Self-Realization Fellowship Blog

Paramahansa Yogananda on Kriya Yoga — A Way of Life That Leads to Bliss

June 10, 2024

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An introduction:

Every June 21 people around the globe celebrate the International Day of Yoga, established by the United Nations in 2014, as an opportunity to acknowledge the unique contribution of India’s ancient science to the modern world.

Though many people think of yoga only as physical exercises — the asanas or postures of Hatha Yoga — the true value and purpose of yoga is unfolding the infinite potentials of the human mind and soul. The word yoga itself means “union”: of the individual consciousness or soul with the Universal Consciousness or Spirit.

“Uniting the soul with Spirit is Yoga — reunion with that great Happiness everyone is seeking,” Paramahansa Yogananda said. “Isn’t this a wonderful definition? In the ever new Bliss of Spirit you are convinced that the joy you feel is greater than any other happiness, and nothing can get you down.”

Everyone can reach that state of pure bliss, he explained, but to do so requires a definite methodology, and a desire to apply that yogic method to all aspects of life — not just for a day but consistently until its truest benefits are realized within oneself.

It is because the powerful meditation techniques and principles of yoga — such as those taught by Paramahansaji and his renowned lineage of gurus in the Kriya Yoga teachings of Self-Realization Fellowship — can be universally applied for life-transforming results, that yoga can truly be celebrated globally.

The wisdom from Paramahansaji shared below honors yoga as a supremely positive force for all, and reflects on how the path of Kriya Yoga with its eminently practical techniques can lead a seeker to ultimate freedom and joy. After all, as Paramahansaji stated in his Autobiography of a Yogi, “Had India no other gift for the world, Kriya Yoga alone would suffice as a kingly offering.”

From the talks and writings of Paramahansa Yogananda:

Yoga is primarily a science of meditation: concentration on God and absorption of one’s consciousness in Him. But as a natural prerequisite to the ability to meditate uninterruptedly on God, yoga also inculcates discipline and proper direction to spiritualize every aspect of human nature and daily life.

For example, yoga enables one to solve all problems by soul guidance, the wisdom born of Self-realization. So long as problems occupy the mind, there is little opportunity for mental and spiritual freedom, for these cannot coexist with mental turmoil. The mind should be cleared of confusing moods, worries, and fears so that in the sky of mental calmness the liberated bird of paradise, the soul, can soar and spread its wings over one’s whole existence. By gradually easing the perplexities and difficulties that burden one’s life from within and without, yoga paves the way to freedom.

The Self-Realization yoga teachings can be applied to every phase of life: to business, social, physical, mental, and spiritual development. Such all-round application of spiritual truths produces the highest bliss.

I gave my life to this SRF path of our great Gurus because these teachings give to the world a practical methodology whereby all devotees can know by tangible experience that they are progressing toward God.

You will find, by continued practice of meditation, that you will gain perceptions of an ever-new, ever-increasing joy, a joy that is not just an abstract mental state of short-lived mortal pleasure, but the God-joy of meditation that will receive and respond to your prayers.

God is the joy felt in meditation. By practicing the techniques of the Kriya Yoga science given in the SRF Lessons, you shall find that joy. I know of nothing in the world that gives that happiness. If once you contact God, then you will know that there is nothing on earth you want more than Him.

We invite you to visit “The True Meaning of Yoga” in the Teachings section of the SRF website. There you can learn more about the universal and scientific approach that yoga provides for experiencing more and more of the native bliss of the soul.

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Anthea Summers

I was hoping that SRF was announcing that our dear president, Bro Chidananda, would be addressing the UN on the 21st of June.
Wouldn’t that be magnificent!

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