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Ten Bits of Wisdom from Paramhansa Yogananda

Paramhansa YoganandaFrom the Lectures of Paramhansa Yogananda

How can you nourish yourself by only listening to a talk on food? You must apply your knowledge. To know food only theoretically, is to always remain hungry. So he who seeks new doctrines continuously–but does not put them into practice in his own life–is in continual spiritual starvation.

• A good habit is your greatest friend–a bad habit, your mortal enemy. Be careful about the repetition of an action. It will become a habit before you realize it. Habit is second nature. But it can be changed by persistent good action.

• When we serve others, we serve ourselves. Do not think, ‘I will help others’–think rather, ‘I will help my own, my world, because I cannot otherwise be happy.

• Praise does not make you better, nor blame worse than what you are. Then why heed these two? Don’t pay attention when they praise you, but survey yourself carefully when they blame you. If you are in fault, free yourself from error quickly, but if you are not guilty–laugh and forget it. Truth will speak for you. Spiritual action talks louder than the utterance of many sacred words.

• Loyalty to a spiritual custom–without sincerity and conviction–is hypocrisy. Loyalty to the spirit of a custom even without clinging to the form —is wisdom. Loyalty both to the form and the spirit is the greatest wisdom. But loyalty neither to spiritual custom, principle or teacher, is spiritual degeneration.

• No disease is incurable. Some diseases are beyond the reach of medicines, which are by their nature limited. When a disease is persistent and long-continued, and medical aid and other ordinary methods fail to cure it, it is then called chronic or incurable.

• The fault or deficiency in the medicine, and its inability to cure, are illogically transferred to the disease. The medicine is uncurative–so doctors call the disease incurable! But the power of the Infinite is unlimited and can heal all disease.

• Medicine has its uses–why deny facts? But it is strictly confined to certain limits. If a disease is beyond medical aid, that is not the time to despair, but rather the time to put your faith on the Infinite Power Who is Omnipotent.

• Medicine cannot help you if you just talk about it and do not use it. Similarly, faith cannot cure unless you use it and not simply talk of it.
In mental or spiritual healing, one must have faith to “burn the boat–to walk on the sea.’ Would you not rather doubt the aid of limited material forces than the power of the Infinite Spirit?

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Read more of Yogananda’s writings in How to Be Happy All the Time from

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