Archive for the ‘Paramhansa Yogananda’ Category

Where There Is Light – Understanding Death

yogananda

Every one of us is going to die someday, so there is no use in being afraid of death. You don’t feel miserable at the prospect of losing consciousness of your body in sleep; you accept sleep as a state of freedom to look forward to. So is death; it is a state of rest, a pension from this life. There is nothing to fear. When death comes, laugh at it. Death is only an experience through which you are meant to learn a great lesson: you cannot die.

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Our real self, the soul, is immortal. We may sleep for a little while in that change called death, but we can never be destroyed. We exist, and that existence is eternal. The wave comes to the shore, and then goes back to the sea; it is not lost. It becomes one with the ocean, or returns again in the form of another wave. This body has come, and it will vanish; but the soul essence within it will never cease to exist. Nothing can terminate that eternal consciousness.

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Ever a particle of matter or a wave of energy is indestructible, as science has proved; the soul or spiritual essence of man is also indestructible. Matter undergoes change; the soul undergoes changing experiences. Radical changes are termed death, but death or a change in form does not change or destroy the spiritual essence.

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The body is only a garment. How many times you have changed your clothing in this life, yet because of this you would not say that you have changed. Similarly, when you give up this bodily dress at death you do not change. You are just the same, an immortal soul, a child of God.

Where There Is Light – Understanding Death

yogananda

Though the ordinary man looks upon death with dread and sadness, those who have gone before know it as a wondrous experience of peace and freedom.

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Perhaps we wonder most of all about those we love. Where are they? Why are they spirited away from us? A brief good-by, and then they disappear behind the veil of death. We feel so helpless and sad, and there is nothing we can do about it….When someone is dying, though he cannot speak, a desire is expressed in his consciousness. He is thinking, “I am leaving my loved ones, will I ever see them again?” And those whom he is leaving behind also think, “I am losing him. Will he remember me? Will we meet again?”….When I lost my mother in this life, I promised myself that I would never again be attached to anyone. I gave my love to God. That first experience with death was very serious for me. But through it I learned much. I searched undaunted for months and years until I found the answer to the mystery of life and death….What I tell you, I have experienced.

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At death, you forget all the limitations of the physical body and realize how free you are. For the first few seconds there is a sense of fear—fear of the unknown, of something unfamiliar to the consciousness. But after that comes a great realization: the soul feels a joyous sense of relief and freedom. You know that you exist apart from the mortal body.

Where There Is Light – Unconditional Love: Perfecting Human Relationships

yogananda

Friendship

Just as dew helps the flower to grow, so inner and outer sweetness fosters the growth of friendship.

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To be a true, unconditional friend, your love must be anchored in God’s love. Your life with God is the inspiration behind true divine friendship with all.

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Try to perfect your friendship with a few souls. When you can truly give unconditional friendship to them, then your heart will be ready to give perfect friendship to all. And when you can do that, you become divine—like God and the great ones, who give friendship to every being, irrespective of personality. Friendship that remains centered on only one or two souls, to the exclusion of others, is like a river that loses itself in the sands, never reaching the ocean.

The river of divine friendship broadens as it flows onward, powerful and truthful, eventually merging in the oceanic presence of God.

As I radiate love and goodwill to others, I will open the channel for God’s love to come to me. Divine love is the magnet that draws to me all good.

Where There Is Light – Unconditional Love: Perfecting Human Relationships

yogananda

Friendship

Help your friend by being a mental, aesthetic, and spiritual inspiration to him. Never be sarcastic to a friend Do not flatter him unless it is to encourage him. Do not agree with him when he is wrong.

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Be true, be sincere, and friendship will steadily grow. I remember a discussion with Sri Yukteswar about sincerity. I had said, “Sincerity is everything.”

“No,” he responded, “sincerity is plus thoughtfulness is everything.” He went on: “Suppose you are sitting in the parlor in your home, and there is a beautiful new carpet on the floor. It is raining outside. A friend you haven’t seen in many years flings open the door nad rushes into the room to greet you.”

“That is all right,” I said. But my Guru had yet to make his point.

“You were sincerely happy to see each other,” he said, “but wouldn’t you have liked it better if he had been thoughtful enough to take off his muddy boots before he came in and ruined the carpet?”

I had to agree he was right.

No matter how well you think of someone, or how close you are to that person, it is important to sweeten that relationship with good manners and thoughtfulness. Then friendship becomes truly wonderful and enduring. Familiarity that leads you to be inconsiderate is very harmful to friendship.

Where There Is Light – Unconditional Love: Perfecting Human Relationships

yogananda

Friendship

No matter what difference of opinion there is between you and such friends, there is always understanding and communication. In that relationship, regardless of differing views, you have mutual respect and cherish your friendship above everything else. True friendship established in God is the only relationship that is lasting.

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If you proffer friendship, you must mean it. You must not show kindness or cooperation outside, and inside feel the opposite. Spiritual law is very powerful. Don’t go against spiritual principles. Never deceive or be treacherous. As a friend, know when to mind your own business, understand your place; know when you should have the willingness to cooperate, and when you should have the will to non-cooperate.

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It is wrong to speak the truth when, by doing so, one betrays another person unnecessarily and to no good purpose. Suppose a man drinks, but tries to hide it from the rest of the world. You know about his weakness, and so in the name of truthfulness you announce to your friends, “You know that so and so drinks don’t you?” Such a remark is uncalled for; one should not be busy about other people’s business. Be protective about others’ personal faults, so long as they harm no one else. Speak privately to an offender about his failings, if you have an opportunity or responsibility to help him; but never, under pretext of helping someone, speak deliberately to hurt him. You will only “help” him to become your enemy. You may also extinguish any desire that he might have had to become better.

Where There Is Light – Unconditional Love: Perfecting Human Relationships

yogananda

Friendship

There is a magnet in your heart that will attract true friends. That magnet is unselfishness, thinking of others first. Very few persons are free from self-centeredness. Yet one can develop the quality of unselfishness very easily if he practices thinking of others first.

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You cannot attract true friends without removing from your won character the stains of selfishness and other unlovely qualities. The greatest art of making friends is to behave divinely yourself—to be spiritual, to be pure, to be unselfish….The more your human shortcomings drop away and divine qualities come into your life, the more friends you will have.

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True friendship consists in being mutually useful in offering one’s friend good cheer in distress, sympathy in sorrow, advice in trouble, and material help in times of real need….One who has given his friendship to another gladly foregoes selfish pleasures or self-interest for the sake of his friend’s happiness, without consciousness of loss or sacrifice, and without counting the cost.

Where There Is Light – Unconditional Love: Perfecting Human Relationships

yogananda

Friendship

Friendship is God’s trumpet call, bidding the soul destroy the partitions of ego-consciousness that separate it from all other souls and from Him.

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Friendship is the purest form of God’s love because it is born of the heart’s free choice and is not imposed upon us by familial instinct. Ideal friends never part; nothing can sever their fraternal relationship.

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The treasure of friendship is your richest possession, because it goes with you beyond this life. All the true friends you have made you will meet again in the home of the Father, for real love is never lost.

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When perfect friendship exists either between two hearts or within a group of hearts in a spiritual relationship, such friendship perfects each individual.