The guru Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952) was a Hindu emissary who came by boat to Boston in September 1920 and got a follower there at Christmas Eve that year, and by turns founded his Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) (by several names, such as Sat-Sanga) since. In 1925, with the help of many friends, Yogananda got a worn, little hotel on a hilltop in Los Angeles for his headquarters.
He did not own it, though, for he was not a US citizen. The ownership further changed in 1935 when Yogananda left the States and avoided paying back money he owed a previous fellow-worker, Dhirananda. But the hotel remained the fellowship's headquarters with its new owners.
Yogananda got quite a following over the years. Instructions from his pen and mouth flowed. Most of the following Yogananda statements are from the text "Super-Method Of Overcoming Nervousness" from 1932.
Realize that all power to think "We are incompatible and tire of each other and even the size of limes" comes from God and may cause nervousness.
A Survey of Yogananda's Teachings
The hints below are gathered from Yogananda's article "Super-Method Of Overcoming Nervousness", published in the magazine East West in November, 1932. The text from here and till the summary consists of Yogananda quotations. Apart from headings, nothing is added, but their order is rearranged. Such sifted Yogananda selections appear according to a matrix you can find out more of here, if you will: [Link].
On tiring of each other and the size of limes
IN THE body factory, the brain is the main dynamo which sends energy through a complicated system of special conductors, or nerves, to the different organs and members, which in turn act as the machines to produce vision, touch, hearing, taste, smell, movement, metabolism, circulation, breathing, and thought. You are the manager of your own body factory.
A soothing drink made of fresh limes . . . : To one glass of water, add the juice of one-quarter of a fresh lime and about a tablespoonful of sugar. Stir thoroughly, and add a little crushed ice. It is difficult to give exact measurements because of the difference in the size of limes, but it should not taste at all like the ordinary limeade, bought at soda fountains. This is far too strong. This drink should be blended so that the sweetness and sourness are equal, and you cannot distinguish which you are tasting. Ground rock candy is even better than sugar, but do not use honey. If properly blended, every nerve will feel calm. Sip two or three glasses. If you have too much lime or too much sugar, it will not produce the result. The blending must be equal.
Lack of the necessities for normal and happy living, such as proper exercise, fresh air, sunshine, right food, agreeable work, and a purpose in life, aggravate, if they do not actually cause, a condition of nervousness . . . too great a stimulation upsets the functioning of the nervous system. ◊
People tire of each other unless they have the Divine attitude in which the soul is constantly filled with the joy of God.
If you are nervous, you cannot meditate deeply and thus acquire peace and wisdom.
Realize that all power to think "we are incompatible" come from GodREFORM yourself. That is where your greatest problem lies.
[Yet:] It is difficult for married people who are incompatible to have to live in the same house. Either one or both are likely to develop nervousness.
People attend churches . . . They find only empty words.
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. ◊
The particular disturbance of equilibrium which we call nervousness, may be caused by great and continuous excitement.
Let God flow through you till you are dead
FEAR AND worry are very closely connected . . . a calm analysis of the cause will usually remove worry.
A real holy man acts as a raft to carry you through suffering.
Sometimes the power of God comes like an ocean, and surges through your Being in great boundless waves, sweeping away all obstacles. ◊
Let God flow through you, and you will have all the power you need. ◊◊
There is nothing to fear, because as long as you are not dead you are alive, and when you are dead, it is over . . .
Remember to get tired of massing "I am a victim of largely non-essential and immoderate goadings" too.
Don't Give up Trying to Understand
Talking is cheap, people follow like sheep. - The Tremeloes from "Silence is Golden".
You have to take care what you fill your mind with, and interpret it reasonably. Once we study Yogananda's changed and conflicting teachings in the light of his adaptations to his American audience - his fame-givers - we could get alerted to reasons why his teachings drifted and changed in time. An enlarged perspective tends to carry such boons with it, including the boon of not being ensnared by many of his herding words either.
We should not give up in trying to understand the guru who decrees, "Sincerity will save you." Also, "The greatest blessing would be to develop international understanding by which we may realize this truth . . . If we can learn to understand others . . . we begin to express the perfect image of God within us . . . (Yogananda 1993:351)."
Will sincerity actually save you? Is it saved from, saved to, or something better (Nuances are often important)? Is it saved completely, saved a lot, or a bit (Gradations can be of service too)? And maybe you know under which circumstances it could be helpful. Suppose a former vicious marauder sincerly says, "Yes, I have killed some," (see Dasgupta 2006:111-12) is that what it takes to save him? From what? All the way? What if he was saved (liberated) in a former life and robbed and murdered others in lives after that? [Yogananda's former lives]
Do you really think sincerity is all it takes? And why guess Yogananda is true to his word on sincerity on your behalf when that old marauder (according to his biography [Psy 111-12) fails to be consistent?
You probably function better if you try not to trust in isolated, fine-sounding phrases, and instead learn to inspect them [Kalama Sutta]. To such worthy ends we have such as Lasswell's formula and Kipling's "six serving-men," the interrogative pronouns who, what, where, when, why, and how. For your own sake, check a statement by seeking proper answers to these pronouns, and focus on whichever of them that seems most interesting, fruitful, relevant, valid, and tidy.
A variant of Harold Lasswell's communication formula is
Who says what to whom along which channels, with what intent, with what effects?" Add if you will, "Who profits, and where does the money go?
If you wisely seek the most likely tentative answers in such veins, you could benefit.
Dasgupta, Sailendra. Paramhansa Swami Yogananda: Life-portrait and Reminiscences. Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, 2006.
Yogananda, Paramahansa. The Divine Romance. New ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1993.
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