. Until the strong good habit is formed, one should stay away from his former evil habit-forming environment or actions. Our story shows the
results when one disregards this law: Mr. J. brought his wine bottle near
him, and gradually reawakened th'e memory of the drinking habit, and with it his former uncontrollable desire for liquor.

Therefore, to prevent the nourishment of bad habits, one should get away
from surroundings that encourage him in wrong actions, and, above all, one
should never deliberately bring evil thoughts into the mind. Resist evil thoughts, which lead one to seek evil surroundings.

Mr. J. not only made a mistake in bringing liquor so near him; he also failed to recognize the psychological weapons that his bad habit used to defeat hisgood resolution. The liquor habit remained unseen, hidden in his subconscious mind, secretly sending out armed spies of desire and pleasing thoughts of taste to prepare the way for reinvasion. Thus the liquor habit came back and usurped the free will of Mr. J., enslaving body and soul.

Anyone who has a tendency to live on the misery-producing material
plane should learn to stay away from tempting environments outside and to
cast out thoughts of temptation from within. He should surround himself with the right kind of environment, and keep his mind filled with the kind of
thoughts that will produce the good effect he truly desires.


I form new habits of thinking by seeing
the good everywhere, and in beholding all
things as the perfect idea of God made manifest.



By Paramahansa Yogananda

I take a sacred vow!
Never will I throw my love's gaze
Below the horizon of my constant thought of Thee!
Never will I take down the vision of my lifted eyes
And place it on aught but Thee!
Never will I turn my mind to do anything
Which reminds me not of Thee !

I will abhor nightmares of ignorant acts. Gr
I will love dreams of noble achievements.
I will love all dreams of goodness,
For they are Thy dreams.

I may dream many dreams.
But I am ever awake thinking of Thee.
In the sacred fire of constant remembrance
Burning on my soul's altar,
I will ever behold Thy face
With my ever watchful eyes of love.

Through Thy grace, I know that health and sickness,
Life and death, are but dreams.
When I finish my dream story of good dreams
And awaken behind the world-painted screen of delusion,
I shall behold Thee as the One Reality.


0 Divine Shepherd of Infinite Perception, rescue the lambkins
of my thoughts, lost in the wilderness of restlessness, and lead
them into the fold of silence.


The term "meditation" is some times used interchangeably with "concen-
tration" in ordinary speech and writing. Self-Realization Fellowship teach-
ings make this distinction between them:

Concentration is focusing the mind through interest and determination
on any line of thought.

Meditation is the application of concentration solely to know God.

In these Lessons the terms "meditate" and "meditation" are often used
in a broader sense to mean the devotee's attempts to still the
mind and achieve perfect concentration on God.

These are generalizations. The student of Self-Realization Lessons will
learn these further distinctions of the terms:

Real concentration is one-pointed focusing of the mind on a particular thought by means of definite scientific methods.

Real meditation is fociising the scientifically concentrated mind solely
on God, by definite spiritual techniques.

Thus the Hong-Sau Technique of Concentration that you will soon learn
will help you to achieve the one-pointed concentration necessary for real
meditation. Through faithful practice you willwill soon experience glimpses of soul awareness and divine peace and joy.

The Om Technique of Meditation that you will learn later is a method for
applying the Hong-Sau concentrated mind on a particular aspect of God--as
Om, the Cosmic Sound of Holy Ghost--to experience definite realization of
God's presence in .you and all creation.

Every activity requires a certain amount of concentration, and no effec-
tive action can be performed without deep concentration. Businessmen or
artists or students in school as well as spiritual seekers must know the
art of focusing all the powers of attention upon a single point in order to succeed in their respective vocations. Concentration denotes first the withdrawal of the attention from objects of distraction and then focusing of that recalled attention upon one thing at a time. The primary factor in concentration consists in withdrawing the attention from all diverting objects.

During the practice of c oncentration and meditation, environment is
extremely important in gaining the best results. There are two kinds of
environment: inner and outer.

Outer environment is one's physical surroundings (noisy or quiet,
and so forth), and inner environment is one's mental state (distracted or

You can be mentally restless even while sitting in a very quiet place with
the body motionless and relaxed. It is therefore necessary to calm yourself
interiorly, whether outer conditions are suitable or not, before real concen-
tration can begin. Quiet places are naturally conducive to inner calmness,
but if you are determined, you can remain inwardly undisturbed regardless
of any commotion around you. So do not stop concentrating or meditating
just because you cannot find a peaceful place! An inner environment of men-
tal calmness despite outer distractions is the best altar for concentration and meditation.


You can never have a truly happy life both inwardly  and outwardly unless you use the God-given power of concentration to reclaim the forgotten image of God within you. Only then can you solve the mysteries of life and control destiny. Through the art of meditation one learns how actually to contact Divine Bliss --which is God--by the faithful application of the science of spiritual law. The material scientist experiments with cosmic laws in nature to find out the secrets of her creation; and the spiritual scientist ought to apply his divinely be stowed powers of concentration, meditation, and intuition to investigate the divine laws by which he may learn the secrets of Spirit.


 To seek God does not, as some imagine, relieve one of the various physical, mental, and spiritual duties he has in this human life; nor should the search for God be used as an excuse for neglect of one's other responsibilities. In order to fulfill better his earthly duties, the climbing spiritual aspirant should learn to meditate; then he can banish dark ignorance and weakening disease from the temple of his life and perceive therein God's perfect presence.


The living room produces conversation consciousness; the library, reading consciousness; the bathroom, cleansing consciousness; and the bedroom,
sleeping consciousness. Similarly, a little place used only for meditation
produces the divine silence consciousness. A small room with one or more
windows, or a closet with a window, or a screened-off corner, or any quiet
room that is neither too warm nor too cold, or a mountaintop or forest in the
summer--any one of these is suitable for meditation. Even when riding in an
automobile or train, or if you sleep in the same room with others, you can
still practice meditation while pretending to be asleep.

If possible, select a noiseless place. In your small meditation room or
screened-off corner put a straight armless chair facing east. This will be
your asan, your meditation seat. Place on it a woolen blanket so as to cover
the back and the seat and run down on the floor under your feet. The blanket
may be covered with a silk cloth also, if you wish. The silk and wool insulate your body against earth currents, so that their opposite magnetic pull will not impede the flow of the life current and consciousness which you are trying to draw upward through the spinal centers to the higher centers of divine consciousness in the brain.

Be sure to practice meditation in the early morning and before going to
bed at night, to take advantage of certain pronounced physiological changes
that take place at these times: in the morning, poisons are thrown off as the
body, calm and refreshed by sleep, assumes the active state; at night the body
is again relaxed; the life force can easily be withdrawn from the sensory
nerves, and directed into the spine and upward toward the centers of God-
awareness in the brain.

Don't drug yourself with too much sleep and thus lose your vitality. Six
hours of sleep is plenty for most adults. Wake up at 5:30 a. m. and meditate.
This time is suitable because your home and the neighborhood are usually
quiet then. Metaphysically this is suitable because the rays and vibrations of
the dawn are vitalizing and spiritually uplifting. At night, meditate from 9
to 10 o'clock, or 10 to 11 o'clock, or 10 to 11:30 o'clock. When everybody else is asleep and quiet, you remain awake in God.

The more sweetening you put in water, the sweeter it becomes. Likewise,
the longer you meditate intensely, the greater will be your spiritual advance-
ment. On Sundays, holidays, and do-nothing loafing days, meditate in the
morning from 6 to 9 o'clock, and from 9 to 12 o'clock at night. Remember
that the longer you practice, with intensity, the nearer you will be to joyous
contact with the silent God. Intensity consists in making today's meditation
deeper than yesterday's meditation, and tomorrow's deeper than today's !


In the practice of concentration, the relation between breath, life fcrce, mind, and vitalfluid (sex energy) should be known even by the spiritual beginner. A
balanced control of these four bodily forces brings quick spiritual results
without any downfall or hindrance. In fact, every spiritual student can attain
a concentrated mind just by the single, separate control of any one of the four
bodily factors. For example, by strict celibacy alone, one can gain great
mental concentration.

However, the balanced way to Self-realization consists in practicing exercises and principles that simultaneously control and harmonize breath, life force, mind, and vital power. Therefore, every spiritual aspirant should practice certain breathing exercises, special techniques controlling energy flowing in the sensory motor nerves, methods of mental meditation, and principles of calmness-producing celibacy (or for those who are married, sexual
moderation). Students who meditate regularly without striving to calm the
restless breath or control the life force and vital essence, often find insurmountable dlfficulties on the spiritual path.

If one's life force is restless, he is nervous and keeps his body in con-
stant motion; then his mind is restless, vitality is restless, and breath is
restless. But if one controls the life force by spiritual exercises and the
practice of calmness through meditation, then his mind and vital power are
within his control.

If the breath is restless, as in running, then the life force, mind, and
vital essence will be restless. On the other hand, if breath is made calm
and rhythmic by the practice of these Lessons, the life force, mind, and sex-
ual instincts will be unqer control. Again, if the mind is restless, the life
force through nervousness and physical desire becomes re stless.
Mental calmness is usually attended by calm nerves, controlled bodily energy, and a well-regulated moral life. Loss of vitality--resulting from living too much on the physical plane--produces mental dissatisfaction, melancholia, peevishness, nervousness, and heavy restless breath.

By proper breathing exercises and by attaining control of breath, one
can achieve a state of deep concentration. By control of the life force in the
sensory motor nerves--pranayama, as taught in the higher Self-Realization
Fellowship Lessons--one can withdraw the currents from the senses and pre-
vent disturbing sensations from reaching the brain, thus calming the mind.
By mental concentration and self-control, as in meditation, one finds the
breath and the life force automatically calmed, and thus stability is attained.

The real spiritual teacher knows that the safest, quickest and best spiri-
tual method for the beginner lies in learning harmonization of these four bodily factors. Some people perform breathing exercises without realizing their spiritual significance. They may grow into good athletes with plenty of lung power, but that is all. Others try to approach God by controlling the life
force in the body; but, forgetting the divine conception of the astral technique
--pranayama--the.y satisfy themselves with certain mental and astral powers
and forget God entirely. Some try to know God by mind-bound meditation, by imagination only. They see false visions for the most part, and are impressed
by subconsciously produced hallucinations, frozen images of their own imag-

Thus development along any one of these lines alone is limited, one-
sided, and often fraught with difficulties. Balanced, harmonious develop-
ment of control of breath, life energy, mind, and sex instinct brings fastest
success and real advancement to the spiritual aspirant.


Concentration consists of the art of focusing one hundred percent atten-
tion upon one thing at a time. All effic ient people possess some power of
concentration as a by-product of the vocation or avocation that they follow.
People can reason without knowing logic, but its study makes them reason
better. Similarly, though they naturally possess some power of concentra-
tion, they can greatly improve it by conscious knowledge of the art of concen-


The life of the great divine reformer, Saint Nanak, was like a soothing
dew of heaven manifesting on earth to quench mankind's thirst for knowledge. In certain respects Hindus and Moslems have different religious customs and belieefs, yet they were soulfully treated alike by this great Saint Nanak, and they flocked around his banner. No spiritual victrola or overtalkative reformer would ever have succeeded. But Guru Nanak lived the life of truth; piety and virtue were personified in his actions. He gave both the Hindus and the Moslems a chance to behold in manifestation the comforting universalities underlying the two religions. Guru Nanak, by his magnetic power of love and his exemplary conduct, dispelled the blind beliefs of his heterogeneous followers and showed them how to establish in their hearts a sense of the Oneness and Omnipresence of God and the spirit of universal brotherhood.

One day during the service hour in the Mohammedan mosque, instead of
bowing down in front of the altar, Guru Nanak lay down with his feet toward
the altar and his head away from it, and feigned sleep. Certain Mohammedans who were accustomed to demonstrative external modes of worship instead of inner concentration upon God beheld through the corners of their squinted eyes the audacity of this strange man, Nanak, who lay down instead of sitting; who slept instead of praying; and who, above all, was sacrilegious enough to put his feet, instead of his head, toward the altar.

One of the orthodox coterie upbraided him: " You audacious sinner, take
your feet away from the altar of God. If you don't, your feet will rot.

Calmly, Saint Nanak replied: 'Pray tell me, which way shall I put my
feet that there is no altar of God's presence ? I behold Him north, south,
east, and west, above, beneath, within, and without, and all around me. If
you could show me a place where God is not, I would be only too glad to shift
my feet to that place. Your outwardly praying minds are roaming over the
hills of restlessness. Correct your indifference to God. Your heads are
toward the altar, but your souls and minds are away from God. I am glad
that even my feet are in the all-protecting, all-guiding power of God. "

Unable to reply to the Master's admonitions, the orthodox leader became
even more wrathful. He took hold of the feet of Guru Nanak and forcibly
turned them away from the altar. But behold ! a miracle occurred. With the
turning of Nanak's feet from the east to the west, the altar and the whole temple wall moved accordingly.

When this happened, the priest's followers demanded that their leader be
humble and recognize the great power of this God-knowing man. The whole
company of them lay prostrate at the feet of the Master Nanak. Then the saint
ble s sed them and said :

"Ye children of my Omnipresent Father, realize the presence of God with-
in yourself first, on the best altar--your heart. And if you find Him there,
through that inner window you will soon see God nesting in Omnipresence. To localize God at one point is to imprison Him in walls of finitude. Those who confine God within the limiting walls of their own imagination never find Him. Those who break the walls of sense experience with the hammers of alldissolving intuitive silence, find God spread out in uncaged space, everywhere.

"Just as confined water rushes out in all directions when the walls holding it are broken, so also when the embankments of bigotry and restlessness
are broken, the consciousne ss of man spreads out and expands into the omnipresent consciousness of Spirit. „


Little soul-bird-of-paradise, get out of the body cage, with its cage bars
of sensation. It is an optical illusion. Forget your little cage to which you
are so attached. Behold your vast kingdom of Light and Bliss hidden behind
the shade of darkness that now shrouds your spiritual eye, even when you have closed your physical eyes. Daily seeing the material sunlight, you are blinded and unable to behold the magic world of eternally spread luminous electrons shining behind the darkness of closed eyes. Listening to the little vibrations of earth sounds, you have forgotten how to float in the ocean of Cosmic Sound.


I will find Thy presence on the altar
of my constant peace, and in the joy that
springs from deep meditation.



By Paramahansa Yogananda

When the sparks of cosmic creation flew from Thy bosom
of flame, I sang in the chorus of singing lights which heralded
the coming of the worlds. I am a spark of Thy cosmic fire.
Thou Sun of Life, as Thou didst peep into the mortal cups of
mind, filled with molten liquid of vital sparks, Thou wert
caught within the golden smallness of human feelings.

In each fragile, oscillating mirror of flesh, I see the
restless dance of Thine omnipfesent power. In the quivering
lake of life, I behold Thine almighty life.

Let me calm, by the Christlike c ommand
of concentration, the storms of restless desires raging over the limpid
lake of my mind. In the still lake of my soul, I love to
behold Thine unruffled face of stillness. Break the boundaries
of the little wave of my life, that Thy vastness may spread
over me.

Make me feel that my heart is throbbing in Thy breast,
and that Thou art walking through my feet, breathing through
my breath, wielding my arms of activity, and weaving thoughts
in my brain. Thy sleeping sighs wake when my sighs cry.
Through Thy playfulness, the bubbles of Thy visions of creation
float in the chamber of my delusive sleep.

It is Thy meteoric will that courses through the skies of
my will. Make me feel that it is Thou who has become I. Oh,
make me Thyself, that I may behold the little bubble of me,
floating in Thee !


Teach me, 0 Spirit, by meditation, to stop the storm of
breath, mental restlessness, and sensory disturbances raging
in the lake of my mind.


There are two kinds of concentration. One kind develops more or less by
indirection, whena person tries to get his mind off a certain thing. The more he tries not to think about it, the more concentrated on it his thought becomes. This is not real concentration, as it is not under the control of the will. Scientific concentration, on the other hand, enables you to throw your attention at will on the object of concentration and to hold it there uninterruptedly for as long as you wish. Self-Realization Fellowship teaches you a scientific method of doing this.


"Well, you may say, "many people do succeed in concentrating on each problem as it arises. They know how to keep their minds on the subject at hand and shut out all extraneous thoughts, even though they were never taught to concentrate, and have never seen Self-Realization Fellowship instructions. This is true; all successful people have good powers of concentration.

Then why should such people bother with any "method" of concentration?
Because successful people have developed this power of concentration in the past, or in this life, by constant friction with difficult problems. By utilizing their previously acquired ability scientifically, they can increase their successes. For instance, one can reason without learning logic, but the clear -thinking man who adds logic to his mental tool -kit has an advantage over the one who knows nothing ofthe laws pertaining to forms of reasoning.

The ordinary successful businessman uses only about twenty-five percent
of his powers of concentration, but the student of Self -Realization Fellowship
can develop his power of concentration to one hundred percent usefulness and exert it scientifically. In addition--and this is most important--he will be led into the art of meditation and learn to balance material success with spiritual success.

By the practice of meditation man learns how to throw his thought concen-
tratedly upon God and to appeal successfully to Him to recharge his concentration with God's perfect concentration. Only then- -when scientifically acquired human concentration is charged with the concentration of Spirit--can man expect to accomplish all things. That kind of concentration is required in order to demonstrate successfully a command such as: "0 ye mountains, go into the depths of the sea ! "


The Self -Realization Technique of Concentration 'is uniquely scientific,
because it teaches students how to reinforce the power of the human mind with the supercharged, concentrated consciousness of God. Everyone can benefit from application of the scientific Self-Realization method of God-directed, God-charged concentration: the busy housewife; the worry-burdened businessman; the restless-minded type whose uncontrolled thoughts make him go like a jumping jack; the devout churchman who is seeking greater knowledge; and the real spiritual aspirant--the yogi.

Through the voice of silence and peace God tries to speak to all His children
in response to their prayers. But His voice is usually drowned out by rowdy
sensations of touch, smell, taste, hearing, and sight, and by the tumult of sensation-and memory-roused thoughts. Finding the devotee 's attention entangled in restlessness and engrossed with the incoming "calls" at the switchboard of sensation, God's voice recedes into the depths of silence.

God sadly turns away whenever He finds that His temple of concentration has been made a noisy place for the money-changers of material desires and sensations. The Christlike guru-preceptor (intuition) must come with the whip of self-control to drive away the materially busy, restless thoughts, and make the temple of silence into a temple of God.

Inequalities in the power of concentration exhibited by various people are
reflected in the differing degrees of success they achieve. Self-Realization
Fellowship teaches that by powerful concentration the businessman can increase his success; the focused power of detached attention may similarly be applied to making a greater success of a home, an art, a profession, a church, or in establishing a temple of silence in the soul. It is wrong, of course, to use highpowered concentration for self-success at the expense of others; one must know how to guide and reinforce concentration with the just, unselfish, service -giving, sympathetic, superconcentration of God.

Some persons who apply great concentration to become rich are satisfied to
use their high-powered minds for gaining material success, while turning a deaf ear to cries of misery from others. But the man charged with the superconcentration of God wants success only when others may benefit at the same time. He tries to spiritualize the ideal of industry through service, and finds happiness through making others happy. Self -Realization Fellowship teaches the art of idealistic concentration for the good of self and all others.


 Always reflect your balanced attitude toward others. A calm person has his
senses fully identified with the environment in which he places himself. A restless person does not notice anything, consequently he gets into trouble with himself and others and misunderstands everything. A calm per son, by the virtue of his self-possession, is always at peace with others, always happy, always calm. Never change the center of your concentration from calmness to restle ssnes s. Perform activities only with concentration.

Many persons think that their actions have to be either restless or slow. That is not true. If you keep calm, with intense concentration, you will perform all duties with the correct speed. The art of true action is to be able to act slowly or speedily without losing your inner peace. The proper method is to establish a controlled attitude, wherein you can work with peace withoutlosing your balance.

This does not mean that you should be calm for a while and then let your
mind run riot. It is not the person who meditates a long time for one day and
then does not meditate again for several days who becomes successful on the
spiritual path. The person who meditates and always holds to the aftereffects
of meditation throughout the day is the one who quickly approaches to Godliness and Cosmic Consciousness. There are thousands of persons who are material. Their movements are of materiality. They are matter in motion. Do not be like them. Cultivate inner calmness and poise.


Paramahansa Yogananda often told this story to illustrate what happens when a person with untrained mind sits down to concentrate. He called the principal of his story Madame Butterfly--though male students just as often have such experiences in their unrewarding efforts at concentration.

The scene is Madame Butterfly's living room. The time, the middle of a
cold winter afternoon. Since all the housework is done, and it's too dismal to
go anyplace, our friend has some of that "spare time'' she's always looking for
in order to practice concentration.

She sits down in a straight-backed chair. No sooner has her body touched
the chair than she exclaims. "This seat is too hard ! I should have a pillow. 'I
She finds one the right size and sinks down upon it. Then Madame Butterfly discovers that the chair squeaks. Transferring pillow and body to another chair she notices a draft, and closes the window. Next she develops a tendency to sneeze. But her handkerchief had dropped near the first chair. Her handkerchief reclaimed, Madame contentedly thinks, "Now for a delightful dip into the depths of concentration. "

A few moments pass, and her mind is just beginning to settle when the boil-
ing radiator begins to bubble. In disgust, she jumps up and roughly choke s the radiator's voice.

Once more she settles herself, righteous indignation increasing the deter-
mination to dive deep into meditation. Then, in the apartment next door, some-one starts to play the piano, accompanied by laughter and loud talking.

Now Madame Butterfly is both mad and disgusted. She considers pounding
on the wall, but after all, it is the middle of the afternoon, and so the neighbors have a right to play if they wish. She begins to listen and to think: "That's really a good piano. Our friend then recalls other pianos she has heard. She remembers the pleasant days when she was a child and used to dance while her dear old grandmother played rustic airs popular in her own youth. She thinks of some of her s escapades as an attractive young belle.

And so on and on, until suddenly Madame Butterfly remembers her original
purpose of concentration and jerks herself from her sweet reveries. She tries
to assume the saintly dignity of a veteran yogi, rebuking her body and mind for their restlessness.

She makes a desperate effort to regather the battered fragments of her self-
control. Her eyes have hardly closed again when the telephone crows out with impudent, patience-piercing pertinacity. "I will not answer it !

But the impertinent bell continues. Madame Butterfly begins to doubt her wisdom. "It might be an important call, „ she thinks. So she gets up and answers the phone only to find that someone has dialed the wrong number.

This ordeal over, she musters up enough courage to begin again. But now
her head begins to nod. Her sense of shame at this is shoved aside by self-pity
for her exhausted condition. But forcing herself to sit straight, Madame tries

This effort is diverted by the clamorous ringing of the hoarse-voiced door-
bell. She remains still for a few moments, but the patience-breaking jangle
goes on until she begins to think again, "It must be something important. "
Once at the door, however, Madame Butterfly assumes a galvanized smile as she greets three feminine acquaintances, all of whom have a master1 s degree in the art of gossiping. Behind the artificial flower of her forced smile our friend hides the stinging wasp of petulance, as she thinks: "Oh
you pests, why couldn't you have stayed away and let me concentrate ? "

Happily oblivious to this, the three visitors enter and busy themselves raking and prodding in everyone else's dirt heaps--secure in the knowledge that for the moment there is a "keep off" sign on their own. Madame Butterfly laughs pleasantly, and three hours slip away before she has the relief of closing the door behind these inordinate gossips.

Automatically she resumes her attempts at concentration. But now her
attention is mobbed by memories of leaky radiators, piano-pounding, telephone bells, raucous doorbells and gossipy tidbits. Guiltily she halts this mental resume. "What time is it anyway?

Madame looks at her watch, and with a
resigned sigh, rises and starts to the kitchen to get supper.
The living room is empty again. And it might just as well have remained
so all afternoon, as far as Madame Butterfly's efforts at concentration are concerned. The above experience is not an exaggeration. It is only a sample of what happens to most people when they attempt to concentrate.


It is good to remember the following: seek intensely until you find God.
Knock until the doors of all wisdom are opened unto you. Believe and act
according to your faith, until you know. Pray until He answers. Meditate deeper and deeper, until you find and feel Him as unending joy. Love Him until you feel His love. Talk to Him continuously in silence until He speaks to you. Remember, the so-called certainties of life-such as money, fame, and friends --are really the most difficult to retain. They may slip away any minute. So, make the imperishable so-called unknown, uncertain God your own; you will find Him moat faithful, when all else leaves you beyond the last gate of this life.


I will open the only gate, the gate of meditation, that leads to Thy blessed



By Paramahansa Yogananda

I bow to Thee in silver rays;
I drink to Thee in sunbeams;
I stand in reverence before Thy mountain majesty;
I clasp Thine image reflected in the lake;
In the voice of the echo I hear Thy voice;
I embrace Thee in the calm caress of the breeze;
I bathe in Thy bubbling fountain of my bosom.
The explosions of my passions have died away
And I hear Thy whispers in the pines and in the
Gentle swish of the laughing waters of the lake.

I listened to Thy sermons through the voice
Of my reason.
I beheld Thee plowing the soil
Of my soul with trials,
And sowing the seeds of Thy wisdom therein.
Every day I watered the seeds sown by Thee,
But it was only when the sunshine
Of Thy mercy came
That those seeds sprouted, grew, and
Yielded the harvest of contentment.

Suddenly the waters, nature's green carpets,
The blue vastness overhead, the opaque stones,
And my body, became transformed into a vast mirror
By the magic touch of my silence,
And I saw myself reflected in everything.
And when in concentration I looked at myself,
I became transparent--and in my transparency
I could not find me--but only Thee, only Thee.


Divine Mother, let the magic wand of my intuition stop the gale
of passions and unnecessary desires, and in the ripplele ss lake of my
mind, let me behold the undistorted reflection of the moon of my soul,
glistening with the light of Thy presence.


The great Hindu sage, Patanjali, said that union with Cod is established
by neutralizing the re stless thought-and de sire-waves of the consciousness.
To illustrate: the image of the moon looks distorted if it is reflected in the
waters of a lake whose surface is rippled by the wind; but if the wind subsides, the ripples vanish and the clear, undistorted, reflected perfection of the moon is seen. Cod is reflected as soul in the lakes of consciousness in myriads of human beings--just as the one moon may be reflected in a million lakes. But because the lakes of human attention are rippling with sensations and thoughts caused by the storms of breath and of mental restlessness, the soul-image of God reflected there is distorted.

When the Self-Realization Fellowship technique of concentration is suc-
cessfully practiced, the waves of breath cease, owing to the restfulness of the
heart; then the ripples of sensations and of restless thoughts vanish from the
lake of attention, and the undisturbed reflection of the soul is seen. Patanjali
emphasizes the negative side of concentration: that as soon as the attention is free from the objects of distraction, it can reveal the soul, just as the removal of the hand from in front of the lens of a flashlight reveals the things in front of it in the dark.

Jesus said: "If thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast
them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather
than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thine
eye offend thee, pluck it out" (Matthew 18:8, 9).

In these words are hidden a Biblical definition of concentration. Jesus
meant that every devotee must know how to concentrate and do away with all distractions of sensations such as touch ("thy hand") and sight
("thine eye"). The devotee must know how to calm the senses, i. e., take consciousness away from them, and how to withdraw the life force from the sensory-motor nerves, which are the conductors of disturbing sensations. Thus he will know how to enter the eternal life, the ever conscious, ever existing, ever new bliss of the soul. The life force in the nerves keeps the soul entangled with messages of sensations from the eyes, ears, hands, and so forth; but when the life force is plucked from the eyes and cut off from the hands, and from all consciousness of the body, the soul's attention becomes freed from the distracting messages of the senses. Then the soul becomes cognizant of its divine nature. Only then is a state of complete concentration reached. The following is a psychologically sound and scientific definition of concentration:

Concentration is that power which one can apply negatively to free
the attention from objects of distraction, and positively to place the
attention on a single idea or object at a time.

When the attention is freed from minor distractions, it may be directed to act
positively by focusing its rays on any kind of problem, or upon God. It is all
right to say that a person is concentrating on how to make more money in business, or that he is concentrating on God; but you should not say, "He is meditating on his business problems. „For real meditation, as taught to Self-
Realization students, is that specific form of concentration which is applied
only to knowing God.

Many students try ineffectually to meditate, to think about God, but they
are still hypnotized by restlessness and cannot forget their surroundings. In
order to get results, one must learn how to detach his attention from distract-
ing thoughts and sensations and apply it to God. No meditation is possible
without knowing the art of concentration. Prayer, chanting, and singing
all becom a mockery without application of the positive and negative factors of concentration and meditation.

All people need to know the art of concentration in order to gain real suc-
cess, each in his own respective path. No one can concentrate deeply upon
God, art, business--or anything else --without first disengaging his attention
from outer and inner distraction. Hence a scientific technique of freeing one's
attention from the objects of distraction is the only way to get results. How
hopeless it is for either the housekeeper, the businessman, or the spiritual
aspirant to try to concentrate by employing the popular way of mental diver-
sion! The student who wishes to learn real concentration should begin by
learning two things:

1) What the objects of distraction are.
2) How the attention can be scientifically switched off from them.

Many men and women believe that prayer takes the place of concentration.
This is true only when the laws of prayer are followed. Most people who try
to contact God do so unscientifically, and hence ineffectively, either by blind
devotion or by intellectual investigation. Of course, if the prayer is intense,
the attention automatically disengages itself from objects of distraction and
focuses itself upon God; then one has true concentration. But the program of worship in most cases consists in a variety of physical ceremonies, such as
singing hymns and listening to sermons; the attention has no opportunity to go deep into God-consciousness.

The Heavenly Father does not reveal Himself to those who are intellectually wise but without devotion; nor to the emotionally intoxicated, who are unable to reason clearly; but unto those who worship Him "as little children,„
wholeheartedly and with full attention:

"To those blessed ones who worship Me,
Turning not otherwhere, with minds set fast,
I bring assurance of full Bliss beyond. „

Bhagavad Gita

God will come into all churches and temples if He finds the heart doors of
the devotees within open to Him, and if genuine soul-inspired concentration or meditation gives Him a welcome. God can never be bribed by the size of a
church congregation, nor by its wealth, nor by well-planned sermons. God
visits only the altars of hearts that are cleansed by tears of devotion and lighted by soul-stirring love.


The first state of consciousness is marked by complete identification of
the self and its well-being with the struggle for and acquirement of material
and physical satisfactions. Such a person does not try to understand the pow-
er behind his brain, without which no gainful or pleasurable activity can be
carried on.

The second state is reached when a person, by occasional concentration
on higher things, tries once in a while to get away from his preoccupation with the sensory world.

The third state is reached by deeper concentration; the yogi arrives at a
middle point wherein he enjoys glimpses of inner Bliss; his spiritual and material tendencies are now evenly matched, as a result of steady effort at concentration and of proper schooling in the habits of silent concentration.

The fourth state comes when the consciousness becomes completely identi-fied with the only good or God, and the yogi goes beyond the oppositional states of good and evil. Awakening in God, the yogi finds that the dual states of good and evil have vanished, just as sorrowful or joyous dream experiences of disease and health, bereavement and fulfillment vanish upon one's awakening from sleep.


He gulps down an inadequate breakfast, hurries to his office, and sits at
a desk littered with papers that mutely shriek "unfinished business.
He picks up one or two letters and glances at them, but before his mind has form-ulated any replieshe glimpses the appointment pad on his desk and realizes that he must decide on a course of procedure before he talks with Mr. Blank.

He tries to concentrate on this problem. However, his mind keeps re-
verting to the letters just put aside, and wants to mull over those problems
instead. The din of his secretary's typewriter annoys him. He shouts at her
to stop. A moment later, he realizes that she 's typing on a rush assignment
he gave her, so he shouts at her to go on again.

