This page contains a fair sample of Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952) quotations on what ignorance is, and also who is your greatest enemy. Some sides to his ignorance teachings may astound some, as Yogananda taught that ignorance was
the greatest sin, the root cause of error, Satan, the arch-enemy, the true enemy, the fog, the supreme disease, the great poison, the root of ill-health, and first cause of blindness.
He does not seem to teach "happy ignorance" - that "Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise." Or does he? But you can be happy and good without knowing terribly much. So you may wonder what his problems were.
Who was his greatest enemy? Was it "Satan-ignorance, the arch-enemy, the true enemy - himself or yourself, bills, Bolschevism or moods - all of them? You may start to wonder, but it soon proves to be a dead-end street of silliness.
I hope you will not swallow everything Yogananda rallies about. This hope is much contrary to a sectarian stand - his yoga church fellowship decrees that his wisdom is flawless (heh-heh-heh) and that they do not find fault with his guidelines. Is that a result of Satan-ignorance or being who they are - their greatest enemies, you should also get away from, as there is much worthwhile to go for in this world.
The guru's guidelines are not flawless. There are too many "greatest enemy" in the yogi's teachings for it, for one thing. Free yourself from guru drivel, take up a noble way of living, and be as happy as you can. [Compare].
You may come to appreciate right speech along the road of life. To speak in exaggerated, untruthful ways goes against it. It is not good enough to say hoy-hoy things that can abort trustworthiness. Noblesse oblige, the French say.
Man suffers because of his errors; and the root-cause of error is ignorance. [Dr 49]
Many think they are not suited for the spiritual life, but that is Satan's greatest lie. Satan is ignorance. God tells me that the only path we are fitted for is the path that leads to Him! [Dr 448]
The true enemy of man is ignorance. It must be driven from this earth. [Ak 25]
When the fog of ignorance is removed by meditation you will see the right path. [Ak 28]
Ignorance is the supreme disease. When one banishes ignorance he also banishes the causes of all physical, mental, and spiritual disease. [Ak 80]
Ignorance is like a great poison in the system. Because of it we don't realize our true nature, made in the image of God. [Ak 460]
Ignorance is the arch-enemy of man. Therefore, to guide yourself and others by wisdom is the greatest wisdom. To all those who are around me, I speak without weighing my words. If I see error in their ways, I tell them so. But I never try in any way to muffle anyone's reason. [Dr 81]
We are like gold in the mud: when the mud of ignorance is cleansed away, the shining gold of the soul, made in God's image, is seen within. [Dr 90]
The originator and pioneer of all suffering, Ignorance is the mysterious root of the tree of ill-health, the source of every type of mental inefficiency, and the primal cause of man's soul blindness.
Stealthily reigning . . . - [Wf 207]
"The Greatest Enemy" According to Yogananda
The greatest enemy of happiness in this country is the bills. - Yogananda, [SRM, Winter 1979, p. 8; Jse 273]
The greatest enemy of yourself is yourself. [Jse 345]
Moods are your greatest enemy. [Jse 393]
Anything that weakens your mind is your greatest enemy. [Ak 72]
Bolshevism, the greatest enemy. [Dr 64]
A Few Deductions
To think that you yourself is the greatest enemy of happiness in this universe, because that is how you understand "Mr Infallible", would be stupid. And thus you prove yourself to be a Communist, which also is Satan of supreme disease and ill-health - all according to Yogananda. But he does not speak fair, and thus acts against your further well-being.
There are too many "greatest enemy" for any normal equation in a mental or moral Yogananda universe.
Yogananda, an orator of his times, exploited generalities. As we see, some of them do not always come out straight and well ranked. That is not a sign of great wisdom. As for the lot of many who succumbed to generalities and platitudes - alas. And the same goes for all who seem to chatter away so many precious hours on earth.
Yogananda, Paramahansa. Man's Eternal Quest. 2nd ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1982.
Dr: Yogananda, Paramahansa. The Divine Romance. New ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1993.
Jse: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Journey to Self-realization: Discovering the Gift of the Soul. New ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 2000.
Wer: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Why God Permits Evil and How to Rise Above It. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 2002.
Wf: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Whispers from Eternity. 8th ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1959. CAVEAT: Heavily edited and changed by SRF after his death; not so trustworthy.
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