Yogananda Quotations on Joy, Fun, Love, and Meeting the Devil


Reservations Collection  

Yogananda quotations - start of text It is unwise to ignore and not bear in mind that the best to go for is joy, not love. And that is what the famous Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952) taught too, in his day. Even though the guru who is quoted verbatim here talks a whole lot of love and eulogises it in a lot of places, in the following thematic key quotations he says joy is greater than love: "Love is secondary to joy [Dr 4-5 = The Divine Romance, p. 4-5.]."

There is far more on these topics below. All the cited books and their code letter abbreviations are found at the end. And as for what he said about the devil, read on.

We hardly do well to ignore the best thing - joy and how to fount it - for drivel on great love, that Yogananda himself was a love avatar, and so on. Joy is good, and having fun should be so too.

Yogananda Meets a Black, Horrible Satan

Cartoonised Tazmanian devil, Taz, suggesting a claimed Yogananda encounter with Satan
Yogananda did not like meeting the devil.
Before his passing in March 1936 at 81, Yukteswar told his disciple Yogananda to wear a certain bangle as a special protection. Yogananda, who had come from America to visit his aged master, put it on in faith.

After Yukteswar was buried on 10 March, Yogananda carried on as usual with lecturing and other activities, but with "a hollow smile" and in "a stream of black brooding," and with "a tormented spirit", he writes [Autobiography, chap 42].

Then, one day in June he was in a Bombay hotel before going back to America. In the hotel he felt that a power was trying to destroy his life, but he was not afraid, he asserts. Remembering that his master had promised to protect him, he put a little light on in his room "because the evil forces do not like light." After a while he felt sleepy. Then:

ICON As I opened my eyes and looked toward the right wall of the room, I saw the black form of Satan, horrible, with a catlike . . . tail. It leaped on my chest, and my heart stopped beating . . . my heart would not work. Suddenly I glimpsed an ocher robe, and there stood Master [Yukteswar]. He commanded Satan to leave; and as soon as he spoke, the evil figure vanished and my breath started to flow again . . . He said: "Satan was trying to destroy you. But fear not. I am with you evermore."

Yogananda could smell Sri Yukteswar too, as when he had lived on earth. [From Self-Realization Magazine [SRM], Summer 1976, p. 8-9.]

The devil story is not included in Yogananda's Autobiography, but chapter 43 there is devoted to the marvellous appearance of Yukteswar in the Bombay hotel on 19 June.

Interestingly, years earlier, after Yogananda had managed to fund his own school in Ranchi, India, one night he screamed out from his room there. He said that a cot penetrated through his closed door and a horrific being was seated on that cot. From that time on, a student would sleep in a separate cot in his room. Yogananda said that if he slept alone, he saw many different beings, and some of the times he woke up in fear, writes his biographer Sailendra Dasgupta [Paramhansa Swami Yogananda, Psy 112].

In 1945 Yogananda gave a lecture in Hollywood, and said such as:

"There is another world, the astral, hidden behind this universe. Its inhabitants are garbed in an astral form made of light. Lacking a physical body, they are "ghosts," invisible to us . . . Sincere seekers after God who practice scientific methods of prayer and meditation need never fear such beings." [Ak 270]

Some years earlier, in Encinitas, California, 1938, he said, "Sometimes when I sleep on my left side, I see all kinds of dark souls dancing around . . . I rarely see such souls when I sleep on my right side." [Dr 292]

Adjoining Yogananda Lessons

  • Your outer experiences should be only fun. [Paramahansa Yogananda, Ak 241]
  • God does not want you to give up. [Paramahansa Yogananda, SRM, Winter 1972, p. 4]
  • The greatest enemy of happiness in this country is the bills. - Yogananda, [Paramahansa Yogananda, SRM, Winter 1979, p. 8; Jse 273]
  • The greatest enemy of yourself is yourself. [Paramahansa Yogananda, Jse 345]
  • Moods are your greatest enemy. [Paramahansa Yogananda, Jse 393]
  • Anything that weakens your mind is your greatest enemy. [Paramahansa Yogananda, Ak 72]
  • Bolshevism, the greatest enemy. [Paramahansa Yogananda, Dr 64]
  • The greatest enemy of divine realization is the body. [Paramahansa Yogananda, Ak 432]
  • Ignorance is the arch-enemy of man. [Paramahansa Yogananda, Dr 81] — The true enemy of man is ignorance. [Paramahansa Yogananda, Ak 25] — Satan is ignorance. [Paramahansa Yogananda, Dr 448]
  • People who have a strong imagination or a very weak nervous system may be susceptible to hallucinations. [Paramahansa Yogananda, SRM, Summer 1976, p. 56]
  • The Lord . . . does everything. [Paramahansa Yogananda, SRM, Spring 1972, p. 20]