To calm himself, he begins smoking his after-breakfast cigar. This
brings to mind another problem: he tells himself that he should be firm in his
determination to quit smoking. Ragged nerves tug at the sleeve of his con-
science, and finally he dashes the cigar into an ashtray.

At this inopportune moment the secretary brings over a pile of letters to
be signed. The boss, unreasonably upset at the intrusion, angrily banishes
her to the outer office. He tries to concentrate on his problem once more,
but the pieces won't go together. His ineffectual struggle makes him sleepy
and he dozes off in disgust at his inability to work out a solution.

This is his first comfortable moment, so he quietly drifts into deeper slumber. His secretary returns, jolting him back to consciousness just in time for his important appointment with Mr. Blank. But inasmuch as he has failed to map out a plan, he talks haphazardly all around the subject, gives the impression that he is only an ineffectual bluffer, and the deal he had hoped for falls through.


I shall seek to know Thee first, last,
and all the time. Finding Thee first, I
shall find, in Thee, all things that I craved.



By Paramahansa Yogananda

From Thy station, JOY, I hear daily
Thine ineffable shrill-soft tones, dear and familiar.

At first I tried to tune Thee in from so far,
far away; Thy program seemed beyond
the reception of the tiny instrument of my mind. But
after I had made many fine touches on the dial of
meditation, Thou didst come in on sudden etheric wings.

Thou wert singing a melody of earth's goodness
and the nobility in all hearts.

--From "Whispers from Eternity"


0 Spirit, teach me to pray with deep
concentration, and to imbue scientific
meditation with devotion. May my heart
daily become more pure by all-surrendering
love for Thee.



People are eagerly seeking success or health; but even  if they gain it, they are restless just the same. The  soul's hunger cannot be satisfied by material substitutes nor by theological chaff. Some modern religious movements are adopting "going into the silence" in their program of Sunday worship. But „going into the silence,“ though it brings some peace, does not teach the groping spiritual aspirant how to commune with God. "Going into the silence, by diverting and silencing thoughts, is only a negative factor of concentrathn
and a slow method of establishing God-contact.

The difference between spoken prayer and silence is considerable: In
audible prayer the mind is busy with sounds and bodily motions, as well as
with restless thoughts. In ordinary silence, the mind is kept partially quieted
by keeping the body still, and the optic telephone is cut off by the closing of
the eyes. But the thoughts within may still run wild. Some people succeed
in silencing their thoughts for a moment or two, and get a little glimpse of the
peaceful face of God through this temporary crack in the wall of restlessness.
But often a real seeker is confronted by darkness, with only an occasional
glimpse of peace, which is soon broken by the disturbance of restless thoughts. He begins to wonder, "Is this all there is to God and His inspiration?„

When he opens his eyes and gets out of this state of negative silence, at
first he is filled with a new sense of wonder at the glory and immensity of
sunlight; at the mysterious power of electricity that causes the trolley cars
to run hither and yon; at the marvel of skyscrapers; at the lightning searing
the sky; at the powerful light of the moon. But as he experiences only a
little occasional peace in the silence, he gradually finds less and less conso-
lation in the powers and manifestations of nature. Soon he begins to belittle
his striving s for more spirituality and his inner experiences during periods
of silence.

The Cosmic Light, or Cosmic Energy, the Creator of all forces, hides
behind the darkness at first perceived in silence; but those who are in the
darkness of negative silence do not comprehend that. In these Self-Realiza-
tion Fellowship studies you will learn how to produce scientifically a positive
state of meditative silence, and thus quiet all thoughts and sensations. There
are higher states of concentration, and as the devotee ascends to them, one
by one, he comes into higher and higher spheres of indescribable joys and
uplifting experiences and visions. He blissfully realizes: "He whom I was
seeking in the cloud-forests of the blue is here with me, within me. I
sought Him as a Power without, only to find that He--the fountain of all nature's forces--exists within me. In the silence, just behind the walls of
darkness, I adoringly perceive Him.“

To perce ive God, one must first learn the positive and negative factors
of silence. It is necessary to analyze the definite psychophysical elements
of distraction that invade silence as one's attention tries to march toward its
mental objective.


For example, as soon as you sit to concentrate upon your business in the office, your attention is busy with the noise of typewriters and other office equipment, or with the roar of streetcars and automobiles in the street outside, intruding on your consciousness through the auditory nerve wires. Touch sensations of comfort (pleasurable feelings of the flesh such as after-dinner satisfaction, or abundant vitality, and so forth) or of discomfort (disagreeable feelings such as itches, aches, binding of tight clothing, perspiration, heat, cold, hunger, and weariness) pour into the brain through the tactual nerve wires. Or your attention may become preoccupied with the body odors of nearby persons, or with the fragrance of flowers in the room, or the perfume used by someone near you--sensations that keep crowding into your brain through your olfactory nerve wires.

Or your attention may be busy with visual sensations being reported to
your brain through your optic nerve telephones: the sight of your office
furnishings, or others' apparel. Your attention may be busy with pleasant
or unpleasant sensations of the palate: the taste of peppermint candy, or
chewing gum, or an after-smoking taste, or the after-sensation of the taste
of cold water that you may have drunk not long before. So you see that all
the while your attention wants to concentrate upon a problem, upon business, or upon God, it meets with many distractions caused by sensations of sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell.


 But the five kinds of distractions just enumerated are not the only claims upon your attention. These sensations give rise to thoughts that lure the attention away from its pursuit of concentration. For instance, when you hear a noisy automobile outside the room in which ,you are trying to concentrate, you perhaps begin to have thoughts about different makes of cars; or the chewing-gum taste in your mouth may make you think about the many flavors of chewing gum. The fragrance of flowers in the room may make you think of the florist's shop, or your grandmother's delightful garden. The sight of your business office may make you think of grander offices you have been in; and seeing the apparel of the people around, you may think of various kinds of clothes you would like to own.


Thus sensations give rise to thoughts. Fresh thoughts arising from sensations may then rouse  related thoughts in your subconscious memory. For instance, the sound of automobiles around your place may not only rouse many thoughts about other models of automobiles, but these, in their turn, may rouse in your consciousness latent thoughts of how you have driven many models of cars, or remind you of a bad accident you had with a certain powerful car. So your attention generally meets first with sensations, then with crowds of new thoughts, and finally with memory thoughts waking from iheir subconscious slumber.

Distractions--the enemies of attention--are threefold:

1. sensations;
2. new thoughts roused by sensations;
3. old memory thoughts roused by present thoughts.

The minute your attention wishes to march along the pathway of concentration toward a definite goal, it is waylaid by these invisible bandits of distraction.


If you should ask how you can succeed when trying  to concentrate upon a problem or upon a Sunday  sermon, most persons would tell you to divert
your mind from the objects of distraction. But this seldom works successfully; for whenever you try hard not to think about a particular thing, your mind perversely dwells on it.

It is almost futile, for example, to try to divert your mind from a con-
stantly ringing telephone bell when you are trying to concentrate. This is
because, when the bell rings, the report of the sound is carried to the brain
by the life force in the auditory nerves. Whether you wish to hear it or not,
the bell sound penetrating through your auditory nerves is bound to register
in the brain.

Trying to divert the attention from the disturbing sound of a bell by thinking of something else during the attempt at concentration is unscientific. However, a man of habitually intense concentration habits may be able to turn his mind deeply enough within so as not to hear the ringing. The question then arises: What physiological changes occur in this man to permit such deep concentration that he really does not hear the sound of the telephone bell, although its vibration strikes the tympanum of his ear ?

The logical conclusion is that there is an inseparable relationship between
intelligence (the "operator" of the sense-telephone switchboard in the brain)
and the life force flowing in the auditory nerve telephones. When the operator (intelligence) chooses, he can, by diversion or by scientific relaxation (as taught in these studies), shut out the sound of the telephone bell so that it will not disturb him. A real telephone operator working at a switchboard can do several things to be free from the disturbance of a ringing bell:

1. She may be so busy mentally doing something else that she does not
lidten to the telephonic sound, though it rings in her brain, transmit-
ted through her auditory nerve wires. Thus by diversion her attention
remains unaware of the sound.

2. She can fall asleep before the switchboard; then she will not hear the
sound of the bell signaling the message coming through the wires.

3. She may simply switch off the current from the wires and thus prevent their transmitting the electrical impulse that sounds the bell.

Similarly, any person may do several things to prevent hearing the sound of a telephone bell.:

1. By diversion one can disengage the attention of the intelligence that
takes note of the switchboard signal of his auditory sense telephone.
By this method, however, he does not remove the real cause through
which the disturbing sound of the bell reaches his brain.

2. By sleep, or "unconscioust“ sensory-muscular relaxation, one can
prevent the entry of the bell sound into the brain. In the subconscious
state of sleep, the life force is relaxed from the muscles and from
the five sense-telephone wires of touch, smell, taste, sight, and

3. One can scientifically switch off the thoughts and the life force from
the senses. An explanation of the scientific method of doing this will
follow in Lesson 20, and a special technique of concentration -Hong-
Sau- will be given in Lesson 21.


The great spiritual teachers of India realized the necessity of discovering psychophysical methods of concentration. Concentration is an extremely
importaht factor in achieving success on any plane. A great businessman or
a big social or spiritual reformer is a man of keen concentration. By the
concentrated rays of his attention, developed unconsciously, he burns away
and destroys the roots of every difficulty that comes before him, and thereby
makes a success of his undertakings. But he could be an even greater success if he knew the art of conscious concentration, which would enable him
to focus the burning power of attention upon any difficult problem, just as the sun's rays, concentrated through a magnifying glass, can ignite inflamrna-
ble objects beneath it.


Tej Bahadur, a young businessman in India, had to spend a considerable
amount of his hard-earned money to go to London to confirm his business
transactions. He greatly desired to cut costs, but no matter how he cut down
his overhead he was never satisfied. He was constantly thinking of schemes
for saving money. Though a wealthy businessman, he once even considered
the idea of going to London by working his own way as a sailor.

One day when Tej Bahadur was contemplating new ways to practice econ-
omy, he fretfully wondered why God had not made him fast moving like elec-
tricity, which traverses vast tracts of space in the twinkling of an eye. Just
then a friend of his, who knew all about his exaggerated notions of economy,
came hurrying toward him and told him excitedly: "Tej Bahadur, come to
the banks of the river Ganges. I have found a man who can levitate and walk
on water, and who is willing to teach the method to a worthy student.“

Impressed, the wealthy Tej Bahadur said to himself: "Thank God for
sending me a levitating tutor. I will ask him to teach me how to do it, and
that will save me all that money I annually spend on my European business
trips. „

He wended his way toward the riverbank, where the levitating teacher was
temporarily encampecl, and asked to be taught the art of levitation.

The master gave Tej Bahadur the following instruction: "Son, every
night, dim the light in your bedroom, lock the doors, and, sitting erect on a
straight chair facing the east, with closed eyes mentally chant the holy word
of the Cosmic Vibration--Om--for an hour. At the end of one month you will
be able to race through the air over land or water. "

As the businessman, inwardly wondering about the extreme simplicity
of the lesson, thanked his teacher and was about to return home, he was
called back by the master, who gently cautioned him further: "I forgot to tell you something about the technique of levitation. While you are mentally chanting and concentrating on 'Om, ' be sure not to think of a monkey.

"That is simple, said the businessman. "Of course I won't think of a monkey.
After saluting the saint, he returned home. Evening found Tej Bahadur closing the windows, pulling down the shades, and seating himself
in a straight chair in his bedroom to practice the technique of levitation. No sooner had he done so than the first thought that struck him was: "I
must not think of a monkey! "

Two minutes passed and several times Tej Bahadur warned himself
inwardly: "I must not think of a monkey.

By the time ten minutes had passed he had thought of all the different
kinds of monkeys in South America, India, Africa, Sumatra, and still other
places. Tej Bahadur was furious. He willed himself to banish the thoughts
about the monkeys, which were leaping  in rapid procession through the
window of his helpless mind. At the end of an hour he found himself thinking
of nothing but monkeys. With each succeeding day he meditated faithfully,
but, to his great annoyance, he found that he was really only frantically trying not to think of the millions of imaginary monkeys that were jumping into
his mind.

After a month's concentration upon the forbidden monkeys, Tej Bahadur
raced back to his teacher and exclaimed: "Master, take back your lesson on
levitation! You have t axht me to meditate upon monkeys instead. Your
method has only developed a monkey consciousness in me. "

The saint laughed merrily. In a voice as soothing as the dew, he advised
his pupil: "Son, I only tried to show you how untrained and slavish is your
mental state of concentration. Unless you learn to make your mind obey you,
you cannot achieve any material success, not to speak of the difficult art of
attaining the power of levitation. First learn to attain mental control; then
use that power to achieve small things; and when you are able to do that, try
for bigger and bigger achievements, until your inner power becomes
developed enough to levitate you, or better by far, to accomplish spiritual miracles in your consciousness. „


I will expand the little bubble of my joy. I will keep
puffing at it with the breath of my concentration until it
spreads all over my face, into my heart, throughout my
entire body and mind, and over the Ocean of Infinity that
is hidden in my consciousness.



By Paramahansa Yogananda

Clad in the hunter's green of selfish desires, I
pursued Thee in the forest of consciousness, 0 Divine
Hart! The sound of my loud prayers startled Thee;
Thou didst swiftly flee. I raced after Thee; but my
erratic chase, the hue and cry of my restlessness,
caused Thee to retreat still farther.

Stealthily I crept toward Thee with my spear of
concentration, but my aim was unsteady. As Thou
didst bound away I heard in secret echoes of Thy
footfalls: "Without devotion thou art a poor, poor
marksman! „

Even when I held firmly my meditation missile,
Thine echo re sounded: "I am beyond thy mental dart;
I am beyond ! "

At last, in submissive wisdom I entered the
silent cave of selfless love. Lo! Thou, the Hart
of Heaven, came st willingly within.

--From "Whispers from Eternity"


Divine Mother, Thou art pre sent just behind our prayers, just
behind the darkness, just behind the thoughts of our devotion, just
behind our heartthrobs, just behind our brain. Break Thy vow of
silence. Speak to us!


During slumber the life force is switched off from the sensory telephone
receivers of eyes, palate, nose, skin, and ears. A sleeping person does not
hear the telephone bell because the sound cannot reach his brain. The opera-
tor, intelligence, has unconsciously switched off the auditory nerve telephone
along with the others. If one can sleep at will, therefore, he can produce at
will unconscious sensory relaxation- -or the switching off of the life force from the sense telephones, and thus prevent the noises from entering his brain. Though sleep is a good method of getting away from constant noises passing through the auditory nerves, still it is an unconscious, passive method. One does not wish to sleep every time he desires to become really quiet.

Self-Realization Fellowship studies teach an easy but scientific method of
consciously disconnecting the life force from all the five sense telephones so
that the stimuli, and their resulting sensations, do not reach the brain at all.
If you learn to switch off the life force from the five sense telephones with
which your operator, intelligence, is working, then you really remove the medium through which sensory stimuli flow into the brain. The mechanical telephone receives and transmits messages along the same wire. But the bodily house has two sets of telephones quite separate from each other in their functions. Through the sensory nerves, or receiving telephones, the messages of tactual, gustatory, auditory, olfactory, and optical sensations are received into the brain by the operator, intelligence. Another operator, will power, transmits messages of eye movement, nostril inflation, ear movement, or the movements of the t ongue, or any muscles of the body, through another set of nerves called the motor nerves.

By the stillness of complete muscular relaxation--which necessitates
lying down, so that no muscles are tensed--one can remove the life energy
from the motor nerves and their connecting muscles. But this withdrawal of
life force from the muscles and motor nerves is not complete sensory relaxa-
tion, for the five sense telephones are not shut off; one can still see, taste,
hear, smell and be conscious of tactual sensation, even when one is muscular-
ly relaxed. How is it possible, then, to switch off the life force from the five
nerve telephones scientifically and consciously ? By quieting the dynamo of the heart, which controls the life force in the sense telephones. In sleep, your
heart action slows down, and this helps to withdraw the life force from the five sense telephones, and also from the motor nerves. The heart is the dynamo, or the life, of the muscles, the cells, and the five sense telephones. When the heart involuntarily stops, we die.


But the yogis of India anciently found that it is possible by calmness, and at will, to switch off the energy from the  heart without causing death; that one can die or live at will, and conquer death. When the average man die s, his
body remains inert; he cannot recall to it the life force that has fled. But St.
Paul, like the Hindu yogis, knew that by learning to control the heart one can
"die" daily. "I protest by our rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord,
I die daily" (I Cor. 15 :31). In order to die daily, one has to live daily in the
consciousness of God's presence. When one learns to live and die at will, he
becomes free from the flesh.

Through this series of Lessons you can learn to quiet the heart by the use
of a specific technique (Hong-Sau); and also by giving up worries and fears you can control the life force that works in the five sense telephones. The heart of a mouse in a mousetrap beats two times faster than usual because of its intense fear. The heart s of the calm Napoleon and the Duke of Wellington are said to have beat only fifty times per minute. Children's heartbeats are much faster than those of grown people. Their restlessness is the cause. Their
sense telephones are always busy with outward stimuli. Children find it hard
to quiet themselves, but as they attain adulthood they become calmer, and the heart beats less frequently.

Normally the heart pumps eighteen tons of blood a day. If you worry, you
trouble the heart, and it beats faster. The poor overworked heart, which can-
not even rest while its owner sleeps, is a much-abused slave. Therefore when
it has done enough, it says: "You have been a bad master. Now I quit my job.
As a result of your heart's refusal to work, you have to do without the whole
machinery of your body.

Do not be frightened, thinking that you are going to stop your heartbeat
permanently when you practice these instructions. They are not given as a
convenient means of suicide. If anyone wishes to stop the heartbeat and not revive it, he does not need to bother to study these Lessons, for he can more
easily accomplish his purpose by jumping into a river.

Remember, however, that psychologically a state of unconsciousness, or
passive subconsciousness, should be avoided during the practice of the concentration technique. Also, physiologically, no strenuous method of holding the breath should be used in an effort to stop the heartbeat unnaturally. It is absolutely impossible to stop the heartbeat that way. But by practice of the Hong- Sau method described in the next Lesson, the heart becomes so restful, the lungs become so free from venous blood, that it is unnecessary for the heart to work. Then the heart rests because of its great calmness and the life force in the five sense telephones can gradually be brought under control.


The soul, being individualized Spirit, can manifest  all the fulfillment and satisfaction of the Spirit, if given a chance to unfold. It is through long-continued contact with changeable matter that material desires are developed. Desire is an impostor that hampers and encroaches upon the freedom of your ever-joyous soul and lures your ego to dance upon the unstable waves of the four fluctuating and short-lived psychological states which are (1) sorrow, (2) false happiness, (3) indifference, (4)a deceptive passive peace that claims the ego for brief intervals, whenever the mind manages to shake off the other three.

The mind must be protected from the serfour alternating psychological
states. Look at any face and you will be able to tell whether or not its owner
is at the mercy of such moods. A person's face rarely remains calm while
he is in the grip of one of the four unstable mental states.

Learn to swim in the calm sea of unchanging Bliss before you attempt to
plunge into the maelstrom of material life, which is the realm of sorrow,
pleasure, indifference, and deceptive temporary peace.

When the ego is not buffeted by sorrow or happiness, it sinks into the
state of indifference. You can look around you and find many faces register-
ing this state of boredom. You ask an indifferent person, "Are
you sad?" "Oh no, he replies. "Are you happy? It "No, he drawls. "Well
then, you ask, "what is the matter with you? "Oh, I'm just bored.

Protect the soul from the mental disturbances created by the mad dance
of sorrow-producing desire. Realize that you do not need material things,
which create only misery. Learn to escape slavery to desire by searching
within your soul until you find there true happiness and lasting peace, or Bliss. Thus you will become a "bliss billionaire.“


Build an inner environment inviolable. Practice silence ! I remember
the wonderful discipline of the great ones. When we used to talk and chatter,
they would say:

"Go back into your castle of silence; do not recklessly slay your inner spiritual life by idle talk. Your peace will ebb away, to be lost forever.


You have wandered in the wilderness of distraction, far from your home
of peace. You are a prodigal son. You want to go back to your home of hap-
piness. The Father is waiting. Do not pray as a beggar imprisoned within
the self-erected walls of limitations. Break the walls. Try to be a good son
instead of a truant son. Your prayers remain imprisoned within your limita-

When your mental microphone of mind is broken by hammers of restless-
ness, repair it before you try to broadcast your prayers. Do not cast aimless
prayers to the winds. Repair your mind-microphone by the skillful mechanics
of meditation and then broadcast your loving demands claiming your birthright of opulence, health, and knowledge through your calm mind-mic rophone. First loudly, then softly, and finally just mentally affirm: "Father, Thou and I are one, " until you feel oneness, not only in your conscious intelligence or subconscious imagination, but in the intuitive conviction of your superconscious mind. Melt the words of the affirmation into intelligent flames of intuitive perception. Then pour those flaming, soulful affirmations into the mold of your calm, restful, firm faith. There your crude words will turn into a sparkling garland of gold--fit offering to lay at the feet of Cosmic Deity.

When your offering of words touches Infinity; when your message of yearning  God after being properly sent  through the microphone  of meditation, then you will feel His response coming. His response is plain, never indefinite. Hold your mind radio tuned with soft touches of deepest devotion, of the grandest, most constant love. Then suddenly He may burst upon you as a song or as a Cosmic Voice; or as the fragrance of a trillion mystic flowers. He may softly dance on your bursting heart, or He may televise His message as a fire-mist aureole, dancing on the floor of your vision; or a million nectars may invade your palate, or a sextillion sensations and perceptions of endless thrills of joy may dance on every sanctum of your body cells, on every blade of thought, on every open altar of your inspiration.

No matter what God broadcasts, remember that the surest sign of His
Presence is the burst of the dawn of peace, which is the first messenger to
herald His secret approach. Then peace bursts into more dazzling lights of
endless joy. Then you are sure to behold Him in the light of increasing, ever
new, ever charming, ever entertaining joy. This joy is not a dream of fancy.
You can never bring this messenger unless you open the secret door of deep-
est meditation. Through this majestic door of God-dreams joy comes, and in
the light of this joy alone can you behold the Mighty Deity spread over the skyey blue vastness, in everything.

Then, when the contact is made through increasing peace and joy, tell
your Father that you are no longer a prodigal son. You are back home to tell
Him again and again, deeply, with your superconscious conviction, that you
and He are One. You are back to stay in His mansion. Tell Him again and again, long and deeply. Then when your Father accepts your supreme demand of oneness with Him, ask for the lesser things--prosperity, power, or wisdom or anything you like, and you will receive them.


Calm your self within and without. Fill the jar of your body with joy. The
water of joy surrounds your body. You are in the ever-living ocean of joy.
Joy is around your body, joy is within you. Joy is in the ether, in the stars,
in the Milky Way; joy is in everything. You and your Father are One. Your Heavenly Father is the joy within you. The spiritual joy and you are one. Bliss-God and you are One. Omnipresent joy and you are one. You are the Absolute Infinite Joy, Consciousness Eternal. You are ever new joy--ever living. You and the Absolute are One. You and the ever new joy are one.


Today I will worship God in deep silence,
and will wait to hear His answer through my
increasing peace of meditation.



By Paramahansa Yogananda

Forsake the tipsy dance of forgetfulness! Be sobered by the understanding that you must not neglect to honor the Silent Guest in your temple. Forgive your enemies but not yourself --the greatest enemy of your own Self, who forgets to befriend your Best Friend waiting in the temporary parlor
of your life.

The light of life is waning, and darkness is approaching fast . . Kindle the unextinguishable lamp of love, that by its light you may behold Him when the chimerical gloom of death throws its curtain of darkness around you.

You were away and He was here in your heart, always waiting and waiting for you, and now you come whining that you have been waiting for Him. It is you who have been hiding from Him. And now that you have found Him,
you must lose sight of Him no more in the self-woven cocoon of your own un-
knowing. Open your error-drunken eyes andbehold the light, tapping at the gates of your closed eyelids. Open the inner eye of silence! Behold Him spread all over your being. Pull off the veil of sorrow, and find His blissful presence. Remove the self-created darkness of delusion and behold Him
right within your bosom.

You ran away from your all-containing soul-home to stay in the dark hovel of evanescent pleasure. Now come and behold your home of all-fulfillment within you. He has not been hiding from you --you have ever been hiding from Him!


0 Father, teach me to realize Thy nearness behind the voice of
my prayer. Teach me to breathe Thy breath in my own breathing.


It is necessary to keep the attention free from distraction during concen-
tration. The mind of the average person is restless, even when he makes a real effort to concentrate. Try as he will to keep his attention focused on one object of thought, his mind slips away and "concentrates" on everything else imaginable. When the attention thus becomes enslaved unconsciously by objects of distraction, efforts at concentrat ion bear meager fruit .


This SRF Lesson deals with the scientific approach to God: harmonizing breath, life force, and mind to achieve onepointed concentration on Him.

Controlling the life force in the body enables the yogi to switch off the
current from the sensory nerve telephones, thus making it impossible for dis-
turbing sensations to reach the brain and distract the attention from its march toward the Divine Goal.

Breath is not life, but it is necessary to ordinary physical existence be-
cause dark venous blood has to be purified by oxygen. Breath is the cord that
ties the soul to the physical body. One who can live without breath can free
his soul from slavery to the breath and hence from imprisonment in the body.

Because of the vital link between breath and life force, many persons
think that pranayama --life-force control --consists in holding the breath
for long periods. This is untrue. The mortal breath that binds the soul to the
body cannot be made to stop by forcibly holding it in the lungs, which is dangerous. Rather by stopping decay (the normal process of cellular breakdown) in the system, and by developing calmness and practicing spiritual exercises such as Hong-Sau, yogis achieve the breathless state in a natural way. It is life force that governs breath, heartbeat, sensory impressions, and motor responses --all the functions of the' body. Pranayamameans control of that life force, and hence control over all the functions of the body.


 The first function of life force in the body is to supply  energy directly to the brain. The all-surrounding Cosmic Energy enters the brain through the medulla oblongata. From the medulla, life energy is also transmitted to the heart, lungs, diaphragm --to every organ and every cell in the body. Life force is the electric power that directly energizes the cells and keeps them functioning in a living way. Flowing into the body through the medulla, life force keeps the body battery charged with life. Breath, food, and sunshine are merely subsidiary sources of energy; their breakdown by the activating life force creates additional electrical power for the body battery.

If the battery in an automobile has gone dead, it can be reactivated only
by newly charging it with electricity from an outside source. Similarly, a
dead body battery can be revived only by a fresh charge of life force from the
cosmic source. It is useless to fill the stomach of a dead person with food, or
to pump oxygen into his lungs; food and oxygen sustain life only if life force
is already actively present in the body.

A storage battery could be used indefinitely if recharged by electricity,
and if the physical characteristics of its positive and negative plates and the
electrolyte did not change. Similarly, by higher training the body may be sus-
tained by the intelligent life force alone, which acts as the recharging elec-
tricity and also prevents the deterioration of the physical properties of the
body battery.

The fact that human beings and animals in states of suspended animation
can maintain life indefinitely by spinal and mental energy, shows that life
force itself is the only essential to sustaining life. Hindu saints have been
buried alive beneath the ground for as long as several months --even years --
without food or oxygen, and after disinterment have regained consciousness and resomed normal life.

In mortal existence, however, the life energy in the body, instead of
drawing directly upon its source --the inexhaustible Cosmic Energy --distills
energy from food, and thus comes to depend on being sustained by food. But food is not the cause of the presence of life force in the body; it is merely one of the conditions by which mortal life exists.

Without light, reading a book is impossible; but the reading matter is
not caused by the light. Likewise, without food, existence is ordinarily im-
possible; yet food is not the cause that creates life. Through the habit of in-
carnations the body has become used to depending upon food and breath to maintain life. The more the body is trained to live by life force, the less it need depend upon food and oxygen.


The function of breath is to supply oxygen to the body. Breath indirectly supplies energy to the body by the explosion of oxygen into atoms of life force. Passing through the walls of the lungs into the blood stream, oxygen changes dark, waste-carrying venous blood into vitalizing red arterial blood.

The greater the amount of venous blood, the greater the necessity for
breath. If there is no venous blood in the body (as in suspended animation
when, through the prevention of waste-creating activity of bodily tissues, conscious rest is given to the bodily cells) there is no necessity for breathing.
For this reason the Hindu masters taught control of the life force in the heart
by stopping cellular deterioration in the body, producing the resultant breathless state.

When one arrests cell decay --the cause that creates venous blood --the
functioning of the heart becomes unnecessary for the time being. Yogis accomplish this by eating only pure foods that produce little waste in the body, and by practicing scientific spiritual methods of calmingthe physical and mental processes --methods such as the SRF Recharging Exercises and concentration techniques.


The prevention of cell decay in the tissuesmeans that the heart does not have to pump impurities-laden venous blood into the lungs for cleansing; nor to send oxygen-laden red blood to feed the bodily tissues. When the deteriorating process in the body is thus halted, and there is no venous blood to be pumped into the lungs, the heart becomes naturally and completely calm.

The yogi who has thus calmed the heart also finds that the absence of
venous blood in the lungs, and the state of suspended animation of the bodily
tissues, makes superfluous the absorption of oxygen from the air into the blood stream. Breathing simply becomes unnecessary.


The Hong-Sau Technique enables its practitioners to  solve the mystery of breath by doing away with breath. Only those who properly regulate the breath --that is, are able to do without breath at will by practice of a scientific technique such as Hong-Sau--can attain Self-realization. If you can do without breath, you can control bodily life, prolong it, and rise beyond it to soul awareness in this life. To do without breath is to exist comfortably without feeling any need to breathe; going without breath does not
mean forcing or suppressing air in the lungs.

Watching the breath is the preliminary step in controlling it; then the
consciousness gradually realizes itself as distinct fromthe involuntary
bodily function of breathing, and separates itself fromthe breathing function.
The yogi who has gained breath-control is then able to recognize that consciousness is the only thing that is real about his existence. By training his consciousness according to the method to be described in this Lesson, the student begins to realize that his life is not dependent upon bodily functions, and that his real nature is spiritual and immortal. Thus he understands the delusive nature of ego consciousness which causes us erroneouslyto identify ourselves with the body instead of realizing the divine nature of our being:
satchitananda --eternal existence (sat), eternal consciousness (chit), eternal joy (ananda).


"Man (mans body battery) shall not live (cannot be  sustained) by bread alone (by solid and liquid food  and oxygen only) , but by every word (unit of life energy) that proceedeth out of (pours forth from) the mouth of God (the medulla oblongata at the base of the skull in the back of the head, through which cosmic energy descends into the body) " (Matthew 4:4) .The life energy that transforms food into energy is the real sustainer of life. According to the Hindu scriptures, the food of the future will be almost
solely this life energy from the cosmos. When man's body, mind, and soul batteries run down, they will be recharged directly by cosmic energy.

The following important results follow upon attainment of the breathless

1. The heart calms down and switches off energy from the five sense
telephones, thus helping concentration.
2. The noise of the bodily machinery is stopped.
3. The process of cellular decay in the internal organs is stopped.
4. One realizes that the body lives by cosmic energy coming through
the medulla oblongata.
5. One learns to live by Cosmic Consciousness and not by "bread" or
breath alone.
6. The soul is released from bodily bondage and breath slavery.


This Lesson teaches you how to switch the life current in the body bulb off or on at will, and how to bring about perfect relaxation; Inattention daring the practice of these exercises brings on sleep. Concentrated attention will bring a tingling sense of divine life to every body cell.

