Paramhansa Yogananda's Secret to Inner Freedom

A Treasured Graduation Gift

After Mukunda’s graduation from high school, his father bought him a motorcycle with sidecar. Mukunda enjoyed his new toy, a symbol of his approaching manhood.

Sometimes his guru would ride with him in the sidecar. As they went bouncing through the streets, laughing merrily, the breeze would blow their clothing, flapping it about their bodies as if with kindred enthusiasm.

For a time Mukunda was known, jokingly, as “the motorcycle swami.”

One day, he parked his motorcycle on the street in front of his father’s home and went indoors. Later, as he was leaving the house, he saw a casual acquaintance gazing at the vehicle admiringly. “Isn’t it beautiful?” exclaimed Mukunda.

“Oh, yes!” replied the other warmly. A note of longing entered his voice as he added, “If only I could have one like it!”

“But you can!” Mukunda replied instantly. “Take it. It’s yours.”

“I—I—what do you mean?” his acquaintance faltered. Then, thoughtfully, “How much are you asking for it?”

“I wouldn’t take anything for it,” Mukunda replied with a smile. “I am giving it to you.”

I Own Nothing, Everything Is Thine

The other was incredulous. “But—but you can’t just give away something so valuable!”

“Of course I can! And I will. Seriously,” Mukunda insisted, “I want you to have it. I couldn’t enjoy it any more, knowing that you’d like to have it. I’ll be very pleased if you accept it.” He added, “Just wait a minute. I’ll get you the bill of ownership.” He reentered the house, and returned moments later with that important piece of paper.

The other could barely stammer his gratitude. His eyes, however, bore eloquent testimony to his feelings.

Mukunda felt divinely contented. “I own nothing, beloved Divine Mother,” he thought happily. “The things I use are Thine, not mine. I return them joyfully to Thee, their rightful owner, whenever I see Thee wanting them through others.”

I am not sure how it happened, but somehow Mukunda once acquired an Indian string instrument called an esraj. He loved to play it in accompaniment to his devotional singing.

One day, someone expressed a desire for an instrument “just like that one.” Without hesitation, Mukunda gave him the esraj. “Whenever I see anyone who needs something of mine more than I do,” he told us, “I give it away.”

The more we give away our most treasured possessions, the more free we are inwardly.

The above story was told by Swami Kriyananda in his book: Paramhansa Yogananda, A Biography.

For more information on or to purchase Paramhansa Yogananda, A Biography, please click HERE.

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