About these talks…
These rare recorded talks were taped during a gathering at Self-Realization Fellowship International Headquarters on Christmas Day, 1950.
During the latter years of his life, having completed much of the outward organizational work he had been sent to the West to accomplish, Paramahansaji often spent long periods away from the day-to-day activities of the organization — devoting much time to completing his writings and remaining immersed in the highest states of samadhi, union with God. The 1950 Christmas season was one such period of seclusion; Paramahansaji stayed in his quarters at the SRF International Headquarters, but through a speaker system addressed the disciples and guests who were assembled downstairs.
Since Paramahansaji was not in attendance, the traditional Christmas banquet was presided over by Rajarsi Janakananda (Mr. James J. Lynn, referred to by the Guru as “Saint Lynn”), whom he had designated to be his successor in leading Self-Realization Fellowship/Yogoda Satsanga Society of India after his passing. Another close disciple, Dr. M. W. Lewis (vice president of Self-Realization Fellowship until his passing in 1960), assisted Rajarsi in officiating at the festivities. Their talks follow Paramahansaji’s address.
“How easily we can be out of tune with God during meditation. We have to be watchful always during meditation, and in our spiritual pursuit, that our mind is not out of tune with God and play with thoughts.
Please stand up and I will give you a prayer.”
“From the depths of slumber,
As I ascend the spiral stairways of wakefulness,
I will whisper:
God! God! God!
Thou art the food, and when I break my fast
Of nightly separation from Thee,
I will taste Thee, and mentally say:
God! God! God!
No matter where I go, the spotlight of my mind
Will ever keep turning on Thee;
And in the battle din of activity, my silent war-cry will be:
God! God! God!
When boisterous storms of trials shriek,
And when worries howl at me,
I will drown their noises, loudly chanting:
God! God! God!
When my mind weaves dreams
With threads of memories,
On that magic cloth will I emboss:
God! God! God!
Every night, in time of deepest sleep,
When my peace dreams and calls, Joy! Joy! Joy!
My joy comes singing evermore:
God! God! God!
In waking, eating, working, dreaming, sleeping,
Serving, meditating, chanting, divinely loving,
My soul will constantly um, unheard by any:
God! God! God!”
“Let this occasion of celebrating the social birthday of Christ be a great occasion for you. Will you please all sit down now and I shall give you a very short talk.”
“Of course, you understood my voice. Again, I explain – this is Paramahansa Yogananda talking from his room upstairs in seclusion to you all.
I always wanted to see how things go on in my physical absence. And since I have given [to] Saint Lynn the charge, it has been my ardent wish [that] he carries on as he has done in [his] exemplary life and fulfilled all the conditions of my spiritual ideals in the greatest way.”
“So I am happy, although my physical body is not there, my spirit is ever with you. And my voice is with you now, talking to you from my heart, my soul, my spirit. I was very happy to feel how the wonderful celebration of the spiritual birthday of Christ was carried out by Saint Lynn with the assistance of Dr. Lewis. And I am glad all of you joined in one spirit. As I meditated with you, it seemed like three minutes to me. I have been very very happy the heavenly Father has fulfilled all my wishes towards realization. Personal wishes I had none—I had finished them long ago, many incarnations ago. I only prize above all possessions the bouquet of souls. I do not care who come and go. As Jesus said, “He that follows me, he follows not me but Him that sent me.” He who shall honor the ego shall lose God. He who always remembers, as Saint Lynn ever does, and true disciples of the Order, that behind him is the link of the Gurus, Christ and God, such souls like Saint Lynn and others who will be like him will feel the connection of the gurus.”
“Spirituality cannot be bought in the marketplace. When you are little desirous of God, God sends you books and teachers. When you are very desirous, God sends you a Guru. And this link of Gurus, you must regard, if you want to get there.
Jesus said, “Who is my brother and father and sister… but he who loves God.” I recognize no-one. I recognize them in the metaphysical way that all are brothers, but those who love God I know they are my brothers and sisters. I am not interested in those that come for a little drama and then go. I am interested in those that will go not half-way, but all the way and break through the door of God’s silence. That’s why God does not talk. And God will not talk, for years and years, even if you faithfully follow Him. He may… but only when He is convinced that you do not seek Him for glamour and glory, but that you seek Him forever—then He will open the door. And no one knows when He will open the door. Even Jesus Christ said “What my Father knows, I know not.”
“Step first, you must follow the path of Self-realization, that greatest order of wisdom and realization that was ever sent in the world. It has the highest principles of meditation balanced with activity.