When practicing this technique of concentration, it is a good idea to sit
on a straight-backed chair with a woolen blanket placed over it. The blanket
should run down under the feet, insulating the body from earthly magnetic influences and disturbances. Face east and sit erect, without touching your
spine to the back of the chair. Always keep the spine and head in a straight
vertical line during practice. The body should be relaxed, with the hands rest-
ing palms upward on the thighs.


 With eyelids completely closed, or half closed,  focus your gaze at the seat of the spiritual eye, between the eyebrows. Fromthat center of calmness
and concentration, mentally watch (be aware of) the natural flow of your breath coming in and going out. Do not in any way use mental will or force to draw your breath in or to send it out. Try to feel as detached about it as you would if you were merely observing someone else1 s breathing.

As the breath comes in, mentally chant "Hong" (rhymes with song), at the
same time move the index finger of your right hand toward the palm. As the
breath goes out, mentally chant "Sau" (rhymes with saw) and move the index finger away from the palm.

The movement of the index finger is only to help you to differentiate inhalation from exhalation, as we are ordinarily not accustomed to noticing which is taking place. If you have no difficulty in mentally differentiating inhalation and exhalation, or in chanting the right word with each (llHongll
with inhalation, "Sau" with exhalation), the movement of the index finger is unnecessary.

There should be no movement of the tongue as you mentally chant the words
"Hong" and "Sau. "

Every sound in the universe has a different mental correspondence and men-
tal effect. "Hong" and „Sau" are two sacred Sanskrit chant words that have a vibratory connection with the incoming and outgoing breath. The mental repetition of "Hong" with the inhaling breath and of "Sau" with the exhaling breath has a markedly calming mental effect and thus helps the student to concentrate in this exercise of watching the incoming and outgoing breath.

By correct, continuedpractice you will feel a great calmness;
gradually you will realize your true identity as soul, superior to and existing independently of your physical body.


Practice this Hong-Sau Technique during your daily morning and evening meditation period. In addition, you may also practice it during leisure periods, orwhen you are traveling in a bus or streetcar, or when-
ever you are sitting anywhere doing nothing else. When practicing Hong-Sau in public, do so without moving the finger or closing the eyes or fixing the gaze between the eyebrows (which might attract the attention of people around you! ) ; just watch the breath and mentally chant "Hong" with each inhalation and "Sau" with each exhalation. Keep the eyes open, gazing calmly ahead at some particular point. Restless movements of the eyes reflect the restlessness of the thoughts in the mind; and if the eyes are gazing about taking in various objects or scenes, these sight perceptions give rise to further restless thoughts.

In leisure moments, you may even lie down on your back, if you wish, and
practice Hong-Sau, though in the supine position one is more susceptible to
falling asleep. As a general rule, however, Hong-Sau should be practiced in
the correct upright meditation posture.


 There are four periods during each day that  have a vibratory correspondence with the four seasons of the year; early morning is spring,
noon is sumer, early evening is autumn, and midnight is winter. Four changes
take place in the body during these four magnetic seasons of the day. The SRF
exercises and techniques neutralize the effects on the body of the four changing periods by vitalizing and magnetizing the body with life currents and with Cosmic Consciousness. These currents arrest change and suspend the decaying process in the cells.

Therefore it is best to practice this changelessness-producing technique
(Hong-Sau) at these four periods of the day to obtain satisfactory scientific
results. Meditatebetween 5and6a.m., 11and12 a.m., 5and 6p.m., and10
and 12 p.m. (or between 11 and 12 p.m.).

The purpose of Hong-Sau practice is to gain conscious passivity, and to
free the attention from sense entanglements. Under the spell of maya --cosmic delusion--man identifies himself with the physical body, which lives in and requires the atmosphere of air, just as a fish needs the environment of water. Breath is the cord that binds the soul to the body. When man learns to rise above the need for breath, he ascends into the celestial realms of angels.

As he watches the course of the incoming and outgoing breath, the yogi
finds that his breath naturally slows down and calms the relatively violent action of the heart, lungs, and diaphragm.


The most overworked organ in the body is the heart, which pumps about eighteen tons of blood a day and has no restat night as the other organs have. The Hong-Sau Technique is a scientific method for resting the heart. Its practice thus increases longevity and liberates a tremendous amount of life current, which is distributed all over the body, recharging, revitalizing, and renewing all body cells and preventing their decay. This marvelous Hong-Sau Technique is one of the greatest contributions of India's spiritual science to the world: it teaches one how to lengthen the span of life, and is a simple and practical method of rising above body consciousness and realizing oneself as imortal Spirit.

In sleep we experience sensory relaxation. In death, complete relaxation
involuntarily takes place, owing to the stopping of the heart's action. If one
can learn to control the heartbeat, he can experience conscious death, as did
St. Paul ("I die daily" --I Corinthians 15 :31) and many yogis of India who have practiced this Hong-Sau Technique, and through it achieved mastery over the action of the heart. Since ancient times Indiat s great yogis have known how to leave the body voluntarily, honorably, and gladly; they were not thrown out roughly, or taken by surprise by death at the expiration of the leases on their body temples.

When the heart rests, breath becomes unnecessary. Life energy then with-
draws from the heart and sensory nerves into the spine and brain. This disconnects the telephones of the five senses, whose incessant messages from the outside world ordinarily keep the ego continually disturbed and the attention scattered. Through sensory disconnection by practice of Hong-Sau, sensations cease to arouse thoughts, which in turn cease to arouse the subconscious mind by associated thoughts. The attention thus becomes scientifically free from all distractions, and the student is ready to go on to advanced concentration and meditation practice.


Every SRF student should remember that Kriya Yoga is a science consisting
of various steps, only one of which is that special technique called Kriya Yoga
(the particular Kriya Yoga Technique that was taught by Lahiri Mahasaya and is now given through Self-Realization Fellowship) .

Hong-Sau may be called the silent Kriya Yoga. But one advantage of the
Hong-Sau exercise over Kriya is this: that one may practice it after dinner or
before dinner, in silence or among crowds; whereas Kriya Yoga should be practiced only when the stomach is empty or partially empty, and in privacy and silence. Hong-Sau may be practiced any time the mind is not engaged in outward activity and is therefore free to be interiorized. Therefore, one should practice it often, during leisure periods, as well as during one's regular meditations.

Cultivation of Hong-Sau practice during leisure periods will augment the
good effects derived from Kriya Yoga practice. Indeed, practice of the Hong-
Sau Technique should never be forsaken, even after one receives the specific
Technique called Kriya Yoga. The purpose in practicingthe Hong-Sau Technique is the same as in Kriya Yoga: to produce the divine ecstasy that deep practice of Kriya Yoga gives. The only difference between Hong-Sau and Kriya Yoga lies in the degree of speed with which the effects are derived. Twenty-four hours of prayer or meditation by any other technique (except Kriya Yoga) will not produce as much spiritual advancement as one hour's practice of Hong-Sau. Likewise, it would take twenty-four hours of deep Hong-Sau practice to produce the same spiritual result gained from one hour's practice of Kriya Yoga.

Students should not erroneously think that they have nothing effective to
work with until they have Kriya Yoga. Just as it is necessary to pass through
high school in order to enter college, so it is necessary to carry on the prac-
tice of Hong-Sau in order to get the desired result from the higher practice of
Kriya Yoga.

When a student passes from high school into college, he doesn't forget
what he learned in high school; he takes that knowledge with him and expands it in his college training. Similarly, the SRF student should by all means continue with practice of the Hong-Sau Technique, and also the technique of listening to the Cosmic Sound (Aum, or Om) --which will be given in a later Lesson --along with the practice of Kriya Yoga, when he becomes eligible to receive it, if he wants to "make the grade" and attain realization of the Infinite.


I exhale and stop the storm of breath, and the ripples of
thought melt away. The grip of the senses is loosened.
The cords of flesh are broken.



By Paramahansa Yogananda

0 Divine Gardener, till the wild soil of my mind with
the plough of Thy wisdom and sow therein the seeds of my
devotion. Under Thine unvarying vigilance, the seeds will
sprout and yield a harvest of Thy blessings.

In the wine press of my heart I will convert those
luscious blessings into the nectar of Thy love. I will fill
the spacious bottle of my soul with the aged wine of Thy
love, and I will ask all my thoughts and feelings, and all
my wisdom and intuition, to be joyous with the intoxicating
wine of Thy constant affection.

I shall never be content drinking Thee out of the cask of
silence. I want to pour Thee into the truth-thirsty mouths
of all minds. I want to drink Thee and dance with Thee.
Young and old, man and woman, all my brothers and sisters,
must drink Thee with me, for it is more thrilling to drink
Thee with others whom we love, and with all Thy children
whom we should love.

I will dance, filled with Thee, and I will dance with all
those who are saturated with Thee. We will dance with
Thee and Lady Blossoms, Mother Moon, Sister Stars, and
the Guardian Sun--all will join us in our joyous, ever new,
rhythmic dance of Eternity in cadence with the soul-melting
melody of the music of the spheres.

Ah, I will drink Thee and will dance with Thee eternally
in the ever changing scenes of time.


0 Father, teach me to breathe Thy breath
in my own breathing. Teach me to feel Thine all-
pervading life in my life. Flood my senses with Thy



Life force is the electric power in the sensory and motor  nerve telephones that makes it possible for the ego and the intelligence to receive sensations of sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell through the sensory nerves and to transmit impulses of reaction through the motor nerves. Control of the life force helps the ego to switch off the electric energy from the nerve telephones, and thus prevent the invasions of re stle s sne s s -creating, attention-enslaving sensations. To control the life force in the five sense telephones is to practice concentration scientifically. When energy is switched off from the nerve telephones, sensations are unable to snatch away the attention from its concentration upon a particular idea.

The vital essence of the body is formed of the most precious tissue and
energy of the body. Every drop of creative chemical fluid is said to contain
the concentrated essence of eight drops of blood and the electric energy that
would be contained in their thousands of blood corpuscles. Each cell of the
creative fluid is a condensed electric battery, containing a microscopic intelli-
gence. To dislodge these mental and astral storage batteries from the body
weakens the vitality of the body and the mind and makes the breath extremely restless. Myriads of atoms of life and intelligence are lodged, like encamped soldiers, in the creative chemical compound. To drive them out of the body foolishly (lured by the enemy sexual temptation) is to lose these soldiers of energy and mental power and to become a victim of the army of darkness, disease, weakness, fear, worry, dissatisfaction, melancholia, and even premature death.

The mind is the operator that controls the breath, the life force, the vital
power, and all the functions of the body. Without its guiding power, all func-
tions of the body would cease to operate. Mind-control leads to control of all
the functions of the body; but mind cannot control all of the functions of the body until it knows its own powers and the relative powers of breath, life force, and vitality in connection with itself. The person who tries to attain mind-control by harmonizing breath, life force, and vital essence, finds freedom more quickly than the per son who tries to attain mental control without the aid of controlled breath, energy, and vitality.


1.Facing east, sit erect on the edge of your bed with your feet on the floor,
or sit on an armless cushioned chair, or sit on your bed with your legs
crossed, with spine straight, chest out, abdomen in, shoulders back, chin
parallel to the floor, and hands, with palms upturned, resting on the
thighs close to the abdomen.

2. Precede the actual practice of the Hong-Sau Technique with an awakening
prayer that coincides with your desire or purpose of concentration. For
example: for wisdom, peace, and contentment, repeat the following prayer:
"Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, Bhagavan Krishna, Babaji, Lahiri
Mahasaya, Swami Sri Yukte swarji, Guru Paramahansa Yogananda,
saints of all religions, I bow to you all. Lead me from ignorance to
wisdom; from restlessness to peace; from desires to contentment. "

3. (a) Inhale slowly, counting 1 to 20.
(b) Hold the breath, counting 1 to 20.
(c) Then exhale slowly, counting 1 to 20.
Repeat this 6 to 12 times.
(d) Take a breath and tense the whole body, clenching the fists.
(e)Relax the whole body, throwing the breath out.
Repeat 6 times.

(If you cannot hold the breath with comfort for the count of 1 to 20, reduce
the number of the count accordingly. Hold the same count--whatever may
be comfortable for you--during each of the three parts of this exercise,
for example: 1 to 15 during inhalation, 1 to 15 during the holding of the
breath, and 1 to 15 during exhalation. Counting in this exercise should be
at the rate of approximately two counts per second. )

4. Then take another breath and exhale quickly, and remain without breath
as long as it will stay out without discomfort, and mentally wait for the
breath to come in. When the breath comes in of itself, mentally say,
"Hong, „ and when the breath goes out of itself, mentally say, "Sau.“
 Keep the eyes closed, or half open without winking, and gently fix the gaze
upward and inward toward the point between the eyebrows.

5. After practicing this technique deeply for ten minutes to half an hour, ex-
hale slowly and completely. Blow out of the lungs all the breath that you
possibly can and enjoy the breathless state as long as you can without dis-
comfort. Repeat three times. Then forget the breath and pray, or sit in
silence, feeling peace.


Long concentration should be preceded by practice of the Technique of Energization given on page five of  Long concentration should be preceded by practice of  the Technique of Energization given on page five of Lesson 8. Morning and evening practice of the Hong-Sau Technique of Concentration should be preceded by practice of the Recharging Exercises given in Lesson 8-A. By keeping in touch with Self -Realization Fellowship headquarters; by tuning in with the Guru in meditation and activity; by faithfully practicing each morning and night the Hong-Sau Technique of Concentration (and the other spiritual technique s that you will be taught in future Lessons); and once a week, on any day suitable to you, having a three-hour meditation period in the morning or at night, you will advance on the spiritual path.

You should accustom yourself to practicing the Hong-Sau Technique with
your eyes gently concentrated on the point between the eyebrows. DO not
strain the eyes, however. If you are not used to holding the eyes in this posi-
tion, practice some of the time with eyes half open, but most of the time with
eyes closed. While resting on your bed, lie on your back and watch the breath, mentally chanting Hong-Sau. Remember, however, that your regular practice of the technique should be in the proper, upright meditation posture. The more you practice Hong-Sau in your leisure hours, the greater will be the results. Work overtime and you will gain still better results.

When you consciously watch the breath, what happens? The heart, the
lungs and diaphragm gradually calm down and their muscles ultimately, during a long deep silence, ref rain from their otherwise constant motion. Thus the normal processes of decay are stopped throughout the system; then no more venous blood need be pumped by the heart into the lungs. When the heart does not pump blood, the lungs do not have to expand to receive oxygen; then the breath ceases to flow: you are temporarily living directly from Cosmic Energy entering through the medulla oblongata.

It is always a good plan to drive out toxins before beginning Hong-Sau
practice. By first practicing the inhalation and exhalation exercises (page 3),
the yogi burns out the carbon in the venous blood and decay is partially stopped. You will notice that after deeply practicing this technique of inhalation and exhalation for a long time, when you throw the breath out you have no desire to breathe in again for some time. You can remain longer in the breathless state then than if you tried breathlessness immediately after restlessness.


 Death is simply involuntary complete relaxation. The medulla oblongata, through which life enters the human body, controls the heart. The heart, in turn, is the switch that controls all five sense telephones of sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell. Sensations cannot reach the brain of their own accord; the sensory messages from the eyes, nose, ears, skin, and tongue are carried to the brain by the telephone wires of sensory nerves. When the jangling of incoming 'tcalls't is stopped, thoughts do not arise, and when thoughts do not arise, associated memory thoughts do not bother the brain. When you sit upright, relaxed in the meditation posture, and practice Hong-Sau, the production of decay and waste is slowed down in the muscles and limbs. And as soon as, by the practice of this technique, energy is withdrawn from the sensory and motor nerves, muscles, limbs, and the heart, no sensory impressions can register on the switchboard of the brain to disturb the operator's attention and coax it to rouse thoughts. This is the time your attention is free to be concentrated upon problems, creative ideas, or God.

After scientifically freeing the attention from objects of distraction, learn
to concentrate upon any one thing, or upon God. You know now that that form of concentration in which you disengage your attention from the sense telephones and turn it upon God is called "meditation. "
You can concentrate upon money or upon God, but you meditate only upon God. Further instruction in meditation, and how to meditate upon an unknown God, will be explained in future lessons.


The moon's reflection in a whirling water-filled pot looks ruffled, but the
moon is not distorted; it is the disturbed water that produces the illusion.
Calm the water int he pot, and you will find the perfect, undistorted image of the moon. Likewise, no matter how the all-powerful, perfect image of God is
distorted by the oscillations of our firm wrong convictions, if we can learn to
calm our mental waves of thoughts by the magic wand of concentration, then
we will behold in our mental mirror our perfect, all-conquering soul ability.
Our mental restlessness and lack of conviction are solely responsible for the
distortions of the perfect image in us. Our celestial abilities lie within us un-
harmed; it is the waves of our environment-grown wrong convictions and subconscious bad habits that make the powerful soul image in us appear distorted.


Long ago there lived in India an ascetic who spent his days on the peaceful
banks of the holy Ganges. Years passed in deep contemplation, but the spiri-
tual aspirant found that, although he was surrounded by a celestial environmd of beautiful scenery and good people, of good books and devotional temple services, his mind nevertheless dwelt on harming and robbing people. The more he tried to ward off by meditation these uninvited thoughts, the more they made forceful inroads into his peace.

At last he vowed: "I will not stop praying until I find definite release from
these disturbing thoughts which stab my peace during meditation. "

One hour passed, two hours passed, and still the bandits of restlessness
kept piercing the ascetic's meditation. Finally, at the end of three hours, the
disturbing thoughts suddenly vanished from his mind; and in their stead he beheld a beautiful vision of a saint standing lifelike before him.

This radiant saint not only appeared to be living but spoke with celestial
softness: "Son, in a former life you were a bad man, but before you died you
resolved to be good. That is why you were born in this life with a holy resolution to be good--and also with bad thoughts which you harbored in your past life. It is a shame that amidst the holy surroundings of the Ganges, and with good friends and regular meditation, you have been living in the inferno of inward restlessness. "

The saint went on after a gentle pause: "According to the decree necessitated by the past actions of your previous life, and because you have not made
a greater effort to live peacefully in your present spiritual surroundings, it is
metaphysically ordained that unless you work very hard at meditation now, at death you will have to choose between living in heaven with ten fools, or living in Hades with one wise man. Which of the two do you prefer?

The spiritual aspirant replied: "I prefer to live in Hades with one wise
man, for I know from my own experience that ten fools would make a Hades of heaven. Whereas, I believe that if I were with one real wise man, even in the stygian darkness of Hades, he would help me to make heaven of it. "

If you have a peaceful, heavenly home but are constantly fighting with
your family and friends, you are living in a self-created Hades. On the other
hand, no matter what inharmonious surrounding you may have, if you meditate, or at least sit in silence for a few minutes every day, and live in harmony with your inner Self, you will always live in heaven and will carry your own portable paradise everywhere.


I will acquire divinely deep concentration
and then use its unlimited power
to meet life's God-given demands.



By Paramahansa Yogananda

On the altar of silence we lay the flowers of our devo-
tion, 0 Lord of Silence. He who humbly twinkles through
the stars, breathes through our breath, circulates through
our blood, talks through our hearts, is the same Spirit
who is the light of lights. He is ours. To Him we give
our utmost devotion.

Father, teach us to contact Thee. Teach us to pray
with devotion. Teach us to demand Thy presence. Teach
us to feel united with Thee. No more mechanical prayers,
no more empty words, but the humble devotion of our souls
we offer Thee.

With the language of our souls we demand Thy presence,
for Thy presence is our wealth, wisdom, and devotion--Thou
art the essence of everything ! and we are Thy children.
Take away the nightmare of evil that engulfs us when we are
not awake in Thee.

Father, we are awake in Thy presence. Thou art the
light. Make us feel Thee and Thy presence in every fiber
of our being, in every wisp of thought.

Father, twinkle Thy light through our thoughts and
our beings. Strengthen us! Make us realize that we are
Immortal and teach us to follow the one highway that leads
to Thee. Awaken our souls! Awaken our hearts, which
need to know Thee. Be with us! We are one with Thee.


0 Spirit, beloved Father, Over soul of the universe,
Spirit of spirits, Friend of friends, teach me the mystery
of my existence! Teach me to worship Thee in breathlessness.



 Persons unacquainted with the facts are often fearful of all breathing exercises. The great Hindu masters warned only against the practice of violent breathing exercises by persons w ith weak lungs; they urged truth seekers in general to follow the guidance of a competent teacher if engaging in any type of breathing exercises.

So, just as salads should not be tabooed for all people because those with
ulcerated stomachs cannot eat them, so also healthful breathing exercises
should not be condemned for all when it is only those persons who have dis-
eased or unusually weak lungs who should not practice them. You can laugh at anyone who tells you that all breathing exercises are dangerous. Everyone is ordained by Nature to perform one perpetual "breathing exercise" no matter whether his lungs are good or bad. Violent breathing exercises are dangerous, of course; for they can cause trouble even to apparently strong lungs if there is any inherent weakness there. Cast out all fear when you practice the simple, extremely beneficial breathing exercises that SeLf-Realization Fellowship recommends. ,


If you are starving for oxygen because of improper  body posture, you need to breathe deeply and to breathe properly. A person who sits with a bent
spine and walks with a caved-in chest squeezes the diaphragm and lungs and
prevents them from properly expanding and receiving the amount of oxygen
necessary to cleanse all the devitalized blood in the lungs. When the lungs and diaphragm do not expand properly, not enough oxygen is brought to the blood. Thus toxin-laden venous blood in the walls of the alveolar sacs of the lungs remains unpurified and is carried back into the system in this condition. If you sit and walk with the chest out and the abdomen in, you will take in the proper quantity of oxygen; all your dark venous blood will be changed into bright red blood as a fresh supply of vitality is poured into your system.

If you want to re st the body it is better to lie on your back on a hard bed than
to sit slumped in a chair with the spine crooked and the lungs squeezed. Use
planks on your bed instead of springs, and put a spring mattress on top. This
insures a straight yet soft bed, without endangering your health by bending
your spine as a too-soft and springy bed does.


Eating is necessary if you are starved for food; deep breathing is necessary if you are starved for oxygen. But as continuous eating is unnecessary when you have food in your system, so continuous breathing is unnecessary if your blood contains a minimum of impurities, owing to right habits of eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and a minimurn of starch. Many
people breathe hard because they have much waste material in their systems.

Calm people breathe less, while restless types, who as a rule eat starches and meat to excess, tend to breathe like bellows. Their life force and mind are kept constantly busy with the physical functions of breathing and with the heaviness and restlessness of the flesh.

If you are calm there is less motion in your body. As a result there will
be less decay in your body and you will need to breathe vety little; it
is possible for an advanced yogi to remain without breath most of the time. If you breathe rapidly, the heartbeat will be very fast. When you run you breathe rapidly and your heartbeat accelerates.

Decay in the cells of muscles and some organs can be partially arrested
by making the body motionless, but assimilative, circulatory, eliminative
and other activities are still going on in the internal organs. Breathlessness
and relaxation of the internal organs free the mind so that it can concentrate
upon the soul. The higher you go in the study ad practice of Self-Realization
Fellowship instructions, the more slowly you will breathe. Never forget this
truth: Breath is the cord that ties the soul to the flesh!


Even though one's lungs may be perfectly healthy,  it is extremely unwise to hold the breath in the lungs to the point of discomfort. When the oxygen supply is used up, the pent-up carbon dioxide seeks vainly to escape. Because the oxygen supply has been exhausted, the incoming dark blood cannot be purified, and keeps on accumulating in the capillaries of the lungs, causing them to expand until they are ready to burst. The result is a suffocating pain.

To hold the breath forcibly in weak or diseased lungs obviously would be
injurious. Persons with weak lungs should simply concentrate on breathing
properly, by keeping the body straight. They should be cured before attempt-
ing to breathe deeply. Deep breathing is not necessary for such persons until
their lungs become strong. Everyone should learn to breathe correctly by
always keeping the spine straight.

However, you cannot kill yourself by holding the breath too long in the
lungs. Nature made the wise provision that when the venous blood strikes
back toward the heart from the overfilled lungs, the heart palpitates and fret-
fully shoots its life current back to the medulla oblongata. The medulla is
shocked, producing unconsciousness. Then breathing automatically starts

You can, however, injure the lungs and heart by foolishly holding the
breath. When dark venous blood has filled the lungs to capacity, it tries to
push back through the pulmonary arteries into the heart. This may result in
pains in the heart or in leakage of valves, or in injury to the overexpanded
lungs. Therefore you should never listen to anyone who tells you to hold your
breath in the lungs for a long time, or to practice violent breathing exercises.


1. In doing the Hong-Sau exercise, do not force the breath in and out. Breathe naturally, merely watching i.e., being aware of, the incoming and outgoing breath, mentally chanting "Hong“ and „Sau.“ Whether the  breath remains in the lungs or flows out, .always wait until it Rows naturally again.

2. Remember that the purpose of this practice is to lengthen naturally the
intervals when the breath does not flow. If as you mentally chant "Hong"
the breath goes in naturally and does not flow out immediately, wait and
enjoy the state of breathlessness. When the breath comes out again, mentally chant "Sau. " If the breath goes out and stays out, enjoy that state of breathlessness until the breath wants to flow in again. Then chant "Hong" as it does so.

3. The breath should be expelled deliberately first, as a cue to begin practice properly with an incoming breath and the mental chanting of "Hong. "
In ordinary breathing you are seldom aware of whether you are inhaling
or exhaling the breath.

4. Do not regulate the breath in order to chant in a definite rhythm. Let the
mental chant follow the natural desire of the breath to flow in and out.

5. Concentrate upon the intervals when the breath does not flow, without
forcing this quiet breathless state.

6. By watching the breath, you erase metaphysically the identification of the
soul with the breath and the body. By watching the breath, you separate
your ego from it and know that your body is sustained only partially by breath.

7. When you tense and relax the body and throw out the breath before Hong-
Sau practice, you halt motion and the resulting process of decay in the
cells of the muscles, but not in those of the internal organs--the heart,
lungs, diaphragm, and so on. As you watch the breath during Hong-Sau
practice, breathing becomes rhythmic and calm; the heart is quieted. A
restless and worried mind increases heart action; a quiet mind calms
the heart action. Any flare of feeling increases heart action. A heaving
breath also increases heart action, while quiet breathing calms the heart.
By watching the breath calmly, you cause both the breath and the mind to
become calm. A calm mind and breath slow down and quiet the motion
of the heart, diaphragm, and lungs.

When, by relaxing and casting out the breath, motion is simultaneously
stopped in the muscles and inner organs, the life energy that ordinarily is
expended in pumping blood through the heart--which means moving a total
weight of eighteen tons every twenty-four hours--retires to the spine and is
distributed instead to the millions of body cells. This energy electrifies the
cells and prevents their decay, making them like self-sustaining batteries.
The cells do not then require oxygen or food chemicals to sustain life, because they do not need them to repair the damage of decay. And when decay is arrested in the outer and inner organs the blood does not accumulate impurities; hence it does not need to be pumped back to the heart and into the lungs for purification by the oxygen inhaled in the breath.

When by watching the breath the yogi does away with outer and inner
motion (in the muscles and inner organs) and prevents the creation and increase of venous blood in the system, he temporarily accomplishes two

1. decreases the necessity of living by breath;
2. decreases the rate of heart action.
When man can live more by the "Word of God" (Cosmic Energy) and less
by "bread" or breath, and can control the heart, his body battery will be internally charged with Cosmic Energy, and it w'll not need to depend so much upon the outer sources of life (food, liquids, and gases).

You have now learned the following points about the value of practicing the
Hong-Sau Technique :

a. It enables the body cells to brim over with life force.
b. It stops decay in outer and inner organs.
c. It slows heart action, giving rest to this vital organ.
d. It calms the heart, which then switches off the energy in the five sense telephones of touch, smell, taste, hearing, and sight. The medulla heart is the secondary switchboard of the senses. oblongata is the main switch.
e. It frees the body from slavery to breath.
f. It reduces breathing to a minimum. Hence its repeated use is con-
ducive to longevity when one wants to remain long in the body house.

When the life force and the consciousness are withdrawn from the five
sense telephones, the sensations of sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch
cannot reach the brain through the nerve telephone wires. When sensations
stop registering in the brain, the conceptions and associated ideas resulting
from them cease. It is then that the mind, or the attention, becomes free to
contemplate any particular object, or God,


If you have good lungs, but suspect that you are not supplying your body
with enough oxygen, the following exercise will be found beneficial:

1. With mild force make two short exhalations of breath through the
mouth, creating a breathy sound, "huh,
huh. „(This exhalation clears the lungs of poisonous carbon dicxide. )

2. Draw fresh air in through your nostrils, counting 1 to 20 slowly.

3. Hold breath, counting 1 to 20.

4. Slowly exhale, counting 1 to 20.

(Counting in this and other breathing exercises should be at a rate of
approximately two counts per second. )

Repeat the above exercise twelve times, three times a day in the open air,
or more if you find itparticularly beneficial. The count may be less than
twenty, or more, according to individual comfort and capacity.


Feel that you are everything and beyond everything. Concentrate all your
energy at the point between the eyebrows. Breathe slowly. When the breath
is calm, expel breath and forget it. Behold within your forehead the luminous
light. That light is spreading ! It is increasing, swallowing up your body and
all space. Space has become a burning ball of searless flame. You are that,
This ball of flame is very joyous. You are this flame of bliss that has melted
everything in it. Meditate on that.



"Through meditation I shall stop the storm of breath,
mental restlessness, and sensory disturbances that rage over
the lake of my mind. "

Paramahansa Yogananda


1. Sit in the meditation posture, with spine erect. The hands, with palms upturned, should rest comfortably on the thighs where they join the abdomen. This position helps to check any tendency of the torso to lean forward.

2. With the eyelids either closed or half open, turn the eyes upward so that
the gaze converges at the Christ-consciousness center or spiritual eye in the forehead between the eyebrows.

3. Mentally watch, i. e., become aware of, the continuous inhalation and
exhalation of the breath with the same detachment that you would feel
if observing another's breathing. Do not attempt to regulate the flow
of the breath in any way; merely observe it. This practice helps you
to transfer the sense of I-ness away from the body; and to become,
like the soul, a "silent witness" of bodily activities.

4. As the breath flows in, mentally (not audibly) say "Hong." As it flows out
again, mentally say "Sau ." ("Hong" and "Sau" are two sacred Sanskrit
chant words possessing an astral vibratory connection with the incoming and outgoing breath; a literal translation is "I am He. ")

5. During any intervals when the breath may cease of its own accord to flow,
concentrate on and enjoy the peace you feel during that breathless state.


I. Prior to the practice of the technique of concentration, practice the SRF
Recharging Exercises (Lesson 8-A) to free the body of inharmonies and local tensions.

2. Establish yourself comfortably inthe meditationposture, and then sit
very still. Don't move a muscle. Try consciously to relax each part of the body; make a mental check every now and then throughout your practice to be sure the body is really relaxed.

3. Before starting Hong-Sau, practice the following breathing exercises six
to twelve times:

Inhale to a count of 20; hold the breath to a count of 20;
exhale to a count of 20.

If 20 is too long a count for you, then inhale, hold, and exhale the breath to a lesser count. Whatever the count, it should be the same for inhalation, for holding the breath, and for exhalation.

4. After practicing the breathing routine described in the preceding paragraph, inhale, tense the entire body, throw the breath out (i. e., expel
the breath in a double exhalation, "huh, huh") and relax. Repeat this exercise six times. It is a wonderful preparation for the practice of the Hong-Sau Concentration Technique.

5. Offer a prayer from your heart to God and the Gurus.

6. Keep the mind calm. This is important for successful practice.

7. With the eyelids still closed (or half open), keep looking upward throughout the practice of the technique. It is necessary to check yourself on this because the eyes have a tendency to lower their gaze after a time.

