Self-Realization Fellowship Blog

“The All-Satisfying Ever New Joy of Spirit” by Paramahansa Yogananda

June 28, 2023


Excerpts from “How to Be Happy at Will,” a talk given by Paramahansa Yogananda. The full talk can be found in Man's Eternal Quest, the first volume of Paramahansaji's Collected Talks and Essays, published by SRF.

As you watch the faces of human beings, you can usually classify their expressions into four basic types, with corresponding mental states: smiling faces, bespeaking inner and outer happiness; grim faces, denoting sadness; dull, unsmiling faces, revealing inner boredom; and calm faces, reflecting an inner peace.

A desire satisfied produces pleasure. A longing unfulfilled creates sadness. Between the mental crests of happiness and sadness are troughs of boredom. When the high waves of pleasure and pain and the depressions of boredom become neutralized, the state of peace manifests.

Beyond the state of peace there is an ever new state of bliss, which the individual can find within himself and recognize as the true native state of his soul. This bliss is buried beneath the exciting mental waves of exuberant pleasure and deep depression and the hollows of indifference. When these waves disappear from the mental waters, the placid state of peace is felt. Reflected in the calm waters of peace is the ever new bliss.

Basis of People’s Reactions

Most people in the world are tossing on the waves of exciting pleasure or pain, and when these are wanting, they are bored. As you watch the faces of others during the day — at home, in the office, on the streets, or at gatherings — you can see that there are only a few who manifest peace.

When you see a merry countenance and ask that person, “What makes you happy?” he is likely to answer in this way: “I had a raise in salary,” or, “I met an interesting person.” Behind happiness lies the fulfillment of a desire.

When you see a doleful face and make sympathetic inquiry, its owner may reply, “I'm a sick man,” or, “I lost my wallet.” His desire to regain health (or his lost money) has been contradicted.

When you see a face registering a sort of blank neutrality, and you ask, “What's the matter? Are you unhappy about something?” he promptly answers in the negative. But if you press him, “Are you happy?” he will say, “Oh, no, I'm just bored.”

Negative and Positive Peace

You may meet a refined, well-to-do man living on an estate, looking healthy and plump, and neither unduly happy nor sad or bored. In such case you might say he is peaceful. But when that comfortably fixed person has too much of this kind of peace — which few people have the good fortune to experience — he thinks within, “I've had enough peace — I need some excitement and diversion.” Or he may remark to a friend, “Please give me a knock on the head to make me feel that I'm alive!”

The negative state of peace is derived from the absence of the three mental states of happiness, sadness, and boredom. Without change or excitement, protracted negative peace becomes stale and unenjoyable. But after long-continued indulgence in the happy, sad, and bored states, negative peace is enjoyable. For this reason, the yogis advocate the neutralization of the waves of thoughts by concentration to achieve mental peace.

Once the yogi has stilled the waves of thought, he begins to look beneath the lake of calmness, and finds there a positive state of peace — the ever new joy of the soul.

I met a very wealthy man in New York. In the course of telling me something about his life, he drawled, “I am disgustingly rich, and disgustingly healthy — ” and before he could finish I exclaimed, “But you are not disgustingly happy! I can teach you how to be perpetually interested in being ever newly happy.”

He became my student. By practicing Kriya Yoga, and by leading a balanced life, ever inwardly devoted to God, he lived to a ripe old age, always bubbling with ever new happiness.

On his deathbed he told his wife, “I am sorry for you — that you have to see me go — but I am very happy to join my Beloved of the Universe. Rejoice at my joy, and don't be selfish by sorrowing. If you knew how happy I am to go to meet my beloved God, you wouldn't be sad; rejoice to know that you will someday join me in the festivity of eternal bliss.”

Drink Deep of Bliss

Now, after observing faces that register pleasure, sorrow, boredom, or temporary peace, wouldn't you rather that your face reflect the contagious ever new joy of Spirit?

To be able to do this you must drink and drink of His bliss from the cask of deep meditation until you become a bliss alcoholic, manifesting bliss in sleep, dreams, wakefulness, and all circumstances of life that might otherwise tend to make you boisterously happy, or abysmally sad, or saturated with boredom or temporary negative peace.

Your laughter must echo from the caverns of sincerity. Your joy must flow from the fountain of your realized soul. Your smile must spread over all the souls you meet and over the whole universe. Your every look must reflect your joyous soul and spread its contagion to gloom-drunk minds.

Stop dreaming that you are just an ordinary mortal, constantly going through mental ups and downs. No matter what happens, remember always that you are made in the true image of Spirit.

