Inspiration and wisdom from divine felines

190 Inspiring Quotes by Paramahansa Yogananda

  • Last updated Jul 26 2021

Welcome to our collection of quotes by Paramahansa Yogananda.

Wikipedia Summary for Paramahansa Yogananda

Paramahansa Yogananda (born Mukunda Lal Ghosh; January 5, 1893 – March 7, 1952) was an Indian Hindu monk, yogi and guru who introduced millions to the teachings of meditation and Kriya Yoga through his organization Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) / Yogoda Satsanga Society (YSS) of India, and who lived his last 32 years in America. A chief disciple of the Bengali yoga guru Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri, he was sent by his lineage to spread the teachings of yoga to the West, to prove the unity between Eastern and Western religions and to preach a balance between Western material growth and Indian spirituality. His long-standing influence in the American yoga movement, and especially the yoga culture of Los Angeles, led him to be considered by yoga experts as the "Father of Yoga in the West.

"Yogananda was the first major Indian teacher to settle in America, and the first prominent Indian to be hosted in the White House (by President Calvin Coolidge in 1927); his early acclaim led to him being dubbed "the 20th century's first superstar guru," by the Los Angeles Times. Arriving in Boston in 1920, he embarked on a successful transcontinental speaking tour before settling in Los Angeles in 1925. For the next two and a half decades, he gained local fame as well as expanded his influence worldwide: he created a monastic order and trained disciples, went on teaching-tours, bought properties for his organization in various California locales, and initiated thousands into Kriya Yoga. By 1952, SRF had over 100 centers in both India and the US; today, they have groups in nearly every major American city. His "plain living and high thinking" principles attracted people from all backgrounds among his followers.

He published his book Autobiography of a Yogi in 1946 to critical and commercial acclaim; since its first publishing, it has sold over four million copies, with HarperSan Francisco listing it as one of the "100 best spiritual books of the 20th Century". Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs had ordered 500 copies of the book for his own memorial, for each guest to be given a copy. The book has been regularly reprinted and is known as "the book that changed the lives of millions." A 2014 documentary, Awake: The Life of Yogananda, won multiple awards at film festivals around the world. His continued legacy around the world, remaining a leading figure in Western spirituality to the current day, led authors such as Philip Goldberg to consider him "the best known and most beloved of all Indian spiritual teachers who have come to the West....through the strength of his character and his skillful transmission of perennial wisdom, he showed the way for millions to transcend barriers to the liberation of the soul."



landscape photography of waves and clouds

Great healers, people of divine realization, do not cure by chance but by exact knowledge.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

brown butterfly perched on flower

There are always two forces warring against each other within us.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

white wall paint with white paint

Just behind the darkness of closed eyes shines the light of God. When you behold that light in meditation, hold onto it with devotional zeal. Feel yourself inside it: That is where God dwells.

--Paramahansa Yogananda


None

When you worry, there is static coming through your mind radio. God's song is the song of calmness. Nervousness is the static; calmness is the voice of God speaking to you through the radio of your soul.

--Paramahansa Yogananda


red strawberry fruit on red surface

The sense of being a separate, egoic self begins with the astral, not with the physical, body. The soul is individualized spirit.

--Paramahansa Yogananda





body of water under clear blue sky painting

The Spirit of God, I realized, is exhaustless Bliss; His body is countless tissues of light.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

silhouette photo of mountain during night time

Cosmic energy enters the body through the medulla and then passes to the cerebrum, in which it is stored or concentrated.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

person standing on rock beside body of water between green trees

Come into the silence of solitude, and the vibration there will talk to you through the voice of God.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

bokeh photography

As often as you fail, get up and try again. God will never let you down, so long as you don't let Him down, and so long as you make the effort.

--Paramahansa Yogananda



sunset

The physical ego serves as its own worst enemy when, by delusive material behavior, it eclipses its true nature as the ever blessed soul.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

brown and gray brick wall

When Emerson's poem
BRAHMA appeared in the ATLANTIC MONTHLY in 1857, most the readers were bewildered. Emerson
chuckled. "Tell them," he said, "to say 'Jehovah' instead of 'Brahma' and they will not feel any perplexity.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

focused photo of a red rose

Environment is stronger than will.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

purple flower on purple textile

To commune daily with God in deep meditation, and to carry His love and guidance with you into all your dutiful activities, is the way that leads to permanent peace and happiness.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

calm ocean

Self-realization may be and sometimes is attained even by people who are struggling with sick and otherwise imperfect bodies; but it cannot be attained unless one can concentrate and meditate uninterruptedly upon God.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

red strawberry fruit on red surface

When you know God as peace within, then you will realize Him as peace existing in the universal harmony of all things without.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

silhouette of woman during sunset

The Spirit could not create matter as anything different from Itself, for it had only Itself as the tissue or material with which to build the cosmos.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

leafless tree

Fear was given to man as a cautionary device to spare him pain; it is not mean to be cultivated and abused.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

sunset

Sing songs that none have sung.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

Longer Version:

Sing songs that none have sung, think thoughts that ne'er in the brain have rung,

Walk in paths that none have trod, weep tears as none have shed for God,

Give peace to all to whom none other gave,

Claim him your own who's everywhere disclaimed.