8. Throw the breath out before beginning the concentration technique, so that you can start with the incoming breath and the chant word "Hong.

9. If you have difficulty in remembering to chant "Hong „with the incoming
breath and "Sau" with the outgoing breath, the following practice may
be found helpful. Move the right index finger toward the palm of the
hand when the breath flows in; when the breath flows out again, let the
finger resume its original relaxed position. The slight physical movement of the finger has nothing to do with the technique itself; it serves
merely as a memory jog for keeping the correct sequence in chanting
"Hong" and "Sau.“

10. Calmly watch the breath; have no care whether it flows in or out or not
at all. Do not in any way use mental will or force to hold the breath, or to send it out or in.

11. Chant "Hong" and "Sau"
mentally only. Don't move the tongue, mouth, or
throat while practicing. (It is necessary to make a point of not doing
so, as one can easily move these parts without realizing it. )

12. Let the chant follow the natural impulse of the breath to flow in and out.
Don't regulate the breath to conform to the chant. (One often tends to do this unconsciously. )

13. Be keenly attentive to what you are doing; concentrate on the breath, the
chant, and the feeling of peace that comes with the correct practice
of this exercise.

14. Particularly enjoy, during the intervals between each inflowing and out-
flowing of breath, the peace of breathlessness. Never force it, or attempt to extend it by any exertion of will.

15. Practice a long time for best results.

16. At the end of the practice, expel all breath from the lungs and enjoy the
breathless state for as long as you can without discomfort. Repeat three times.

17. To get up immediately after practicing this or any other SRF concentra-
tion technique is like kicking over a pail that you have just filled with milk. Sit and pray a long time afterward, or go deep in meditation to expand your awakened awareness of God's presence.


Breath is the cord that ties my soul to
the body. In breathlessness I find my soul
free to unite with Thine Omnipresence
 within and beyond my body. The storm of breath
causes ripples of sensations and thoughts. I
will stop the storm of breath that the lake of
my mind may reflect the perfect image of Thy face.



By Paramahansa Yogananda

Come Thou, 0 Mystic Electrician! My little soul cottage
 by the brook of life is in need of repairs.

The nerve wiring has been shaken and torn
by the winds of the years. The multihued lamps
of my senses are no longer effulgent.

0 Builder of Bodies, 0 Divine Dynamo of
all cosmic currents of life force! resurrect
the deadened wires of my wrecked nerves and
infuse them with Thy power, that my senses
gleam again with Thy glory.

I am the bulb and Thou art the Light within
it. The truth and the miracle is this:
Thou art the Bulb and the Light.

-From "Whispers from Eternity"


0 Divine Mother, heal the shattered nerves and flood the disease-clouded bulb of flesh with the divine effulgence of Thy light.



Restless mind vibrating through the nerves is called nervousness.

Nervousness appears to be a simple ailment, but in reality it is very
complicated and uncomfortable. If you are nervous, it is difficult to bring
about healing of any disease you may have. If you are nervous, you cannot
concentrate and work efficiently to attain success. If you are nervous, you
cannot meditate deeply to acquire peace and wisdom. In fact, nervousness
interferes with all the normal functions of the human body and mind, upset-
ting the physical, mental, and spiritual machinery.

The body may be compared to a factory in which many kinds of products
are made by various machines that are run by electricity conducted through
wires from a main dynamo. In the body-factory, the brain is the main dynamo that sends energy through a complicated system of special conductors, or nerves, to the different organs and members. These in turn act as machines
to produce vision, touch, hearing, taste, smell, movement, metabolism,
circulation, breathing, and thought. When electric wires in a factory are
burned out, they can be replaced by the electrician; but you have been given
only one nervous system to carry on the vital functions in the body-factory.
If the nerve-wires are burned out, you can do nothing to replace them. You
are the manager of your own body-factory, and you must see to it that its
departments work together in perfect harmony, and produce the highest class of products--physical, mental, and spiritual.


Nervousness may be caused by restlessness of the  mind, which sends extra energy vibrating along the nerves. Other causes of nervousness are great and
continual excitement, whether it be excessive stimulation of the senses, as
in pleasure seeking, drinking, wrong eating, overeating, faulty elimination,
overactivity, or sexual indulgence; following the modern speed mania; or
emotional ove rstimulation, such as long-continued fear, anger, melancholy,
remorse, sorrow, hatred, discontent, or worry. Lack of any of the necessities for normal and happy living (such as proper exercise, fresh air, sunshine, right food, agreeable work, and a purpose in life) aggravates, if it does not actually cause, a condition of nervousness. This condition is highlycontagious and may be "caught" by association with nervous, faultfinding, or otherwise disagreeable people.

The emotions that do most damage to the nerves are fear, worry, and The emotions that do most damage to the nerves are fear, worry, and
anger. Constant fear affects the heart and may result in palpitation and other
heart troubles. Worry and anger affect the brain as well as the rest of the
body, and lessen brain power and general efficiency. Fear and worry are
very closely connected. Worry is usually caused by a fear that something we
consider undesirable is going to happen, although the thing we fear practical-
ly never does happen. Volumes can and have been written on the subject of
worry. All that will be said here is that a calm analysis of the cause will
usually remove it.

Any violent or continued mental or physical excitement cause s a disturb-
ance of the balance in the flow of life force through the sensory-motor mech-
anism (the sensory, or afferent, nerves and the motor, or efferent, nerves)
and the bulbs of the senses. It is as if you put a current caused by 2000 volts through an ordinary 120 V incandescent lamp. It would burn out the lamp. Similarly, too great a stimulation upsets the functioning of the nervous system.

Then, too, there are both physical and mental causes of disturbance in
the chemical balance of the body. The resulting discomfort sends a message
through the nerves to the brain. Too much living on the physical plane saps
the life force and the vitality. Every time you become angry or afraid you
generate the secretion of poison in the body. Its caustic effect may ultimate-
ly burn out the nerves.


 Stage fright is another form of fear that causes nervous ness in many people, so that they are unable to act in a natural manner before others. If you are shy and have stage fright, quiet your mind and remember that all the power you need is within you, all the power to convince people, all the power to give the direct truth. The particular kind of truth that you want to give is in the Infinite Spirit, which functions through you.

Overcome stage fright as follows:

1. By getting used to talking to groups.

2. By imagining whenever you give a talk that you are addressing
an empty hall, or that you are talking to children or very simple people.

If you really desire to help and serve people, to make them happy, to
give them some spiritual power that will electrify their souls, you have noth-
ing to fear. You will be able to do it. Why be afraid of people when you can
give enthusiasm, inspiration, and wisdom to them? Let God flow through
you, and you will have all the power you need.

(The subject of stage fright is taken up in detail in Lesson 63. )


 Fear of death is born of the greatest ignorance, and paralyzes activity, thought, and ambition. Death should be looked upon as something good- -a new opportunity, a re st from the weary struggle on this earth. If you have made a mess of life, God sends relief in the form of death, and gives you a fresh trial. Besides, there is nothing to fear, because so long as you are not dead, you are alive; and when you are dead, it is all over and there is nothing then to worry about. Death is a universal experience, a change that everyone passes through. Live today well and the next step will take care of itself. Console yourself with the thought that death comes to everybody--sinner or saint--and that therefore it must be some sort of a holiday from the troublesome business of life.


Associate with strong, happy, serene, kind, and spiritual  people. This is of great benefit to the mentally or emotionally nervous person. Even a few moments in the company of a saint can work wonders in producing calmness and quiet. A real holy man acts as a spiritual raft to carry you over the sea of trials and suffering.

Do not seek knowledge only through intellectuality, allowing the soul to
remain in the darkness of spiritual ignorance. It is sad that many per sons
who know the way to peace and permanent happiness are slow to take advantage of their knowledge and follow it. They take the SRF Lessons and forget. Make use of your opportunity for spiritual development.

Criticize and reform yourself. That is where your greatest problem lies.
Affirm divine calmness and peace, and send out only thoughts of love and good will if you want to live in peace and harmony. Live a godly life yourself and everyone who crosses your path will be helped just by being with you.


To be controlled by moods is to be a part of matter. If you keep your
mind on the resolve never to lose your peace, you can attain godliness. Keep
a secret chamber of silence within yourself, where you will not let moods,
trials, battles, or inharmony enter. Keep out all hatred, revengefulness,
and desires. In this chamber of peace, God will visit you.

Though you must remain in the world, be not of the world. Real yogis
can talk and mingle with people, but all the while their minds are rapt in God.


In a little niche on the breast of a mountain, a God-knowing saint abided
in dreams of happiness. From the incense-vase of his heart fervent prayers
floated heavenward in spirals of deep sincerity. At the singular touch of
those fragrant soul-pouring s, the All-Knowing Silence breathed joy. A cease -
less exchange of unspoken invisible missives passed between the Great Omniscience and this beloved devotee, whose every prayer was visibly granted by the All-Satisfying Commander of all destinies.

One day, as the saint sat in the chamber of ec sta sy communing with God,
he prayed: "Beloved of all souls, grant me some mundane riches that I may
fulfill my desire to build on this hillside a big temple in Your honor. "

The Great One intimated to His devotee, through the tableau of a vision,
that he should see the king of his state. Emerging from the portals of silence,
the saint prepared himself for the journey to his vision-directed de stination.

After several hours of pleasant wandering through blossoming woodlands
he found himself walking the noisy, matter-vibrating streets of a city. When
he came to the palace of the king he inquired of the gatekeeper the whereabouts of His Majesty. "The King is offering his prayers in the city mosque; you can visit him there,“ came the reply from behind the barred gate.

The saint, after questioning many a passerby (and after quite a few detours!) at last found his way to the city's monumental mosque. He entered
and knelt on an empty place on the alabaster floor near the king. Just as the
saint closed his eyes to pray the thought came to him: "I am at last in the
presence of the King, who is very rich and powerful. In all probability he has
had his every desire crowned with fulfillment. I am sure he does not have to
ask for anything from anyone. I am glad I have come for financial aid to one
who does not beg. "

Even as the saint was thinking this, his attention was suddenly caught by
the whispered prayers coming from the royal lips. The devotee listened rapt-
ly, expecting a royal prayer from a royal being. But to his amazement he
heard the following words: "Heavenly Father, Possessor of all the glittering
planets, arcana, paradise, and earth, please grant me more riches and make
me more powerful than all other kings. Give me more territory to annex to
my empire. "

Stunned and disillusioned, the saint said to himself disgustedly, "What a joke!" He began to laugh uproariously, and with a scornful look at the king,
he cried out: "Ha! I am satisfied. I sought out a king, but I find only a beg-
gar here. I must get away from this place. " He started to walk away from
the mosque.

His outburst had broken up the prayer meeting, however, and the King
followed him, wrathfully shouting, "Ar re st the blaspheming imp0
ster ! "
saint stopped and looked back at the king, then fell to laughing again. Cour-
ti er s and citizens protectively surrounded the angry monarch. However,
seeing that threats were of no avail against the fearlessly laughing holy man,
the king composed himself and with folded hands knelt down before the saint and gently entreated him: "Pray, will you satisfy my great curiosity as to
the cause of your laughter and strange antics during the services?"

The saint parried with a question: "Do you make the same request in your prayer every day? " "Why, yes, " said the king. The saint laughingly
began to explain: "I came to you for some financial help to build a temple.
The king interrupted. "Of course! I will grant you that. But why did you
laugh at me in the service and then leave ?“

"Your Highness, the saint replied, "when I heard you pray for more
opulence and territory, I saw that you are nothing more than a beggar--a king
of beggars ! I do not choose to ask anything of the biggest beggar I have ever
met! No, thank you! I am going back to my mountain cave and to my Beloved
who is waiting for me in the temple of ec stasy. And when I meet Him again,
I am going to chide Him for sending me to a beggar for financial assistance,
when He is the richest, the only King of the Cosmos, who has everything, and
who does not need to supplicate anyone for anything.“

This story offers a golden sermon to those who vainly seek to quench the
thirst of their desires on the desert of limitations. This earth may have a
few oases momentarily satisfying to our soul thirsts; but the eternal spring of
all-satisfying divine nectar lies beneath the rocks of our indifference. They
must be continuously hewn with the pickax of devotion until they allow a celestial flood to flow through us, quenching all the unslaked soul-thirst of incarnations, forever and forever.


Today I will open the door of my calmness
and let the footsteps of silence enter
the temple of all my activities.



By Paramahansa Yogananda

I shall be a Niagara Falls, my joy thundering
in a ceaseless cascade. The powerful flood will
sweep away the heavy logs of other s' difficulties.

I shall be a tornado of laughter, toppling the
timbers and towers of sorrow. Zooming over
endless miles of mentalities, I shall demolish
their troubles.

I shall be lightning flashes in the night, breath-
takingly bringing to view the panorama of Thy
beauty--long hidden by the darkness of unseeing

I shall be moonbeams of bliss, banishing
melancholy from the earth.

I shall be rays of light, putting to flight the
gloom that lurks in recesses of human thought.
Through Thy grace the sudden shafts of wisdom
will dispel error accumulations of countless centuries.

--From "Whispers from Eternity"


Thou art sacred perennial joy; Thou art the joy I seek; Thou art
the lasting joy of the soul. Teach me to worship Thee through the
joy born of meditation and doing good, and not through pleasures
born of the misguided senses.


Although happiness depends to some extent upon external conditions, it
depends chiefly upon conditions of the inner mind. In order to be ideally happy one must have good health, an efficient mind, a prosperous life, the right kind of work and, above all, an all-round, all-accomplishing wisdom.

Without inner happiness, one may be a prisoner of sorrows in a sumptuous
castle. Happiness is not dependent upon success and wealth alone; real happine ss depends upon struggling against the failures, difficulties, and problems of life with an acquired attitude of unshakable inner happiness. To be satisfied with outward happiness, or material pleasures, defeats the search for bliss. True happiness comes by being inwardly happy fir st and at all times, while struggling one's utmost to uproot the outer causes of unhappiness.


We can never be lastingly happy until we learn to seek satisfaction in spiritual progress and to guard happiness from all the influences that tend to destroy it. Even if you attain the perfect material conditions of which you dream, happiness would not come as a result; but, through spiritual progress, you can attain inner joy even while living fully and experiencing
all the moods and activities of the average life.

No matter what you are doing, keep the undercurrent of happiness, the
secret river of joy, flowing beneath the sands of your various thoughts and the rocky soil of your hard trials. Learn to be secretly happy within your heart in spite of all circumstances, and say to yourself:

"Happiness is the greatest divine birthright --the
buried treasure of my soul. Having found it at last, I
shall be secretly rich beyond the dreams of kings. "

If the soul becomes completely engrossed in lesser pleasures, it fails to
be attentive to the investigation of superior lasting happiness. Many per sons
reason that renunciation of material pleasures is almost an impossibility in
the business world. But the average man is not advised to hide away in the jungle in order to find peace. He should learn rather to be in the world and
yet not of it. He must be positive about his spiritual goal, and then take care
not to so blind himself with material pleasures that he fails to continue to
enjoy the vision of superior pleasures.


 Don't make unhappiness a chronic habit. It is anything but pleasant to be unhappy: to be happy is a blessing to yourself and to others. Since it is easy to wear a silver smile or to pour out happiness through your voice, why scatter unhappiness around you by being grouchy? It is never too late to learn. You are as old as your chronic thoughts, and you are as young as you feel now, in spite of your age.

Ignorant people, like animals, disregard the lessons that accompany pain
and pleasure, and thus live lives checkered with sadness and sorrow. They
do not avoid the actions that lead to suffering, and do not follow the paths that lead to happiness. Then there are people who all their lives are consciously over sensitive to the glad or sad experiences of life. Lacking balance, such people are usually crushed by sorrow and overwhelmed by joy. Even after burning their fingers in the fire of ignorance-born experiences, very few people learn to avoid misery-making acts.

Everyone wishes to be happy, yet very few persons make the necessary
effort to adopt a course of action that leads to happiness. Most people, while
idly wishing for the strength and ability to climb the peak of happiness, instead keep rolling down the hill of life. Lacking imagination, they do not forsee the result of their folly. It remains for some terrible nightmare of experience to awaken them to their error. But those whose enthusiasm for happiness survive s the crash to the depths of sadness and disillusionment do wake up and begin to seek in earnest for the lasting joy that comes from inner soul-knowledge.

A man sliding down the path of evil tendencies finds no resistance; but as
soon as he tries to oppose his wrong habits by following spiritual laws of self-
discipline, he finds countless instinctive temptations roused to fight and fre-
quently to foil, his noble efforts.

Cure your self of evil (i.e. , happiness-killing) habits by cauterizing them
with the opposite good habits. If you have the bad habit of telling lies, and by
so doing have lost many friends, start the opposite good habit of telling the truth. Of course it takes time to form either a good habit or a bad one, because at first it is difficult for a bad person to be good--or for a good person
to be bad--but remember, once you become habitually good, it will be natural
and easy for you to be good. Likewise, if you cultivate an evil habit, you will
often seem to be compelled to be evil in spite of your desire to the contrary.
You will have to pray to the Heavenly Father for aid, telling Him: "Father,
my spirit is willing, but my flesh is weak. "


Your individual happiness depends to a large extent upon pro tecting yourself and your family from the evil results of gossiping. See no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil, feel no evil. Most people can talk about others for hours, and are as stimulated by poisonous gossip as by intoxicating wine. Is it not strange that such persons can easily, joyously, and with caustic criticism talk about the faults of others for hours, yet cannot endure at all any reference to their own faults ?

The next time you are tempted to talk about the moral and mental wicked-
ness of another person, immediately begin to talk loudly about your own mental and moral wickedness and keep it up for just five minutes. If it hurts you to talk about your own faults, you certainly should feel more hurt when saying unkind, harmful things about others. Train yourself, and by word and example train each member of your family, to refrain from talking about others. "Judge not, that ye be not judged" (Matthew 7:l)

You do not help a man by giving publicity to his weaknesses. Instead you
make him either wrathful or discouraged, perhaps for the remainder of his
life, so that he gives up trying to be good. When you take away a person's
sense of dignity by openly maligning him, you make him desperate.

When a man is down, he is only too well aware of his own wickedness. By
destructive criticism you push him still deeper into the mire of despondency.
Instead of gossiping about him, you should pull him out with loving, encouraging words. Only when it is asked should spiritllal
and moral advice be given to others. To your own children and loved ones, however, you may offer friendly, humble suggestions at any time, and thus strive to help them to overcome any sense of secrecy or sensitivity to criticism.


 Make your home a valley of smiles instead of a vale of  tears. Smile now! Never mind how hard it has been for you to do so. Smile now! If you will remember all the time to smile now, you will smile always. However, a mechanical smile will not do. Your smile should be a reflection of your inner soul state of ever new joy.

Some people smile most of the time, while beneath the mask of laughter
they hide sorrow-corroded hearts. Such people slowly pine away behind a
screen of meaningless smiles. But there are other people who smile genuine -
ly once in a while, yet are very serious at other times; behind their austere
appearance are secret fountains of laughing peace.

Happiness is a state of mind. Suppose you have enjoyed good health for
fifty years then become helplessly sick for three years. You would likely for-
ge t about the long period of time when you laughed at the idea of sickness,
being unable to imagine yourself in poor health. Instead, after having been
sick for three years your mind would be unable to imagine your being in good health once more; it would tend instead to harbor the thought that you will never be well again,

Likewise, if after having been happy for a long time you become unhappy,
even for a comparatively short time, you are apt to lose hope of ever being
happy again. This mood also is the result of lack of imagination. The memory of long-continued happiness should be a forceful subconscious habit to help you ward off the consciousness of your present trouble.

When wealth only is lost, nothing is really lost, for if one has health and
skill one can still be happy, and one can make more money. But if health is
lost, then to a great extent happiness also is lost; and when the goal of life (which is happiness) is lost, everything worthwhile is gone.

Pure love, sacred joy, poetic imagination, kindness, wisdom, peace, the
bliss of meditation, and happiness in serving, are felt inwardly first in the
mind or the heart, and their beneficial effects are then transmitted by the nervous system throughout the body and thence outward. Do not camouflage the joy of your soul with the veil of sermons and solemn words. Understand and experience the superior joys of the interior life; then everyone around you will feel and benefit from the pure joy that emanate s silently from within your soul.


The joyous rays of the soul can be perceived if you interiorize your attention. This can be done by using your mind to enjoy the beautiful scenery of thoughts in the invisibye intangible kingdom within you. Do not search for
happiness only in beautiful clothe s, clean house s, delicious dinners, and soft
cushions and chairs. These can imprison your happiness behind bars of ex-
ternality. Rather, in the airplane of your interior visualization, glide over
the vast tracts that comprise the limitless empire of thoughts. There behold
the mountain ranges of unbroken, lofty, spiritual aspirations. If you have
made up your mind to find joy within yourself, sooner or later you will find it.

The nemesis of darkness must be driven away by the burning light of
smiles. You must find joy in melting away by the warmth of your smiles the
frost of others' gloom. Wherever you go, you should build a big bonfire of
smiles in the souls of men.

Learn to throw the light of joy into all hearts, so that they may burn away
the darkness and find the light within themselves. You should spread the fire
of smiles; and those smiles should be saturated with the smile of God, which
comes through right meditation. Your smile should be the laughter of the gods--the echo of the Infinite.


Sri Yukteswar once said to me: "The spiritual aspirant who tries to fly
the clutches of material attachments, in his delusion often wants matter in the form of miracles. Therefore, in trying to get away from matter, do not de-
ceive yourself and invite it in another, subtle, form. If all miraculous powers
and every imaginable material possession were given to you, you would nevertheless remain dissatisfied; for you would grow tired of all that you a had received. There is only one thing that you will never become tired of, if you once have it--you will never become tired of joy. Ever changing, everlasting, ever new joy is God--you will become tired of everything except ever new joy.

Instead of looking for God in starry chambers of mystery, or in the beauty
of the earth--instead of keeping Him apart by thinking of Him as being in a
certain distant spot--through Master's direction I silently cried continuously
within myself: "Come ! Come ! And in the temple of joy I always heard Him
reply in the echo of my love: "I am here ! I am here ! "

Instead of assuming that I had to go on waiting during many lives in order
to meet God, I plunged headlong and swam within myself, and lo ! I found Him hiding within me. I found that forgetfulness and dark indifference were the veils that hid Him from me. I tore asunder those veils and discovered that my memory and my love for Him were doors to His presence. As often as I thought of Him, the door was flung open and I felt His presence. The memory of God is the altar of God's presence. Whenever you think of God,you manifest Ris omnipre senc e within you !


Beginning with the early dawn, I will
radiate my cheer to everyone I meet today.
I will be the mental sunshine for all who
cross my path this day.

Lesson 26 (lesson summaries)



How to Contact God Through Meditation ............ 27-29 incl .
Scientific Technique of Meditation (Om Technique) ..............29
The Value of Meditation ............................ 30
SRF "Om" Technique of Meditation (outline and routine practice)........30-A
Superconscious Visions ............................ 31
Finding Your True Vocation in Life ..............32
The Chemistry of Feelings .................33
Important Energizing and Healing Exercises ....... 34
Spiritualizing the Creative Force ...................35
Why You Haven't Changed as You Wish ……….36
The Law of Divine Healing .....................37-39 incl
Healing Through Prayer .....................37
Physical. Psychological and Spiritual Diseases ...........38
Heliotropic Method of Self -Healing ……………..39
You and Your Employer………………………40, 41
Develop Creative Ability ....................... 40
Choosing a Vocation ........................... 41
Temptations versus Self-control ................... 42. 43
How to Cure the Disease of Jealousy …………... 44. 45
Increasing Your Power of Magnetism ............... 46
How to Manifest Your Secret Magnetism ............ 47
Art of Developing Memory ......................... 48. 49
How Superconscious. Subconscious and Conscious Minds Work .......... 48
Psychological and Physical Methods ........... 49
Material Desires and Meditation ................... 50
Guru and Disciple ..............................51
Difference Between Guru and Teacher ......... 51
Lesson Summaries

Volume 2


The Bad Man Who Was Preferred by God .......... 27-30 incl.
Tune In with the Cosmic Sound ..................... 30-A
The Lion Who Became a Sheep ..................... 31
We Are All a Little Bit Crazy and Don't Know It ... 32
Roast the Seeds of Evil Tendencies ................ 33
Buddha and the Courtesan .......................... 35, 36
The Man Who Became a Buffalo ………..37
Wanderings of the Prodigal Soul ................... 38
That Moral Backbone .............................. 39
The Priest Who Jumped into the Well .............. 40
Explanation of the Story
The Priest Who Jumped into the Well ......... 41
All for a Rag ...................................... 42. 43
The Saint Who Ate Fire ............................ 44
The Saint Who Went to Hades Speaking Truth ……45, 46
Devotionto Truth .................................. 47
The Magic Carrot ................................. 48
The Boatman and the Philosopher ................. 49
The Himalayan Musk Deer ......................... 50
How I Found God Through My Master .............. 51
God's k.lfinite Love ................................ 51



By Paramahansa Yogananda

0 Divine Mother, the bee of my mind
is engrossed in the blue-rayed lotus of Thy
feet. I drink the nectar of Thy tender love.
This royal bee of Thine sips only from the
blossom that exudes Thy perfume.

Denying myself the honey of sense
pleasures, flying far above ephemeral
gardens of idle fancy, at last I have found
Thine ambrosial lotus of light.

I was Thy busy bee, wandering in the
fields of incarnations, attracted by odors
from flowers of countless experiences.
I roam no more, for Thy fragrance has
quenched the perfume thirst of my soul.

--From "Whispers from Eternity''


I shall drink the everlasting nectar of joy found in the fountain of medita-
tion. 0 Father, from joy I come; for joy I live; in joy dost Thou melt me !



Meditation is that specific form of concentration which is
applied only in connection with consciously tuning in with Cosmic  Consciousness --the home of cosmic supply. By this method, the proficient
student can not only finally attain everything that the power of attention can and should accomplish, but can also develop the power to control his destiny, and prevent failure and disease. This method teaches one how to reinforce, revitalize, and strengthen the human faculty with the faculty of superconsciousne ss, through faithful, per severing practice.

Meditation is the pickax that pries up all the covers of consciousness, and
brings forth the fountain of God's ever new joy. Meditation--complete relaxation or conscious withdrawal of the mind from the restless senses--is the only way to know God. Even though you may be able to do everything else but meditate, you will never find joy to equal that which comes when the thoughts are silent and your mind is tuned to the peace of God. If you ask, "How do I know there is such joy as you describe?" this is my testimony: if you practice meditation every day, deeply and consistently, you will find that ever existing, ever conscious, ever new joy, ever increasingly manifest within you. And with practice it will stay with you in activity and in silence
 alike--even in sleep. It is a joy that will constantly guide you to right action in everything and will respond to your prayers. You have to demonstrate that for yourself. And this is my further testimony: that, once God's joy has been found, all desires for other gain will dwindle in comparison. Your consciousness will expand. You will be able to stand unshaken amidst jarring trials. The whole world will not be able to lure you to forsake the bliss that you will find in meditation. You will enjoy all other things in that divine joy.
Because Jesus had experienced this he could say: "Get thee behind me, Satan!“ The satanic temptation of material desires fell dead before his joy in God.


Completeness in God is by no means negation of ordinary  life and its responsibilities and joys; finding God is positive attainment that elevates and beautifies all life. Human existence, however pleasant, is only a bubble of laughter; in God it becomes the sea of mirth. "Thou, 0 God, art the ocean, and I, a tiny bubble of laughter, have become the sea of mirth ! "

You can find this joyous perception of the Divine only by the right method d
concentration and meditation. If you are looking at the ceiling of your room for the door, you could seek for years and years but you would never find it until you adopted the right method and looked for it in the wall.

When your desire for God is sincere, He sends a right vehicle: a spiritual
teacher or guru preceptor through whom He teaches you the art of meditation or divine communion that leads to realization of and oneness with Him. When Jesus said. "No man cometh unto the Father but by Me, " he was speaking of the Christ  Consciousness within. The joy that comes in meditation is proof of the existence of that ever newly joyous God. Since I learned this, ofttimes when sleep steals over me, I say: "Go away from me, you gross intoxicant! I do not want to lose this joy in your unconsciousness. "

Your whole body changes when you practice meditation frequently, because
when you really contact God, all things become harmonious; all things melt into an ocean of peace. But you have to practice meditation earnestly, consistently, and continually, in order to have the full consciousness of that supreme force.


Your engagement with business is important; but your  appointment to serve others is more important; and your engagement with meditation, home, God, and truth is most important. Don't say that you are too busy with worry, and the care of keeping the wolf from the door, to find time for the culture of heavenly qualities.

Break your self-satisfied, doggedly immovable, old bad habits of idolizing your less important engagements and utterly ignoring the most important engagement: your engagement with meditation and God. No one else will answer for your actions, although others often become instruments in keeping you enmeshed in useless frivolities and so-called important engagements.

0 sleeping image of God, wake up! Make the determination and the effort
to know the right law which will enable you to keep your most important engagement with yourself--to know yourself, your own Soul.

Do not say: "I will meditate on the Cosmic Being tomorrow. That tomorrow may never come. Begin your meditation today. Today's practice will stimulate the desire to meditate deeper tomorrow, whereas this day's negligence will weaken your craving. Meditate today deeper than you did yesterday, and tomorrow meditate deeper than you do today. Meditate during most of your leisure hours. Instead of being absentminded, think of God. Seek God as the ever increasing bliss of meditation; and feel Him as boundless joy throbbing in your heart. Do not be lured by bad habits and paltry, useless vanity-engagements into crowding out God-contact. Seek to know God first, last, and all the time. Finding Him first, you will find all things that you crave through Him.


 It is good to start meditation at an early age, or,  failing in that, to start meditation as soon as the mental discriminative inclination is receptive. It
is very difficult for the occult soldiers of the mind to reclaim the kingdom of
peace after it has fallen into the hands of restlessness and material desire.
Therefore, make spiritual hay while the sun of willingness to meditate shines.

The longer and deeper you meditate and affirm, the deeper will you feel and be conscious of the ever increasing joy in your heart. Then you will know
without doubt that there is a God and that He is ever existing, ever conscious,
omnipresent, ever new joy. Then you may demand: "Father, now, today, all
days, all tomorrows, every instant, in sleep, in wakefulness, in life, in death, in this world, and in the beyond, remain with me as the consciously responding
joy of my heart. „

Do not jump up after only one or two mental broadcasts, but with continuous
personal zeal keep on consciously with the ever increasing hunger of your heart, incessantly, mentally uttering the foregoing affirmation for regaining and holding on to the lost unity with God, until you feel the ever increasing thrill of joy bursting in your whole body. This increasing joy after meditation is the only proof that God has answered through the devotion-tuned radio of your heart.

During deep meditation, when the breath becomes calm, a very enjoyable
state of peace is produced; but owing to the strong ego-consciousness, the
thought of the body returns, and the fickle loud breath revives, rousing material desires and sense distractions. The devotee should not be discouraged at this but should by deeper meditation learn to calm the breath and the senses for a longer period.

When King Material Desire does not get support from past bad habits, the
ego comes to cheer and strengthen him. Those who equally enjoy sense plea-
sures and pleasures of meditation will not get anywhere for a long time. It
should be remembered that even if one cannot conquer the flesh, he must meditate just the same, for then there will be a sense of comparison between the lesser pleasures of the senses and the greater pleasures of the soul. Those who fail to conquer the senses and who give up meditation too, become almost hopeless cases of spiritual decay.

