The following article is inspired by the book titled “To Be Victorious in LIfe” by Paramahansa Yogananda. It is my hope that this article will introduce you to something of the beauty in Yogananda’s insights. For more information on Paramahansa, see Self-Realisation Fellowship.
The back cover of this booklet quotes “You have at your command the irresistible divine powers of mind and will to vanquish every obstacle in your path!” Comfortable words indeed, especially for those times when life feels like too much to bear.
Yogananda (1893-1952) gives many encouragements and guidance in how to indeed be victorious. He recommends, in a world that “rushes along, knowing not where,” do not waste your time “in shortsighted pursuits.” (5)
His teaching is direct and clear in suggesting that you “Seek Him” and “attain complete victory.” (5) Much like the teaching of the Bible “Seek ye first the Kingdom … and all else shall be added unto you.”
Yogananda encourages that success is when you have “so expanded your consciousness that your life is a glory and happiness to yourself and to others.” (6) Not a selfish activity but one of service. Real success, “rather than being a contraction into self-interest, extends itself in serviceful expansion.” (7)
Yogananda teaches that to be alive is to “be on fire with purpose,” (11) and “give something worthwhile to the world.” (11) That “everything you do to help others in the way of this spiritual path will be remembered by the Father.” (55)
Yogananda suggests that “Mind is the principle thing;” (15) the “instrument of God by which everything is created.” (15) He further encourages that you “look within to release your inner powers.” (15)
To keep the mind strong you must use “dynamic will, concentration and perseverance.” (12) Failure starts with thinking “I can’t do it.” There being no real obstruction but your “can’t consciousness.” (24)
Paramahansa recommends that unless you have “happiness in the heart … you have no success.” (29) If you let go of happiness in order to desire more and more, then you end up lost in a multiplicity of wants. Success lies in learning the “art of inner contentment.” (30) In acquiring what you need, and learning to be happy with what you have.
Yogananda promises that when you “reach out with aid and compassion,” you are moving “into the presence of God.” (35) and that all the happiness you seek “lies within you.” (38)
Remember – “Make up your mind to be happy at all costs.” (39) as God “is the Fountainhead of all rivulets of joy.” (39)
Yogananda encourages us to “go after whatever you are interested in,” (44) as “the seeds of success are best nurtured by an enthusiastic interest.” (44) Beginning every venture by “asking for God’s help” (48)
The old adage “Not my will but Thy Will be done” ever true for aligning with and feeling what the higher will is for us at any stage of the journey. Not to charge ahead with a myriad of desires but to sit quietly, ask for guidance, and act on what feels right and inspired by that quiet time within. To live as best one can, in a state of calm. To train the mind to be neutral.
“In inner silence, ask the lord if it is right to go ahead.” (49)
“Above all else, think of God and ask Him to guide you.” (52)
Yogananda recommends that “The real victory consists in conquering yourself.” (59) He encourages us that the “spiritual scientist is never discouraged. He knows there is no trouble formidable enough to overpower the strength the Lord has given him.” (65)
“You came into the world not to lose yourself, but to find your true Self.” (67)
Yogananda recommends to study the way of the saints. “That which is easy to do is not the way of the Lord. That which is difficult to do is His way!” (69) The life of the saints has never been easy, and many if not most, have undergone intense tests along the way.
His advice is to not fear death as this allows death to be victorious over you. If you “face yourself” (74) and “try every day to change for the better,” you will be able to face death “with courage and win the true victory.” (74) Yogananda suggests that it is this “victory of the soul” that is most important. (74)
Yogananda suggests that we play the part we have been given “to please Him (God) alone.” (78) Then you will be victorious over the “sufferings and limitations of this world.” (78)
Paramahansa recommends some seclusion from the world, to be in contact with your own Self and the higher will. He also suggests that it is foolish “to spend your life seeking things you must forsake at death.” Yogananda suggests that there will be no real happiness that way, but every effort you make toward “the contact of God in meditation” (82) will bring you an “everlasting gift of the soul.” (82)
The work of Paramahansa Yogananda is easily available through the Self-Realisation Fellowship. Hopefully you find it easy to understand, inspiring and very practical in its approach. Hoping this is of some use to you. With love,
Arjuna Govinda (Easter 2012)
Reference: To Be Victorious in LIfe (2006) by Paramahansa Yogananda. Self-Realisation Fellowship. Los Angeles, California. USA.
I have met many people around the world who have found that Yogananda’s book ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’ to be an excellent introduction and inspiration into understanding spirituality.