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.
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:
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
Questions and Queries
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].
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.
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]
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.
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]
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.
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.
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. [oaks.nvg.org/pv6bk12.html]
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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