Questions and Queries

bills enemy
  1. Our greatest enemy, could it be bills? Not those who made them or acquired them?
  2. Insisting that the Lord stopped Yogananda's heart and did everything else in that encounter, is a Strange Thing and does not seem to make sense. Well?

So the "greatest enemy" of Yogananda, as gleaned from his three books of collected talks and essays, is the bills, yourself, moods, anything that weakens your mind, bolshevism (communism), Satan of ignorance, and the body. According to him, then, you have many greatest enemy. Yet, have you considered that he says the Lord is behind "your greatest enemy" (and yourself)? That he teaches the Lord is the doer of evil against you, because "The Lord does everything (and everything you do)"?

How do you like the guru-given idea that you yourself are Satan - and bills - and so forth? What will it be, laughs or cries or indifference and so on? He teaches other interesting things too: [LINK].

And you probably do well not to take every bombastic guru statement as bad - too. If that is well enough, is another question.


How to Meditate

Some "guric" visions of the universe as humbug do not quite exist in a likable way.

Why disregard jokes if they do good? If they form parts of hard-headed intrigues it may be fit to drop most of them. So if you read that Jesus is "one of the masters", why not think: "What else do some gurus do to take in naive, Christian disciples? Poor guys."

Beware of encumbrances in your way, great or small, so as not to get caught and tangled up through them and their follow-ups.

ICON Man's supreme and immediate duty (is:) Each minute of life should be a divine quest. The burning question in our heart should be: "When shall I find Thee, O Lord?" - Guru Yogananda [Ak 432-3]
Navigation Lessons
Let me come out of the cocoon to say this: The fit sailing winds: count them in.

That is a load of bullshit. Rephrased to "When will you find Me, Buddy?" it may work a little better if God is the Sole Doer, as Yogananda says several times. But, frankly, one normally does very, very well to drop unnormal, pretentious attitudes and foolish, exaggerated zeal (as dictated). Instead learn to soar away from hankering - do it by health-supporting meditation.

The sailing winds count. A good "quest" sails or glides above God-concepts and 'finding' and other roadblocks for as long as it lasts, up to many times daily.

"A burning question is no mark of a successful one, and may not lead to success in higher yoga (meditation). It is as simple as that."

"When shall I find you God?" leaves out why, how, what is meant by "find Thee, O", how often, how long, by which routes, It smacks of jumbling the steps of a good approach to entering Brahman. The art of meditating is for that. Feel free to leave Yogananda demagogy outside the door.

Further, if you want to succeed in yoga - lower and higher forms, you are to leave idiotic questions aside to glide inwards. That is what contemplation (dhyana) is for.

The poor, misguided Yogananda followers. Much rigmarole in the name of God tends to work for the good of big shots. Then swing your axe at the root of the problems. Refuse to be taken in by religious propaganda. Reduce its worth. There are ways to do it more or less, and books are written to that end too.

One should stay away from what stultifies free, fit, fair and good meditation ("inner sky-diving"). Its initial stages may baffle, such as ""Every boy may wade his way assisted by discreet panting (or even gasping)." This comes close to the all-over fact." - "Strenuous movements promote panting or even gasping, like athletics. It can be given a religious significance. And clever panting (and gasping) without toil (pranayama) may bring about higher states of yoga".

Now, there are no concept obstacles when you meditate full well. Otherwise much strange may be erected mentally and ritually. "Make straight to roads of the Lord", of "I am", could be a fit and fair saying to that point. Yet much depends on performance. Not everything is helped by cogent thinking either. Some guys do get fished and hooked into a faith that works damage.

Sound, decent meditation is much different. Yogananda's "monk family" has instituted roadblocks - severely sabotaging elements. Many taken-in followers seem to deny that.

