What Lies at the Core of All Human Suffering and How to Free Yourself from Suffering

The Spiritual Scientist Renders the Greater Service

Paramhansa Yogananda said: “The material scientist uses the forces of nature to make the environment of man better and more comfortable. The spiritual scientist uses mind-power to enlighten the soul.

“Mind-power shows man the way to inner happiness, which gives him immunity to outer inconveniences.

“Of the two types of scientist, which would you say renders the greater service? The spiritual scientist, surely.”

The Danger of Excessive Worldly Ambition

A man whom Paramhansa Yogananda met in New York complained to him: “I can never forgive myself for taking thirty five years to make my first million dollars!”

“You still are not satisfied?” inquired Yogananda.

“Far from it!” lamented the businessman. “A friend of mine has made several times that. Now I won’t be happy until I’ve made forty million!”

Paramhansa Yogananda, recalling this episode years later, ended his account by saying, “Before that man could make his forty million and settle down to spending the rest of his days in peace and happiness, he suffered a complete nervous breakdown. Soon afterwards, he died.”

“Such is the fruit of excessive worldly ambition.”

What Lies at the Core of All Human Suffering?

“Possession of material riches, without inner peace, is like dying of thirst while bathing in a lake. If material poverty is to be avoided, spiritual poverty is to be abhorred! It is spiritual poverty, not material lack, that lies at the core of all human suffering.”

“The soul cannot find its lost happiness in material things for the simple reason that the comfort they offer is counterfeit. Having lost contact with divine bliss within, man hopes to satisfy the need for it in the pseudo-pleasures of the senses.

“On deeper levels of his being, however, he remains aware of his former, supernal state in God. True satisfaction eludes him, for what he seeks, while rushing restlessly from one sense pleasure to another, is his lost happiness in the Lord!

“Ah, blindness! How long must you continue before, suffering from satiety, boredom, and disgust, you seek joy within, where alone it can be found?”

Excerpted from The Essence of Self-Realization: The Wisdom of Paramhansa Yogananda

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