Practice what you Read
19. Practice Self-Realization,
Practice what you Read
I could have meetings here with you every day, but that won't necessarily help you, unless you put into practice what you hear. (me)
This is a message of my heart to you.
inwardly digest these words, and
put my thoughts into practice. (os)
It is your duty to practice in your daily life all that you have learned. Scriptures are dead quotations. They live only when their lessons are lived in life by someone. A soul cannot be liberated unless he helps others to liberate themselves through true methods.
Self-realization means to know truth through yourself, and not through others. By seeking God first, through Self-realization, all things — strength, power, prosperity, wisdom, health, and immortality — will be added unto you. (os)
Self-realization is yoga or "oneness" with truth—the direct perception or experience of truth by the all-knowing intuitive faculty of the soul.
Lord Krishna... proclaims Self-realization, true wisdom, as the highest branch of all human knowledge—the king of all sciences, the very essence of dharma ("religion")—for it alone permanently uproots the cause of man's threefold suffering and reveals to him his true nature of Bliss. (bg)
Reading does not make you wise, realization does.
It is on these teachings that you should concentrate, not on my personality or any other personality. And it is not a matter of merely reading these truths, but of practicing them. (jt)
Truths are not truths to you unless you realize them within yourself. Without realization, they are just ideas. For spiritual perception, spiritual consciousness, lies not in vague theological ideas, but in the acquisition of Self-realization. (dr)
But you come to these lectures not only to listen to the words, but also to feel the presence of God behind them. If you attune your consciousness with His consciousness, and remain in that current of bliss, you will feel at-onement with Him. Whatever understanding I have attained has been acquired by becoming attuned to God’s consciousness within. This you too can accomplish. (me)
Learn to feel God, and to enjoy Him.
The more peace you feel during concentration and the longer you concentrate, the deeper you will go in God. If the time given to reading books about spiritual truth were spent in meditation, you would have far greater advancement both mentally and spiritually. Sleep less, and give more hours to meditation; the rest you will enjoy is a hundred times more refreshing than sleep. (me)
You must know the difference between
theoretical knowledge and
Could you nourish yourself by only listening to a talk on food? To know food only theoretically is to always remain hungry. You must eat to satisfy hunger. So he who seeks new doctrines continuously but does not put them into practice in his life is in continual spiritual starvation.
When the scriptural philosopher dissects words and thoughts with the scalpel of his reason, he may grow so fond of theoretical knowledge and of mentally separating wisdom into various segments that he may "dry up" through lack of the experience of truth in divine ecstasy. If a person spent his lifetime in analyzing the properties of water and in examining water from different sources all over the world, he would not thereby quench his thirst. A thirsty man, without fussing over the atomic constituencies, selects some good water; drinking it, he becomes satisfied. An exoteric jnana yogi — a follower of the path of discriminative reason — may read and analyze all the scriptures and still not slake his soul thirst. (bg)
Solve your problems through meditation. Exchange unprofitable speculation for actual God-communion.
Clear your mind of dogmatic theological debris; let in the fresh, healing waters of direct perception.
Attune yourself to the active inner Guidance; the Divine Voice has the answer to every dilemma of life.
— Lahiri Mahasaya (Autobiography of a Yogi)
(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