If after deep meditation the devotee is thrown into a state of restlessness
owing to the memory of sense joys, he feels greater inner discomfort and bewilderment as he suddenly finds that he feels neither inner joy nor the passing pleasure of the senses. At such times he is tempted to declare: "0
Great Soul, I wish neither inner happiness born of self-control and spiritual adeptship, nor the pleasure of the senses. " This mental state should be overcome, and can be overcome, by regular, deep meditation and by picturing the ever new blessed bliss felt in the deep caves of contemplation.


The scientific method of entering real silence was taught in the Lesson on concentration. And in this series of three Lessons on meditation is taught what to do after attaining silence, and how to use the freed attention to direct it toward God. In real silence both your muscles and your thoughts are quiet. You can silence the body easily, but it is difficult to silence your thoughts. They still run wild, jumping from one thing to another with miraculous speed. But by using scientific methods, you can effectively silence the thoughts too. As long as there is motion in a pond of water, so long will you be unable to see the clear reflection of the moon in it. Remember, as long as a restless thought or a bodily motion remains, you cannot hear the Inner Voice, or see with the Inner Eye. In other words, God will not enter your temple. In an inwardly and outwardly quiet body temple, illuminated by devotion, love, and inspiration, God may be coaxed to come, which means that real vision and real intuition will be awakened.


Meditation is the real panacea through which you can permanently cure yourself of the daydream of matter and all  its evils, and realize yourself as pure Spirit. Until you have built the temple of silence within your self, until you have broken down the ramparts of habits with which environment has surrounded you, y ou will never see the glory of God; you will never have real peace and lasting joy. When you meet the Great One, darkness will pass away forever. The power of truth is here in these teachings, and if you will but make a determined effort, you will no longer walk nervously in fear and uncertainty on the pathway of life. (To be continued)


What is meditation? It is becoming one with the soul; it is dropping your
relation with the muscles and with human limitations and remembering that you are a soul. When you begin to relate yourself to the soul, then you will be aware of more of your past experiences, and you will know that you have come down from the bosom of God.

In God lie all the memory and experiences of your life. In your inner contact the forgotten times and powers will come back into your consciousness.
Meditation leads you to remember that you are not a mortal, but that you are one with God. During the daytime, when you are not meditating, you remember that you are a mortal, but in meditation the reverse is true. Meditation means dropping the consciousness of the body, remembering who you are, and then coming back and ruling the body.


The loving Lord of the Universe has always visited ardent devotees. Sometimes before doing so He sends messengers to find out those devotees who are worthy of darshan (a vision or sight of the Lord). In India they tell a story about the time God sent Narada back to earth. In the West, Narada might be described as an archangel. He was a glorious being, freed from birth and death, and ever close to the Lord. During a former incarnation on earth he had been a great devotee of God, and so it seemed that he should be easily able to discover others who were pursuing the Lord with will and ardor.

Narada the archangel now came to earth incognito, garbed as an ascetic. In
mountains and valleys and jungles all over India he sought out the hermits and renunciants whose thoughts were centered on God and who performed all actions only for Him. While ambling through a dark woodland one day, he spied a hoary anchorite practicing different kinds of postures and undergoing penances under the cool shade of a huge umbrella-like tamarind tree. As if he were merely a leisurely wanderer, Narada approached and greeted the ascetic, inquiring curiously, "Who are you, and what are you doing?"

"My name is Bhadraka, " the hermit replied. "I am an old anchorite. I have been practicing rigorous physical discipline for eighty years. " He added
disconsolately, "Without achieving any marked results. Narada then introduced himself: "I am a special messenger sent by the Lord of the Universe to seek out His true devotees.

Realizing that at last his opportunity had come, the anchorite pompously
assured Narada of his wlsrthiness to be honored by the Lord. "Esteemed Emissary,“ he said, "surely your eyes are now beholding the greatest devotee of the Lord on this earth. Think of it, for eighty years, rain or shine I have practiced every imaginable technique of torturous mental and physical self-discipline to attain knowledge, and to find merit in the Lord's eyes. "

Narada was impressed, "Even though I am from those higher planes where
greater accomplishments are possible, I am very much touched by your
persistence,“ he assured the old man. Bhadraka had been brooding on his grievances while talking to Narada, and instead of being comforted by Narada's words, he spoke angrily. "Well then, since you are so close to the Lord, please find out why He has kept away from me for so long. When next you meet Him, do ask why He has not responded to my disciplinary exercises. Will you promise me that?“

Narada agreed to the old man's request, and then resumed his search for
earnest devotees of God. In one place he paused to watch a most amusing incident taking place at the roadside. A very handsome and determined young man was trying to build a fence. Unfortunately he was dead drunk, and his senses kept deceiving him. He had dug a series of holes for fence posts, and was trying in vain to fit an unwieldy bamboo pole into one of these elusive holes. He would thump the pole on the ground all around, but he could not get it in the hole. Several times he stumbled forward and almost tripped himself. (To be continued)


Saturated with devotion, 0 Heavenly Father, I will enter the
heaven of Thy presence. Blindly groping, the urge of my devotion
 suddenly flings open the soul's secret door, and oh, what
bliss I feel at the sight of Thy Light!



By Paramahansa Yogananda

Beneath the glimmer of Thy great light we offer
the prayer of our souls. Thou art our Father, we are
Thy children. Receive the humble offerings of our
hearts. Take away the nemesis of dark gloom,
behold us through the pores of the sky and through
the windows of our hearts and feelings, and sit en-
throned on the altar of our lave for Thee.

Teach us to behold only what is good, to think
only what is good, to associate only with those who
are good, and teach us to meditate upon Thee, the
fountain of all goodness.

Bless us all that we be not tempted by the serpent
force, but that we may above all extol Thy glory,
the glories of Thy heaven and paradise within us,
that we may live in the garden of happiness and noble
thoughts, that we may be filled with the aroma of Thy
love, and that we may be saturated with Thy love evermore.
 Bless us, that we may always remain in the land of paradise.


Divine Mother, teach me in meditation to drop my consciousness
of human limitations and try to remember that I am a soul.


Meditate as much as possible, and try to hold on to the quiet and peaceful
aftereffect. As soon as the breath is quiet, your plane of consciousness is
lifted. Meditation is the only way to keep yourself filled with the power of
Spirit. Words without soul-force are like guns without ammunition; there-
fore while meditating do not think merely of words, but of their meaning, and
with intensity mentally offer the thought behind them to God. On the throne
of silent thoughts, the God of Peace will direct your actions.

Open the door of your calmness and let the footsteps of silence gently
enter the temple of all your activities. Perform all duties serenely, saturat-
ed with peace. Behind the throb of your heart, you shall feel the throb of
God's peace. Fill your heart with the peace of meditation.

Learn how to plunge into introspection about every experience, whether it concerns good books, problems, religions, philosophy, or inner happiness. Retire within the cell of your deep thoughts, and enjoy the peace oozing out of the fountain of silence.


During real meditation, all of the five sense telephones must be shut off. Silence is what the whole world needs, particularly those who are on the
path of meditation and a re striving to progress toward greater spirituality.
Any attempt at silence is better than the ineffective prayer that is commonly
practiced; because in such prayer, while the movements of the body may be
stilled, the thoughts go on with their dance of restlessness.

As a result of closing the eyes in meditation, the sensations of sight are
prevented from reaching the brain; and by sitting in a quiet place one can keep the extremely busy auditory phone quiet as there are no sounds to reach the brain. If, then, the two most important sense telephones of sight and hearing are disconnected in meditation, the other telephones of smell, taste, and touch become disconnected also, because the operator is then relaxed, and free from constant attention to the reports of the two busiest telephones--optical and auditory--in the body house.


 Just as from a seed planted in proper soil there springs  forth a tree, so from proper meditation instilled in the  soul the consciousness of Omnipresence will manifest. Because of long concentration upon the physical body and its necessities, the soul has forgotten its omnipresent nature. God is omnipresent. The cosmos is His body. Man's soul, made in His image, has in it the seed experience of omnipresence. This consciousness of omnipresence is hidden in the soul, as a tree is secreted in a seed.

Looking at the body constantly causes the mind to think of itself as confined in the flesh. As meditation upon the Infinite grows deeper, it makes the
meditator, meditation, and the object of meditation one. Then the mind becomes convinced that it is not encased in the body, but that it is in everything in the body of the cosmos. The mind thinking constantly about the body becomes limited by it. The mind meditating upon the Infinite becomes unlimited. Meditation is the art of transferring the attention from finite things -the little body and the portions of space in which mortals live--to the Infinite.

Men and women aspiring to expand their consciousness into the  
 all-pervading God-consciousness should learn to meditate upon the cosmos. Meditation means constant thinking of the vastness within and without, so that the soul may forget its attachment to the limited physical body and remember its vast body as God. The ocean is the wave, the wave is the ocean; the ocean must know that it is the wave and the wave mast know that it is the ocean. The Spirit Ocean knows that it has become the soul waves; but the soul waves need to recall, by meditation, that they are the Spirit Ocean. The little soul wave must forget its smallness,  whicx is only a mental concept born of concentration upon the body, and tnust concentrate upon the universe as its own big body, of which the physical body is just a tiny part.

A mundane personality is busy with looking after the body and its cramped
relations with a few other human beings. Such a person's consciousness does
not extend beyond the gates of its own home. The spiritual man, through the
spreading light of sympathy and meditation, learns to feel the woes and pains
of others. He feels that the world. or cosmos, is his home. This is why the
meditating aspirant must do away with little body attachments. He must learn to be proof against too warm or too cold climates. He must learn to overcome hunger and pain. He must learn to conquer all the appetites and attachments that govern the little body, for as long as the mind is focused on the body and its relations, the soul cannot remember its omnipresent nature.


There are three ways of attaining Cosmic Consciousness:

1) The social way
2) The way of discipline
3) The spiritual way


The social way consists in expanding the germ of divine love within the soul. Too much love of self confines the soul to the ego-boundaries of the flesh. The soul is an omnipresent reflection of the all-pervading Spirit. The ego is the body-bound consciousness of the soul. The soul, as ego, forgets its etheric omnipresence and considers itself limited to the body.

Every human ego can imagine itself spread out in space, but can feel it-
self only as the body. It is when the ego begins to feel itself in other bodies,
through practical sympathy, that it begins to regain its forgotten omnipresence. Unlike the shortsighted worldly man, the divine man works not only for himself as one body, but also for his greater Self, which he beholds embodied in all others. Similarly, you should not only feel hungry, desire to be prosperous, wish to be healed, or long for wisdom for yourself in one body; you should learn to feel for your self in all bodies, in all minds, in all lives, in all souls.

Hence, the social way of developing cosmic consciousness is to love
your family, neighbors, country, the whole world as yourself. Include the
world in your love, and call yourself a cosmic citizen. You are the king; and
in the kingdom of your love, include not only all human beings--but also ani-
mals, flowers, the flocks of stars pasturing on the long savannahs of the
blue--all living creatures. Love all men as your brothers; love all women as
your sisters; love all elderly men and women as your parents; and love all
human beings --the black, white, brown, yellow, red,and olive-colored
 races--as your friends and brothers. This is the social way of attaining cosmic consciousness.


By mental and physical discipline rise above the consciousness of caste, color, dogmatic creed, family, race, nationality, and poverty. Make it a rule to be pleasant and to exercise self-control. Be kind, abstemious, and moderate. Do things that give you lasting happiness. Speak no untruth. Abhor stealing, overindulgence, worry, fear, anger, greed, jealousy, and restlessness. Learn to
withstand heat and cold, and to endure happiness without mentalexcitement.
Rise above sensations even though you are still subject to them.

Meditate, by withdrawing your attention from objects of sense and from
muscles, lungs, breath, and heart, and concentrating that freed attention up-
on the spine. Then go out through the medulla oblongata into illfinite


 The inner way of developing cosmic consciousness lies in practicing the art of living on the sense plane without making sense contacts: that is, the art of controlling the senses--operating them or switching them off at will in the various sense organs.

1. Learn to switch the consciousness and lifecurrent on and off from
the heart, breath, and lungs.

2. Putlife force inallthemusclesand then relax.

3. Switch the coneciousnese and will power on and off from the spine.

4. Switchtheconsciousnessonandoff fromthe sixplexuses--coccygeal,
sacral, lumbar, dor sal, cervical, and medullary- -and from the cerebrum and cerebellum.


Why is meditation the only way to God? Because the only way that He can
be known is by following His laws of righteousness and by deep contemplation upon Him until you become one with Him. "God is no respector of persons" (Acts 10:34). He will look in your heart and see whether you have utilized the powers that He has given you and whether you know Him or not. Why waste time? Meditation is the only way to know God.

Remember, if you forget God, it will not be God who will punish you; you
will create your own misery. If you know God, He will reveal to you that this
life is only a drama and that you are immortal, that you were never sick, that
you were never dead, and you were never unhappy. It was all a dream. There
is no other way to find God except through meditation practiced in the way the masters teach it. Follow that method. Veils will fall from your mind and
every thought and every thing will be a window through which you will behold the face of the King.


At first Narada thought this spectacle was very funny. But the young man
began to call upon the Lord to come and help him, and when this brought no
results, he became angry and began to threaten God with curses and shouts:
"You unfeeling, lazy God, what a fine friend You are ! Come here now and
help me to fix my pole in this hole, or I'll thrust the bamboo right through
Your hard heart."

Just then the young man's wandering gaze fastened on Narada, standing
shocked and agape at the drunken one's temerity. His wrath diverted, the
young man exclaimed, "You good-for-nothing idler. how dare you just
stand there, staring at me like that? " Taken aback, Narada said meekly: "Shall I help you to set your pole?

"No, " growled the young man, "I will accept no help but that of my Di-
vine Friend, that sly Eluder who hasbeen playing hide-and-seek with me,
who is even now hiding behind the clouds, trying to evade working with me."

"You drunken fool, " said Narada, "aren't you afraid to curse the omnipresent Lord?

"Oh no, He understands me better than you do,“ was the instant reply.
"And who are you anyway?“ It demanded the swaying young man, trying to keep his eyes focused on the visitor.

Narada answered truthfully: "I am a messenger from the all-powerful Lord, and I am searching out His true devotees on earth.“

"Oh! the young man exclaimed eagerly. "In that case I ask you to please put in a good word for me when you see the Divine Friend. Even though I behave badly now and then, and abuere the powers He gave me, please do remind Him about me. And ask Him why He has been delaying His visit to me, and when He is coming, for I have been waiting and waiting and always expect-
ing Him. " Narada felt sorry for the fellow, and so, half reluctantly, he
agreed to the man's request, although he was privately thinking that this
drunkard would have very little chance of meeting the Lord!

After Narada had traveled all over, and noted the names and accomplish-
ments of many devotees, he suddenly felt so lonely for the Lord's loving
smile that he discarded his earthly form and rushed straight to the heavenly
abode, as swiftly as thought could carry him. In an instant he was there
before the Beloved One, surrounded by a warm glow of divine love.

"Welcome, dear Narada, " said the Lord gently, and the light from His
lotus eyes melted the last vestige of earthly tension that clung to His messen-
ger's aura. "Tell Me about your earthly excursions.“Narada gave a full
report, ending with descriptions of the two devotees who seemed to exempli-
fy opposite ends of the scale of virtue--the pious old anchorite and the intoxi-
cated young man with the pole.

"You know, Beloved Lord, sometimes I think you are too hard to please, and even cruel,“ Narada said seriously. "Think how you treated that anchorite, Bhadraka, who has been waiting for eighty years for You, under a tamarind tree. You know whom I mean!" The Lord thought for a moment, and
even sought a response from His all-recording heart, but He answered, "No,
I don't remember him.“
"Why how can that be possible?“ Narada exclaimed. "That devoted man
has been practicing all sorts of harsh disciplines these eighty years just to
attract Your attention. " But the Lord only shrugged indifferently. "No
matter what the anchorite has been practicing, he has not yet touched My heart. What next?“

(To be continued)


Through the transparency of my deepest meditation,
I will consciously receive the light of the omnipresent
Fatherconstantly pas singthrough me; and I shall be a
son of God even as Jesus was, by receiving God fully,
through my sacred, meditation-expanded consciousness.



By Paramahansa Yogananda

Divine Mother, I heard Thy voice in the speaking
fragrance of the rose. I heard Thy voice in the lisping
whispers of my devotion. I heard Thy voice beneath the
din of my noisiest thoughts. It was Thy love that spoke
through the voice of friendship. I touched Thy tenderness
 in the softness of the lily.

0 Divine Mother, break the dawn and show Thy face
of light ! Break the sun and show Thy face of power !
Break the night and show Thy mooned face! Break my
thoughts and show Thy face of wisdom! Break my feelings
and show Thy face of love ! Break my pride and show
Thy face of humbleness! Break my wisdom and show Thy
face of perfection!

As I called to Thee in the wilderness of my loneliness,
Thou didst burst through the dawn to greet me with Thy joy.

Thou didst emerge from the molten door of the sun
to pour Thy power into the pores of my life. Thou didst
tear away the night of my ignorance to reveal Thy silver
ray s of speaking silence !


Heavenly Father, may the magic wand of meditation touch
all sounds and melt them into the One Cosmic Sound of Om.


(Based upon the truths revealed in St. John's Revelation, Patanjali's Raja Yoga, and upon basic principles discovered by modern science. )

Now you are eager to know the method by which you can contact God
through meditation. It is necessary to achieve attunement with Spirit or
Divine Consciousness before one can realize Divine Consciousness. In medi-
tation you learn to contact Spirit, or the Creator, in reality. Words cannot
convey to you the wonderful realizations and intuitions that the technique of
meditation presented in this Lesson will bring you; it would be impossible
even to name them all here. If you practice regularly, faithfully, and reverently, you will get them all finally. You will be able to hear thevibrations of the astral centers of consciousness and life in the spine, and in time you will be intuitionally in tune with the Cosmic Vibration. Continued right practice of this technique will give you an unparalleled command over your mind, enabling you to focus it in the most intense way on any object of thought--intellectual, physical, or spiritual. This is as true as the statement that the sun rises in the east. The technique will also help you tremendously to increase your power for the accomplishment of great work in life. Above all, it will enable you to contact the superconsciousness of the soul and through that the cosmic consciousness of Spirit, giving you the wonderful peace, harmony, and poise of mind inherent in the higher life. It helps to soothe and rest the nerves and to bring about the most desirable bodily conditions.

Pray to the Great Spirit with a reverent, loving attitude: "0 Great Spirit,
help me to gather my inner powers and realize Thee through Thy Cosmic Vi-
bration. The universe is projected from Thee through vibration. It is sustained by Thee through vibration. Vibrations pervade everywhere. Thou art transcendentally omnipresent with the Cosmic Vibration. Through vibrations in me help me to realize Thee inwardly and outwardly. Awaken my sleeping powers. Rouse my infinite energy. Lead me to the vision of Thy glorious light of peace.“


"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John - In the beginning of Creation was the Word of God or the Cosmic Vibration--OM (Aum, or Amen )--manifesting as sound, impregnated with Christ Consciousness. This projected creative power of God is the God that can be known through contacting Om.

"And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.
And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light" (Revelation 22:4-5). St. John makes reference here to the third eye in the forehead, with its divine light.

"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock (sound through Om vibration): if any man hear my voice (listen to Om), and open the door, I will come in to him" (Revelation 3:20). Patanjali (a great Hindu Raja Yogi) wrote: "Meditate on Om to actually contact Iswara (God). Om is His symbol (manifesta-
tion of creation).“

"I was in the Spirit (spiritual consciousness) on the Lord's day (the day of
contacting the divine realms of truth), and heard behind me (in the medulla
oblongata, 'behind' or in the back of the head) a great voice, as of a trumpet
(the great blissful sound of Om)" (Revelation 1 :10).

"These things saith the Amen (Om), the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God" (Revelation 3:14). St. John here speaks of the Cosmic Om sound as the faithful witness or proof of the running of the Cosmic Motor, the force which projected creation, and the vibration of its sound as it upholds creation.

"And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as
the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with
their harps" (Revelation 14:2). These different sounds are vibratory variations of the one Cosmic Sound. Each has its own particular rate of vibration (and hence its own particular sound) which is required to create a particular element in the cosmos.

To love or to meditate upon God, one must definitely know Him. By
right practice of this Lesson He can be known, manifesting as intelligent,
ever-conscious, ever-new, joyous Cosmic Vibratory Sound, or Om, reverberating all over the universe. By properly listening to and feeling this Cosmic Sound, one's human consciousness gradually becomes enlarged, its territory extended beyond the body to include the universe.



The following Om Technique of Meditation--and every other  meditation technique that is given in these Lessons--should  be practiced in your spiritual temple, the room or corner of a room that you have set aside for meditation and spiritual study. If by chance you have not yet established such a place, make it a point to do so now. Every location reflects the vibrations of the occupation for which it is used; therefore you should set aside some place that may become permeated with spiritual vibrations of prayer and God-contemplation.Thus its atmosphere will be especially conducive to meditation.

Go to your spiritual temple and prepare to practice the Om Technique of
Meditation. You will need a small table, about as high as your chest when
you are seated, and a straight chair covered with a woolen blanket that extends down under your feet (to insulate you from earth currents). Lay a pillow on the table. Then seat yourself and place your elbows on the pillow. The elbows should be just high enough so that you have no difficulty in reaching the ears with the thumbs; the spine and head must be held straight at the same time. This matter of position is very important, as the spine must be erect. You will have to experiment, adding more pillows to the table if necessary, until the right height is reached for maintaining the proper position in comfort.


God has enabled you, by means of your eyelids, to close your
PRACTICE eyes and shut off distractions during meditation; He has also
given you "earlids" to shut off mind-diverting sounds during deep concentration. These are the cartilaginous flaps (called tragi) at the external ear openings. With your thumbs push them gently in so that they close
the ear holes, serving as stoppers to shut out outer sounds. During meditation the thumbs tend to loosen their pressure, so at the outset press firmly enough with the thumbs to close the tragi comfortably tight over the ear openings and thus shut out external sounds as much as possible. Cotton may be used if you have sensitive ears.

When you have placed your thumbs gently over the ear openings, place
your little fingers over the lowered eyelids, at the outer corners. Very gent-
ly press against the eyeballs so that they do not move restlessly. Place the
other fingers of both hands on the forehead. Turning the eyeballs upward and inward, converge your gaze at the central point in your forehead above and between the eyebrows. Practice will make it easy. This practice is beneficial to the eyesight when rightly done as described in this Lesson.

Keep your eyes fixed at this Christ Consciousness center for longer and
longer periods when you practice. This will train the optic nerves and eyeballs to adjust easily to the position and thus permit the free focusing of the optical currents of the two physical eyes into the one spiritual eye. At first you may be satisfied with trying to keep your eyes fixed at the point between the eyebrows. After practice, however, you will be able to do this so that the eyelids don't quiver, and the eyeballs do not move. Then you may see a few lights occasionally. If you do see any light, concentrate on it.

By learning to focus your eyes in this way and by concentrating on any
light that you see, you are preparing to see the astral light of the spiritual
eye--a luminous sun, with a dark round spot inside it and a star inside the
dark spot. This third eye--the door to the Infinite--is mentioned in Matthew 6:22. "If therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. "
Many other lights will come, but no matter how long you have to practice do
not be satisfied until you get the one mentioned above. Should you be bothered with hallucinations, keep the eyes open, turned upward, and fixed on the point between the eyebrows.

With your eyes fixed in this position--or on the astral light that will appear through pr actice--mentally chant, "Om, Om" (making no sand, nor any
movement of the tongue). Keep listening in the inside of the right ear to any
vibratory sound you hear. Reverently be one with the vibration. You may
hear in the beginning the purely physical vibratory sounds caused by the heart, lungs, diaphragm movement, circulation, and so forth. Go deeper. As you continue to listen, your concentration will deepen of itself and you will begin to hear the musical vibratory sounds of the subtle astral centers in the spine.

Concentrate with the greatest intensity of mental effort on any sound vi-
bration that comes to you, and be one with it. Immerse your mind in it. Let
the mental chanting of Om and the holding of the eyes in the upturned position be done automatically--without mental effort. All your concentration should be on listening to the different vibrations you will hear, first the physical and then, as you listen more deeply, the astral. There will come a time when you can hear the Om sound--which is like the roar of the ocean. If by chance you hear the ocean-roar sound first, you won't have to concentrate on any other sound. Listen intently to Om and feel your consciousness expanding with its vibrations, like an ever enlarging sphere, into eternity. You may be content that you are making progress toward hearing the real Om sound when you hear in the right ear the sound of a great gong or bell emanating from the dorsal center in the spine, opposite the heart.

Variations of the Om sound emanate from the various cerebrospinal centers. All of these sounds will come to you by and by, through regular, deep
practice of the Om Technique of Meditation. The four lower centers in the
cerebrospinal axis control the elements in man of earth, water, fire, and air.
The vibratory activities of each center produce a characteristic sound. In
meditation the yogi may hear first the hum, as of a bumblebee, emitted by the
earth or coccygeal center at the base of the spine. The water or sacral center
has a flutelike sound; the fire or lumbar center a harplike sound; and the air or dorsal center a bell-like sound. The etheric or cervical center, at the base
of the neck where it joins the spine, emanates a sound as of rushing waters;
and at the medulla oblongata the deeply meditating yogi hears the symphony of all sounds together--the oceanic roar of the Cosmic Om Vibration. It is this
symphony of sound that you are striving to hear, above all, when you practice
the Self -Realization Fellowship Om Technique of Meditation.

After you have practiced listening for the Om, you may put forth active
mental effort once or twice to see the light of the spiritual eye in the forehead. By practicing faithfully you will be able always to see the light with closed eyes, while hearing the vibrations with closed ears. It takes long practice to be able to see the light at will with open eyes. When one can do that, it shows distinct spiritual advancement. However, listening for Om is the most important, more important than seeing the light. This cosmic sound, expression of the Cause of creation, is omnipresent; hence by being one with it, one acquires the same quality of consciousness.

Listen to the various sounds with ears closed, employing the techniques
described in this Lesson. As you develop, you will be able to hear the Cosmic Sound of Om with open ears in a quiet or even a noisy place, by the use of
a little concentration. However, even though you can hear the Cosmic Sound
with open ears, do not forget to practice the technique regularly with ears
closed, as you have been taught in this Lesson.

Practice this technique for ten to fifteen minutes during your meditation
in the morning; twenty to thirty minutes or longer when you meditate before
bed. Bow mentally to God when you are through. Both intensity of mental
effort while practicing and duration of practice are needed to reach higher and higher states of concentration.

If time allows, listen for the Om sound longer than the period suggested.
Aside from the inner experiences of astral sounds, there also arises a great
calmness. Hold to that calm during and after meditation as long as it is possi-
ble for you to do so. Apply that calmness in the practical situations of life--
in dealing with people, in studying, in business, in thinking, in controlling
yourself, in getting rid of any fixed mental or physiological habit or condition
that you consider unnecessary or harmful, and so forth. Whenever situations
demand disc rimination and wise action, recall immediately the calmness felt
during and after concentration; fall right into that mood, and meet situations
from that calm center.

While practicing concentration, deep intensity of mind is necessary, but
there should be no feeling of physical or mental strain. Practice with rever-
ence and feel that in calmness, and in listening to the vibration, you are con-
tacting the Great Spirit who is present within you as Soul, and whose expres-
sion is Cosmic Vibratory Sound--the vibration of Bliss. You will positively
feel results after faithful practice. Even in the beginning the earnest student
will get the valuable results of calmness and joy. Calmness you will certain-
ly have. Deep intuitions come after prolonged practice.

Further, this technique will put you, by and by, in touch with the unexplored reservoir of soul power. Do not be impatient. Keep on! Make study and application of the SRF Lessons a part of your regular routine, as much
a part of your day as eating or sleeping. The most beneficial effects flow
silently over the whole mental and physiological constitution. As in everything else, highest results cannot be attained in one day.
Practice--practice and apply! This Lesson is founded on tried and proven. experience, from the time of India's Golden Age down to the present day. Self-Realization Fellowship students all over the world write to us, telling about their contact with the One Spirit as a result of their faithful practice of this technique. Everyone can have the same glorious experience if he perseveres. Without regular practice, which brings these changes in the inner consciousness, the student will not realize his goal. But with faithfulness in daily meditation, the bliss of Om will come.

Say your prayers after contacting God through Om. Fill yourself with Om,
or the Holy Ghost, "the Great Comforter, " and diverse spiritual powers will
manifest through you. In Om-Christ-Bliss the abode of all healing powers will
be found. Filled with God, go about helping others to overcome their physical,
mental and spiritual troubles. Without serving God in the temple of the afflicted bodies and souls, you will never know Him. Help others every day, as cheerfully and eagerly as you would help yourself. The whole world is your bigger Self.


By meditating upon Om, the pure cosmic vibratory aspect of God in creation, and on God the Absolute Spirit beyond vibration, one can develop soul
magnetism and spiritual vibratory magnetism. This magnetic force has limitless range and power. If morning, noon, and night you keep yourself dreaming, feeling, and intuiting the all-attracting divine magnetism, you will develop a spiritual power that can draw desired objects from a distance, that can uplift others by the mere contact of sight, or even by your simple wish or your powerfully directed uplifting concentration. By this power you can draw friends from afar--those who have been real friends before. By this power you can make the elements bow to your wishes. By the invitation of the divine magnetism you can draw angels, the luminous creative forces, sages and saints of bygone eras on earth to come to you and dance in your inner temple of joy. By this djvine magnetism you can draw the rays of all knowledge to come and sparkle and scintillate around your being.


"Well, " Narada began hesitantly, "by the roadside I met--" "Oh, yes, "
the Divine One broke in, "you met a drunken young man.“

"Now how do You happen to remember him? " Narada asked complaining ly. "Perhaps because the sacrilegious young fool was trying to poke You with
a bamboo pole ? "

The Lord laughed heartily, and seemed to be thinking about the impudent
young man for some time before He turned His attention to the sulky-faced
Narada. "0 My Narada, " He said lovingly, "don't be angry and sarcastic with
Me, for I shall prove to you which of these two men you have just told Me about is My true devotee.“Having captured Narada's interest in the experiment, the Lord continued: "This is really very simple. Go back to earth again, and first repair to the anchorite Bhadraka under the tamarind tree and say:“ gave your message to the Lord of the Universe, but He is very busy now, passing millions of elephants through the eye of a needle. When He gets through doing this, He will visit you, '
After you get the anchorite's reaction to that, then go and tell the same thing to the drunken young man and watch his reac tion. Then you will under stand.“

Although Narada was baffled by the Lord's instructions, he had long since
learned unquestioning faith in the commands of the Lord, so he thought him-
self back to earth, and was at once standing under the tamarind tree, face to
face with the long-suffering anchorite. The ancient one looked up at him ex-
pectantly, but when the strange message had been delivered, he flew into a
rage and began to shout. "Get out, you mocking messenger, and your lying
Lord, and all the rest of your crazy crowd. Who ever heard of anyone passing elephants through the eye of a needle? What it means ia
that He'll never come. Maybe there isn't any Lord to come anyway. He was now trembling with fury and brandishing his pilgrim's staff. "I've wasted my life! This eighty years of discipline was nothing but folly! I'm through, do you hear? through trying to please a crazy non-existent God. Now I am sane again. For what little is left of life I am going to resume my long-neglected earthly pursuits.“

Narada was too horrified to say a word, so he just disappeared. But the
second part of his mission was not yet fulfilled; dubiously he came again to the roadside where he had met the noisy young man. The fellow was still there, and if possible, more drunk than ever. The fence was not yet completed, and he was laboring to bring the holes and bamboo poles together. But no sooner had Narada appeared on the scene than the youth's earthly intoxication seemed to leave him. In its place, the premonition of great joy caused a divine intoxication which lighted his features as he came running and crying, "Hey there, Narada, what is my Friend's reply to my message? What is His answer? When is He coming?"