Love all with love that none have felt and

Brave the battle of life with strength unchained.


man in black jacket and black pants standing on brown rock formation during daytime

Making others happy, through kindness of speech and sincerity of right advice, is a sign of true greatness. To hurt another soul by sarcastic words, looks, or suggestions, is despicable.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

white and blue sky during daytime

I don't want people to think that they can attain realization simply by listening to others or by reading books. They must practice what they read and hear.

--Paramahansa Yogananda


brown and white long coated small dog lying on green grass

Every tomorrow is determined by every today.

--Paramahansa Yogananda


black and white abstract illustration

Remain quiet. Don't feel you have to talk all the time. Go within and you will see the Loveliness behind all beauty.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

white brick wall planning

Freedom means the power to act by soul guidance, not by the compulsions of desires and habits. Obeying the ego leads to bondage; obeying the soul brings liberation.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

None

The time will come when mankind will begin to get away from the consciousness of needing so many material things. More security and peace will be found in the simple life.

--Paramahansa Yogananda


blue ocean

In that power of self-control lies the seed of eternal freedom.

--Paramahansa Yogananda




2 people riding on boat during sunset

If you permit your thoughts to dwell on evil you yourself will become ugly. Look only for the good in everything so you absorb the quality of beauty.

--Paramahansa Yogananda


red and yellow abstract painting

Be kind to others, so that you may learn the secret art of being kind to yourself.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

brown violin with black background

Meditation is like giving a hug to our ourselves, getting in touch whith that awesome reality in us. While meditating we feel a deep sense of intimacy with God, a love that is inexplicable.

--Paramahansa Yogananda


Light blue to dark blue gradient

Work for god, love god alone, and be wise with god. When an ordinary man puts the necessary rime and enthusiasm into meditation and prayer, he becomes a divine man.

--Paramahansa Yogananda


person wearing red running shoe

Be inwardly ever newly joyous, like the ever-fresh laughing waters of a gurgling brook.

--Paramahansa Yogananda





woman wearing white dress

Truth is not afraid of questions.

--Paramahansa Yogananda


people walking on hallway

Calmness is the living breath of God's immortality in you.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

black and gray floral textile

You must methodize your life. God created routine. The sun shines until dusk and the stars shine until dawn.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

close up shot of white flower

By the practice of meditation, you will find that you are carrying within your heart a portable paradise.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

green and white bird on black wire during daytime

You naturally love those who are dear to you, and you must learn to give that kind of love to the whole world.

--Paramahansa Yogananda


white wall paint beside white wall

God is love. His plan for creation can only be rooted in love. Does not that simple thought, rather than erudite reasoning, offer solace to the human heart?

--Paramahansa Yogananda


woman standing on beachfront

Most people consider the course of events as natural and inevitable. They little know what radical changes are possible through prayer.

--Paramahansa Yogananda


black and white giraffe on brown grass field

Proper visualization by the exercise of concentration and willpower enables us to materialize thoughts, not only as dreams or visions in the mental realm, but also as experiences in the material realm.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

None

Words saturated with sincerity, conviction, faith, and intuition are like highly explosive vibration bombs, which, when set off, shatter the rocks of difficulties and create the change desired.

--Paramahansa Yogananda



sunset

I relax and cast aside all mental burdens, allowing God to express through me His perfect love, peace, and wisdom.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

None

Be careful what you choose to do consciously, for unless your will is very strong, that is what you may have to do repeatedly and compulsively through the habit-influencing power of the subconscious mind.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

forest trees photograph

The rains of Life's Blessings cannot gather on mountaintops of pride, but flow easily into valleys of humbleness.

--Paramahansa Yogananda





blue and white water surface

The soul's first adventure is the fight between two ideas: the wish to return to earth in a human form, and the desire to feel the freedom of having no form.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

silhouette of man standing on hill during starry night

If you have a strong mind and plant in it a firm resolve, you can change your destiny.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

leafless tree

If you open the door to the magnetic power of friendship, souls of like vibrations will be attracted to you.

--Paramahansa Yogananda


low angle photography of green and brown tree

Love is the heartbeat of all life.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

yellow and white color illustration

I am no longer the wave of consciousness thinking itself separated from the sea of cosmic consciousness. I am the ocean of Spirit that has become the wave of human life.

