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Yogananda Sayings Inspected ☼

Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952) established himself in the United States between 1920 and 1952 and got a large following. Overreaching oneself is a danger for believers in Yogananda grandiloquence. The wisdom behind "Big words don't fatten the cabbage" may be realised too late. Better be forewarned.

And here is a part of what he taught, as edited in his book Man's Eternal Quest by Self-Realization Fellowship (2nd ed. 1982).


LoOvercome limitations and live also

A scientist must busy himself with going through several experiments in order to arrive at one fact. But the spiritually developed man is able to perceive the fact without going through a physical process. - Paramahansa Yogananda (1982:242)

I don't pray. That may seem a strange thing to say. - Paramahansa Yogananda (1982:121)

Weird? Yogananda wrote a book on answered prayers, Whispers from Eternity.

Personality and its development are generally considered only in the light of realizing some material goal, such as increasing one's business or social opportunities. The real nature of personality is rarely analyzed. - Paramahansa Yogananda (1982:149)

Your laughter must echo from the cave of sincerity. Your joy must flow from the fountain of realized soul. - Paramahansa Yogananda (1982:326)

For the sake of growth in rationality, if you say "you must" to someone, you do well to tell why and also how.

As I am engaged in talking . . . I live in His joy . . . This declaration is not a fairy tale. - Paramahansa Yogananda (1982:432)

Everything I have tried to do with will power has worked. - Paramahansa Yogananda (1982:187.

Not true. He failed in many projects, including a printing adventure, a kindergarten atop Mt. Washington in Los Angeles, a special city enterprise in Encinitas, California, and further. "Don't be taken in by everything an orator bellows", may prove a helpful piece of advice.

Plain living and high thinking make for contentment. - Paramahansa Yogananda (1982:388)

Why be content with a little when you could be content with much else and much more? It depends on getting good needs fulfilled. There are many needs to fulfil in a good life, as Abraham Maslow's pyramid of needs suggests. Contentment in life also depends on what you are called to.

We should never neglect teachers, for they are soul molders. - Paramahansa Yogananda (1982:351)

Many bad teachers are not moulding others in a good way - Yogananda does not say "good soul molders".

Begin to discover that you can live without food. - Paramahansa Yogananda (1982:102)

"The proof of the pudding is in the eating." If others try it and starve, try to stop any Yogananda-inspired killjoy folly. Also not there is much ill-founded against "creature comforts" in Yogananda's teachings. One aim and ideal he set up in 1935 for members of his fellowship is seen from this: "Human life is given to man . . . not for physical pleasure nor selfish gratifications." (Yogananda) [◦SRF charter of 1935, article 2e:13] Instead you had better keep on thriving without jeopardising your sanity.

When you go to a dance or a party your mind is often restless, nervous, and excited. - Paramahansa Yogananda (1982:79)

"Speak for yourself" may come in handy where people are different.] (2)

LoAs you get older, life may turn into a wondrous adventure since "long, long ago"

We can see life as a wonderful adventure when the Lord finally says, ". . . Nothing can harm you." (73)

As you get older, it is best not to tell others your age . . . Keep your age private. - Paramahansa Yogananda (1982:94-95)

The actor Dennis Weaver (1924–2006), a follower of Yogananda for decades, tried not to tell his age in public, to the effect that journalists made stories about him, digging up his age also.]

LoDiscretion is good, and well chosen dairy products are good too.

Consider the hard work of the president of the United States . . . We have to marvel that it is possible for a man to understand so much and undertake so much. - Paramahansa Yogananda (1982:204)

Do we, now?] (5)

Strive for a personality that is derived from your living in the continuous consciousness of God. (154)

Not striving for a personality works too, if coupled with native, strong interests. See Gordon Allport's excellent Becoming (1955). At any rate, marring striving is not good enough.

Above all, be humble. - Paramahansa Yogananda (1982:142)

Be natural to maintain splendid frivolity - that sort of "yourself". Much socially acceptable "humbleness" is based on skills and at times smart calculations of what may pay.

Don't fall asleep at night . . . Peer into that darkness. ⚶ Biting the nails is another foolish, useless habit. - Paramahansa Yogananda (1982:169 hum; 417) ✪ 

Spend hours seeking money or human love. - Paramahansa Yogananda (1982:174 abr).