When he heard the Lord's strange message he was not at all disconcerted, but began to dance around and around with joy, half speaking, half chanting:
"He who can send worlds through the eye of a needle in an instant if He desires, has already finished passing those elephants thm
ugh the eye of a needle. Now, any minute, He will be with me, and when He comes He shall touch me but once and I shall change. All my evil actions and bad habits will be drowned in my overwhelming love for Him.“

So the young man danced in heavenly ecstasy, as do many devotees in India
when divine joy becomes too great for their bodies, The feeble flesh cannot
hold such immense bliss and--lest the very atoms fly apart and release their
energy to the Divine Source which calls them--this bliss spills over into tears
or into rhythmic movements of kirtana, into singing and dancing as an expression of this joy. And now as the young man danced blissfully, Narada joined him; and soon they found the laughing, lotus-eyed Lord was dancing with them.

(To be concluded)


I am the Cosmic Ocean of sound and the little
wave of the body vibration in it.


Now that you have firmly set forth on the Self-Realization Fellowship path,
we would urge you to concentrate your spiritual effort on those techniques you are now being taught. For greatest benefit to yourself, and to avoid possible difficulties, do not mix other techniques' and practices --particularly those of a spiritualistic nature --with the Self-Realization techniques.

The physical, mental, and spiritual disciplines of this path were established by our God-enlightened Guru, Paramahansa Yogananda, for man's complete and harmonious development. No other techniques are necessary. The experience of students has confirmed the value of our Guru's teaching, and shown that other practices, such as spiritualistic ones, may prove harmful. Also, continuing with other practices dilutes the student's efforts with the Self-Realization techniques, and consequently the results. The serious student will find so much to study and practice in these lessons that he will have no time for other techniques.

Remember that spiritual development can be properly gauged only by the
increasing interior peace and joy the student feels, and by the beneficial
changes that he notices in his nature and in his daily behavior toward
others--not by the number or unusualness of his inner experiences. The Gurus of Self-Realization Fellowship guide and protect the spiritual life of all Self-Realization students who follow faithfully their directions, which bring exact and known results. If you have any questions about this matter, please write to the Self-Realization Fellowship Mother Center for counsel.




By Paramahansa Yogananda

Whence Om, this soundless roar, doth come,
When drowseth matter's dreary drum?
On Shores of Bliss, Om, booming breaks;
All earth, all heavln, all body shakes !

The bumblebee now hums along;
Baby Om doth softly sing his song.
From Krishna's flute the call is sweet;
'Tis time the watery God to meet.

Cords bound to flesh are broken all.
Vibrations burst and meteors fall !
The hustling heart, the boasting breath,
No more shall cause the Yogi's death.

The God of Fire with fervor sings:
"Om! Om!" His joyous harp now rings.
Prana-God with power sounds
The wondrous bells; the soul resounds.

All Nature lies in darkness soft;
The star divine is seen aloft.
Subconscious dreams have gone to bed;
'Tis then that one doth hear Om's tread.

Oh, upward climb the Living Tree!
Hark to the cosmic symphony.
From Om, the soundless roar; from Om
The call for light o'er dark to roam.

From Om, the music of the spheres;
From Om, the mist of Nature's tears.
All things of earth and heavln declare
Oml Oml resounding everywhere.


Teach me to dive again and again in meditation, deeper and
deeper, until I find Thine immortal pearls of wisdom and divine joy.



Do material things bring real joy? No, they bring a little  pleasure for a while, but sorrow always follows. They promise joy, but they do not keep their promise. Those who amuse themselves too much with material, earthly pleasures will lose their happiness; those who overindulge in sex life lose their vitality; those who eat too much lose their health, and the satisfaction in eating. Everywhere you go, people are reaping the harvest of wild oats sown earlier in life. "The wages of sin is death. " Sin is ignorance--ignorance of God's cosmic laws of life. Only by living in harmony with His laws do we accomplish the noble purpose of human existence. God never punishes us; we punish ourselves, according to the law of cause and effect. If we sow good deeds, we reap happiness; if we sow the opposite, we reap troubles of many different kinds and degrees. Old age, worries, disease, and death are only a few of the effects of sin, or ignorance of the universal law.

It seems a very futile aim for this life merely to live and die at the end of it. We all hope that the end of our lives will be good and pleasant. Down the trail you must go to the very end; if you have followed the right path, you cannot help but meet God there. Avoid the path of material desire that leads only to an abyss of discontent.

Every good action that you perform digs like a pickax into the soil of
consciousness and brings forth a little spray from the fountain of God's joy.
But the pickax of meditation, which is the highest form of good action, opens
the inner surface of consciousness and lets all the joy of life spout forth.
Through the orifice of silence, the whole geyser of Bliss perpetually shoots
up and flows over the soul.


You will find, by continued practice of meditation, that you will gain perceptions of an ever new, ever increasing joy, a joy that is not just an abstract mental state of short-lived mortal pleasure, but the God-joy of meditation that will receive and respond to your prayers. Then you will hear the Cosmic Sound coming out from Spirit, and in that Sound you will have the joy of Spirit for your very own, and the answer to all things will be yours for the asking when you listen to that Sound. We are all seeking happinees, a happiness that does not come and go. We want lasting happiness. We do not want the kind of happiness that will grow stale. We want ever new joy. Once you rea lly experience in your souls what ever new joy is, then automatically you will realize in it all that you have ever wanted, and you will know that it is what you have been seeking for aeons. all that you have ever wanted, and you will know that it is what you have been seeking for aeons.

Did you ever entertain the thought that you might have eternal joy without
having eternal existence ? No ! Such a thought would be self -contradictory,
surd. The love of existence, however, is not our supreme desire. If it were, there would be no suicides; no one would ever have the thought of ending
all his troubles by killing himself.

We do not wish for further existence when it has become sorrowful. We
want it joyful. Nor do we want joyful existence in an unconscious state. We
want to enjoy our happiness and our existence consciously. Then what is the
link between ever new joy and eternal existence? Eternal consciousness.
That is what God is--ever-expanding, ever-conscious, ever-new Joy. It is
this Joy that all people are seeking, either directly through the soul, or indi-
rectly through false sense pleasures. Wnen satiety, boredom, disappoint-
ment, and pain arise from our error in seeking joy through the senses, we
finally turn our attention to God and thus find the only source of true joy.


All vibrations produce sound. The gentlest and the loudest sounds proceeding from creation are unheard by the  human ear, which cannot catch sounds ranging below 16 or above 20,000 cycles (approx. ) per second. This Lesson teaches you how to hear, through the ear of intuition, the Cosmic Sound, the symphony of all the sounds in the universe. In deep meditation, when the physical sounds (heartthrob, circulation, and other organic activity) and the astral music (bell, harp, flute, and so on, emanating from the electric activity of the astral body) die down, the meditating devotee hears the sound of Om, the Cosmic Vibration.

We already know that physical sounds are silently roaming in the ether,
detectable only by radio. The finer vibrations of the all-pervading cosmic
sound of Om similarly roam the universe. These vibrations are more subtle
than the ether. They are hidden beneath the cosmic forces, and beneath intel-
ligence and thought. This Cosmic Sound can be caught only when the heart-
radio of the deeply meditating devotee is tuned to Om's rate of vibration.

When you shut off your auditory sense telephone completely, you will
hear that great sound of Om hidden beneath the screen of bodily and astral
sounds. The most important of the five sense telephones is the ear telephone.
First we learn how to shut it off completely; then we can learn how to shut
off the fainter sounds in the inner parts of the body. Last of all, the sounds
of the astral body must be shut off. When you have learned to do this, your
body will vibrate like the sound of a drum or the ocean roar, with a great
musical rhythm. When you actually hear this sound, and feel the cosmic
music spread through every particle of space, then you will know God. And
you will know that you know God.

Once you have learned the method you must practice it faithfully, earnestly, as siduously , consistently, and continuously ; then you will find that you
can really contact God. There is no limit to the heights that you can attain.
SRF is giving you the technique; by using it, you can attune your consciousness to the Infinite Consciousness. Oneness with God is not mental chloroform. Oneness with God is the expansion of your consciousness from the limits of the mortal frame to the utmost bounds of eternity. It is interesting to note that the church bells had their origin in the temple bells of India. Their sound is an attempt to copy the great cosmic sound of Om;as are also the sounds of the many different kinds of drums that supply the rhythms
peculiar to various races. Why do such things as bells and drums stir your
blood? It is because they appeal to that hidden knowledge within you of the
great cosmic Om.

The Cosmic Sound is omnipresent. Anyone tuning in with it will find his
consc iousne s s expanded into omnipresence. Momentarily detached from identification with your personality in your expanded consciousness of Om,you will behold the cosmic ocean of God's consciousness and the wave of your consciousness existing together as one. As saltwater sealed in a bottle does not contact the ocean even though it floats in the ocean, so the soul-reflection of Spirit--sealed in the body-bottle by the cork of ignorance--cannot contact God even though it lives in the ocean of His presence. When
the jar is opened, the saltwater in it becomes one with the sea; so the contact of Om pulls out the cork of ignorance from the bottle of human consciousness, releasing the bodyimprisoned soul to merge in the sea of Cosmic Consciousness.

If you were to hear a conch shell blown in a room, you would hear the
sound in every part of the room, for sound vibration travels like an expanding sphere. Om is the special vibration of the Cosmos, and if you tune in with it, your consciousness begins to expand until it takes in the consciousness of every atom of space in the entire sphere of vibration. Om is the bridge between human consciousness and Cosmic Consciousness.

Just listening to the sound once or twice in a few years is not enough.
By practice of this and higher lessons, and with the help of your Guru, you should apply yourself until you learn to reach the Cosmic Sound in space. In the beginning, Om is just a comforting sound; but to the advanced student the Om sound is felt as all life. You can feel Om in huge land continents, and in vast spheres of space. You can feel the rotating of the earth and other planets in the sky, or millions of feet walking on your brown earth body; or myriad stellar systems glittering like diamonds on your cosmic body of infinite space.


Closing the ears with the thumbs, shut off all outer sounds. Then do three things:

1. keep your vision mentally focused on the Third Eye center located
between your eyebrows;
2. mentally chant Om; and
3. listen intently in the right ear, where the flow of energy is strong
and where you are used to catching sounds.

The right side is usually more sensitive than the left, unless you are lefthanded. When the eyes become calm and quiet, you should be able to see a light, but it is more important that you hear the astral sounds of the cerebrospinal centers, or the Om sound. When you have closed your ears and shut off all the sounds of outside matter (auto traffic, people talking, and so on), then you will hear the mighty beat of your heart. Listen to it until you hear it no longer; then listen to the different sounds that come, one by one, concentrating upon only one sound at a time. After you find the heartbeat or sound of the circulation stopped, then you will probably hear astral music of the spinal centers. First you may hear the buzzing of a bee, then a flute, then a
harp seemingly playing beautifully far off in the distance. This is the harp of
heavenly astral music. Then you may hear a sound as of a huge gong-bell;
and finally will follow the great rolling sound of Om like a bursting sea--like
the sound of many waters.

If you can hear the Om sound first, do not listen for any other sounds, but
concentrate upon that; be one with that. But if you cannot hear Om, listen to
one sound at a time in the right ear no matter whether it is a physical or an
astral sound, until you get the Om sound. When you get that, it is unnecessary
to hear the astral sounds. God is that Cosmic Sound. Wnen you hear the great sound of the universe, that is the time to pray. Then ask God for your heartfelt desires.

Your mind is a broadcasting microphone, but it is out of order, broken by
the hammers of restlessness. Self-Realization Fellowship concentration and
meditation techniques help you to tune your threefold radio of body, mind, and soul with God permanently, so that you may receive physical, financial, mental, and spiritual healing vibrations from Him. When you learn to repair your restless microphone of mind by meditation, you can broadcast your SOS to God until you find conscious response from Him.

You must keep flashing your soul's demand for an audience continuously
and unceasingly until you get a reply from God in the form of spiritual ecstasy and an ever-increasing thrill of joy. Then you will know that God is waiting in your heart as joy to hear your petition. Wnatever good desires you have, pray for them then, and you will know that God has answered the prayer of your soul.

Most people have fitful inspiration, derived from the subconscious; but
those who contact Om derive their inspiration from the unlimited, God-guided superconsciousness. Before writing, or before undertaking any important material or spiritual venture, be sure to listen to the cosmic sound of Om, and merge in it. When filled with the joy of this cosmic guidance, pray: "I will reason, I will will, I will act; but, Cosmic Sound, guide Thou my reason,
will,and activity, to the right thing that I should do."


Start meditating more intensely today. After long and intense meditations, held regularly, the time will come when God will talk to you, perhaps
in the form of a saint; or He may come to you as a great all-solacing Light.
Do not find fault with the Lesson or the technique when you do not obtain
results. Find fault with your distracted meditation. You only grow by deep
meditation and intelligent, controlled activity. The deeper you meditate
and the more willingly you serve, the happier you will be. And remember,
every wrong that you do others, you do to yourself first in thought and deed.
Let your mind and soul be cleansed. Every day happier than yesterday; that
is the standard of spiritual life; and if you find that you are not growing
happier and happier, you are going backwards.



 If you ever feel smug about practicing the techniques, I hope you will think of this story and be jolted into seeing things again in their true perspective. Practice of technique is not enough. Intellectual attainments are not enough. Going to church regularly or performing good actions in a mechanical way because "it is the thing to do" will never bring Self-realization.

Students who resemble the anchorite may strive for years, only to turn
aside from the path in a moment if faulty reasoning misleads them. Like the
anchorite who "knew" that elephants cannot pass through the eye of a needle, they try to limit God's powers and manifestations to conform to their own small comprehension. But devotees who resemble the young man know that even if they have not been able to give up bad habits they can bring God closer and closer by constantly calling upon Him and expecting Him to be present at all times--to take part in their daily lives as well as to respond to them in their moments of prayer. They know that all things are possible to God, and that most understanding lies beyond the intellect. When the devotee insistently demands the assistance and presence of God, lovingly visualizing Him and believing in His Omnipresence, then the Lord will reveal Himself in some form. With the dawning of the light of His revelation, the darkness of evil habits will automatically be banished to reveal the untainted soul.


I am the captain of the ship of my judgment, will, and
activity. I will guide my ship of life, ever beholding the polestar
of His peace shining in the firmament of my deep meditation.



"0 Holy Ghost, sacred Om vibration, enlarge my consciousness
as I listen to Thine omnipresent sound. Make me feel that I am both
the cosmic ocean and the little wave of body-vibration in it. "

Paramahansa Yogananda


1. Sit erect. Rest the elbows on some support high enough so that you can easily put the thumbs on the ears without leaning the body forward or slumping.

2. Press the thumbs comfortably tight on each tragus (the prominence in front of the opening or hole in the ear).

3. Place the little fingers on the eyelids near the outer corners to hold them down, and press lightly to prevent restless movements of the eyeballs.

4. Rest the other fingers on the forehead.

5. With closed or half-closed eyes converge the gaze on the point between the eyebrows and keep the gaze fixed there.

6. Mentally chant "Om, Om.“Make no sound, whisper, nor movement of the tongue.

7. Listen intently inside the right ear, where the flow of energy is strong and where one is accustomed to catching sounds.

8. Concentrate on whichever sound is loudest (you may hear a conglomeration of sounds of varying intensity).

9. Concentrate on only one sound at a time--the loudest. As you listen, other sounds will come to the fore. One by one, listen to these different sounds as each one becomes prominent.

10. Let the mental chanting of Om and the looking at the Christ-consciousness center be done automatically, without mental effort. When the eyes become calm and quiet, you should be able to see a light at the Christ-consciousness center; but during practice of this technique it is more important to concentrate on the astral sounds, or the Om sound. (Try to see the spiritual eye at the Christ-consciousness center after practice of this
technique. ) All mental effort should be given over completely to listening to the sound inside the right ear.

11. If you can hear the Om sound at once--a great rolling sound like a mighty sea--do not listen for any other sounds, but concentrate upon Om; be one with that, for God is manifesting to you as that cosmic sound of Om


1. Always precede your practice with a prayer to God and the Gurus of
Self-Realization Fellowship.

2. If possible, obtain an arm rest for practicing this technique of meditation (see leaflet enclosed) or construct such a T-shaped elbow prop yourself,
padding the crossbar with any suitable soft material. By affording support to the elbows during practice of the Om Technique of Meditation, the prop assists the student in maintaining the correct erect posture. The foot of the prop rests between the legs on the floor or on the meditation seat. Women may find that their mode of dress interferes with standing the prop between
the legs. If so, they may attach a flat cross-piece at the bottom as well as at the top of the prop. The lower cross-piece will then rest comfortably upon the thighs.

An elbow prop is a convenient as well as helpful device, because it can be easily carried about. In lieu of a prop, simply rest the elbows on several pillows piled up to the proper height on a table top.

3. Don't lean on the hands. Sit erect, with arms relaxed; otherwise the
hands and forearms soon become tired and the meditator finds
himself more concentrated on his physical discomfort than on the Om sound.

4. Practice the Technique of Concentration (Hong-Sau) before practicing
this Om Technique of Meditation; become calm, interiorized. The sounds flowing from Om will then be much easier to hear.

5. Be one with whatever vibration you hear --with reverence, and without any feeling of strain.

6. Intensity of mental effort )

7. Long periods of practice )

Both ( 6 and 7 ) are needed to reach higher and higher states of at-one -ment with Om.


(From "Metaphysical Meditations" by Paramahansa Yogananda)

Listen to the cosmic sound  of Aum, a great hum of countles atoms, in the sensitive right side of your head. This is the voice of God. Feel it spreading through the brain. Hear its continuous pounding roar.
Now hear and feel it spreading over the spine and bursting open the doors of the heart. Feel it resounding through every tissue, every feeling, every cord of
your nerves. Every blood cell, every thought, is dancing on the sea of roaring vihration.

Observe the spreading volume of the cosmic sound. It sweeps through
the body and mind into the earth and the surrounding atmosphere. You are moving with it,  into the airless ether, and into millions of universes of matter.

Meditate on the marching spread of the cosmic sound. It has passed
through the physical universes to the subtle veins of rays that hold all matter
in manifestation.

The cosmic sound is commingling with millions of multicolored rays.
The cosmic sound has entered the realm of cosmic rays. Listen to, behold,
and feel the embrace of the cosmic sound and the eternal light. The cosmic
sound now pierces through the heart-fires of cosmic energy and they both
melt into the bosom of cosmic consciousness and cosmic joy. The body melts
into the universe. The universe melts into the soundless voice. The sound
melts into the all-shining light. And the light enters the bosom of infinite joy.



By Paramahansa Yogananda

An age-old gulf has lain between Thee
and me, ever widening with the rush of
the waters of my obliviousness of Thee.

Now I stand on the rocky strand of mat-
ter and look longingly for Thy distant shores
of etheric beauty.

I have summoned divine inner architects
that are building across the gulf a rainbow
bridge of my constant remembrance of Thee.
The strong girders of self-control are being
riveted. Soon I shall be able to reach Thee!

--From "Whispers from Eternity"


Divine Mother, teach me to carry my love of Thee deep in my heart before I sleep. Help me to cradle it there, so that when I dream I may dream of Thee resting on the fragrant altar of sleep.



The conscious mind works with the senses of  sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. It is operative during wakefulness, but inactive during sleep. The subconscious mind, on the other hand, never sleeps. During the daytime it is awake and at work with the conscious mind, making memory records for it. At night, while the conscious mind is asleep and the body is at rest, the subconscious mind remains awake looking after the functions of the heart, lungs, and other vital organs, tending the human body-house like a faithful janitor. In addition, the subconscious mind is the manager-operator of mental dream-movies in dreamland.

The conscious and subconscious minds are identified with mortal ego
consciousness. The superconscious mind expresses the pure intuitive consciousness of the immortal soul. The superconscious mind works first
through the subconscious mind, then through the conscious mind, without
becoming entangled with either.

Dreams do not come to us from some outside source. They originate
in the consciousness of the dreamer. One's own conscious, subconscious,
or superconscious mind can create any dream imaginable and project it on
the screen of subconsciousness. Since dreams are produced only during
sleep (when the subconscious mind alone is operative) or in other states
wherein pure subconsciousness is manifest, it is apparent that subconsciousness is the screen on which all dream films are projected, whether they originate in the conscious, the subconscious, or the superconscious mind.

In sleep the life force withdraws from the sensory nerves, and partially
from the heart, and accumulates in the brain. True dream films of comic
and tragic happenings of the past lie hidden in the grooves of the brain, all
ready to be projected. These films stored in the subconscious mind become
vivified and magnified by the accumulated life force in the brain during the
deep relaxation of sleep. The stored-up life force percolates through the brain grooves containing the various kinds of dream films or memories, and by strange combinations produces different kinds of motion pictures, which are then projected on the screen of subconsciousness.

The subconscious mind is a multiple personality. In addition to serving
as a screen on which the inner dream films are shown, it acts sometimes as
a cameraman, sometimes as a director, and sometimes as the operator who
projects the inner films. Thought films made by the cameraman of the conscious and the superconscious minds collect in the chamber of the subconscious. Sometimes the subconscious mind, acting as a projectionist, is superconsciously guided to forecast coming events: The cameraman of the all-seeing superconscious mind may photograph a true happening that is taking place elsewhere, or that is about to take place in the life of the
dreamer, and drop the film in the movie house of the subconscious, to be played for the guidance of the erring ego. Superconscious films thus dropped into the subconscious chamber and projected on the screen of subconsciousness are true dreams or visions. Films dropped by the conscious-mind cameraman into the memory chamber of the subconscious mind are often mixed up and projected as various kinds of false or imaginative dreams, but sometimes they may be true dreams. Unless consciously (that is, at will) or superconsciously induced, dreams are generally meaningless and false. Only dreams that are true visions are those consciously produced in the spiritual eye.

As in real motion pictures, the subjects of the interior movies are various. There are newsreels, tragedies, comedies, and so on. These may be dream
reenactments of actual happenings, or purely imaginary original productions. A dream, being a visual image, is more real than ordinary thought
or imagination.

A developed yogi can concentrate upon a single thought, at the same time
completely relaxing the body as in sleep, and produce consciously a true
dream or vision. A vision consists of the filming, by the all-seeing super -
consciousness or soul intuition, of a future event.

When you are able to shift the searchlight of your attention and energy from conscious to superconscious dreaming, enjoying peace at will, you will
feel complete freedom from the troubles of this mundane world. At will, you
will fly from the planet of physical sensations to the planet of dream sensations, or astral consciousness; or to the superconscious sphere of eternal peace. In order to shift your consciousness from the conscious to the subconscious, your body must also manifest all the signs of sleep; the life force and energy must be switched off from the lamps of billion-celled muscles, and from the optic, auditory, gustatory, olfactory, and tactual nerves.


Visions during the wakeful state are created by the allseeing, all-powerful superconscious mind. The superconscious uses brain energy to materialize thoughts about a true event which is to happen in the near or far future, and shows it to the yogi during the wakeful state with the eyes closed. When a true vision is seen with open eyes, the life force has been projected from the brain into the ether. In this case the persons and scenes in the brain may not be true to touch, though they are true to sight, and will be true to all five senses, in time, if spiritual development is continuous.

Visions can be had only by going deep into meditation and then wishing to
see the real state of things. Visions are real, whether seen during the waking state or as dreams during sleep. Ordinary dreams, however, are only
imaginary images. One who is able to dream at will is more likely to be able
to have a real vision. To be able to dream at will signifies that your will can
materialize thoughts, and that you are becoming prepared to produce guiding visions. Visions of true future happenings are very useful in guiding and molding your life, when you can produce them by superconsciousness or by Christ Consciousness. The enlightened man seldom dreams any false dreams, whereas the ordinary man seldom has any true dreams,

It is better not to dream unintentionally at all, but to be able to produce
at will true dreams and visions, Why be imposed upon by dreams? You don't
want your movie-house of dreams fully working when you are trying to rest,
When dreams do come too often, you should meditate and calm yourself; then this condition will disappear. The more calm you become, the less you will dream, You should be able, by deep meditation and advancement on the path, to dream true dreams at will, or to produce visions of distant events by the all-seeing power of the superconsciousness within you.

In superconscious dreams, the superconsc ious mind photographs future
happenings and drops them into the dream-movie house, to be filmed there
for the guidance of the ego, These dreams, good or bad, always come true,
The superconscious mind is especially interested in dropping messages that
will awaken the ego to its true soul-nature and thus keep it from wallowing
in the mire of sense attachments. In addition to occasionally producing dreams to lead the ego to return to its real home of happiness in God, the superconscious mind also produces dream hints of spiritual progress, and of the call of God.


Whenever you dream calmly about big fires, the ocean,  rivers; boats, angels, scriptures, saints, temples, churches, altars, flowers; cloudless skies, sunny lightq auroras, or the moon, or a feeling of expansion in space, you may be sure that, owing to the cumulative power generated by your good actions in this life, you are nearing that time in your spiritual development when the karmic consequences of prenatal or postnatal bad actions will finally have been worked out.

Altars represent communion with God, or marriage with an evolved person. The real marriage, and the happiest one, consists in the union of the human soul (considered as feminine, or negative, whether in a male or female body) with the only masculine, positive Soul or God.

Cloudless skies represent a serene, pure path of communion with God,
spiritual development without trouble, and an abundance of clear spiritual

Flowers represent the budding of blossoms of creative wisdom in the garden of thought. By the magic wand of mere willingness the spiritual devotee will find the right thought arising at the right time.

Sunny lights signify astral visions illuminating vast spaces during meditation.

Auroras represent cosmic astral light--in which one can see all the astral planets, large and small, glittering in space--and the visitation of Cosmic Consciousness during deepest meditation.

The moon indicates that one should combine devotion with astral visions
perceived in meditation, in order to progress on the spiritual path.

Fire represents the burning of past karma.

Light and the ocean represent vast perceptions of Self-realization in meditation.

Water represents the divine perceptions attainable by meditation.

A boat indicates that one should seek the right guru (human vehicle--
messenger of God), whose voice, intelligence, and spiritual perception the
Divine Being uses to redeem the disciple completely in one or (as the case
may be) many incarnations. The guru is the boat or vehicle of salvation; or
he might be called a spiritual mariner, who takes the disciple across oceans
of past karma to the shores of God. A boat also represents Self-realization
received through the practice of a spiritual technique of salvation given by a

Angels represent saints and divine friends from past lives who remember us and try to redeem us through silent suggestions of their presence.

Any of the foregoing types of dream visions are hints that the dreamer has shown development in this kind of spiritual accomplishment, either in his past life or in this life; and that it would be easy for him to develop further along these lines.


Once there was a huge lioness, pregnant and half-starved. As the days passed
and the baby lion grew heavier within her, she had a hard time moving around in quest of prey. Even when the lioness successfully stalked some
creature she wasn't quick enough to pounce, and so failed every time to capture her prey.

Roaring with sadness, heavy with the baby lion, and pining with hunger,
the lioness roamed through the forest and finally fell asleep in the shade of
a grove of trees bordering a pasture. As she was dozing, she dreamed that
she saw a flock of sheep grazing. Trying to pounce upon one of the dream
sheep, she jerked and woke up to behold in reality a large flock of sheep
grazing nearby.

Overwhelmed with joy, forgetful of the baby lion she was carrying inside her, and impelled by the madness of unappeased hunger, the lioness pounced upon a young lamb and disappeared into the depths of the jungle.
The lioness did not even realize that, owing to the severe exertion of her
mad leap for the lamb she had given birth to her cub.

The sheep were paralyzed with fear at the attack, but when the lioness
departed and the panic was over, they wakened from their stupor and noticed the loss of the lamb. As the flock bleated out lamentations in sheep language they noticed, to their great astonishment, the helpless baby lion mewling in their midst. One of the ewes took pity on the cub and adopted it as her own.

Several years passed; the orphan lion, now a mature beast with long
mane and tail, roamed with the flock behaving exactly like a sheep. Bleating instead of roaring, and eating grass instead of meat, this strictly vegetarian lion had perfected himself in the weakness and meekness of a lamb.

It so happened that one day another lion strolled out of the nearby forest
which opened into the green pasture and to his delight beheld the flock of
sheep. Thrilled with joy and whipped by hunger, the strong lion pursued the
fleeing flock of sheep, when, to his great amazement, he noticed the husky
sheep-lion, tail high in the air, also fleeing at top speed ahead of the sheep.

The pursuing lion paused for a moment, switching his tail in astonishment and pondering within himself: "I can understand sheep flying away from
me, but I cannot imagine why a stalwart lion should run too. This runaway
lion interests me. " Spurred by determination to get to the fleeing lion, he
raced hard and pounced upon the escaping beast. The sheep-lion fainted with
fear. The other lion was more puzzled than ever. Slapping the sheep-lion
out of his swoon, he rebuked him in a hoarse voice: "Wake up! What's the
matter? Why do you, a brother lion, fly away from me?"

The sheep-lion closed his eyes and bleated out in sheep language: "Please
let me go. Don't kill me! I am just a sheep from yonder flock that fled away
and left me.“ "Aha! Now I see why you are bleating, " said his captor. He
pondered a moment, then seized the mane of the sheep-lion with his mighty
jaws, and dragged him toward a lake at the end of the pasture land. When
they reached the shore of the lake, he pushed the deluded creature's head
over the water so that it was reflected there, and began to shake him violently, for the sheep-lion still had his eyes tightly closed. "What's the matter with you?" asked his captor. "Open your eyes and see that you are not a sheep. "

"Bleat, bleat, bleat! Please don't kill me. Let me go! I am not a lion,
but only a poor meek sheep, wailed the silly beast. The other lion, angry
now, gave his captive a terrible shake. Under the impact of it, the sheep- lion opened his eyes and was astonished to see in the water a reflection, not
of a sheep's head, as he expected, but a lion's head, like that of the one who
was shaking him with his paw. Then the big creature said in lion language:
"Look at my face and your face reflected in the water. They are the same;
and this voice of mine roars. It does not bleat. You must roar instead of bleating. "

The sheep-lion, convinced, tried to roar, but at first succeeded only in
producing bleat-mingled roars. But under the slapping paws and exhortation
of his new friend, he at last succeeded in roaring effectively. Then both lions
leaped across the fields, and together pursued the ilock of sheep, finally returning to live together in the den of the older lion.

The foregoing story fittingly illustrates how most of us, though made in
the all-powerful image of the Divine Lion of the Universe, remember only
being born and brought up in the sheepfold of mortal weakness. So we bleat
with fear at the predators of sickness, lack, sorrow, and death, instead of
roaring with immortality and power and preying on mortal delusion and ig

Self-Realization Fellowship teachings are the powerful lion that will
drag you to the crystal pool of meditation and give you such a hard shaking
that you will open the closed eyes of your wisdom and behold yourself as a
divine lion, made in the image of the Cosmic Lion. Those of you who keep
trying continuously will forget your mortal bleatings of weakness and sick-
ness and death, and will roar with the power of almighty immortality.


I am the prince of perpetual peace playing
the drama of sad and happy dreams on the stage
of experience.



By Paramahansa Yogananda

0 Spirit, teach me to aspire each day to the best in

Teach me to crave the supreme lasting joy of Thy
presence in preference to passing sense-pleasures.

Teach me to perform all my duties to please only Thee.

Teach me to think of Thee until Thou dost become my
only thought.

Teach me to call Thee until Thou breakest Thy vow of

Teach me to seek Thee until I find Thy hiding place.

Teach me to beat the drum of my craving until Thou
dost come into the temple of my heart.

Teach me to exude fragrant devotion until it lures
Thee into my soul garden.

Teach me to behold the spreading radiance of Thine
infinite presence.

