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Whi: Yogananda, Paramahansa. How You Can Talk with God. 1st hardcover ed. Los Angeles: SRF, 1998.

Yogananda and other yogis say a human may talk with God and get definite responses. One question is whether you are fit for the honour, or there is still one more mile to go.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
. . .
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
(From Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost)

Can you handle a ride in the woods? Can you handle the ride to God? Become a good rider and take care of your horse also, so that both survive.

Dudli Dei tells in an Amazon book review that the guru inspired people to talk to God - in particular his "Divine Mother", the concept he most often used. The Hindu monk taught she would respond if -- -IF - - and then he gave the conditions. They included a 24 hours concentrated, uninterrupted vigil to implore God Mother to talk to you. Nearly nobody can stay "focused" like that - and besides there are degrees of uninterruptedness, and freakish teachings in other places too.

Wailing for Mom and calling it yoga . . . ouch! More than disappointments may be in store, and the snow may get deep. [More]

Good yoga, by contrast, is based on letting go of Mom constructs and other constructs by contemplating - going inwards mentally. That is a process that is violated by frantic begging and much drama and ado. Begging, wailing and crying as yoga - could have masked, very unwelcome, unwholesome effects. One thing is the disappointment when God Mom does not deign to appear to talk with you - this time either, and so on - in a circus of dualism-based circus that may end up in bitter frustrations. Another thing is if she comes and you don't find her appealing. A third problem is if she comes but shies away because you are not good enough to be with her there and then, and so on. So it does not have to be a good idea to wail and weep, not even in vain, and it should be good to learn to meditate calmly!

Some God-wailers have gotten awfully disappointed, but only by first taking no-good wailer doctrine seriously - Others, religious folks, who just dip into the master's stuff, may get saved from scary dissappointments.

Wl: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Where There Is Light: Insight and Inspiration for Meeting Life's Challenges. Paperback. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 2000.

This book is of the same kind as The Master Said (Tms, alias Sayings of Yogananda), in that it consists of Yogananda sayings. They are thematically arranged under headings such as "Achieving Your Goals". Quote: "Nothing is impossible, unless you think it is. [p. 57]" In that case, can you create a shoe that is so big that you cannot see the end of it, even with binoculars, yet it fits your foot for walking very well? And can you/God create a stone that is so heavy that it is impossible for you/God to lift it? Do tell. The lesson is clear: Falling for juggler tricks and gross exaggerations over and over, for doing that could be to your loss.

The motivation to get a book on living fearlessly may be a hope for mastering fear through tips from a guru. Of so, a book like this could address fearful ones first and foremost.

Was Yogananda a fearless one throughout his life? He shivered with horror when he told of one of his past lives. And after he had started a school in Ranchi, India, one night he screamed out from his room. He said a cot had come through his closed door, and a horrific being sat on that cot. From that time on a student had to sleep on a cot in Yogananda's room. Yogananda said that if he slept alone, some of the times he woke up in fear. That is what Sailendra Dasgupta tells on the last page of his Yogananda biography. [Psy 112]

Is there a lesson of learning from an experienced man here? Someone who has tackled or overcome his greatest fears, could well be someone to learn a trick or three from! It appears to apply to Buddha too. He overcame fears of being alone in the jungle in a certain way, we read.

I thought: 'Why do I always expect fear and dread where I dwell? What if I subdue that fear and dread while keeping the same posture that I am in when it comes upon me?" [Buddha about dread]

Yogananda is at times almost into useful sayings too. "Go deep and seek the Infinite Source" [p. 68]. The "Go deep" part is good, and conforms to the way of Transcendental Meditation, TM. A regular routine of TM and activity should enhance the value of both and ensure you are on a good footing too.

In good and deep meditation terms or concepts like "infinite" must be overcome and discarded.

Another notion: When Yogananda tells of all the things "he" has accomplished, he was not the Doer ("God is the Sole Doer," and "The world is a dream," he teaches in several places). At any rate, he got much help from others throughout. They gave him money and land, and worked a lot as he directed them to. It is not all unlike when kings or religious heads went to war before: others bore some of the burdens and were maimed and killed and victimised. So it should be wise to use the faculty of discrimination and take care who and what you put faith in.

Wm: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Wine of the Mystic: The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam: A Spiritual Interpretation. Paperback. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1996.

There are two versions of Yogananda's commentary on the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam: Wine of the Mystics, edited by SRF's Mrinalini Mata and Ananda's The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam Explained, edited by Swami Kriyananda. The two books are strangely different, a result of different kinds of editing.

The SRF edition of Yogananda's commentary on Fitzgerald's take shows much effort spent on embellishment, which has won the book some rewards. However, as a commentary on Omar Khayyam's thinking, the Yogananda commentary seems to be quack. More: [Rubaiyat-Yogananda ]

Yi: Yogananda, Paramahansa. The Yoga of the Bhagavad Gita: An Introduction to India's Universal Science of God-realization. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 2007.

Yogananda talks against negative tendencies of the human ego. The book consists of compiled selections from a translation of the Gita and a lengthy commentary to it - about 1100 pages. The Gita itself is terse. Yogananda's long work is called God Talks With Arjuna [Gt].

Yogananda's Gita translation is one of many. His wording is a bit old-fashioned, as in "O Descendant of Bharata (Arjuna), battle thou" [p. 67]. And that message is also the gist of the poem. There are two full Gita translations onsite.

Before you go into any commentaries it could be a good idea first to read a good translation of the Gita yourself. By such an approach you could get nearer to making up your mind about many vital concerns yourself. Self-Realization Fellowship also publishes the Yogananda translation without the long commentary.

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