There is not a complete either-or here. "First thrive, then wive" is a sane proverb.

Millions of people never analyze themselves. - Paramahansa Yogananda (1982:73)

Every one of us is going to die someday. - Paramahansa Yogananda (1982:106)

A "deathless avatar" Yogananda tells of in his Autobiography is not supposed to die - Yogananda is not including that Babaji in his "us". Strange, isn't it?

Never be cranky. - Paramahansa Yogananda (1982:427)

Mind who you are to keep it, and go for being all right tactful and polite too.

When a plant is growing in water in a glass jar, one can see that its roots are like hairs. - Paramahansa Yogananda (1982:251)

Such likeness is only superficial.

When man is sick he may feel justified in eating anything . . . flesh foods may aid in healing one illness. - Paramahansa Yogananda (1982:84)

Yogananda advocates vegetarianism, though.

Your smile must spread . . . over the whole universe. - Paramahansa Yogananda (1982:326)

"Overreach, ye," is hardly meant. Let us hope that.

Mothers are imperfect. - Paramahansa Yogananda (1982:371)

He introduced a wailing practice termed "Cry to Divine Mother and She will come." But did she come to a lot of followers, and in what ways - and were they fulfilling, you may wonder?] (8)

Greedy people fill themselves and still they are looking for more food. - Paramahansa Yogananda (1982:86)

To eat and get hungry again - do not look down on that.

Behind the subconscious is your superconscious mind, which never forgets anything. - Paramahansa Yogananda (1982:331

Include in your daily diet milk and other dairy products. - Paramahansa Yogananda (1982:400)

All who are allergetic to dairy products and milk, might have hoped for better guidelines. However there are alternatives to milk products too. Tofu is one among many. It is made by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the resulting curds into soft white blocks. Tofu has quite large amounts of protein and may also have a high calcium or magnesium content. There is also "almond tofu" and tofus made of eggs, sesame or peanuts. (see WikiHow: "3 Ways to Make Tofu")

Among many easily handled protein sources are pea powder too.


  1. Seek to overcome limitations that stultify life.
  2. It could be better to refrain from hazardious adventures and ventures as old age creeps closer.
  3. Go for adequate protein sources daily - for example decent dairy products throughout life as long as you dont clog your heart and arteries as time goes by. (You may see to it by adequate additions to the dairy products - and try out good features of some balanced Mediterranean diet with garlic, oninons, goat's cheese, olive oil and something from red grape-skins, resveratrol? One may test and see the effects of such measures, or other ones. It could pay to get regular check-ups as we get older.

Some details added:

Research has shown that a good and traditional Mediterranean diet - there are several such diets - reduces the risk of heart disease. In fact, an analysis of more than 1.5 million healthy adults demonstrated that following [a well balanced Mediterranean diet - one of several such diets] - was associated with a reduced risk of death from heart disease and cancer, as well as a reduced incidence of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. - ◦Mayo Clinic Staff.

CAUTION: The staff overlooks the good use of the "superfoods" onion and garlic and the good they do, oddly enough. Compare: "It is . . . an exaggeration to say that peace and happiness begin, geographically, where garlic is used in cooking." (In David 1991, Introduction) At any rate, garlic is a traditional part of many a Mediterranean meal, and onion too. (Helstosky, 2009)

ALTERNATIVES TO ALCOHOL: Avoid alcoholic wine and you escape becoming a drunkard due to alcoholic wine. There is water and non-alcoholic wine around too. Or try if well-tasting resveratrol from natural sources benefits you.

See if the currently listed benefits of resveratrol to animals triggers any sound motivation in the light of a summary: "Experts agree that it does have potential, there's still not enough data to confirm its effectiveness". Also see if there are any side effects you should be aware of, for example its possible interactions with blood thinning medication. [◦WebMD on resveratrol]

Wikipedia's "Resveratrol" article is recommended. Books like those of James Betz (2011) and Aggarwal and Shishodia (2006) may add but little to the article data.

