Have More Harmony in Your Life

Friendship, love, marriage, and children can offer us our greatest joys in life or our greatest sorrows. Selfless love is the essential key to happiness in all our relationships, but how do we practice it?

This is the third book in The Wisdom of Yogananda series. The series features writings not available elsewhere, that capture the Master’s expansive and compassionate wisdom.

In this book Paramhansa Yogananda, one of the best-loved spiritual teachers of the twentieth century, shares fresh inspiration and practical guidance on:

    • Friendship: broadening your sympathies and expanding
      the boundaries of your love
    • How to cure bad habits that spell the death of true friendship:
      judgment, jealousy, over-sensitivity, unkindness, and more
    • How to choose the right partner and create a lasting marriage
    • Sex in marriage and how to conceive a spiritual child
    • Problems that arise in marriage and what to do about them
    • Experiencing the Universal Love behind all your relationships

The Wisdom of Yogananda series features writings of Paramhansa Yogananda not available elsewhere. These books capture the Master’s expansive and compassionate wisdom, his sense of fun, and his practical spiritual guidance. The books include writings from his earliest years in America, in an approachable, easy-to-read format. The words of the Master are presented with minimal editing, to capture the fresh and original voice of one of the most highly regarded spiritual teachers of the twentieth century.

Paramhansa Yogananda

Paramhansa Yogananda (often spelled "Paramahansa" Yogananda) was born on January 5, 1893 in Gorakhpur, India. He was the first yoga master of India to permanently live and teach in the West. Yogananda arrived in America in 1920, and traveled throughout the United States on what he called his "spiritual campaigns." His enthusiastic audiences filled the largest halls in America. Hundreds of thousands came to see the yogi from India. At some packed venues thousands were turned away nightly. A national sensation, Yogananda's lectures and books were extensively written about by the major media of the era, including Time magazine, Newsweek, and Life. He was even invited to the White House by President Calvin Coolidge. Yogananda continued to lecture and write up to his passing in 1952.

Yogananda's initial impact was truly impressive. But his lasting impact has been even greater. Yogananda's Autobiography of a Yogi, first published in 1946, helped launch a spiritual revolution throughout the world. His message was nonsectarian and universal. Yogananda's Guru, Swami Sri Yukteswar, sent him to the West with the admonition, "The West is high in material attainments, but lacking in spiritual understanding. It is God's will that you play a role in teaching mankind the value of balancing the material with an inner, spiritual life."

Yogananda brought clarity to hundreds of thousands of people regarding the ancient teachings of India—previously shrouded in the cultural assumptions and terminology of an era long past. These teachings include the path of Kriya Yoga, which Yogananda called the "jet-airplane" route to God, consisting of ancient yoga techniques to hasten the spiritual evolution of the student.

"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," said Paramhansa Yogananda, as recorded in the book The Essence of Self-Realization. He further wrote that "Self-realization is the knowing in all parts of body, mind, and soul that you are now in possession of the kingdom of God; that you do not have to pray that it come to you; that God's omnipresence is your omnipresence; and that all that you need to do is improve your knowing."

Visit the Paramhansa Yogananda website to learn more.

Publisher’s Note


The Folly of Selfishness

How to Be a Friend

Spiritual Family & Family Life
Creating a Spiritual Marriage
Examples of Resurrection
Sex: Right Use of the Creative Force
Parents and Children

Separation & Loss

The Friend of All Friends


List of Illustrations

Dear Reader,

What a wonderful vision of life Paramhansa Yogananda describes in these pages, as he examines all relationships and their divine potential. Always realistic, practical, and entertaining, Yogananda is not afraid to express the all-too-obvious challenges we face, and also to share clear and powerful solutions and directions.

Parmhansa Yogananda came to the United States from India in 1920, bring to the West the teachings and techniques of yoga, the ancient science of soul awakening. He was the first master of yoga to make his home in the West, and his Autobiography of a Yogi has become the bestselling autobiography of all time, awakening fascination in Westerners with the spiritual teachings of the East.

Yoga is the ancient science of redirecting one’s energies inward to produce spiritual awakening. In addition to bringing Americans the most practical and effective techniques of meditation, Yogananda showed how these principles can be applied to all areas of life. He was a prolific writer, lecturer, and composer. He lived in America 32 years, until his death in 1952.

The articles included in this book are taken from several sources: the lessons he wrote in the 1920s and 1030s; articles of his that appeared in Inner Culture and East West magazines, published before 1943; the 1949 edition of Whispers from Eternity; and notes taken by Swami Kriyananda during the years he lived with Yogananda as a close disciple.

Our goal in this book is to let the Master’s spirit come clearly through, with a minimum of editing. Sometimes sentences, redundant in the present context, have been deleted. Sometimes words or punctuation have been changed to clarify the meaning. Most of what is included here is not available elsewhere.

May Yogananda’s words on spiritual relationships infuse your life with greater clarity, inspiration, and divine love.

Crystal Clarity Publishers

Chapter 1: Friendship

The Art of Gaining Friends

Friendship is God’s love shining through the eyes of your loved ones, calling you home to drink His nectar of all selfishness-dissolving unity. Friendship is God’s trumpet call, bidding the soul to destroy the partitions that separate it from other souls and from Him. True friendship unites two souls so completely that they reflect the unity of Spirit.

True friendship is broad and inclusive. Selfish at-tachment to a single individual, excluding all others, inhibits the development of divine friendship. Extend the boundaries of the glowing kingdom of your love, gradually including within them your family, your neighbors, your community, your country, all coun-tries—in short, all sentient creatures. Be a cosmic friend, imbued with kindness and affection for all of God’s creation, scattering love everywhere.

