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“Carry your love of God deep in your heart before you sleep.…”

Carry your love of God deep in your heart before you sleep.

“Carry your love of God deep in your heart before you sleep. Cradle it there, so that when you dream you may dream of Him resting on the fragrant altar of sleep.”

—Paramhansa Yogananda

 

Yogananda’s Poem: Samadhi

Guided meditation and visualization to the poem, Samadhi by Paramhansa Yogananda.

Samadhi by Paramhansa Yogananda

Vanished the veils of light and shade,
Lifted every vapor of sorrow,
Sailed away all dawns of fleeting joy,
Gone the dim sensory mirage.
Love, hate, health) disease, life, death,
Perished these false shadows on the screen of duality.
Waves of laughter, scyllas of sarcasm, melancholic whirlpools,
Melting in the vast sea of bliss.
The storm of maya stilled
By magic wand of intuition deep.
The universe, forgotten dream, subconsciously lurks,
Ready to invade my newly wakened memory divine.
I live without the cosmic shadow,
But it is not, bereft of me;
As the sea exists without the waves,
But they breathe not without the sea.
Dreams, wakings, states of deep turiya sleep,
Present, past, future, no more for me,
But ever-present, all-flowing I, I, everywhere.
Planets, stars, stardust, earth,
Volcanic bursts of doomsday cataclysms,
Creation’s molding furnace,
Glaciers of silent x-rays, burning electron floods,
Thoughts of all men, past, present, to come,
Every blade of grass, myself, mankind,
Each particle of universal dust,
Anger, greed, good, bad, salvation, lust,
I swallowed, transmuted all
Into a vast ocean of blood of my own one Being!
Smoldering joy, oft-puffed by meditation
Blinding my tearful eyes,
Burst into immortal flames of bliss,
Consumed my tears, my frame, my all.
Thou art I, I am Thou,
Knowing, Knower, Known, as One!
Tranquilled, unbroken thrill, eternally living, ever new peace!
Enjoyable beyond imagination of expectancy, samadhi bliss!
Not a mental chloroform
Or unconscious state without wilful return,
Samadhi but extends my conscious realm
Beyond the limits of the mortal frame
To farthest boundary of eternity
Where I, the Cosmic Sea,
Watch the little ego floating in me.
The sparrow, each grain of sand, fall not without my sight.
All space like an iceberg floats within my mental sea.
Colossal Container, I, of all things made.
By deeper, longer, thirsty, guru-given meditation
Comes this celestial samadhi
Mobile murmurs of atoms are heard,
The dark earth, mountains, vales, lo! molten liquid!
Flowing seas change into vapors of nebulae!
Aum blows upon the vapors, opening wondrously their veils,
Oceans stand revealed, shining electrons,
Till, at last sound of the cosmic drum,
Vanish the grosser lights into eternal rays
Of all-pervading bliss.
From joy I came, for joy I live, in sacred joy I melt.
Ocean of mind, I drink all creation’s waves.
Four veils of solid, liquid, vapor, light,
Lift aright.
Myself, in everything, enters the Great Myself.
Gone forever, fitful, flickering shadows of mortal memory.
Spotless is my mental sky, below, ahead, and high above.
Eternity and I, one united ray.
A tiny bubble of laughter, I
Am become the Sea of Mirth Itself.

From Whispers from Eternity, a book of answered prayers, 1949 edition by Paramhansa Yogananda

God Alone!

July 1934, by Paramhansa Yogananda

Who is it who knows all the secrets of all the Souls who ever lived, dazzling the world, and who are now lost and gone?

God alone! God alone!

Who lived in the loneliness of the eternal void, before the atoms blinked their glittering eyes and danced through all Creation?

God alone! God alone!

We came out of Something, we know not what. We know that we live, laugh, and linger now, and most of us will not know what lies in the wilderness of the great Beyond when we fall asleep in the arms of peaceful death. Yet, who knows the secret of Life, both before and after this existence?

God alone! God alone!

All things are living; all things are dancing in the rhythm of eternal harmony. No one knows about the grand procession of Creation, which emerged from the mystic chamber of space. No one knows which part of this chamber of the endless void is occupied by objects and Beings, melted by the magic wand of death, except –

God alone! God alone!

Our loved ones love us, and vow to love us forever, and yet they forget us when they sink into the Great Sleep. Their memories become frozen anon. Yet, who loves us forever without ever telling us, and who remembers us when all others forget us?