The living joy in all things — the Fountain of Cosmic Bliss — must shower you with Its spray, and send joy trickling through your thoughts, through every cell and tissue of your whole being.

Remember, for many hours in the state of deep dreamless sleep, which is unconscious soul-perception, you are happy all the while. So during the day, regardless of how much you are disturbed by nightmarish mental trials and upheavals, you must keep trying all the time to be inwardly ever newly joyous, like the ever-fresh laughing waters of a gurgling brook.

As a man can be drunk with liquor all the time by continuously imbibing it, so also can you be drunk with true happiness by continuously perceiving the joyousness of your soul after meditation.

When you can constantly feel the blissful after-state of meditation, you will live in ecstasy; you will be one with the ever new Joy of your soul, and whosoever will be around you will be like you — even as the constant touch of sandalwood makes the hand fragrant.

“Their thoughts fully on Me, their beings surrendered to Me, enlightening one another, proclaiming Me always, My devotees are contented and joyful.” (Bhagavad Gita, Chapter X, verse 9).

Leave a comment
Suman Mehta

Very blissful for healthy life.Thank you Guruji for the showing us to spiritual path of life🙏🙏🌻🌻

Paul Mouyabi

These talks of master which I used to some years ago, went along with me in my escaping in the bush, the dire war my country underwent some more twenty years back. They truly have been a true solace for me, having with me the faith of the presence of Ours Masters and Guru. Though I lost that marvelleous gem (The MEQ) during that period, I have never forgot some of its lovely Words of life. I sincerely whish to know than what I already got to know few years ago. God will help.

Manuel Cunha

Desde que tive conhecimento de nosso Amado Guru Paramahansa Yoganada, comecei por ler em primeiro lugar a "Autobiografia de Um Yogue" e, desde então encontro em todas as suas palavras uma grande inspiração e alegria para a vida. Jai Guru.

Daniel Benavides

Pure wisdom and inspiration fron our Beloves Master. What a joy he conveys by reading these words. Jai Guru for all eternity.

Nancy Johnston

Love to hear the words of Paramamhansa Yogananda Please send the phone number of the SRF to my e mail. so I can call and receive lessons and training in Kriya Yoga. THANK YOU


Such an inspiring message from Paramahansaji. So happy to have been drawn to it, especially at my bedtime!

Sue Bohning

Self-Realization Fellowship: what can I say? How can I begin to describe what Master and others have done for me? What words can describe the help monastics I have talked with provided. Light where there would only have been darkness; hope, and stopping self- doubt. Help with the death of my only child, Peter. I would not have survived it without your help. Yet I have a long way to go . I will plant those seeds, and not give up. I will improve meditation, and will power. Grateful, grateful to you all. In Divine Friendship

Fausto OliveiraSue Bohning

I just want to send you my heart in oure compassion and love. Sure our God Almighty has you in His eyes and hands, you are protected. Much love from Brazil.

Maxine CarterSue Bohning

Sue, I am so very sorry for the loss of your son Peter. You are so brave and my heart goes out to you. Much love from Australia. 🙏🌺


The state of bliss is within the state of peace...These excerpts motivate me to dig deeper in meditation and to go back and read the entire talk from MEQ. Thank you for taking the effort to give us these gems from master. In the middle of a busy day, dusty with materialism and constant challenges, this read is like a clean pure jewel shining in the soul, waiting to be picked up.

Roshi Chauhan

Could not ask anything better to read than this Soul uplifting
Jai Guru

Dianne Standley

Thank you for this feeling of ever new bliss in a whole new way which I needed so badly today and every day. Wishing you all God’s wondrous blessings always and forever. Jai Guru

Mary Sheehan

Hello. Many years ago, I was registered (sent in $50) to begin the course, and things happened and I never did so. Is it too late?

BlytheMary Sheehan

Hello Mary - we're so glad you reached out - it's never too late! Please contact us by phone or email and we'll help you with the next steps:

Liliana Tg

Such a beautiful and inspiring message. Thank you for sharing. I treasure to read them during day activity breaks.

Lou Dubnow

Perfect read right before bed! Thank you Master, and thank you SRF/YSS! Blessings to all!!!

Martin Madsen

Guruji's words are so charged with volition! Thank you for sharing this wise counsel. Jai Guru!

Monika Bien

My dear Ones, how much i treasure everything you publish. I read and reflect and practise. And IiIt ist like a pilar i can lean at during the challenges of the day. Thank you so much. Jai Gurudev 🙏


profound message,,Answers and prepares the mind body and spirit to be aware and fully present with inner understanding for our Present day,,

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