Paramahansa Yogananda Quotes
on the Need for a Guru
Guru is one who knows God, and who shows the way to Him. To follow a divine manifestation is the sure way to God-realization. One who knows God becomes the speaking voice of the silent God.
Only a true guru is empowered by God to establish with disciples a divine relationship by which he leads those in his care out of the common sheepfold of delusion to freedom in the Elysian pastures of God-consciousness.
A guru is a God-knowing person who has been divinely appointed by Him to take the seeker as a disciple and lead him from the darkness of ignorance to the light of wisdom. (dr)
Master [Swami Sri Yukteswar] first told me what to do, and afterwards he gave the reasons. I found him unerring in his wisdom. By listening to him, I saved myself many incarnations of roaming and trying to find out truth by myself. Guru is he who has experienced Truth. He serves as a guide in the dark forest of life. If you follow him, he will lead you out of the darkness. If you try to find the way alone, you may needlessly lose yourself in the forest for many incarnations. So follow the guru, and he will take you through safely. (dr)
My body shall pass but my work shall go on. And my spirit shall live on. Even when I am taken away I shall work with you for the deliverance of the world with the message of God. (dr)
A guru's only interest is to help you progress spiritually. If the teacher wants something from the disciple, he is not a master. The master's only desire is to give, not to take. But if the disciple has the wish to help the work of the master, that is to his credit—he is helped by giving to God's cause.
When a devotee prays intensely to God to know truth, God sends him a true guru to guide him. This divine grace comes to the devotee when he demonstrates his desire for liberation by sincere constancy in supplication to God.
The spiritual soul contact between guru and disciple is one of eternal, unconditional divine love and friendship, bearing no taint of any selfish consideration.
The guru serves as this mirror. He holds up to the devotee a reflection of his perfect soul-image over which is superimposed the flaws of the ego that yet mar perfection.
He who cannot learn through the wisdom and love of his God-ordained guru will not find God in this life. Several incarnations at least must pass before he will have another such opportunity. (dr)
When I have left this physical form, I will be with you more than I ever was in this life.
Even when I am gone my help will always be given to devotees all over the world, if they keep in tune. Never think for a moment that when I am physically absent from you all I am not otherwise with you. I shall be just as deeply concerned for your spiritual welfare when I am no longer in this body as I am now. I shall always be watching over each one of you: and whenever a true devotee thinks of me in the silent depths of his soul, he will know that I am near.
God has sent you to me, and I shall never fail you... Even when I am gone, my help will always be given to devotees all over the world, if they keep in tune. Never think for a moment that when I am physically absent from you all, I am not otherwise with you.
The quality of a yogi's meditation and other actions, the guru's help, and God's grace—these are the three requisites of liberation. No matter how much a devotee strives for salvation—and he is required to make the effort wholeheartedly for God—that effort constitutes only 25% of the requirements for liberation. Another 25% depends upon his guru's blessing, spiritually stimulating the disciple's striving. But the guru's help and the devotee's effort notwithstanding, it is necessary to have also God's grace, which may be said to constitute the remaining 50% of the requirements. (bg)
Many times when some disciple living far away has been ill or dying, he has drawn my astral body there through his devotion. (me)
GOD'S BOATMAN by PARAMAHANSA YOGANANDA
I want to ply my boat, many times,
Across the gulf-after-death,
And return to earth's shores
From my home in heaven.
I want to load my boat
With those waiting, thirsty ones
Who are left behind,
And carry them by the opal pool
Of iridescent joy
Where my Father distributes
His all-desire, quenching liquid peace.
Oh, I will come again and again!
Crossing a million crags of suffering,
With bleeding feet, I will come -
If need be, a trillion times -
So long as I know
One stray brother is left behind.
I want Thee, O God,
That I may give Thee to all.
I want salvation,
That I may give it to all.
WHEN I AM ONLY A DREAM
I come to tell you all of Him,
And the way to encase Him in your bosom...
And yet when I am only a dream to you,
I will come to remind you that you too are naught
But a dream of my Heavenly Beloved;
And when you know you are a dream, as I know now,
We will be ever awake in Him.
(aoy) — Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda
(bg) — God Talks with Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita by Paramahansa Yogananda
(dr) — The Divine Romance by Paramahansa Yogananda
(jt) — Journey to Self-Realization by Paramahansa Yogananda
(me) — Man's Eternal Quest by Paramahansa Yogananda
(os) — Other Sources... Talks, Booklets
(sc) — The Second Coming of Christ by Paramahansa Yogananda
(sm) — Self-Realization Magazines