Inspiring songs from Paramahansa Yogananda’s Collection

It was only years after I became a kriyaban that I came to listen to Paramahansa Yogananda’s voice and songs. The narration about music in his Autobiography of a Yogi has stunned me that someone who had never had a formal education in music could write with so much clarity on the subject.

When I began to visit YSS satsangs, I cherished listening to and singing Paramahansa Yogananda’s bhajan songs. The light harmonium background and melody in the songs have always touched my soul. To those of you who are looking to listen to songs of Paramahansa Yogananda, here are five of my most favourite songs from the collection.

  1. I will sing Thy Name
  2. Listen Listen Listen
  3. Spirit and Nature Dancing Together
  4. So Do Thou My Lord
  5. Who is in my Temple

Each of these songs have filled my heart during several cherished moments. Most often, I begin the day by listening to this song collection. As reiterated by Paramahansa Yogananda, chanting is an important step in spirituality. His songs have been inspirational to me, for several years now, in yearning for the love of the divinity. Through his voice, he speaks to each one of us, who seek God with faith. The one who had remained a mental image got manifested with life through his devotional songs. During times when the forces of delusion, pull me away from spirituality, all it needs to get back to the path of light is listen to the songs just once.

As said often, music is a form of expression that can open the blocked energies from our nadis. Especially, while singing with true love and devotion to God, I’ve felt that the heart and throat chakras shed off their blockages and pave way for our souls to connect to higher centres.

In 1926, Paramahansa Yogananda writes about his experience of chanting together “O God Beautiful” with his devotees in New York,

“For one hour and twenty-five minutes, the thousands of voices of the entire audience chanted…in a divine atmosphere of joyous praise….The next day many men and women testified to the God-perception and the healing of body, mind, and soul that had taken place during the sacred chanting, and numerous requests came in to repeat the song at other services.”

Source: http://yssofindia.org/

One can buy the CDs from any of the YSS centres or through the online website of YSS or SRF. Though listening to his voice directly from a CD is a soul-lifting experience, I also recommend you to attend a near-by weekly satsang where devotees sing the devotional songs in chorus.

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

A Step Forward in Life

No matter how much wealth we may accumulate or how many houses we may buy, one question that must dig us deep is what do we need at the end of life. What would we long for on the last day of our lives? I don’t think anybody would want wealth and houses nearby. Most might feel good to have our loved ones near while we depart. However, for one who realizes that even loved ones cannot join us beyond the grave, there is only one solace – God! Yes, when we know that the Supreme power that we had trusted so long is going to be ever with us, no more will we be afraid of leaving our family and friends.

In my journey, what I consider far superior to any material things and may be in par to human love is God’s love. I know I haven’t still crossed the boundaries of human love. But that doesn’t curb my love for God either. There can be no bigger and better joy than connecting with the divinity that binds the whole universe.

My discipleship to Paramahansa Yogananda and to his organization YSS came to me as a gateway to proceed in the path of light. Years before, my husband was introduced to the book, Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda. From there began a slow spiritual transformation in all of us in the family. Over the years, I began practicing the basic exercises of YSS. I continued the practices on and off, whenever time permitted me to. However, lately, I have realized the importance of keep everything else on hold while concentrate on my spiritual practices in a full swing.

By God’s grace, six months before, on a beautiful day I was initiated into the Kriya Yoga technique given by Mahavatar Babaii and passed generation to generation by my other Param Gurus. That was one of my most cherished moments of life. It is indeed a great blessing to trend the path that saints and sages have trailed from time immemorial.

Certainly, my practices have found a new dimension and I am not the same person as before. It feels as if life has changed  drastically since the time of my initiation. With the initiation, there has come a regularity in my practices. I keep my routine intact in such a way that never would I miss the specific place and time, I had set aside for my practices. I am hopeful for a new shift in my consciousness, what had appeared elusive all these years. It feels I am connected with Guruji all the time. After all, life has no greater meaning without the spiritual freedom one can experience in the form of having a higher source behind all our thoughts and actions.