Teach me to dig with the pickax of my peace deeper and
deeper into the soil of silence, until the water of
Thy presence gushes forth and I am bathed in Thy bliss.

Teach me to look for Thee in myself until I realize that it
is Thou who hast become I.


0 Spirit, teach us to consider no work greater
than Thy spiritual work, as no work is possible without
the power to perform it being borrowed from Thee.


Every human being is an expression of the great, vast Spirit. Since you
are a manifestation of Spirit, you should make an effort to express your infinite potentialities as you are intended to do. You should definitely determine your life's vocation, by analyzing your early childhood and present life, before you hastily sidetrack yourself in some incompatible pursuit or start in a wrong direction altogether. Then, after you have found out the path to which you are best suited, try to build around it all the creative money-making methods at your command. You should maintain your money-making methods, however, within the boundaries of your idealism; otherwise the result may be that you have money but not happiness. Happiness is possible only when the desire for making money cannot lure you to travel on the wrong path.

Wake up! It is never too late to reconstruct your life. Analyze what
you are and what your soul-appointed tasks are, so that you can make yourself w h at y ou s h ou ld be. You have talents and powers that you have
not used; all the power that you need. There is nothing greater than the power of mind. Resurrect your mind from the little habits that keep you worldly. Anchor your mind in God so that you can smile that perpetual
smile--that God-inspired, strong smile of balanced recklessness, that million dollar smile that no one can take from you.

Millions of children are started on the path of life witlmut a specific destination. They act like little toy engines, wound up with a little power, running without a track, only to smash up against anything that comes across their path. Such aimless journeys in life are the lot of most people, because in early life they were not started toward the right goal, nor were they properly equipped with systematically developed powers that would enable them to keep moving on definite paths of achievement. On this stage of life most people behave like puppet-actors, manipulated by environment, prenatal instincts, and karmic destiny created in former lives. They never know what parts they can play successfully, nor do they understand how they can harmonize their own duties with the general plan of the cosmic drama. Millions are sleepwalking, so to speak, doing their duties of life as if in a somnambulistic state, unaware of any purpose; ignorant of the reason for their own behavior, and wihut any conception of its results.


You cannot remain stationary. You must go either forward or backward. Isn't that a great and marvelous truth--that in this life you cannot remain at a standstill? The law of change governs our universe. You are subject to changes that are either harmful or beneficial. In this Lesson, we are considering changes that are beneficial to you. You should never forget that where there is a will there is a way. The way best suited to your life, the way worked out after a compromise between your idealistic desires and the practical duties of life, should be the path that you follow.
For instance, if you have a tendency toward gardening, and ability to do it, but you have to live and work in a city in order to make enough money to live on, do not give up your desire for the occupation. Have even a small garden in your backyard. But have your home in the country if possible, and in either case spend most of your Saturdays and Sundays, not in attending useless shows, but in finding your peace in garden work.

Perhaps someone has started you on the path of a traveling salesman.
You try your utmost; you work hard, you think and plan, but you do not succeed. Analyze yourself. You may find that from childhood you have had an inclination to have a little garden of your own in which to grow vegetables; and to have a quiet home, where you could rest, enjoy, and drink peace; and where occasionally you could paint a picture or two of the landscape. Perhaps this desire to be a farmer-artist came percolating through your superconsciousness from a former existence, or it may have been strongly suggested to you by some person in this life or by the impression of early years spent on a farm. Your mind's whole enthusiasm and ambition may have been already prejudiced by the latent impulse toward a life close to nature. (Of course, gardening is only a single example. Your innate tendencies might lead you toward music, science, business. medicine, the law, etc. )
The question is, why walk vocationally uphill against your own already formed tendencies toward a different occupation? Most people form their innate heart's desire between the ages of three and twelve, although they may not be aware of it.
Watch yourseli carefully, and you will find running under the wavelets of your many incidential desires an undercurrent of some definite desire. That ignored permanent desire, which has been always with you, coaxing you to listen to it, is the real archangel of success that you should follow.

No matter what wonderful vocation you are practicing, if it does not satis-
fy your heart, be certain that you are not following the right path. Whatever
path your heart's deep desire tells you to follow is your royal highway in this
life, the route you should travel in order to reach the abode of lasting peace
and happiness. People are never happy traveling in the wrong direction. But
while striving to follow the main vocation of your life, you should be practical
and use your common sense. The person who follows a certain artistic path,
which is paved after his heart's desire, may satisfy his aesthetic hunger, but
may not be productive enough to meet his own needs and his family's physical hunger. Every man should fulfill hisduties as well as foster his talents.


Your small part in the Great Play, if wrongly played, would affect its success, even if the cosmic drama were perfectly played by all other souls. Find out your true part, and play it for your own happiness, if it is in harmony with the happiness of others. Then you may sometime be chosen to play the divinely entertaining role of a savior-actor, to inspire prodigal souls to retrace their footsteps to the mansion of peace, where they may find real understanding of life and God. To provide your family with food is necessary, but to provide their minds with means for proper development of mental powers is more necessary; and to develop their souls by leading them to know the meditation ways that lead to God-contact is of paramount importance.

In order to fulfill successfully the part you were sent on earth to play,
you should not only follow your innate ambition and learn how to acquire the practical necessities of life from that vocation, but you should also do something every day that will satisfy your obligation to the cosmic law and cosmic plan. Most people are unhappy because they fail to recognize the necessity of harmonizing their acquired personal earthly duties with their duties according to the demands of the cosmic plan. It is a decree of Cosmic Law that the happiness of one's own heart alone cannot satisfy the soul; one must try to include, as necessary to one's own true happiness, the happiness of others.

Every day try to help uplift, as you would help your self or your family,
whoever in your environment may be physically, mentally, or spiritually sick.
If from today on, instead of living in the old misery-making selfish way, you
live scientifically, according to the physical, mental, and spiritual laws of
God, then no matter what your part is on the stage of life, you will know that
you have been playing it right, directed by the Stage Manager of all our destinies. Your role, however small, is just as important as the biggest in contributing to the success of the entire drama of souls on the stage of creation.
Resolve to make and be satisfied with a little money, by living an extremely
simple life; and express your ideals, rather than work hard just to have lots
of money and worries without end.


Trials do not come to destroy you, but to help you appreciate God better. God does not send those trials. They are of your own making. All you have to do to overcome them is to resurrect your consciousness from the environment of spiritual ignorance. Inner and outer troubles are born because of conscious or unconscious actions in the past, somewhere, sometime. We must blame ourselves for these. We should not allow ourselves, however, as a result of this realization, to develop an inferiority complex. You should ever affirm: "Heavenly Father, I know that Thou art guiding me ! In this tumultuous sea of trial Thou art the polestar of my shipwrecked thoughts. "
Why are you afraid? You are an immortal being. You are neither a man nor a
woman, as you may think, but a soul, joyous, eternal.

Even as Jesus could manifest his love and say, when sorely tested:
"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do, so should you become
able to forgive others, even in the midst of exacting trials, and say: "My soul
is resurrected. My power to overcome is greater than all the destructive force of my trials, because I am a child of God. " Thus your mental powers
will expand, and your cup of realization will become big enough to hold the
ocean of knowledge. Your forever hungry desires must be attended to; destroy those that are useless, and nourish with proper environment and activity those that are worthwhile. Then you will be happy and prosperous.


Use your creative thinking ability to gain success in every worthwhile
project you undertake. Help yourself that you may bring into proper use all
your God-given powers. Make mental blueprints of little things, and keep on
making them materialize until you can make your big dreams also come true.
Be happy in the definite accomplishment of the little objects of your desire;
then you can materialize the big dreams of your life.

Unhappiness is caused by failure. You can make permanent happiness for yourself by not letting anything ever disturb you on your forward journey to
success. God will help you if you help yourself and, at the same time, pray
to Him to help you bring your efforts to a successful issue.


The noisy hooves of the iron horse "Chief" were racing over the tracks.
I was seated in my assigned section of the Pullman car, peering through
the window watching the mountains, trees, and landscape flit by. Opposite me sat a man whom I recognized as a movie actor. He gave me an indirect look of distaste, mingled with pity, as if "condescending" to sit opposite me, a
Hindu with long flowing hair and an orange robe. I was looking at him with unperturbed gaze.

After a time I softly asked him: "Sir, will you please tell me why you have assumed such a harried expression? " "It is no business of yours,“
he replied angrily, and would have left then and there; but like a mother curbing a wayward child, I caught hold of his hand and persuaded him to keep his seat.

He sat back with the helpless air of one who knows he is trapped. "You
are the most audacious per son I have ever met during my travels.“
As I paid no attention to his remark, he sulkily added: "Anyhow, it's none of your business what kind of an expression I have. " This was my opportunity.

"Of course it is my business, sir, to tell you about your self-distorted
face, as I have to look at it steadily for many hours. Won't you please paint
a smile over your gloomy countenance ?“ At this remark my movie friend
showed his well-formed, well-polished teeth in a smile, signifying: "Hostilities have ceased; now state your intention quickly and in as few words as possible. "

Seeing him now in a fairly receptive mood, I began: "My friend, it was an
accident that you were born an American and that I was born a Hindu. But I
know that both you and I are children of God. When we leave this earth, we
shall have to drop our mortal titles and racial cloaks and know ourselves only
as God's children. "

"Yes, I know all that, " was the bland, dry reply. In spite of his cold
blanket of indifference that he had just cast over me, I continued with unabated warm enthusiasm: "Brother, do you know that in this world we are all a little bit crazy and don't know it? "Why, what do you mean? "
my new acquaintance countered cautiously, apparently not ready to agree that he was crazy too.

I added quickly , "Do you know why people can't see their own c razines s ? "
"No, Why don't they?

"People don't detect their own craziness because crazy people of the same
feather flock together. If I were a movie actor, then we would have at least
tolerated each other; and if I had met another Hindu with my tastes, instead
of meeting you, then we would perhaps have had a jolly good time. Rut as it
is, our different types of craziness make us seem strange to each other. I
have the advantage, however, because I know about your craziness as a movie actor, but you don't know anything about my craziness. This is an interesting occasion because you have the chance of a lifetime to prove the truth that when people who are differently crazy come together they find out about their own craziness.“

My movie-actor friend burst out laughing. "That is well said!" he exclaimed.

But I wasn't through with him yet! "Here is one chance in eternity to
learn the details concerning my form of craziness and then decide whether
mine will afford more real happiness than yours, or vice versa. "
The actor raised no protest. "If I can convince you by logic that my God craziness is better than your movie craziness, then you must follow me; but if you can talk me into believing that your c raziness is better than mine, then I will be a movie actor. "

Well, I am not a movie actor yet! My friend followed me instead.

The fact is, we must not dislike people because they are different from us, or because their opinions differ from ours. We are almost crazily determined to believe in our own pet self -formulated convictions. Since people of the East and the West know very little about each other's particular craziness, it is be st that we come together and point out to each other our specific beliefs. When in a friendly way the East remarks on the West's craziness for material possessions, and the West points out the spiritual one-sidedness of the East, then each will want to remove its one-sidedness; and if both will constructively exchange experiences, they can pave the way for a balanced,
harmonious civilization after the pattern of God's plan.
* * *


I will try to please everyone by kind, considerate actions, and always try to
remove the cause of any misunder standing that arises.



By Paramahansa Yogananda

Heavenly Spirit, we are traveling by many
right roads to Thine abode of light. Guide us onto
the highway of Self-knowledge, to which all paths
of true religious beliefs eventually lead.

The diverse religions are branches of Thy one
immeasurable tree of truth. May we enjoy the
luscious fruits of soul realization that hang from the
boughs of scriptures of every clime and time.

Teach us to chant in harmony the countless
expressions of our supreme devotion. In Thy
temple of the earth, in a chorus of many-accented
voices, we are singing only to Thee.

0 Divine Mother, lift us on Thy lap of universal
love. Break Thy vow of silence and sing to us the
heart-melting melody of human brotherhood.

--From "Whispers from Eternity“


0 Divine Mother, let every sound that I make have
the vibration of Thy voice. Let my every thought be
saturated with the consciousness of Thy presence. Let
my every feeling glow with Thy love.


Chemistry shows us that a combination of two elements with different
characteristic s may produce a third substance manifesting an altogether different quality. Similarly, two or more different kinds of feelings may combine to produce a wholly new feeling, expressing an entirely new quality.
And, just as the chemical combination of two elements generates heat, and,
conversely, their union may be brought about by heat, so the union of different feelings may be accomplished by stimulation of warmth-producing heart qualities, or emotions.


Attachment to material objects produces misery. Attachment to spiritual inclinations produces realization. Spiritual attachment plus the peace found in meditation creates bliss. Selfishness plus egotism makes miserliness and material attachment. But selfishness plus consciousness of the higher Self, which sees Itself in all, brings breadth of vision and spiritual perception.

Ambition plus the money-making desire creates selfishness and dissatis-
faction. But ambition plus sympathy for others produces a higher form of
selfishness that brings lasting joy; a selfishness that is really selflessness,
taking pleasure in service to others as to oneself.

Anger may be violent, or tempered by reason. It is usually awakened
when one's own or another's interest is hurt. The chemical combination of
violent anger plus self-interest or selfishness causes a psychological explosion ending in hysterics or some dangerous act. Anger plus greed and dissipation makes for recklessness, satiety, and indifference. Anger plus
devotion to a righteous cause--if tempered with reason--produces some
definite result for good in the world.

Hatred of sin (error) plus scorn equals indifference and hurts oneself
and others. But hatred of sin plus sensitiveness that seeks to avoid actions
that will bring suffering to others produces self-control. Hate the sinner and
you yourself fall in the estimation of divine law. Deep peace plus wisdom-
guided sense enjoyment makes for self-control. Craving for pleasure plus
sense enjoyment c reates insatiable desire.

By itself, a particular feeling produces a particular, limited result; but
when rightly combined with certain other qualities, it may produce infinite
results in spiritual realization. Higher feelings may be developed only by
exercising them. Alone, ordinary feelings produce the dualities and relativities of human experiences --likes and dislikes, pleasure and pain, etc.
-serving certain isolated purposes. But when correctly and spiritually united,
they produce the higher emotions, which serve to awaken inner realization.


Generally speaking, we can say that all the people in the world fall into one or another of two opposite classifications: good or evil, meditative or restless, wise or ignorant, happy or sad. What is more, they mentally "fix" themselves in certain categories. Tell an evil person to be good, or the restless one to be meditative, and both will make you feel that either they do not like to, or they
cannot. Their attitudes are due to previous habit, and not to a true desire of
the heart. Once our habits are strongly established it is extremely difficult
for us to change. The feeling that we cannot change is only a delusion, but
it is very hard to overcome that delusion. Therefore do not willfully or
carelessly put aside good habits, but cultivate them, and develop a taste for
the superior, lasting happiness they bring. Otherwise you may lapse into
weak habits and find yourself unable to change when you wish to.

A man may have either very good or very evil tendencies, or somewhat
good or somewhat evil tendencies. An exact balance of good and evil qualities is rarely to be found in anyone. There is always a little more tendency to good than to evil, or vice versa. It is a law of nature that if you are a little less evil than good, your evil gradually will be taken away by the greater power of good; and if you have a little less good than evil, your few good habits will gradually be absorbed by the greater number of evil tendencies. The dominant quality, by its very preponderance, tends to attract more of the same quality. "For he that hath, to him shall be given; and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath" (Mark  4:25).

It is just as difficult for some people to be evil as it is for others to be
good. But man cannot remain under the influence of error forever, because
he is made in the image of God. The beginning spiritual aspirant finds his
soldiers of discrimination guided only by the desire to be good. Later, as
he meditates longer and prays ardently for inner help, he finds that the calm
conviction of latent intuition--awakening inner light --a veteran occult generall emerges from the superconsciousness to guide the forces of discrimination.

Take away the compelling instincts of anger, fear, sense temptation,
selfishness, and greed that are planted in man by the unseen cosmic satanic
force, and the world would be entirely free from evil. If these evil mental
traits did not exist, man's reason, or will, could not be influenced to evil
thoughts and actions. People who are easily influenced by evil usually are
found to have had predominantly evil instincts from early childhood.

When persons accustomed to anger slavery are drunk with excitement,
they become emotional firebugs; at the slightest provocation they light matches of wrathful words and set fire to others' inner peace. A forest fire causes millions of dollars of loss to the Government; emotional firebugs, by destroying the happiness of others, similarly cause millions of dollars of loss in creative thinking, and incalculable waste of human nerve-energy.


 People seeking happiness should shun bad habits, which lead to evil actions that sooner or later produce misery. Like a silently burning acid, misery corrodes body, mind, and soul, and cannot be endured long. It should be strictly avoided by exercising wisdom and discrimination.

Remember that the repetition of a few weak actions produces habits of
weakness. Most people allow self-created habits of weakness or failure to
enslave them. You can save yourself from weak slavery if you have made
up your mind to live differently, but your resolution to fight bad habits should be persistent, until success is reached. Whatever your position now, it is you who have put yourself there. Whatever you are now, you have made yourself in the distant or near past. The secret, invisible traces of your own
past actions exercise a controlling power over present actions initiated by
free choice.

Thus it is you--through the law of cause and effect that governs all
human actions--who now order yourself to be punished or rewarded. In past
years you probably have suffered enough; now it is time for you to parole
yourself from the prison of your own past undesirable habits. Since you are
the judge, no jail of suffering, poverty, or ignorance can hold you if you
really want to liberate yourself.

The kind omnipresent God has never punished or rewarded you, for
from the beginning He has given you the power to reward or punish yourself
by the right use or misuse of your own reason and will. If you have trans-
gressed laws of health, prosperity, or wisdom, you punish yourself accord-
ingly with ill health, poverty, or ignorance. Live wisely, cultivating good
habits that will bring happiness. Then, when evil material desire tries to
exercise the power of habit to destroy the power of good, it will be amazed
to find that the offspring of past good habits are ready to give resistance. It
is very consoling to know that no matter how strong the powers of evil habit
and material desire are, there are soldiers of good habits of this life and
past incarnations ready at any moment to give battle. Each person must
ascertain for himself whether habits born of his good actions of the past and
present are gaining ascendancy in his bodily kingdom.


 To be good is more charming and beneficial  than to be evil, yet even a few good people--by their qualitative worthwhilene ss --counterbalance the quantitative influence of evil. One moon gives more light than all the stars. The sun drives away the darkness from a space millions of times larger than itself. One good man, whether he preaches or not, by his very presence in the world sets in motion invisible good vibrations; their power is sufficient to counteract even vast volumes of inharmonious vibrations emanating from the wrong thoughts and actions of evil persons.

We are usually born into life rich with smiles, youth, health, and mystic
aspirations. As we grow ever older, we begin to lose these riches, and our
swelling, thrilling hopes die out. Why do we grow warm with riches only to
be frozen suddenly by the chill of poverty? Doe-s happiness come only to vanish? There is a lesson for us in the evanescense of youth and its joys.

If one has lost a diamond and tries to satisfy himself by replacing it with
little pieces of broken glass that he finds shining in the sunlight, he is bound
to be disillusioned. He cannot find the lost diamond in a pile of broken glass;
he is seeking in the wrong place. In the same way, man tries to regain his
lost soul-happine s s by pursuing momentarily glittering sense pleasures; but
when he has had enough of sense happiness he becomes disgusted and tries to find peace and joy where alone they may be found--in the soul.

It is foolish to expect true happiness from material things, for they are
powerless to give it; yet many millions of people die of broken hearts trying
vainly to find in mate rial things the comfort that only God can impart.


Thou hast issued the commandments of righteousness, 0 Lord, to safeguard our happiness. May we shun the path of wrongdoing, which always leads to suffering. Let us see that virtue is infinitely more charming than vice. Help us to under stand that evil, which at first may seem delightful, gradually acts as poison; and that good, in the beginning often bitter to our taste, eventually becomes nectar-sweet.


Pat and Mat hated each other. They quarreled when they were boys in
school, and when they grew up they were bitter rivals in competing shoestores. They even fought one day for the hand of the same fair maiden; and Pat, being slightly stronger, gave Mat a sound beating. Pat walked away
with the girl, leaving Mat senseless on the sidewalk. When he "came to,“
Mat was filled with shame, sorrow, and disgust. Determining to get even
with Pat sometime, Mat shifted his interest and his business from Philadelphia to Miami.

Although Pat soon forgot all about the insult, hurt, and inconvenience
that he had caused Mat, the latter, being the maltreated party, could not
wipe from his memory the grievance againt Pat. Every night before going to
bed Mat would affirm: "Day by day, in every way, I am forgiving Pat more
and more.“ But after several months he realized that during his daily
affirmation of forgiveness he had actually been hatching the egg of revengefulness, and that in the background of his mind he had really been praying for an opportunity to straighten out his old grudge.

After a time, Pat went to Miami for a vacation, unwittingly drawn there
by the strangely attractive power of mutual hatred. Not suspecting any
trouble, he guilelessly went for a stroll one evening, although it was dark
and drizzly. As he walked along a lonely road, he passed under the tiled roof
of an open shed adjoining a warehouse. Unbeknownst to him, Mat, having
found out that his old enemy was in town, was silently dogging his steps in
rubber-soled shoes. Mat was ready to pay back with compound interest what
Pat had done to him in Philadelphia.

Pitter-patter! the drizzle changed into raindrops. Under cover of their sound, Mat pursued his quarry more closely. He was delighted to behold on the ground ahead a large tile that had evidently loosened and fallen, unbroken,
from the roof of the warehouse shed. Just after Pat stepped over this fallen
tile, Mat knocked him senseless.

Pat lay on the cold, muddy sod beneath the shed much longer than Mat
had lain on the sidewalk after the thrashing at his hands in Philadelphia, long
ago. Two hours passed. The sky had ceased to weep, and was smiling with
moonbeams when he regained consciousness, puzzled to find himself lying in
a pool of blood on the cold earth beneath the shed. By the moonlight peeping
through the shed roof where the tile had loosened, Pat could see all around
him. He saw then the fallen tile, mutely yet eloquently lying near his head. .
Looking up at the square opening in the tile roof overhead, he thought to himself, "What bad luck! Evidently the tile loosened itself under the cumulative pelting of the rain and I ran under the shed to escape the rain just in aime for the tile to fall on my head.“

* * *

Pat's reasoning is an illustration of how we tend to forget our misdeeds,
though the self-created results of such actions never forget us. The consequences of our good or bad actions silently pursue us through the darkness of our ignorance. Just as the cow can find its calf amidst a thousand other calves, so the results of our actions in this life and past lives pursue us doggedly and find us wherever we happen to be. If Pat had weighed the consequences of his action after beating Mat, and had made up with Mat, no
injurious result would have germinated for him in the dark womb of the

The moral is, increase the power of wisdom and meditation in order to
burn up the ungerminated seeds of evil tendencies latent within your mind.
Judge well before you act, for after you have acted you must reap a specific
result of that action. Remember that every action leaves traces that are
stored up as tendencies in your mind. Unless you counteract latent evil
tendencies by becoming better and better every day, there is no telling what
you may become in the future, should the germination of seeds of evil tendencies suddenly come about under favorable evil influences.

A man can be sure of himself only if he meditates more and more deeply,
and in the fire of Self-realization and calmness consumes all the seeds of evil tendencies that lie ungerminated in his subconscious. Those weed seeds
which secrete themselves in the subconscious mind can be roasted during
the contact of the conscious and subconscious minds with the superconsciousness of deep meditation. Seeds of evil tendencies thus roasted in the fire of wisdom cannot germinate. So do not sit idle, no matter how great you are. Keep on burning out the latent evil of forgotten incarnations by kindling greater fires of goodness in meditation. All the crowding seeds of worries that infest the tracts of the conscious and the subconscious minds burn into a blaze of bliss when they touch the fiery superconscious peace of meditation.


I am thinking with the minds of all. I am
feeling through all feelings. The flowers of joy
blooming on all heart-soils are mine. I am
eternal laughter. My smiles are dancing through
all faces. I am the wave of enthusiasm in all
hearts. I am the King of Silence sitting on the
throne of emotion.



By Paramahansa Yogananda

Give me holy health,
But give my brothers more,
That I may enjoy my greater health
In the greater myself.
Give me power,
But to my dear ones give it more abundantly,
That I may wield the strength of all minds
United in my mind.
Give me wisdom,
That I may make my loved ones more wise,
And that I may feel its rays spreading
On the vast tract of merged brother-souls.

Teach me to behold through all eyes,
Work through all hands,
And feel my heartthrobs in all.
Teach me to feel, act, strive, earn,
And especially to spend, for all--
As I do for myself.

I want health, to be a model for others' health
As well as for my own.
I want to be efficient,
To turn inefficiency away from earth's door.
I want wisdom's freedom,
That I may enjoy my liberty only
In the universal freedom of all--
In the spiritual emancipation of all!


Divine Mother, teach me to remember that enthusiasm
and willingness go hand in hand with fresh supplies of energy.


We know that a dead man cannot inhale oxygen or absorb sunshine or
digest food, because life force is absent. Life force is therefore the
first direct condition governing our physical and mental strength. Our
thoughts, will, feeling, and muscular power; the action of heart, brain,
and lungs; the pancreas, liver, spleen, and other digestive organs; and
the glands--all depend for their existence upon the vital principle.
Life force is the inner electricity that runs the brain factory that, in
turn, produces and exports creative ideas and imports new impressions,
and that looks after the management of the entire body.

The heart is the factory that cleanses the system and distributes
food to billions of hungry living body cells. The stomach and intestines remove from food the right nutritive elements for the repair and
replenishment of osseous, nervous, epithelial, adipose, and muscular
tissues. They are a grand "kitchen factoryn that prepares the right food for the various tissues. Yet the billions of bodily cells, the internal organs, and the sensory nerves are really kept alive and properly working through one vital power. Although the physical body appears to be maintained entirely by food from the outside, the truth is that externally supplied food would be useless to the body if it were not converted into vitality by the secret Cosmic Life Energy.

When you practice the SRF Recharging Exercises, you employ this inner life force to heal and revivify the body parts. The recharging and energization exercises (Lesson 8-A) are all to be done slowly, gently; and rhythmically; never jerkily. Every movement should be harmonious. If any part of the body is especially weak, send the energy there very slowly and gently as you exercise, and the part will be gradually strengthened. By intensity of effort you can very soon heal yourself of weakness in a body part, since by your concentrated practice of the Recharging Exercises you bring the true source of curative power, the Cosmic Life Energy, into the diseased tissues. You can feel the actual current of energy being switched on in your body and direct it
wherever you want it. The vibration that you feel is not voluntary movement; it is caused by the charge of energy entering the body. Do the exercises willingly and gladly. Except in those that call for bending, keep the spine straight and the body upright. The exercises will give you grace.and
freedom of movement. More than that, as you perfect your practice you will realize that you are not the body: that the body is only your servant, and you are the immortal life energy that lights the bulb of flesh.

After graduation from school, the days of healthful regular exercise
are usually over, and the days of overeating and resulting sickness begin.
Many people do not realize that uniformly good health depends upon:

(1) proper eating, less eating, and occasional fasting;
(2) proper elimination;
(3) proper exercise, fresh air, and sun baths;
(4) conservation of vital energy by self-control;
(5) good thoughts and cheerfulness;
(6) calm meditation.

Wrong habits, overindulgence, and lack of exercise constitute abuses
of the senses and should be avoided.

Take sun baths as often as you can, from ten minutes to half an hour
a day, if possible, depending on the sensitivity of one's skin and the strength of the sun's rays.

Six times a day breathe deeply at least three times in the fresh air:

(1) First, exhale quickly through mouth and nostrils.
(2) Inhale slowly through the nostrils only, counting 1 to 12.
(3) Hold breath, counting 1 to 6.
(4) Exhale, counting 1 to 6.

Try to establish the habit of doing this whenever you are walking out-
doors. Let the count during inhalation, holding the breath, and exhala-
tion be modified if necessary for comfort; but maintain the ratio. If
you inhale to a count of 8, for example, hold the breath to a count of 4,
and exhale to a count of 4. A person of average health and lung capaci-
ty should have no difficulty in maintaining the 12-6-6 ratio, however.

The exercise routine given in Lesson 8-A should be a basic daily practice of all Self-Realizationists. However, there are many other exercises given from time to time that may be practiced for specific purposes, or as a short supplementary routine to be practiced at any time during the day you feel a need for it. Some of these exercises are variations or abbreviated forms, of exercises with which you have already become familiar through those given in Lesson 8-A.


The following stomach exercises will aid digestion and peri staltic movement, thus helping to eliminate constipation and reduce obesity. The exercises should be practiced daily, preferably in the morning after leaving bed, or at any other time when the stomach is comparatively empty (not sooner than one hour after meals).

 (a) Standing in front of an armchair, lean forward, and with your arms held out straight, grasp the arms of the chair.
(b) Exhale quickly and completely.
(c) Keeping the breath out, slowly draw in the abdomen as far
as possible; then push it out as far as possible.
(d) Repeat three times, without inhaling (or breathing in) during that time.
(e) Inhale.

Repeat the entire exercise five times. In case of indigestion or constipation, repeat it ten times.

(a) Stand erect, with eyes closed.
(b) Place both hands on abdomen, one above the other, with slight pressure.
(c) Contract and tense lower portion of abdomen.
(d) While holding tension in lower section, contract and tense the upper abdomen.
(e) Relax both upper and lower abdomen.

Repeat this exercise six times.


Practice of "in place walking and running exercises  twice daily in the fresh air will do much to keep the body fit. (People who have weak hearts, however, should omit the running exercise.) Even though you may feel
tired, a short practice of the walking and running exercises and a few
or all of the Recharging Exercises helps greatly to relieve fatigue.

To perform the walking exercise, take off your shoes and stand about
four feet away from a wide-open window indoors or, better still, on an
open porch. While standing in one place, go through the motions of
walking, but exaggerate the upward motion of the legs: instead of raising your left foot only a few inches from the floor, raise it high, bending the knee, so the knee is even with the buttock. At the same time bend the right forearm upward, keeping the elbow by your side.
Then drop left foot to the ground, and lower the right forearm. Next
raise right foot, until knee is even with the buttock, and bend left
forearm up, keeping elbow at side. Then go on alternating left and
right, walking in place. If you count each "stepn as "one," walk from
25 to 100 "steps."

The running exercise is performed by standing in one place and going
through the motions of running. The knees should be bent so that the
heel is brought up in back as if to strike the buttock. Arms are held
stationary at the sides, elbows bent. One should run on the toes,
lightly. A count of 50 "stepsw is good.


Whenever you want to relax any body part, gently tense it,  hold tension, counting 1 to 3, then relax quickly and feel  the vibration of the energy as it retires from that part. Keep the relaxed part still--forget it.

Now stand up and with eyes closed tense the whole body--all parts at
once--and then let go, throwing your breath out forcefully and relaxing
all parts at once. Do not move. After a few moments again tense the
whole body quickly, and let go, throwing the breath out and relaxing.
You will then be perfectly relaxed (except for the muscles employed in
maintaining a standing position). This exercise may also be practiced
in a reclining position, thus affording complete relaxation. When energy is withdrawn by'practice of this technique, all parts of the body are relaxed and the body is calm.

Any time you are tired or worried, tense the whole body, then relax,throwing your breath out, and you will become calm. When only low or partial tensing precedes release of tension, not all tension is removed; but when you tense high, so that you are vibrating with energy, and then quickly relax or "let go," you achieve perfect relaxation. Practice the following any time a need is felt for relaxation or for healing of the body part involved.

(a) Tense the right arm until it vibrates.
(b) Keeping the elbow at the side, lift the forearm until the fist is at the shoulder, as if lifting a weight of 5 to 25 pounds.
(c) Relax and let the arm down.
(d) Repeat the exercise with the left forearm, and then continue, alternating the right and left arms. Then practice lifting and lowering both arms simultaneously.