God has given you hunger—you cannot be idle. Those who think they come here only to meditate they are mistaken. Because God would not have given them hunger to work for.
Everywhere people are working, but they forget God.
We work in an ideal environment in our centers, with God-consciousness in our bosom. Only work for God.
And work the body until you are a master. And then when you will meditate, you will not nod [into sleep]. If you master your body by yoga practice and Kriya Yoga, then your body will be steady and a fit temple of God.”
“And remember—even if God does not answer, He is always behind your consciousness. As when St Anthony… this example. Every day think of this example.
For dozens and dozens of years, an incarnation-sent St Anthony sought God. And St Anthony was in a tomb in Egypt, and when he developed very much, he began to see… that satellites of Satan began to come there, in the form of dogs and jackals and bite him, and told him that there was no God, only evil force to rule the world. And he was so afraid! And he was not living on vitamins, but one piece of bread and water; he lived to be 125 years.
But he realized God—remember that. See what determination he had. Incarnation he did no find even when he sat in the tomb for years! He had finished his activity in the previous life. So, he went after God.”
“And one day, when every apparition and trouble failed to distract Saint Anthony, Satan himself came and said ‘Now, I’ll show you that I am the lord of the world, and I am going to destroy you; and that there is no God and Christ.’
So he began to crack the tomb. And at that time so afraid, Saint Anthony did not know what to do. He said “No, I will not give up God.” Right at that time Christ appeared. Satan is nothing but a test of God.
And so remember, right at that time, overwhelmed with grief, remembering incarnations of prayer and all these years of separation with God, Saint Anthony cried out “Lord, Lord, why didn’t you come before? I have passed in such great agony.”
Then Christ said, ‘Anthony, I was just the same with you.’
Now remember that.”
“Don’t demand [of] God to appear before you because you have meditated 10 years. He will never appear. He has disappointed many many saints, who have [for] incarnations meditated on Him.
But as soon as there is no demand, but unconditional love and saying, “Thou dost know Lord that I am praying, Thou dost know that I love, and no matter where art Thou, come to me or not, I shall wait for You.”
“Remember, a man was thirsty at a lake – he wanted to drink the whole lake, but he found out that he could not drink more than three glasses of water. So even if God came, you would not be able to receive Him. Your body-mind has to be ready, and expanded as the ocean of God. The cup of your consciousness must be like Christ. Then God can be appreciated, then God automatically will get into you.
So those who are impatient, who come a few months and go… I am not interested in them. That’s why the saints and masters classify people as the inner circle and the outer circle. Outer circle people come and go and eat—whenever there is a festivity, see how many people you have – [and then] they are gone. We were 1500 during the last festivity. But how many came back again?”
“So the outer circle, the masters do not at all pay attention except those. As I say “I prefer a soul to a crowd, and I love crowds of souls.”
And you must not look to those that come and go; not to be interested in them. Doff [remove] them from your minds. Only look to souls like Saint Lynn. For 19 years, he followed everything that I said. But you don’t follow and expect results. You can do it.”
“So on this social birthday of Christ this is what I urge you – let your meditation be at night. No matter how hard you work, never go to bed without giving God the deepest attention. You won’t die. Saint Anthony did not die. Why would you die? Die for God if it is necessary.
Have I ever looked all these years since I have come? Since 1920, have I ever thought of the body? No, I have worked for God. Nothing else I have known.
I have never mixed with those that are oscillating, that were trying to take my time, but with those that are the greatest devotees of God.”
“So, you must look at the example of Saint Lynn and a few others who were beyond this world and have felt the presence of God.
So I say, only those who suffice concerning Krishna’s word [in the Bhagavad Gita 7:3:] “Out of many thousands among men, one may endeavor for perfection, and of those who have achieved perfection, hardly one knows Me in truth.” We are much more—the percentage is far far ahead, far greater.
But the trouble with boys mostly is this—that they have too much temptation. And they yield to the temptation; there is no resistance there.
The more ladies are saved… Once in a while they fall because tempted by others… But the thing is, the greatest thing is… to have that resolute desire.”
‘We have no [lock]. Master [Shriyukteshwarji] always used to say, ‘The gate is always open, whenever you want to go—go!’
Such a great Master I saw. They left him because he did not flatter them; he did not suit their fancies. I was [the] only one with him, and three little boys who did not amount to anything. But see what he did… did to me. He did not want disciples. The masters who are liberated do not want anything but God. They don’t worship their ego.
But look what he did. By converting me, he has converted millions of people in this world.
So must you [be converted].