  • Drop stultifying elements of your life and main ways.
  • Twin fools: one doubts nothing, the other everything (American proverb).
  • Believing as little as you can promotes soundness of mind if you learn to inspect fairly too.
  • No one should diminish his or her essential worth while trying to please for boons.
  • Yogananda (and his editing women) says he saw a catlike Satan leaping on his chest, and his heart stopped beating. Yogananda otherwise taught: "We ought not to fear to practice conscious death," referring to his kriya yoga. [Scp 78]

As if in deep sleep

Vasistha asks: At the end of the life of the cosmos . . . how have you managed to survive?

Bhusunda: I practice meditation on Varuna (Hindu God of Waters, much like Neptune) and remain unaffected. When the wind blows so that it uproots even mountains, I meditate on the Mountain (parvata). When the whole universe is flooded by cosmic dissolution, I meditate on Wind (the Vedic god Vayu). Then I remain as if in deep sleep (in yoga nidra) till the start of the next cosmic cycle. [Yv 279-80, rendered, abridged]


Yogananda's Fun Teachings

Some might revolt to the idea of having fun with Yogananda's inconsistent teachings. Such persons have not understood the basic ideas of "Your outer experiences should be only fun" or having "a lot of fun playing", and doing things "for the fun of it". Have fun! is a repeated part of Yogananda's message.

  • Your outer experiences should be only fun. [Paramahansa Yogananda, Ak 241]
  • I don't take life seriously at all. [Paramahansa Yogananda, Ak 219]
  • Samadhi . . . It is fun to get in and out of the body this way. [Paramahansa Yogananda, Ak 278]
  • Nature . . . seems to be poking fun at us all the time. It is indeed a funny world. [Paramahansa Yogananda, Dr 111]
  • As a child in Brindaban, Krishna amazed all with his precocious wisdom and display of incredible powers. His inner joy frequently erupted in prankish outbursts - to the amusement and delight, and sometimes consternation, of those at whom his fun was directed. [Paramahansa Yogananda, Yi 10]
  • Think . . . that the whole universe is contained in only a fragment of His being! The Lord seems to be having a lot of fun playing with these marbles in the sky. [Paramahansa Yogananda, Jse 55]
  • Don't be like those who, day in and day out, take life so seriously they are afraid even to smile. ... enjoy life. [Paramahansa Yogananda, Ak 353]
  • When you are anchored in the Divine Consciousness [y]ou will make fun of your habits, and you will be intensely amused at your distinguishing characteristics, as from the balcony of introspection you watch yourself perform in the motion picture of life. I do that all the time. When you know this world to be God's lila - His play . . . [Paramahansa Yogananda, Jse 49]
  • Whatever I wanted to accomplish, I made up my mind it was going to be, and it was! Try it. You will see how much power you have. You will see this power work. You will have a lot of fun with it. [Paramahansa Yogananda, Dr 100]
  • Be able to change your personality whenever you want to. I have done many different things in my life, just for the fun of it. I have invested money, I have done the work of a musician, of a contractor, of a cook. [Paramahansa Yogananda, Ak 152]
  • It is a lot of fun making success for God. Just think how a little thought in your brain, when put to work, can do something wonderful to make others happy and to leave "footprints in the sands of time." [Paramahansa Yogananda, Dr 107]

Yogananda's Lovejoy Teachings

A considerable part of Yogananda's output revolves around joy. The joy of the soul, the joy part of the godhead in Hindu thinking, that is, Sat-Chit-Ananda (Being, Consciousness, Great Joy). Even though the joy the guru loves to talk if is "beyond description", still he sermonises on and on about it in many sermons. Talking "masterfully" or otherwise about things that are "beyond description" amounts to wasting a lot of time.

The essence of the guru's joy teachings is that joy may be uncovered within by "scientific means". He means yoga meditation.