God alone! God alone!

Life and death, stars and wind, love and hate, sorrow and pleasure, and man and beast dance and sleep on the Stygian stage of Time, hiding behind the scenes at death, and coming out to play again on the stage of Time in new costumes of flesh. No one remembers what he did before, or why he is so sure of this temporary rendezvous in this curious caravanserai except –

God alone! God alone!

Why God is playing this game, and why He keeps all this knowledge to Himself, only meagerly sharing it with us, His Children, is known by –

God alone! God alone!

Yet, if you roam no more, and come closer to the Infinite Shore within, and change yourself from the undesirable position of being a prodigal son to that of being a true celestial offspring, then you, too, may know all things that you want to know from none other than –

God alone! God alone!

Since He knows all things, when you change into a demanding Son Divine, you too shall know all things from –

God alone! God alone!

When all friends must leave you, who will be with you?

God alone! God alone!

Since no things and no one are really yours, learn to love –

God alone! God alone!

Friendship

Is friendship the weaving of the red strings of two hearts?
Is it the blending of two minds into a spacious one-mind?
Is it the spouting of love founts together’
To strengthen the rush of love on droughty souls?
Is it the one rose grown ‘twixt twin mind-branchlets
Of one compassionate stem?
Is it the one thinking in two bodies?
Or, is it like two strong stallions,
Disparate in color and mien,
Pulling the chariot of life together
To the single goal with one mind sight?
Is friendship founded on equalities or inequalities?
Is it built on diverse stones of differences?
Is friendship the unthinkingly agreeing,
The hand in hand, blind walking of two souls,
Foolishly rejoicing in their united folly,
Falling at last into a pit of disillusionment?

Friendship is noble, fruitful, holy,
When two separate souls march in difference
Yet in harmony, agreeing and disagreeing,
Glowingly improving diversely,
With one common longing to find solace in true pleasure.
When ne’er the lover seeks
Self-comfort at cost of the one beloved,
Then, in that garden of selflessness
Fragrant friendship perfectly flowers.
For friendship is a hybrid, born of two souls,
The blended fragrance of two unlike flowers
Blown together in love’s caressing breeze.
Friendship is born from the very core
Of secret, inexplicable likings.
Friendship is the fountain of true feelings.
Friendship grows in both likeness and difference.
Friendship sleeps or dies in familiarity,
And decays in lusts of narrow-eyed selves.
Friendship grows tall and sturdy
In the soil of oneness in body, mind, and soul.
Demands, deceptions, sordid sense of possession,
Courtesy’s lack, narrow self-love, suspicion,
These are cankers which eat at the heart of friendship.
Ah, friendship! Flowering, heaven-born plant!
Nurtured art thou in the soil of measureless love,
In the seeking of soul-progress together
By two who would smooth the way each for the other.
And thou art watered by attentions of affection
And the tender dews of inner and outer sweetness
Of the inmost, selfless heart’s devotion.
Ah, friendship! Where thy soul-born flowers fall,
There, on that sacred shrine of fragrance,
The Friend of all friends craves to come and remain!

Finding the Joy in Life

October 1936, “Finding the Joy in Life”

You want a thing as long as you are not able to get it; when you have secured it, sooner or later you will tire of it, and then you will want something else. Have you ever tried to find that will-o’-the-wisp of “something else” which you seek at the end of all accomplished desires?

No matter what you seek, you must seek it with joy, in expectation of having joy by possessing it, and you must feel joyous when you actually get it. When seeking different things directly or indirectly, in reality you are seeking joy. When seeking all things, it is really joy that you seek through all these things and the fulfillment of all desires.

Then, why not seek joy directly? Why seek it through the medium of material desires and material things? You do not want those things in life which bring you sorrow. Neither do you want those things which promise a little joy in the beginning but sink you in deep remorse and suffering in the end.

Why seek joy by supplicating the favor of short-lasting material things? Why depend upon short-lasting material things for short-lasting joys? Material things and fulfillment of material desires are short-lasting; therefore, all joys born of them are short-lasting. Joys born of eating, smelling fragrance, listening to music, beholding beautiful objects, and touching pleasing things are short-lasting. They last only as long as the sensations born of the senses of taste, smell, hearing, sight, and touch last.

You do not want a tantalizing joy; you do not want a transitory joy which brings sorrow in its trail; you crave joy which will not disappear like the sudden flicker of gossamer wings beneath the flash of lightning. You should look for joy which will shine forever steadily, like the ever luminous radium.