“Those who are true, who do not yield to sex temptation, do not yield to wine or desire for money, and develop the love of God so that I see in your eyes—you are drunk with God, and not saying ‘When will I have God?' When you say ‘When will I have God?', you are not a devotee.
So I have been, I have been… He is listening to me.
My Beloved is always with me.
He is moving my hands.
He is digesting the food through me.
He is blowing the breeze around me.
Without Him you cannot live for one second!
God is caressing you through the breeze.
Giving life to you through sunshine.
He is in the food that you are going to eat.
He is in the joy of the faces of all the people around you.
He is the Only One that through your so-called relatives whom you call your own, He is the One that nurtured you through mother and father and your relatives. So, He is the only relative. Those are only puppets.”
“That is why Jesus said, ‘He who leaves father, mother, friends, husband, wife, everything, and lands for my sake–he shall have hundredfold.’ And persecution. And you will have Life Eternal.
Because people, millions of people… you tell them, and they will laugh at you. But when the cold Death takes the husband away and the wife away, all the money is lost, where is that property? Where are all those that called ‘Oh, I love you forever!' The moon… the moon laughs at them and says ‘You lied, for no-one belongs to another’.”
“We have all come from God. We are strangers. But it is only when we love God that we become brothers and sisters. Because that relation holds in the hereafter. The human relation does not hold.”
“So, as you celebrate this social birthday of Christ today, and as I am giving this function to be carried out by Saint Lynn with the assistance of Dr. Lewis, I am very very happy to remind you that our Self-realization has one path—it is to cultivate God in our own heart, in seclusion and in meditation.
And when you are working, if you think you are working hard, you are no good. If you are working for the Beloved, God and the Masters and the Gurus, you will never know time. All these years that I have worked, I have never complained. I told, yes, how I rejoice, and how I have rejoiced to work for Him. I could not work for myself. If He gave made the whole world, I could not work myself. And I work for you all—those that have come to my God, to my Father, and to my Guru.”
“And may you on this day follow the example of Christ and the Gurus, as [if] you knew no-one but the Father. Whose example will you follow? Those who say, ‘Be attached to the world and have this fun.’? You know milk cannot float on water—it will get diluted. Why waste God? ‘Seek thee the Kingdom of God first.’
When you are drenched with God, when you are highly saturated, you will not say ‘When will I have God?'.
Love Him. He never denies. We denied Him.”
“You are in the Ferris Wheel of great delusion, constantly rotating. Jump away from it! And the way is… what… you will never have this opportunity as Self-realization gives you. You’ll live far better than the average life. You have very great good karma. God would not let those parasites who come here for a little while for glamour. He will throw them out. I don’t throw them out—Divine Mother tells me.
But those who are faithful, those who Love God, those who go on to the end, not for sticking it out, but for the love of God—they shall have Him.
Follow the example of Christ—how he retired to the mountain, and then always worked for the people. To preach his God.”
“So, on this occasion I wish you a very blessed Christmas, full of the blessed presence of God. And until you have that consciousness, remember—do not sleep too long. Night is the only time you have in this world to make love to God. And night you must use—your Kriya Yoga and deepest meditation, so that all day when you work you will be drunk with God.
That’s the way I have led my life. My body and mind work hard—I never knew, because I was drunk with God. Then it is a pleasure. But without work, divine service… you shall never get there, as you shall never get there by meditation alone. Meditation means meditating on God in seclusion, and meditating on God in activity. Because that is meditation too!”
“If you act without the thought of God—that’s not good. If you act for money, you are not working for God. When you are working not for the money, you are working for God and Gurus and Christ.
When you work with the thought of God… I used to be so thrilled when I used to build those towers. And God used to visit me—great lights would come—even as the towers were being built. You do not know what joy I have passed. So, the little work that I have done for my Lord, my Father, my God and the Gurus… I have been very grateful, I have never complained.
Thinking of God in activity is just as good as meditation. And you must meditate deeply apart from activity, at night. Do not sleep too much.”
“And on this day of social birthday of Christ, I wish that as you spiritually meditated…
This development has two phases: you meditated spiritually several hours, only on Christ and God. That is the spiritual phase of your life. And then, on the social birthday, think of Him. That is thinking of God in activity.
That’s why these two represent the highest phase of existence—activity for God, and meditating on God without activity.”
“And now I turn this occasion to be carried on by most worthy, one of mine, Saint Lynn, assisted by Dr. Lewis. God bless you all, and a very very blessed Christmas—that you may everyday feel Christ within you.”