  • The joy and wonder of God . . . is beyond description. [Paramahansa Yogananda, Ak 258]
  • The purpose of life is to attain . . . tremendous happiness. [Paramahansa Yogananda, Ak 445]
  • In . . . eternal joy . . . nothing else matters. [Paramahansa Yogananda, Ak 439]
  • Dance in the joy of God. [Paramahansa Yogananda Dr 431]
  • The very joy you are seeking in sex, money, wine, love, fame - that joy is within yourself. [Paramahansa Yogananda Ak 46]
  • If you find true joy in this life, you will have it now and in the afterlife too. [Paramahansa Yogananda Ak 195]
  • Divine joy is in everyone. [Paramahansa Yogananda, Ak 8]
  • God . . . We can accurately call Him Divine Consciousness, Divine Joy, Divine Existence. [Paramahansa Yogananda, Ak 21]
  • The joy of God is boundless, unceasing, all the time new. [Paramahansa Yogananda, Ak 44]
  • The joy of Spirit is endless. [Paramahansa Yogananda, Ak 47]
  • The soul and its joy last forever. [Paramahansa Yogananda, Dr 296]
  • Joy can be found only through regular, deep meditation. The inner fountain of unchangeable ever new joy. [Paramahansa Yogananda, Dr 46]
  • He can be known by using the technique of meditation. Then He shall throb as wisdom in your mind, and as joy in your heart, and you will be more active and more successful than you have ever been before. [Paramahansa Yogananda, Ak 8]
  • The happy man is less subject to disease. [Paramahansa Yogananda, Ak 89]
  • Meditate - the glory and the joy it brings! Nothing else can give you that experience. See if it isn't true. [Paramahansa Yogananda, Ak 49]
  • [Attune] your consciousness to the ever-existing, ever-conscious, ever-new joy, which is God. [Ak 78]
  • God is ever new joy. This joy is omnipresent. [Paramahansa Yogananda, Jse 3]

  • Divine love is joy. [Paramahansa Yogananda, Dr 17]
  • Love is secondary to joy; there could be no love without joy. [Paramahansa Yogananda, Dr 4-5]
  • The satisfaction of love is not in the feeling itself, but in the joy that feeling brings. Love gives joy. We love love because it gives us such intoxicating happiness. So love is not the ultimate; the ultimate is bliss. God is Sat-Chit-Ananda, ever-existing, ever-conscious, ever-new Bliss. We, as soul, are individualized Sat-Chit-Ananda. [Paramahansa Yogananda, Dr 3]

  • Experience God-consciousness, or realization of the Self as Spirit: ever-existing, ever-conscious, ever-new joy. [Paramahansa Yogananda, Ak 282]
  • The more peaceful you are, the more you will be able to feel His presence. The happier you are, the greater will be your attunement with Him. Those who know Him are always happy, because God is joy itself. [Paramahansa Yogananda, Ak 110]
  • When centered in your true self, you do every task and enjoy all good things with the joy of God. Filled with His intoxicating bliss, you joyfully perform all actions. [Paramahansa Yogananda, Dr 222]
  • A joy that never grows stale is what you want; and that is what Patanjali teaches you can have, by becoming established in your true soul nature. [Paramahansa Yogananda, Dr 222]


Yogananda quotations on joy, fun, love, the devil, LITERATURE  

Ak: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Man's Eternal Quest. 2nd ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1982.

Ap: Mieder, Wolfgang (main ed.), Stewart A. Kingsbury, and Kelsie E. Harder: A Dictionary of American Proverbs. (Paperback) New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

Ay: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Autobiography of a Yogi. 1st ed. New York: Philosophical Library, 1946. Online. []

Dr: Yogananda, Paramahansa. The Divine Romance. New ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1993.

Ha: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Autobiography of a Yogi. 12th ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF), 1981.

Jse: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Journey to Self-realization: Discovering the Gift of the Soul. New ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1997.

Pa: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Autobiography of a Yogi. 11th ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF), 1971.

Psy: Dasgupta, Sailendra. Paramhansa Swami Yogananda: Life-portrait and Reminiscences. Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, 2006. Also at Google Books, partial view.

Pusb: Maslow, Abraham. Motivation and Personality. 3rd ed. New York, HarperCollins, 1987.

Rvl: Maslow, Abraham. Religions, Values, and Peak Experiences. Columbus: Ohio State University, 1964.

Say: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Sayings of Yogananda. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1958.

Scp: Yogananda, Pa. The Science of Religion. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1953.

Scu: Barrass, Robert. Scientists Must Write. London: Chapman and Hall, 1978.

Scw: Barrass, Robert. Scientists Must Write: A Guide to Better Writing for Scientists, Engineers and Students. 2nd ed. London: Routledge, 2002.

Yv: Venkatesananda, swami, tr. The Concise Yoga Vasistha. Albany: State University of New York, 1984.

Zun: Maslow, Abraham. Toward a Psychology of Being. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1968.

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