The day of my initiation graced me with that kind of a freedom that I can look forward for the rest of my life.

So do Thou My Lord

It was during one of the early days of my spiritual practices that I felt depressed about not seeing the God in me that saints and sages speak about. I was, in fact, obsessed during my daily practice to experience fantastic divine visions like Mahavatar Babaji blessing me and Paramahansa Yogananda smiling at me. Least did I realize then that I was still a child crying for a candy. But probably, all spiritual seekers go through such periods of obsession and depression during some phase of their journeys. And today I am not ashamed to share what I felt years before.

With time, maturity and wisdom began creeping in. I slowly started to realize that it is not the visions and magical experiences that I must crave for. Rather, I should crave for the one that creates such mystical experiences. I am here to seek God and not God’s creations.

Though I came out of the silly obsessions I had earlier, my heart was still craving to meet Him. It was consoling to read Paramahansa Yogananda’s experience in his Autobiography of  Yogi when he meets Master Mahasaya and cries to him to speak for him to Maa Durga. And on the next morning, Paramahansa Yogananda will get a vision of Maa Durga. Even our great Guru had gone through such tumultuous moments. Thus it consoled me that I am not wrong in my desires.

I must say it was a slow journey of learning and unlearning up until one day something happened that gave me hope in my body, mind and whole being, for the first time.

On one particular day, as I sat to read Autobiography of a yogi, I turned to the page where Guruji talks to AnandaMayi Ma. It has always been a pleasure to read that chapter again and again in which the subtle love between God and His devotee could be literally felt. After I finished reading the book, as I was drenched in the love of the Blissful Mother, I closed my eyes and remained in silence. It was then that for the first time, I experienced divinity in its true self. It is an indescribable state of emotion where everything else around me remained unimportant for me. How many days have I longed for this moment of life?! And what joy this ecstatic state of bliss gives one, is boundless.

AnandaMoyi Ma                        Photo Courtesy: viagensculturais.wordpress.com

That was the day of my hope! Hope of life, love and the world! The only purpose of existence for my life is to become one with the Lord at the end of this life. Before that holy day, my hope was only a dream. But it marked the beginning of a new ray of hope in me. Ever since that beautiful day of my life, I have never fell short of hope. I know He is ever with me and I can always look up t Him at all times.

You can look up here for more stories on hope.

Paramahansa Yogananda: A Yogi in Life And Death

Dear blog viewers,

My today’s blog post is dedicated to my beloved guruji Sri Paramahansa Yogananda who attained mahasamadhi today!!!

Sri Sri ParamahansaYogananda entered mahasamadhi (  a yogi’s final conscious  exit from the body) in Los Angeles, California, on March 7, 1952, after concluding his speech at a banquet held in honour of H. E. Binay  R. Sen, Ambassador of India.

Paramahansa Yogananda was the first great master of India to live in the West for an extended period— thirty two years, until his mahasamadhi in 1952.

The great world teacher demonstrated the value of yoga (Scientific techniques for God-Realization) not only in life but in death.Weeks after his departure his unchanged face shone with the divine lustre of incorruptibility.

Last Smile

Mr. Harry T. Rowe, Los Angels Mortuary Director, Forest Lawn Memorial-Park ( in which the body of the great master is temporally placed), sent Self- Realization Fellowship a natarised letter from which the following extracts are taken:

The absence of any visual signs of decay in the dead body of Paramahansa Yogananda offers the most extraordinary case in our experience….. No physical disintegration was visible in his body even twenty days after death…….. No indication of mold was visible on his skin, and no visible desiccation (drying up) took place in the bodily tissues. This state of perfect preservation of a body is, so far as we know from mortuary annals, an unparralleled one…. At the time of receiving Yogananda’s body , the mortuary personnel expected to observe, through the glass lid of the casket, the usual progressive signs of bodily decay. Our astonishment increased as day followed day without bringing any visible change in the body under observation.Yogananda’s body was apparently in a phenomenal state of immutability…..

