The Essence of Self-Realization

The Wisdom of Paramhansa Yogananda
by The Wisdom of Paramhansa Yogananda, Recorded, Compiled & Edited by his disciple Swami Kriyananda

I lived with Paramhansa Yogananda as a disciple for the last three and a half years of his life. After I’d been with him a year and a half, he began urging me to write down things that he was saying during informal conversations. We were at his desert retreat, where he was completing his commentaries on the Bhagavad Gita.

At first, I found myself in some difficulty. I knew no shorthand, and my handwriting was daunting to read, even for me. The Master, however, true to his own teaching that one should concentrate on light instead of on darkness, paid no attention to such insignificant handicaps. He kept on urging me.

"I don’t often speak from a level of gyana [impersonal wisdom]," he said. His nature usually found expression in divine love.

My enthusiasm grew as I realized that nowhere else had I ever read or heard teachings so profound, so clear, and so convincing.

"Write that down!" he would call out to me over the years that followed, during conversations with the monks or with visitors. Sometimes, in explanation, he would add, "I’ve never said that before."

My penmanship being what it was, I could never hope to keep up with him. As weeks passed, however, I discovered that he had bestowed on me an extraordinary blessing. I was able to hear his voice afterward, as if speaking the words in my mind as I wrote them down. So remarkable was his blessing that, years later in India, I was able to verify my memoryof words, and even of whole sentences, that he’d uttered in Hindi or Bengali, both of which languages were unknown to me when he was alive.

Even today, the memory of his words and of his voice rings clearly in my mind, rich with wisdom, divine love, and the fullness of spiritual power—frequently combined with a delightful sense of humor. His conversations were sprinkled with anecdotes; they sparkled with metaphors, and contained the deepest insight into all levels of reality, human and divine, that I have ever had the great blessing to encounter.

Swami Kriyananda
Ananda World Brotherhood Village
Nevada City, California

See Also: Contents  Sample Chapter  Behind the Scenes  

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