Neither do you want a joy which has too much sameness; you want a joy which changes and dances itself in many ways to enthrall your mind and keep your attention occupied and interested forever. Any joy that comes by fits and starts is tantalizing; any joy that is monotonous is, of course tiresome; any joy that only comes for a little while and brings sorrow at last is undesirable. Any joy that comes for a little while then flits away, sinking you in a state of indifference, and thus deepens that state by contrast, is torturing.

The joy that rhythmically changes all the time like the different poses of an actor, and yet remains unchangeable in itself, is what all of us are seeking. Such joy can only be found through regular, deep meditation. Such an ever-new, unchangeable fountain of joy alone can quench our joy-thirst.

If Nature gave to us all at once everything we wanted-wealth, power, and lost friends-we would sooner or later get tired of all of these, but one thing we can never get tired of, and that is Joy itself. By its very nature, ever-new Joy is the only thing that can never tire the mind or make it want to exchange Joy for something else.

In the pursuit of evil or good, you are always seeking joy. The former promises joy and gives sorrow; the latter may promise sorrow but will surely give lasting joy in the end. Lasting, ever-new Joy is God, and when you have found Him, you have the eternally elusive will-o’-the wisp “something else” which you always seek at the end of all fulfilled desires. Finding this “something else,” you will not seek any farther. Finding this ever-new joy, you will find everything in it that you ever sought.

Material objects which give joy remain outside of the mind; they only gain entry into the mind through imagination. Joy, from its very nature, is something born of the mind and lives closest in it. External, material objects can be destroyed, but this joy within can never be destroyed if one knows how to keep it and unless the possessor of joy changes his mind and becomes sorrowful. This joy is ever-new and indestructible.

Do not seek joy through material mediums, or desires born of such contact. Seek the unconditioned, indestructible Pure Joy within yourself, and you will then have found the ever-conscious, ever-new Joy-God. This joy is not an abstract quality of mind, but it is conscious, self-born, and is the conscious, self-expressing quality of Spirit. Seek it and be comforted forever.

When you have attained this ever-new joy, you will not have become a cynic, hating everybody. Rather, it is then that you will be in a position fit to enjoy everything rightly. As an immortal child of God, you are supposed to enjoy everything with a lasting attitude of your eternal nature of perpetual joy. People who enjoy material things become materially-minded. It is a disgrace to behave like a discontented mortal when you are made in God’s image, and when you are immortal.

When immortals behave like mortals, they experience the changes of joy, sorrow, and indifference in their natures. That is why you must destroy this grafted nature of changeability on your unchangeable nature of joy. And when you have found your own nature of unchangeable joy, you will be able to enjoy everything, either pleasant or disagreeable with your unchangeable, indestructible joy. Your joy will stand unshaken amidst the crash of breaking earthly pleasures.

Divine Joy

August 1933, East-West Magazine, “Divine Joy”

Bless us with Thy intoxicating, ever-new, joyous, supremely satisfying contact.

Teach us to drink Thee, that every blood cell, every thought, and every feeling

may become saturated with Thy joy and have their pleasure-thirst quenched

forever.

After tasting Thee, lead us to temptation if Thou wilt.

After we are sure of Thy most tempting, everlasting gift of Thyself,

then test us with all Thy temptations if Thou wilt.

Teach us by comparison between felicity and sense distraction to completely

remove, of our own accord, all material pleasures from our hearts.

Bless us first with the light of Godly habits, so that whenever the darkness of bad

habits approaches, it will be spontaneously driven away.

Teach us to forsake the misery-making ignorant ways of living by letting us know

and feel the comforting ways of wise living.

Teach us to be so attached to Thee that we can not be at all attracted to

material pleasures.

Teach us by Thy love to conquer all loves for worldly life.

Millions do not love Thee because they know not of Thy alluring Love.

Millions love matter because they meet it first.

Divine Beloved, why dost Thou not come first in human life?

Oh, Father, how canst Thou expect frail Souls, ignorant of Thee and burdened with bad habits, to know Thy all-healing Joy.

Of all Thy punishments, forgetfulness of Thee is greatest.

Punish us not, therefore, with forgetfulness.

No matter what our tests may be, teach us to bear them joyously by feeling Thy Presence all the time in our hearts.

For the knowledge of Thy Presence in the heart makes all our tragedies and comedies of life but dramas of extremely ecstatic entertainment.