“No odour of decay emanated from his body at any time….. The physical appearance of Yogananda on March 7th, He looked on March 27th, just before the bronze cover of the casket was put in to position, was the same as it had been on  March 7th. He looked on March 27 th  as fresh and as unravaged by decay as he had looked on the night of his death. On March 27 th there was no reason to say that his body had suffered any visible physical disintegration at all. For these reasons we state again that the case of Paramahansa Yogananda is unique in our experience.”

Dear devotees of YSS/ SRF,

Let us pay homage to our beloved Guruji Sri Paramahansa Yogananda on his mahasamadhi day and let us get his blessings which lead all of us to the path of truth!!! Jai Guru!!!

Sayings of Paramahansa Yogananda

During a lecture Paramahansaji said: “Christ told each of us to ‘ love thy neighbor as thyself.’ But without soul knowledge, by which you realize that all men are indeed ‘ thyself,’ you cannot follow Christ’s command. To me there is no difference among men, because I see each one as God’s child. I can’t think of anyone as a stranger.

Once in Newyork city three holdup men surrounded me. I said: ‘Do you want money? Take it,’ and held out my wallet. I was in the superconscious state. The men did not reach for the wallet. Finally one of them said: ” Beg your pardon. We can’t do it’ they ran away.

On another night in New york, near Carnegie Hall where I had just delivered a lecture, a man with  a gun approached me.He said: ” Do you know I can shoot you?”

“Why?” I asked calmly. My mind was on God.

“You talk about democracy.” He was obviously a mentally disturbed person.We stood in sknowledge, pardon, ilence for a while, then he said:” Forgive me .You have taken away my evil.’ He ran down the street as swiftly as a stag.

“Those who are in tune with God can change men’s hearts.”

When the chapel at Self- Realization Fellowship headquarters was being redecorated, a disciple suggested that a niche hold a sanctuary lamp, known as a ” perpetual candle” to be lit by Paramahansaji.

The Master said, “I would like to feel that the lamp of devotion to God I have lit in your hearts is eternal. No other light is necessary.”

During 1951 Paramahansaji often hinted that his remaining days on earth were not many.

“Sir,” asked a distressed disciple, “When we can no longer see you, will you be as near as you are now?”

The Master smiled lovingly and said:

“To those who think me near, I will be near.”

The Master said: “By diving deep through your spiritual eye” you will see in to the fourth dimension, aglow with the wonders of the inner world. It is hard to get there, but how beautiful it is!

“Don’t be satisfied with a little peace of your meditation, but hunger again and again for His bliss. Day and night, while others are sleeping or spending their energy in fulfilling desires, you should whisper, ‘My Lord, my Lord, my Lord!’ And in time He will burst through the darkness and you will know Him. This world is an ugly place compared to the lovely realm of spirit. Remove the obstacles to divine by determination, devotion and faith.”

Balance  is a key word in the teachings of Paramahansaji.”If you practice meditation deeply, your mind will turn more and more intensely toward God,”he said.”However, you must not neglect your duties  in the world. As you learn to perform all your tasks with a peaceful mind you will be able to do things ore quickly, with greater concentration and efficiency. You will then find that no matter what you do, your activities will be permeated with the divine consciousness. That state comes only after you have practiced meditation deeply and disciplined your mind to revert to God as soon as you have performed your duties, and by doing them with the thought  that you are serving Him alone.”

The Power of Affirmation

A very powerful tool for arousing superconscious conviction is affirmation.”Strong conscious affirmations,” Paramahansaji said, “react on the body and mind through the medium of the subconsciousness. Still stronger affirmations reach not only the subconscious, but also the superconscious mind– the magic storehouse of miraculous powers.” Our Guru used to lead groups in the use of affirmations during his public talks and services, instructing his students as follows:

Choose your affirmation and repeat all of it, first loudly, then softly and more slowly, until your voice becomes a  whisper. Then gradually affirm it mentally only, without moving the tongue or the lips, until you feel that you have attained deep, unbroken concentration— not unconsciousness, but a profound continuity of uninterrupted thought. If you continue with your mental affirmation, and go still deeper, you will feel a sense of increasing  joy and peace. During the state of deep concentration, your affirmation will merge with the subconscious stream, to come back later reinforced with power to influence your conscious mind through the law of habit.