In nuce - these Paramahansa Yogananda Quotations Parts of the above boil down to: Overcome bad effects of this and that and increase the benefits of this and that if you know how. It might help to be in step with balanced traditions also. And enjoy nourishing milk from cow-friendly farming - so that it is good for you in the long run too, by having a little that is good for the heart and arteries along with it throughout life as well: Olive oil and garlic, fats from quite suitable sources, tomatoes, and many more sorts of vegetables and fruits. [◦"10 Foods that Keep Your Arteries Clean"] (Omega-3 is currently being discredited through research findings).


Statistical research into God has not brought any conclusive proof that a Mother God exists, but it has documented the value of Mediterranean diets . . . Forms of God may be out of reach for that sort of ventures.

Statistics show, however, how American belief in God, miracles, Jesus as the Son, the devil and hell is declining. In 2013, 74% of US adults believed in God, whereas five years earlier 82% did so. [◦The Harris Poll #97, December 16, 2013]

The poll also shows there "continues to be no consensus as to whether God is a man or a woman. Nearly 4 in 10 Americans (39%) think He is male, while just 1% of U.S. adults believe She is a woman [Emphasis added]. However, notable minorities believe God is neither male nor female (31%) or both male and female (10%)."

Besides "Just under half of Americans believe that all or most of the Old Testament (49%) and the New Testament (48%) are the "Word of God," representing declines of six percentage points each from 2008 findings."

Those who are better than those who look best, how are they?

Some are wise in disguise, but Abraham Maslow identified common features of several elite persons who had not got that far . . . They were "Seven highly probable public and historical figures (Albert Einstein, Eleanor Roosevelt, Jane Addams, William James, Albert Schweitzer, Aldous Huxley, and Benedict de Spinoza)" He also included five contemporaries of his, fairly certain they would fall short somewhat but could still be used for study. In some ways the common distribution curve (Bell curve, Gauss curve) can support Maslow's elitist view (Maslow 1987, ch 11).

A common feature: "They had not managed to hide their excellence." If so, we might benefit on our way toward some better ideals by initially heeding the proverb, "Don't look to the many; look to the best." Apparently, many times it makes sense to seek out the splendid ones that may be found, and their ways and main views. This is the reverse side of "You don't have to be ill to be a doctor." You don't have to be outstanding yourself to recognise well tested outstanding others, if you should trust in the tests, that is. That may or may not be wise.

Another side to this is a few delicate nudges: The way to identify great ones could be to be one of their number if "it takes one to know one" - especially those in hiding, and who are better than those who look best. The proverb "It is a fool who cannot hide his wisdom" is attuned to that some way or other. Compare the old teachings in Tao Te Ching:

The best rulers of old had fine natures, mysterious, too deep, they couldn't be understood. (Chap. 15).

Of the best the people hardly ever know they exist;
The next best they flock to and praise.
The next they shrink from;
The next get reviled.
(Chap. 17)

Some may be too wise to be recognised as wise. Some are wise in disguise. Accordingly, the best might be out of reach, and those who manage to find them are good at it. The lore about Jivamuktas show it.


Paramahansa Yogananda quotations, Citations of Paramhansa Yogananda, Yogananda quotes, Literature  

Aggarwal, Bharat B., and Shishir Shishodia, eds. Resveratrol in Health and Disease. London: CRC Press / Taylor and Francis, 2006.

Allport, Gordon. Becoming: Basic Considerations for a Psychology of Personality. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1955. Reprints: 1966 and 1977. ⍽▢⍽The need for a psychology of "becoming", of the growth and development of personality, is outlined. The development may start with "looking within ourselves."

Betz, James. Resveratrol and Its Effects on Human Health and Longevity - Myth or Miracle? Taichung, Taichung City: Truth Publishing, 2011.

David, Elizabeth. A Book of Mediterranean Food. Reprint ed. London: Penguin, 1991.

Helstosky, Carol. Food Culture in the Mediterranean. London: Greenwood Press, 2009.

Maslow, Abraham H. Motivation and Personality. 3rd ed. Rev by Cynthia McReynolds. Added material by Ruth Cox. New York: Harper and Row, 1987.

Yogananda, Paramahansa. Man's Eternal Quest. 2nd ed. Los Angeles: SRF, 1982.

WP: Wikipedia, sv. "Mediterranean Diet"; "Resveratrol".

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