--Paramahansa Yogananda


band performing on stage in front of people

Remain calm, serene, always in command of yourself. You will then find out how easy it is to get along.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

brown sand under blue sky during daytime

Do not think of yourself as the body, but as the joyous consciousness and immortal life behind it.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

landscape photography of forest

Read a little. Meditate more. Think of God all the time.

--Paramahansa Yogananda



worm's eye view of trees during night time

Learn to be calm and you will always be happy.

--Paramahansa Yogananda


brown wooden pathway in the middle of green trees

When you learn to live for others, they will live for you.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

sunset with storm clouds

As water by cooling and condensation becomes ice, so thought by condensation assumes physical form. Everything in the universe is thought in material form.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

pink petaled flowers under trees at daytime

I come not to entertain you with worldly festivities but to arouse your sleeping memory of immortality.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

white and blue building under clear sky

A genuine smile distributes the cosmic current, Prana to every body cell.The happy man is less subject to disease, for happiness actually attracts into the body a greater supply of the Universal life energy.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

forest trees photograph

The kingdom of God is just behind the darkness of closed eyes, and the first gate that opens to it is your peace.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

man with LED headlight looking upward

You have come to earth to entertain and to be entertained.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

brown and gray brick wall

The greatest romance is with the Infinite.
You have no idea how beautiful life can be.
When you suddenly find God everywhere,
when He comes and talks to you and guides you,
the romance of divine love has begun.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

pink and yellow flower painting

When the mind is calm, how quickly, how smoothly, how beautifully you will perceive everything.

--Paramahansa Yogananda


Arizona landscape

Roam in the world as a lion of self-control; see that the frogs of weakness don't kick you around.

--Paramahansa Yogananda



two women sitting on wooden dock over body of water

Success is hastened or delayed by one's habits.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

Longer Version:

Success is hastened or delayed by one’s habits. It is not your passing inspirations or brilliant ideas so much as your everyday mental habits that control your life.


white wall paint with black shadow

Happiness blooms naturally in the hearts of those who are inwardly free. It flows spontaneously, like a mountain spring after April showers, in minds that are contented with simple living.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

brown rocky mountain under blue sky during daytime

Happiness lies in making others happy, in forsaking self-interest to bring joy to others.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

woman standing on beachfront

No matter what you are doing, keep the undercurrent of happiness. Learn to be secretly happy within your heart in spite of all circumstances.

--Paramahansa Yogananda


bird's eye view of desert

The ordinary man considers solids and liquids and the energy manifestations of the material world to be vastly different, but the yogi sees them as various vibrations of the one cosmic light.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

selective focus photo of iceberg on large body of water at winter

Death is only an experience through which you are meant to learn a great lesson: you cannot die.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

woman carrying baby while walking

Through Self-realization man becomes aware of true values as to his place in the divine plan and his relation to the past, present, and future of mankind.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

gray concrete surface

Music that is saturated with soul force is the real universal music, understandable by all hearts.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

black Corona typewriter on brown wood planks

God made us angels of energy, encased in solids -- currents of life dazzling through a material bulb of flesh.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

purple and blue light illustration

Release for constructive purposes the power you already have, and more will come. Move on your path with unflinching determination, using all the attributes of success. Tune yourself with the creative power of spirit.

--Paramahansa Yogananda


None

Faithfulness in the performance of small duties gives us strength to adhere to difficult determinations that life will someday force us to make.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

white ceramic pencil organizer on top of stack of books

Everything, at first, is an idea, a special creation.

--Paramahansa Yogananda


None

Live quietly in the moment and see the beauty of all before you. The future will take care of itself.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

white stars in the sky during night time

Having lots of money while not having inner peace is like dying of thirst while bathing in the ocean.

--Paramahansa Yogananda


landscape photography of mountain hit by sun rays

Realize that enough hidden strength lies within you to overcome all obstacles and temptations. Bring forth that indomitable power and energy.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

bird on pier

Those who are socially inclined will find a new power to help humanity through the lessons of books written by noble and gifted people.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

green leaf in close up photography

The mother's love is not given to us to spoil us with indulgence, but to soften our hearts, that we may in turn soften others with kindness.

--Paramahansa Yogananda





pink flowers with white background

God is simple, everything else is complex.

--Paramahansa Yogananda


shoreline during golden hour

The seeker of God is the real lover of vidya, unchangeable truth; all else is avidya, relative knowledge.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

person holding flowers

Divisions are imaginary lines drawn by small minds.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

None

Careless indifference and bodily restlessness in meditation cause negative vibrations.

--Paramahansa Yogananda


red textile in close up photography

Whoever comes to me finds me a mirror to whatever is in his heart. Thus, I try to help him to see qualities in himself that he needs to overcome.