(a) With the arms outstretched at the sides so that they are parallel to the ground, and with the palms of the closed fists turned upward, tense both arms until they vibrate.
(b) Bending the arms at the elbows, bring the fists toward the shoulder. Pull with enough tension to vibrate, as if you were pulling a heavy weight from both sides.
(c) Relax, dropping the arms at the sides.


(a) With the arms outstretched sideways, parallel to the ground, exhale and bring the arms forward until the palms touch, at the same time relaxing all the body parts.
(b) Inhale, tensing all of the twenty body parts and outstretching the arms to the starting position.
(c) Relax, dropping the arms and exhaling slowly.


(a) From a standing position, grasp the arms of a chair.
(b) Exhale, relaxing and dropping quickly to a squatting position, with the buttocks resting on the heels.
(c) Inhale and tense the body, counting 1 to 20.
(d) Still holding the tension, stand up and vibrate with tension.
(e) Exhale, relaxing and dropping once more to the squatting position.



Proper eating is a vital factor in overcoming all problems concerning health, beauty, youthfulness, and reducing or increasing weight; but very often a problem remains for the vital force to solve definitely and quickly, by effecting a healing. Hence the following exercises, which involve conscious application of the vital force in the body, will be found to be immensely beneficial to any weak tissues or body organs.

To remove pain from an arm or a leg, or to strengthen a limb, or to
rejuvenate tired muscles, practice the following technique on the af-
fected muscle or body part:

(a) Contract the muscle (or muscles) gently with deep attention while exhaling the breath to a count of 1 to 20.
(b) Release contraction of muscles and inhale.

Repeat six times, practicing in the morning and whenever else it may be necessary. Weak calves or thighs may be strengthened by the practice of this technique.


(a) Squat down, sitting on the heels, and exhale.
(b) Quickly stand up and inhale.
(c) Holding the breath, gently contract or tense the muscles of the whole body.
(d) Exhale and relax.

Repeat 10 times, morning and night.


(a) Sitting erect on a chair, rotate the head counterclockwise 5 times.
(b) Rotate the head clockwise 5 times.

(a) Sit erect, on a chair, and put interlocked hands at the back of the head.
(b) Quickly jerk the head and spine back.
(c) Release the hands and bend over, touching the toes with the hands.

Repeat 6 times, morning and evening.


(a) Exhale, keeping the breath out.
(b) While the breath is out, contract abdomen and stomach, concentrating deeply upon the navel. Count 1 to 20.
(c) Release contraction of stomach and abdomen and inhale.

Repeat 6 to 12 times, morning and night. Practice only when stomach is empty.


(a) Press the palm of one hand against the back of the head and press the other palm very lightly on the forehead.
(b) Inhale, and hold breath, while with deepest attention gently contracting the muscles at the top of the head.
(c) Exhale and release contraction. Repeat 4 to 6 times during headaches.


(a) Exhale, keeping the breath out.
(b) Contract the muscles of the head gently, holding full concentration there and counting 1 to 15.
(c) Inhale, releasing the contraction of the muscles. Repeat 6 times.


(a) Inhale, holding the breath.
(b) Gently contract the entire body, all muscles at once.
(c) Hold the contraction for a count of 1 to 20, with deep attention on the entire body.
(d) Exhale, releasing the contraction.

Repeat 3 times, at any time you feel weak and nervous.


(a) Exhale, keeping the breath out.
(b) With the eyes closed, contract the eyelids and brows very lightly.
(c) Hold the contraction of the eyes with deep concentration, counting 1 to20.
(d) Release the contraction and inhale.

Repeat 7 times, morning and night.


I will eat wisely, exercise properly, keep good company, perform
good deeds, keep a clear conscience, and live in healthful surroundings.
I will learn to smile, especially when things go wrong, and thus--learning
to smile always--I will instill new life into my body cells, which are
the builders and sustainers of my fleshly mansion.



By Paramahansa Yogananda

0 Father, ble s s us with Thine intoxicating, ever-new,
joyous, supremely satisfying communion. Teach us to
drink Thee, that every blood cell, every thought, and every
feeling may become saturated with Thy joy and have their
pleasure -thir st quenched forever.

After we have tasted Thee, lead us to temptation, if Thou
wilt. After we are sure of Thy most tempting everlasting gift
of Thyself, then test us with all Thy temptations, if Thou wilt.

But bless us fir st with the light of godly habits, so that
whenever the darkness of bad habits approaches it will be
spontaneously driven away. Teach us to be so attached to
Thee that we cannot be at all attracted to material pleasures.

Millions love matter because they meet it first. Millions
do not love Thee because they know not of Thine alluring love.
Teach us by Thy love to conquer all love for worldly life.

Divine Beloved, why dost Thou not come first in human
life ? 0 Father, how canst Thou expect frail souls, ignorant
of Thee and burdened with bad habits, to know Thine
allhealing joy ?

Of all Thy punishments, the greatest is forgetfulness of Thee.


0 God, Thou Holy, Creative, Vibratory Force, teach me to
make a bouquet of the variously hued flowers of filial, conjugal,
friendly, and parental loves, and to lay it on the altar of my heart
where Thou reignest.


To help the propagation of the species, Nature has implanted in the human body the creative impulse. It is therefore one of the strongest instincts and impelling forces in man, and Nature takes a silent and awful revenge on
those that misuse or trifle with her holy method of creation. The "fig leaf"
consciousness of evil that tries to throw a veil of unholiness on this creative
principle has brought a great deal of moral and material suffering into the
world. The creative principle has a twofold purpose. When it is directed
toward the nerves embedded in the generative area, man feels an instinctive
desire to create physically. When it is lifted up through the spine to the brain, it frees man of the desire for sex creation and confers on him divine illumination and power. Misuse of this creative power for sense pleasure
makes one matter-bound, groveling in the mud of the senses.


 Man is not culpable for the creative impulse,  which is nature-born. Persons who are unable to control this--nature's most powerful force for propagating the human species--are blamed by society; yet they are not taught how to govern this instinct instead of being governed by it. Not even lifelong intellectual or medical study will enable the student to control this instinct. The practical method of controlling it should be taught. Daily exercise and proper diet are important aids to self-control. Eat little or no meat; have nuts and other proper substitutes for it, and an abundance of raw vegetable s and fruits .

One should know that during physical passion there are five courses open
to the individual:

1. Dissipation of creative energy--the usual practice- -which is unnecessary, weakening, and a cause of disease and premature old age.

2. Using the creative energy for the physical creation of a child.

3. Using the energy for creating "spiritual brain children, " i. e. , converting the creative energy into thought power by sublimation and transmutation. It is not necessary (as some imagine) to dissipate the creative energy; rather, at the moment of passion, one should immediately engage his mind in creative
work: artistic, literary, inventive, or business work--whichever is the most interesting to him. To follow this plan is to divert the creative energy into brain channels and to convert it into higher forms of intellectual and spiritual expression.

4. Using the creative energy in sports or strenuous physical exercise; for example, the running exercise in Lesson 34.

5. Withdrawing the energy, through breath, from the creative organs upward into the region of the medulla oblongata. Put your mind on the area in the body where the generative organs are located and draw a deep breath slowly, thinking of the breath as starting from that particular area. Imagine that with the inhaling breath you are reversing the downward flow of the life energy, drawing it from the coccyx, upward through the spine to the spot between the eyebrows. Hold breath and mind in between the eyebrows, mentally counting one to twenty-five or more (or as long as you can hold breath comfortably), and think of yourself as absorbing the passion and life current into the reservoir of life energy present between the eyebrows and
medulla oblongata. Then exhale and relax, freeing your self from the bondage of passion. Repeat the foregoing method three times with closed eyes. During relaxation, always think of the physical instinct as having been expelled from the body. Do not seek solitude. This is the teaching of the great scriptures of India.


 A husband and wife should be loyal to each other and try to make each other happy in every way. The spiritual wife should not forsake the unspiritual husband, nor should the spiritual husband for sake the unspiritual wife --they should try to influence and help each other as long as it is possible to do so. This lesson is written for the sole purpose of helping those who wish to develop moral character and self-control; those who are seeking to restore harmony in unhappy marriages; and those wishing to prevent wrong marriages and divorces.

To trifle with physical passion is to gamble away untold joys of life. The million candles of happiness in the hall of life are burned all at once by
indiscretion in marriage. The evanescent excitement in physical communion
is nothing compared to the bliss that follows by the regulating and the withdrawing of this creative impulse up into the brain region for the procreation of spiritual and intellectual qualities of love, consideration, divine patience, sympathy, determination, keenness, calmness, realization, and knowledge of the art of spiritual procreation which enables one to perform revolutionizing work in spiritual or material life.

In married life, respect for and tolerance of each other's views lead to
happiness. Married people should ref rain from contradicting each other
before others and from quarreling between themselves over little things.
Husbands and wives should never discuss their troubles with others
(excepting of course a qualified spiritual teacher or marriage counselor).

Love is superior to weakness or strength in body or mind, and as such
should be unconditioned. Love cannot be wrested from another; it may only
be received as a spontaneous gift. Love grows and thrives in an atmosphere of tolerance, forgiveness, and trust; it is marred by jealousy. In distant
closeness love lives. In wrong familiarity it dies.

The ratio between love and physical indulgence is that the greater the love, the less the physical craving, and vice versa. Husband and wife should feel love whenever they see each other, and not the physical instinct, otherwise they will march toward the pitfalls of boredom, dislike, and separation.
A husband should consider his wife to be a clean temple for creating and
caring for a new soul. The wife should keep her body-temple free from
unclean thoughts. The specific nature of the mental state of parents during
this period of creation is the magnetic force that draws a particular type of
disembodied soul into the mother' s body -temple. Thoughts concentrated
upon the physical invite sensually inclined souls. Souls with a more highly
developed nature refuse the invitation of degrading physical attraction.

The Hindu scriptures say that during this period a current of life force
is generated, which serves as a door through which disembodied astral souls
may enter. Good souls do not enter through this door of life current if it has
vibrations of low passionate mentality. They turn away at a distance. They
prefer to wait rather than to take a hasty rebirth in an undesirable place. So
all husbands and wives should remember to cooperate spiritually, mentally,
and physically in order to invite a sacred soul into the cell temple of sperm
and ovum that they create. Married people should invoke good souls to come and live with them.

Parents should prepare their minds months in advance in order to create
a spiritual child. During the specific period of creation, thoughts of invoking
a noble soul into a temple of uniting sperm and ovum cells must! predominate.
At this time, thought should remain between the eyebrows, directing the holy
work of creation; it should never be allowed to run down and become identified with passion. In married life, adultery is committed by those living
wholly on the physical plane. Such persons are punished by boredom, mutual
hatred, and final separation. The c reative instinct is nature's means of continuing creation and should not be converted into a play with the senses. If the creative instinct is withdrawn from the coccygeal region and sent through the spine to the spot in the middle of the forehead and brain, it begins to create offspring of spiritual realization. Married people, after creating one or two children, should learn how to thus spiritually commuhe
and procreate. Husband and wife should consider their union as a union of Nature and Spirit, of feeling and knowledge. Marriage is meant principally for spiritual union, and incidentally for material union. Elderly parents should commune only on the spiritual plane, intoxicated with mutual love, satisfying physical craving s by mental loving.


1. Realize the mind's power over the body. Undesirable physical consciousness should be banished by diverting the mind to a subject or some work that is deeply interesting to you.

2. Undesirable creative impulse should be regulated first psychologically and then physiologically. The attack to gain control of this impulse must be from within and without.

3. Avoid anything that stimulates the creative impulse through the medium of the sense of sight, touch, and so forth. Married people would be wise to dance only with each other.

4. Avoid dwelling upon and discussing undesirable stories that unconsciously feed your creative instinct with degrading thoughts.

5. Try to understand the physiology of vital parts through the study of some standard medical book.

6. Boys and girls, men and women, should play or talk or see one another, not with a physical consciousness, but with the thought of purity and holy friendship.

7. Remember, overindulgence in the physical relation in married life is a sin. Marriage is meant for spiritual reunion of souls and not for a physical license. Moderation mixed with self discipline and complete mastery over the c reative impulse awakens the powers of spiritual perception, and demonstrates the highest virtue.

8. Those unmarried people who never break the law of celibacy create in themselves a powerful magnetism that will draw to each one a true soul companion, if they desire to marry. Others attract wrong companions through the misuse and misguidance of the creative instinct. Spiritual magnetism, if lost in wrong marriage, or in unmarried life through indiscretion, can be revived by the right practice of the Self -Realization Fellowship system of charging the body with vital energy, and by right meditation.

Lastly, unmarried people can unite the creative nature-force with the
soul-force within them spiritually, by learning the right method of meditation and its application to physical life. Such people may not have to go through the experience of material marriage. They may learn to marry their feminine physical impulse to the masculine soul within. Unmarried people, in seeking a life companion should not wholly depend upon their own inclinations, but should consult their parents, and above all, persons with true inner vision. The law of cause and effect (karma), if properly applied, will help a great deal as a guide to the right union of the opposite sexes. In India, in most cases, the marriages are happy, permanent, successful, and highly spiritual because the per sons concerned live according to the above principles. Above all, remember that marriage is the reunion in the Absolute Spirit, of the divided feeling-and knowledge -nature of God.


Spirit, through its force of universal attraction, is gradually absorbing
all objects created out of Itself by the misguided force of satanic delusion.
Through the influence of the creative force projected by God all living beings
and human souls have allowed themselves to be lured away from God and
have become attached to matter.

Yet no soul can be completely lost, because of the tremendous attractive
force of God's love, which is ever calling His truant children back to Himself.
Those who do not heed His call may be delayed, but none can resist forever
the call of the eternal bliss -pipings of Spirit.


In India, Buddha is considered one of the incarnations of God. He lived
about five hundred years before Christ and was the son of a king of India.
The royal father of Gautama (who was later to become known as Buddha) had surrounded the young prince with every conceivable luxury and beauty, and arranged an idyllic marriage for his son. Gautama thus grew into manhood thinking of the world as a place of endless happy events.

However, Prince Gautama was curious about the world outside the palace gardens, and one day secretly went out with his charioteer to see for
himself. The handsome youth was shocked to the very depths of his being to
see for the first time in his life a shriveled-looking old man, a dying man,
and a corpse. He looked at his celestially beautiful, healthy body and asked
the charioteer if his body too would grow old and decay. Reluctantly the
charioteer said: "0 Prince, all human flesh is subject to sickness, decrepitude, and death. " After hearing this, the young prince began to brood over the delusion of earthly life. One night, while his wife and child slept, Gautama took a last look at them with tear-bedimmed eyes and left in quest of Truth which would free mankind forever from sorrow and suffering and which would give him complete understanding of the mystery of life and death.

The prince practiced many austerities prescribed by Hindu yogis. He
is said to have spent seven years in fasting and other spiritual disciplines.
At last, while meditating under a banyan tree in Bodh Gaya, India, he found
illumination. Then he ate, and nourished his body, and began to preach in
India his gospel of mercy and equal love for all creatures, man and animal
alike. He taught complete renunciation; the goal: attainment of nirvana
(the state of desirelessness or freedom from reincarnation). Later, his
missionaries spread the gospel of Buddha all over India, Japan, China, and
other parts of the world.

The state of nirvana, or cessation of dualistic existence, is often
misinterpreted as annihilation of the self. Buddha, however, meant annihilation of the deluded ego, or pseudo self; the little self must be overcome in order that the real, eternal Self may achieve liberation from human incarnation. Buddha's doctrine, with its emphasis on a negative state of being (annihilation oft he ego or little self) as the goal of ultimate attainment, was later supplanted in India by the doctrine of Swami Shankara,
founder of the great monastic Swami Order, who taught that the goal of life is the positive attainment of the "ever-conscious, ever-existing, ever-newly blissful state of oneness with Spirit. "

(To be continued)


Teach me to discipline my senses,
and to substitute for flesh temptation the
greater temptation of soul happiness.



By Paramahansa Yogananda

A cub of the Divine Lion, somehow I found
myself confined in a sheepfold of frailties and
limitations. Fear -filled, living long with sheep,
day after day I bleated. I forgot my affrighting
bellow that banishes all enemy sorrows.

0 Invincible Lion of the Self! Thou didst drag  me
to the water hole of meditation, saying: "Thou art
a lion, not a sheep ! Open thine eyes, and roar ! "

After Thy hard shakings of spiritual urge, I
gazed into the crystal pool of peace. Lo, I saw my
face like unto Thine !

I know now that I am a lion of cosmic power.
Bleating no more, I shake the error forest with rever-
berations of Thine almighty voice. In divine freedom
I bound through the jungle of earthly delusions, devour -
ing the little creatures of vexing worries and timidities,
and the wild hyenas of disbelief.

0 Lion of Liberation, ever send through me Thy
roar of all-conquering courage !

--From "Whispers from Eternity"


As Thy freeborn offspring, I want to train and use my own will;
but only with Thy guidance, 0 Father! May all my activities lead
me closer to Thy paradise of all-fulfillment.

I would be Thy happy child of Infinitude, realizing that in the
divine plan Thy sons were not meant to live in a desolation of fruitless aspirations and withered hope s.

Teach me to break the shameful cords of lethargy. May I blaze
my way tirelessly through the wilderness of limitations into the Fair
New Land.


Almost everyone feels at times that he is not making any inner progress;
that he is not changing or improving, in spite of his efforts. Various factors
may hold us back. We have to analyze life to determine what those factors may be. It is necessary first to think back over one's childhood, to the time when first began to dawn the consciousness that this life is a series of changing conditions imposed on us. Very early in life we become aware that certain changes, certain environments into which we have been thrown, are congenial; they tally with our inner ideas of comfort and pleasure, and we like them. We also discover that certain other conditions arising from time to time thwart our desires and cause us discomfort and unhappiness. One naturally wants to eliminate those conditions that he finds uncongenial, and to bring about those that make him happy. With the growing realization that life is a series of changes, we also become aware that we have to go either backward or forward as we adapt ourselves to each new change. It is impossible to remain stationary. A man immersed in the ocean has to keep moving; otherwise he will drown. To avoid drowning in the ocean of life also necessitates constant change on our part.

Any change in oneself that promotes happiness and well-being is good,
whereas changes that bring unhappiness are not good. Anything that is painful--mentally, physically, or spiritually--ought to be eliminated. However, much as a person wants to avoid unsavory experiences in life, often he does not know how to prevent such changes--he does not realize that his own previous actions and attitudes have invited them. From the very beginning of life one may have suffered from fear, or sensitivity, or nervousness, or anger or some such weakness without being particularly aware of the extent of it. Then suddenly there arises a situation that brings forth the realization that one has an uncontrollable temper, or a strong sexual nature, or a tendency to be greedy, or to fight with people all the time; or to be moody, touchy, too frivolous, or too serious.
Some people do learn that every human being has free choice, but they often find that their free choice is overruled by habits created by past actions int his life and in former lives. For instance, a person who was constantly
 ill-tempered  in his past life; to overcome that trait and its effects on his life he will have to change, by persistently employing thoughts and actions to cultivate the opposite quality of evenness.

But even though one may have found out these things about himself fairly early in life, he may nevertheless find himself unable to change. Looking back he realizes that whenever any of his wrong  habits have tortured him he has wanted to get away from them. Whay has he not done so? Man's habits trail him down the years and are his greatest tormentos. Why does he not rid himself oft he causes of his unhappiness?


Negligence is the first cause. We tend to say to ourselves, even when suffering from the ill effects of wrong habits, „As long as I can get along somehow it doesn't matter.“ Such mental and physical laziness is the root cause of failure to improve. We have no idea how much we have to pay for mental and physical laziness! Who has not passed up opportunities—perhaps to make money, or to change for the better an unsuitable enviroment, or to overcome an old habit, or to make himself and others more comfortable—because of lack of efort. Most people are too lazy to try as hard as would be necessary to rid themselves of evil habits, or inharmonious environment, or whatever the cause of their unhappiness may be. They weakly allow wrong tendencies to take a terrible toll of their life happiness.

Those who have failed to change as they wish, therefore, may simply have been mentally and physically lazy. Physicallaziness is forgivable, because sometimes a person needs, but mental laziness is inexcusable. Most people are extremely lazy about thinking and reasoning! Yet in thought lies freedom. As soon as man thinks he will find a way out of difficulties.

In dreams a thin person can make himself fat by thinking he is fat. Such is the power of thought. It is the greatest power we have. Thought controls the physical, financial, moral, spiritual, in fact, alltht conditions of life. Since man has such a great power at his disposal, why does he not change as he wishes? Because of concentrating too much on the limited sources of sustenance of body and mind, and because of not fully using the greater power of thought.


The person who sincerely desires to change should analyze himself. One who has not kept a mental diary should begin this salutary practise. The knowledge of just how much and in what way he fails int he daily experiences of life may stimulate him to more effort to be what he should be. By keeoing such a journal and by using discrimination to destroy the bad habits that create pain and suffering for ourselves and others, we will get rid of them. Every night we should ask ourselves: „How long have I been with God today?“ We should analyze also how much we have deeply thought, how much we have accomplished in our duties, how much we have done for others, how we have governed ourselves int he various situations of the day.

Analysis will reveal how much or how little power we have over our emotions and habits. Whenever a person makes up his min din the morning that he will not that day allow himself to be carried away by mechanical habits, he should stick to that resolution. To be free, one must snatch himself from the stream of mechanical habits on which he floats like a leaf toward the falls of delusion and destruction. Most people don't seem to care; they let themselves drift. But the wise person makes this resolve: „As long as I have to live, I am going to do what I must to improve, not what I am led to do through habits I mistakenly formed in the past.“ Then he carries out that resolution.


Bad company frequently inhibitis one's intentions to change for the better. We are certain to be influenced by the people we have around us.  Why be with people who are suspicious, or who like to gossip, or who will try to make one indulge in other petty and hurtful actions of which he doesn't really approve? Even a person who is sufficiently developed to be safe from such influences should avoid them.

A man must  carefully watch his company. He who surrounds himself with flatterers who encourage hi min his weeknesses will stifle his ability to analyze himself. In time he will be afraid to mix with people who might correct him. Remember, the power exerted by good or bad company is greater than will power. Those who have a nervous or an angry temperament should mix with calm, soothing persons who act as emotional
shock-absorbers; thus the filighty ones may be inspired to be calm like their friends, and so improve. But if easily angered persons mix with others who are as hot-tempered as they are, someone may come to actual physical harm. Even a fairly calm and self-controlled person who mixes with emotional, excitable types will tend to lose his own poise and self-control.

Most people are just like animals int he zoo. They are always howling with emotions. Man is meant to control himself. As human beinhs we have been divinely endowed with self-control. We are not wholly free, but we have been given the key to freedom.  In spite of this, many people live an animal-like existence, not fully using their free will and intelligence to gain self-mastery. The tiger is controlled by the instinct to kill. He cannot help himself. But man has been endowed with free choice and intelligence, that he may steadily improve his human status instead of remaining instict-bound like the animals.


Attachment to material possessions is always a deterrent to spiritual progress. Some people work hard and save money for some worldly goal, and then suddenly something unforeseen happens. Everything is gone and they are desolate. Why? Because they placed their faith in and conditioned their happiness by material acquisitions instead of depending on the Infinite Source. Who can  be happy constantly thinking of his material comfort, or always fearing what will happen to his possessions when he dies, or trying to decide to whom he will leave his money! Furniture and other material possessions are really burdens.

St. Francis lived in a shed; he existed solely on scraps of food given to him. Yet he did not suffer, for the splendor of God was within and around him because he had refused to anchor his happiness on material conditions.
 St. Anthony lived in a tomb for many years; sometimes he had bread and sometimes he didn't. We too live by God's grace and not by bread; the more we concentrate on this truth and the less we think about the body, the more the Divine Friend will help us.

Once when I went to visit one of my students I saw that there were only three people living on a very big estate, so I said: „Here you are keeping up this huge place for the comfort of only three people. Why not give it up?“ But they werw bound to their possessions; that attachment held them back from changing their inner lives for the better. Yet furniture doesn't mean a thing to real happiness! A yogi sitting on a little blanket under a tree can be one with all creation! He has the furniture of God—the mountains, moon, and
stars—too decorate his earth-home. In that consciousness lies freedom and happiness. A yogi who is inwardly one with the Creator can go anywhere and feel that everything is his; he can enjoy everything without taking on the burden of ownership. Nothing is really ours; it is the consciousness of possession that makes us attached to things. Man is meant to live for God int his world. As long as he live sin it for himself he does not evolve to a higher consciousness; instead, being subject to the law of change, he gradually changes for the worse.

One should not give too much importance to the home and its furnishings.It is all right to have and to enjoy possessions, but it is harmful to be possessed by them. Whether  living in luxury or in simple surroundings, the yogi is free. Simple living does not mean being dirty or lazy. We should give attention to the body that we love so much only enough to take care of it as best we can. It is only a useful beast to carry the soul through life. St. Francis used to call his body „Brother Donkey.“ He knew its true purpose, just as he knew that int he simplicities of life lie the riches of renunciation; and that even poverty need not be slavery but, rightly considered, freedom from the enslavement and serfdom of possessions. One should be a free wherever he is placed.

How much time people spend in thinking oft he things they want! And after they get them they are not happy—they want something else. We should learn  to be happy now, by thinking of God and renouncing in our minds the desire for anything else. One does not have to retire to the jungle to do this. It takes more courage to live int he jungle of civilization and be serviceful to others. But wherever our duties lie, we should be free men. The cobwebs and dust of delusion and habits that accumulate in our minds must all be cleaned away. Anyone can be free,  today, by changing his consciousness from that of a mortal to that of a divine being. Every night we are freed from the consciousness oft he body, of possessions. The Lord takes us into that state where we are free from all burdens of existence and are neither man nor woman, rich nor poor, diseased nor healthy. In that consciousness lies happiness and freedom. Man subconsciously knows that he is made int he image of God, but realization oft his truth is latent because he has not concentrated on that side of life. Man tends to concentrate on the „show“ that his soul is seeing through the senses oft he physical body. His body and this earth are a part of that show. God has already shown me how how this film is going to continue. Whem you see it beforehand you can understand that it is only in fun; but just the same, when the events really happen it is very hard to remember that it is only a show. Even Jesus said , on the cross, „My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?“ (Mark 15:34). The delusion oft he reality oft his show is very strong, but he overcame it. And Christ taught that all men may overcome it.

The Lord as Krishna said to his disciple Arjuna: „ My delusion is very hard to conquer, yet it is very easy for those who persevere.“ No matter how many times one may fall down or fail, he should never stop trying to overcome delusion. We have limitless power within ourselves with which to be conquerors int he greatest tests that God can give us. Saint Teresa prayed to the Lord, „Don't lessen my sufferings. Let me serve fully my term.“ Yet the average person dreads disease, and becomes rebellious toward God whenever he suffers. That rebellion comes because we are not in tune with the Infinite. He who is in tune with God can overcome the greatest sufferings in life. Though this cosmic dream is often a terrible nightmare, when we become one with the lordwe will see that we are free from it.


Constantly thinking  of oneself is another root cause of suffering and failure to progress. We should think of others; and especially of God's work. If for a certain time each day we comune with God, it is good; but we should also work for Him. The Lord says, int he Bhagavad Gita, „I have attained all things, yet I work on. And those who would be free must work, not for themselves, but foor Me.“ What a difference that makes in life! Why seek only one's own comfort? It is so much better to take away somebody else's suffering. To the spiritual man, giving is so much more satisfying than doing for oneself. The average worldly man, on the other hand, thinks nothing of spending for himself; but when he gives a dollar to charity he is all puffed up over his generosity.

Those who desire to increase the conforts of others who feel happiness in making others happy, will change for the better. He who ceases to live selfishly and rather, lives for others, may escape all those mental tyrants of wrong habits that he has been feeding in his brain. He will be sble to overthrow the feudal kings of habit that have dominated his reactions. We must dethrone wrong habits and become free, one with the Lord. Why should we seek possession of things that don't belong to us? It is better to seek more balance, more self-control, more calmness. Once we have acquired these qualities, we shall be able to take them with us when we leave this earth, to help us in future existences. We are all children of God and we are going to win eventually. Meanwhile it is better to live, if necessary with a crippled     body—diseased, dumb, forsaken by all—and know that one is in tune with God, than to be healthy and wealthy and without any thought oft he divine goal of life.


Why live an aimless life, without recognizing your powers, without understanding how you can dewelop those powers? On order to know God you must live a full life.

Try to please God in everything you do and you will live rightly. The best way to please God is to satisfy both your logical reasoning and your conscience. We have been gifted with reason, and when we do wrong, our reson or our hearts will tell us so. Whether  you think you believe in God or not, if you have reasoning power and a conscience, there will be at least a subconscious in God.


Lotd Buddha and his disciples were all vowed to celibacy and renunciation of carnal love for the opposite seks. In the course of their missionary travels with Budha, a curious incident extremely puzzled his disciples as to the character of their master. The great Buddha was resting with them beneath the cool shade of a tree when a courtesan, attracted by the glowing body and face oft he master, drew near. No sooner had she beheld the celestial face of Lord Buddha than she fell in love with him, and in an ectasy of overwhelming emotion ran with open arms to embrace and kiss him, loudly exclaiming:         „O Beautiful Shining One, I love thee!“

The celibate disciples were extremely astonished when they heard Buddha say to the courtesan: „Beloved, I love thee too, but do not touch me now—not yet.“

She replied: „Thou dost call me beloved and I love thee, why dost thou object to my touching thee?“

The great Buddha replied: „Beloved, I tell thee again, I will touch thee later, but not now. I will prove my true love for thee.“ As Budha saw that she still not satisfied with his answer, he explained further: „Have faith, beloved! Do not doubt my words. Later when those that now love thee have deserted thee I will come.“ The disciples were extremely shocked, and some thought that the master had fallen in love with the courtesan.

Years later, as Buddha was meditating with his disciples, he suddenly cried out: „I must go!  My beloved, the courtesan, is calling me. She needs me now and I must fulfill my promise to her.“ As he spoke he rose and hurried off. The disciples ran pell-mell after their master, in the vague hope of rescuing him from the temptres.

The great master and his worried discipless came at last to the same tree where long ago they had met the courtesan; and what do you think they saw? She lay there, here once beautiful body honeycombed with putrefying, odorus smallpox sores. The disciples cringed and kept some distance from her, but Lord Buddha sat down beside her. Lifting her decaying body on his lap he whispered in her ear: „Beloved, I have come to prove my love for thee, and to fulfill my promise to touch thee. I have waited a long time to demonstrate my true love, but I love thee when everyone else has ceased loving thee; I touch thee when all thy summer friends do not want to touch thee anymore.“ Saying this, Buddha healed the courtesan and asked her to join his family of disciples.

Personal love is limiting, selfish, and considers its own comforts, usually at the cost of everyone else's. Divine love is unselfish and seeks the happines of the object of love, and he is not limited or partial. God love as wicked and the good alike, for they are His children; so all those who aspire to know Him must prove to Him that their love is like His love. When a devotee proves to the Heavenly Father that he loves his good and evil brothers equally, then the Divine Father will say: „My noble son, thy love I accept, for thou dost love all with My love.“ To love those who love you is natural, but to love those who do not love you is to be supernatural and to know God is all.


I will be calmly active, actively calm. I will not be lazy and become mentally ossified. Nor will I be overactive, becoming like a machine; able to earn money, but unable to enjoy life. I will meditate regulary to gain balance.

( to be continues )

1 komentar:

  1. If you think in the XX cent. nature is unnecessary thing and in the epoch of the Internent it can teach the himanity nothing, you're much mistaken, follow to find out lessons nature wants to tell us