The Master explained further that when an affirmation reaches our superconscious mind, a current life energy is released, which actually changes the Psychophysiological patterns of habit in the brain:

During the time that you experience ever increasing peace, your affirmation goes deeper, in to the superconscious realm, to return later laden with unlimited power to influence your conscious mind and also to fulfill your desires. Doubt not and you shall witness the miracle of this scientific faith.

By  Swami Ramananda Giri

Condensation of a talk given at the 1987 Self- Realization Fellowship convocation, LosAngels

“In Scientific healing affirmations,  Metaphysical Meditations, and the Yogada Satsanga Lessons, Paramahansa Yogananda provides hundreds of affirmations for Healing, Self improvement, and deepening one’s awareness of the Divine.”

 

Various Paths Of Yoga

Yoga is a simple process of reversing the ordinary outward flow of energy and consciousness so that the mind becomes dynamic center of direct perception– no longer dependent upon the fallible senses but capable of actually experiencing Truth.

In past centuries many  of the higher techniques of yoga were little understood or practiced, owing to mankind’s limited knowledge of the forces that run the universe. But today scientific investigation is rapidly changing the way we view ourselves and the world.The traditional materialistic conception of life has vanished with the discovery that matter and energy are essential one: every existing substance can be reduced to a pattern or form of energy, which interacts and interconnects with other forms. Thus modern science is confirming the ancient principles of yoga, which proclaim that unity pervades the universe.

The word yoga itself means “union”: of the individual consciousness or soul with the Universal consciousness or Spirit.There are various paths of yoga that lead toward this goal, each one a specialized branch of one comprehensive system:

Hatha Yoga— A system of physical postures, or asanas, whose higher purpose is to purify the body, giving one awareness and control over its internal states and rendering it fit for meditation.

Karma Yoga—-Selfless service to others as part of one’s larger self, without attachment to the results; and the performance of all actions with the consciousness of God as the Doer.

Mantra Yoga-–Centering the consciousness within through japa or the repetition of certain universal root-word sounds representing a particular aspect of spirit.

Bhakti Yoga—-All- surrendering  devotion through which one strives to see and love the divinity in every creature and in everything, thus maintaining an unceasing worship.

Jnana Yoga — The path of wisdom, which emphasizes the application of discriminative intelligence to achieve spiritual liberation.

Raja Yoga–The royal or highest path of yoga, formally systematized in the second century B.C. by Maharishi Patanjali, which combines the essence of all the other paths. At the heart of the Raja yoga system, balancing and unifying these various approaches, is the practice of definite, scientific methods of meditation that enable one to perceive, from the very beginning of one’s efforts, glimpses of the ultimate goal—–conscious union with the inexhaustibly blissful spirit. Such methods are an integral path of the Yogada Satsanga teachings.

The Science of Kriya Yoga: The quickest and most effective approach to the goal of yoga employs those methods of meditation that deal directly with energy and consciousness. It is this direct approach that characterizes Kriya Yoga, the particular system of meditation taught by Paramahansa Yogananda. Specifically, Kriya is an advanced Raja Yoga technique that reinforces and revitalizes subtle currents of life energy in the body, enabling the normal activities of heart and lungs to slow down naturally. As a result, the consciousness is drawn to higher levels of perception, gradually bringing about an inner awakening more blissful and more deeply satisfying than any of the experiences that the mind or the senses or the ordinary human emotions can give.

All scriptures declare man to be not a corruptible body, but a living soul.The ancient science of Kriya Yoga reveals a way to prove this  scriptural truth.

Referring to the sure and methodical efficacy of devoted practice of the Kriya science, Paramahansa Yogananda declared: “It works like  mathematics, it cannot fail.”