--Paramahansa Yogananda


snow covered brown mountain

The Bhagavad-Gita is where God Himself talks to His devotee Arjuna.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

orange and white stone fragment

Ignoring all prejudices of caste, creed, class, color, sex, or race, a swami follows the precepts of human brotherhood. His goal is absolute unity with Spirit.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

person in blue denim jeans and brown leather boots

Let my soul smile through my heart and my heart smile through my eyes, that I may scatter rich smiles in sad hearts.

--Paramahansa Yogananda


red rose illustration

In the state of love, no matter what you do, it's going to be good.

--Paramahansa Yogananda



sunset

What are you afraid of? You are an immortal being. You are neither a man nor a woman, as you may think, but a soul -- joyous, eternal.

--Paramahansa Yogananda



woman looking up to the sky while standing on white sand

No one appears on our stage unless the director has placed them there for our benefit.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

woman looking up to the sky while standing on white sand

Forget your dream-born mortal weakness. Wake up and know that you and God are one.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

yellow, orange, red, green, and blue abstract painting

The season of failure is the best time for sowing the seeds of success.

--Paramahansa Yogananda


toddlers standing outdoors

You do not have to struggle to reach God, but you do have to struggle to tear away the self-created veil that hides him from you.

--Paramahansa Yogananda


Bright orange to dark red gradient

The deeper the Self-realization of a man, the more he influences the whole universe by his subtle spiritual vibrations, and the less he himself is affected by the phenomenal flux.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

sunset

Do your best and then relax.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

Longer Version:

Do your best and then relax. Let things go on in a natural way, rather than force them.


galaxy

Is a diamond less valuable because it is covered with mud? God sees the changeless beauty of our souls. He knows we are not our mistakes.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

None

As a broken microphone cannot broadcast a message, so a restless mind cannot transmit prayers to God.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

closeup photography of wall

Each time a swarm of worries invades your mind, refuse to be affected; wait calmly, while seeking the remedy. Spray the worries with the powerful chemical of your peace.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

water color palette on white surface

Peace is the altar of God, the condition in which happiness exists.

--Paramahansa Yogananda



None

The so-called miraculous powers of a great master are a natural accompaniment to his exact understanding of subtle laws that operate in the inner cosmos of consciousness.

--Paramahansa Yogananda


flat lay photography teacup on top of saucer

Change yourself and you have done your part in changing the world.

--Paramahansa Yogananda


yellow, orange, red, green, and blue abstract painting

The power of unfulfilled desires is the root of all man's slavery.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

None

The true basis of religion is not belief, but intuitive experience. Intuition is the soul's power of knowing God. To know what religion is really all about, one must know God.

--Paramahansa Yogananda


white wall paint with black shadow

We don't become angels merely by the instrument of death. If we are angels now, we will be angels in the hereafter. If we are dark, negative personalities now, we will be the same after death.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

bird in the sky

It is foolish to be afraid of death. Just think. No more repaired tires on the body vehicle, no more patchwork living.

--Paramahansa Yogananda


orange moon during nighttime

He is the wisest who seeks God.  He is the most successful who has found God.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

woman jumping near white wall paint

This life is not man's own show; if he becomes personally and emotionally involved in the very complicated cosmic drama, he reaps inevitable suffering for having distorted the divine 'plot.'

--Paramahansa Yogananda

boat docked near house

Seclusion is the price of greatness.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

man and woman with bone fire sitting on seashore

Evil spreads with the wind; truth is capable of speading even against it.

--Paramahansa Yogananda


None

The happiness of one's own heart alone cannot satisfy the soul; one must try to include, as necessary to one's own happiness, the happiness of others.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

white textile in close up photography

When we serve others, we serve ourselves. Do not think, I will help others -- think rather, I will help my own, my world, because I cannot otherwise be happy.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

clear wine glass with red wine

He who finds joy within himself discovers that his body is charged with electric current, life energy, not from food but from God.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

Bright orange to dark red gradient

Fearlessness means faith in God: faith in his protection, His justice, His wisdom, His mercy, His love, and His Omnipresence... To be fit for Self-realization man must be fearless.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

purple flowered hedge plants

Wise guidance never violates people's free will. A superior who demands obedience of his subordinates should show respect for their capacity to understand, and also for their innate right to their own free will.

--Paramahansa Yogananda



cat with flower

Play your part in life, but never forget it is only a role.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

aerial view of gray building on brown sand

Those persons who have perceptive eyes enjoy beauty everywhere.

--Paramahansa Yogananda

person on road at sunset

Everything is Spirit -- in essence, though hidden in manifestation. If you had the perception, you would see God in everything.

--Paramahansa Yogananda


black dog photography

Truth is exact correspondence with reality.

--Paramahansa Yogananda


lone tree in grassland

A saint is a sinner who never gave up.

--Paramahansa Yogananda




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