To have friends, you must manifest friendliness. If you open the door to the magnetic power of friendship, a soul or souls of like vibrations will be attracted to you. The more friendly you become toward all, the greater will be the number of your real friends. When true friendship exists between two souls and they seek spiritual love and God’s love together, when their only wish is to be of service to each other, their friendship produces the flame of Spirit. Through per-fected divine friendship, mutually seeking spiritual per-fection, you will find the one Great Friend.

Unfailing Laws of Friendship

Be neither unduly familiar with, nor indifferent to, a friend. Do not limit him by telling him, “I know all about you.” Respect and love grow among friends with time. “Familiarity breeds contempt” between those who are mutually useless, selfish, material-minded, and unpro-ductive of inspiration or self-development. The greater the mutual service, the deeper the friendship. Why does Jesus have such a wide following? Because He, like the other great masters, is unequaled in His service to humanity.

To attract friends you must possess the qualities of a real friend. Blind friendship may end in sudden, blind hate. The building of wisdom and spiritual understanding by mu-tual effort can bind two souls by the laws of everlasting divine love. Human love and friendship have their basis in ser-vice on the physical, mental, or business plane. They are short-lived and conditional. Divine love has its foun-dation in service on the spiritual and intuitional planes, and is unconditional and eternal.

When perfect friendship exists, either between two hearts or within a group of hearts in a spiritual organi-zation, such friendship perfects each individual. In the heart purified by friendship, one beholds an open door of unity through which one should invite other souls to enter—those who love him as well as those who love him not. When divine friendship reigns supreme in the temple of your heart, your soul will merge with the vast Cosmic Soul, leaving far behind the confining bonds which separated it from all of God’s creation.

Consider no one a stranger. Learn to feel that eve-rybody is your kin. Family love is merely one of the first exercises in the Divine Teacher’s course in Friendli-ness, intended to prepare your heart for an all-inclusive love. Feel that the life-blood of God is circulating in the veins of all races. How does anyone dare to hate any human being of any race when he knows that God lives and breathes in all? We are Americans or Hindus or other nationalities for just a few years, but we are God’s children forever. The soul cannot be confined within man-made boundaries: its nationality is Spirit, its country is Omnipresence.

This does not mean that you must know and love all human beings and creatures personally and individually. All you need to do is to be ready at all times to spread the light of friendly service over all living creatures which you happen to contact. This requires constant mental effort and preparedness—in other words, unselfishness. The sun shines equally on diamond and charcoal, but one has de-veloped qualities that enable it to reflect the sunlight bril-liantly, while the other absorbs all the sunlight. Emulate the diamond in your dealings with people. Brightly reflect the light of God’s love.

Why Love Your Enemies?

The secret of Christ’s strength lay in his love for all, even his enemies. Far better to conquer by love the heart of a person who hates you than to vanquish such a one by other means. To the ordinary man such a doc-trine seems absurd. He wants to return ten slaps for the one he has received and add twice as many kicks for good measure. Why should you love your enemy? Love him that you may bring the healing rays of your love into his hatred-stricken heart and burn away the parti-tions of misery that separate your soul from another.

Avoid doing anything that brings harm to yourself or to another. If you are self-indulgent, or if you encourage a friend in his vices, you are an enemy disguised as a friend. By being true to yourself and a true friend to others, you gain the friendship of God. Your love will expand until it becomes the one Love which flows through all hearts.

The Heart of Friendship

I will remain in hearts as the unknown friend, ever rousing them to flaming feelings, silently urging them through their own noble thoughts to forsake their slum-ber of earthliness.

I will behold the person who now considers himself as my enemy to be in truth my divine brother hiding be-hind a veil of misunderstanding. I will tear aside this veil with the dagger of love so that, seeing my humble, forgiving understanding, he will receive the offering of my good will.

The door of my friendliness will ever be open equally for those brothers who hate me and for those who love me.

I will feel for others as I feel for myself. I will work out my salvation by serving my fellowman.

The Social Way to Omnipresence

The social way to attain cosmic consciousness is to expand the germ of divine love within the soul. Too much love of your own ego confines the soul to the boundaries of the flesh. The soul is an omnipresent re-flection of the all-pervading Spirit. The ego is the body-bound consciousness of the soul. The soul as ego for-gets its omnipresence and considers itself limited by the body.

When the ego begins, through practical sympathy, to feel itself in other bodies, it begins to regain its for-gotten omnipresence. Unlike the shortsighted worldly man, the divine soul works not only for himself as one body, but also for himself in the body of others. You must learn to seek nourishment, prosperity, healing, or wisdom, not for yourself in one body only, but for your-self in all bodies.

The social way of developing cosmic consciousness is to love your family, neighbors, country, and the whole world as yourself. You are the king, and the kingdom of your love includes not only all human beings, but also animals, flowers, stars, and all living creatures. Love all men as your brothers, love all women as your sisters, love all elderly men and women as your parents, and love all human beings—the black, brown, yellow, white, red, and olive-colored races—as your friends and brothers. This is the social way of attaining cosmic con-sciousness.

“Learn how to attract better friendships and mates using the ancient yoga ideas of Yogananda in Spritual Relationships: The Wisdom of Yogananda, Volume 3, a thoroughly ‘user friendly’ guide on how yoga principles can actually help relationships grow and thrive. Paramhansa Yogananda’s keys to understanding yoga’s underlying philosophy teaches how to cure bad habits, expand love boundaries, and understand relationship problems. New Age libraries and Metaphysical Studies reference collections will welcome the focus.”

James A. Cox, Chief Editor, The Bookwatch, Midwest Book Review