Tuesday, 17 May 2016

The Divine Romance by Paramhansa Yogananda



The 447 pages long The Divine Romance  is an anthology  of the talks of Paramhansa Yogananda , suggesting how we can  awaken our divine nature. Yogananda started Yogoda Satsanga Society of India in 1917 , and founded its  international headquarters in Los Angeles in 1925.
               It is  essentially a spiritual book and  gives  guidelines for a healthy  and spiritual living.I have tried to  put together  some of the precious thoughts as follows.
1. Your first goal must be to know God.  The greatest of all achievements   for a human being is to find God.
2.True friendship is friendship for the sake of friendship, without expectation of anything  in return. Lying destroys friendship. There is no attachment in true friendship. When friendships   develop into attachment , they  remain  on the plane of human love , taking the soul away from  supreme friendship with God. True friendship may be developed between woman and woman, man and man , or man and woman. This can come only when you free yourself from the consciousness that you are a man or a woman  . One must practice   celibacy  if one wants to know  divine love through friendship. Then friendship   nurtures the cultivation  of divine love. To wish for perfection for the loved one, and to feel pure joy in thinking of that soul, is divine love , and that is the love of true friendship. In a friendship ,regardless of differing views, you have mutual respect  and cherish your friendship  above every thing else. True friendship established in God is the only relationship that is lasting.
3. Reserve your nights for meditation. Meditate with undivided attention.
4. One of the most important spiritual principles to apply is truthfulness. Those who develop the habit of telling little lies all the time will find it hard ever to be   wholly truthful in any statement.
5.Every  very person should keep a mental diary, in which she   should constantly watch  her thoughts and actions.
6. Silence and seclusion are the secrets of success. The less you mix with others who just waste your time , the better it is for your spiritual life. Seclusion is the price of greatness. After starting on spiritual path , do not go to movies or seek such other distractions. Remain secluded from people.  Seek time to be alone; and in the cave of inner silence , you shall find the wellspring of wisdom. As soon as you are too much with   people on the social plane  , you are not with God any more. Don’t engage in too many socials. They   are alright once   in a while, but frequent socializing takes up too much valuable time. 
7.If you want friends, you must learn to love all unselfishly. Never profess friendship with anyone unless you mean it.
8. Learn to fast for one to three days at a time. Never drink water, milk , or other liquids with your meals. It is best to take liquids a half-hour before a meal or two hours afterward. Whenever the body feels tired, drink a glass of pineapple or orange juice. It will give you much energy.  Walking   is good. Six or seven hours sleep is enough.  Go out in the fresh air for ten to fifteen minutes and exhale and inhale  deeply, off and on , several times.
9. When someone wrongs you , it is far better to love him spiritually , give him your blessing , and forget it. Forgiveness is more powerful than revenge.
10.If you have a possessive love for any thing , you will suffer.
11. It requires eight years to form a habit. Never be addicted to anything.
12. To live for self is the source of all misery.
13..I am a citizen of the world.
  14.  Love is thy strength, and thy greatest ally.
  15.Those who flatter thy faults are thy worst enemies. Do not speak of others’ faults.         
  16.In most cases, the free will man is nothing more than a slave-in the guise of freedom , but fettered to past tendencies. You are born with about seventy-five percent of your life predetermined by your past. You will make up the remaining twenty-five percent. Spiritual training designates the methods to mould the brand new twenty-five percent that we ourselves are going to create by the exercise of our freedom.
 17.Sow the seeds of good habits in the soil and weed out  worries and wrong actions of the past. If you have a strong mind and plant in it a firm resolve  , you can  change your destiny. Take your health, or your moral life, or spiritual life –one thing at a time- and change it as you desire. Inwardly determine to change yourself, and you can change your destiny according to your will. until you are  able to create a good habit, meditate. Don’t flirt with unproductive , dangerous habits. Get rid of your bad habits. Change yourself every day. If you have not given up mentally , you are not defeated before the Lord. Saints are sinners who  never gave up. Those who don’t analyze themselves never change.
18 You should pray for others who are suffering but do not pray for things of the world .Always sit upright , with the spine straight.
19.The little man with small thoughts who goes into the  jungle of books  becomes absorbed in  intellectualizing about God; he does not find the nectar of  God-realization .But the little man who meditates, who constantly thinks of the joy of God, who constantly prays to Him , becomes one with the infinite. Beliefs, reading   books , cannot give you realization .It is only by  meditating in the right way that you can have that great realization  and joy. Practice of religion , not just intellectual understanding , is most important-practice of the perception of God.
 21. Devotees  on the  spiritual path  have even more tests than those who follow a material path ,so don’t use your worldly obligations as an excuse to ignore God.
22. America is advancing rapidly in spirituality.
                                      When the soul meets the greatest Lover of the universe , then the eternal romance begins.
 The book   inspires us to be spiritual and to serve other human beings.I recommend you to read this book .